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Showing posts with label otr trucking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label otr trucking. Show all posts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Finding and Accepting the Right Trucking Job

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So, you have your CDL and now you need a trucking job. It’s time to look online, in the newspaper, and everywhere else! Load boards post new loads every day and companies are desperate for more drivers, providing you with a lot of job options, but make sure you find the right job.
It can be easy to jump at the first opportunity that offers money, but you may be neglecting a better opportunity. You may also accept a load for a company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Learn what questions to ask and what to look for when considering your trucking job options.

What To Look For In Trucking Jobs


Solid Pay & Benefits

You need to make sure that you make a profit per load, or that the rate per mile is high enough to cover your bills and provide you with the ability to build some savings. Sometimes when business is slow you may accept loads to break even, but on a salary, you will want to profit. Also, after gaining some reputable experience you may be offered hourly pay.

Before signing on with a company be sure to research the pay scale and ask about scheduled pay increases, accessorial pay, layover pay, and bonuses. It’s perfectly fine to ask about future opportunities before investing your time with a new company.

While you’re at it see what type of benefits the company has to offer. Will they offer you insurance coverage? Do they have a retirement plan? Will you be offered paid time off for vacations or holiday pay? These are all important things to consider for your personal needs and the needs of your family.

Look Past Face Value


Most trucking companies will have a professional looking website with images of happy truckers, but don’t let that sway your opinion. Read the text to learn about the company’s goals and how they work to achieve them.

Also, Google reviews of the company to see what the general public and previous workers think of them. This will give you a good idea about their reputation.

ExpressTruckTax shares how to find the right trucking job
Look at how the company values safety. Trucking is a dangerous job, so if they have safety regulations put in place and offer safety training, that’s a good sign that they actually care about their drivers.

Do The Policies Match Your Lifestyle?

Are the lanes in the routes that you like to travel? Will your loads be limited to a flatbed, tankers, and dry vans or will you get to gain experience with more specialized loads? Can you get your foot in the door by hauling dry vans and eventually work your way up to heavy loads?

Do you have a family that you would like to see as much as you can? Then look at the time off the company has to offer and try to find a terminal nearby. Some companies do offer drivers the ability to go home for weekends or every two weeks. You could also consider regional trucking instead of OTR.

Do you have pet you can’t imagine leaving behind? Then look at the company’s pet policy to see if they allow pets on trips. Some places may only allow smaller animals and others may only allow dogs. The rules and regulations for cats and dogs in the rig also vary between different carriers.

The Right Trucking Job Is Waiting For You


When looking for a trucking job it’s not important to find the perfect company or the perfect load. Instead, it’s important to find the right job for you that fits your needs and lifestyle. You may have to get out of your comfort zone a little in the beginning but as your reputation builds you will have access to bigger and better opportunities.

Please share your tips about finding the right trucking job in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Monday, February 15, 2016

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

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Sleep is important. Yeah, you’ve heard it a billion times before. And from a safety standpoint, it’s a matter of life and death. Wait, what? Well, if you’re an OTR trucker, a decrease in sleep can lead to an increase in fatal trucking accidents. Add that to the health issues, and you have the perfect storm to bring a trucker down.

Does it take you more than 30 minutes to fall asleep? Do you wake several times during long sleep periods? Do you take frequent naps? Are you always tired? You probably have a sleep disorder. Now, you might think you’re indestructible, but let’s talk about how this affects you and what you can do.

18 Wheels of Safety

There are plenty of reasons why auto accidents happen – but we’re here to focus on sleep deprivation as a factor. Drowsy driving increases accidents and near misses for any driver on the road. The difference between you and a four-wheeler is you’re an 80,000 pound missile on wheels when you lose control. When you’re drowsy, your reaction time is slowed down, and you will rationalize bad decisions that endanger you and other truckers.

Most accidents occur during the hours of midnight to 2 a.m., 4 a.m. to 6 a.m., and 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. How does this impact trucking? Well, this factor is huge for commercial drivers – especially long-haul drivers – because at least 15% of all heavy truck crashes involve driver fatigue.

Health on the Highway

We’ve talked about health and fitness many times, but sleep is just as important. When you lose sleep, your body’s defenses are weakened. This increases your risk for infections, high blood pressure, and diabetes. When you’re sleep deprived, your appetite increases, leading to overeating and obesity.

What’s the Best Way to Sleep?

How you approach sleep matters, so take extra precautions for your health. Use curtains, truck shades, or an eye mask to block out light. Cover noise with a fan or a white noise machine. Make sure your cab or bedroom is a comfortable, cool temperature. And make sure you have a comfy mattress, pillow, and bedding. Make sure you’re parked in a quiet, but safe area.

While you might be tempted to hydrate before bed, avoiding liquids will keep you from having to get up in the middle of the night. Keep your distance from stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. Avoid heavy and spicy foods, and stop eating 2-3 hours before bed. Don’t forget, exposure to blue light from electronics will trick your brain into thinking you’re awake.

What Should I Do Now?

Well, if you notice any of the symptoms of sleep apnea or insomnia, contact a doctor. Make sure you’re firm with family, friends, and dispatchers about your sleep issues, when you’ll be sleeping, and that you want to avoid interruptions.

Your health and safety are vital to your job, so don’t let sleep deprivation get the best of you! You have enough to worry about with wintery roads, 2290s, and IFTA deadlines! And If you need any help on your truck tax filings, contact us by phone or email.

How do you prepare for sleep when you’re on the road? Let us know in the comments and on Facebook!


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Fitness Tips for Truckers

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You hear it all the time – trucking is an unhealthy career choice. Sure, staples like all-you-can-eat buffets, truck stop junk food, and long hours planted in a seat give the job a bad reputation. But let’s be real, the trucking life is what you make of it. And honestly, it’s up to us in Trucking Nation to turn the tide on OTR health.


Think about it, you take the time to care for your rig, deliver your loads on time, and file your HVUT and IFTA returns. In the same way, you need to care for your health. We’ve talked about yoga and healthy eating before, but we know some of you want the high intensity release of weight training and cardio to balance out all that sitting time.


Some truckers might go with a national gym chain membership, but that limits your access depending on your route and location. Have some downtime coming up? Look for hotels with fitness centers and you can get in a nice, solid workout before hitting the road again. For Owner-Operators on the long haul with a sleeper cab, you can prepare for a fitness routine by bringing your own equipment and knowing some fitness routines.

Store Small Equipment in Your Truck


We know it’s a tight fit in plenty of cabs, but there are some compact and portable fitness options for your OTR lifestyle.
  • Weights: Keep some smaller weights in your cab. You don’t want to add a ton to your tare weight, but a couple of dumbbells for strength training inside your cab is a great start.
  • Resistance: Resistance bands are a great alternative for hauling weights. With different tension levels, you can knock out a killer workout without taking up much space in the cab.
  • Jump Rope: Hey, if Rocky Balboa could jump rope and look cool, so can you! If you’re already storing resistance bands or bungee cords, toss a jump rope into the mix. Plus, it’s a really effective way to burn the calories of an 8-minute mile without running one.
  • Cycling: We’ve even heard of some truckers storing bikes behind their cabs, which is a great way to stay fit while on the road. Plus, you can get around on a bicycle without having to drive the rig anywhere.

Train Anywhere With Bodyweight and Cardio


While storing equipment works for some, there are several alternatives to hauling a portable gym with you. If you are looking for a high intensity routine geared towards building muscle, consider body weight training. By using your own weight as your resistance, you can get a great workout anywhere for free!
  • Bodyweight Squats: Need an intense bodybuilding without an entire gym? Try bodyweight squats! With your legs and thighs inactive throughout the day, squats are a great way to increase muscles and keep your body active.
  • Push-ups: Everybody knows the push-up. You might even hate the push-up, but you can’t deny the effectiveness. Push-ups work your arms, chest, and shoulders. If you’re looking for a key workout, find space to knock out some push-ups. 
  • Burpees: For an exhausting, yet satisfying burn, try burpees. With a burpee, you get both strength training and aerobics. You’ll feel the burn mostly in your quadriceps, but you’ll also feel it in your chest, calves, and hamstrings. 
  • Cardio: Of course, keeping your heart rate and body active after a long haul is important for the trucking lifestyle. With a solid cardio routine, you’ll improve your heart and overall health. We already mentioned cycling, but there are plenty of body-only cardio workouts that will help you out between hauls. 

Use Your Resources

If you don’t have any equipment on hand, you can still start a fitness routine. Take advantage of your resources until you get the proper gear for your routine. 
  • Repurpose: For weight training, try using milk and water jugs as weights. Just keep the containers empty until you get to a stop, then fill them with water. They’re also a great way to stay hydrated after a workout!
  • Straps: If you’re interested in resistance training, repurpose bungee cords or flatbed tarp straps as resistance bands. 
  • Loading: For some truckers, just loading and unloading can give a great workout. I mean, if you’re lifting boxes day in and day out, it makes sense. Just make sure to follow proper lifting techniques, so you don’t injure your back in the process.

At the end of the day, your health is in your hands. Watching what you eat and implementing an exercise routine will make the difference between a long healthy career or future health complications.

And when you’re keeping up with your rig’s tax forms, ExpressTruckTax will be here to assist you with any HVUT matters. Reach us by phone at 704.234.6005, email at support@expresstrucktax.com, or live chat via our website.




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