A stock photo of a mechanic holding a wrench in a repair shop.

What can I do to make sure my truck completes every trip?

Best Tips for Avoiding Tractor Breakdowns

The axiom, ‘Time is money,’ should be the prime operating principle for any owner/operator. Nothing will cost more time or money than a breakdown. To be sure all truck drivers have or will experience some kind of mechanical failure or a tire blowout at some point in their career. It’s just the nature of our business. However, there are some proactive steps drivers can take to keep their rig in the best possible condition. A few members of the Patriot Truck Sales product expert team reached out to some of the service experts in our repair shop to ask them about their best tips for avoiding tractor breakdowns. Let’s see what they had to say. Read the rest of this entry >>

A photo of cargo loaded into a van trailer before it's delivered.

Some items may have shifted during transit, here’s how to avoid that

How do I avoid shifting cargo in my van trailer?

There are a lot of hazards drivers face when they’re working. While many of them can be hard to avoid, making sure your cargo is properly secured is something that a driver can and must control. In fact, at the end of the day, Department of Transportation regulations say that the driver is ultimately responsible for securing their cargo – even if the trailer was loaded by someone else. Something that all drivers should be asking before they pull away from a loading dock is, ‘How do I avoid shifting cargo in my van trailer?’ Patriot Truck Sales reached out to a few of our customers and industry professionals to pick up a few tips and tricks. Let’s take a look at what we found. Read the rest of this entry >>

A photo of a semi hauling cargo down the road.

Owning your own truck isn’t much good if you don’t have work

How do owner/operators find loads to haul?

When someone is an owner/operator, they are not only the company’s best driver, they are also the bookkeeper and the lead mechanic. Most importantly they are responsible for finding work. So, who do owner/operators find loads to haul? There are a few ways to find cargo that needs to be hauled, some will work better for some people than other methods. Regardless of which method a business owner chooses to find work, it’s always worth considering some alternative ways to find loads to haul. After all, a truck is only earning money when its wheels are turning. A few Patriot Truck Sales product experts spoke to some industry experts to find this information. Let’s see what they found. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of blood in vials for testing.

As a driver you will be drug tested, do you know the rules when you get picked?

Rules for drug or alcohol testing for truck drivers

Having a commercial driver’s license is quite different from having a regular driver’s license. One of the major differences between having a CDL and civilian license is random drug testing. The rules for drug or alcohol testing for truck drivers carry serious consequences because of the potential for tragedy if someone is using either substance while driving. Drivers can be called in for a random drug test even if they aren’t working that day and missing or delaying the test can cause the driver to have their license suspended or revoked entirely. Here are a few common questions new drivers have about the process. These are just general questions. Always follow your company’s rules or what your state law requires. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of a line of police officers.

This is what you should do when you get pulled over in your truck

What should I do when I get pulled over in my tractor?

Anyone who has been driving for any measurable period time has probably of time knows the terrifying feeling when they see a police car behind them with their lights activated. No driver wants to get a ticket, but for professional drivers, the consequences can be even bigger. Obviously, all drivers have a responsibility to drive safely so traffic moves smoothly. When an owner/operator gets pulled over, they are losing precious time. It’s understandable that someone might be frustrated with this delay but flying off the handle or being disorganized isn’t going to help the process at all. If you’re a new driver and are wondering, ‘What should I do when I get pulled over in my tractor,’ the Patriot Truck Sales team found a few tips that might be helpful. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of a person behind the wheel of a truck.

Everyone needs a friend but when does two become a crowd?

Is having a co-driver a good idea for owner/operators?

An owner/operator is only earning money when their truck is in motion. The desire to make better time and push the limits are exactly why hours of service regulations have been implemented. Since it’s not safe or feasible for drivers to be behind the wheel 24 hours a day for several days at a time, more and more businesses are advocating for a team driving dynamic. So, is having a co-driver a good idea for owner/operators? Well, like anything else in life, there are a lot of solid arguments on both sides of the issue. It might be a great idea for some operations and less attractive to others. Some of the Patriot Truck Sales product experts reached out to some industry professionals to get some insight into the question. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of a truck driver behind the wheel of a semi.

New drivers have some unique challenges to face in their first year

What challenges do first-year truck drivers face?

If you’re thinking about taking a chance on yourself and buying a truck to become an owner/operator, you won’t find any bigger fans than the people who work at Patriot Truck Sales. When someone visits our showroom to buy their first truck, a question we wish we got asked more often is, ‘What challenges do first-year truck drivers face?’ It’s pretty easy to understand that being a truck driver will involve long hours alone in an area that might be completely unfamiliar. But what can a new driver expect from an employer? About how much can they expect to make? Let’s take a look at some questions that you might not have thought to ask. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of people shaking hands after completing a deal.

Starting your own trucking business? Health insurance costs will come up in conversation

How do owner/operators get health insurance?

Unless we see some pretty drastic changes in our country, choosing the most comprehensive and most affordable health insurance plan will be among the most important decisions a self-employed person can make. So, how do owner/operators get health insurance? Well, like anything else in this challenging industry, there are few options. Patriot Truck Sales wants to make sure you’re as well-informed as possible when you’re first starting out. A few of our product experts were able to speak with an insurance industry expert so we could outline a few important pieces of information that our current and future customers might be able to use. The Patriot Truck Sales team can answer a lot of questions on a lot of subjects, but for insurance-related things, make sure to speak with a licensed professional. Read the rest of this entry >>

A stock photo of a person inspecting the drive wheels on a semi truck.

Will your truck be ready to pass inspection during Roadcheck 2019?

What are inspectors looking for during Roadcheck 2019?

If you’re an over-the-road truck driver, getting stopped for inspections is just a way of life. Starting June 4, the frequency might increase as part of an international effort to ensure our roads and highways are as free from safety hazards as possible. So, what are inspectors looking for during Roadcheck 2019? According to some information the Patriot Truck Sales team was able to find, steering and suspension systems will be the inspectors’ primary focus. If it’s been a while since you’ve given these elements of your truck a close look, this will be a good opportunity for some reminders that could help you avoid lengthy delays and potentially costly fines. Don’t hesitate to make an appointment with us if you need a little help making sure your rig will be up to par. Read the rest of this entry >>

An illustration of a fuel gauge on 'full.'

A few small changes could equal big fuel savings; learn more today!

How can I get better fuel economy in my semi?

In order for any business to be profitable, it has to keep costs under control. As this principle applies to the transportation industry, owner/operators need to keep a close eye on fuel costs. If someone isn’t constantly asking themselves, ‘How can I get better fuel economy in my semi,’ their trucking business won’t be long for this world. A few of the product experts working at Patriot Truck Sales have reached out to some of their long-time customers and other industry contacts to help new owner/operators make better choices while they’re on the road to save as much fuel as possible. Hopefully, some of these tips will help you shave a few dollars off of your next fuel stop. Read the rest of this entry >>