What's Up With Leap Day Anyway? According to an article from The Telegraph online, "a leap year, where an extra day is added to the end of February every four years, is down to the solar system's disparity with the Gregorian calendar." In other words, leap seconds and leap years are added in order to keep our clocks and calendars in sync with the Earth and its seasons. However, every four years is not exactly true every time (beware - math ahead). The leap day actually occurs each year that is true for this calculation: There's a leap year every year that is divisible by four, except for years that are both divisible by 100 and not divisible by 400. Got it? For a day that only comes around roughly every four years, it sure has a lot going on. A favorite wedding date, the day for women to do the proposing, about 4,000 ton of frog legs consumed each year in France alone, and the main character in Pirates of Penzance was born on Leap Day in 1897 (played by Kevin Kline in the movie adaptation). Check out who else is a "leapling" (A.K.A. born on a leap day): John Byrom - Romantic poet Pope Paul III - 16th Century pontiff George Bridgetower - 19th Century musician Ann Lee - leader of the Shakers Gioacchino Rossini - Italian composer Charles Pritchard - British astronomer Sir Dave Brailsford - English cyclist and coach Tony Robbins - Motivational speaker Alan Richardson - composer Darren Ambrose - English footballer Ja Rule - rapper So how should you celebrate Leap Day 2016? You could join a movement - specifically the one to make February 29th a bank holiday. Too active for you? You can always just sit back, relax, and watch the movie Leap Year. Or you can start prepping some of your favorite Leap Day recipes. For more info about Leap Day, read the full Telegraph article here and check out this infographic. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us -

Trucker Josh and Diesel "Manitoba truck driver Josh Giesbrecht shares his life on the road with 50,000 YouTube subscribers who watch as he motors through North America. He offers a windshield view of where he travels, how he parks, pumps fuel, performs quick repairs, waits at loading docks, and enjoys the scenery." (FleetOwner) When Trucker Josh hops in his truck, he is not only taking a load to a customer, but he is also bringing his subscribers (and his dog Diesel) on the journey with him. He started daily video logs (v-logs) in 2011 as a way to show his friends and family what he does, but because of his funny, and consistent delivery, he now has a huge following from people of many different backgrounds - both trucking and non. Josh's posts follow him as he trucks all across Canada, through all kinds of weather and through many situations. Sometimes the videos are Josh's thoughts (e.g. truck stops need gyms), while others are about his "home" (which is a Peterbilt truck) or his dog companion. In his interview with Fleet Owner, Josh says that he had no idea he would have this kind of following and that his intention was not to become an industry thought leader: "I'd rather send people to them to learn tips and tricks of the trade. I'd rather entertain people and just show them my life. I'm a truck driver, and this is what I do every day, give them entertainment, make them laugh." Be sure to catch up on old episodes and subscribe to new ones on Josh's YouTube channel. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us -
Best PracticesTransportation

*article originally posted on LinkedIn Work Well With Others Business etiquette is one of those invisible operations working throughout our companies and processes every day - you don't always see it in action, but you certainly notice when it is missing or when something goes wrong. I'm sure you have been the recipient of a painful email from a colleague with less than stellar etiquette (and it probably made you cringe, just a little). But how do you correct poor business etiquette? A.J. Jacobs wrote a post to cover that topic specifically - The 11 Best Business Etiquette Tips. Speaking about his own experience of the "Oops" email, he outlines common business etiquette faux pas and 11 ways to correct them, drawing from a book by Ross McCammon. Here is the quick list. Be sure to check out the full article for more info: 1. "Sorry. Sure. Great. Yes." - Respond to email as if you were Robert De Niro 2. "I have no idea what you are asking. Can you please explain?" - Embrace your ignorance instead of offering up a bogus, uninformed opinion 3. "Smile 20% wider than feels comfortable" - Give it the ol' Julia Roberts 4. "In the short term, I probably did 'better' work, but in the long term I did worse work because I didn’t allow myself to get my mistakes over with early." - Make mistakes 5. "Do not look down, to the side, through them, at their chest, into their souls" - Look everyone in the eye 6. "If you're bored, then whoever you’re pitching to is going to be REALLY bored" - Don't get bored 7. "With handshakes, the key part of your anatomy is not the palm, but the weblike area between the thumb and forefinger" - When shaking hands, get up in there 8. "Like the opera singers do. Wider. Speak louder. Louder." - Open your mouth when making a speech 9. "In business, you must assume that everyone is rooting for you." - Be delusionally confident 10. "Clothes can actually put you in a different psychological state" - Wear decent clothes 11. "Your work should not be perfect. Your work should be wrinkled. It should show wear, and it should indicate that you’re trying new things and taking chances." - Be intentionally imperfect Want more advice on etiquette and other business skills? Check out the book Works Well With Others: An Outsider's Guide to Shaking Hands, Shutting Up, Handling Jerks, and Other Crucial Skills in Business No One ever Teaches You by Ross McCammon Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us -
Recommended ReadingTransportation

More Reading, More Growing, More Learning With a new month, we have a new round of book clubs here at AM Transport. Check out what we are reading this month: 1. So Good They Can’t Ignore You Author - Cal Newport After making his case against passion, Newport sets out on a quest to discover the reality of how people end up loving what they do. Spending time with organic farmers, venture capitalists, screenwriters, freelance computer programmers, and others who admitted to deriving great satisfaction from their work, Newport uncovers the strategies they used and the pitfalls they avoided in developing their compelling careers. So Good They Can’t Ignore You will change the way we think about our careers, happiness, and the crafting of a remarkable life. 2. Good to Great  Author - Jim Collins Yes, you saw this one on last month's list - it is just too good not to pass around! Read more about it here. 3. What to Do When it's Your Turn (and it's Always Your Turn) Author - Seth Godin "I'm going out on a limb. Want to come?" Seth Godin has pushed the boundaries again by creating a new book format that reads more like a magazine. The book is in full color and is a collection of short stories and essays that help the reader know "what to do when it's your turn" in life. This is an urgent call to do the work we're hiding from, a manifesto about living with things that might not work and embracing tension when doing your art. As Seth describes it, the book Explores, as directly as I can, the dance we all have to do with our fears, the tension we all must embrace in order to do work that we care about. It pushes us to dig deep inside so we can do better work and impact the things we care about. Is urgent, personal, in-your-face and as honest as I could make it. 4. TED Talks So this one isn't a "read" technically...
Best PracticesProductivityTransportation

"We all have the same 168 hours in a week. But not all of them are created equal." This is the tagline for the article by Shane Parrish posted on (read the full article here) that discusses the secret to productivity - get up earlier than everyone else. Shane talks with a man named Joel, who has successfully found a way to balance work, family, writing, reading, and hobbies all in his 24-hour day (same 24 hours as ours, which is hard to believe). Joel says his only secret is that he just gets up earlier. That's it. We’re more creative and more productive. Shane goes on in the article to explain that the early morning hours are great for doing tough work or working on creative projects because you don't get constantly interrupted. No meetings, no phone calls, no fires to put out...
Industry NewsShippersTransportation

The ELD Mandate The Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is now in effect, and it’s time to start getting prepared for the changes that will come along with it. The mandate is specifically directed towards carriers, but shippers and consignees will also be affected. While the implementation of ELDs does present potential benefits to shippers, there will also be special issues that will need to be on shippers’ radars in the near future. Ways Shippers Can Stay Ahead of the ELD Game We recently put together a white paper that gives a brief introduction of the mandate, exemptions, how the rule can potentially impact shippers, and what to keep in mind as the rules moves forward. Specifically, shippers are going to need to start preparing and evaluating their own organizations and processes to see how they too can begin adapting to the new mandate. Here are just a few ways shippers can get started: Plan Ahead The transportation industry already presents plenty of challenges to shippers, such as potential capacity crunches, bad weather, closings for holidays, and so forth. Implementation of ELDs is going to add another layer to these challenges. Planning is going to become even more crucial for shippers that require specialty services such as expedited trips, long hauls, job site deliveries, and so forth. Evaluate Dock Space and Storage/Warehouse Options Take steps to understand how your docks are currently using space to stage product. Can staging be condensed in order to prepare more loads and therefore load trucks more quickly? Is there another space available to stage product before it is transferred to the dock for loading. If you are shipping product that is need to go directly into production, look into storage and warehousing options to prevent halts in production due to drivers who are detained at the shipper or are unable to deliver before they are required to take a break. Evaluate Loading/Unloading Processes As mentioned previously, detention is going to be even more of a hot-button issue for drivers with ELDs. How can your loading and unloading processes be streamlined? Are there steps that can be fixed and/or eliminated to reduce the possibility of detention? Adapt Your Own Trucks Early Even though the mandate is still two years from the implementation deadline, many small steps need to be taken that will require investments of research, time, and money (e.g. device decisions, registration, installation, training, driver turnover). For more information and resources about the mandate, download the full ELD White paper here. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us -
Best PracticesSalesTransportation

I had something else planned to post for today, but I ran across this blog post from David Ly Khim earlier this morning, and I thought it had great information - both for sales and non-sales people. 17 Habits of an Effective Salesperson Khim gives 17 habits that their research team discovered from the most effective salespeople in their own company. And while some are sales-specific habits, many of them can be adapted for whatever role you may have in your own organization. The 17 Habits Each of the habits Khim listed provides some great advice. The ones below in particular are applicable in many arenas and are often greatly under-utilized. 2) They prepare ahead of time. Be prepared. It seems like a silly thing to say, but many people underestimate how damaging it can be to your first impression and professional persona when you arrive unprepared. 4) They know their product. Do you know what your product (or service) is? Do you know how it compares to your direct competitors? Why should a customer choose yours over others? What value does it provide? How customizable is it to different customers' needs? 6) They constantly build personal relationships. Building trust with a customer goes beyond the simple transaction. Learn about them - what are their struggles, goals, hobbies, interests? Understand how you can help in ways that go above and beyond good customer service. 8) They don’t try. After meeting up with objections and rejections over and over again, it can be easy to slip into the same old routine. Keep yourself energize and excited. Each new person you talk to is a new opportunity to listen and learn. Be sure you are in it completely each time. 9) They actually listen. Many sales people get stuck on their own scripts: "I came here with a message to say and I am going to say it." Instead, listen to what your prospects and customers are saying. You need to present in the conversation, but that doesn't mean you have to do all the talking. Listen. 10) They get their eight hours of sleep every night. Or 6, or 7, or whatever your number may be. Figure out how much sleep you need to be at your best, and do whatever you can to make getting that number each night a priority. 11) They believe in what they’re selling. This ties directly to #4. If you know what value your product or service can deliver to your customer and you believe in the words you are saying and the messages you are sending, then your customer will be more apt to trust and listen to you. 12) They’re purpose-driven. Why are you in sales? What motives and drivers you professionally? What is your purpose, for yourself and for your company? 17) They view their customer’s success as their own. See #9, then #6, then #8. Listen to your customers. Learn about them and build a personal relationship. Then try. Know how you can help your customers achieve their goals, solve their struggles, and become successful in their own companies. Be sure to check out the other habits, they are good too. Read the full blog post here. Have a topic or suggestion for a blog post you'd like to see? Let us know! Email us -