Overdrive Magazine

September 2019

Issue link: https://dmtmag.uberflip.com/i/1161251

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10 | Overdrive | September 2019 Hours of service changes, detention, natural disasters, freight rates, driver training standards, the 18-year-old CDL — the list of industry debates and perennial topics goes on and on. Keep in mind: Some of these are problems that have eluded long-term remedy; others always have been part of the trucking landscape. Also hardly new to the scene are technology companies, industry organizations and government officials that promise to have some solution. Trust us with your future. Buy our services now, or suffer the consequences. I approach such claims skeptically. My experience is that each individual business owner needs to simplify problem-solving as much as possible. One of my primary points when mentoring a new owner-operator or driver: Solve the little problems first. Part of that directive is understand- ing just what you are able to control with your official staff of one. So stay focused. For most small-business truckers, it has been a difficult six months. It feels like there's a wide gap in the freight sector between those who have it to- gether and the so-called "have-nots." What makes the difference? Based on my conversations and observations, it isn't length of tenure as a business owner. Like many experienced owners, I've received more requests for help in the last six months than ever. It's a result of the sudden stresses created by freight market changes, but it's not just rates. People are suffering from equipment issues and repair costs, personal and family health problems, marital problems, depression, anxiety and overwhelming stress. To counteract such distractions, stay calm and collected. Take action in areas beyond trucking that sit at the core of your identity. Manage risk, not just wish-fulfillment. Invest in relationships with loved ones. Learn as much as possible from your failures. ese are just a few – perhaps ob- vious, I know – tactics toward living an engaged, rewarding life, though I believe they're all hallmarks of suc- cessful, satisfied people. Maybe the most important behavior is acting out daily the millennia-old philosophy of the "Golden Rule" — treating others as you wish to be treated. If you need help, don't let pride get in the way. Reach out and talk to someone privately soon. In business terms, that's all about building a bigger support staff, whether it's paid professionals or friends with experi- ence and wisdom. We don't have to travel this road alone. – Gary Buchs The main challenge for a stressed staff of one Husband-wife owner-operator team Martin and Carolina Hill, based in Southern California and hauling in a 2016 Freightliner Cascadia, get exercise on walks to Catholic services, among other places. "We go to mass every Sunday, and other days when possible," Martin says. e trek is "usually at least a few miles each way." e pair this year supplemented their exercise regimen with the Marcy MS69 Mini Stepper. It weighs about 15 pounds and uses hydraulic shocks to provide resistance. It comes with resistance bands for the upper body. e Hills purchased theirs for $55 at Big 5 Sporting Goods. It's small enough for easy in-cab storage. For any hauler who recognizes the dangers of an overly sedentary life- style – "Sitting kills!" as Martin puts it – getting a high-intensity workout is not always easy on the road, particu- larly when the mercury is well above or below comfortable levels. ough the Hills also "already make a point to do our weights and jump-rope exercise three times a week," Martin says, the stepper ma- chine, "primo for truck use," fills the gap le by inclement weather or other exercise hindrances. "I can be in the security of the truck and not have to be outdoors," says Carolina. Stepping in instead of out for cardio health Find more from Landstar-leased owner-operator Gary Buchs and other haulers and Overdrive editors via the Overdrive Extra blog: OverdriveOnline.com/Overdrive-Extra. Martin and Carolina Hill use a stepper machine for in-cab workouts on their team hauls. It and similar steppers offer a compact option for relatively high-intensity exercise where getting outside is not an option on the road. You'll find the devices available via sporting goods stores and online at Target, Walmart, Amazon and others.

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