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.

April 10th, 2017

In an increasingly technology driven society it has become important to unplug and take time off of our mobile devices. Every day our professional drivers and those across the industry depend on technology to perform their job. Technology in itself is not a bad thing. It allows us to have 24/7 access to information and helps us stay connected to our families when we are unable to be there physically. The problem is how much and often we use it.

According to the Huffington Post, 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts or calls – even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating. Another study found that mobile device owners check their devices every 6.5 minutes. There are proven benefits to taking time off and “unplugging” from our phones and other electronic devices.

Increased quality of sleep

Research suggests that the blue light from our computer, phone and tablet screens makes it difficult for our bodies to fall asleep due to reduced serotonin levels. Serotonin is known as the “sleep hormone” and reduced levels can have an impact on your ability to fall and stay asleep. They suggest that the best practice is to disconnect before bed, rather than falling asleep looking at our phones.

Improved time management skills

How many of us have spent hours watching TV or searching the internet without realizing it? Whenever we are not glued to our devices, we are able to focus 100% of our attention on the task at hand. Take your 10 hour break for example. In those 10 short hours you might want to eat a quick bite, do laundry, get up and stretch since you’ve been sitting so long, call a friend or FaceTime your family and you can’t forget you will also need to get some sleep so you’re ready to drive after your break is up. If you spend two hours watching a movie instead of doing more important things then something on your list is going to suffer. Setting boundaries on the amount of time you spend on your device will help you prioritize what you need to get done and help you maximize the time you have available.

Improved health and posture

Unfortunately, professional drivers do not a have the luxury to stop frequently and get out to stretch. This means that is even more important to utilize the opportunities to get out and be active. Prolonged sitting can lead to posture problems, hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and more. It is good for your body and mind to put the phone down and get some fresh air. Whether it’s choosing a parking spot further away so you have longer to walk or even walking around your truck a few times, it is important to have some type of physical activity as a part of your daily routine. While technology can assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle the trick is to recognize when it is actually helping and when it is hurting.

 

Just like with anything, moderation is the key! Try giving yourself 30 minutes to wind down from the day technology-free. Reading a book or doing yoga before bed can help increase the quality of your sleep and even help you fall asleep faster.

 

November 2nd, 2016

50s-truck

 

On Thursday, October 27, XPO Logistics announced it had reached an agreement with a leader in the North American transportation and logistics industry, TransForce, to purchase the company. As we return to our heritage as a standalone truckload company, it is my honor to reintroduce you to CFI, our original name which we will be bringing back as a result of this transaction.

The CFI name carries a lot meaning for both our customers and employees. The company was founded in 1951 with only two trailers. Seven years later, we purchased our first company truck. Fast forward to 2016 and we have grown to more than 2,400 trucks and more than 7,000 trailers.

Tim Hicks has been with the company since 1992, when he started as a professional driver and held various positions in our operations and planning department before accepting the position of driver advocate in March 2014. 

Prior to joining CFI, Hicks served in the United States Air Force. 

“I did a lot of research prior to separating from the USAF. This was before the Internet and Google, so I was writing and calling companies to get information or hanging out at truck stops asking drivers questions,” he said. “I would go to Oklahoma City to the Petro and one of the first things I remember seeing was the CFI trucks. Clean, red trucks with clean, white trailers. They were conventional tractors, while almost everybody was still running cab overs.” 

Hicks eventually made his way to CFI headquarters in Joplin and met with Arnie Rosa, a driver recruiter who Hicks had been communicating with. 

“Arnie told me that CFI only hired one out of every 20 drivers. It was a big deal to get on here,” he said. “[On my tour] he showed the shop and the operations department and that’s what sold me. I liked that they were what appeared to be a top-notch operation.” 

CFI hauled for companies like Ford, GM and shutting down an auto plant was unheard of.

Hicks’ first truck was an ’89 Flat Top Kenworth with a 350 Cummins and, he said, it was common for “drivers to polish chrome or to be seen lettering tires on down time.”

“I loved driving a truck back then,” he said. 

While driving a “Red Racer” didn’t hurt, he said there was something else that contributed to that feeling. 

“There was pride in the company and respect between our driving and non-driving staff, customers and our peers in the industry,” he said.

Going forward, Hicks said he hopes that current employees will feel that same pride. 

“Drivers who wanted to work hard came to work for us,” he said. “Customers who demanded premium service called us. CFI is about pride; pride in our company and in our employees, pride in our equipment and pride in our customers. I want [that] for all of us.”

 

October 17th, 2016

dot-inspection

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is conducting their Safe Driver Week in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies across North America. They will focus on commercial motor vehicle drivers and car drivers.

During the 2015 Operation Safe Driver Week, more than 21,000 vehicles, including trucks and cars, were pulled over. More than 19,000 roadside inspections were conducted on commercial vehicles. The five warnings and citations given during the event were:

  • Size and weight
  • Speeding
  • Failure to use seat belt
  • Failure to obey traffic control device
  • Using a handheld phone

Specifically, the focus for 2016 will be on speeding, failure to use a seat belt, distracted driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, following too closely, improper lane change and more.

CVSA says the Operation Safe Driver program was created to help reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths involving trucks, buses and cars due to unsafe driving behaviors.