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Showing posts with label rookie truckers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rookie truckers. Show all posts

Friday, August 4, 2017

Join Rigs Without Cigs

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In some cases trucker health could really be improved. The industry is full of dedicated, hard working men and women that are plagued with conditions like high blood pressure, chronic back pain, sleep deprivation, diabetes, and more. While there are tons of articles and support for healthier eating and trucker exercises emerging, one aspect of poor health that often gets overlooked is smoking.

That’s why the St. Christopher Trucking Fund is doing their part to invite all smokers to join Rigs Without Cigs. 

Rigs Without Cigs


Rigs Without Cigs is a year long program sponsored by the St.Christopher Truckers Fund and a few other enthusiastic drivers to bring awareness to the trucking community about smoking and to provide tips and support to help finally gain their freedom back from the deadly habit.
 
You can preregister for the program now, and it starts on September 1st, 2017 and ends on August 31st, 2018. When you sign up you will complete an online questionnaire and then you’ll receive tips on how to quit nicotine, along with encouragement and accountability on a weekly basis through a network of support from fellow drivers. You can join at the beginning of each quarter of the year and continue the program during the year.

While the St. Christopher Trucking Fund will provide you with information about how nicotine addiction works, smoking triggers, smoking aids, and alternative therapy options, it's highly recommended that each participant receives an individual consultation with a doctor to determine the best method of treatment.

You will not be alone on this quest to stop smoking. You can encourage your friends, family, and fleet members to quit with you and you will have the support of other drivers. Also, there will be quarterly conference calls with Dr. John McElligott so you and all participants can discuss progress and find the answers to any questions that you may have.

If you sign up for Rigs Without Cigs at GATS, The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX you will receive a gift and a free doctor consultation. Plus, there will be prizes drawn for participating drivers during each quarter along with a grand prize drawing for drivers who stay involved for the whole year. The prizes will be provided by Road Pro. 

For more information about Rigs Without Cigs and the official rules and regulations click here.

Smoking Makes The Road Dangerous


Eliminating smoking will help improve your personal health and increase the safety of the road. Drivers should really quit smoking because: 

- Smoking is a major cause of distracted driving. While you’re looking for your cigarettes, lighting them, smoking them, and more, your eyes are off the road and your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.

- Smokers get less REM sleep, meaning you don’t get well rested even if you get the recommended amount of sleep. Driving is an exhausting job and driving tired is the equivalent to driving drunk.

- Smoking raises the risks of getting cancer, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, and more.

- Smokers are often affected by mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, anger, and more, which can be dangerous on the road.

ExpressTruckTax Believes In You!


There’s no better time to quit, plus joining Rigs Without Cigs will connect you to tons of other truckers who also want to kick the nasty habit. If that’s not enough you will also learn tips about how to quit and could win some awesome prizes. Do you part to make the roads safer and the nation’s truckers healthier by signing up today or while you’re attending GATS.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Safely Beat the Trucking Heat this Summer

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We’re sure that you’re aware that summer is here in full force. While summer comes with a lot of swimming, fun, and maybe even a vacation, it also comes with hard work. We know you’re putting in a lot of hours on the road, maybe even in areas with record-breaking high temperatures. When you’re in the heat you face risks such as sunburn, skin cancer, overheating, and even heat strokes can occur. So, be sure to stay safe out there this summer and spend a moment here today to learn how to beat the heat!

Beating the Heat


The sun can be your friend, but also your enemy, so protect your skin from its warming yet harmful UV rays. This is achieved by applying sunscreen a few times a day. The sun shines through your truck windows and can even give you one heck of a truckers tan, so remember to apply your sunscreen during breaks or stops.

It’s also good to wear protective clothing to shield your skin from the sun. Long sleeves and hats go a long way towards preventing sun damage. Just keep a long sleeve shirt around in your cab to throw on while you’re driving, you don’t have to wear it all the time or during stops. Remember to protect your eyes as well with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Otherwise once the light and heat reflecting off of the road your sight could be comprised.

You need to hydrate properly with water. Soda will need to take a backseat so you don’t overheat. Water is much more effective at hydrating your body than soda and can help keep you cool and prevent the blinding headaches that come with heat exhaustion.

Be sure to keeps things cool. Idle your truck while resting to be able to get enough sleep and place battery operated fans in your rig to keep the temperature down. To cool down after being outside of your truck for a while place a cold rag on the back of your neck or place a bag of ice or a cold bottle between your wrists. Trust us, you’ll be instantly relieved from the heat. You can also peel off a few layers and relax for a little while.

The Signs of Heat Stroke


If you’re too hot to the point of being at risk for a heat stroke you’ll be able to quickly notice the signs. Generally, heat stroke symptoms include throbbing headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, seizures, fainting, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps, weakness, lack of sweating even in the heat, and dry or red skin.

With heat sickness, you can still have headaches, nausea, cramps, and more, but you’ll probably still be sweating. Once you stop sweating then the serious threat of having a heat stroke is on.

Once you start noticing any symptoms of a heat-related illness then it’s time to take a step back. Get out of the heat or at least rest in the shade if you can and start hydrating. Warmer water that’s closer to room temperature can be easier to drink if you’re nauseous.

Take off any tight fitting clothes or unnecessary layers and lay down with a cold compress. Make sure your legs are elevated so more blood flows to your heart. Also, never hesitate to contact help because if you faint or have a seizure, then you won’t be able to.

Safely Have A Great Summer


While summer is hot and we like it, UV rays and high temperatures can do a number on our bodies! So remember while you’re either hauling loads or enjoying a well-deserved vacation to protect yourself from the elements!

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips on how to stay cool in the comment section below.
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Peterbilt Vs Kenworth: Which Side Are You On?

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There are many things that can set people apart based on their preferences, such as if they’re a dog or cat person, if they like Coke or Pepsi, if the best chicken comes from Bojangles or KFC, and more.
 
Sometimes differences may start off small, like if you like Chevy and for some reason your buddy prefers Ford. Then things could quickly escalate into the Peterbilt vs Kenworth battle, a rivalry like no other!

Peterbilt and Kenworth, like Macks, are classic examples of all American steel and power that have been around for decades. Peterbilt got its start in 1939 with the goal of providing quality logging trucks that could get the job done and Kenworth was founded in 1912 to build rugged, high performing logging trucks as well.

So, no matter what side you’re on appreciate both trucks with their dedication to the trucking industry in American history, we don’t know where the industry would be without them. 

The Peterbilt Vs Kenworth Battle


Peterbilt trucks are seen as high quality, classy trucks. They have been referred to as the Harley Davidsons or Cadillacs of the trucking industry. Some drivers simply can’t get enough of that prideful ‘I worked for this Peterbilt and got it’ feeling with all of its pretty chrome and glory.

Kenworths are often viewed as the more rugged truck. It’s a hard workingman’s truck that also offers a high level of comfort, quality, and advancements at a more economical value. They get the job done with high performing parts under the hood.

For the truckers who need all the bells and whistles then Peterbilt is the better options. Everything about the Peterbilt can be customized to suit your needs. You can design the interior feel like your home away from home.
 
Peterbilts are often seen as more spacious, more comfortable highway vehicles, but the Kenworth’s AeroCab is extremely comfortable and spacious. Plus, Kenworths are customizable too.

What happens if your Peterbilt is too big though? You need to be able to climb in and out of it easily and reach the clutch. Kenworth is seen as the smaller truck, but it provides more than enough space to comfortably reach the clutch and stretch out.

Are Kenworths the truck of the future? Some people believe so with the innovative technology included in the dash. The Kenworth’s built in navigation systems are better than your smartphone’s. Also, if your truck has a problem you can take it to any dealership in the country to run web-based diagnostic tools from an app to locate the issue and have it quickly repaired.

That doesn’t mean Peterbilt is stuck in the stone ages though. They have advanced safety testing and include a DPA (Driver Performance Assistant) to give you live feedback on how to improve your driving skills. They also have some fuel efficient and hybrid electric engines up their sleeves.

When It Comes To Buying Your Truck


Buying a rig is a huge, expensive commitment. Don’t make your choice based off of the Peterbilt and Kenworth battle. Test out each truck to see which one works best for you and your business. Heck, you could even find out that a Volvo is the best option for you.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share which truck is your favorite and why in the comment section below.
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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Trucker's Guide To Driving In Teams

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You often think of trucking as a solo activity, just a man and his truck. However, these days there are a lot of female drivers and even team drivers. Teamwork makes the dreamwork, but driving with a partner is surprisingly different from going down the road alone. We decided to look into team driving ourselves to get the full scoop.

What To Consider For Team Driving 


The concept is pretty simple. You have two people in a truck instead of just one, and you drive in shifts while the other person sleeps. This works wells because both people can drive up to 11 hours per day, meaning the truck covers more miles in less time. As long as you can sleep while another person drives then this system should work out pretty well.

More miles comes with more money, so that’s a big incentive but that money is also split between both drivers. Some married couples have rigged the system by driving together to take home all of the pay!

The most important thing when it comes to driving in a team is pulling your weight. Split the driving hours evenly, help with the loading and unloading unless you need sleep. Do your part to keep the rig clean and don’t eat all your partner’s snacks without providing food for them as well.

Now if you like your personal space then team driving probably isn’t an option for you. Think about it, trucks aren’t very big and you’ll have to split the space. Some people just casually place stuff in bins, and others develop an even storage system. Do what works for the team.

That’s another thing to consider, you won’t be able to do everything the way you want, you’ll have to work with another person. You’ll have to decide who drives during the day or at night, when to stop, and more. We’ve heard of some cases where drivers don’t want to stop and some people have had to use the bathroom in bottles. That happens on solo drives too though.

Driving tired is the equivalent to driving drunk. If you drive tired you’re risking your passenger’s life. Also, you should let your partner sleep, so he will be refresh and energized to safely drive you. This means that you may not be able to blast loud music or take phone calls all the time. You’ll have to adjust your personal driving preferences for your partner.

Other things that come into play are if you’re a smoker and your cleaning habits. If you’re a little messy and you get paired with a neat freak you might have a problem. Also, if you don’t smoke and your partner does, but you refuse to let them smoke in the cab tensions could quickly escalate.

With all this partner talk how do you even find one? That’s easy companies can assign one to you and work out the details and paperwork to agree to, or you can put an add out to find one yourself and handle the details yourself.

When you get a random partner, we hope you like them. Keep in mind that you could also get a partner of the opposite sex. This is mainly an issue for women because lady drivers need to feel comfortable with their partner.

Is Team Driving For You?


While it can be nice to have a buddy on the road, especially when you need some help, most drivers prefer to drive either with a pet or totally alone because they don’t want their personal space compromised. However, if you can trust your partner and be a respectful driver yourself, why not cover more ground together?

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about team driving in the comment section below.
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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 28, 2017

From MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge Tips

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We had a great time at MATS, the Mid-American Trucking Show, in March, but now it’s time to get our rears in gear for GATS, the Great American Trucking Show! Why exactly do our rears need to be in gear? Because it’s time for the MATS 2 GATS weight loss challenge and we have the fitness tips to help you win.

From MATS to GATS Fitness Tips


GATS takes place in Dallas Texas from August 24th - 27th, and if you thought MATS was fun you’ll be in for a whole new trucking experience at GATS. However, are you up for the weight loss challenge?

Will you join forces with your fellow members of the trucking industry to lose a combined weight loss goal of over 2,000 pounds as a team by August 25th in the MATS 2 GATS challenge? Do you think you’re up to the task? Well then sign up here by May 31st! You will even get a t-shirt and a wristband for joining the challenge and we don’t have to tell you how cool trucking related shirts are. Plus, ToughTested will even be providing prizes! 

However, how exactly does a member of the trucking industry lose weight? By spending hours on the road and at work without much time to exercise this task might sound difficult. However, there are a lot of small changes to your schedule that you can make to shed some extra pounds.

We understand that the idea of losing weight can be totally unexciting because you know that you will have to diet and give up awesome foods, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Strict diets and cutting out some foods completely often results in rebounding hard and regaining all of your lost weight.

Instead of totally cutting out carbs and sugar learn how to eat healthily and in moderation. Limit your calories and replace bad snacks like chips and candy bars with fruit or nuts. Plan your meals in advance. If you have a big breakfast then go for a light lunch. Also, healthier options like salads with grilled chicken will fill you up more than you think.

Planning ahead and taking healthier options with you in your truck or to your office will help you stick to your healthier meal plan. Instead of dealing with the hassle to pull over for a snack or go out and buy lunch your healthier option will conveniently already be waiting for you.

Put down the soda cup. Instead of drinking insanely sugary sodas to stay awake go for sugar-free options like black coffee or green tea. These options even come iced and will keep you awake longer because you won’t have a sugar crash.

Also, you don’t need to join a gym or adopt some crazy time-consuming workout routine to lose weight, even though they help. You will be surprised by the results you will see simply from moving around a little more.

Try to get in some extra steps by walking around the truck stop or office. It really doesn’t take that much time to hit the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day by taking a few extra steps here and there. Some truckers just circle their rigs a few times.
 
Every time you use the bathroom or a tv commercial comes on do some planks or pushups. These are exercises that can be done anywhere, even with limited space. You can use a pair of resistance straps in your rig with some free weights to work out after you park.

The next step is easy. Get enough sleep! It’s hard to lose weight when you’re stressed, and when you’re tired your body craves more sugary items for energy. By relaxing with a good night’s sleep your body will be ready to drop some pounds and won’t give you as many cravings for foods you shouldn’t be eating.

Join the MATS 2 GATS Challenge


Trucker health is extremely important. It’s time to join forces with your trucking industry family to shed pounds and help prevent the health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep deprivation, and more that come with being overweight. Step up and join the MATS 2 GATS challenge!

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your weight loss tips in the comment section below.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Sleep on the Road?

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Snooze you lose? That statement is false because it’s more like you lose if you don’t snooze. Driving is an exhausting task, especially for truckers. If you add the exhaustion from driving for hours with sleepless nights then by the end of your trip you will feel awful. Learn how to eliminate stress and grogginess by checking out our tips on how to sleep on the road.

How to Sleep on the Road?


First, we want to remind you how important getting a good night’s rest is. Driving tired is dangerous because it’s the equivalent of driving drunk. When you’re tired then you’re more likely to be confused, stressed out, and have more cravings for sugary foods.

Sleep deprivation leads to slower reaction times, which is dangerous while driving and health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and more.

To stay in a good, alert mood, and feel your best then you really need to get some good sleep. But how do you do that in a truck?

Evaluate your sleeping materials. You will be spending a lot of time in your truck, so why not make it more comfortable? Invest in a quality cab mattress and a comfortable pillow, as well as a nice blanket. Think of it as making a miniature bedroom away from your bedroom at home.

Then block out all of the light. You could be sleeping in the day and you could be sleeping at night close to bright truck stop lights, so investing in a nice set of blackout curtains is a good call. That will take out the light from truck stops and the sun, but what about the lights from electronic devices inside your cab?

An annoying glow could keep you up for hours. Be sure to unplug everything you can before laying day. You also have the option of investing in a comfortable sleeping mask to block out every source of light around you.

Are you one of those people who can’t sleep through loud noises? Then a good pair of earplugs could do you some good. What if you can’t sleep when it’s too quiet? Then get a fan or a noise app to cover up silence as well as loud noises.

Have you ever been too hot or too cold to sleep? Well, don’t let that happen in your cab. Luckily, temperature issues are easy to fix with a fan or portable heater and an extra blanket or two.

Know where to park! You need to pick a place where you feel safe enough to sleep and one where people won’t knock on your door in the middle of the night. Pick well maintained and lit truck stops. Also, don’t dangerously park on the side of a busy road where cars that whizz by can make your trailer shake.

Give yourself time to unwind. Parking and going straight to sleep can lead to you just laying there all frustrated. Take a little break to read a book, relax with some stretching, or check out Netflix. However, video games, phone screens, and other stimulants should be avoided.

Keep your space clean. Even if you’re comfortable with messes on a subconscious level a messy cab can really stress you out. Make sure your bed and storage areas are kept free of clutter and funky smells.

Sometimes a distracting air freshener scent can keep you awake, along with moldy or nasty smells coming from old food wrappers. Place a can of coffee grounds or box of baking soda under your driver’s seat to soak up any and all odors.

Sweet Dreams


Once you start getting a good night’s rest you’ll realize how much better you feel. Better sleep boosts your mind, energy, and health, so you can focus on driving safely. Don’t be the grumpy trucker that’s secretly just tired!

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about getting good sleep on the road in the comment section below.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

REAL Women in Trucking Presents Their Queen of the Road Finalists

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Did you know that the number of women in the trucking industry is growing more than ever these days? Even though trucking is a male dominated industry, more and more women are finding their way in with a strong and confident passion for what they do. However, women in the trucking industry have big challenges to face.

That's why REAL Women in Trucking presents their Queen of the Road finalists, to help shed light on the struggles for women and spread the truth about real encounters in the industry, to inspire other women to reach for their trucking dreams.

Queen of the Road - The Finalists 


The purpose for creating the Queen of the Road Awards presented by the REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. Organization is to create a dignified recognition for truck drivers who have overcome personal challenges and demonstrate a “Pay it Forward” attitude to help others by sharing their wisdom.
Nominations for the finalists closed in November 2016, Voting for the finalists ended December 31, 2016, The top three finalists have been selected though they have not yet been announced. No photos or names have been published until now to avoid bias.
Giving Back” by providing accurate information to those who are struggling to find their way through truck driver training has been the cornerstone of the REAL Women in Trucking organization.
R. Reaching Out (Outreach)
E. Encouraging Others (Accurate Information Empowers, It Does Not Discourage)
A. Achieving Personal Success (Whatever that measurement means to each Individual)
L. Leadership (To “Pay It Forward” demonstrates the mindset RWIT encourages)
Adversity: Several of the finalists have lost a child to accident, medical condition or because they did not have an adequate support system to help them when they needed it most. Some of them also experienced sex or hiring discrimination that included harassment and retaliation. They could have quit and found another line of work yet they relentlessly pursued truck driving, a profession they felt passionate about. Many people experience such obstacles but there are the special few who take the time to give back with gratitude by helping someone else who is struggling.
The “Queen of the Road” Awards is sponsored by HaulHound , the three (3) finalists that received the most votes will formally be announced during the “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise March 2017. The winners do not need to be present to win though they will be notified prior to the cruise if they would like to attend.
The following biography profiles for all finalists will be read aloud during the cruise ceremony. This is the first time their names and photographs have been published in association with this award.
1. Alison Morris
~ Losing a family member (Her Mother) as a teen set her on a troubled journey that lasted over a decade.
For most people, there could be no return from the path that Alison took.
Thanks to a kind mentor that patiently provided her an introduction to truck driving, she was able to reinvent her life and was taught a marketable job skill she loves.
Today, Alison is an owner-operator who recently received her own authority. She hauls open deck trailers and is running her own business.
Each day she continues to grow as a human being, becoming a strong encouraging woman. “Alison has a huge heart who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it” says Shannon Morris (no relation) who nominated Alison. Shannon is also an owner-operator that pulls an open deck trailer.
2. Daisy Delaney
~ Daisy exemplifies “shattered but not broken” determination. She experienced traumatic childhood events that separated her from her parents and as a Mother she endured the heartbreak of a nasty child custody case.
She may have given up but instead she has focused on becoming an exceptional driver and an emerging leader in our industry. Daisy sets goals for herself, and in a short time she has been able to move from being a new driver in a training fleet to a true open deck trailer owner operator.
She gives back to others in a number of different ways such as feeding the homeless, talking with other drivers who are experiencing loneliness on the road, and at one time had helped to create a shower credit exchange for drivers.
She shares her life on the road experiences on Facebook to help others who are looking for advice. Daisy can also be seen on the newly launched Transportation Nation Network as a panelist on the “The Drivers Lounge”. Daisy was nominated by Dawn Ling, a driver with three decades in the business. Daisy she says is a “… extraordinary woman who has incredible energy and the fine qualities of a person who will give back to others unselfishly…” Daisy has also shown that she is sharp, perceptive and has quite a good sense of humor as you can see by her photo submission. Yes, Daisy, we published it!  😉 
3. Adriesue “Bitzy” Gomez
~ During the late 1970’s Adriesue “Bitzy” Gomez found truck driving as a means to support her three Daughters as a single Mother in a decent fashion. Truck driving paid about $500.00 per week in the 1970’s which was good money for a woman though the sacrifices were great for her since she had no support system to help with childcare while she was on the road.
Since she lacked family that could help with her girls, she sought out neighbors and friends to babysit while she was away. Compensation she paid was barely enough to cover their food and laundry while she was away. Without truck driving, her alternative to provide for her children was to remain in an unhappy relationship or go on welfare, both she said left her feeling degraded.
A common practice she encountered when she entered truck driving when seeking employment was to be told that she would have to have sex with the instructor to pass her road tests.
Rather than walk away from truck driving discouraged she fought back by exposing the “Sleeper Test” a form of “Quid Pro Quo” Harassment that still exists today, and most commonly reported to be occurring at some of the larger truck driver training fleets that train new students who require team driving as part of the training.
Bitzy often said that women entering trucking must stand up for themselves and adopt to their vernacular the statement that “…co habitation with a man they have no relationship with is not a requirement for employment…”. She began working with other women truckers to file hiring discrimination lawsuits against a number of trucking fleets. These women worked together to identify carriers that would deny employment based on gender and challenge their practices in court. She won many of her battles which led to some of the EEOC “good faith” hiring requirements we see in the industry today. Bitzy was a founding member of the “Coalition of Women Truckers” that was formed under the NOW organization. She was written about in TIME Magazine, Women’s World Magazine and numerous newspaper articles.
She was known internationally according to her Daughter Delores who said that she remembers women truckers from the United Kingdom coming to visit her Mother in California during the late 1970’s. The Coalition also pushed for women’s restroom facilities at truck stops and walked picket lines to support other driver causes.
During one of her over the road trips, Bitzy’s babysitter’s home was raided by welfare investigators who came in the middle of the night. They were suspicious that the babysitting activity was additional unreported income, which was a common practice in the late 1970’s. As a result of the raid, the children were placed into foster care. Bitzy returned to California to search for her Daughters and fight the State of California to get them back.
Her job as an over the road truck driver had been deemed unfit for a woman. She lost custody of the children but eventually she was able to afford representation from a young lawyer by the name of Gloria Allred according to Daughter Delores Gomez.
During their time in foster care the girls were harmed emotionally and sexually. Bitzy was finally able to be reunited with her kids. She later went on to become a truck driver with the teamsters.
The Coalition of Women Truck Drivers at one time had international membership and chapters throughout the United States.
It ceased to exist after the custody battle. Bitzy did her best with what she had to focus on the healing of her children. Today, women truckers rarely recognize the sacrifices that Bitzy Gomez and her three Daughters made on behalf of all of the women who have entered truck driving as single women that had no advocate and simply had a deep desire and determination to become a qualified truck driver. Bitzy loved truck driving which gave her the financial support and self-confidence to live with a level of dignity despite other hardships she endured in her life. She was once quoted as saying, “…a good truck is what a man should be, big and strong, and takes you where you want to go…”.
Bitzy tragically died in April 2015 in Santa Ana, California while attempting to cross a busy street as a pedestrian where no crosswalk is marked. Her Daughters are currently fighting the city to have a crosswalk put at the location. Bitzy was 72 years old. Bitzy was nominated by Idella Hansen.

4. Janet Steverson
~ Janet began driving around 1996. At her CDL school she was often called out by instructors to intimidate and humiliate her in front of her other classmates. She did not allow this ridicule to deter her. Time and again she showed she has what it takes.
She graduated from her CDL training driving school and went straight to hauling tankers. For 2 years, she pulled a refrigerated trailer from Florida to California with produce.
Today, she drives a tanker locally and says it is the best job she has had.
Janet is knowledgeable in all aspects of trucking and has served as a trainer to others including her Brother, Cousin and her best friend. She has a reputation for always going above and beyond what she must do and going out of her way to help rookies, not just women.
She has been known to stop to help drivers chain up in snow storms and has aided in accidents to offer whatever assistance she can. Her niece Kasi nominated Janet and calls her “…phenomenal person on and off the road. Whenever she sees a person in need she offers help and her prayers”.
5. Sandi Talbott
~ Sandi jumped many hurdles in her career as a truck driver. She started as a team driver with her husband Jim hauling explosives and radioactive material. When he became ill, she cared for him on the truck and became his caretaker when he had become an amputee.
Sandi cared for Jim while adjusting to becoming solo driver in the outlaw days where at times she had to run both of their shifts. When Jim passed away she continued to drive hauling meat products.
Today, Sandi is 75 years of age and possibly one of the oldest women driving a truck solo in the United States.
Alison Morris nominated Sandi Talbott and says “Sandi is always available for phone calls, she is encouraging to young and old alike and often likes to underline the need to “keep it professional” and that “it can be done”.
6. Idella Hansen
~ “She gives from her heart at every move she makes, she does not tear people down; she lifts them up to be the best drivers they can be”.
Idella has held the hand of many others through tough issues and helped them to overcome. Anyone who knows her is a witness that she gives back daily to others.
She has her hand on most situations yet when she has trouble she admits it and looks for solutions. If she doesn’t know the answer to a problem, she will find out. She volunteers for many truck driver organizations and shares her expertise with new drivers and old timers.
She is strong, sweet and confident in her abilities without being arrogant and obnoxious; she will help anyone who asks. Idella Hansen was nominated by four different people for the “Queen of the Road” Awards, Lori Baker, Sandi Talbott, Geneva Handleman and Michelle Kitchen.

7. Dee Sova
~ Her early years in trucking were challenging. First, as with so many women entering trucking becoming a professional truck driver, being a woman itself was quite a trial. Being a black woman increased the challenge. As she says, “I had to keep my composure a lot”. Her greatest challenge however was losing her child to a drunk driver during her years driving.
Through strong determination, she has taken her trucking challenges as well as her personal tragedy and loss to become an advocate for women truckers as well as a spokesperson for the nationally known non-profit organization called, M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Dee made a conscious decision to become one of the best speakers they’d ever had and to never let anyone forget her daughter. She was a volunteer speaker, and she went on to join the board of directors as both the Secretary and the President of the founding chapter from 2005 – 2007.
Dee is popular in social media and dedicates herself to mentoring teaching and encouraging women within the trucking industry. She features and lifts many other women on her sites. She shares her life experiences with all transparency, the good and the not so good, in order reach women and let them know that they are not alone when it comes to life’s challenges, and she is there for them. Dee has been able to turn her difficult life experiences into triumph and now mentors, teaches, and encourages others to do the same.
She has devoted herself to care for women coming into the industry, coaching them along, to push themselves through the trials of life through faith and integrity. She has a deep faith in God and she is driven by a desire to be a blessing to woman drivers. Dee Sova was nominated by Donna Smith. 
8. Finalist 8 has been disqualified
9. Candace Marley
~ In May of 2009 her trucker husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma which was already stage 3 when they found it.
Candace was a 3rd shift stocker at Walmart making just a little above minimum wage and taking online classes to finish her Associates Degree in Business Administration when he was diagnosed, he was at that point too sick to work. Her $8.00 an hour job was not going to support a family of four, so, she decided to do something she never once entertained the idea of doing, to become a truck driver herself.
The choice meant she would have to be away from her husband and kids to complete training but hitting the road she felt it was her best option in order to be able to support her family. She completed truck driver training at the same time she was completing her online courses, she finished them right about the same time as her CDL training.
Her husband went through his therapy and during that time, she was only able to visit with him twice. Unfortunately, the treatments he received did not work. Candace turned in her truck on October 20, 2009 to bring her husband home from Washington where he was staying with his family while he received treatments. He passed away on October 22, 2009 before she could get him home to Ohio. Over the next two years she wallowed in grief, unable to work or live any kind of significant life.
As she worked toward reclaiming her life she started paying attention to all the trucks on the highways and realized how much she really missed being on the road. With the help of her mother’s friend she was able to get back to driving doing flatbed work. Eventually she moved onto Don Hummer Trucking where she is currently employed. In a short time she became one of only a couple of female trainers, at one point she was the ONLY female trainer.
At this date she has trained approximately 14 women to become “Over-The-Road” (OTR) drivers. Candace says “Not once in all my life would she have EVER thought that she would become a truck driver and LOVE it” She refuses to give up her career without a fight. It’s the first one that has ever given her the feeling of job satisfaction and she looks forward to being a driver as long as she is physically capable of doing so. Candace Marley was nominated by her friend Cassie Fletcher.
10. Naza Silvia
~ Naza overcame challenges from the moment she entered truck driving school. She said even her name created apprehension from some of the people she encountered in the trucking industry. Naza, who is from Brazil endured ridicule from fellow CDL students and an instructor that did attempted to discourage her from success.
Her male trainer told her that she should not become a truck driver because “trucking was not for women…that she should stay at home”. In order to reinforce his control of her on the truck he refused to stop and allow her to have bathroom breaks.
Naza became a qualified driver nonetheless and started her Florida based business five years ago. She did not utilize any business or bank loans. She is a one truck, one trailer operation based out of South Florida. Sheer sweat of her brow is how she has succeeded. Naza always gives back by making herself available to mentor new people in the industry, giving advice, encouraging company drivers to become owner operators and is always helping others says her Niece Elizabeth who nominated her.


Congratulations, Queens of the Road 


Here, at ExpressTruckTax, we believe every fabulous lady on this list is a queen of the road. We appreciate your hard work and all that you do to help motivate and inspire other women in the trucking industry. Heck, we even hear about times where men learn what to do from female drivers! 
To learn more about what it's like for women in the trucking industry visit realwomenintrucking.com, and please tell us about female trucker in your life who deserves to be a Queen of the Road 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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Friday, March 31, 2017

A Look At ELDs

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The trucking industry is a growing and changing business. Oftentimes new proposed rules and regulations come out in an attempt to improve the industry. Generally, people want to promote driver safety, health, and slash costs for those participating in the industry. However, sometimes these changes are met with great resistance from drivers. One example of this is the Electronic Logging Device Mandate.

Electronic Driving Devices


The Federal Electronic Logging Device or ELD Mandate is in full swing, meaning that all drivers keeping paper logs have to switch to an ELD by December 18th, 2017.

An ELD is a small device that connects to a truck’s engine in order to record the date, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, driver information, user authentication, vehicle, and motor carrier information. The device will keep detailed records of truck driver’s habits.
The purpose of ELDs is to accurately report a driver's HOS or hours of service. The will let carriers know if truckers aren’t putting in enough driving hours or if they’re putting in too many. This way detailed electronic records can be kept to prevent drivers from running over their hours. Carriers will also be prevented from pushing their drivers to work over time.

A severe problem in the trucking industry is driving tired and fatigued. Driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk and it’s very dangerous. ELDs will help to make sure that drivers get the rest they need.

The ELD Mandate does include measures to prevent ELDs from harassing drivers. Carriers can’t use them to interrupt a driver while they’re sleeping or to push a fatigued or ill driver into driving more hours. Harassment from carriers will be met with fees and penalties.

A few benefits include the fact that less paperwork will be required of drivers, and they won’t have to keep up with paper logs. Plus, ELDs will allow dispatchers to stay updated on their driver’s location, so they’ll have more accurate estimations as to when loads will be delivered.

So, Why don’t drivers like ELDs?


Truckers and fleet owners don’t want to incur the costs of installing ELDs in their rigs, even though prices have recently dropped. Some ELDs are as cheap as $150 and truckers have the option of using their smartphone or tablet as an ELD as long as they meet the requirements.

If they prevent drivers from going over HOS then truckers feel as if they’ll lose money and loads, because they won’t be able to deliver them on time. However, paper logs require you to round up 15 minutes, and ELDs don’t. With an ELD you can drive up to your very last minute for your HOS.

Drivers feel uncomfortable under heavy surveillance. They don’t want to be constantly watched. Even though ELDs only record driving habits, and don’t provide carriers with video or audio feeds, drivers still feel as if they will being monitored too closely.

No one wants to be bothered by notifications. While driving or sleeping, truckers don’t want their ELD to bother them to either drive more or to stop driving. The ELD Mandate has taken action to prevent the harassment of drivers by not allowing carriers to push them when they’re tired, or send them notifications when they sleep.

Also, most ELDS automatically know when to switch in and out of driving mode, based off of the engine's activity. In order to prevent distracted driving, some ELDs don’t send out notifications until a few minutes after trucks have come to a stop.

What Do You Think?


Here at ExpressTruckTax, we want to know what you think about ELDs. Will they improve driver safety or will they just be a hassle? Please tell us what you think in the comment section below.
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Friday, March 24, 2017

The Regular Maintenance Your Truck Needs

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You can’t be a trucker without a truck. Heck, it’s even the most important part of the word. Whether you use a company truck, lease a truck, or own a fleet of trucks, they’re the most important tool necessary for your job. It’s important to keep your truck well maintained to keep it in the best shape possible. This way you’ll get every penny out of your truck and give it a good long life. So, let’s take a look at what needs regular maintenance on your truck the most.

Most Important Things To Regularly Maintain


The first step to keeping your truck in perfect shape is to become one with it. Read the owner’s manual and become familiar with the type of oil your trucks need, how to change the filters, and more. Know every sound your truck makes. This way if something sounds off you’ll be aware of an issue. Be familiar with the way your truck feels so when it starts to pull to one side or it has less power you’ll notice.

Don’t neglect tire care. Tires do a lot for your alignment to prevents damage to your suspension. Rotating your tires is a must in order to make sure that your tires wear evenly. When tires wear evenly they help produce a smoother ride and prevent damage to the suspension. Keep in mind that the tires on the front get worn out the most.

One trusty tool to always have around is a tire gauge so you can make sure that all of your tires are properly inflated to keep them even. Also, distribute the weight of your load evenly so tires on one side of your tractor aren’t holding more weight than the other. Also, don’t push the tread on your tires too long. If they’re worn out replace them! There’s no need to risk having worn out tires that slip, slide, and bust.

Along with getting your tires rotated, get them aligned and balanced. When tires aren’t aligned or balanced they put stress on the suspension and cause your truck to start pulling to the side, which decreases the handling on your truck.

Get in the habit of regularly getting your oil changed, it’s not something that should be pushed for your engine's sake. Refer to your owners manual so you’ll know what type of oil to get for your truck, and go for a high-performance brand. Spending a few extra bucks each oil change will help you get your value's worth out of your truck and more. Don’t forget about your filters so your truck can breathe easy. Oil filters need to be changed about every 15 to 30k miles.

Pay attention to your lights. They should always be working so other vehicles can see you, and you can see them. Plus, turn signals let others know your intentions and getting pulled over for having a light out is annoying.
 
A dim light can tip you off to an electrical problem, so they’re good to catch. Also, to make your life easier keep some extra light bulbs and fuses in your truck so that you can easily change lights without having to bobtail it to an auto shop.

Make sure your brakes are working properly. To be sure that they’re adjusted properly consult a professional. Sometimes automatic adjusters don’t correctly adjust your brakes. It’s also important to check your brake lines to make sure that they aren’t being blocked and are clear of debris. Also, your brake lines also shouldn’t be leaking.

Remember to check your fluid levels. You’ll have a big problem if your coolant gets too low and your radiator overheats! Plus, you need to make sure that your oil, power steering fluid, washer levels, and more are good. Then make sure that no fluids are leaking in your vehicle and that all caps are put on tightly.

Keep That Truck Goin’


It doesn’t take much time to give your truck the maintenance and care that it deserves. By doing so you’ll increase the longevity and quality of your truck’s life. Your truck is the most important business tool that you have, so take good care of it!

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