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Showing posts with label Owner Operators. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Owner Operators. Show all posts

Friday, May 5, 2017

Rookie Driving Mistakes To Avoid

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The last thing you want to do on the road is look like a rookie. While truck drivers receive a lot of respect, it’s the drivers who seem experienced and like they have been driving for a decade who get the most respect. Even guys who have been driving for 3 or more years can still look like rookies to the seasoned professionals, so avoid the rookie mistakes listed below so you can be considered one of the top dogs. 

Rookie Driving Mistakes to Avoid


Don’t drive while distracted. If another driver catches you texting, holding your GPS, reading a book, or something else ridiculous you may not live it down. Plus, driving while distracted is extremely dangerous.

You’re providing a service to millions of people while transporting goods, but you want to keep those people safe on the road too. Avoid electronics and anything else distracting while on the road.

When it comes to your GPS type in your location before your start driving and make sure that it’s safely and securely mounted on your dash or windshield. If you’re typing stuff into it while you drive or it comes loose and you have to pick it up then a major situation could quickly be created.

Speeding is a major sign of a rookie driver. Not only is speeding dangerous and unnecessary, but it’s not fuel efficient. When you’re spending tons on fuel then saving where you can make a big difference! Driving about 10 mph below the speed limit will result in some major savings on fuel. Don’t worry about making cars around you mad by going slow, they will pass you either way.
 
Remember to take turns slow too. Rookie drivers often forget that they’re hauling a long trailer and turning too quickly to cause it to flip. Also, cutting a turn too close can result in running over curbs or hitting other vehicles which is always awkward. You don’t want to damage your freight or have accidents on your record.

You know those signs that suggest driving a certain speed or tell you the clearance of bridges? Yeah, don’t ignore those. Those signs are there for a reason, and that’s because other drivers have tested the limits of those exit ramps and bridges before. If your truck takes a tumble or you scrape your trailer you might be laughed at for a while.

Greenhorns don’t use their turn signals. What’s up with that? It’s important to let other drivers know what your intentions are. Other drivers can’t read your mind if you’re trying to merge over. By not using your turn signal you could cut people off and make them slam on breaks, creating a mess of things.

You also need to know when the right time to merge is. Some drivers move over the second they hit their blinker, and some guys wait too long to get over. Don’t hesitate and make sure it’s clear first. But if you wait too long other drivers will think you accidentally left your blinker on and will speed around you.

Another sign of rookie driving is tailgating. Don’t ride people’s butts! If they suddenly need to break there is no way you’re going to stop in time and could plow into or right through them. Plus, tailgating insight road rage which could lead to a potentially dangerous situation. 

Drive Like a Pro


You’re on the road for a reason, it’s your calling! Take pride in what you do by driving like a professional. Slow down, play attention to traffic signs and laws, and never drive distracted. Then before you know it you’ll be the seasoned trucker giving new drivers advice.

For more driving tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about what gives rookie drivers away in the comment section below.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

How To Find Trucking Jobs

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Being a trucker has its perks. Your cab serves as your independent office where you can listen to whatever music you want loudly, and enjoy the freedom of working alone without anyone else around to annoy you, except for those in other vehicles. It’s pretty awesome. But apart of being a successful trucker involves the ability to find trucking jobs, so where should you look? Luckily for you, we have the answers. 

How To Find Trucking Jobs


The first step is simple, look online. Use your laptop, phone, or tablet to check out job sites. There are a few job sites that that cover a broad range of industries and there are others that are dedicated only to trucking. Use those sites to search for jobs, and to post your resume so that employers can find you.

There isn’t just one magical place to find a job, there are many. People are using the internet in new ways every day to look for quality people to hire. Check out social media sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn, forums, company sites, and ads. Opportunity is everywhere.

If you’re just starting out remember that it will look better if you have a little experience. Consider going to a driver school to learn the basics and to get some time behind the wheel. Also, you will need to get a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License and pass the Federal Motor Certification Safety Regulation or FMCSR exam. It has a written, hearing, and physical part, and you’ll need to pass the physical on an annual basis. Some bigger trucking companies will actually provide driving and CDL training when they bring you on board.

You don’t need a college degree, but you do need your GED. Also, you will need a clean driving record. Make your record is clear of accidents, tickets, and DUI’s, as those will make you unqualified for some companies.

In order to get some experience, you need to put time behind the wheel. It’s generally easier to be a long haul trucker at first, instead of a daily local driver. Driving around town involves being on small crowded streets and having to back up and maneuver around parking lots on a daily basis, and you may only do that stuff a few times a week as a long haul trucker.
 
Also, local trucking companies are a little bit harsher about incidents even if they aren’t your fault

Where are you located? You may want to consider moving closer to a good city for trucking. As of right now, the top trucking cities include Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Columbus, OH. Other cities in the top 10 trucking locations include Dallas, TX, and Nashville, TN, so those are good places to look.

You can turn to load boards or freight boards online. They allow freight brokers to post loads for drivers to bid on. It’s a good way to get started, but the loads are extremely competitive, and it looks better to have a long term relationship on your resume.

Try to build a good relationship with a shipper. To do that, act like you care, clean yourself up to look and act professional while picking up and delivering loads. Call the shipper to check in with them, deliver loads on time, drive responsibly, keep your truck clean, and more.

As an owner operator, you can lease yourself to a carrier. The carrier will find freight for you, provide dispatches, handle the paperwork, and more, in exchange for getting to use you and your vehicle. However, the carrier also will get to keep an agreed upon percentage of the load.

Get to Truckin’


If you feel the call of the road why not start trucking? The trucking industry is growing and is always looking for qualified drivers as a result. As long as your driving record is clean and you can pass the certification tests why not enjoy the freedom of having a trucking career?

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about where to find a trucking job in the comment section below.
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Friday, April 7, 2017

Why The Economy Needs Truckers

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Have you ever noticed that truckers are proud of what they do? They’re the proudest people out of any other industry, and that’s because what they do is extremely important. Without their hard work and long hours the economy could collapse, so if you don’t appreciate trucking, here is why you should.

Why The Economy Needs Truckers


There are over 8.7 million trucking-related jobs in the US today. That’s a lot of jobs. Some of these jobs include driving and others include dispatchers, fleet owners, owner operators, and more. Without this booming industry, where would all of these workers go for employment?

Trucking jobs give those in the trucking related industry paychecks, and they use those paychecks to buy things, which in turn boosts the economy. Maybe you own a lamp store, because of truckers not only are lamps delivered to your store, but the people in the trucking industry can also buy one of your lamps.

While more and more people are going to college these days, sometimes getting a degree or two isn’t an option for everyone. Trucking can provide an upper-middle-class salary for those without degrees, giving them an opportunity to earn more for a better quality of living.

There are small communities based in rural areas that actually depend on truckers traveling through them to survive. Drivers buy gas, food, pay for lodging, and more. Their dollar can really help independent businesses like cafes in small towns stay in operation.
 
Do you like being able to go out and buy stuff? Then thank a trucker! Truckers move more materials than planes, trains, and even boats. If fact over $7 billion dollars worth of goods is transported by truckers.

Truckers are responsible for moving a lot of stuff from waste, healthcare related items, food, refrigerated items, clothes, manufactured items, and more. They move raw materials like cotton to the factory to be made into shirts, then they move those shirts to retail stores. Do you want a shirt to celebrate your favorite football team winning the SuperBowl? Then you need a trucker to haul the raw materials and finished product for you.

When you see a trucker on the road you may try to guess what they’re hauling, but unless you can clearly see the animals in agricultural trailers or logs on logging trucks then there is just no way to be sure. They could be hauling skittles, fresh milk, a sailboat, fair rides, a chemical used in ink, or more. The possibilities are literally endless.

Truckers may be on the road, but they’re also responsible for keeping the road nice. Certain taxes like IFTA or International Fuel Tax Agreement and the HVUT or Heavy Vehicle Use Tax are applied to qualifying heavy vehicles. These taxes are then used to maintain and repair public roadways. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a big pickup truck or little convertible, you have a truck driver to thank for the smooth pavement and safe bridges that you drive on.

We Need Truckers


Truckers are responsible for moving more cargo than you think. Unless you bought something handmade from a local craft show then chances are that everything around you was on a truck at some point! 

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about the importance of truckers in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Owner Operators Need To Budget

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Trucking is a hard industry to break into. Many drivers attempt to make it big and bring in a lot more money by becoming owner operators, but they fail for various different reasons. Sometimes they just don’t put in enough time, sometimes business is just slow. However, the number one reason new owner operators fail is because they either can’t budget or just don’t try to. Learn from our budgeting tips to help you save money to keep your owner operating business going.

How Owner Operators Budget Properly


We understand that budgeting is hard. It takes some self-control and discipline. When the money is there it’s fun and addicting to spend, but if you spend it all you could find yourself up the creek without a paddle pretty quickly.

One of the most expensive things drivers face on the road is food. You may not realize it, but fast food lunches, snacks, and dinners at sit down restaurants add up quick. Before you go out on the road buy your snacks in bulk, also plan ahead by bringing meals to store in your fridge, microwave or cook in a crockpot.

By cooking your own meals and having your snacks on hand you’ll save money and you won’t have to stop every time you get hungry. Plus, the meals you prepare are often much healthier options.

Another expense that adds up is the cost of lodging. Every time you stay in a motel you’re spending money that you don’t have to. By getting a mattress, a nice bedding set, and some blackout curtains you can turn your sleeper cab into a space that’s even more comfortable than a hotel.

Nothing is exciting like a semi truck is. When guys are starting out they want the coolest rig to barrel down the road in. You can get that super awesome new truck one day, but consider starting off in an older rig, or leasing a truck when you first get started in order to have lower monthly payments and sometimes even a lower insurance payment.

Depending on your client there could be a 1 to 3-month wait before you get paid for a load. You could consider using a factoring company to get paid the same day. With factoring companies, you’ll make an agreement where the factoring company pays your invoice from a client. They’ll pay you a percentage of the invoice the same day and then your client will pay the factoring company and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest. It’s a way to get money faster, but you’ll get a little less as a result, so budget it wisely.

When the bigger paychecks start to roll in, save them. A lot of guys go out and start to buy fun stuff
for their families and take vacations instead of saving their money. Then when business is slow or their truck needs a major repair they’re out of luck and their business goes under. Trust us, you always need to keep an emergency fund.

We have tips to save your gas because it’s actually your number one expense. First of all, slow down. Actually going to speed limit, or staying at 65 mph will save you tons of fuel. Also, gradually speed up and slow down, to avoid slamming on brakes. Stick to the interstate when you can, unless you need to avoid traffic jams and rush hours. Also, you can save a lot of fuel by cutting down on your warm up, cool down, and idling time.

Take care of your truck. Don’t get lazy and skip out on routine maintenance. Be sure to change the oil, filters, rotate the tires, and more to keep your truck in tip-top shape. The goal is to get every penny you can out of it to avoid the major expenses of having to buy a new truck or pay for a repair.

You Can Become A Budgeting Pro


By studying your books and keeping track of your profit and loss record you can easily give yourself a budget and start to really save money. It does take a little practice at first, but soon saving money will become second nature to you, and your business will reward you later for it. Nothing saves the day like an emergency fund to help you cover your bills and keep your business afloat.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about budgeting in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Use Factoring To Get Paid The Same Day

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The trucking industry can be hard to break into. You need a good cash flow to get your business started and to keep it going. Just because you’ve established yourself as an owner-operator doesn’t mean that you won’t face slow periods where you need a little extra cash flow to get by. Now, this doesn’t mean give up, it simply means consider the option of factoring to get cash fast for your business.

Factoring

Factoring can be the solution to helping you manage your cash flow for your company because it helps you get cash fast because factoring is an advance on accounts receivable.

Basically factoring companies give you a cash advance by paying you for the invoices on loads that you’ve already delivered. Usually, once you deliver a load you won’t get paid for it until 30 to 90 days later, so factoring cuts that time out by paying you the same day.

Drivers and owner-operators tend to turn to factoring as a way to keep their business afloat or to get their business started for a variety of reasons. For example, factoring could be the best option to get paid the same day when drivers can’t cover their bills, when they have a major fuel invoice, or need to pay their drivers. Different companies have varying amounts of time on when drivers actually get paid, and factoring will help drivers get paid the same day instead of waiting.

When you’re just starting out and want lease a new truck factoring can provide the cash that you need to cover business-related purchases in order to get your owner operating business going.

Before you get paid you will negotiate an agreement with the factoring company. The money you get upfront will be a percentage of the amount the load your client owes you. In the factoring agreement, your customer will pay the factoring company for the load you delivered and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest.

Our Top Factoring Companies

Here at ExpressTruckTax we pride ourselves in providing quality service and helping truckers out in any way we can, that’s why we’re telling you about two trusted, and outstanding factoring companies that you can turn to for cash advances.

Since 1994 TCI Capital has been helping those in the trucking industry and more get the cash they need on the same day instead of waiting for it. TCI has experienced and knowledgeable representatives to help serve clients with even the most unique funding needs.

Also, TCI offers the credit history and payment trends of potential clients to help companies take on new customers with confidence, and provides online reporting to keep you informed about your transactions at all times.

FleetOne has 28 years of experience in trucking finance and will work hard to get you funding within 24 hours. By providing credit checks and offering an experienced support team to answer all of your questions, FleetOne makes the factoring process quick and simple.

The FleetOne mobile app can be used to make factoring even easier, by providing you with the ability to take a picture of invoices, documents, and more to instantly scan and upload to your FleetOne account. The app also keeps all of your documents and transactions in one convenient location.

ExpressTruckTax is Here To Help


If you have any questions about factoring or about what we can do to help you e-file your HVUT and accurately calculate your IFTA totals please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team at ExpressTruckTax via live chat, phone, or email.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

DIY Hacks To Make Your Sleeper Cab Feel Like Home

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DIY Hacks for Sleeper Cabs


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.

DIY Hacks To Make Your Cab Feel Like Home


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 earplugs to 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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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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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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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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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

4 Ways For Owner Operators To Improve Business

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Maybe you want to be an owner operator for the obvious reasons like the freedom of owning your own rig and making your own transport decisions, or you’re currently an owner operator looking for ways to improve your business. Either way, it takes a patience and a few attitude adjustments and you’ll have to develop a few new habits in order to get the bigger paychecks to roll in. Luckily we have a little advice on how to make it big as an owner operator.

Successful Qualities In Owner Operators


1. Realize Your Value


Right out of the gate you have the realize that people will pay you for your value. You’ll earn as much as you’re worth, so it’s not good to get cocky and lazy. Assuming that your work is worth more than it is won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you have to put in the time and build quality relationships.

You will have to put in more hours. If you’re already working overtime, unfortunately, you may have to squeeze in even more hours on the road. Your weekend life may become a little nonexistent for a while in order to establish yourself. Also, keep in mind that more hours on the road, means more time away from home, so it’s best to be in a position where your pets and family understand why you’re around less.

With more freedom comes more responsibility. You have to make the calls, schedule dispatches, file all of the paperwork, and more. You also can’t assume that other people will fill out paperwork on time or correctly. Be sure to check in on them and go over their work. 

2. Be Practical With Income


The thrill of a bigger paycheck is extremely exciting. It gets you thinking about all the stuff you could buy, like a lift kit for your wrangler or maybe even the down payment for a pool in your backyard. However, you have to wait before spending money on yourself, because there are bumps in the road.

There will be months where business is slow, your truck will need work done, you could catch an illness that makes you unable to drive for a few days, and you could be apart of an accident. We can’t predict the future, but we do know that some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. So, make sure you have money set aside to cover emergencies.

When it comes to your truck a warranty can help, but they don’t usually cover everything. Take care of your truck. Keep it clean, take it for regular maintenance and tune-ups. Don’t push those oil changes off! Your truck is your expensive tool, it’s not a toy. It’s best to get the total value out of it so you don’t have to face the high costs of getting a new one. 

3. Market Yourself


People won’t magically come to you, you have to make yourself available, and you have to find them. Then build long-lasting relationships with them. Building a longterm relationship with a carrier will bring in more business on a regular basis. You don’t want to have to go hunting for more work every month.

However, not every carrier is the right carrier. Some cut corners and have bad practices. Research everything you can about your options as far as their rates, costs, customer records, safety records, internal relationships, and more.

Take advantage of the internet. Have a site for your business built and spread yourself all across social media and trucking boards. Create a LinkedIn profile and place ads on Craigslist that include your resume. Make it possible for anyone looking for an owner operator to find you. Also, establishing a web presence could lead you to lifelong networking opportunities to keep your business afloat for as long as you can keep on trucking.

Being an owner operator is expensive. Be sure to total in the costs of gas, meals, truck insurance, cargo insurance, tax fees, truck payments, and more. If you like getting breaks on a few of these expenses maybe you should stick to being a company driver.

4. Be Patient


Stay calm, and keep driving. It takes a long time to become a successful owner operator, we’re talking months to years. On average, an owner operator takes home about 40k during their first year, and that’s if they work extremely hard.

You need to slow down and be a planner. Make meetings with financial advisors to get a business plan together. Take the time to consider all the options when buying a truck, between new, used, or leasing.

Heck, take a step back to think about if you truly want to be an owner operator. Seek out other owner operators and ask them for advice on how to get started and what it really takes.

Do You Have What It Takes?


As long as your patient, realistic, ready to put in extra work, and make financially smart decisions you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful owner operator. For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and be sure to comment on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.


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Friday, January 13, 2017

Have You Seriously Considered Leasing Your Truck?

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Alright, so you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator or independent driver, that generally comes with getting your own truck. However, have you carefully considered all of your options from buying a brand new truck, buying a used truck, or maybe even leasing a truck?

The Benefits of Leasing


Sometimes leasing gives truck drivers a break because buying a trucks is just outright expensive. For a reliable truck, that's older and used the costs are about upwards of $40k. Plus, to get a loan for that bad boy then you need good credit, what happens if you’re rejected or if your credit causes you that have a higher monthly rate?

Well then, you can lease. Leasing provides smaller down payments, and generally provides you with lower monthly rates, even though some leasing companies have step up payments, which means after a period of time the monthly payments will go up. Also, along with lower monthly rates leasing your truck may provide you with more tax deductions.

However, don’t get discouraged, if you want to have your own truck one day, you can do it. Simply keep driving a company truck for a while and save up some money while cleaning up your credit or check out leasing options, some of which include leasing to own.

Leasing is basically agreeing to pay a company a fixed monthly rate in exchange for the ability to use their truck for a set amount of time. You are bound by a contract, that generally lasts about three years or so, which is much shorter than the commitment of buying a truck. At the end of the agreement, you can return the truck, lease it again, or work towards owning it. Returning the truck early or breaking the lease will come with fines and consequences.

When you lease a truck you can get the picture of what it would be like owning your own truck and the extra expenses that come along with it. For example, you’ll be responsible for the maintenance repairs big and small on your leased truck. Plus, all of the insurance that comes with it, like cargo insurance, health insurances, and more.

Luckily at the end of the lease agreement if you see that you actually don’t want to own your own truck and miss the financial comforts of driving a company truck you can simply return your truck. Leasing is much more flexible than owning a truck.

Technology is moving quickly these days. Every time you buy the latest, most innovative truck, something more advanced rolls out about an hour later. With a leased truck you can more quickly upgrade to more advanced and more fuel efficient trucks on a regular basis.

If you end up buying a truck and then realize it isn’t the correct career move for yourself, then you could lose out on a lot when you sell the truck due to the depreciation of its value.

However, you might enjoy the freedom that comes with leasing. It gives you more of an ability to quickly change companies if need be. Plus, you can choose a truck that’s best suited for your personal preferences.

Is Leasing Right For You?


If money is tight and you’re chomping at the bit to get started as an independent trucker leasing gives you a quick way out with a cheaper down payment and lower rate. It also comes with more freedom and flexibility to either return your truck to upgrade to a nicer one more often. 

However, you should speak with an accountant or financial advisor first to determine which move is best for your career plans and current financial situation.

For more trucking advice keep checking back with ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your thoughts and experiences with leasing a truck in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We're Revealing 8 Secrets About Average Owner Operators

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If you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to become an owner operator in most cases the risk is worth the reward, if done properly. However, if done improperly you could go under pretty quickly and build up a lot of debt. In order to see if the owner operator or independent trucker lifestyle is right for you, we’ve put together a list of common traits found in successful owner operators.

Secrets About The Average Owner Operator


1. Owner operators are financially smart. When the bigger paychecks finally start to roll in they don’t blow it all on a new pool table or jet ski. They set money aside until they can afford that cool stuff later in order to plan for accidents like major truck repairs or for when business is slow. Engine repairs or accidents can set you back quite a ways, so it’s best to be prepared.

2. They’re older guys. I guess some truckers just need to grow up a little first before making the transition to becoming an independent driver instead of a corporate jockey. The average age of truckers for both men and women is about 37 when they become owner operators and the average age of owner operators out there on the road right now is 55.

3. Most are patient and persistent creatures of habit. They’ve lived and driven around the same area for years, and realize that success doesn’t come overnight. You could spend years building your personal business before it really takes off.

Plus, they take care of their trucks with regular maintenance. By squeezing every penny possible out of their rig it will last longer and they won’t have to deal with the major expenses of getting a new one, so don’t skip out on those oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, and more.

4. The majority of owner operators are gone most of the time. They put in more hours and spend more nights away from home. More miles put on the road is simply a part of the job if you want to make it. To avoid putting stress on your family and relationships remember to call time or facetime them as much as possible. Hopefully, you won’t feel guilty about missing a few holidays or special occasions too.

5. Now this isn’t a plus, but it is a fact. Most owner operators are unhealthy. They’re obese, they’re smokers, and have issues like high blood pressure. In order to take your business further and have the energy to maintain it get a little healthier. Try to go for healthy snacks like a package of almonds or a heart healthy omelet for breakfast. Maybe see where you can fit in an extra walk around the truck stop or experiment with exercises you can do from your cab.

6. Owner operators tend to be experienced, drivers. They have some education like a high school degree and maybe a little college, but in most cases, they went to driving school and completed their courses. They were determined students who put at least 60 hours of driving training behind the wheel to learn how to drive like a boss. Plus, most owner operators don’t come from average desk jobs, they spend a few years out on the road trucking for companies first.

7. The average owner operator is a planner. They don’t spend down time twiddling their thumbs or checking facebook, they spend it planning their next move. When their freight is being unloaded they’re scheduling a new pick up. Also, they’re always thinking about who they need to call in order to build good relationships and gain repeat customers.

It’s important to check in with the people you regularly work with to show interest and keep spirits high. It’s also important to market yourself to new customers. Either from your office or your cab think about where to go and who to call next instead of going in blind.

8. They answer to almost no one. While owner operators still have to comply with DOT regulations and taxes like the 2290 and IFTA they don’t have managers constantly watching them to make sure they follow every little company policy. They only keep up with their own standards which do involve a high level of professionalism. The fact is they have a nice level of freedom on the open road.

Are You Ready To Become An Owner Operator?


The average owner operator is a hard working person who is financially smart. They’re planners and don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease. If you’re ready to take the leap make sure you have a good head on your shoulders for being your own boss and the persistence and patience to make your business successful.

More more trucking tips keep coming back to ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your facts about the average owner operator in the comment section below.
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Friday, January 6, 2017

Do You Have Time To Be An Owner Operator?

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The ultimate trucking dream is to, of course, become an owner operator. I mean heck, who wouldn’t want the freedom of planning their own hours and routes, without a supervisor breathing down their neck. The answer to that question is simple, it’s the guys that simply don’t have the time.

The Extra Hours Owner Operators Put In


When it comes down to it owner operators simply put more time in on the road. They drive farther routes and often end up racking up a lot of overtime. Sometimes they only sleep about six hours a night before returning to the pavement. Can you safely operate a truck on less sleep? If you like feeling well rested you might wanna stay on the company dime.

Plus, more hours on the road mean more hours away from home. Do you have a wife, girlfriend, kids, or even a pet back home that you don’t want to leave? Sometimes relationships become strained with extra hours spent away. If you want to be home with your loved ones, then, by all means, be with them.

If you have a demanding schedule, like custody of your kids every other weekend or a pool league that meets once a week then being an owner operator might make you miss these agreed upon activities. Not only will you have less time away from home, but you’ll have less time for personal activities like watching football games, working on your bike, or catching up on the latest action movies and video games.

Also, it takes awhile to even get started as an owner operator. The process isn’t for the impatient. You have to get a plan together and go to meetings with financial planners to see the proper way of starting your business. It involves a lot of waiting and talking. Then you have to try to get loans and depending on your credit, that could be tricky. You might have to set up a few meetings with different banks and wait to talk about your loan options.

Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of time before jumping in a truck and taking off down the road. In fact, it may take a long time to even find the perfect truck for you. With so many options to consider from new to used, buying or leasing, or leasing to own you need to consider what will work best for your financial situation in the beginning.

When you finally have the right truck you have to put in more time to maintain it. The goal is to give every single pennyworth out of it, because with no truck you have no business. You’ll have to go to the dealership for regular oil changes, check the oil filters, replace the belts, and more. You’re gonna have to keep your truck clean and smelling nice, as it’s basically going to be your office, so treat it as well as your first born son.

Then when you finally take the leap to becoming an owner operator it can take years to become established. You have to spend time on the phone to build long lasting relationships with shippers. You have to have a website to professionally represent yourself and take the time to build an online presence on social media.

You also have to get good at being an owner operator which takes practice. It takes a while to learn how to plan productive routes with pick ups and drop offs near each other so you aren’t hauling an empty trailer. You also have to learn how to be a good salesman to sell yourself, and it’s also good to learn how to save money here thereby becoming a fuel efficient driver or with budget planning for meals and supplies.

If You Have The Time Go For It


Why wait? The perfect time for getting your plan together to become an owner operator is right now! As long as you have the time to make the right plan, get the right rig, and can handle putting in a lot of extra hours you can enjoy the trucking freedom of being your own boss.

for more trucking tips be sure to visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on be a time consuming owner operator in the comment section below. 
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rookie Mistakes New Owner Operators Need To Avoid

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So, you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator and cutting ties with your dumb jerk of a manager for the freedom of the open road in your own truck? Well, at least you’re doing one thing right, by putting some actual thought into it. It’s a big step and can sink your finances pretty quickly if you make the wrong moves. Let us help you out by sharing some tips about rookie mistakes to avoid.

They Don’t Run The Numbers


New owner operators will crash and burn pretty quickly if they don’t consider the costs it will take to keep themselves afloat. While you’re barreling down the road in a company truck look at all of the miles and consider the cost of gas, the cost of food, maintenance costs, repairs, and more.

Plus, can you take on more monthly payments? Part of being an owner operator is owning your own rig, and they’re expensive. You’ll also have to get insurance for your rig, and for yourself, adding two more monthly bills.

Don’t forget that hours also add up. Can you handle the longer routes? Are you prepared for overtime? Will your family understand the increase in the amount of time that you're gone on the road? 

Rookies Don’t Save Money


Part of the pull of being an owner operator is having more money in your pocket, but you can’t just throw your hard earned money at a brand new bike or a fancy car. You need an emergency fund because accidents and surprises happen.

Business could get slow and you’ll need your emergency fund to pay the bills or your employees before they bail and your entire operation falls apart. Plus, we know you’ve seen your fair share of wrecks, what happens if your truck gets involved? Can you cover the major repair costs? Will your business sink if you’re without your truck for a month or more for repairs? 

New Guys Waste Down Time


New guys like to take breaks. They don’t take advantage of downtime to plan and prep for their next drop offs, pick ups or loads. When you’re hanging out at a dock during an unload it’s tempting to catch up on phone games like Clash of Clans or browse social media, but you could be cleaning or maintaining your truck.

Doing simple tasks during your down time will save you time during your days off. Clear out your fast food trash, attend to spills, and clean up sticky messes to keep your cab neat and clean. Put on your oil suit and go under the cab for a little maintenance. Plan out your next route, complete with food stops. It only takes a little less goofing off to be an efficient planner for your business. 

Tenderfoots Buy New Trucks


Now a big part of being an owner operator is choosing your truck. You get to pick it with all of its glory. New guys often go for a brand spanking new rig with all the bells and whistles. They don’t consider the big monthly payments and insurance costs that come with new trucks.

Starting off in a used truck helps you squirrel away a lot of money with cheaper down payments and cheaper monthly rates. Plus, if you discover that being an owner operator isn’t your thing then used trucks often have a better turn around rates for your wallet. When the time is right and your finances are in order you can upgrade to a brand new truck. 

They Skip Out on Regular Maintenance


Maybe your used rig isn’t the best, but it’s yours. You’ll love it as your firstborn. Why make unnecessary costs of upgrading to a new truck too soon? Get the most miles out of your truck by getting in the habit of doing routine maintenance. Get the tires rotated, get the oil changed, replace the bests and spark plugs so your rig can keep on trucking.

You’ll actually be surprised by how good you’ll feel by sticking to deadlines instead of taking the lazy day out and driving extra miles in between oil changes. 

Is It Time To Become An Owner Operator?


Are you ready to take the leap to advance your trucking career? Are you ready for your own truck on the road, without sticking to annoying company policies? Are you financially set to launch your new adventure? If so, then go for it! Just make sure you’ve thought the costs and risks through and have a solid plan.

If you have rookie mistakes to add to our list be sure to comment in the section below. Also, check back with ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking tips.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Costs to seriously Consider When Buying A Rig

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Whether you’re becoming an owner operator, a fleet manager looking to expand your operation, or tired of leasing, it might be time to buy your own rig. However, there are a few hidden or not so obvious costs to consider. Be sure to consider the following costs that go into buying new or used tractor-trailers before busting out your checkbook.

Costs to Consider With New and Used Rigs

First things first, you’ll need a down payment. Spending between $10k to 40K on a new or used rig will help you get a lower monthly rate. That’s another thing, every month you’ll have a big new bill in the mail!

When buying a new truck the monthly bill will be there for years hanging over your head. Buying used will give you more of a short-term investment that you can pay off in a quicker amount of time, with a possible lower monthly rate.

Did you know that new trucks come with fancy warranties? There are even extended warranties! They can really save your butt if you need a repair early on, but they also can add a lot onto your monthly tab.

Warranties on older rigs cost a bit more, because obviously and older rig will need more maintenance than a newer one. Say you’re interested in a rig with over 500k miles on it, it will hard to get a detailed report about it’s driving history. At least with a new rig, you know every detail about it. However, with an older rig the warranty payment may balance out with the cheaper monthly payment.

Although, keep in mind that even though older rigs are sturdier they usually have more issues and bigger problems. For example, most older truckers need a total engine rebuild around 700,000 miles! Plus, are the axles, tires, transmission, suspension, and more in good shape?

Have you considered insurance? Legally you need it to keep your truck on the road. Insuring a brand new rig will add more to your monthly bills. Driving without it could leave you with huge penalty fees, especially if you’re involved in an accident. Generally, trucks with cheaper values have cheaper insurance rates, but if you have a bad driving record your rate could skyrocket. Watch out for those speeding tickets!

This may seem obvious, but trucks with all the bells and whistles cost more. Do you want an automatic truck? Do you make overnight trips? If so, do you want a medium-sized sleeper or one with an extended roof?

As mentioned above, older truckers are often built a bit sturdier. This comes in handy with the resell value. If you’re looking for a truck to start out in then make sure you get something you can resell later when you’re ready to upgrade. Avoid a cheaply made new truck that you will have trouble flipping later.

At the end of the day, you’ll still have to consider all of the maintenance costs. Gas, which is cheaper in newer, more fuel-efficient rigs can really add up. Maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups, taxes, filing fees, repairs, and more may cost more on an older rig too.

Don’t just head down to the lot and pick a pretty color, research your options and go with a list of what you’re looking for in a new or used rig to make sure that you get the best option for your current financial state.

Get That Rig and Get to Trucking!

If it’s the right time to get your first new truck, a new to you truck that’s used, or upgrade to a better truck then go for it! It’s a great feeling to go down the road in something that’s totally yours. Just make sure that your finances are in order and you take the time and consideration to find your perfect match.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, be sure to share your truck buying experiences in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Common Start-Up Trucking Company Mistakes

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Trucking is a competitive industry that millions of people try to break into every year. Also, many truckers seek to make the transition from truck driver to owner operator, and unfortunately a lot of them fail. If you want your trucking company to make it avoid these common mistakes.

New Guys Don’t Plan

Sometimes new trucking company owners don’t take the time to consider what will make their business work or fail. Instead, they say goodbye to their managers and take off down the road without being sure of their next move.

They don’t sit down with a CPA or business professional who can help them draw up the plans for getting equipment, hiring a few people, getting loans, and more. They go in blind and get hit with too many unknowns, and often times crawl back to their manager to ask for their job back as a result.

They don’t plan for more than one load at a time. They haul something to a city far away and drive home with an empty trailer wasting days at a time. Try to get a few loads near each other to make getting out there and back home worth it.

Their Finances are a Mess

With a bad credit score and bad financial planning bring on a lot of problems fast. If you spend all your money on one top of the line rig what will your other drivers use? Something that should have been left in the junkyard years ago?

Don’t just jump in and buy something. If your credit is a mess you’ll have trouble getting a proper loan, or your monthly rate and interest charges may go through the roof. Consider leasing as a cheaper option. There are even lease to own options available.

Another rookie mistake is not having any money set aside for maintenance and accidents. Trucks need regular servicing and run into problems just as much as we do, so be prepared in the event of dents, dings, and accidents. Will you be able to stay afloat if one of your trucks can’t be used for a month?

Then they also forget or don’t realize that shippers pay out on 40 to 60-day bases, so for a load they deliver today, they might not get paid for it for up to two months. What in the world? No money for two months? Then how will you pay your bills and employees? By planning ahead by having savings in advance ready to go in order to avoid payday loan services.

They Cut Corners

Instead of taking the time to call people in their area and develop quality relationships with shippers they just hit the load board over and over for quick, one-day loads that are competitive and don’t offer much return.

They get shoddy equipment that quickly malfunctions and hire less than reputable truckers that will deliver a load for cheaper, but don’t exactly build the best relationships with truckers.

They skip out on quality people to work in the back office at home. Without someone to do the paperwork and filing then it will all come back on you. Do you have time to handle everything yourself? Will you remember to keep up with tax filings and DOT regulations?

They Don’t Market Themselves

How can shippers choose you if they don’t know who you are? Put your brand on the side of your trucks. Put your drivers in uniforms with hats and shirts that display the name of your company.

Also, you can have a small team at home that works on making outbound calls to shippers in order to set up meetings to introduce yourself and talk about your business. As a result, long lasting relationships with repeat customers can be built.

You need to invest a little into having a professional website that displays your contact information. Plus, take advantage of social media to display your trucking company to millions of people online. Eventually, as your budget grows you can invest in google and social media ads.

They Start off too big

A lot of new guys cut off more than they can chew in the beginning and may choke as a result. Instead of slowly growing with two rigs they jump into business with five new trucks. If you don’t have loads for them to carry they’ll sit and collect dust as the bills pile up.

They hire truckers from all over. Someone in Charlotte will start paying guys in New York and Chicago instead of getting in with their local guys who usually are more reliable with cheaper rates. Creating a few personal relationships with truckers you can give raises to as your company grows will take you a lot further than have too many truckers all over the place.

There are too many people in the back office. New owner-operators get nervous about all the stuff that needs to happen so they’ll bring on secretaries and a big sales team, without considering the fact that they can’t pay that many people yet. Wait for the business to roll in before promising paychecks to too many people.

Slow Down and Plan it

Your trucking company can be successful. All you need to do is sit down with a financial planner and build a plan for your growing company. It may take off a little slower than expected, and there may be a few more things to consider than you thought, especially financially.

However, by taking it slow and adjusting to your new role as an owner operator and by building quality, long lasting relationships, before you know it you could have 10 trucks in your fleet or more!

For more tips on how to make it as an owner operator visit ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your secrets to success in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Consider The Facts of Becoming an Owner Operator

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Do you want to become an owner operator? You love trucking, and the call of the road runs through your blood, but are you ready to take the next step to further your trucking career? Becoming an owner operator is a serious choice that can’t be made overnight, but considering these following facts may help you weigh in to make your final decision.

You Have to Talk to the Suits

It isn’t as simple as gassing up the rig and hitting 70 on the highway when becoming an owner operator, you need a plan. You also need to get around all of the red tape with the proper licenses and meet the standard regulations.

Most likely you’ll have to put on a nice shirt and go visit the offices of financial planners, accountants, and professionals who know the business and can help you make a serious plan for your trucking business. Trust us, even if you want to be independent and hate the idea of sitting in a boring waiting room, you’ll be a lot better off with a plan and guidelines to follow.

There are way More Costs Than you Think

As an owner operator, you will have to be financially smart and set budgets for your personal paychecks and meals. Can you handle sticking to a certain budget for every meal or will you buy a filet mignon at the beginning of the trip and be down to a loaf of bread a jar of peanut butter by the end of it?

How much debt do you have? Are you close to unburying yourself? Can you add more to your credit cards to spruce up your rig and make necessary repairs? On and off the road, emergencies happen, do you have funds squirreled away to handle them, even if you can’t work for a month or more? Will anyone give you a loan? Hopefully, your credit is in good shape.

Are you prepared for the future? You’ll need a lot of insurance, including disability and life. If you become disabled and can’t work you’ll need the regular checks to keep coming in to help you out. Also, if you don’t make it in the event of an accident don’t you want money going to your wife and family to get your affairs in order?

It Takes More Time

Are you ready to put in the time it takes to be an owner operator? Can you handle driving longer hours with further routes? Will you mind driving all weekend? You have to be ready to put in a little overtime, or while getting started and establishing yourself, a lot of overtime.

Do you like to park on the weekends at stops to talk to your fellow road warriors and catch up on some tv or shoot the breeze to talk about what the bears with ears are catching on the CB or how the turtle races have been grinding your gears? Unfortunately, owner operators have less time to fraternize.

Is your home life demanding? Do you have a wife and kids to get back to? Do you have to be back every other weekend for custody of your kids?

You and Your Truck Might not be Healthy Enough

How old are you and how do you feel? Can you stay up for longer hours to drive farther? Do you have the time to put in overtime hours or are you just too exhausted? You never want to push yourself past the dangerous limit!

Do you have a growing health condition that will require more time for rest in doctor visits in the future? Will you need time off for treatment? If so then it might be the best time to make the jump to owner operator.

How old is your truck? Can it make the distance? How many miles have you and your loved one gone together? Do you own your own trailer and is it in good condition to haul various loads of frozen foods or materials? What if you needs to haul liquids or livestock? Do you have the necessary trailers or will they be another expense?

You may Miss Company Comforts

Leasing yourself to a company or being totally independent is always something to consider. While the freedom of not having to say yes sir to a supervisor and not having to follow dumb little rules may seem irresistible, you might miss the perks.

Working with a company comes with company trailers, paid time off, reimbursements for permits, miles, gas, and more. Plus, you can get on a company insurance plan. It’s a little less work, with a little more financial padding, even if you have people to answer too.

Do you Have What it Takes?

This article isn’t meant to put you down or discourage you from taking the steps to become an owner operator, it’s to make sure you’re prepared. Consider all the costs and the effort it will take. In the end, if the timing is right, your finances are in order, and your health is in good condition then there’s nothing like being an independent owner operator, making your own schedule, without any managers breathing down your neck. It’s pure trucking freedom.

Learn more about becoming an owner operation at ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below. 
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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

An Owner Operator's Guide to 2290s

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An Owner Operator's Guide to 2290s
An Owner Operator's Guide to 2290s
We know that truck drivers have plenty of headaches to deal with. Whether it’s crazed four-wheeler driving through inclement weather or just the hassle of making ends meet, there’s always something adding stress to your world.

We know that some of these might seem unavoidable, but we’ve built our company around making your life easier. Over the last few years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to simplifying heavy vehicle use taxes, and providing an affordable and intuitive way for truckers like you to e-file their 2290s.

We’ve taken that one step further! Let’s talk about how all you Owner Operators can e-file your Form 2290s with the ExpressTruckTax mobile app.

All About the ExpressTruckTax App


Available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, the ExpressTruckTax App is the easiest way you can take care of your heavy vehicle use tax without accessing a computer.

Best of all? It’s free to download and create an account! You can’t beat that.

Let’s look at some of the cool things you can do with the ExpressTruckTax App:

First, e-filing Form 2290 is easy and can be done in just a few short steps.




You can also correct and resubmit rejected returns, free of charge.




Plus, you’ll save time by getting your Stamped Schedule 1 in your email!



Customer Support From People Like You


The best thing about ExpressTruckTax, it doesn’t matter if you’re using our app or the website, you can always contact us if you have any questions! Our dedicated support team is located in downtown Rock Hill, South Carolina, meaning you’ll always be able to talk to someone just like you.

After all, you have enough frustrations as an Owner Operator. The last thing you want is your call for help ending up in another country, with someone who has no knowledge of your issue!

You can reach us Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm, ready to help you if the need arises.

If you’ve e-filed with ExpressTruckTax, you know the service and customer support we offer. If you haven’t, click the link below to start e-filing your 2290s with the ExpressTruckTax app!


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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.