In This Issue
• Fun Facts
• Healthy Note
• HOS New Rule
• 401(k)
June 2020 Issue 33
New Hours-of-Service Rule Effective in September
FMCSA revises the hours of service (HOS) regulations to provide greater flexibility for drivers subject to those rules without adversely affecting safety.
Based on the detailed public comments and input from the American people, FMCSA’s final rule on hours of service offers four key revisions to the existing HOS rules:
• The Agency will increase safety and flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by requiring a break after 8 hours of consecutive driving and al-lowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status, rather than off-duty status.
• The Agency will modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods: an 8/2 split, or a 7/3 split—with neither period counting against the driver’s 14 hour driving window.
• The Agency will modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
FMCSA’s final rule is crafted to improve safety on the nation’s roadways. The rule changes do not increase driving time and will continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute break.
As an OTR driver, how can I protect myself and slow the spread of COVID19?
As a long-haul truck driver, you spend many hours alone in the cab of your truck. However, there are times when you will be at increased risk of exposure to COVID-19. For long-haul truck drivers, potential sources of exposure include having close contact with truck stop attendants, store workers, dock workers, other truck drivers, or others with COVID-19, and touching your nose, mouth, or eyes after contacting surfaces touched or handled by a person with COVID-19.
Notify your supervisor and stay home if having symptoms.
• Make a plan with your employer and your family as to what to do if you become sick while you’re on the road. Include where to stop, where and how to seek medical advice and treatment, and plans for freight delivery.
Follow CDC-recommended steps if you are sick. You should not return to work until the criteria to discontinue home isolation are met, in con-sultation with healthcare providers and state and local health departments.
Follow CDC recommended precautions and notify your supervisor if you are well but have a sick family member at home with COVID-19.
• Limit close contact with others by maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet when possible.
• Limit time spent outside of the truck cab during fueling, loading and unloading, and at rest and truck stops.
• Use paperless, electronic invoicing for fueling, deliveries, and other tasks, when available.
• Contact facilities in advance to make an appointment for unloading of cargo. Be aware that some facilities may not grant access to restrooms, and plan as best you can.
• Use radio/phone to talk with dock managers or other drivers, if possible.
• Pack food, water, and supplies to limit the number of stops.
• Avoid shaking hands.
• Keep your truck well-ventilated.
CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Cloth face coverings may prevent people who don’t know they have the virus from transmitting it to others. These face coverings are not surgical masks or respirators and are not appropriate substitutes for them in workplaces where masks or respirators are recommended or required.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a routine basis such as:
• In the truck cab (driver door handle, steering wheel, seat belt and buckle, arm and head rest, seat cover, turn signal, wiper controls, dashboard, air ducts, radio, and temperature controls).
• In the sleeper berth (light switches, mattress tray, temperature controls, and other flat surfaces).
• If a third party must have access to the interior of your truck (for example., mechanics, other drivers, inspectors), request that the third party clean and disinfect the truck before turning it back over to you.
For disinfection, use products that meet EPA’s criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2 diluted household bleach solutions, or alcohol solu- tions with at least 70% alcohol, and are appropriate for the surface. Follow manufacturer’s directions for use and clean hands afterwards.
Practice proper hand hygiene. This is an important infection control measure. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
• Key times to clean hands include:
• Before entering and leaving the cab, including deliveries, loading and unloading of cargo, rest breaks, fueling, and other activities;
• Before eating or preparing food;
• After putting on, touching, or removing cloth face coverings;
• After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
• After using the restroom.
• Avoid touching surfaces often touched by others when outside of the cab.
• Do not share personal protective equipment (PPE) (such as vests, safety glasses, hard hats), tools, phones, radios, or other personal items.
• Use pre-qualified truck stops or hotels identified by your employer as having appropriate COVID-19 protections.
Continue to comply with current Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
• Get adequate sleep (7–9 hours) prior to driving. This is critical even when essential supplies and equipment are being transported.
Pull over, drink a cup of coffee. or take a 15–30 minute nap before continuing if you feel fatigued while driving.
If any directive from your employer or a shipper is unclear, ask questions.
“Change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past and present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy
“If I’d ask my customers what they wanted, they’d have said ‘Don’t change anything.’
– Henry Ford
5 Benefits of a 401(k)
1. Tax Advantages
Contributions to a traditional 401(k) are taken directly out of your paycheck before federal income taxes are withheld. Because the contributions are pre-tax, it lowers your total taxable income which means you might owe less in income taxes, regardless of whether you itemize or take the standard de-duction. It may even put you in a lower tax bracket! Your pre-tax contribu-tions are then tax-deferred until you choose to withdraw them in retirement. The premise is that in retirement you’ll likely be in a lower tax bracket than if you were taxed on the money now.
2. You are in Control
You can contribute as much or as little as you want to your account (GTS will match 50% up to 6% of your income). Plus, you have the flexibility to change your contribution levels at any time (subject to plan limits) depend-ent on your situation.
3. Time is on Your Side
The earlier you start investing, the more time your money has to grow. One of the biggest advantages of investing in a 401(k) early is compound inter-est. Compound interest is when you earn interest on the principal amount of an investment plus any accumulated interest, i.e. it’s when you earn interest on interest. Compounding can have a big impact on long-term investment and should be considered a powerful ally when it comes to saving for retire-ment. It may not seem like much looking at your 401(k) in the early days, but compounding can really add up.
4. You Can Take it with You
Even if you change jobs, the money you’ve contributed to your 401(k) and its earnings belong to you. Depending on your plan type, there are different ways to keep your retirement plan invested and growing on a tax-deferred basis. If you’ve left an employer, but still have an old 401(k) with them, find out what your options are for leaving it in plan or moving it somewhere else.
5. Easy Payroll Deductions
Starting to save early and contributing consistently is essential to preparing for retirement, even if it feels lightyears away. With a 401(k), you can make automatic contributions directly from your paycheck. It makes saving a sim-ple and effortless process. And, since the deduction is taken before you get paid, you won’t miss the money. When it does cross your mind, you should feel great that you’re taking the right steps to secure your future!
A comfortable retirement requires planning. The good news is that sound retirement planning doesn’t have to be complicated. By joining Guaranteed Transport’s retirement plan, you can take advantage of a wide range of ben-efits to help you take control of your future – today!
The Fun Facts
• The two tiny holes drilled in every BIC pen is to ensure the air pressure is the same both inside and outside the pen, which helps the ink flow to the tip.
• It took the creator of the Rubik’s Cube, Erno Rubik, one month to solve the cu-be after he created it; as of June 2018 the world record is 4.22 seconds.
• The “I’m Feeling Lucky” feature in Google search actually cost Google $110 million a year, as 1% of all search-es use this feature and bypass all ad-vertising.
• The most popular item at Walmart is bananas. They sell more bananas than any other single item they have in stock.
• “Bluetooth” technology was named after a 10th century king, King Harald Blue-tooth. He united Denmark and Nor-way—just like the wireless technology united computers and cell phones.
• France didn’t stop doing executions by guillotine until 1977. The guillotine was an iconic image of the French revolu-tion, but many people realize they were still in use nearly two centuries after it ended.
• On average, a person will walk 115,000 miles in their life. That’s the equivalent of walking the entire way around the world more than four times. Roughly 216 million steps.
• When two pieces of the same metal touch in space, they bond permanently. This process is known as “cold welding.” it can be achieved on Earth with the right pressure and preparation of the materials, but it can occur spontaneous-ly in space, where there’s no atmos-phere or oxide layer to separate the metal atoms.
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Minimize Trips to the Store & Eating Healthy
Stock up on nutrition-packed foods that will stay fresh for a week or longer.
Breads—corn tortillas, whole grain English muffins, bagels, breads, wraps, frozen whole wheat waffles
Grains—instant oatmeal, quick cooking pasta, frozen brown rice, couscous, refrigerated pizza crust
Fruits—sturdy fresh fruit (apples, citrus), dried, plain frozen, canned in juice or water
Vegetables—sturdy fresh veggies (celery, broccoli, onions, potatoes), plain frozen, low sodium canned, sun-dried
Sauces—tomato pasta sauce, salsa
Soups & Broths—canned, frozen, shelf-stable cartons
100% Juice—refrigerated, frozen, canned, boxed
Milk—fresh, canned, shelf-stable packages
Eggs—fresh eggs, egg whites in cartons
Cheese—sliced, cubed, shredded, crumbled, grated hard cheese
Beans/Legumes—canned beans (black beans, chickpeas), dry beans
Nuts and seeds—bagged, canned, nut butters
Chicken—frozen or canned
Beef—pre-made frozen lean ground patties or meatballs
Flavorings—add zing with dried herbs & spices, vinegars, mustard, hot/steak sauces, lemon/lime juice, light dressings, honey.
Reduce anxiety and boost immunity by choosing:
* Citrus fruit and red bell peppers (both rich in vitamin C, which in some studies has been shown to support your immune system)
* Spices: ginger, garlic, turmeric, and capsaicin (from chili peppers) can be easily added to soups, stews, stir-frys, or salad dressings.
* Foods rich in zinc such as oysters, clams, mussels, cashews, liver, beef, and egg yolks. You may recognize zinc as an ingredient is the cold remedy Zicam, as zinc has some virus-fighting effects.
* Magnesium-rich foods may help you to feel calmer, and help support immunity. Stress can deplete our magnesium levels too. Examples are legumes, nuts, seeds, leafy greens, and whole grains.
* Fatty fish like wild Alaskan salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids. A study on medical students in 2011 was one of the first to show that omega-3s may help reduce anxiety.
* Eat probiotic-rich foods such as pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and kefir.
* Add some antioxidants to your anti-anxiety diet, which can support your immune system.
Did you know?
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the great influenza pandemic of 1918. Between 50 and 100 million people are thought to have died, represent-ing as much as 5 percent of the world’s population. Half a billion people were infected.
Especially remarkable was the 1918 flu’s predilection for taking the lives of otherwise healthy young adults, as opposed to children and the elderly, who usually suffer most. Some have called it the greatest pandemic in history.
The 1918 flu pandemic has been a regular subject of speculation over the last century. Historians and scientists have advanced numerous hypotheses re-garding its origin, spread and consequences. As a result, many of us harbor misconceptions about it.