Month: August 2014

Economic Watch: Construction Starts Index Hits Highest Level of the Year – News –

While great news for flatbed, and we have seen the rates increase, construction starts helps all sectors of trucking.

Most in trucking are watching housing starts to see how open deck rates are going to change.  But construction as a whole impacts the market, not just houses.  And this article does a good job explaining that. What is interesting when we look at index data is they always seem to be looking back.  But based on seasonality that can help predict what is going to be happening going forward.

With commercial construction in full swing, we can feel comfortable that this will stay strong into the winter months, indicating a better than normal winter flatbed market.  And we can also feel comfortable with these numbers because we have seen the rates and capacity for flatbed move in a positive direction during the period that it reports.

In terms of dry van, not all construction supplies moves via flatbed.  So watching indexes that are normally more geared towards flats is a good habit to get into.

Economic Watch: Construction Starts Index Hits Highest Level of the Year – News –

Slow Cooking

Using slow cookers can be a great way to keep money in your pocket and the inches off your waist. I mentioned a few tips about cooking times in my last post, but barely scratched the surface on the benefits these handy pots can give.

Nutritionally speaking, using a slow cooker can give you an alternative to the high-fat, high-calorie foods most of you are limited to at truck stops. Making meals in your trucks gives you more control of what you eat, allowing you to incorporate more nutrient dense foods, like veggies, into your diet. Making a hearty stew, for example, with chicken broth, beef bits, carrots, canned corn, potatoes and some celery can provide your body with a good amount of fiber, and other vitamins and minerals you wouldn’t be able to get from a cheeseburger and fries.

Now, in terms of your budget, using a slow cooker can help cut back on the amount you spend on food. Using the example above, the ingredients for a stew would put you back about $15 at your closest Walmart and can make enough stew for about 6 servings. Compare that to the $5-10 you spend, per meal, at a fast food restaurant and see how much you can potentially save on food.

Here is a link that can give you more information about slow cooking in a truck, as well as some recipes to use.