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Showing posts with label Rookie Driver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rookie Driver. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 Major Keys To Trucking Success

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Getting into the trucking business is a difficult task. Many people try to break into the market every year and fail. Either as drivers, fleet owners, owner-operators, and more. No matter how you want to emerge in the business there are risks to face. Trucking isn't just something you can wake up one day and decide to do because it takes a lot of practice and learning to be good at it.

To help you and your career along today we’re focusing on the positives to prepare you for the transportation industry by providing you with a few keys to trucking success. No matter if you’re starting out as a company driver or trying to launch your own fleet, check out these tips.

The Keys To Success

1. Budget

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that trucking is expensive. You will want to save anywhere you can, especially in the beginning. Do things like research all of your options before making a purchase. For example, don’t jump on the first big rig you see, considering buying used or leasing instead. Also, shop around and compare the best insurance rates to suit the best one for your needs.

When you’re on the road slow down. Literally, driving at slower speeds will help you save fuel, which is your number one expense. You may want to also join a fuel rewards club to see where you can save. Also, stop buying expensive meals and fast food all the time. Save by making meals in your cab and by buying your snacks in bulk to take along with you. Another way to save a lot is to sleep in your truck instead of buying a motel room.

2. Stay Healthy

When you first hit the road it can be easy to let yourself go. Literally, the trucking lifestyle that involves sitting and poor food options can be extremely unkind to your britches, because you may end up ripping through them. The amount of time drivers spend sedentary can lead to rapid weight gain, depression, heart disease, sleep apnea, and more.

Be aware of how much you sit and what you eat. Try to bring your own healthier meals on the road or choose from healthier fast food options like grilled chicken salads, which are actually very filling, just avoid the salad dressing and croutons. When you park, get a good walk in by exploring the truck stop or just by lapping your rig. Smartphones will record your steps to give you an idea of your activity. Also, you can bring strength training equipment in your rig.

3. Be Proactive

You can’t wait for business to fall in your lap. Using load boards is a great way to get started but you’ll bring in much more by building quality relationships with shippers. Call them, be polite, and deliver your loads on time. If your delivery will be delayed let your dispatcher know as soon as you discover that information. You could text them, but it’s best to call them directly and never text and drive. 

Part of being proactive is seeming like you care. That means wear something nicer than sweats and flip flops all the time, be polite, and remember to shower. Carriers talk to shippers and can make or break your reputation pretty quickly, so be professional. Plus, having a good attitude can help you get warnings instead of tickets.

4. Just Ask Your Question 

In this business, there is always something new to learn, but you have to look for it. Read articles online and simply ask other drivers for help. You can ask them questions on online forums or in person and they will appreciate being asked and usually love to talk.

Our last bit of knowledge today to share is GOAL. Get Out And Look! If you’re backing up or pulling onto a road and aren’t sure if you have a place to turn around or not then get out and look. It’s perfectly fine to take your time. Spending a few minutes taking a look before backing up is much better than hitting something.

Enjoy The Road


Congratulations on your trucking career. No matter where you are in the transportation industry you play a major role in moving our economy forward. Just remember to budget, keep your health in mind, be proactive, and if you have a question just ask!

If you have more keys to success for trucking please add them to the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Friday, August 11, 2017

The Total Eclipse Will Totally Stop Traffic

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The Total Solar Eclipse Traffic Nightmare
The total eclipse/traffic nightmare
If you haven’t already heard you should be aware that a major total eclipse will occur on Monday, August 21st, that will make areas of 12 different states in its path become completely dark for about 2 minutes and 30 seconds. This will happen around 2:43 PM EST in Columbia, SC.

Now, this is a historic event because it’s the first total eclipse from coast to coast since 1918. An entire generation has lived and passed without witnessing an event like this, and it’s the first total eclipse since the interstate system was even created. So, what can you expect traffic to be like?

Solar Eclipse Traffic


Schools and businesses are allowing people to take the day off in order to travel and see the eclipse. Meaning millions of people from all across the nation will be traveling to the 12 states where the total eclipse can be witnessed. You should expect major congestion and a few stand still traffic jams.

If you’ll be out on the road that day be prepared. Top of your fuel and give yourself enough time to account for the influx of traffic. Remember when extra people are on the road more wrecks occur, so slow downs and delays can be expected. Some major roads will actually be closed, like Interstate 57 corridor in Illinois for example.

The 12 states where you can see the total eclipse include:
An example of a traffic jam expected to be caused by the total eclipse.
 

Oregon
Idaho
Wyoming
Nebraska
Kansas
Missouri
Illinois
Kentucky
Tennessee
North Carolina
South Carolina
Georgia

Some people will plan ahead and make a trip out of this event and find a place to stay overnight to enjoy the eclipse the next day, but others will hop in their car for a spur of the moment journey. If they travel the day of the eclipse they will avoid having to pay for a hotel and taking extra time off work.

Also, if people are in traffic during this event they may whip out their phones to try and snap pictures on their phones. This will be a major cause of distracted driving and could result in accidents. Even though parking on the shoulder is illegal, people are expected to pull off on the side of the road to watch the event, which could result in even more accidents.

Plus, the sky will go completely dark in the path of the eclipse. We hope that people remember to turn their lights on if they are driving during it, but they may not. Watch out for yourself and others. Have your lights on auto or remember to turn them on to see other drivers on the road.

State troopers from all across the country will be out looking for dangerous drivers to keep the roads safe, so be sure to be on your best driving behavior. Don’t follow other vehicles too closely, speed, or drive distracted to avoid getting pulled.

If you want to view the eclipse we recommend finding a truck stop on your route and giving yourself enough time to make it there and park before it starts. Parking on the side of the road could be dangerous and is not advised. You could also take the day off and travel with your family to see it since it will be a once and lifetime beautiful event. We hope it doesn’t get rained out.

However, if you don’t care about the eclipse and don’t want to deal with the hassle of travelers we recommend sticking to the back roads to avoid traffic. Also, check your route in advance to avoid closed roads. Don’t let extra mass of other drivers rial you up with road rage, stay calm and keep on truckin’. 

Enjoy The Eclipse


Whether you will be participating in another hard day’s work or taking the time to enjoy the eclipse remember to drive extra safely and prepare for hordes of traffic. This is a major event that millions will flock to from coast to coast. 

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about the eclipse and potential traffic in the comment section below.
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Overweight Loads Involve Risky Business

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Trucking comes with a variety of loads. Sometimes you don’t even have a full load, and other times whether you’re aware of it or not, you could receive an overweight load, which comes with its own set of issues. The authorities are doing all they can to stop illegal loads from happening, so carry them at your own risk.

The Issues With Overweight Loads

Not all trucks are the same. They have different shapes and sizes, which allow some trucks to carry more weight than others depending on the amount of axles they have and the space between them. However, each truck is only legally certified to carry a certain amount of weight, and when that amount is passed then problems arise.
 
First of all, carrying extra weight is dangerous for yourself and other drivers around you. More weight makes it harder to stop in time. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to tip over. Any accidents that happen while you’re hauling extra weight will fall back on you. Even if you try to drive safe and keep extra distance between yourself and other cars, you never know what will happen.

Roads, bridges, ramps, and other infrastructure can only hold a certain amount of weight. Exceeding the limit could cause major damage. Heck, we already pay the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for the damage that our legal loads cause to public highways! More weight does even more destruction!

Sometimes you could pick up a load from a shipper without a scale. That’s dangerous because you won’t know if you’re overweight til you hit the scale, and could get pulled over on the way to one. Any fine you get is your responsibility, and trust us, you don’t want an expensive overweight ticket. As a result of ignoring your ticket, the state could revoke your license.

Sure, you could try to avoid the scales, but the DOT has caught onto that little trick. That’s why they’ve set up traps to catch drivers who seem to be evading them.

If your carrier tells you that they’ll handle any possible fines, then you’ll still be driving at your own risk because truckers are responsible for what they haul. Plus, they won’t be able to help you if an accident occurs. If your carrier persuades you to do illegal things then it’s probably time to find a new one.
 
You can actually get permits for carrying overweight loads but they vary from state to state, and you’ll need one for each state you’ll be traveling through. To make matters worse each permit has its own set of rules and regulations. For example, you may not be allowed to travel with your overweight load on Sundays or after 12 PM. Contact a DMV in each state to learn about their regulations.

You’ll also have to amend your route to avoid any areas that can’t handle your structural load. While the government actually helps out by providing routes for overweight loads to protect the roads, it’s still time-consuming to do those extra steps for planning. Also, don’t forget to hire a lead car if your oversized load requires one!

Avoid Overweight Loads

Loads happen, we all know that. We also know that sometimes you may not know what you’re gonna get. In the event of an overweight load, drive it at your own risk. You’ll be held accountable for anything that happens during your trip.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about overweight loads in the comment section below.
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Friday, June 2, 2017

Roadcheck 2017 Is Almost Here

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We know you always do a great job safely securing your cargo and driving safely to protect the lives of others around you on the road, but it’s time to step up your game. If you’re going to be on the road between June 6th - June 8th prepare for the 2017 Roadcheck

Roadcheck 2017


This year the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance or CVSA is hosting their 30th annual international roadcheck inspection. These inspections started back in 1988 in order to help inform the public about motor vehicle safety. 

It’s a big deal because this international inspection inspects an average of 17 buses and trucks per minute. That’s a ton of heavy vehicles.

The inspection will be going on for 72 hours beginning on June 6th and ending on June 8th, so if you’ll be on the road during these times be sure to be on top of your game in order to pass. If you always take your job seriously and always make sure your truck is up to code, then you’ll have nothing to worry about.

This year the inspection will focus on cargo securement because that’s pretty important. I mean just imagine all of the things that could go wrong with loose cargo. Tarps could fly off and cover the windshields of cars, loose items could clutter the highway creating a mess for vehicles to swerve around, and more. To put it simply, loose cargo equals chaos.

Now when we say to be on top of your game we mean it, because the people conducting the inspections have undergone a 3-day training course to learn what to look out for. They’re trained to spot things that are wrong. Also, brace yourself because the entire inspection includes 37 steps to check the driver and the vehicle.

The inspection will check drivers for:

Their license
Hours of operation
Motor carrier registration
Shipping documentation
Seat belt usage
Influence of drugs and or alcohol

The vehicle inspection will check:

The brake systems
Cargo securement
Coupling devices
The driveline/driveshaft
Exhaust systems
Frames
Fuel Systems
Lighting devices
Steering Mechanisms
Suspensions
Tires
Trailer bodies
Wheels including rims and bulbs
Windshield wipers
And emergency exits for buses

A good thing to do would be to replace your straps and tie downs. If the appear worn you could get a violation. Also, having all of your information together ahead of the inspection will help save time because you won’t have to dig through your cab for it.

Your attitude with an inspector makes a huge difference. A small violation could result in a warning letter to you or your carrier or a citation for you or your carrier. Be polite and professional.

We Know You’ll Pass


When it's time for your inspection and you have a positive attitude, your papers together, and you never skip your own vehicle inspections then you’ll have nothing to worry about. We know stopping for the inspection might be a pain in the rear, but it will go by quickly so you can get back on the road!

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your roadcheck tips in the comment section below.
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