ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

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

Thursday, September 20, 2018

5 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains

0
7 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains
Driving in the mountains can be intimidating for truck drivers, and that is especially true for rookie drivers. However, you can quickly gain confidence on mountain routes by following some basic safety rules and taking advantage of safety features available to you. Here are the seven need to know trucker tips for driving in the mountains.

Trucker Mountain Driving Tips


#1 Slow And Steady

Taking it slow and steady is probably the best advice for driving mountain routes. So many drivers make the mistake of traveling too fast on the steep grade because they misjudged its elevation based on its appearance. It’s tough to tell the grade of a hill just by looking at it, so it’s easy to make this mistake.

However, once your truck gains momentum traveling down the grade, it is nearly impossible to regain control. So take it slow and steady so as not to put yourself in this situation.

Our advice is to let the jake brake do the work of maintaining the constant speed. Also, touch the brake occasionally to keep your unit straight as you go down the hill. 

#2 Pay Attention to The Weather

If you are planning a route into the mountains, you will need to check the weather conditions. Mountain weather is unpredictable, so it is essential to check the weather the day of. If you find bad or dangerous weather conditions, you can consider an alternate route hopefully without a steep grade.

You should prepare yourself for changes in the weather as you are climbing or descending the mountain. The difference in altitude can bring a slew of weather conditions, so it is essential for you to stay alert to any changes.

Also, if there is a chain sign, please respect it. Put your chains on at the bottom of the hill. Don’t wait until you spin out and come back down the mountain.

#3 Don’t Tailgate

Leave as much room as possible between your and the vehicles ahead of you. Never tailgate on a mountain road. In the case of an emergency and you need to straighten out the truck. If your unit gets out of shape, you will want plenty of space to adjust.

7 Need To Know Trucker Tips For Driving in The Mountains

#4 Easy on Corners

Take corner on a mountain extra slow because your truck and trailer are extra vulnerable when not straight. Your rig is much more likely to jackknife when turning. You have much more controls over the unit when it is lined up traveling a straight line.

#5 Regaining Control

If you feel you are starting to lose control of the rig, try crowding the unit to the shoulder of the road if possible. This will hopefully allow you to catch gravel to straighten it out. Also gently tap on the trailer brake. This might be enough to pull your unit straight again.

Stay Safe Out There

Keep in mind, not every driver on the road is following all the proper safe driving rules and tips. They are just as likely to lose control or hit a patch of ice. Give yourself plenty of distance and be aware of potential dangers.

Also, before I let you go, I wanted to introduce our sister product, TruckLogics: the ultimate web-based business management software available. This program is designed specifically for the transportation industry with plans to fit the needs of fleet manager, leased owner-operators, and owner-operators alike. Sign-up for your free 15-day trial and see the difference TruckLogics can make in your trucking business.



Start My Free Trial 

No Credit Card Required & Zero Obligation




Read More »

Friday, September 14, 2018

Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?

0
National Truck Driver Appreciation Week 2018 is this week September 9th -15th. ExpressTruckTax would like to thank all those within the industry for continuing to move America forward each day. However, much of the general public doesn’t realize how important truck drivers are in their lives. We tend to take our daily necessities and luxuries for granted when we don’t see the process. If truck drivers stopped working, the impact on our lives and our economy would be disastrous. So today we are answering the question of “Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?


Where Would The United States Be Without Truck Drivers?

Read More »

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love

0
Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love
If you are reading this blog, you are most likely a truck driver yourself or friend/family member of someone in the industry. You already know that truck drivers are among the hardest-working individuals, committing their life to tackle one of the toughest jobs in America. Without them, we would be unable to enjoy most of the convenient comforts we have come to expect. So, with National Driver Appreciation Week pulling up fast, you are likely looking for ways to treat yourself or honor your valued road warrior. While we can’t ever thank them enough for stocking our grocery shelves and so much more, here are a few Driver Appreciation Week 2018 gift ideas they will love.

National Truck Driver Appreciation Week Gift Ideas


1. Heavy Duty Phone Case

Working as a truck driver can be rough, and it’s a long way from the cab to the concrete. So a quality phone case is a must-have for any trucker.

2. AC/DC Power Inverter

Being able to plug in everyday appliances like a TV, microwave, or video game is essential for anyone away from home for days or even weeks at a time. Now your driver can have some of the conveniences of home while on the road.

3. Audiobooks

Sometimes you need a good book to keep you occupied while on a long haul. If your trucker is a reader, you should consider getting him or her an Audible subscription. They offer thousands of titles from any genre imaginable. There is no way your driver won’t find something to enjoy.

4. Sirius Radio Subscription

If your trucker is more of a music buff, then I would recommend a Sirius Radio subscription, because let's be honest there is nothing better than driving along with your favorite tunes. They offer several packages to choose from including sports, racing, and news. No more having to find local radio stations or constantly listen to the same old songs from their iPod.

5. Hotel Voucher

This is a great way to treat your driver, especially if they are on the road. After a long and stressful day, they get to enjoy a big bed, private shower, wifi, and cable TV.

However, you will need to do your research and consider a lot of details before choosing a hotel. This gesture can quickly turn into a nightmare for your favorite trucker.
  • Biggie: Do they allow truck parking?
  • The hotel should be a national chain or have several locations in the region in which your loved one performs their hauls.
  • Check out online reviews and the experience of fellow truckers.
  • The hotel needs to be located near a major interstate and highway.
  • Do they allow pets? (If they have a dog with them on the road)

6. Restaurant or Truck Stop Gift Card

A delicious warm meal at a nice sit-down restaurant could just be the thing to turn a rough day around. Even an ice cold drink or snack can help your driver get back on the road in higher spirits. Just remember when you are choosing a truck stop or restaurant that it should be an established chain with truck parking available.

7. Shower Duffel Bag

It might sound like a super simple gift, but your trucker will really appreciate it. Pick up a solid color duffle bag with metal zippers because it is higher quality and will last longer. Throw in a big fluffy towel, shampoo, conditioner, their favorite wash (if your trucker likes bar soap get a travel case), deodorant, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, and a pair of shower sandals.

8. Seat Cushion or Massage Insert

Trucking driving is hard on the body, and a seat cushion and/or massage cushion is perfect for relieving some of the stress. Your trucker can get a massage to ease some of the pain and soreness they get from his long days on the road.

9. Home Cooked Meal

Driver Appreciation Week 2018 Gift Ideas They Will Love
If your trucking friend or family member has a mini fridge and access to a microwave, you might consider making a delicious home cooked meal for them to take on the road. This is a great way to remind them of home when they ’re on the road. Besides, let's face it, home cooking is always better than what’s available on the road.

10. Mobile Air Purifier

Do they suffer from seasonal allergies? Get your driver a 12-volt air purifier that plugs right into the cigarette lighter. This little device will eliminate dust, odors, pollen, and smoke! This is an inexpensive and thoughtful gift that will help them on a daily basis.

ExpressTruckTax Appreciates You, Drivers!

We appreciate everyone in the trucking industry, so much so that we say thanks to drivers year round. One week isn’t enough time to acknowledge what you do.

Please share your thoughts on trucker appreciation in the comment section and click here for more trucking blogs. 



Read More »

Monday, August 13, 2018

Roaring Good Time at The Bandit Series Race

0
This past weekend the ExpressTruckTax team attended the Bandit Big Rig Series race at the Hickory Motor Speedway. We have to tell you that it far exceeded our expectations! In addition to the nail-biting races we got to see fireworks, see some awesome customized rigs, and meet some of our hard-working clients. Here are some pictures of the race we just had to share.


Click here for the Bandit Series 2018 Event Schedule. Trust us, you don’t wanna miss out!

 
Roaring Time at The Bandit Series Race
Hickory Motor Speedway at the Bandit Series Race August 11th, 2018


Having a blast handing out flyers and koozies before the race!
Having a blast handing out flyers and koozies before the race!

The Bandit Series even had a blow-up bounce house for the kids.
The Bandit Series even had a blow-up bounce house for the kids.



The green flag drops at Hickory Motor Speedway
The green flag drops at Hickory Motor Speedway

Victory lane with race champion Ricky Rude of the #14
Victory lane with race champion Ricky Rude of the #14



(Top Row left to right: Bryan Hinson (Transportation Product Manager), Ariel Black (yours truly, Content Marketing Manager/PR Coordinator), Meredith Dotson (Business Development Manager), Andreas Hollmers (Client Relations), Amber Tabb (ExpressAmber Personality/ Director of Transportation Products), and Little Express Team Members (Cuteness Coordinators)
(Top Row left to right: Bryan Hinson (Transportation Product Manager), Ariel Black (Yours Truly, Content Marketing Manager/PR Coordinator), Meredith Dotson (Business Development Manager), Andreas Hollmers (Client Relations), Amber Tabb (ExpressAmber Personality/ Director of Transportation Products), and Little Express Team Members (Cuteness Coordinators)


Read More »

Friday, August 10, 2018

You Can Catch Us At The Bandit Race This Weekend

0
You Can Catch Us At The Bandit Race This Weekend
On Saturday, August 11th, 2018 the ExpressTruckTax team will be attending the Bandit Big Rig Series at the Hickory Motor Speedway in North Carolina. This series has brought big rig tractor trailer racing back to the short track. If you find yourself at the race please be sure to stop by and meet us!

About The Bandit Big Rig Series

The Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series brings a day-long racing entertainment experience to trucking professionals, their families, and trucking enthusiasts alike. Since their inaugural season in 2017 with an Eastern Division, the series has continued to focus on delivering an affordable racing opportunity to local speedways.

The trucks are kept basic and simple, which limits costs and increases accessibility, The Minimizer Bandit Big Rig Series does whatever it takes to maximize competition and deliver an exciting product with world-class trucks & drivers.

Meet The ExpressTruckTax Team
If you are in attendance be sure to tweet us as #ETTGoesRacing or tag us on Facebook!


Let’s Go Racing!



Read More »

Friday, July 13, 2018

See What's Happening at the Truckers Jamboree

0
Truck driver and rig at the trucker jamboree

The 39th annual Walcott Truckers Jamboree is officially underway at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop. They are featuring a truck beauty contest, live concerts, trucker Olympic games, and so much more! If you aren’t able to attend the Truckers Jamboree, we completely understand (we are in the same boat), so to help you feel a part of the fun, we are sharing what’s happening at the Truckers Jamboree!

Here are a few photos and videos of the trucks and event happening at the show:
















Read More »

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Are Y'all Going to The I-80 Trucker Jamboree?

0
Walcott Trucker Jamboree is the largest truckstop in the world
We know that you all have been working hard this summer, putting those extra miles down hard, but if you find yourself passing through good ole Iowa then it’s time to take a load off at the I-80 Trucker Jamboree! You are literally moving America forward every day on the road, so it is time for a well-deserved break. Come celebrate with dozens of customized rigs and hundreds of fellow American truckers at the “World’s Largest Truckstop.” So why wouldn’t you go to the I-80 Trucker Jamboree?

Are Y'all Going to The I-80 Trucker Jamboree?

The 39th annual Walcott Trucker Jamboree starts today Thursday, July 12, 2018, at the Iowa 80 TruckStop, interstate 80 Exit 284, in Walcott, Iowa. Come and enjoy free concerts, fireworks, and of course everything trucking. This three-day event will also include a Super Truck Beauty Contest, an Iowa pork chop cookout, an antique truck display, more than 175 exhibits, two fireworks shows, and a Trucker Olympics.

This event goes all the way back to 1979 and is still going strong as a great place to celebrate the American trucker and learn about the trucking industry. While this event is a good time and an educational experience, at the end of the day, it is a way to thank you (the truckers of America) for all that you do to keep America moving forward.

If you find yourself elsewhere in the country and can’t make it, you should still put the Iowa 80 Truckstop on your list of places to visit. It is not only the largest truck stop in the world, it practically has everything a trucker on the road could ask for. They even have a Dogomat open 24 hours a day where you can get your travel buddy groomed and ready to hit the road. You can also get a haircut, go to the dentist, watch a movie, and so much more all from this one truck stop.

I-80 Trucker Jamboree Parking and Admission

Classic truck at the I-80 Trucker JamboreeI have some fantastic news truckers! Parking and admission is FREE at the I-80 Trucker Jamboree! There will be tons of exhibition for you to visit and learn about what they do for the trucking industry. Relax in the evening with free country music concerts performed by Logan Mize, Dani Lynn Howe, and Grammy winners The Kentucky Headhunters!

However, when you hop back in the saddle on Sunday don’t forget your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax is hurtling at us at full speed. You can complete your Form 2290 filing with the 100% US-based industry leader, ExpressTruckTax. All you have to do is spend less than 10 minutes following our simple step-by-step filing guide to transmit your forms directly to the IRS and receive your stamped Schedule 1 in minutes!

Need some help? Our 100% US-based bilingual support team is available to answer all of your questions via live chat, phone, and email.


Start My Form 2290 Filing






Read More »

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

How to Stay Cool And Survive Summer Trucking

0
How to Stay Cool And Survive Summer Trucking
We are sure that you are very well aware that summer is here in full force. Whether you have recently received your CDL license or are a seasoned veteran, you will want to take precautions as the summer continues to heat up. We know you are putting in a lot of hours on the road, maybe even in areas with record-breaking high temperatures. Even though you are in your vehicle, you still face the risk of sunburn, skin cancer, overheating, and even heat stroke. Summer means a whole new set of issues for those in the trucking industry so to help here is how to stay cool and survive summer trucking.

How to Stay Cool And Survive Summer Trucking

Sitting in a hot cab all day long can be brutal and even dangerous to your health. Follow these tips to beat the summer heat while driving your trucking business to new levels.
 

Stay Hydrated

It is easy to forget to drink water while on the road, however, it is critical to stay adequately hydrated particularly during these next two months. Keeping a few bottles of water within reach while driving will serves as a constant reminder and make it practical for you to drink water throughout your drive. Also, it is worth mentioning that sodas and other carbonated drinks are no substitution for drinking water. The sugar and caffeine in sodas will dehydrate you and will not replace the fluids you are losing while you sweat.

Check Your Tires Constantly

The chances of tire blowouts increase dramatically during the summer months because of the high temperatures. What you can do to try and prevent this is to check that your tires are adequately inflated each time you stop for a required break or when you are pulling out in the morning. Under-inflated tires are more likely to blowout, so it is essential to be prepared.

Check Traffic Reports

Families, teenagers, and college students are all hitting the road during summer vacation, so it is crucial that you stay on the lookout during all hours of the day. You should remain alert and cautious while on the road this season. Heavier traffic means more danger for truck drivers, so you will want to check the traffic report and be aware of your surroundings.

Check Your Brakes

Hot summer temperatures can lead to brakes fading or even losing friction when brake components can’t absorb any additional heat. Always be sure to check your brakes to make sure they are functioning correctly before leaving on your next haul. It is recommended that you bring spare brake pads before leaving home. This will not only potentially save you but also some money because you won’t have to pay the service center. 

Protect Yourself From The Sun

Spending several hours a day driving means you will have a lot of sun exposure on your left side. Don’t believe that just because you are in your cab that you are protected from the sun. While the sun is shining through your window, it is still a serious health risk that can lead to sunburns and even skin cancer. We recommend you wear a long sleeve shirt, sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses as much as possible while on the road.

Bring a Hardhat

How to Stay Cool And Survive Summer Trucking
Because of the warmer temperatures, more construction companies will be out working on the roads. You should always be careful when passing through construction zones and remember that the Get Over law is still in effect in every state. It is required by law that if you see an emergency vehicle or someone on the side of the road you must get over or slow down. Your rig is likely over 55,000 Ibs, and it does not stop on a dime, make sure to hit the breaks sooner rather than later.

Fines and other fees also skyrocket in construction areas, and likely officers are waiting to get someone. We don’t want it to be you.

Also, bring a brightly colored hardhat with you on the road. People are statistically more likely to take notice of you on the roadside if are wearing a hard hat. If by some unfortunate circumstance you find yourself on the side of the road, be sure to wear it.

Have a Great Safe Summer

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

For more trucking tips and advice click here and be sure to share this blog with your fellow drivers!

If you have yet to file your HVUT Form 2290 click here to learn more! The Form 2290 due date is August 31st. Trust us you don’t want to be late and have to pay insane IRS penalties and fees.



Start My Form 2290 Filing Now




Read More »

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

What You Need to Know About Traffic July 4th

0
What You Need to Know About Traffic July 4thWith a growing economy and rising consumer confidence, you can expect more than a few four-wheelers on the road this holiday weekend. This Independence Day the AAA has estimated 41.9 million travelers until Sunday, July 8th. This number is up 0.7 percent from last year’s estimate and the highest number since 2007 since before the great recession. At ExpressTruckTax we want you to always be prepared. Here is what you need to know about traffic July 4th.

The AAA says that the worst congestion can be expected around metropolitan areas as holiday travels are combined with regular commuters during the weekdays.

“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a statement from the company. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”


What You Need to Know About Traffic July 4thAt ExpressTruckTax we hope you will spend this Independence Day with your family and friends, however, if you find yourself out on the open road, we want to share our sincere appreciation. It is through the untiring resolve of those like yourself in the trucking community that we are able to celebrate. Your rigs brought us the fireworks, hot dogs, hamburgers, buns, charcoal, and grill that we all get to enjoy.

From the staff at ExpressTruckTax, we thank you for your dedication and determination in serving millions of Americans across the nation. ExpressTruckTax appreciates your continued efforts to keeping America moving. Happy Independence Day!



Read More »

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Ultimate Trucker Gifts

0
ExpressTruckTax wishes truck drivers a merry Christmas
Y’all Christmas is only a few days away, so you better finish up your shopping before you run out of time. Make a list, and check it twice, then remember to get the trucker in your life something meaningful even if they’ve been naughty or nice.

December is one of the busiest times a year for truckers as they drive all over the nation delivering presents to make Christmas possible! The driver in your life deserves a relaxing break to celebrate the holidays with you and their loved ones, so get them something great. Check out our list of the perfect trucking gifts for both the male and lady truckers.

The Best Trucking Gifts


1. Hands-Free Devices

We know you want to check up on the trucker in your life when they are on the road, but holding phones and other devices can be really distracting. Consider getting them a wireless headset so they can talk to you, hands-free. You could also get them a dash mount for their phone and wireless headphones.

2. Warm Gear

Winter is here and many states have experienced snow. Even Atlanta got a good dump! Your trucker will be up early in the morning and late at night doing pre-trip inspections in the cold. Make sure they can stay warm with utility gloves and a nice hat or coat.

Also, it’s cold OTR. Make sure they stay warm in the cab once they park with a space heater or electric blanket. The blanket doesn’t even have a lot of space because they’re available in throw sizes.

3. Coffee

Trucking is exhausting, your driver needs coffee to get moving and keep moving. Help them out by giving them the gift of instant coffee in their rig with a portable coffee maker. Also, get them a heavy duty thermos like a YETI one to keep their coffee warm for hours. Some truckers would like a mug the size of a gallon and you can also get ones with your photo on them for their favorite sports team.

4. T-Shirts

Truckers like to ride in comfort and style, that means they don’t need just any t-shirt but cool ones to flaunt at the truck stop. You can get trucking shirts with funny sayings like, “I just dropped a load.” You can also get them shirts for their favorite trucking shows like Ice Road Truckers or for awesome truck shops like Jack’s Chrome Shop.

5. Gift Cards or Cash 

ExpressTruckTax thanks truckers for their hard work
Harper, the famous trucking corgi. 
You can give the trucker in your life the ability to pamper themselves by allowing them to shop for themselves. With a gift card or cash, they will be able to get excited and go shop for what they really want. We know truckers are always wanting something cool from Wal-Mart or new tools from the hardware store.

6. Don’t Forget Their Pets

Many drivers take furry pals along on the road and they are more than best friends forever. They’re partners in trucking adventures. If your trucker has a dog, cat, bird or more, include them. Get them a new bone, catnip toy, sweater, bed, blanket, etc. Items that keep the pet entertained are best. The possibilities are endless and your trucker will really enjoy seeing their spoiled buddy included in the holiday festivities.

Happy Holidays From ExpressTruckTax


Here at ExpressTruckTax, we seriously appreciate all the hard work you do all year long to deliver essential needs all across the nation. We hope you get the chance to relax this holiday season with your loved ones. While your holiday is filled with classic traditions and laughs we hope the perfect trucking gift is included.

Please tell us what you want for Christmas in the comment section below and visit ExpresstruckTax for more trucking blogs.
Read More »

Friday, October 6, 2017

How To Beat Unforgiving Solitude On The Road

0
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.

Read More »

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 Simple Tips for Trucking Success

0
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.
Read More »

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prep Your Rig For Storm Season With These Emergency Items

0
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.
Read More »

Friday, August 11, 2017

The Total Eclipse Will Totally Stop Traffic

0
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.
Read More »

Friday, July 21, 2017

Safely Beat the Trucking Heat this Summer

0
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.
Read More »

Friday, June 2, 2017

Roadcheck 2017 Is Almost Here

0
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.
Read More »

Friday, April 28, 2017

From MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge Tips

0

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.
Read More »

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Sleep on the Road?

0

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.
Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.