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Thursday, April 18, 2019

All You Need To know About Diesel

Diesel Fuel
First quarter reporting is due April 30th and we want you to be prepared. Here are some tips to help with that.
  • Research non-taxable and exempt jurisdictions
  • Use IFTA calculator 
  • Have important documents put away
  • File on time

If you should be filing your IFTA Report in the next week or so then 10 out of 10 you probably use diesel fuel. Diesel produces more energy than gas, making it more efficient. This is the reason semi-trucks run on diesel. Semi-trucks carry heavy loads and ultimately need more energy to drive further on long hauls. A diesel engine can operate for about 12,000 to 30,000 hours before a maintenance check is needed. Here are some diesel facts that every trucker may be a wonder. A few of which will save you a great bit of time and money. We've created a list of things all truckers should know about the fuel that keeps your rig's engine going.

Why Is Diesel So Expensive?

The first of the probing questions you may have about diesel fuel is ‘why is it so expensive?’. Since 2004 diesel has been higher in price, on a dollar per gallon basis. Part of this reason is that the demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils is high. The biggest cause of differentiation in prices comes from federal excise tax for on-highway diesel fuel of 24.3 cents per gallon, 6 cents per gallon higher than the federal excise tax on gasoline.

Is There A Dirty Truth?

Diesel isn’t as dirty as you think. As a matter of fact, it has become more environmentally friendly.

The environmental protection agency (EPA) has found a few ways to reduce sulfur levels in diesel fuel, making it better for the environment. Diesel engines use to be known for producing harsh emissions, like soot, air toxins, and other harmful pollutants. Prior to 2006 diesel fuel contained more than 5,000 parts per million (PPM), now it is a regulation that diesel fuel can now produce more than 15 PPM.

What!? I Can’t Be Overweight!

Weigh StationThe weight of diesel fuel is roughly 7 Ibs. Per gallon, and varies somewhat from the truck to truck. This is important to make a mental note of since the weight of fuel is calculated when scaling a truck.

Often times truckers will be surprised when they are ticketed for being overweight at the scale, knowing the weight of their rig and cargo combined doesn’t exceed the limit. Doing a bit of mental math will save

you time and money when you approach a scale. It is also a good idea to know where the scales are on your route to avoid fueling, right before you are required to be weighed.

Should I Add An Additive?

Additives are a must. The main use of additives for truckers is to help diesel not crystallize during winter. It is hard to make deliveries when a vehicle’s fuel has stopped flowing.

Being on the go is your job, so it is normal that you experience changes in climate, however being prepared and thinking ahead is required. Traveling from Nevada to Illinois can be a culture shock on anyone, and your engine is no different, so make sure you have an additive with you on the road if you plan on going too much colder states.


Other benefits of additives:
  • Cleans the injection system
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Saves money
  • Increases power


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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

What Massive Collision Is Haunting The US Senate and House?

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Under-ride CrashSince 2017 companion bipartisan bills regarding the use of under-ride guards for road safety have been introduced. In March 2019 the idea was reintroduced and quickly dismissed by ATA and OOIDA. ATA stated that ‘the government should focus more on crash avoidance technologies and
strategies than expensive and unproven collision mitigation equipment.”

The U.S Senate and House have proposed these bills in remembrance of the thousands of victims of under-ride crashes and at the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

In a recent press release announcing the bill, Representative Mark DeSaulnie (D-CA) stated that at least 300 victims are killed each year from under-ride crashes.

As of now, trailer rear guards (DOT bumpers) are required by law, but the bill’s sponsors say that the current standards are outdated. In rebuttal to this claim OOIDA President, Todd Spencer noted ‘we agree that the underride guards on the back of trailers could be improved, but the proposals as written go too far in broadly, retroactively requiring them on all trucks and trailers. His final statement was that trucking is a diverse industry and attaching side under-ride guards is not a simple task to require them to be attached on all equipment.

The indifference over the topic between the House and Senate versus trucking advocates could essentially go on and on, however, it is okay to assume that everyone wants the same thing which is safer roads. There is no trucker who would want to be a part of a tragic under-ride crash and there is no just-lawmaker who would feel content with having the opportunity to do something and remain silent and out of the conversation.

A Cause With A Name 


The Stop Underrides Act, S. 2219, formally known as the Roya, AnnaLeah, and Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017 (RAMCUP Act of 2017), was created in memory of 3 lives lost due to underride crashes. The 3 victims mothers, Marianne Karth, and Lois Durso originally drafted the bill in hopes to prevent under-ride crashes everywhere.

Lois Durso, mother of 26-year old Roya, who lost her life in 2004 recently told reporters, “it is not the crash that kills, it’s the underride. If you can prevent the under-ride, there’s a chance the vehicle occupants will survive.”

The Opposition


Although companion bills have been drafted since 2017, the study to extend underride protection has been going on since 1969 by the Department of Transportation. That is roughly 15,000 deaths that could have been prevented. The U.S Senate and House do not have to rely on the ATA or the OOIDA to make side under-ride guards a requirement, but there are other methods that can help in preventing under-ride crashes.

According to Marianne Karth opposition has come from the trucking industry since 1977 by both manufacturers and haulers. These two parties back their opposition with wanting to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) provide automobiles with capabilities to prevent cars from crashing into trucks. 

Karth, as well as other side under-ride guard advocates, commend 4 major trailer manufacturers for their progress to install guards, and also nods the individuals and representatives from the trucking industry involved in her Under-ride Roundtable.

Although those select manufacturers are praised for making progress, Karth has mentioned several times on her blog, dedicated to her two daughters, AnnaLeah and Mary, that she will not give up the fight to seek further action. 

US Senate and House
Saving someone else from experiencing what both Durso and Karth are going through is the overall goal. Contrary to what ATA and OOIDA believe the requirements these two grieving mothers and lawmakers are hoping to put into place is not designed to cost those in the industry more money.

The requirement is in hopes that lives will be saved and tragic under-rides will cease. To find out more about the tragedies that have sparked this bill, or see how you can help visit http://annaleahmary.com or https://stopunderrides.org.



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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Podcasts To Keep You Alert On The Road

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PodcastsOnly listening to music while on the road can get over stimulating. You can easily switch up your listening style by choosing to go the podcast route. Podcast genres range from comedy, sports, drama, thought provoking and so many others. Podcasts are a good source of entertainment for long hours on the road. They can bring you daily news, teach you history, keep you laughing, or help you pick up on a second language. The list can go on. Over 21% of Americans listen to podcasts monthly. Join plenty of others in a twenty-first century alternative to fuzzy radio connections when traveling state to state.

Trucking

Trucking Podcast - Created by a trucker for truckers. In efforts to be a resource for truckers and provide some great entertainment for long-haul road adventures, this podcast has developed to mantra ‘ Helping you make more money and rediscover the adventure.

Alice Isn’t Dead - This serial fiction podcast is packed with conspiracies, twist and turns. The name comes from the story line that the host is scouring the U.S. in search of his long-lost wife.

News

PBS NewsHour - This podcast does a great job at covering news relating to politics, science, health, business, art, innovation and much more. Updates, in-depth reports and interviews all feature PBS’ senior correspondents

BBC Global News - The 25 to 30 minute podcast episodes featured on BBC Global News are produced twice daily on weekdays and once daily on weekends. This podcast is a great way to stay current on the world’s development. It is a one stop shop for all your global news. It addresses new policies, global scandals, political elections, natural disasters, trends, and anything else in between.

Thought Provoking

Freakonomics - This podcast is inspired by the best selling books Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner. If you want a fresh perspective on life and on the modern world this podcast will do the trick. The host shows how economics is the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, when others want or need the same thing.

No Such Thing As Fish - A podcast dedicated to fun facts discovered weekly. If you have a desire to learn semi-useless information this podcast is for you. The trivial and trivia topics discussed will humor you and intrigue you all within 40 minutes.

History

Stuff You Missed In History Class -With a comprehensive range of topics. podcast host; Tracy V. Wilson and Holly Frey bring all listeners a holistic approach to history and how the past affects the present.

Hardcore History - Part storyteller, part analysist, Dan Carlin masters the art of dissecting subjects and veiwing them from various angles. He is quick to inject modern debates in his history lessons in an original way.

Sports

First Take - Stephen A. Smith and other known sports analyst discuss the top sports news, which often leads to heated debates. Breaking down the top 10 sports stories each day the hosts do a great job keeping listeners laughing, and informed.

RadioCourtside with Katz & Coach G - Missed out on March Madness? Don’t sweat it. Andy Katz and Seth Greenberg give you an all-access pass inside the world of college basketball.



Give music a rest and opt-in to become a subscriber to one of these podcasts.

This may not be the same as having an intellectual conversation with another person, but it will be something different than the 10 songs that loop in your cab on a 5 hour haul.
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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Easily Gain Extra Time This Tax Return Period

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Calendar 15th
We get it and so does the IRS. Things happen and you just aren’t able to meet those deadlines. When you have missing documents it can be pretty tough to get all of your boxes checked off when filing your tax return. Lucky for you there is a way that can get you more time. We are talking up to 6-months worth of time. The original due date is typically April 15, but with the extension, you may not have to submit your forms until October 15th.

If you aren’t sure if you can complete your 2018 federal tax return by the April 15th deadline you may want to get to filing a Form 4868, immediately. It is vital to note that Form 4868 only pushes back the filing of your tax documents. It doesn’t give you extra time to pay any taxes that you might owe. If you think you may owe money this year you’ll need to estimate the amount after filing for your extension.

Penalty Threats


Choosing to file late can get pretty costly. The penalty can bee 5% of the unpaid taxes for each month or partial month it is late. If the return is more than 60 days late, the minimum penalty is $135 or 100% of the unpaid tax, whichever value is smaller.

Don’t stress, where you don’t have to. Form 4868 will give you ample amount of time to get your ducks in a row. If you know you may late go ahead and file for an extension in either of the 3 methods and get up until October 15th on your tax return.

Form 4868 is made up of two parts, identification information is included in part I and individual income tax information will be in part II.


Part I & II

Part I - Identification
  • Name(s) 
  • Mailing addresses
  • Social Security number (SSN)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN

Part II - Individual Income Tax
  • Estimate of Total Tax Liability (be sure to be as accurate as possible)
  • Total Payments
  • Balance Due
  • Amount You’ll Be Paying
If you’re thinking of filing an extension here are some tips to make completing it a little bit simpler. 

Extension Filing Tips


Filing Stress1.  Send Checks to the “United States Treasury”

2.  If you E-file Form 4868 and mail in a check or money order, use a completed paper Form 4868 as a voucher and note with your payment that your extension was electronic.

3. Review page 4 of the Form 4868 to ensure you are sending your form and payment to the correct address. Just because you live in a certain state doesn’t mean your payment is sen to that IRS mailing address. 

4. If filing over the phone or online, you’ll receive a confirmation number. It is important that you write the number down and keep it for your records.



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Thursday, April 4, 2019

Top 3 Trucking Awesome Women Of All Time

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Women's History MonthIf you weren't aware, last month was Women’s History Month. Who would we be not to acknowledge the women who have impacted the trucking industry with huge strides? Here are three women from the past, present, and future who have either paved the way for women truckers trailing the highways, gave them a sense of community, or inspired them to take the leap into a career change.

Past: Lillie Elizabeth Drennan

Drennan became the first licensed female truck driver and trucking-firm owner in 1928. Drennan and her husband started their trucking company as a way to take advantage of an oil boom. A year later Drennan divorced her then-husband, Willard Ernest Drennan and took sole ownership of Drennan Truck Line and in the same year received her commercial truck-driver’s license.

Drennan’s accomplishments did not happen without a fight. During this time the Railroad Commission regulated motor-freight. The Railroad Commission claimed that her partial hearing loss prevented a safety concern, but the determined Drennan challenged them. Her quest was for the commission to find a man with a better record than hers on the road, and when their search came up empty she was awarded her license.

Honorable mention:

Luella Bates - First woman truck driver (1918)

Rusty Dow - First woman to drive with a full load on the Alaska Highway (1944)

Present: Ellen Voie

Voie is the founder, president and CEO of Women In Trucking, a nonprofit that encourages women to find career paths in the trucking industry. In 2018 the National Association of Small Trucking Companies (NASTC) named her the Transportation Person of the Year. Although the organization she founded is slightly to the right of a decade she has been in the trucking industry for nearly 4 decades. It all began in 1980 when she earned her diploma in Traffic and Transportation Management while working as the Transportation Manager for a steel fabricating plant in central Wisconsin.

Since then she has received a number of accolades for her work. One of those was a prestigious honor from the White House in 2012, as a Transportation Innovators Champion of Change. More recently she was listed as one of the “30 Most Innovative CEOs to Watch”.

Women TruckersFuture: Angela Eliacostas

Recently awarded the “Influential Woman In Trucking Award”, Eliacostas is indeed a woman to pay attention to in the truck industry. She got her start in the industry as a single mother of four, working as a part-time billing clerk for BBI Trucking Company. Over time Eliacostas worked her way up and has now found herself as the founder and CEO of All Girls Transportation and Logistics (AGT).

AGT specializes in integrating transportation and logistics functions for top-tier companies around the world. The company Eliacostas launched, in 2005, is consistently ranked as a top 50 Illinois and top 1000 U.S. certified women-owned business.

The ambition she has to succeed in the trucking industry is owed to her father, a former long-haul trucker. She recalls him giving her a key piece of advice in her early career years - “this is like a vacuum. It’s going to suck you in.” Years later she states that his advice was right, “I got in it, and I just couldn’t get in enough.”

Take the time to honor a woman who makes what you do easier. Whether it is a significant other, a fellow hauler, or anyone who comes to your mind when you hear the term ‘impactful woman’.

The future of the trucking industry is women and it is our duty to make the path for them to enter, clear.

Here’s to impactful women all around. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.

Happy (Belated) Women’s History Month!



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Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Was The Driver Shortage All A Hoax

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Driver shortage, Trucker, American Trucking Association, ATA
For over a decade the American Trucking Association (ATA) has been a ring leader in sounding the alarm for the demand of truck drivers in the industry, due to a driver shortage. It has even been predicted that the shortage would increase to roughly 100,000 drivers by 2021.
A more recent study released by the U.S Bureau of Labor (BLS) shows evidence that the trucking industry “works as well as any other blue-collar labor market and poses no constraints on entry into (or exit from) the occupation.”

The Truck Driver Shortage "Myth"

In the study it was revealed that the shortage is a matter dealing primarily with low wages and long hours than the off balanced ratio of truckers to surges in demand, within the industry. After careful review and study in trends the U.S. Department of Labor is speaking out against what the ATA has been driving into the minds trucking advocates across America.

There are many lawmakers who have jumped the gun in order to combat the decade long myth that seems to be the big news affecting the industry. There are 48 states that allow 18 year olds to obtain a commercial driver's license. Among those is Colorado governor, Jared Polis, who recently signed a bill lowering interstate trucking age limits, just this year. According to Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) the solution of lowering the age opens the door to incidents. Safety groups have opposed the tactic since the beginning, contending that drivers 21 and younger lack the experience to operate heavy machinery, that can reach up to 60,000 Ibs. when loaded.

Instead of finding legitimate solutions, the misinterpretation of high turnover in the industry has taken the focus off the key issues of high mistreatment of workers and low wages, and placed it on the opposite. It is reported that recruiting more drivers will create competition for wages, encouraging drivers to sell themselves short in order to get the job.

Effective Methods

With the real reason behind such high turnover revealed, it is easy for industry leaders to strategize to uncover ways to fix the issue. Turnover rates have reached up to 98%, since mid 2017. In this instance maintaining good retention is crucial to make the industry work for everyone. There are various ways to do so and lower the turnover rate for the industry, as a whole. 

Was The Driver Shortage All A HoaxTime Well Compensated

Compensation and benefits have been used as incentive methods to bring in more drivers. Adding a promise of consistency will lessen the turnover rate drastically. Gordon Klemp, founder and president of the National Transportation Institute, uncovered that the increase in recent turnover was also affected by drivers uprooting to find fleets offering higher wages. This caused a lot of movement within the job market. Keeping a close eye on trends in wages will even the playing field and stabilize the amount of movement in the market.

Improved Selection Process

It is important for fleets to not overlook the step of measuring and controlling the cost of replacing a driver. Hiring the wrong person can cost thousands. That is why the selection process should be a little more detailed than checking off a CDL box and whether or not they can dress the part with a hat and flannel. Establishing and Identifying warning signs in applicant’s background and past work experiences can separate finding a diamond in the rough as far as an employee, or finding someone who only looks the part and lacks in important areas.




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Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Balancing Act Of Living A Healthy Life On The Road

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Work-Life Balance SignManaging work-life balance can be tough, but it is even tougher when you feel like life is 5,000 miles away from work. There are plenty of benefits that come with truck industry jobs. 401k, insurance, great pay and independence are a few of the perks given to truck drivers, but when it comes to helping you maintain a balance between life and work you may find that it isn’t included in the benefits package.

A Healthy Life Is A Wealthy Life

The first area of your life that becomes neglected is your physical health. A life on the go calls for fast-food and on the go snacks. In bulk these things can take a huge toll on your weight and energy. Every trucker is mindful of the fuel that goes into their rig, so why not be as concerned about the fuel that goes into your own bodies. Lack of nutrition in the body can make you feel sluggish, every truckers nightmare when it comes to having a long haul ahead of you.

Tip: To find a healthy balance prepare road snacks with plenty of nutrition to boost your energy and not zap it. Try pre-washed fruits and vegetables, and nuts for a bit of protein. Making your way to the gym isn’t ideal with a life on the road. Luckily there are plenty of methods to boost your heart rate than an elliptical. Free weights and a jump rope are both small enough to be carried on the road with you and make for a great full body workout.

Mental Health Matters

Being stuck in a truck cab alone for hours on end can get lonely and in some cases lead to burnout. It’s important that you keep your mind active and away from daydreaming to protect yourself and others on the road at all times. Some may not choose to believe this, but when you look your best you feel your best. Although, as a trucker you are typically to yourself, for
most of the day, but small adjustments to the outward appearance can boost how you view yourself.

Tip: Try listening to music, audiobooks, podcasts or finding a second language to pick up and practice using an app. Keeping your mind focused on something other than those things going wrong is beneficial to mental health. Even the way we dress can put us in an overall better mood. We don’t suggest you wear a three piece suit, but by buying a new lotion with a scent that reminds you of home or wearing a shirt that's soft and comfy will likely take you from being dreary to happy.

Trucking FamilyHome Is Where The Heart Is

Of course being away from your family is one of the biggest downfalls of the career, but the coming home part isn’t exactly sunshine and rainbows. Veteran truck drivers can attest that it is easy to come home and feel the need to hibernate or over do it when it comes to getting neglected errands done and chores taken care of, but making time for your family when you get the chance is important. You may have video chatted for hours, but nothing compares to being able to tuck your kids in and make sure everyone is at one table for dinner. You miss out on the little moments that make for big memories, so making up for that time, in creative ways, adds to the relationship.

Tip: If you have children make them feel connected to you when you’re on the road by telling them where you’re headed and have them do research on fun facts you can discuss when you get home. Do something similar with your significant other, such as purchasing a book you two can read together, being sure to purchase yourself the audio version. These are the people who you’re on the road for, and making them happy involves making real time for them.

Being a trucker is not easy and neither is creating a work-life balance. It requires commitment and if having a work-life balance is important to you, you’ll want to work for it. Following these tips will help you develop your own ideas to maintain good physical, mental and relationship health.



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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top 3 Trucking Lessons To Get From The Big Screen

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ExpressTruckTax Big ScreenThe big screen has taught us plenty of life lessons since the creation of film. We’ve rambled through a collection of trucking films and compared summaries and comedic tag-lines to give you our top 3 trucking lessons from some pretty iconic cinematographic work. We encourage you to watch these films if you haven’t already, or re-watch them to freshen up on the lessons they provide.

Big Rigs On The Big Screen

Snitch (2013)

Starring Dwayne Johnson, Benjamin Bratt, and a 2009 Freightliner Coronado, this film captures the essence of fatherhood. Johnson, an owner of a successful transportation company tries to free his innocent son, who is facing 10 years in prison after being set up by an acquaintance. As a businessman and father with past regrets of being neglectful, he stops at no end to free his son. Risking his successful business credibility, as an informant, to smuggle narcotics across the border and even manipulate and expose one of the biggest kingpins. In this film Johnson proves himself to be one tough trucker.

Fun Fact: This film is based on the true story of James Settembrino who worked as an informant to lower his son's sentence.

What you can learn: The success of the transportation company owned by Johnson’s character was created by his determination to cater to his family. This determination eventually led to neglect of his families needs and ends with divorce. The transportation industry can be demanding, but don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Warning: Beware Of Dog

Black Dog (1998)

Jack Crews, played by Patrick Swayze is a trucker convicted of vehicular manslaughter after losing control and hitting a stranded motorist. Desperate to find work after being released he is tricked into hauling a load of illegal firearms. He later finds out that his wife and child are in danger if he fails to deliver the goods on time. To truckers, it comes as no surprise that Crews finds himself facing the ‘black dog’ during his long-haul, a term used to describe visions caused by fatigue.

Fun Fact: Patrick Swayze went through the entire process to receive his Class A CDL for the film.

What you can learn: There are different variations of the black dog legend, an omen to truckers that a fatal crash is coming. No matter what variation it is you believe, we can all agree that a delivery made on time is not worth more than life. If you feel as though you have seen this mystery K-9, take the precaution to get off the road and let dispatchers know that you are too tired to continue on your route. 


The little guy

Don't Discredit The Little Guy

High Ballin’ (1978)

We don’t believe this list could actually exist without at least one 70’s trucking film. Where else did that cool CB lingo come from? 

King Carroll is the boss of one of the biggest trucking companies in the area. He uses his money and undermining tactics to run small independent truckers, like Duke Boykin, out of business. Duke is one of the many independent truckers tired of the monopoly plaguing the industry and has decided he has had enough. Out of fear other independent truckers in the industry let Duke take on Carroll alone. It isn’t until he finds an ally in his good friend, Rane and fellow female trucker, Pickup that he gets some back up to take down Carroll.

Fun Fact: 41 years later the Triple T Truck Stop featured in the film is still in business.

What you can learn: Don’t let big players in the trucking industry bully you. Big companies were considered the ‘little guy’ before, stay passionate and persevere. Other people will see your fight and want to help. The key is to never stop fighting for what you believe in.



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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Save Money And Protect Your Cargo With These Methods

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Save Money And Protect Your Cargo With These Methods
It is reported that less than 20 percent of stolen cargo is ever recovered, making cargo theft one of the most expensive incidents drivers can face when on the road. On average it is a problem that cost anywhere between $15 to $30 billion.

Crime and theft specialist, Scott Cornell notes that in recent years cargo thieves are more likely to target mixed retail loads or less-than-truckload shipments because of their definitions of being less secure than larger truckloads.

Improving load security can be easy if you have an inside perspective on how thieves choose their targets and methods behind their madness. There are several cargo theft tactics from straight cargo theft to cyber-attack methods.

Types of Cargo Theft

Having an idea of what kind of theft is taking place and what signs associated with each is great training to know how to combat them in effective ways. Things such as high tech security, and law enforcement training has changed our society and has aided in thieves getting smarter and more creative in how they proceed with an attack. Cargo theft has been around since stagecoaches were present and without sounding like a Debbie Downer it might get worse before it gets better. This is why it's important for truckers to stay up-to-date and extremely aware of new methods.

Straight Cargo Theft

Straight cargo theft can happen anywhere cargo can be left unattended. Truck stops, parking lots, and roadside parking areas are the most targeted. A great way to combat this tactic would be investing in high-security rear door locks.

Strategic Cargo Theft

Strategic cargo theft is constantly evolving. They are often performed with the use of unconventional methods. Identity theft, fictitious pickups, forged documents, fraudulent carriers and brokering scams all fall in line with strategic cargo theft. A solution to help in the event of scams such as these is to do your research on the appointed contact, make sure everything matches up. Always confirm positive identification at pickups and drop-offs.

Other Effective Ways To Combat Cargo Theft

Strategic Theft: Save Money And Protect Your Cargo With These Methods
When it comes to protecting your fleet it is suggested that you develop a layered approach. With a layered approach, there are step by step methods and ‘in case’ tactics put into place if security technology happens to fail. Regular procedure training should be done to ensure that the knowledge on new theft methods is made aware to participating parties. The two main factors that can change theft outcomes are aware drivers and top-notch security for either of the two methods discussed previously.



Aware Drivers

Become aware of ‘hot spots,’ during your route. By studying your route beforehand you will have a greater understanding of the areas that would be considered safe stopping points for you and the cargo.

Upgraded Technology

By having the most up to date features, things such as vehicle immobilization can help in incidents where trucks are stolen along with the cargo. This feature causes the truck to become stationary and brings the heist to a halt. Most theft occurs because of thieves awareness of outdated or nonfunctional security during the transportation of goods, so having a system that is not common will put your cargo on the ‘do not attempt’ list.


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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Out With The OLD And In With The ELD

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Out With The OLD And In With The ELDSince 2017, the ELD mandate has been in effect. In December 2017 fleet owner’s with Automatic On-Board Recording Devices (AOBRDs) installed were given an extension to make the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs up until December 2019. With the new year in full swing the December 16, 2019 expiration date is quickly approaching.

At the 2019 Omnitracs annual user conference, head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Ray Martinez, urged drivers and company representatives to “prepare for this transition, if you have not done so already.”

The most strategic way to avoid procrastination when choosing an ELD is being in the know of what major differences stand between AOBRDs and ELDs.

Key Differences Between AOBRDs and ELDs

For many in the transportation business, the most proposed question that has been asked is, “why?”. The main reason behind the switch is to ensure companies are following the hours-of-service (HOS) law, which controls how much a driver can work in a day, aimed at preventing accidents and harassment of drivers. If someone has yet to make the switch from an AOBRD to a compliant ELD and are waiting to the last minute, the following differences in the two devices may be incentives to make the switch earlier.

Recording Metrics: AOBRDs does a lot of basic recording such as; location, date and time, mileage, engine hours and drive times, as well as duty status. ELDs record the same metrics plus information on the driver/user, motor carrier and vehicle including; log in and log out, engine on and off and also malfunctions.

Locations: When it comes to location AOBRDs allows users to record the change of location during each change of duty status and can be entered manually. With ELDs the location is automatically recorded every 60 minutes, whenever the engine is on or off when there is a change in duty status at the beginning and end of yard moves.

Edit History: AOBRDs record who makes edits and when and does not readily display edit history. ELDs require annotations when edits are made, with automatic events they can not be changed - only annotated and it readily displays edit history to DOT inspectors.

Driving Time: The driving time can only be edited when attributed to the wrong driver with AOBRDs and with ELDs that time cannot be edited.

Benefits of Making the Switch

The most recognizable benefit of the switch from AOBRDs to ELDs is compliance, but outside of ensuring that the trucking industry steers clear of harassment complaints the FMCSA wants to make the job of transporters a lot easier.

Out With The OLD And In With The ELD

Low IFTA Audit Risk

The new ELD technology is driver-friendly when it comes to automatically calculating IFTA reports. The process of filing IFTA reports at the end of each quarter can be burdensome, and the overload of stress can cause human error. With this feature, the risk of facing an IFTA audit is reduced significantly.

Safety Improvement

By notifying drivers and management of malfunction issues and even identifying unsafe driving behaviors, ELDs do a great job at protecting all drivers on the road. According to FMCSA, ELDs help prevents roughly 562 injuries each year. 

Lower Insurance Rates

Because of the increase in safety ELDs provide, insurance companies are happy to offer lower
insurance premiums to ELD users. By ensuring drivers stick to HOS regulations ELDs are eliminating the main cause of driver fatigue, which is reported to be at fault for 86% of truck-passenger crashes.

Safer Roads + Fewer Accidents = Lower Truck Insurance 

Make Filing 2019 IFTA Reports Simple

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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.