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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

What You Need To Know About IFTA Reporting 2018

truck driver can get on down the road now that he has filed his quarterly 2290 report
If you are a new owner-operator, we welcome you to the wonderful world of IFTA. You have probably heard through the grapevine that IFTA filing is...well... difficult and usually involves some expressive expletives. But it's really not that bad when you know where to go. Here is what you need to know about IFTA reporting 2018.

What You Need To Know About IFTA Reporting 2018

Before we dive into the filing your IFTA reporting, let’s go over some of the basics.

IFTA Fuel Tax Basics

The International Fuel Tax Agreement, or IFTA, quarterly fuel tax report allows you to travel in all participating member jurisdictions with a single fuel tax license. To operate in two or more member jurisdictions, you are required to have an IFTA sticker and license.

You receive your IFTA license through your base jurisdiction and you are given an IFTA sticker to put on your truck. Your IFTA license needs to be renewed annually in December. When you hold an IFTA license, you are required to file an IFTA quarterly fuel tax report that calculates how much fuel tax you owe (or are credited) to remain compliant.

Your vehicle qualifies for IFTA reporting if it:

  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,00 pounds
  • Has two axles and a registered gross weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
  • Has three or more axles regardless of weight
  • Or has a combined weight exceeding 26,000 pounds


Filing Your IFTA Fuel Tax Form

Trucker is back on the road after filing his IFTA report with ExpressTruckTaxYour first quarter IFTA return is due in six days! Thankfully ExpressTruckTax has a sister product named ExpressIFTA that makes IFTA reporting incredibly easy online. You can track all of the totals you need to complete your return in one convenient location!

Plus, you can import all of your information at once with the bulk upload feature Also, you can import all of your mileage information directly from your GPS.

Best of all your totals will be automatically calculated in an IFTA quarterly fuel tax report that can be downloaded, printed, emailed, and used to complete your IFTA return instantly. It’s the fastest and most hassle-free way to handle IFTA.

File Your IFTA Report Now



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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

How To Cruise Your Way Through Tax Day 2018

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Truck Driver Cruising Through Tax Day 2018
Tax Day 2018 is finally here! Today is the 2017 income tax filing deadline and, we want to make sure you have everything you need to avoid IRS penalties and interest.

Need more time to file? We have the solution to your last-minute tax filing crisis... 2018 tax extension Form 4868.

Here is the secret to cruising your way through tax day 2018.

How To Cruise Your Way Through Tax Day 2018

Whether you are still gathering your tax information or totally forgot today was Tax Day 2018, the IRS will automatically grant you an automatic six-month extension to file with Income Tax Extension Form 4868.

Tax Extension Deadline 2018

File tax extension 2018 Form 4868 for any of the following forms:

Form 1040, Form 1040A, Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040NR, Form 1040NR-EZ, Form 1040-PR or 1040-SS.

Once your income tax extension is approved by the IRS, you will have until October 15th, 2018 to file your income tax return penalty-free. Sa-weet!

Reasons To File A Tax Extension

Last-minute tax filing is never a good thing. The top three reasons to file a tax extension include:

1) You Will Make Mistakes
2) Refunds & Credits Will Be Missed
3) Tax Extensions Are So Easy

If you fail to file your income tax return you will face IRS penalties and will find Uncle Sam knocking on your truck door first thing in the morning 🤷🏽.

Do yourself a favor and file for an income tax extension today with our sister product, ExpressExtension.

How To Apply For Tax Extension Form

Filing Income Tax Extension Form 4868 with ExpressExtension literally takes minutes and will extend your 2018 tax deadline date.

Create your free ExpressExtension account and click "Create Personal Tax Extension" from your account Dashboard. If you owe taxes, you will need to estimate your total income tax payment for the filing year. You can use your prior year tax situation as a reference, but give the most accurate approximation as possible.

When you have everything ready, our step-by-step instructions will help you file your tax extension online in minutes, and we will do the rest, so you cruise your way through Tax Day 2018!

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Friday, April 13, 2018

How to Get More Time to File Your 2017 Tax Return

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Spring is here, making it a little more interesting to drive with major storms hitting the road. Some areas have been hit by severe storms, tornadoes, and even snow! However, the intense weather is not the only scary thing that comes with spring, because it is also tax time! Make sure you are up to date on the upcoming personal and truck tax deadlines.

How to Get More Time to File Your 2017 Tax Return

Typically, Tax Day is April 15th, but this year it falls on Sunday and Monday is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in Washington, D.C. The Official Tax Day Deadline is April 17th, 2018.





Need More Time To File?

The IRS is far more forgiving about doling out additional time than you might expect when it comes to the 2018 personal tax deadline. Filing an income tax extension is easier than you might think, especially if you e-file a tax extension online. You can file tax extension Form 4868 for an automatic six-month extension to submit your federal income tax return without penalties.

If you submit your application to the IRS by midnight on April 17, 2018, you will receive an additional six months to file your tax return without incurring IRS penalties.

However, while Form 4868 does give you an extension of time to file income returns, it does not extend the time to pay. If you are unable to make your tax payment, you will need to pay penalties and interest, It is recommended that you pay as much of the owed taxes as possible to lower your penalty cost.

What You Need to File a Federal Income Tax Extension

Assuming you file on time, you will automatically receive six months to file your return to the IRS, and you will not be subject to late-filing penalties. You will have until October 15th, 2018 to file your tax return. 


To file for a tax return extension, you will need:
  • Your name and address
    • Spouse’s name if filing jointly)
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN
    • Spouse’s SSN if filing jointly
  • Estimated total tax liability for the 2017 tax year
  • Totally 2017 tax withholding and tax payments
  • Estimated tax payment owed to the IRS (If any)

How Do I Apply For An Income Tax Extension?

You can e-file Form 4868 with our sister product ExpressExtension. They will transmit your forms directly to the IRS so you can rest easy knowing you have an additional six months to file your federal income taxes. File today and receive an automatic six-month extension of time to file your personal tax return.

Once you have filed Form 4868 with the IRS, you will get a confirmation email within 48 hours notifying you that your extension was accepted by the IRS.



File Your Federal Income Tax Extension Today!



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Tuesday, March 27, 2018

What You Need to Know About The ELD Exemptions

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FMCSA Director Hears ELD Concerns at MATS

Trucking community concerned about the ELD mandate and ELD exemptions
During the Mid-America Trucking Show, commonly known as MATS 2018, federal regulators faced off against a standing-room-only crowd of owner-operators and other trucking veterans from across the nation.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Director of Enforcement and Compliance, Joseph DeLorenzo, hosted a seminar during the first day of MATS; here is what happened and what you need to know about the ELD Exemptions.

What You Need to Know About The ELD Exemptions

Since the Electronic Logging Devices Mandate (ELDs) back in December, there has been growing concern among the trucking community. From older truck exemptions to confusion over the agricultural exemption this hour-long seminar covered more than just type of ELD compliance.

Older Truck Exemption

Joseph DeLorenzo faced off against a standing-room-only crowd lead my trucking veterans across the nation. This first wave of questions centered around the older truck exemption to which DeLorenzo stated that all pre-2000 engines are exempt. And this ELD exemption applies to all pre-2000 engines whether it came with the vehicle or if it was a replacement.

However, this exemption does not apply if the pre-2000 engines are rebuilt to a certain extent and should be relabeled. If you undergo a roadside inspection, the officer will check the engine tag to determine if your truck is exempt.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has been issued guidance on this matter according to DeLorenzo.

ELD AG Exemption

Is all transportation of agricultural commodities exempt? This is a more difficult question that owner-operators and self-employed drivers put to DeLorenzo. To sum up his response, the federal definition is the rule of thumb regardless of the state definition of agriculture.

According to the federal government, ELD Ag exemption is considered the transportation of bees, livestock, unprocessed fruits, and vegetables. The exclusivity of the federal definition of agricultural commodities leaves several drivers concerned considering the ELD mandate.


Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Mandate

What should owner-operators and self-employed drivers know about ELD exemptions Under the ELD exemption, you do not have to comply with new regulations if you do not exceed 150-miles more than eight times in a 30-day period. Once you extend past this, you have 11 hours of driving time and 14 hours of off-duty time.

The 90-day waiver for federally defined agricultural commodities pushes the pause button on the ELD mandate. If you are transporting agricultural commodities as defined by the federal government, you will be covered under the ELD AG Exemption no matter how many time you exceed the 150-mile distance.

ELD Deadline

As drivers, you should already be aware that the deadline for complying with the ELD mandate is April 1st. If you are found without an electronic logging device, you will be cited and most likely ticketed if you cannot prove exemption.

After the April 1st ELD deadline, you will be put out of service for 10 hours and then allowed to complete your run. However, you are required to install an ELD immediately before your next route. If you are later found without an ELD, you will receive an out-of-service violation under the ELD mandate.

We want to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts on the ELD mandate.
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Friday, March 23, 2018

Are You Ready for the Upcoming UCR Deadline?

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ExpressTruckTax has some excellent news for the trucking industry! After nearly a 90-day delay, you are now able to complete your annual Unified Carrier Registration process for 2018.

Unified Carrier Registration, or UCR, requires that drivers and companies who operate a commercial motor vehicle for interstate or international commerce, register their business with the state and pay an annual fee based on the size of the fleet.

Luckily, the UCR fees for this year have been reduced by 9.1%; it doesn’t get much better than that!

You can expect that UCR fees will increase slightly for 2019. However, they will still be 4.6% lower than the fees you paid in 2017.

If you’re a broker, private carrier, or freight forwarder, you are required to register and pay also.

Why The Delay for UCR?


UCR’s usually are available on October 1 and close on December 31; however, this year was a different story due to legal questions centered around a proposal that was issued last September by the Department of Transportation (DOT).

The proposal sparked a lawsuit to be filed by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition against the UCR Board. To make a long story short, the coalition claimed that the UCR Board violated federal open meetings laws for the new fee structure and 2018 registration period to be discussed.

The court was in agreement that the UCR Board failed to provide the proper notice to the public about the meetings but decided to keep the decisions that were made by the board, but what does this mean for you?!

When Do I Need To Register & Pay My UCR Fees?

Great question! You have until April 5 to register and pay your annual fees UCR for 2018.

Here’s what you’ll have to pay this year and next for UCR:



Where Can I Register & Pay UCR Fees?

You can register, process, and pay for your Unified Carrier Registration, or UCR, fees in one place at Official UCR Board Certified Registration website.

April 5th will be here before you know it, so take a moment and handle your UCR requirements today while you still have time!
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Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Was January Your First Used Month? Time to File Your 2290

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Today is the deadline for Form 2290
When did you first use your heavy vehicle during the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) period? If it was in January, then it is time to file Form 2290!

If this deadline has caught you off guard no need to fear, ExpressTruckTax is here to help you complete your forms in just a matter of minutes. But we go a step further by providing you with important Form 2290 information so you can drive right on through your e-filing experience. Check out these top HVUT deadline tips from the tax experts at ExpressTruckTax.

Was January Your First Used Month? Time to File Your 2290

So why are there so many deadlines for Form 2290? Well, your deadline for Form 2290 is based the first month you've used your heavy vehicle on public highways during the current tax period. This is important because you don’t have to pay for the months your truck wasn’t on the road.

Unlike the fiscal year, the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax runs from July 1st to June 20th of the following year, and you need to file by the last day of the month following your first used month. So that means that if you first used your truck back in January, it is time to file…… or face penalties.

So other than the fear of penalties why is Form 2290 so important? Because the taxes collected are used to repair, maintain, and build public roads. Once you file, you will get a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 as proof of filing and paying your HVUT taxes. You will actually need this form to renew your tags and to complete your International Registration Plan (IRP) return.

Fear the HVUT Penalties

If you fail to file by midnight tonight and you are required to do so, you will face expensive penalties. If that doesn’t strike fear into your heart, I am sure this will. The penalty rate for failing to file is a minimum of 4.5 % of the total tax due. This amount will accrue on a monthly basis for up to five months.

Plus, if your HVUT payment is late or is not paid in full, you will owe an additional penalty of 0.5% of the total amount owed. Oh and yeah there is an additional penalty of .54% too.

But wait it gets worst: If you don’t file you will not receive a copy of your stamped Schedule 1, which is required by the DMV to operate your vehicle legally. Don’t get stuck in the pits by this deadline but take a caution lap getting ahead over the competition with ExpressTruckTax.

 
Truck driving down the road at an alarming speed trying to file their Form 2290


Keep on Truckin’ With ExpressTruckTax

Our e-filing system is streamlined for fast and easy use so we can get you back on the road fast. No complex IRS jargon just straightforward interview style questions. If you get stuck in a rut, don't worry we will give you push no need to get out of the truck! Our dedicated team of tax experts standing by.

When you file with us, you will receive a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 in as little as 15 minutes via email.


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Friday, February 16, 2018

TAP App Is The Trucking Service You Need

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TAP App, tax service app for truckersHey owner-operators, we're always working to find solutions to the issues that you face. That’s one of the reasons why we created ExpressTruckTax, the market-leading program that makes e-filing your HVUT 2290 Form fast and easy.


By partnering with groups like OOIDA and by working closely with drivers like yourself, we've been able to discover issues in the industry and we work hard to solve them. For example, truck drivers need a cost-effective bookkeeping and tax prep solution, that’s why we're proud to announce the new TAP App service provided by TruckLogics and Trucker Tax Service.

TAP App Is The Trucking Service You Need

The Problem

As a trucker working for a company, independently driving or leasing yourself, you have a lot of business records to keep up with. For example, you need to see your profit and losses, rate per mile, miles driven, and more. You also need this information for year-end tax reports.

How do you keep up with all this info? Do you scribble it all down in tons of notebooks to upload to your computer later? Do you have various different apps? Are you being charged hundreds of thousands for a subscription where your information is hard to access?

When trying to file a 1099 or your personal income tax return at the end of the year you don’t want to spend hours on the phone with customer support ‘specialists’ trying to get into your account.

The TAP App Solution

We’ve worked together with Trucker Tax Service to help owner operators find solutions to their tax filing needs and with our sister product, TruckLogics, which is why we’re proud to announce that they joined forces to create the new service, the TAP App.

By combining the top services offered by TruckLogics, the trucking business management program and Trucker Tax Service, the nationwide tax consultant to the OTR driver, an easy-to-use bookkeeping and tax preparing solution was born that will change the way you handle your daily operation.

With this app on your phone, tablet, or computer you can easily track your miles driven, revenue per mile, per diem, and much more from the palm of your hand. Plus, the app will generate monthly business reports like the profit and loss report for you to access at any time.

Per diem is the daily expense deduction drivers are allowed to take to offset the costs involved with spending a night on the road. On The Road drivers are entitled to 80% of the $63 Per Diem, which comes to $50.40 per day.

Not only will the TAP App accurately calculate your Per Diem, but they will simplify all your deductions because Truck Tax Service will use the information you enter to prepare and file your tax returns at no additional cost. That’s right, it’s free.

The TAP App is the easiest way to get the most deductions possible while getting your money back from the IRS faster. At only $75 for a month, the TAP App more than pays for itself.

Plus, this service is straightforward and easy to use. No frustration or confusion is involved. However, if you do have any questions, Truck Tax Service is providing live US-based support. Feel free to contact them with any questions that you may have.

Get Started With TAP App Now!


Trucking doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when we’re here to help. Check out the trucking solutions available from ExpressTruckTax to make filing your HVUT Form 2290 quick and easy, the TAP App service to simplify bookkeeping and tax preparation, and TruckLogics to make managing your trucking business online effortless.

Please share your favorite trucking services in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax for more trucking blogs.
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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How to Avoid 2290 Rejections

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Prevent Form 2290 Rejections with ExpressTruckTax


Taxes can be confusing and frustrating, but if you miss your HVUT Form 2290, the penalties you will receive make the whole tax situation even worse. That’s why the ExpressTruckTax experts are here to help you correctly file your form.

Not only do you have to meet the HVUT Form 2290 deadline, which varies depending on your first use month, but you have to make sure your Form 2290 doesn’t get rejected. If it is rejected, then you’re responsible for correcting it by the deadline. So, here’s how to avoid Form 2290 Rejections.

How to Avoid 2290 Rejections


1. Get Your EIN Right

You need an EIN or Employer Identification Number to complete your HVUT Form 2290. You used to be able to use your Social Security Number in place of your EIN, but that’s no longer the case. If you enter your SSN in the EIN field on your HVUT Form 2290 then it will be rejected.

If you need to get an EIN you can apply for one online for free with the IRS. Just keep in mind that it may take up to 14 days for your EIN to become active in the IRS’s system and your form may be rejected during that time.

Also, your information needs to match what the IRS has on file. If your EIN doesn’t match for your business name or personal information then your form will be rejected. You can make sure your information matches what the IRS has on file by calling them.

2. Avoid VIN Mistakes
Entering a VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) incorrectly is actually the number one Form 2290 mistake. Take your time and carefully enter that 17 character alphanumeric code, then double check it. Make sure you aren’t mistaking 0s for Os!

However, if you need to correct your VIN, don’t panic. You can quickly and easily file FREE VIN corrections with ExpressTruckTax.

Also, each VIN can only be filed for once, so you’ll want to avoid filing a duplicate, as your form will be rejected. To avoid filing for a duplicate VIN number make sure you’re filing for the current tax period, not the previous one.

3. Pay the IRS


When you e-file Form 2290 you need to pay the amount of HVUT tax you owe to the IRS. You have a few different payment methods, for example, you can use direct debit, or electronic funds withdrawal.

With these payment methods, you will have to provide your bank account and routing number so the IRS can withdraw the amount of HVUT tax you owe. That means you need to enter your banking and routing number correctly. You also need to make sure you have enough funds to cover the amount you owe or your form will be rejected.
Quickly and easily e-file HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax

The Form 2290 Due Date


Form 2290 is due based on your first used month during the tax period. It’s actually due the last day of the month following your first use month. The tax period runs from July 1 to June 30 of the following year.

Since most truckers first use their vehicle in July, August 31 is a major deadline day. However, if you didn’t use your vehicle until January then your HVUT Form 2290 is due by February 28!

If you need to file 2290 online this month don’t worry, you can quickly and easily instantly file with ExpressTruckTax. Simply contact our live, US-based support team if you need any assistance.
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Friday, February 9, 2018

3 Proven Ways Lady Truckers Are Improving The Industry

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ExpressTruckTax respects lady truckers

Are you proud of a lady trucker in your life? Do you know a strong, dedicated woman who is in it for the long haul? ExpressTruckTax actually supports all lady truckers and we consider ourselves extremely lucky to see how they’re changing the industry.

More and more women are coming to the industry every day because the secret is out. Lady truckers are excellent drivers! They deserve the respect of road veterans because they’re putting in just as many miles.

Women Trucking Are Making A Major Impact

First of all, women in trucking are so great that they’re getting a second annual cruise. You can join the 2018 “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” cruise for 7 days. It will depart from the Port of New Orleans on May 20, 2018 and returns May 27.

You can actually nominate the lady trucker in your life for the 2018 Queen of the Road Award, which is a dignified recognition award for hardworking female truck drivers. The winners will be voted on online and announced during the cruise! Submit your nominee here!

Now if you’re wondering how lady truckers are changing the industry they’re actually making a ton of things happen!

1. Recruiting Methods Are Changing To Attract More Female Truckers

There is a huge driver shortage out there, with a huge turnover rate. As older truckers retire companies are having a hard time hiring new, reliable drivers. However, they’ve found that they can reach out to women, an untapped resource to fill more driver seats.

ExpressTruckTax Thanks Lady Drivers for their hard work
Trucking companies need ladies so they’re using more female-friendly techniques to attract them. Instead of using intimidating tactics for the previously dominated male industry they’re switching to warm and inviting techniques. A lot of companies are even offering women equal wages to men.

2. Time And Money Is Being Saved

Women are actually proving to be safer drivers than men. They have about a 25% lower accident cost in the industry than men. This means that they are saving more money for trucking companies.

Also, lady truckers provide are picking up training much faster than men. Something about driving big rigs just comes naturally, and trucking companies benefit by being able to put more qualified drivers on the road faster.

3. Quality Is Rising

Ladies in the trucking industry are extremely detailed. Their paperwork is on point with fewer mistakes and easier to read handwriting. Lady truckers seem a little more dependable when it comes to meeting deadlines on time, without work that seems messy or rushed.

Trucking women are also skilled in customer service. They are great at conversing and dissolving heated situations. They communicate in an effective, professional manner and tend to react with less anger than men do.

We Salute To Lady Truckers


The number of women trucking might be increasing, but in reality, women have been driving rigs for decades. Now there are many groups like Real Women in Trucking to give trucking ladies a real voice.

We’re proud of ladies brave enough to tackle the road in this challenging industry. Be sure to nominate the hard working lady truck for the Queen Of The Road!

Let us know your thoughts about women in trucking or personal experiences in the comment section below and don’t forget to visit ExpressTruckTax for more trucking blogs.
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Friday, February 2, 2018

How To Master Backing That Trailer Up

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When it comes to trucking one of the most difficult things to master is backing up. It takes time and a lot of practice. Backing up incorrectly will also make you look like a rookie, or worse, like you REALLY don’t know what you’re doing.

In CDL school there’s not much pressure when it comes to backing up because you’re in a training vehicle with objects like rubber trash cans, so it’s not a big deal if you hit something. However, once you’re out in the real trucking world with the trailer you’re responsible for and other rigs and infrastructure that you could seriously damage, things get a little more intense. Take a deep breath and check out our tips on how to become a trucking master at backing up.

How To Master Backing That Trailer Up

What Not To Do

Don’t nose in at truck stops. It looks lazy or like you don’t know how to backup and sometimes leaves your trailer sticking out in the way. Plus, While the back of your trailer is out, it makes it easier thieves to come up and steal your cargo. Then it makes it more difficult to back out later because you can’t see what's coming and don’t have much room for the front of your rig.

Also, don’t treat any parking situation the same. Each spot is different with new obstacles to avoid. You won’t become an expert after only backing up a few times, but it will eventually get easier. Always take it slow and be aware of your surroundings.

Never take advice from someone who isn’t a trucker. People are quick to try to and help you park with hand gestures, but if that person doesn’t have their CDL you shouldn’t trust them. They don’t have the qualified experience to help.

What To Do

Look Around

Preview the area. Circle the truck stop to look for obstacles like trash cans and trees to avoid. This may also help you find the easiest spot to get into and avoid debris like glass or nails. When in doubt, G.O.A.L (Get Out And Look) to get a better idea of what’s around you.

If you feel like it might be embarrassing to get out and look, it's not. It shows that you’re a responsible driver taking the time to not hit other trucks. Also, remember to hit your blinkers before you back up to make sure others are aware of your actions.

Focus

In your rig, become one with your truck. Clear your mind and get rid of any distractions, this includes silencing your phone and CB. All of your focus should be on backing up. Then take things nice and slow, you never want to pick up too much speed. Also, keep your foot on the brake so you’ll be prepared to stop if you need to.

Remember to use all of your mirrors, keep your eyes moving and don’t stick to one spot. Referring to painted lines to give you an idea of your angels also helps.

Think about your steering wheel. The top is the trailer, and the bottom is the truck, your trailer goes the opposite way of your steering wheel.

Research

Take the time to get good at parking by finding an empty lot and practicing. See how your movements affect your truck. You can also watch other drivers at the truck stop or go online. Truckers love vlogging these days and have a lot of how-to videos on YouTube.

You could also just ask for a few tips. There’s no harm in wanting to learn and experienced truckers like to talk and they like to help. It’s worth taking the time to see what a road veteran has to say.


You'll Be A Master In No Time!


Patience young trucking grasshopper. No one perfectly backs in on their first or even tenth try. Just keep calm, become one with your truck, and be aware of your surroundings. You’ll be able to back that thing up anywhere before you know it.

Please add your parking tips in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.