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As another new year begins, it’s time to commit to making positive changes, both personally and professionally. This is why a good choice for this month’s value is new beginnings. It’s a concept that may seem kind of vague, but it’s also a value that can provide an added incentive to make improvements that are good for you in many different ways. If you are a part of the trucking industry in some way, take a moment to consider how you can embrace the concept of new beginnings this year.

Expand Your Trucking Business

Decisions like this aren’t easy. But 2018 may be the perfect time to mark a new beginning for your business by expanding your operations. According to the American Trucking Associations, the rate at which goods are hauled by truck is expected to increase by 3 percent over the next five years. ATA also forecasts continued growth for freight transportation through 2028. During this same period, freight tonnage is expected to grow by 40 percent, and revenue from hauling goods may increase by as much as 90 percent. Even if expansion isn’t something you’ve considered, now may be a good time to consider your options.

Manage Your Time Better

The new ELD requirement has, in a way, contributed to a new beginning for the trucking industry when it comes to how hours are tracked. Apply the concept of time management to your own life by taking positive steps to effectively juggle your own personal time demands. Some possible ways to achieve this goal include:

• Spending some of your free time doing volunteer or charity work
• Making an effort to spend more quality time with your children and/or family members when not on the road or the on the job
• Easing your personal stress by finding a better work-life balance

Ditch Unhealthy Eating Habits

Diners, truck stops, and easily accessible fast food places can result in less-than-ideal eating habits for truckers regularly on the road. Treat yourself to a healthy new beginning by taking positive steps to improve your diet while on the job. Consider these tips:

• Choose quick meals that are high in fiber and low in calories and fat (e.g., cereal with low-fat milk, broth-based soups, oatmeal bars)
• Stock your cab with healthy snacks like whole-grain crackers, carrot sticks, and Greek yogurt to satisfy your hunger on the road and minimize the temptation to opt for fast food
• Use convenient appliances like portable coolers and mini slow cookers to make and store your own healthy meals in your cab or hotel room when on the road

Look for On-the-Road Fitness Opportunities

You can’t have an entirely new beginning when it comes to improving your overall health without including exercise in the mix. Lack of sufficient exercise is a serious issue for individuals working in the trucking profession. According to a survey conducted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, nearly 70 percent of long-haul truck drivers are obese. A Gallup-Healthways analysis involving people in transportation-related jobs found similar results. A gym membership isn’t always practical for truckers. But there are sensible ways for truck drivers to stay fit even while on the road:

• Commit to getting, at least, 15 minutes of exercise a day
• Maximize fat-burning by doing more intense workouts when you do have time to get to a gym
• Work multiple muscle groups to improve overall flexibility and strength
• Have breakfast and eat after workouts to minimize the hunger pains that sometimes result in eating binges
• Log your nutrition and fitness efforts so you can track your progress and identify areas where you can improve

Partner with Pay4Freight for a new beginning when it comes to your trucking business’ bottom line. Our resources can help you compete at the same level as the big guys. Contact us today to learn more.