Hydration and diet are key to staying safe while working in summer heat

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-Written by Erik Sargent

The dog days of summer are officially upon us, as the weather is at season highs around most regions of the country.

The rising temperatures affect all of us in one way or another, but they particularly affect people who work labor-related jobs, particularly those spent exerting energy outdoors. Working in the elements provides a whole new list of challenges for workers, and brings an important factor into play – heat stress.

Heat stress can come in many different forms, from causing dehydration to cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion, and so on.

“During the warm season, it’s important to understand that exposure to heat can cause serious illness or death,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke, Jr. in an OSHA Press Release.

It’s important for people who are working in the summer heat to be educated on what they should and shouldn’t do in preparation, and to learn what methods can help protect their body from heat stress suffering

Be smart, be prepared

“I think people would be surprised how much they lose in sweat and how much body fluid they can lose, so they don’t drink as much as they need to,” said Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist David Geier.

Geier – who is located in Charleston, S.C. – currently serves as the Communications Council Chair for the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine Board of Directors, and after spending eight years as the Director of MUSC Sports Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, started his own medical practice. He primarily deals with athletics, and has a wealth of experience dealing with people who are exerting energy in the heat.

“[For those working], your goal should be to end your shift at the same weight you were at the beginning, so you have to drink that much water or sports drinks,” Geier said. “I think one important step is just making sure you drink enough during your shift, and drinking enough [fluid] throughout the day. It’s very important.”

It’s often something that can get overlooked or passed by as obvious, but Geier stressed how important proper hydration – both during work and before – can be to the health of someone trying to avoid heat stress.

Another major factor that can prevent heat illness? A proper diet.

“I would also recommend that when people are on a break, they try their hardest to eat healthy foods,” Geier said. “Fast foods tend to have a lot of salt, and that can make hydration more of a challenge. If possible, stick to fruits, vegetables, healthy proteins, things like that.”

Along with the proper diet, Geier recommended that people working in the heat wear light-colored, breathable clothing that allows them to cool off better while working. Other things like taking breaks when possible, avoiding direct sunlight when possible, and spending time in the shade are also encouraged.

But above all, one of the most important things people can do is be aware and in communication with those around you – don’t avoid speaking up if something isn’t right.

“The thing we see a lot is people not letting someone know they aren’t feeling good,” Geier said. “They don’t take breaks or go get in the shade, and at first it starts out as just sweating a lot, but it can very quickly turn into a dangerous situation. If someone is starting to seem dizzy or confused, pull them out of the heat and get them into a cool area.”

Staying cool while on the move

At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, the dedicated movers and drivers that make up our 350-plus franchise locations are what drives our brand to reach new customers and make a difference.

With the summer months being the busiest time for moving, it’s inevitable that our movers will be spending long hours working in intense heat – from being in the back of moving trucks to moving up and down long flights of stairs, in old houses, and so on. Movers and drivers who are out on a home move are provided with the necessary refreshments and resources to ensure they’re able to stay in top shape as they work hard to move customers forward.

“We load up on refreshments and other items to recognize our guys working hard,” said Brooke Wilson, a multi-unit franchisee with locations in Georgia and North Carolina.

For Wilson and her TWO MEN AND A TRUCK moving teams, being located in the south means they are working in temperatures that can often exceed triple digits. It’s crucial for these movers to stay hydrated and stay cool.

“The busiest moving weeks [for us] typically fall on the hottest weeks in North Carolina and Georgia,” Wilson said. “So this year, we stocked up on cooling towels, refreshments, cool wipes, and water balloons. It’s all about keeping the teams hydrated and motivated.”

Don’t ignore the signs

As the “Movers Who Care®”, we want to help as many people as we can – and that includes those team members who work hard in the extreme heat!

We’ve created an informative graphic showing what people should be focused on while working in the heat. For more important information on tips and tricks to stay cool and safe, visit this page from OSHA.

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward! For more helpful tips and information on moving services subscribe to our blog and like us on Facebook.

Summer months provide the best time frame for home moving

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-Written by Anna Stephens

While you and your family have been enjoying the summer season, our movers at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® have been helping thousands of people move forward the last few months. There’s no doubt that summer is the busiest time of year to move, but why is that exactly? We’ve assembled a list of 10 summer moving benefits to keep in mind when it comes time to relocate your home.

  1. School year gap. Moving during the summer lets your kids get settled in their new home without having school on their minds. If you move to a new city, the summer affords the opportunity for the kids (and the adults) to make new friends before the school season begins.
  2. Sports season gap. You won’t miss out on any football, March Madness, NBA playoffs, or postseason baseball games. Plus, your kids won’t have to pause in the middle of their sports seasons, either.
  3. No snow or ice. If you live in colder climates, you have the comfort of knowing you won’t slip on ice while moving things out of the home.
  4. Garage sale season. As you’re packing, throw the items you no longer need into a garage sale pile. It’s an exciting way to start fresh and make a little money. For most areas in the country, the spring and summer months are perfect for having garage sales.
  5. Social events. Barbecues and outdoor events held in the summer months are easy ways to meet your new neighbors.
  6. Real estate market timing. Spring and summer months are the best months to list your home based on average rate of sale. Specifically, homes listed during early May and June are sold faster on average than any other months.
  7. Summer weather. You’ll need to have doors open frequently as you move belongings from your house to the truck, and light summer breezes are completely bearable compared to blustery, winter winds. Depending on where you live, temperatures are somewhat easy to predict and stable. This makes your planning process much easier.
  8. Work flexibility. Some companies offer more schedule flexibility during the summer, so taking a few days off of work to pack is less of an inconvenience.
  9. Longer days. More daylight during the summer months means you can get everything checked off your to-do list while it’s still bright outside.
  10.  Renovation time. If you are looking to renovate your new home, that’s much easier to do in the summer. Especially when those renovations are exterior or involve landscaping.

When the time comes for your family to move, let us do the heavy lifting! At TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, we strive to provide our customers with the most excellent customer service and take the stress out of moving, regardless of the season. For your local or long-distance moving needs, reach out to your local franchise for a free estimate today.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Follow our blog and like us on Facebook for more helpful moving tips and tricks. Let us help move you forward!

Summer months bring the most risk for drivers on the road

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-Written by Erik Sargent

Summertime means spending time outside in the sun, doing everything from going to the beach, to swimming, grilling, and relaxing. It’s a wonderful time of year, but despite the nice weather and increased fun, one sad reality often goes under the radar – road safety.

While most people would assume that driving during the winter months with snow and bad weather would be the worst time, it’s actually the warm summer months that create the most hazardous driving conditions for the average person. This can be attributed to many factors, and it’s important to realize the risk of summertime driving.

“Summer is the most hazardous time of year for driving,” said Russ Rader, senior vice president of communications for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “July and August are the deadliest months, with an average of 116 people killed on the roads every day during this time frame.”

Rader and the IIHS are a nonprofit highway safety research organization funded entirely by automobile insurance companies. Their goal is to do conduct research on driving habits, road conditions, and vehicle safety to assist in their mission of finding ways to reduce crashes and make the roads safer.

“Risks are the same all year round, but the problem with the summer months is there are a lot more vehicles on the road, and people driving more hazardous miles,” Rader said. “By that, I mean driving in the summer for vacations and recreations, sometimes on unfamiliar roads or driving on the weekends. This kind of driving is more dangerous than the daily commute to and from work.”

According to the nationally recognized insurance company ESURANCE, the factors that can increase the dangers of driving during the summertime include more teens being on the road, drivers congesting the roads with vacation trips, roadway construction, and more vehicles and motorcycles being on the roads.

Another unfortunate factor that comes into play with summer driving is the amount of people driving under the influence of alcohol.

The popular automotive site, Cars.com, conducted research in 2014 that showed there were 10,322 alcohol-impaired driving crashes in the summer of 2012, with one drunk-driving fatality occurring every 51 minutes. Similarly with nighttime driving, 35% of fatal nighttime crashes were related to alcohol.

Not getting behind the wheel drunk is just one of many steps that need to be taken by civilians in order to improve the safety of the roads in the summer.

“If everybody buckled up, if everybody obeyed traffic laws like speed limits, and if nobody got behind the wheel drunk, the summer of summer deaths in crashes would be substantially lower,” Rader said. “We see the same patterns over and over in the crashes that happen during the summer. They often involve speeding, drunk driving, and occupants not wearing their safety belts.”

With the increased number of commercial vehicles roaming the roads and highways in big cities, it’s important companies hire safe drivers and make sure they are doing their part to also keep the roadways safe for the public. One company that makes sure it not only finds the best drivers, but also awards them for it, is the international moving company TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®.

As it currently stands, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® has more than 2,800 trucks on the road throughout their system, with their coverage spanning across 350 plus locations in the United States alone. That’s a lot of miles covered, and it’s important to have the best drivers behind the wheel. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® makes sure to recognize the best drivers in the system with their Safe Driver Award, which is earned by the best drivers in the system.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® recognizes the responsibility drivers carry every time they get behind the wheel,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Risk Management Support Team Lead Shawn Smith. “For that reason, we are pleased to reward those individuals who make it a priority to keep themselves and the public safe.”

Key areas of criteria the company looks for when handing out the award include no preventable accidents, no violations in personal or company vehicles, no driving under the influence convictions for three years, and no “How’s My Driving” complaints.

“The Safe Driver Award was developed to recognize and reward drivers throughout the system who have made a noticeable commitment to keeping themselves, their teammates, and the public safe every time they get behind the wheel,” Smith said.

With populations continuing to increase globally, the economy shifting upward, and the ever-changing landscape of technology, the risk of driving in the summer – and year round – will continue to be prevalent. While there’s way eliminate the risks of the road, you can prevent a lot of trouble by making smart choices.

Making sure you are healthy, making sure you are alert, using the proper safety precautions, and following the rules of the road are just a few things you can do to make sure you’re doing your part in keeping yourself and others safe while driving.

“It’s important to for people to recognize that while crashes during the summer tend to be the most hazardous, crashes happen relentlessly all year round,” Rader said. “People need to take precautions to make sure they are always safe on the road.”

5 ways to make your Memorial Day weekend stand out

It’s finally Memorial Day weekend! For most families, it’s a time to spend together and enjoy the warmer weather as a kick-off to the summer season.  For those still looking for ideas on how to spend Memorial Day weekend, we’ve got you covered!

Pay tribute to the troops
On Memorial Day it’s important to remember the real reason we have the luxury of a long weekend. It’s a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Most towns have Memorial Day parades or Memorial Day services to honor those who have lost their lives while in service. Besides attending these events, a special way to honor them is to buy flowers and float them down the town’s river. If a river is not an option, visit your local cemetery and place flowers on soldiers’ graves.

Festivals
Whether it’s for music, food, or art, nothing says summer like going to a festival. If you are a music enthusiast, no other place on earth can match the atmosphere created by tens of thousands of music fans joining up for a weekend of unhindered fun.

Enter a race
This Memorial Day, honor the men and women who’ve served in the U.S. military by staying active and celebrating the freedom they fought for. Many Memorial Day races also benefit local charities or current military members and their families. There are a variety of races this weekend ranging from 5K’s to marathons to glow in the dark runs. If you don’t want to actually partake in the race, show your support by cheering on the runners.

Throw a party
Memorial-Day-PartyIt’s time to celebrate the beginning of summer and what better way to do that than to throw a party! Of course since it is Memorial Day, the go-to theme is red, white, and blue. Don’t be afraid to go all out and have fun decorative food. It will be the topic of conversation! There are some great food ideas on Pinterest ranging from cookies to cakes to pizza flags. String some lights across the yard to gain a festive ambiance and you’re good to go!

Spend time outside
Memorial weekend is the perfect time to bask in the sun and enjoy warmer weather. Since the yard is typically where you will spend most of your time during the summer, take advantage of the long weekend and make sure it is ready for all your summer festivities. Don’t feel like working this weekend? How about visiting a national park instead? It’s a great time to get out and explore nature, while spending time with friends and families. If nature just doesn’t sound exciting enough, plan a trip to a water or adventure park.

With the help of these five ideas you are sure to have an amazing and memorable Memorial Day weekend. Search your local community website for events and activities near you this weekend.

What do you have planned for the holiday? We’d love to know! Like us on Facebook for more helpful tips and updates. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us help move you forward!