Posts written by LLarimore

Author Bio: Lakin joined the CFI team in February 2015 and is Communications Editor. She plays an important role in social media and internal publications like Drive Line to keep drivers engaged and informed. Lakin is a valuable asset to the team and hopes the blog is a useful resource for drivers and inspires them to live a healthier lifestyle. She attained her degree in Mass Communications from Missouri Southern State University located in Joplin, Missouri. She enjoys talking to drivers and sharing their story using all avenues of communication.

January 5th, 2018

One of the most common traditions at the start of a new year is to make resolutions or goals you want to accomplish. According to an article by Business Insider, approximately 80% of resolutions fail by the second week of February. So what’s the trick to succeeding? Experts say, make your resolutions realistic and attainable to increase your chances of keeping them further into the year.

When resolutions are too ambitious, we struggle to change our habits, become discouraged when we fail and ultimately give up altogether.

 

Below are some tips we found to help you stick to your resolutions.

Start small
Moderation is key to anything you do. Try setting benchmarks and work from there. If your goal is to eat healthier, try replacing dessert with a healthy option that you enjoy. Experts say it takes 21 days to make a new habit. Tackle one goal at a time and remind yourself of the positive impact achieving your goal will have on your life.

Take it one step at a time
Say you’ve made a goal to put $500 in your savings this year, but you’re not great at saving. Rather than putting that entire amount back at one time, opt to save a smaller amount each day. Evaluate where you are each week or month and adjust accordingly. Write that goal in a visible place with your reason of setting that goal in the first place. For example, I want to save $500 in order to become more financially stable. Slowly increase your goal from the previous day or week and before you know it, you’ve met your resolution!

Talk about it
Sharing your experiences, struggles or successes helps make the task at hand less intimidating, therefore easier to accomplish. Check your local community center for support groups or even group classes, depending on what your goal is and help each other succeed. Online social media support groups are also an option you can utilize. Sometimes talking through your struggles can help you gain a different perspective.

Don’t beat yourself up
Brownies are delicious, we know this. Don’t give up completely because cheated on your diet or chose a night out instead of saving that extra money. The most important thing is to resolve to recover from the set back and get back on track the next day. Celebrate your successes and focus on what you’ve done well.

Ask for help
Let’s use the example from earlier and say your resolution is to save more money, but you aren’t a good financial planner. It is perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. You are stepping out of your comfort zone with virtually any resolution. It’s perfectly normal to have questions or need advice. Reach out to those you trust and ask for tips and best practices to help you achieve your goal.

 

 

December 5th, 2017

The end of the year is a busy time for everyone. There is more traffic from holiday travelers and weather can be challenging.

While the season is often referred to as the “giving season,” we know it’s also the “taking season.” Cargo thefts tend to increase close to a holiday or major retail event, like Black Friday for example. From now until New Years, it is the peak season for cargo theft activity. According to CargoNet, tractor theft was down 17 percent from 2016 and reported thefts totaled $17.2 million, down from $35.1 million from the previous year. Below are some tips to keep you, and your cargo safe:

Pay attention to your surroundings

Whether you are waiting on a load at a customer or stopping for fuel after you’re loaded, take note of your surroundings. Look around and make eye contact with people you might pass. There is a difference between direct eye contact and just looking in a general direction. Making eye contact typically is registered as a feeling of unease or heightened awareness; plus, you have better ability to recognize who you make eye contact with later. Avoid walking with your head down, texting or paying attention to your cellphone. Criminals target individuals that are engrossed or distracted by another activity because they are less likely to report/recognize them later on. Always exercise ‘extra’ caution at night. Be alert, be aware and be cautious.

Choose safe parking

Whenever possible, park in well-lit areas and back up the trailer to a wall or pole (after you get out and look of course). Another suggestion is to park your tractor in the same direction as others around you. Make sure you are using your anti-theft devices and never leave your truck unlocked and unattended. When you are in the truck stop avoid discussing what cargo you have in your trailer or what your next load will be. Use this time to do a mid-trip inspection to ensure your equipment is safe and untampered. Parking where a thief can see a camera is also a good deterrent.

Don’t stop immediately

Especially in high risk areas do not stop immediately after leaving a customer. The recommended distance before stopping is between 150-200 miles. Arrive at the shipper well rested, showered and ready to go. Typically, driving for a while after picking up deters groups or individuals from pursuing anything because it’s not worth the time. Do you notice blacked out SUVS or cars in truck parking only areas? Is there a vehicle that you’ve noticed following you? Does something just feel off about the situation you are in? If you ever feel unsafe contact your fleet supervisor. Your safety is the number one priority and there is nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution. Don’t be afraid to trust your instinct.

Don’t forget, cargo at rest is cargo at risk!

November 16th, 2017

The holiday season is almost here. That wonderful time of year where families gather around the dinner table and enjoy each other’s company without a single argument.

Yeah, that made me chuckle too.

We all have that one relative, whether it’s a cousin, uncle, parent or grandparent that knows just what buttons to push. While the motive might be intentional or accidental, we all leave a little stressed out, angry and strongly considering getting “sick” around Christmas to avoid a repeat of what just happened.

Not every family is like the Cleavers and that’s OK! Families come in a variety of shapes and sizes. We’ve found some helpful tips to help you avoid the annual drama. If they don’t work, take the pie and run!

Focus on the positives. Let’s be realistic. The holidays tend to make everyone a little crazy.  There will never be a perfect holiday or a perfect family. Try to create moments that are special to you. The less you stress about everyone else’s wants or expectations, the more you’re able to focus on the people that matter.

Plan your exit strategy in advance. There are a variety of reasons that some families stay apart the majority of the year. Even if you adore your parents, staying at their house after years on your own can try a relationship. There is nothing wrong with making sure you have a way out to help you keep your sanity. Whether it’s volunteering to go run an errand, take out the trash or needing to leave to “go let the dog out,” don’t forget to take care of yourself. Go take that breather and then explain to grandma one more time why you don’t have any kids yet.

Find some down time for yourself. Even though the holidays will most likely be hectic, find some quiet time for yourself so you can re-energize. Or, if you are having the in-laws at your house and cannot use an exit strategy, finding the quiet time for yourself can be a lifesaver. This “catch your breath” time can come at any point during the day. Let yourself clean up by yourself, do those few dishes that can’t go in the dishwasher, go watch a movie with your kids or grandkids, or do anything else that will allow you the time to regroup and get your energy back.

Whatever your traditions may be, we hope you have a happy and safe holiday!