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Friday, February 24, 2017

DYI Hacks To Make Your Sleeper Cab Feel Like Home



We’ve all felt it. The lonely feeling of the open road. While we’re addicted to driving for miles and miles sometimes we do get a little homesick. Sometimes it’s hard to be away from your spouse, children, and pets. However, somehow you have to fight through feeling homesick to make your drops in time. One easy step you can take towards not feeling homesick is to make your cab feel like home.

DYI Hacks To Make Your Cab Feel Like Home


The first thing you need to feel at home is comfort. You spend a lot of time in your cab, sometimes you spend more time in there than you do at home, so make it a comfy place to be.

In order to do that invest in at least one awesome seat cover. The seat cover can be heated and it can come with built-in massagers, making it the perfect place to lean back in relax in after hours of driving.

Make sure your mattress in your cab is a high-quality one. Not getting adequate rest on the road could leave you cranky and just wanting to head home. You don’t have to come with the factory issued cardboard mattress that came with your truck, especially if you got your truck used. Instead, consider your memory foam and gel mattress options.

You know what comes with a comfortable bed? Comfortable bedding! If you’ll be spending a lot of the nights on the road don’t settle for cheap sheets and blankets. Spring for the softer materials with higher thread counts. Heck, you could even treat yourself to an electric blanket to be warm and cozy.

To get a proper night’s rest you’ll have to block the world out. Invest in some blackout curtains to get rid of all the lights from tracking and truck stops. Also, consider getting some ear plugs so block out some of the noise that traffic and rest stops produce.

It’s important to fill your cab with a few of your favorite things in order to boost your mood. This can be done by adding pops of your favorite colors around. From crimson red to sprinkle blue, whatever color is your favorite will work.

You can add your favorite color by getting a steering wheel cover, seat covers, rubber mats, a rug, a bedding set with multiple of your favorite colors, and more. The possibilities are endless, all you have to do is look around your cab to see what you can customize.

Be sure to put up posters you like and to put up a few of your favorite pictures. Seeing photos of your family and pets or posters of your favorite superheroes can really boost your mood.

It’s always good to be able to do more things in your truck, and the first step towards powering more electronics is getting a good power inverter. Then you can set up awesome things like a flat screen tv and your favorite gaming console.

Nights won’t feel so long and boring when you can watch your favorite movie on Netflix or play multiplayer games online with your kids back home. Also, you can bring a lamp for extra light in your cab at night.

Why stop every time you’re hungry or thirsty when you can stock your cab to be your own personal mini kitchen? You can have your own mini coffee maker to brew coffee anytime you want. If you don’t want to deal with coffee grounds consider getting a K-Cup machine.

For more food options you can place a microwave, mini fridge, and freezer in your cab. This way you can bring more food items with you on your trips that can easily be stored and heated up.

Did you know that you could even bring along a hot plate to boil water? Sometimes nothing is better than a hot bowl of ramen!

You can complete your kitchen with a TV tray or fold out shelf or table to balance meals or your laptop on.

This item should never mix with kitchen items, but are you tired of walking across cold parking lots to wait in a long bathroom line? Then get your own portable toilet to bring along on the road with you. Just make sure it has a lid that you can seal tight to prevent spills.

If you want to bring something with you on the road like extra clothes and tools then bring them with you. Just invest in storage bins and organization items to maximize your storage areas.

Enjoy Your Home On The Road


Your truck is sometimes your office and can be the area where you spend most of your time. Be sure to customize your cab to fit your personal preferences to have a comfortable and cozy space when you’re missing home.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share how you make your cab cozy in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

File Your 2290 From Any Location With Our Mobile App

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Truckers are always on the move, literally. They spend hours on the road making an honest living while transporting items from point a to point b. As they’re traveling around the country life doesn’t slow down for them, they still have the same tax deadlines as everyone else. That’s why ExpressTruckTax has taken a step to make life easier for truckers by providing them with the free ExpressTruckTax app that allows you to e-file the IRS Form 2290.

First, Here is a little about the HVUT Form 2290


The HVUT or Heavy Vehicle Use tax Form 2290 must be filed for every month that a taxable vehicle is used on public highways. The funds from this tax go towards the repair of public highways making the roads smooth and safe for truckers to use.

Qualifying vehicles for the Form 2290 include highway motor vehicles that have a taxable weight of 55,000 pounds or more. Highway motor vehicles include any vehicle that is self-propelled and designed to carry loads over public highways.

The type of load a vehicle carries as far as passengers, equipment, cargo, or supplies doesn’t matter because the vehicle weight consists of the chassis and body, not the load.

Your form 2290 is due the last day of the 2nd month after the month that your vehicle is first used. For example, if you first use a HVUT qualifying vehicle in February then your Form 2290 is due by March 31st.

Then after that for every year that the vehicle is in use during the taxable period beginning on July 1st and ending on June 30th of the following year, you’ll need to complete your Form 2290 by the August 31st deadline.

The ExpressTruckTax 2290 E-Filing App


The free ExpressTruckTax app allows for people who are out on the road to easily e-file their HVUT Form 2290 in a matter of minutes. Then they’ll instantly receive their Stamped Schedule 1.

The app can be downloaded to smartphones and tablets and don’t even require you to have wifi, meaning you can literally file your Form 2290 from any location, as long as you have a little cell phone service.

When using the app you can quickly enter in your HVUT information and transmit it to the IRS in a matter of minutes. Then relax and sit pretty, because you’ll be sent a push notification from the app as soon as your Stamped Schedule 1 is ready.

There’s no headache involved when using this app because it provided easy to follow instructions. Plus, you can use the built-in 2290 calculator to quickly calculate how much you owe.

A copy of your Stamped Schedule 1 will be available for you to access within the app at any time for you to show traffic officers or people at the DMV. Proof that you paid your HVUT will always be at your fingertips.

If you form is rejected don’t worry. Will notify you of the rejection. Then with the app, you can quickly make amendments and corrections at any time, and resubmit your form to the IRS as many times as necessary for free.

Here at ExpressTruckTax, we’re committed to providing quality service at the best price possible. That’s why we allow you to manage multiple EIN’s under one account and offer discounts for bulk filers and even offer an unlimited filing option.

You can also save time by using your prepaid return credits to cover your 2290 filing fees.

Try ExpressTruckTax Today


Not only does ExpressTruckTax offer you innovative features to help you quickly and easily file your 2290, but it also includes tools to help you calculate your IFTA return! No other company provides this level of high-quality service for the lowest price possible.

We even have a dedicated support team that’s here to help you every step of the way. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat, phone, or email.

Simply create your free ExpressTruckTax account to get started!
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Safety Tools You Need To Always Keep In Your Cab

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Accidents happen. Even the best truckers with spotless records get caught up in emergency situations because you just never know what can happen on the road. In the event of a major accident or inclement weather be prepared with the proper tools in your cab.

Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry


You should always have a bag of emergency clothes with you on the road. This is important for all seasons, but especially for winter. Your pack should have warm items in case it gets cold like a sweater and hat, but it should also have waterproof items.

Remember, you can layer a lightweight jacket over winter gear or bring a heavy insulated winter coat. Just make sure the items are in layers so you can shed something if you get too hot.

Don’t forget about your hands and feet. Always carry waterproof gloves and waterproof shoes in case you have to get out of your cab during a major downpour or a cold wintery mix.

Most people carry extra underwear and socks in case they get held up somewhere for a few days.

It’s also good to carry extra blankets. You never know when your heat will go out or when you’ll be in a situation where a little extra heat and a nice dry blanket could make a major difference to your night.

Never forget to bring along extra batteries and chargers for your radio, CB, phone, flashlight, and more. You’ll want your electronics to have a nice charge, and a way to charge them. Hand crank radios and solar powered chargers can give your phone the extra juice it may need.

It’s always great to carry a fire extinguisher with you in case something starts to flame up. Heck, you could even be stuck near a forest's wildfire, so having the ability to spray out some flames could come in handy.

You’ll need some emergency meal items. Keep at least a gallon of water in your cab and a few days worth of nonperishable foods like cans of soup packages crackers, and jerky. Don’t forget your can opener!

A multi-purpose knife can go a long way. You never know what type of items you’ll need to cut. Some knives come with seat belt cutters and points to break glass if you need to climb out of your cab quickly.

If you take a daily medication be sure to bring the bottle with you. You won’t want to be without it if you get stuck somewhere for a few days. It’s also a good idea to carry some pain relievers and antacids.

Consider bringing some personal hygiene items on the road with you. This way you’ll have items to keep your teeth and body looking and smelling clean.

Take a small first aid kit full of bandages, antiseptics, and baby wipes. You might actually be surprised with how often you want a band aid while on the road.

Other people on the road will need to be able to see you, so be sure to bring along flairs to set out, and those reflective triangles. It helps to have a reflective vest if you’re stepping out of your cab near a busy road. Also, have a proper flashlight with you, sometimes your phone light won’t cut it.

Maybe a few candles and waterproof matches would be good to keep on hand as well, in case you need light in a dark cab.

Be Prepared!


You never know when severe weather or a bad driver will strike, so be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise. You never know when a few extra items in your cab will really come in handy.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and share what emergency items you carry in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ExpressTruckTax Offers Free VIN Corrections

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Let’s face it, paperwork isn’t the most interesting thing in the world. Heck, it isn’t even close to being considered the 2nd most interesting thing in the world! When we sit down to fill out forms sometimes our minds wander and we accidentally enter in typos and mistakes. When this happens to you, it’s not your fault and you shouldn’t be punished. That’s why ExpressTruckTax offers free VIN corrections.

What’s My VIN?


Your VIN is your vehicle identification number. It’s a 17 character long number that throws in some letters and the font is usually small and hard to see. Therefore, unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to make typos when entering your VIN on your form 2290. If you put the incorrect VIN on your 2290 then there will be hassles and headaches at the DMV later.

ExpressTruckTax wants to save you that trouble, that’s why we work with the IRS as a trusted and secure source to offer free VIN corrections and to get you your Stamped Schedule 1 in a matter minutes. However, the VIN correction isn’t the only free correction we offer, you can make any correction to your form 2290 at any time.

Also, e-filing a VIN correction is incredibly simple. All you need to do is create an account and click “Create a Return then click the ‘2290 amendment’ option to complete your free VIN correction.

You can either make a VIN correction for a return filed with ExpressTruckTax or make a VIN correction for returns created elsewhere or by paper. To put it simply, you can make 2290 corrections with ExpressTruckTax even if you didn’t e-file with us.

Then you simply fill out the VIN correction information and transmit your form the IRS. You can resubmit your forms as many times as necessary to make corrections and amendments for free. The next step is to relax because you’ll receive your updated Stamped Schedule 1 in a matter of minutes!

However, keep in mind that VIN corrections can only be made for taxable and suspended vehicles. They can’t be made for credit vehicles or for previously suspended vehicles. Also, when filing a free VIN correction you can’t combine it with credits that have been claimed on the same form.

Remember that the original form with the incorrect VIN on it must be paid for before you submit a correction or the IRS will assess penalties on top of the tax that you actually owe.

E-Filing With ExpressTruckTax


There’s no way around it, you have to file your taxes. Form 2290 and your IFTA returns are due every year, and they aren’t going anywhere. So, why not make the process of filing your taxes and returns incredibly easy with ExpressTruckTax?

When it comes to your form 2290 we offer step by step instructions on how to fill out the form, plus you’ll receive your Stamped Schedule 1 in a matter of minutes. You can also receive your Stamped Schedule 1 via text, email, and fax and submit free corrections.

With IFTA you can use our innovative tools for quickly entering your odometer readings, maintain your trip sheets and fuel records, accurately calculate your fuel tax and more. We provide everything you need to generate your IFTA calculations! 

Plus, we have an outstanding support team that’s always standing by to answer your questions. If you need any help please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email.
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Friday, February 10, 2017

The Debate About Rest Stop Expansions

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Drivers, we want your thoughts! Currently,  rest stops really aren’t that great, with dim lighting and limited vending machines that seem to have outdated options. Sometimes the parking at rest stops isn’t that great either, and if you stop to pee you take up a lot of regular parking spots! Well, what if rest stops were expanded?

The Possible Expansion Of Rest Stops


On behalf of the Federal Highway Administration what if rest stops were expanded a little more commercially? As in if their vending machine options we’re expanded and states were allowed to sell produce? Along with these changes would come more parking for semi trucks.

What? More parking?! With today’s parking crisis that could be a miracle. Plus, when truckers need to take their mandated 30-minute breaks it would be a lot easier for them to simply park at a rest stop then pull off the interstate to hopefully find parking at a truck stop.

When truckers are left without any options they’ll pull over on the side of the interstate and on entrance or exit ramps. This is a dangerous practice that could be avoided if more parking spots were available.

Most people in communities around truck stops are getting fed up with the congestion that big rigs cause. The general public wants truckers to get their food and move out of the way. Expanded rest stops could relieve this congestion.

With expanded vending machine options and local produce being sold truckers would have not only more options but healthier options. However, this makes truck stop owners nervous, because they don’t want their businesses to be undercut. Although, who would give up a nice hot meal for a snack or fresh fruit?

Plus, we’re sure some truckers want to get away from the road at night and would prefer to pull off the interstate to find a truck stop to park overnight at. Being too close to the interstate can be noisy and disruptive in the night.

These forms of revenue could help states maintain their rest stop facilities. Better places to stop provide tourists with a good idea of the state. Maybe if they find a clean restroom with delightful local produce they’ll drive through the state with their money on more regular basis.

However, some of the money would need to go to video monitoring and security systems. Also, local police officers would need to regularly check in on rest stops, because it’s no secret that where truckers go lot lizards, hitchhikers and crime follows.

Now we know that the trucking nation is filled with honorable, outstanding people, but unfortunately, we can’t speak for all of the lot lizards, the homeless, and hitchhikers. The state wouldn’t want its reputation brought down after tourists see a few shady characters.

We also wonder why rest stops should stop at a few expansions. What if they were privately owned? Sure, they would compete with truck stops at a greater level, but the cost of maintenance and upkeep would be up to the owner, totally taking the bill off the state’s plate.

With privately owned rest stops there’s no telling what types of food and merchandise would be offered to truckers and the public, offering a lot more revenue for the state and convenience for drivers.

Are You For Or Against Expanding Rest Stops?


We want to know what you think about the possibility of expanding rest stops or privatizing them, so please share your thoughts in the comment section below. Also, keep checking back with ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking news.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

We'll Handle All Your E-Filing 2290 Needs

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Tax season is barreling on down the highway, so buckle up, because it’s not stopping. A few IFTA deadlines like the 4th quarter IFTA report deadline have already passed, but more deadlines are on their way. If your first used month for your new vehicle was in January then your HVUT form 2290 is due by February 28th.

But wait, What’s HVUT Form 2290?


The IRS HVUT Form 2290 is for the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax and the form 2290 is what truckers need to fill out if they own a vehicle with a taxable gross weight of 55k pounds or more. Truckers are required to file this form online in order to receive an electronic copy of their stamped Schedule 1.

A Stamped Schedule 1 serves as proof of compliance with the HVUT. It’s used at DMVs so you can renew your tags, renew your registration for IFTA, IRP, or USR, and prove that you paid your taxes, which can be extremely helpful if you’re ever audited.

The money that you pay for this tax goes to the public roads. It’s for construction, to fix, and to maintain public highways that heavy vehicles carrying loads often frequent. Therefore it makes your job a little easier, by providing safe routes with paved roads and safe bridges. Plus, better roads have less wear and tear on your vehicle.

E-Filing Your HVUT with ExpressTruckTax


Now you have to file your HVUT Form 2209 on an annual basis per each vehicle that you own and qualifies for the tax. The tax is due for new vehicles the last day of the 2nd month after the month that the vehicle is first used. Then the tax needs to be renewed annually by August 31st.

ExpressTruckTax is a great option if you need to quickly file your form 2290 because it’s one of the cheapest. Each file is only $9.90. ExpressTruckTax is also extremely safe and secure, your information will be protected.

Now a cheap price doesn’t mean ExpressTruckTax skimps out of true value because ExpressTruckTax provides easy to follow instructions to help you quickly fill out your form 2290. Then you’ll receive your stamped Schedule within minutes via fax, text, or email. You’ll also be notified via text message when your stamped Schedule 1 is ready.

Plus, you aren’t alone. The ExpressTruckTax dedicated support team is always standing by to help. We’re more than happy to assist you with any questions that you may have, so please don’t hesitate to contact us via live chat, phone, or email.

Our 2290 tax calculator will make your tax filing process headache free because you can enter your information to instantly calculate how much HVUT you’ll owe. No complicated math or waiting is involved.

Also, at ExpressTruckTax we understand that accidents happen. If the IRS rejects your form we will notify you via email with notes as to why your form was rejected and instructions on how to correct your form. You can resubmit your form 2290 as many times as you need to.

Try ExpressTruckTax Today


Simply spend a minute or two creating your account to get started with your HVUT form 2290. You can see how easy and convenient our e-filing process is without being charged unless you actually file.
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Friday, February 3, 2017

These Practices Cause Owner Operators To Fail

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Some owner operators fail, that’s just a plain fact. Sure, some guys make it and bring home the bigger paychecks, but most truckers fail. Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of risks and precise planning, and they guys who don’t make it, usually don’t due to reasons that can easily be avoided. 

Mistakes Made By Owner Operators


The owner operators who fail are generally too big for their britches. They think they can do everything themselves. Even though it’s true that will start out doing the majority of work yourself, it’s best to get the advice of a financial advisor or an accountant to figure out the best plan for your business before jumping in. A man with a plan is generally smarter than the guy without one.

Plus, you shouldn’t be too shy or prideful to ask for advice. Successful owner operators probably know a few tips and techniques about the business that you haven’t heard about before. Why not ask them a few questions to see if they can help you climb up the ladder?

Eventually, as your business grows you’ll get to hire employees! Instead of doing everything yourself, that you probably won’t even have time for, it will be best to hand things off to your trusted team.

2. Speaking of time, a lot of owner operators who fail simply didn’t consider the amount of time the job requires. You’ll be gone a lot more. If you don’t want to drive extra overtime hours and want to be around for more school plays and baseball games then you might want to stick to driving for a carrier.

A lot of owner operators fail to think about the strain it will put on their family when they’ll be gone more, and relationships are tested. Be sure to speak with your partner about being gone more and how to stay in communication with them. This way you won’t end up like the people who had to choose between their new business venture or their relationship.

3. A quick way to find yourself up the creek without a paddle is by not making a budget. If you live paycheck to paycheck you could quickly end up on missing some bills or not having enough cash to pay for dinner. Know how much you’re spending on fuel, insurance bills, your truck, and more a month, so you’ll know how much to set aside for your meals, personal pay, and more. Tracking software like TruckLogics can help you keep up with all of your finances.

Also, a lot of the time new owner operators don’t set aside any money for emergencies, and that’s just not good because things happen. Trucks break down and you’ll need to be able to pay for the repair. If your insurance will cover the repair you’ll still need money to float you by while it’s in the shop.

Keep in mind that being an owner operator isn’t the fast way to success. It takes months and maybe even years to build yourself up as a reputable owner operator who brings in the big bucks, and even then some months are just slow. Always keep an emergency fund set aside for the slow periods.

4. Some people just buy the wrong truck. They get a brand new truck up front that’s all shiny and awesome, but then crumble when they aren’t bringing in enough cash to pay for the bills that come with it.

They don’t explore all their truck options. For example, leasing generally comes with no down payment and lower monthly rates, so it can help owner operators get started in the beginning. Although, at the end of the agreement if you don’t lease to own you won’t have your own truck to trade in towards getting a new one.

If you want to own your own truck avoid getting a lemon. Lemons are new, cheap trucks that don’t have a good turnover rate. You’ll want a truck you can quickly sell to make some of your money back with, in case you find out that owner operating isn’t for you.

Older trucks that are built sturdier are often more fun to drive and have higher turnover rates. They can be great to start out with until you grow your company enough to comfortably buy a new truck.

5. Owner operators who fail are low maintenance. They don’t take care of themselves. They cut corners and drive even if they haven’t gotten enough sleep. Some truckers don’t take their personal health into account and constantly get terrible options from fast food chains, smokes, and don’t even think about making an effort to work out. You have to be healthy and full of energy to put in the time and work that being an owner operator requires.

They also don’t take the time to maintain their trucks. Skipping out on regular maintenance like oil changes and changing your brake pads can wear out your rig pretty quickly. You have to take the steps to winterize your truck, tune it up, check all the fluid levels, and more in order to squeeze all of its value out of it. 

Don’t Fail!


You can make it as an owner operator, we believe in you. Just make sure you don’t make simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. Make a plan for your business, ask the experts and tell your family what you’re up to. Be financially responsible and know where your money is going. Also, don’t forget to take care of your truck and yourself.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and please share your comments about why owner operators fail in the comment section below.
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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Your 4th Quarter IFTA Report Is Due Today

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Don’t hit the breaks, but tax season is here! Most likely IFTA is on your mind since you have to file an IFTA report four times a year. However, these deadlines can definitely sneak up on you, so here is your official reminder that your 4th quarter IFTA tax return is due by January 31st! Also, we don’t want IFTA to be in the back of your mind, so we're gonna tell you all about it to make you an IFTA pro!

All About IFTA


IFTA stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement and it is the agreement between the 48 connected states of the USA, states of Mexico, and the Canadian provinces to report on the fuel used by motor carriers or large vehicles operating in more than one jurisdiction (state).

Under IFTA carriers file quarterly fuel tax reports to figure out precisely the net tax or refund due to redistribute taxes from collecting jurisdictions that are due.

If you were to find yourself operating in Hawaii, Alaska, or the Canadian territories then you wouldn’t have to worry about IFTA.

Qualifying vehicles for IFTA include vehicles that are designed to transport people or property that has three or more axles, has a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or is used in a combination registered gross vehicles of 26,00 pounds or more. Basically, it refers to big heavy vehicles that frequent the interstate systems.

Fun fact, recreational vehicles are actually not subject to IFTA.

Every year you’ll need to renew your IFTA decals and licenses by December 31st. You’ll receive two decals that should be clearly displayed under your window on your driver’s side door. If you file your IFTA reports quarterly then the permits will stay up to date. They also help prove that you have complied with IFTA.

Well heck, what if you don’t usually travel outside of your state? Do you still have to deal with all this IFTA stuff? A little bit. You can get temporary IFTA permits from that state’s DMV office. Each state has their own temporary IFTA regulations. 

Before IFTA was put into place each state had their own fuel tax system and their own tax permits. This made carriers that frequently traveled through different jurisdictions suffer a lot of headaches. Trust us, IFTA is a much easier way to handle fuel taxes!

Now when it comes to filing your IFTA report you need a record of a few different things:

- Your total miles include the taxable and nontaxable ones for all of your jurisdictions traveled.
- Your total gallons of fuel consumed per jurisdiction.
- Your total amount of fuel taxes paid per jurisdiction.
- And the current tax rate per jurisdiction.

Now don’t let all this information and record keeping intimidate you. ExpressTruckTax is here to help. 

Calculating IFTA With ExpressTruckTax


ExpressTruckTax as an accurate fuel tax calculator to help you quickly calculate your fuel tax per jurisdiction, as well as a quick entry screen for all of your odometer readings. You can quickly update this sheet as you go, or all at once depending on your preferred method.

Also, ExpressTruckTax makes it easy to maintain your trip sheets and fuel records, and will automatically calculate your IFTA return from your trips sheets. This way you won’t have the hassle of calculating these numbers yourself.

With ExpressTruckTax’s error diagnostic report your return will be scanned for errors, so you can be aware of any corrections that need to be made before your file your IFTA return. This will help you and your company avoid being audited.

Plus, we are here to help every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact the ExpressTruckTax support team via phone, email, or live chat with any questions that you may have!
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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Issues With Leasing

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Do you hear that? It’s the call of the open road, with miles of freedom. It would just be great to be an owner operator right? With the ability to schedule your own dispatches, and to drive without little company policies to follow or a manager constantly watching you to make sure you don’t make mistakes? Well to do that you need your own truck to operate, and one way to do that is by leasing one.

A Little About Leasing


Leasing is basically another word for borrow because you’re using someone else’s equipment. Only instead of ‘borrowing’ the semi truck you’ll be paying to use it. In order to lease a truck, you’ll sit down in an office and agree to a contract with set monthly payments over a certain amount of time. The average lease lasts about three years, then you’ll be on your way, driving a truck that someone else owns.

Many truckers turn to leasing because it’s a quick option to jump in a truck when their credit isn’t in order to buy a truck or their finances aren’t in order, because leasing companies often don’t turn those with bad credit away, and don’t require a down payment.

It’s seen as a good way to start driving as an owner operator while you can get your finances together and credit score up to buy your own truck. However, there are some negatives with leasing to consider.

The Downsides of Leasing


When you lease a truck, it’s not your own. Now you may be comfortable with that, but you also might not be. Part of the call of the open road is the romance of being attached to your truck. Not to be mushy or anything but in the automotive industry people really love their vehicles. Will you be able to give your truck up at the end of the agreement?

Plus, when the truck isn’t yours you can’t modify it. Lease contracts will prevent you from installing lift kits, or the latest technology to make your life easier as a trucker.

If you think that leasing is your way to get into a brand new truck you’re wrong. Just like with buying a newer trucker, leasing a newer truck comes with higher monthly payments. Chances are that if you’re trying to start your business you’ll be in an older truck with a lower monthly payment at first.

Also, leasing isn’t a way to get out of higher monthly payments due to poor credit. Your monthly rates will still be higher when leasing if you have a bad credit score.

Speaking of monthly payments, did you know that leasing companies have protecting their vehicles from depreciation in their best interest? So, they want their trucks to be perfectly repairs and maintained. will add on a maintenance fee to your monthly payment. They’ll also add in the cost of insurance.

Don’t forget to watch out for lease contracts that have step up agreements, meaning that over time the amount you pay will increase.

If you buy a used truck you can use it for its trade in value to help you out with your down payment on a new truck. However, with leasing you have to give the truck back, leaving you with nothing to trade in.

Sure, you can lease to own, but generally, at the end of your leasing contract you’ll end up paying more for the truck than you would have if you would have simply bought the truck up front.

Is Leasing For You?


Sometimes leasing is the right option to help guys get their business started. As their business grows they can buy their own new or used truck or continue to lease. Speak with a financial advisor to figure out your best option for your current financial situation and business plan.

For more trucking trips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about leasing in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

6 Qualities To Adopt To Improve As An Owner Operator

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In the trucking industry, many drivers dream of being an owner operator with the freedom of making their own decisions without the say of some company manager watching their every move, not to mention the bigger paychecks. However, owner operators don’t become successful overnight, and many of them fail. Check out these traits commonly found in successful owner operators to see if you have what it takes.

Successful Traits Of Owner Operators


1. Even though owner operators are independent, they are not afraid to ask for help. They go to financial advisors to figure out the best business plan and they go to accountants to help them with their taxes. In most cases, accountants know where and how to save you money or get you more money with your returns.

They ask other successful owner operators questions about the business, as well as gather all the new information they can. There’s always new information to learn from new magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and more.

2. Successful owner operators have a plan, and they stay focused on their business plan with long term and short term goals to make their business plan successful. They don’t just buy a truck and hop on down the road. They set goals for how much income they should get for the month and the year. Sometimes they try to make a certain amount of trips.

Goals are set on an individual basis, so set the ones that best fit your needs. Also, be decisive when you make these goals, to avoid wasting a lot of time procrastinating. Owner operators need the ability to quickly make decisions on a daily basis, so if you’re indecisive practice making choices without delay.

3. They’re committed. The owner operators who make it know that they’re playing the long game. Sometimes they won’t see success for years, but they don’t give up. Instead, they keep trying to build their careers.

You have to commit more time to your job, meaning you’ll drive weekends and you’ll have more overtime hours. Chances are you’ll miss one or two baseball games or the school play. If you like to be home more often then you might want to consider sticking to being a company driver.

Also, you have to commit to your clients and we mean really commit. In order to get more business by creating long lasting relationships, you need to regularly call your clients to check in with them and provide outstanding service by making pick ups and drop offs on time.

4. They have good attitudes. It’s impossible to make it as an owner operator without having a positive outlook on things. Don’t let problems get you down, and don’t start cursing everyone and everything. Instead, know that you’ll figure out a way to solve the issue and have a sense of humor about it.

Plus, be honest. Don’t give unrealistic expectations about what you can do or exaggerate about the difficulty of a route to try and entice people to give you sympathy or more money. Know your value to get an accurate figure for your worth.

5. The top owner operators are organized. They have all of their receipts, expenses, and bills accounted for and clearly listed. Plus, they have records of their mileage reports, fuel type, and fuel costs for the IFTA reports, 2290, and more.

You’ll be responsible for all your taxes and all of your paperwork. You’ll need to be able to find it at a moment’s notice, and it would be even better if you remember where all of your important documents are. If you want to make it as an owner operator then your days of having piles of paperwork in random places are a thing of the past.

Owner operators also look a lot better when they keep their trucks clean. Your truck is the tool that makes your business possible and can be seen as your office, so wash off the mud, salt spray, and bird poop to keep it looking all pretty and shiny. Also, keep the inside clean by throwing away trash at every truck stop, cleaning up stains, and taking the necessary measures to keep your cab smelling fresh.

6. Last but not least, successful owner operators are self-sufficient. A major part of being independent is being on your own. You have to hold yourself accountable and plan the best routes to save fuel and make a delivery on time. Only you will be responsible for filing your taxes on time.

You have to be realistic and manage your money well. Before splurging on something awesome like a new dirt bike, remember that sometimes the trucking business gets slow and you’ll need some extra savings set aside to cover all of your bills.

No one will be looking out for your health but you, so be responsible and choose a few healthy meal options, make sure you get enough sleep to drive safely, and get out to exercise by walking around truck stops when you can.

Are You Up To The Challenge?


Do you possess these six success traits that the leading owner operators have? If so it might be time to quit your day job to own and operate your own rig. As long as you have motivation, a good plan, and your finances are in order you can get on your way to becoming a successful owner operator.

For more trucking tips check out ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.
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