ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label safety. Show all posts

Friday, February 17, 2017

Safety Tools You Need To Always Keep In Your Cab

0

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.
Read More »

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 Ways Truckers Can Prevent Accidents

0
Prevent Truck Accidents
Prevent Truck Accidents
There’s nothing worse than a close call on the highway. Well, except for an actual incident!

So what’s the cause of the many trucking accidents? It’s hard to pick one thing, but we know there are a few key factors that always come up.

How can you prevent accidents on the road? By starting with yourself!

We've listened to truckers and health experts to put together these 7 tips for accident prevention.

Get More Sleep


Nothing is more dangerous than falling asleep behind the wheel of a 70,000 lb truck speeding down the highway. Which is why you hear so many people in the industry discussing the sleeping patterns, health, and practices of drivers. Federal regulations do not allow more than 12 consecutive hours of road time, but there are many drivers who do more than this.

How can you avoid sleep deprivation? Rest for short intervals and take breaks when you’re tired. With small amounts of recharge time, you can prevent sleep related accidents.

Sit with Proper Posture


Over at TruckLogics blog, we told you about how you need to watch your back while you drive. And it’s true! When you sit comfortably and don’t damage your back, you reduce the likelihood of personal injury and even roadside incidents.

Related Blog: Is Your Truck Destroying Your Back?

Keep Your Distance


Always be aware of your lane distance as you cross the highways. Knowing your stopping and starting distance, break distance, and proper speeds will be essential for proper safety on the roads.

Stay Healthy


You know what sounds dangerous? Having a heart attack as you zoom down I-95, or any local highway.

That’s why we constantly tell drivers to eat healthy and exercise. Sure, exhaustion is dangerous enough, but your heart will be all the better with proper nutrition and regular exercise. With that one-two punch, you can reduce your excess weight

Bet you’d improve your sleep, too!

Watch for Blind Spots


Depending on what truck you’re driving, your blind spot is gonna be different. Make sure you know what your blind spot distance is, so you will know how far away a car or a person really is from your truck.

This will prevent major accidents on the road, when backing up, and even when removing items from your truck during a delivery.

Maintain Your Truck


Sure, maybe your employer is “responsible” for truck maintenance as a whole, but you should always implement pre-trip inspections and keep an eye on your truck out there on the road. These checks not only reduce the possibilities for something to go wrong, they also keep you secure in your work and your driving.

Manage Your Time & Profession


Time is money. Trucking is money. Instead of reacting to what happens on the road, plan ahead and document frequently. What we’re saying is, use a trucking software like TruckLogics to stay ahead of the game.

Sure, it might not prevent an accident as well as keeping the proper distance, but having access to all of your receipts, bills of lading, and invoices in one handy phone app will reduce a lot of the stress of your life.

Don’t forget, we’re only a few months away from your 2290 deadline - be sure to keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest HVUT e-filing updates!


Read More »

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

0
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!


Read More »

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Driving Tips for Truckers

0


We’ve all seen it – you’re headed down a snowy highway and there’s a rig jackknifed into a ditch, clearly underestimating the dangers of an icy road. We talk a lot about filing your 2290s around here at ExpressTruckTax, but sometimes we need to talk safety.

Specifically, winter safety! If you’re new to the Trucking Nation, we suggest you winterize your rig this season. I mean, your route might take you all over the country, even into Canada – so it’s best you prepare for icy roads. While seasoned truckers may have their own routine, it never hurts to have a refresher.

Driving Dangers


While you’re on an icy road, make sure you approach driving with caution! Sure, we could probably write a book on roadside safety for the winter, but we decided to boil it down to a few key points.


  • Go slow! While your freight is important, your life matters most. You might think a road is good to go, but you won’t know if you’ve hit black ice until it is too late. Take it slow, at least until you know the roads are clear.
  • Top off your fuel tanks for extra weight. Not only will the extra weight help slow you down and give you more friction on the icy roads, but you never know when fuel will be hard to come by during a winter storm.
  • Tail lights can be deceiving. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles! If you’re tailing another truck’s lights for guidance, you might follow a vehicle off the road. On the same note, your lights might confuse other drivers during low visibility. Keep your distance!
  • Don’t pull over to the shoulder if visibility is low. Oncoming traffic might mistake your rig for an off ramp, a side road, or they might fail to see you altogether. Make it to a truck stop or a motel, instead.
  • Follow brake standards. Braking a rig always takes expertise, but make sure you approach it with extra care during a winter storm. Also, remember that Jake brakes are designed for dry roads – it’s best not to ride them on the ice.
  • Choose CB over Sirius. During winter storms, it’s best to keep your CB radio on and turn the satellite radio off. Sometimes we get into the habit of listening to music or talk radio, but it’s safer to stay in communication with your fellow drivers during dangerous conditions.



Preparation is Key


Before you head out, take time to prepare your rig for the colder months. Stock up on winter supplies, and inspect your rig! While you’ve hauled plenty of loads by now, take a look at your truck with fresh eyes. Check to see if your lights are in working order, look for accumulated ice, and have a plan for de-icing your truck. And don’t forget to check for low tire pressure. Not only will under-inflated tires decrease your fuel efficiency, but they also reduce road control as well!

After you winterize your truck, stock up on supplies!

  • As the cold sets in, it’s best to have plenty of warm clothing, insulated socks, and top quality boots. It’s better to have extras than to go without! 
  • Consider bringing extra blankets, or even a sleeping bag for the cold nights ahead. 
  • Make sure you have some nonperishable food on hand, since restaurants and stores might close down or become hard to reach. It’s not a bad idea to have mixed nuts, dried fruit, jerky, and an extra water supply stashed away for emergencies. 
  • And don’t forget to keep your phone fully charged, or carry a backup phone charger/spare battery. The last thing you want is to lose contact during an emergency! 


At the end of the day, you know your truck and the roads better than anyone else. Use your best judgement, and if it’s too bad out there, DON’T BE A HERO! Nobody will hold it against you for taking the safe route.


While we can’t thaw the roads ourselves, we’re here if you need help e-filing your 2290s. If you have questions about filing your HVUT, our US-based support team is available to assist you by phone at 704.234.6005, by email at support@expresstrucktax.com, and by live chat at our website.



Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.