Published: Sept 24, 2019

There was an article in Truck News last week about Daimler Trucks North America’s efforts to reduce truck repair times to 24 hours. Daimler is opening new parts distribution centres in the U.S. and Canada; and implementing new technology at repair shops, to improve efficiency and keep drivers informed of repair progress. (You can read the article here.) 



While Daimler’s goal is terrific, when you’re on the road, even a few hours of unexpected downtime can be a challenge. Sure, you can lay on the hotel bed and watch game shows or head to the nearest pub and see what game their showing; but that’s just killing time. What if you want to use that time more productively? Here are ten ideas for you.

  1. Pack up some healthy snacks. Head to the nearest grocery store and buy what you need to put together some healthy snack packs. Don’t forget to buy containers or food bags. You can make your own trail mix or veggie packs if you have a cooler with you.
  2. Be a tourist for a day. Tourism websites often have a list of “Things to Do” in their city. See if there’s an attraction or event you’d find enjoyable, and make those extra hours into a mini vacation.
  3. Get some exercise. It doesn’t really matter if you hit a local gym or just go for a leisurely walk. Getting a bit of exercise will help you relax and help you get a better night’s sleep.
  4. Make calls to family and friends. There seems to always be someone that you haven’t gotten back to or haven’t had a good long talk with lately. Use your new-found downtime to give them a call.
  5. Learn something. Learning something new stimulates the brain, and can be very helpful in reaching your long term goals. Whether it’s learning a new language, watching a documentary, or taking an online course, learning is always a great use of time.
  6. Do some planning. Maybe you’ve been thinking about a career move, or a family vacation, or creating a savings plan for retirement. Whatever it is that you’ve had on the back burner, here’s your chance to do some research, set some goals, and make a plan.
  7. Schedule health appointments. Dentist, doctor, chiropractor? You’re bound to be overdue for some health related appointment. Taking care of yourself is important!! Make those appointments.
  8. Find a park. Did you know that simply being in nature is good for you? There are physical and mental health benefits to being surrounded by trees, flowers, and greenery.
  9. Send a postcard. Most of the postal mail we get these days is comprised of bills and flyers. Getting a postcard or letter is pretty special. Let your family and friends know you’re thinking about them.
  10. Make a plan for future downtime. While we never know when sudden downtime will crop up, we do know that it will happen from time to time. So rather than relying on our list, use these ideas to create a plan for yourself. Then, whether it’s an hour or a day of extra time on your hands, you’ll be ready to make the most of it.




Ameri-Can Logistics Ltd. is a trucking company servicing shipping ports, railroad depots, and communities throughout North America. Operating 24/7/365 with continuous dispatch services, businesses have relied on Ameri-Can to distribute their products to buyers in Canada, the United States, and Mexico, for three decades.

Prevent overheating: your car and your kids
Safety is always a priority for us at Ameri-Can, and we care about those in our communities as well. While we all enjoy those long, hot summer days, a few precautions are in order when you’re on the road. Preparation is key to keeping problems at bay. Let’s start with the kids.
Be sure to pack a hat and make them wear it. Sunscreen is a must, and a light weight long-sleeve shirt to wear after several hours in the sun, will help prevent UV exposure.
Kids also need to be kept well hydrated. Use a separate bottle for each child so you can monitor who hasn’t been drinking enough. If your kids are really active, alternate a sports drink with water. Watermelon is also a great way to boost fluids.
Keep kids in the shade when possible, or at least get them to take a break from activities to sit in the shade to cool down a bit.
Pack a thermometer and watch for these symptoms (which also apply to adults):
• increased thirst
• muscle cramps
• headache
• dizziness
• irritability
• weakness
• nausea or vomiting
• confusion
• fainting
• cool, clammy skin

If you notice any of these (or are just concerned), take their temperature. If it’s one or two degrees above normal, which is 98.6 F (37 C), it’s time to take a break and cool down. If their temperature is higher than that, but less than 104°F (40°C), you need to take action to bring that down. Get to a cooler spot, remove clothing and put cool cloths on directly on their skin, and give them a sports drink. If they are too weak or sick to drink, if their body temperature doesn’t return to normal within minutes, or if they just don’t seem right, call a medical professional for advice. In BC, you can call a registered nurse at HealthLink BC by dialing 811.

If their temperature is 104°F (40°C) or higher, they’ve stopped sweating and their skin is hot and dry, or if they’ve become unconscious, call an ambulance. Move to a cooler spot, remove clothing and put cool cloths on directly on their skin. Don’t give them anything to drink unless they are fully awake and alert, and basically seem normal other than the high temperature.
Now, let’s talk cars and trucks. The two biggest overheating problems are caused by an existing condition with your vehicle, or overloading it. Have your vehicle serviced before your trip, and before you rent that camper, make sure that your vehicle can handle the weight, remembering that you’ll also have other gear to take with you.
If you are hauling or travelling a mountain route, it’s a good idea to take along a jug of coolant, and know how to check the level and refill it if necessary. Also, make note of where the engine temperature gauge is.
As you’re travelling, keep an eye on that temperature gauge. The outdoor temperature and any weight or climbing stress on your vehicle will combine. If the climbing is steep, shift into a lower gear and keep a steady, even if slower, pace.
If that temperature gauge starts to climb, look for a place to safely pull off the road for a bit. If the gauge is nearing the red zone, turn off the air conditioning and turn on the heat. Pull over as soon as you can. Use a proper pull offs if you see one, but otherwise, the side of the road on a straightaway where other vehicles can see you in advance, will do.
When you’re off the road, pop the hood with the inside lever. You want to open the hood the whole way, but it will likely be very hot, so protect your hands. Now, enjoy the scenery for at least half an hour. An hour would be safer. Open the coolant reservoir – not the radiator cap! Check the fluid level and top it up if needed. If it’s completely dry, or if you notice any leaks, unhooked hoses, or anything else troublesome, you’re probably best to call for a tow truck.
If everything looks ok, start the car and let it run for a few minutes. If the gauge is back in the normal range, carry on, but keep a close eye on it.
Happy trails!

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