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Showing posts with label truck driver. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truck driver. Show all posts

Friday, October 6, 2017

How To Beat Unforgiving Solitude On The Road

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ExpressTruckTax provides tips to beat homesickness
A number of people are attracted to the trucking industry to enjoy the freedom of being alone and enjoying adventures on the road. The appeal of seeing new places and beautiful views highly outweigh sitting at a desk with a boss breathing down your neck all day.

However, sometimes drivers can miscalculate how much time they will actually be spending alone in their rig. When traveling through remote areas they can go for days without having a friendly conversation with someone.

Plus, some days homesickness and missing your loved ones can really set in, but this should not steer you away from a career in trucking. There are ways to battle unforgiving solitude on the road.


Fighting Solitude


1. Break Up The Silence

Don’t just ride for miles listening to the sounds your truck makes as it barrels down the road. Fill your cab with entertaining noises. Turn your CB on to listen to what other truckers are talking about and join in on the conversation.

You could also invest in a satellite radio subscription so you don’t have to keep switching to different local stations all day. This way you can find a station you like and stick with it. There are also a number of trucking podcasts you can listen to on a weekly basis that actually discuss what’s happening in the industry.

If you download a music app like Pandora or Spotify you can build your own playlist. Your friends and loved ones can also make custom playlists and send them to you.

2. Talk To Meaningful People

You will run into a lot of people on a daily basis while delivering and picking up loads, but the guys at the warehouse are there to get the job done. They don’t necessarily want to shoot the breeze and might be a little short, but don’t take it personally.

Talk to the people who matter in your life. Give your friends and family a call back at home or video chat with them to see their faces. Seeing your kid’s smile will really turn your day around.

ExpressTruckTax promotes trucker health
There are also a number of online forums to connect with fellow truckers online. Once you make friends with a fellow driver then you will have a new friend for life. You guys will talk about the industry and may even spot each other around different areas of the country.

3. Bring A Pet Or Friend On The Road

Nothing livens up your rig like a four-legged pal, even though some truckers also swear that having birds or snakes on the road are excellent companions. Just be sure to put some thought into what type of pet you want to bring and be prepared for them. For example, cats will need a secure litter box, and puppies will go through their teething phase no matter where they are.

A majority of pets that work well on the road include smaller and lazier dog breeds who don’t require frequent stops. Also, older cats who like to chill do well. However, we've seen all sorts of animals enjoy the trucker life.

If your spouse has some time off work or your kids have a school vacation bring them along for a trucking adventure. They will love riding in your big rig and seeing what the trucker life is like. For kids especially, the trucking industry can be really exciting.

4. Make Your Cab Feel Like Home

Why not take the time to make your cab feel like a mini home to enjoy while you’re away? Take your favorite blanket or pillow with you, or hang up posters for your favorite sports team. You can also bring your favorite coffee mugs.

Go ahead and get a TV so you can watch your favorite Netflix shows or movies. You can also get a gaming console to enjoy your favorite video games and even play them online with your friends and kids.

Why not bring your comfort food too? Outfit your rig with a mini fridge, hot plate, microwave, and maybe even a crockpot to cook your favorite meals. You could also cook a few of your favorite meals before your trip and bring them with you to enjoy later.

Enjoy The Road


Nothing beats getting away from people to enjoy the tranquility of being alone, but sometimes loneliness can catch up with you. You could be on the road for weeks at a time and sometimes a call
from a shipper could cut your time at home short. However, when this happens it’s easy to beat unforgiving solitude by making a little effort to connect with your loved ones and make your cab feel like home.

Tell us how you beat the solitude of the road in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 Simple Tips for 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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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prep Your Rig For Storm Season With These Emergency Items

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Truck Driver Emergency Kit Needs
Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, and more, oh my! It’s been quite the crazy hurricane season and we’re still smack dab in the middle of it. If you haven’t been affected by one of these monstrous storms, consider yourself lucky.

However, has a road veteran with hours of experience behind the wheel then you may know that it’s easy to find yourself stuck in inclement weather. Pop up storms, blizzards, tornado warnings, and more can strike, some without warning. When you start the day a few states away in an area with perfect weather it can be difficult to know what to expect along your route. Unfortunately, you can’t predict Mother Nature’s actions, but you can be prepared when she strikes.

How To Safely Truck Through Storms


No matter if you’re OTR or a local driver you should carry emergency items in your cab just in case you’re caught in an urgent situation where the tools could save your life. Also, if you find yourself stuck for a few hours or even a few days these items could make a major difference for your comfort level. So, what emergency items should you have?

It’s important to have some bottles of water and nonperishable food. Canned items and packages of crackers will do the trick, just don’t forget your can opener. A fork may come in handy as well.

Be sure to bring an extra change of clothes in case you’re stuck somewhere for a few days, and make sure the clothes fit the season. Pack an extra jacket and warmer clothes in the cooler months and clothes that you won’t overheat in during the summer. Always have a reflective vest to be visible to other drivers if you have to get out of your truck.

Since winter is coming up remember to have a hat that covers your ears, waterproof gloves, extra socks, and warm boots. Extra blankets are also great to have, including an electric one.

Waterproof gear is extremely important because you will be much happier if you can stay warm and dry. Plus, you don’t want to come into contact with flood water. Flood waters are contaminated with feces and chemicals, so if you have to get out of your truck you’ll want to be wearing stuff to keep that water off of you.

How to truck through rain and snow
Other emergency items that are great to have include utility knives, flash lights, batteries, an extra phone battery or portable charger, a hand crank radio, matches or a lighter, a first aid kit, an auxiliary power unit to heat your cab without the engine running, a portable heater, and extra fuel.

To avoid being caught off guard in inclement weather pay attention to the weather forecasts. Know what to expect during your route and if bad weather is a factor reroute to avoid it or delay your trip until the storm passes.

If you find yourself in a pop-up storm with a tornado warning then slow down, turn your flashers on and find shelter. Pulling off to the side of the road is pretty dangerous when visibility is low, pull off as far as you can. Also, you should never stop under a bridge or overpass as they turn into wind tunnels and lots of debris pass through them. If you can’t find shelter park safely and lay in a ditch or low area.

When it’s snowing or raining heavily and you decide to keep driving at your own risk use tail light in front of you as a guide to follow to make sure you stay on the road. Also drive slowly, you don’t want to hit the person in front of you.

If you find yourself caught in a flash flood find high ground and if the road is flooded to risk driving through water. The current could over power your rig or you could get stranded. Turn around, don’t drown!

Stay Safe Out There


Winter is coming, along with it come hurricanes, storms, snow, and more! Be sure to be safe and prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this season. Know what weather to expect during your routes and have the right tools in your cab in the event of an emergency.

If you have more safety items to include or tips on how to drive a semi truck safely during inclement weather please share them in the comment section below. For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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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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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, 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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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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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Are You Prepared For These Tax Deadlines?

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How are things going? We know it’s a busy time since business picks up in the spring. Plus, you’re really focusing on driving carefully due to all the crazy storms that are popping because of unpredictable April weather. On top of all that, tax season is here!

Luckily you have ExpressTruckTax here to help out in any way we can by providing you with a simple way to quickly e-file your HVUT, calculate your IFTA totals, and inform you about upcoming tax deadlines. So, let’s take a look at what’s coming up.

Upcoming Tax Deadlines


Watch out, at the end of the month your first quarter IFTA report is due! The deadline falls on April 30th, which is a Sunday. Since the deadline falls on a weekend day, the actual IFTA deadline is on the next business day, Monday, May 1st. That gives you the entire weekend to calculate your IFTA totals!

But who wants to spend their weekend calculating when they could be relaxing and watching the game? That’s why we’ve made it extremely easy to quickly calculate and keep track of everything you need for your IFTA totals.

You can use the quick entry screen to keep up with your odometer readings, quickly calculate your totals with our fuel tax calculator app, keep up with your miles per jurisdiction with our trip sheets, and more.
 
Your HVUT is due annually on August 31st, so you may feel a little more relaxed about that deadline since you have all summer to file your 2290. However, if you have a new truck or new to you truck then your HVUT is due the last day of the month after your first used month. Meaning if you first use your new vehicle in April then your 2290 is due by May 31st.

ExpressTruckTax is the market leading HVUT solution because we’ve simplified the e-filing process to help you fill out your Form 2290 and receive your stamped Schedule 1 in a matter of minutes.

Our step-by-step guide will help you instantly complete your 2290, and our 2290 calculator will help you accurately calculate how much you owe. Plus, your vehicle information will be saved for next time, and we offer free VIN corrections. After you’ve transmitted your 2290 to the IRS you’ll quickly receive a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 via email.

All of that stuff is great for your truck taxes, but what about your personal taxes?! The Income Tax Return Deadline is quickly approaching April 18th! We understand that while you’re busy out on the road it can be difficult to gather all the information necessary to file.

That’s why we have your personal tax filing solution. Simply head to our sister company, ExpressExtension, to e-file Personal Tax Extension Form 4868. IRS Form 4868 is for individual and joint taxpayers to apply for an additional 6-months to file their personal income tax returns.

The process is easy, you spend a few minutes filling out Form 4868 and transmit it to the IRS by the April 18th deadline to instantly receive 6 extra months to file your return, pushing your deadline back to October 16th. Visit ExpressExtension.com for more information.

If you need to file while out on the road, no problem. Simply download the free 4868 app to your smartphone or tablet to e-file Personal Tax Extension Form 4868 at any time from any location.

Contact Us


Tax time is a busy time and it can also be a confusing time. That’s why the dedicated ExpressTruckTax team is standing by to help. We will be more than happy to assist you with any questions that you may have. Call us anytime Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.234.6005, live chat with us, or take advantage of our 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com.
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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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ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.