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

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 file 1040 extension online 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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Friday, January 20, 2017

How To Safely Navigate Your Semi Truck Through Winter Weather

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Brace yourselves, winter isn't coming, it’s already here. There have already been some major snowstorms, even in surprising places, like South Carolina and Georgia. Icy, snowy, and wet conditions can make driving tricky, especially for truckers, but you can’t just stop driving until Spring arrives. Instead, you have to drive through some wintery conditions, so do it correctly, and know when to stop.

Fighting The Ice


Before embarking on a winter trip check the weather, if a major blizzard is going to blow through your route then give yourself a few extra days to make your delivery. Keeping your life and preventing accidents is more important than getting tons of skittles to Wal-Mart. However, we do understand the certain situations when a delivery of essential items needs to be made.

Pack a bag of emergency items. Include extra blankets, and warm clothes like a waterproof jacket, a warm hat, gloves, and boots, in case you have to get out of your cab and wait to be rescued. If you stay in your cab you’ll need those blankets to keep warm. An idle truck doesn’t fill the cab for heat for long. Also, be careful, your cab could filling with carbon monoxide, which is lethal.

Your emergency kit should also include food and water in case you get stranded. A flashlight and flares so you can see in the dark, and people can see you. A windshield scraper, jumper cables, chains or traction mats, and a bag or either salt or sand.

When you’re getting ready to leave and at every stop top off your gas and make sure your windshield fluid is topped off with all season fluid that won’t freeze. Also, make sure your truck has antifreeze and has been serviced for winter conditions. Your tires should be winter tires or all season tires to have deeper grooves for more traction and they should be full of air.

Make sure that your heaters and defrosters are all working properly, along with your window wipers, which you should have a really good pair to wipe thick snow and ice away.

Defrost your windows completely and wipe all the snow away for the best visibility. Then wipe any snow from your headlights, tail lights, and blinkers away, so you can see and people can see you. Also, don’t forget to wipe the snow off the top of your cab! 

While driving, slow the heck down. Don’t accelerate too quickly, don’t brake too hard, and don’t take turns too quickly. Keep a firm grip on the wheel, stay calm, and don’t make sudden jerky movements. Never use cruise control as it over spins the tires if you start to slip or slide.

Keep extra distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If you can see their taillights as snow is falling then you’re too close. Keep an eye on everyone around you. If you’re whizzing past people creeping in the right line, slow down. They’re probably creeping for a good reason.

Watch out for black ice. When conditions are between 22 to 32 degrees, it’s actually the most dangerous because the snow and ice are very wet and slippery, and the road freezes in some places that can be hard to see.

Be careful when you approach bridges, as they freeze first and can be tricky. Plus, pay attention to all road signs, they’re pretty serious with winter conditions. If a curve should be taken at 35 mph don’t push it.

If you have thoughts creeping in the back of your mind, then it’s time to stop. No need to push it. Simply pull off at a rest stop, motel, or 24-hour restaurant and wait it out. In most cases snow plows have interstates and ramps cleared pretty quickly.

Should you start to slip and lose control do not slam on the brakes, especially if your trailer isn’t straight. Ease off the gas and gently glide to a stop while maintaining your steering.

Happy Trucking


Winter has arrived and we're expecting a lot of snow storms this year, even in the Southern states. Watch out Texans, and northern Floridians, snow could even hit your area, so be prepared with the tools necessary to make it through wintry conditions, be safe, and know when to stop.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax and please share your stories about driving through wintery conditions in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

4 Ways For Owner Operators To Improve Business

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Maybe you want to be an owner operator for the obvious reasons like the freedom of owning your own rig and making your own transport decisions, or you’re currently an owner operator looking for ways to improve your business. Either way, it takes a patience and a few attitude adjustments and you’ll have to develop a few new habits in order to get the bigger paychecks to roll in. Luckily we have a little advice on how to make it big as an owner operator.

Successful Qualities In Owner Operators


1. Realize Your Value


Right out of the gate you have the realize that people will pay you for your value. You’ll earn as much as you’re worth, so it’s not good to get cocky and lazy. Assuming that your work is worth more than it is won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you have to put in the time and build quality relationships.

You will have to put in more hours. If you’re already working overtime, unfortunately, you may have to squeeze in even more hours on the road. Your weekend life may become a little nonexistent for a while in order to establish yourself. Also, keep in mind that more hours on the road, means more time away from home, so it’s best to be in a position where your pets and family understand why you’re around less.

With more freedom comes more responsibility. You have to make the calls, schedule dispatches, file all of the paperwork, and more. You also can’t assume that other people will fill out paperwork on time or correctly. Be sure to check in on them and go over their work. 

2. Be Practical With Income


The thrill of a bigger paycheck is extremely exciting. It gets you thinking about all the stuff you could buy, like a lift kit for your wrangler or maybe even the down payment for a pool in your backyard. However, you have to wait before spending money on yourself, because there are bumps in the road.

There will be months where business is slow, your truck will need work done, you could catch an illness that makes you unable to drive for a few days, and you could be apart of an accident. We can’t predict the future, but we do know that some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. So, make sure you have money set aside to cover emergencies.

When it comes to your truck a warranty can help, but they don’t usually cover everything. Take care of your truck. Keep it clean, take it for regular maintenance and tune-ups. Don’t push those oil changes off! Your truck is your expensive tool, it’s not a toy. It’s best to get the total value out of it so you don’t have to face the high costs of getting a new one. 

3. Market Yourself


People won’t magically come to you, you have to make yourself available, and you have to find them. Then build long-lasting relationships with them. Building a longterm relationship with a carrier will bring in more business on a regular basis. You don’t want to have to go hunting for more work every month.

However, not every carrier is the right carrier. Some cut corners and have bad practices. Research everything you can about your options as far as their rates, costs, customer records, safety records, internal relationships, and more.

Take advantage of the internet. Have a site for your business built and spread yourself all across social media and trucking boards. Create a LinkedIn profile and place ads on Craigslist that include your resume. Make it possible for anyone looking for an owner operator to find you. Also, establishing a web presence could lead you to lifelong networking opportunities to keep your business afloat for as long as you can keep on trucking.

Being an owner operator is expensive. Be sure to total in the costs of gas, meals, truck insurance, cargo insurance, tax fees, truck payments, and more. If you like getting breaks on a few of these expenses maybe you should stick to being a company driver.

4. Be Patient


Stay calm, and keep driving. It takes a long time to become a successful owner operator, we’re talking months to years. On average, an owner operator takes home about 40k during their first year, and that’s if they work extremely hard.

You need to slow down and be a planner. Make meetings with financial advisors to get a business plan together. Take the time to consider all the options when buying a truck, between new, used, or leasing.

Heck, take a step back to think about if you truly want to be an owner operator. Seek out other owner operators and ask them for advice on how to get started and what it really takes.

Do You Have What It Takes?


As long as your patient, realistic, ready to put in extra work, and make financially smart decisions you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful owner operator. For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and be sure to comment on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.


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Friday, January 6, 2017

Do You Have Time To Be An Owner Operator?

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The ultimate trucking dream is to, of course, become an owner operator. I mean heck, who wouldn’t want the freedom of planning their own hours and routes, without a supervisor breathing down their neck. The answer to that question is simple, it’s the guys that simply don’t have the time.

The Extra Hours Owner Operators Put In


When it comes down to it owner operators simply put more time in on the road. They drive farther routes and often end up racking up a lot of overtime. Sometimes they only sleep about six hours a night before returning to the pavement. Can you safely operate a truck on less sleep? If you like feeling well rested you might wanna stay on the company dime.

Plus, more hours on the road mean more hours away from home. Do you have a wife, girlfriend, kids, or even a pet back home that you don’t want to leave? Sometimes relationships become strained with extra hours spent away. If you want to be home with your loved ones, then, by all means, be with them.

If you have a demanding schedule, like custody of your kids every other weekend or a pool league that meets once a week then being an owner operator might make you miss these agreed upon activities. Not only will you have less time away from home, but you’ll have less time for personal activities like watching football games, working on your bike, or catching up on the latest action movies and video games.

Also, it takes awhile to even get started as an owner operator. The process isn’t for the impatient. You have to get a plan together and go to meetings with financial planners to see the proper way of starting your business. It involves a lot of waiting and talking. Then you have to try to get loans and depending on your credit, that could be tricky. You might have to set up a few meetings with different banks and wait to talk about your loan options.

Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of time before jumping in a truck and taking off down the road. In fact, it may take a long time to even find the perfect truck for you. With so many options to consider from new to used, buying or leasing, or leasing to own you need to consider what will work best for your financial situation in the beginning.

When you finally have the right truck you have to put in more time to maintain it. The goal is to give every single pennyworth out of it, because with no truck you have no business. You’ll have to go to the dealership for regular oil changes, check the oil filters, replace the belts, and more. You’re gonna have to keep your truck clean and smelling nice, as it’s basically going to be your office, so treat it as well as your first born son.

Then when you finally take the leap to becoming an owner operator it can take years to become established. You have to spend time on the phone to build long lasting relationships with shippers. You have to have a website to professionally represent yourself and take the time to build an online presence on social media.

You also have to get good at being an owner operator which takes practice. It takes a while to learn how to plan productive routes with pick ups and drop offs near each other so you aren’t hauling an empty trailer. You also have to learn how to be a good salesman to sell yourself, and it’s also good to learn how to save money here thereby becoming a fuel efficient driver or with budget planning for meals and supplies.

If You Have The Time Go For It


Why wait? The perfect time for getting your plan together to become an owner operator is right now! As long as you have the time to make the right plan, get the right rig, and can handle putting in a lot of extra hours you can enjoy the trucking freedom of being your own boss.

for more trucking tips be sure to visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on be a time consuming owner operator in the comment section below. 
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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rookie Mistakes New Owner Operators Need To Avoid

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So, you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator and cutting ties with your dumb jerk of a manager for the freedom of the open road in your own truck? Well, at least you’re doing one thing right, by putting some actual thought into it. It’s a big step and can sink your finances pretty quickly if you make the wrong moves. Let us help you out by sharing some tips about rookie mistakes to avoid.

They Don’t Run The Numbers


New owner operators will crash and burn pretty quickly if they don’t consider the costs it will take to keep themselves afloat. While you’re barreling down the road in a company truck look at all of the miles and consider the cost of gas, the cost of food, maintenance costs, repairs, and more.

Plus, can you take on more monthly payments? Part of being an owner operator is owning your own rig, and they’re expensive. You’ll also have to get insurance for your rig, and for yourself, adding two more monthly bills.

Don’t forget that hours also add up. Can you handle the longer routes? Are you prepared for overtime? Will your family understand the increase in the amount of time that you're gone on the road? 

Rookies Don’t Save Money


Part of the pull of being an owner operator is having more money in your pocket, but you can’t just throw your hard earned money at a brand new bike or a fancy car. You need an emergency fund because accidents and surprises happen.

Business could get slow and you’ll need your emergency fund to pay the bills or your employees before they bail and your entire operation falls apart. Plus, we know you’ve seen your fair share of wrecks, what happens if your truck gets involved? Can you cover the major repair costs? Will your business sink if you’re without your truck for a month or more for repairs? 

New Guys Waste Down Time


New guys like to take breaks. They don’t take advantage of downtime to plan and prep for their next drop offs, pick ups or loads. When you’re hanging out at a dock during an unload it’s tempting to catch up on phone games like Clash of Clans or browse social media, but you could be cleaning or maintaining your truck.

Doing simple tasks during your down time will save you time during your days off. Clear out your fast food trash, attend to spills, and clean up sticky messes to keep your cab neat and clean. Put on your oil suit and go under the cab for a little maintenance. Plan out your next route, complete with food stops. It only takes a little less goofing off to be an efficient planner for your business. 

Tenderfoots Buy New Trucks


Now a big part of being an owner operator is choosing your truck. You get to pick it with all of its glory. New guys often go for a brand spanking new rig with all the bells and whistles. They don’t consider the big monthly payments and insurance costs that come with new trucks.

Starting off in a used truck helps you squirrel away a lot of money with cheaper down payments and cheaper monthly rates. Plus, if you discover that being an owner operator isn’t your thing then used trucks often have a better turn around rates for your wallet. When the time is right and your finances are in order you can upgrade to a brand new truck. 

They Skip Out on Regular Maintenance


Maybe your used rig isn’t the best, but it’s yours. You’ll love it as your firstborn. Why make unnecessary costs of upgrading to a new truck too soon? Get the most miles out of your truck by getting in the habit of doing routine maintenance. Get the tires rotated, get the oil changed, replace the bests and spark plugs so your rig can keep on trucking.

You’ll actually be surprised by how good you’ll feel by sticking to deadlines instead of taking the lazy day out and driving extra miles in between oil changes. 

Is It Time To Become An Owner Operator?


Are you ready to take the leap to advance your trucking career? Are you ready for your own truck on the road, without sticking to annoying company policies? Are you financially set to launch your new adventure? If so, then go for it! Just make sure you’ve thought the costs and risks through and have a solid plan.

If you have rookie mistakes to add to our list be sure to comment in the section below. Also, check back with ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking tips.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Costs to seriously Consider When Buying A Rig

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Whether you’re becoming an owner operator, a fleet manager looking to expand your operation, or tired of leasing, it might be time to buy your own rig. However, there are a few hidden or not so obvious costs to consider. Be sure to consider the following costs that go into buying new or used tractor-trailers before busting out your checkbook.

Costs to Consider With New and Used Rigs

First things first, you’ll need a down payment. Spending between $10k to 40K on a new or used rig will help you get a lower monthly rate. That’s another thing, every month you’ll have a big new bill in the mail!

When buying a new truck the monthly bill will be there for years hanging over your head. Buying used will give you more of a short-term investment that you can pay off in a quicker amount of time, with a possible lower monthly rate.

Did you know that new trucks come with fancy warranties? There are even extended warranties! They can really save your butt if you need a repair early on, but they also can add a lot onto your monthly tab.

Warranties on older rigs cost a bit more, because obviously and older rig will need more maintenance than a newer one. Say you’re interested in a rig with over 500k miles on it, it will hard to get a detailed report about it’s driving history. At least with a new rig, you know every detail about it. However, with an older rig the warranty payment may balance out with the cheaper monthly payment.

Although, keep in mind that even though older rigs are sturdier they usually have more issues and bigger problems. For example, most older truckers need a total engine rebuild around 700,000 miles! Plus, are the axles, tires, transmission, suspension, and more in good shape?

Have you considered insurance? Legally you need it to keep your truck on the road. Insuring a brand new rig will add more to your monthly bills. Driving without it could leave you with huge penalty fees, especially if you’re involved in an accident. Generally, trucks with cheaper values have cheaper insurance rates, but if you have a bad driving record your rate could skyrocket. Watch out for those speeding tickets!

This may seem obvious, but trucks with all the bells and whistles cost more. Do you want an automatic truck? Do you make overnight trips? If so, do you want a medium-sized sleeper or one with an extended roof?

As mentioned above, older truckers are often built a bit sturdier. This comes in handy with the resell value. If you’re looking for a truck to start out in then make sure you get something you can resell later when you’re ready to upgrade. Avoid a cheaply made new truck that you will have trouble flipping later.

At the end of the day, you’ll still have to consider all of the maintenance costs. Gas, which is cheaper in newer, more fuel-efficient rigs can really add up. Maintenance like oil changes and tune-ups, taxes, filing fees, repairs, and more may cost more on an older rig too.

Don’t just head down to the lot and pick a pretty color, research your options and go with a list of what you’re looking for in a new or used rig to make sure that you get the best option for your current financial state.

Get That Rig and Get to Trucking!

If it’s the right time to get your first new truck, a new to you truck that’s used, or upgrade to a better truck then go for it! It’s a great feeling to go down the road in something that’s totally yours. Just make sure that your finances are in order and you take the time and consideration to find your perfect match.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, be sure to share your truck buying experiences in the comment section below.
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Are You Healthy Enough To Keep On Trucking?

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One of the biggest concerns on the road is safety. Everyone passes accidents big and small, and we’re sure you have a good amount of stories of about the crazy things you’ve seen happen on the road, that caused traffic to back up for miles. We’re also sure that you don’t want to be the reason for or involved in one of those accidents.

Truckers need to know when to drop off their last load and hang up their keys, before their health declines and affects their driving. Know the health risks associated with aging truckers in order to be able to live a healthy lifestyle, and when to call it quits to spend the wonder years with your wife, children, and grandkids.

Health Risks Associated With Aging Truckers Include:

Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation, which we know, eye roll, you’ve heard about how driving tired is dangerous your whole life, and they hammered that fact home in driving school, but it actually leads to a lot of issues behind the wheel.

Most truckers get 6 hours of sleep or less a night, which is fine for the young bucks who remain energized and alert, and you might say well coffee helps you stay awake, but with age comes exhaustion.

Driving while exhausted impairs judgment, visions, decision making, affects short-term memory, increases aggression, and more. If you’re too tired you don’t need to be filled with road rage, leaving skid marks all over the road. Make sure you get the rest you need to have the energy to safely keep driving.

Obesity

The next one, obesity sneaks up on you. One day you’re enjoying a super-sized meal as per usual, then the next day your jeans are too tight. Now it’s great to be fat and happy, we aren’t body shaming. Heck, it’s even healthier for some people to have meat on their bones. However, there’s a fine line between fat and happy and at risk.

Obesity takes years off of the life with all the pressure it puts on your heart and leads to heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes, and more. Now we aren’t saying do a 100% diet change and run 10 miles a day, simply make a few changes here and there.

Go for something healthy like fruit or nuts to snack on instead of chips and sweets. Don’t go for the burger and fries and steak every time, pick a salad, wrap, or grilled chicken option instead. Places like Denny’s and Waffle House do have smart heart options.

Also, try to get your blood pumping a little. Take a 5 to 10-minute walk around the truck stop store every time you stop to use the restroom and look up ways to do light strength training in or around your rig.

Smoking

Do you smoke? Over half of truckers do, so there’s over a 50/50 shot that you do. We won’t bore you with the usual facts you’ve heard over the years about smoking causing cancer, ruining your skin, and taking years off your life, but there are a few things for smokers to consider.

Smoking ruins your sleep. On average smokers sleep even less than nonsmokers do, increasing levels of exhaustion and driving impairment. It also raises your blood pressure, leading to an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes. So, if you want more energy to add more years of safe driving under your belt, with a healthy heart consider kicking the habit.

Also, are you prepared for the ill effects of smoking? If you do get cancer or one of the other major health risks associated with smoking can you handle more time in the doctor’s office for treatments and less time on the road due to being sick? Will your insurance handle the bills and will your family be alright financially if something happens to you?

At the end of the day take a look at your pack of cigarettes and ask yourself if those death sticks or worth harming your quality of life or not.

Depression

You may not have realized it, but some truckers are sad. With long hours on the road that are often spent alone, they get disconnected from other people. Then with added factors like obesity, sleep deprivation, and a smoking addiction can lower self-esteem.

Can you handle the hours alone on the road, or are you ready to retire and spend quality time with your family? A few ways to entertain your mind and keep your spirits high include talking to your loved ones. Call your family daily and see what they’re up to. Develop good relationships with your dispatcher and fellow truckers.

Plus, to feel good about yourself you can listen to educational podcasts or add some reading material to your routine before bed to learn and entertain your mind. This way you won’t feel like you’ve wasted your brain with endless hours of boredom.

You can also eat a little healthier, take a walk in the sun, or add a little exercise to your day to naturally feel better with some nutrition and by getting your blood pumping a little. You’d be surprised by how much better you can feel by making a few minor change to your routine.

Keep on Trucking!

We know you aren’t ready to give up the freedom of the open road. Heck, trucking is in your blood, what would living be without it? However, your health and family are also things to consider. Make sure you’re taking good care of yourself to add more years on the road under your belt, and to have a long time enjoying quality time with your family during retirement.

Be sure to share with us your tips on staying healthy while on the road in the comment section below and learn more tips about trucking at ExpressTruckTax.com.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Involving Drivers In The Freight Logistics Process

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Featured Blogger
Benjamin Bellville
Involving drivers in the freight logistics process can be a great way to boost your overall effectiveness when it comes to moving freight and customer relations. Many small trucking company owners don’t understand that this is a process that begins with the hiring of their drivers. First I’m going to show you some things to look for in employees that you will want for your company, then I will outline the ways you can involve them in the freight logistics process and the benefits it will afford your company by doing so.

Driver Hiring Criteria
When you are going to involve your drivers more in the day to day operations decisions you will need to look for a certain type of driver. Just because a driver has a clean driving record and good recommendations does not necessarily mean they are the driver for you and your approach. Here is what you should look for in the interview process.
  • Are they business minded?
  • Do they have strong organizational skills?
  • Do they have great communications skills?
  • Do they look professionally presentable?
  • Are they experienced in trucking company operations?
  • Do they know how to use a load board and book freight?
  • Basic computer skills?
  • Are they safety and compliance minded?
  • Do they believe in driving fuel efficiently?
  • Can they perform basic mechanical tasks?

This is just the tip of the iceberg here, and will be dependant on just how much responsibility you want to give your drivers over time. Important to remember is that many truck drivers choose to drive for small companies because they are made to feel like they are more a part of the process and that what they think matters. This type of approach fosters confidence in your company and has a higher retention rating than just treating them like another number in a truck.

If you feel they may just be inexperienced in the industry but are business minded enough to train then by all means give them a shot. Sell your company as a building ground for drivers to build their own business within your business while providing them all of the tools and help they will need to some day branch out on their own. Include them daily in the freight logistics process as by involving drivers you will be shocked at what they are truly capable of. After all they are the ones with the real road experience who have a better idea of what it takes to get freight from point A to B that someone in an office has to guess at.

Teach them how to be your eyes and ears and as a group your company will virtually run itself. Why more companies don’t understand this I will never know. They treat drivers exactly the way they are stereotyped in the news and by society, how does this make a driver feel good about working for you or make them truly care about your business success?

I hope this week's freight logistics posts have given you much food for thought and an idea of how to approach this topic when you start your company or how to make things better in your current company. Of course this has just been some highlights meant for a basic understanding, it’s up to you to unlock the approach that makes you most comfortable and that you feel provides you the best chance of success.

Did you know that when you start a trucking company you need to file for your HVUT taxes before you can obtain your IRP? Why not let Express2290 show you how they can save you money with fast electronic filing.
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