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

Friday, November 17, 2017

How To Combat The Driver Shortage

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ExpressTruckTax supports truckers
There is a major driver shortage facing the trucking industry and with the upcoming ELD mandate a lot of truckers, including the road veterans who love their job may quit.

If the driver shortage grows at an even more rapid rate the nation could face economic disaster because truckers are the backbone of our economy. With a current driver shortage of 48,000 drivers that’s only increasing we hope carriers are doing something to combat the issue. We even have a few ideas on how they can do so.

Fighting The Driver Shortage


1. Make Trucking More Inviting To Women

Women are an untapped working resource in America. While 47% of women make up the workforce only 6% are in trucking. That’s an incredibly low number, even though statistically women are better drivers. They have a lower rate of getting into accidents and often benefit from lower insurance rates because of it.

One thing that might turn women away from the industry is its reputation for being super manly. For example, if the true road warriors get hurt, they don’t notice. They simply rub some dirt in it and go about their days. Trucking can seem so manly at times it may be intimidating.

That’s why there are groups like Women In Trucking that show off women drivers, advocate for them, and show ladies that they have what it takes to become awesome truckers. Use their example to bring more gender diversity to the industry.

2. Should the Industry Lower The CDL Age?


Currently, if you’re under 21 you can only get your CDL for intrastate trucking. That means you can only deliver loads within your state until you turn 21. This makes things tricky for young drivers because local jobs tend to go to older, more experienced drivers.

If a younger person wants to become a driver the 3-year gap of having to wait after high school could be extremely demotivating. Plus, they might find another career path while they’re waiting.

But is 18 too young? Some experienced drivers say that there is no way an 18-year-old can handle the trucking lifestyle, while others say, if they are serious and mature enough to handle it then they should be able to.

3. Improve Health Conditions

Depending on how you handle it, trucking can be an extremely unhealthy profession. Sometimes drivers don’t make enough pay to get healthier food options, so they spend what they can on unhealthy fast food options for every meal.

Also, if they drive too many hours and need to sleep, they don’t have any time to work out. Plus, most carriers don’t provide drivers with good health benefits, so they don’t even have the tools they need to check up on their health.

ExpressTruckTax supports female truckers
Things like raising pay, reducing OTR hours, providing good health benefits, and providing health education could make a major difference. Obesity, heart conditions, and sleep apnea are only a few of the major health risks facing the industry.

Free health screenings, work out equipment in the cab, seminars about how to eat healthier on the road, and more could really improve trucker health and as a result, less people might be scared away from becoming a driver.

We Support Truckers


Our nation only functions because of the hard work that drivers do every single day and night. The growing shortage could cause a major economical disaster, but hopefully, carriers are getting prepared to combat it.

Please share your ideas about how to combat the shortage in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Prepare For Operation Safe Driver Week

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Learn about CVSA with ExpressTruckTax
It’s no secret that we care about trucker safety. The hard-working men and women who deliver goods all across the nation deserve to make it home to their families safely. They are incredibly brave to take on the trucking lifestyle, especially when trucking is considered to be the most hazardous profession in America.

Habits like speeding, driving distracted, driving tired, not complying with the laws, and more endanger our roads. That’s why the CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance) has put together a series of safety weeks to educate transportation professionals on safety and to enforce compliance. Their next safety check is Operation Safe Driver Week, and it will take place October 15-21st, 2017.

CSVA’s Operation Safe Driver Week


Operation Safe Driver Week is coming up in just a few days, so be prepared to pass inspection. During this week law enforcement personnel from all across the country will engage in increased traffic safety enforcement and education to fight unsafe driving practices exhibited by commercial vehicle drivers and their passengers.

In 2015, 3,852 people died in large truck accidents. 69% of these people were drivers and passengers in other vehicles, while 16% were drivers and passengers of commercial vehicles. CVSA hopes to reduce these numbers.

That’s why this safety check was created to decrease the number of accidents, injuries, and deaths involving large passenger and transportation vehicles, including trucks and buses due to unsafe driving habits and behaviors. The leading cause of accidents involving commercial vehicles is due to unsafe drivers.

A few things that officers will have their eye out for during this safety check include speeding, texting while driving, seatbelt usage, tailgating, improper lane changing, failure to obey traffic safety tools, and more.

If you or your passengers are identified as exhibiting any of these unsafe behaviors then you may be issued warnings or citations. It would be much easier to avoid this headache altogether by simply practicing safe driving habits at all times.

ExpressTruckTax recommends safe driving habits
Don't text and drive!
Don’t think that you can do whatever you want on the road to get away with it. The bears, city kitties, foxes in the hen houses, and more will all be looking for you. Especially because FMCSA has joined forces with CVSA to sponsor Operation Safe Driver Week.

They also have tons of support from safety transportation organizations with the common goal of improving road safety by addressing drivers operating unsafely and their passengers on an individual basis.

There are a number of things you can do to start improving driver safety today. For example, slow down. Speeding is dangerous, and going slower will help you more gas efficient. You can also make sure you’re well rested and avoid driving tired, which is equal to driving drunk.

Also, you can put all of your electronic devices down to avoid driving distracted and make sure your seatbelt is always on. They really do their part when it comes to saving lives. Another thing you can do is give other vehicles enough space so you will have time to stop if they suddenly hit the brakes.

Keep Up Your Safe Driving


We know you can handle Operation Safe Driver Week! Just keep doing your part to make the roads a safe place and you won't get a citation. The best way to promote safety is to spread awareness, so be sure to pass these tips along to fellow drivers. If you have anything about safety to add please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Thursday, October 5, 2017

Todd McCann Shares, "Truckers Go Turtle Racing"

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ExpressTaxTax learns about turtle racing
Today we have a special gift for you because Todd McCann has agreed to share his turtle racing article and podcast with us. Todd McCann has been a truck driver since '97 and reports on his experiences on the road as he hosts his trucking podcast/blog, Trucker Dump. Check out what he has to say about turtle racing. Read the article here or listen to the podcast here. 

Truckers Go Turtle Racing


Turtles are cool. If I see one trying to cross the road, I'm the kinda guy that'll pull over and carry him across the road to safety. That is, unless it's one of those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If I see one of them in the road, I'm gonna stick out my tongue, close one eye, take aim, and hit the accelerator. Man, those "dudes" are annoying.

So why would I go out of my way to help a turtle cross the road? Well, like I said, they're cool, but it's also because The Evil Overlord likes that about me. What can I say? I'm a sweetie. Still, the main reason is simply because he's so freakin' slow. By the way, I do always assume it's a male turtle crossing the road. My thinking is that the only thing that could make a turtle jump out into traffic is a lady turtle batting her eyes and wiggling her sexy little tail around.

So anyway, why all the talk about turtles? Well, because the trucking industry has its own version of turtles. Only no one likes them. I'm talking about speed-limited trucks. Specifically, I'm talking about two speed-limited trucks trying to pass each other out on the highway. You know; Turtle Racing.

Whether your vehicle has 18 wheels or four, we've all experienced a Turtle Race. You're tooling along in the fast lane, when some trucker jumps out in front of you. You calmly slow down and follow while this truck slooooooowly creeps up and passes the slightly slower truck. I assume you were calm, right? I mean, it only took five minutes for dillmunch #1 to pass dillmunch #2.

Notice that I called both of these drivers "dillmunch." Besides the fact that I have no earthly idea what a dillmunch is, I still say the turtle race was both of these driver's faults. It takes two to do the Tango and it takes two to race. If you were to ask most drivers whose fault it is, they'd blame the guy trying to pass. I agree... and I disagree. Let's take a look at that.

Okay. Say my truck will go a mind-blowing warp speed of 65 mph. I'm coming up on a truck going 64 mph. Sure, I could tap my brake, lower my cruise control, and stare at his trailer doors all day. After all, I am looking pretty smokin' in those reflective doors. But why should I have to slow down because my truck is faster than his? Wouldn't it make more sense to let the faster truck get on with his business?

The thing is, it takes two drivers with common sense, professional attitudes, and the willingness to put themselves in the other driver's shoes. Those are three attributes that are sorely missing in today's trucking industry. Nowadays, everyone is out for themselves.

Drivers can't be bothered to let you go around them before they take ten minutes to back into a wide-open parking spot. The same guys don't have a second thought about butting in line to get to the shipping clerk's window. Nor do they mind parking in front of the fuel bay while they mosey into the truck stop, stand in line to get their fuel receipt, take a dump, fill up their thermos, and grab some to-go food; hopefully in that order. 

Todd McCann explains how to avoid turtle racing to ExpressTruckTax
These are the same drivers who see the faster truck coming up behind them. They're the drivers who see you in their mirror as you pull out to pass. The same jerk who can see the traffic stacking up behind you. The worthless puddle of dog vomit that refuses to tap his brakes, even though he can clearly see you're going to pass him eventually.

Here's how I try to deal with this. First, I give the driver the benefit of the doubt, trusting that as soon as he notices me, he'll let me around. Hey, it could happen. Once I've caught his beady little eyes looking at me in his mirror, I wait a few seconds to see if he's gonna back out of it. If he doesn't, I resort to a drastic step. Well, it is for me anyway.

I break out the "Official Communication Device of Hell", otherwise known as the CB radio. Again, I'll be nice at first. Maybe he's into a good audiobook and the situation just hasn't registered in his puny little brain. I'll key up the mic and say in a friendly voice, "Hey driver. How about a little driver courtesy here?" Sometimes that works. Other times, the guy doesn't have his CB turned on. Can't say as I blame him for that. Still other times, you know you've got a real winner on your hands when he picks up the mic and says, "If you can't pass me faster than that, it's not my problem." Oh my. What do you do with a guy like this?

That's when I take a deep, calming breath and explain to him that we as drivers are never going to get respect and cooperation from the public if we can't even get it from our fellow drivers. I'm often filled with awe from their insightful comeback. Something truly wise, like, "Shut up, stupid."

This is what we're dealing with out here. All this could be avoided if drivers just had a little common courtesy towards each other. Instead, we're all faced with turtle racing every day. And as for you four-wheelers, don't think you're exempt either. The only thing more frustrating than being stuck behind turtle racing trucks, is to be stuck behind turtle racing four-wheelers. For the love of Pete, folks. Trust me on this. It's okay to turn your cruise control off. The car manufacturers have thoroughly tested these devices. You're not gonna break anything. Except for my forehead, which is decisively bashing into my steering wheel with a head-banging force usually reserved for Slayer songs.

So here's my plea to all drivers. Just get off the road and let me do my job. Okay, I guess that's a bit impractical. So practically, let's do this.

- First, keep your eyes open and pay attention. They key to avoiding turtle racing is knowing when it's actually happening and then doing whatever it takes to help the situation.

- If you need to instigate a turtle race, wait until most of the traffic behind you has cleared. If traffic is heavy and you're going to be holding people up, just tap your brakes and follow the slow-poke until traffic thins. Then mount your attack.

- If you're the slower driver, be a sport. Tap your brakes and let the other driver around. It's not like you're approaching 88 mph and if you don't reach it in time, you'll be stuck in the past... or future.

- If you're the faster driver, use the CB to politely ask if the dimwit will let you around. My suggestion would be to NOT use the term "dimwit" when addressing said dimwit.

- If the slower driver ignores you, or worse, laughs at you, feel free to wave at him as you drive past his window. I leave the amount of fingers you use entirely up to you.

- If you're the faster driver, and Captain Slo-Mo just won't let you around, even after multiple attempts, be the bigger man (or woman). Back out of it, get behind him, and let all the backed-up traffic go on their merry little, un-speed-limited way.

- Now for the final and most important step. Concentrate hard and wish for the next toilet seat he visits to be infested with crabs. Now, don't you feel better?

Thanks For Sharing, Todd! 


We hope you enjoyed learning about turtle racing as much as we did. Who is better to learn from than an actual driver?! If you have any thoughts to share about turtle racing please post them in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.

Bio: 

Todd McCann is a 20-year trucker, producer of the Trucker Dump podcast/blog, and author of two ebooks; How to Find a Great Truck Driving Job and Trucking Life: An Entertaining, Yet Informative Guide To Becoming And Being A Truck Driver. Learn more at AboutTruckDriving.com.

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Monday, October 2, 2017

New Bill Could Ban Human Trafficking Convicts From Getting a CDL

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ExpressTruckTax is partners with Truckers Against Trafficking because we believe in what's being done in the trucking industry to save lives and fight human trafficking. Every part of the fight is to make our roads a safer place helps put an end to the human slavery that exists today.

Although there is still a lot of work that needs to be done, the trucking industry can celebrate a win in the fight against trafficking, because the U.S. Senate approved two bills that would greatly crackdown on human trafficking in commercial vehicles.

No Human Trafficking On Our Roads Act


The No Human Trafficking On Our Roads Act is the bill that if passed will disqualify anyone with human trafficking convictions from holding a CDL permanently. Meaning they would have a lifetime CDL ban. The act specifies that the CDL ban would be placed on any trucker “who uses a commercial vehicle in committing a felony involving an act or practice [in violation of] the Trafficking Victims Protection Act”.

Even though this bill has been approved by the Senate, it still has a ways to go because it needs to be passed by the House and president Trump would need to sign it for it to go into effect. Then it would greatly affect those in the industry who have been convicted of a human trafficking felony because they would lose their CDL.

Combating Human Trafficking In Commercial Vehicles Act


Another bill passed by the Senate is the Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act which would create a major human trafficking effort across DOT agencies. As a result of the bill, which is sponsored by Senator Amy Klobuchar, the position of human trafficking coordinator would be established.

The secretary of Transportation would select someone to fill the position and along with coordinating with multiple DOT agencies to create efforts towards preventing trafficking the bill would increase human trafficking education, Reporting efforts at FMCSA, improve human trafficking outreach, and even provide financial assistance to CDL schools that provide anti-human trafficking education.

You Can Help 
Human Trafficking

With 20.9 people enslaved worldwide human trafficking exists in many different forms. We know that it exists outside of the trucking industry, but it also exists in the industry and it’s up the honest, hard-working drivers to do their part to put an end to it by spreading awareness.

Eliminating human trafficking from our Nation’s highways will help to put an end to human slavery. All you have to do to help is make a call Truckers Against Trafficking at 1-888-37-37-888 if you see the signs of trafficking. Making the call is free and it only takes a minute or two. Plus, the one simple call could save lives. To learn the signs and for more educational tools click here.

Thank You Doing Your Part 


The first part of fighting human trafficking is to be aware that it exists. The second part of the fight is to stand up for what’s right and to do your part to stop it by spreading awareness and by reporting the signs if you see them. Thank you for being brave enough to stand up for this cause, to end human trafficking, not just among commercial vehicles, but in all forms of its existence.

Please share your thoughts about ending human trafficking in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.https://www.expresstrucktax.com
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Thursday, September 14, 2017

How To Save Big Money On Fuel This Year

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Wendy Dessler has shared a true gift with the trucking community by providing you with a full list of ways to save on fuel. Fuel is your number one expense and it's always great to cut down on costs, so it's definitely worth it to check out Wendy's guest blog! 

How To Save Big Money On Fuel This Year

The price of gasoline is rising, and we do not expect it to go back down anytime soon. But don’t panic. There are ways to save money on gasoline, and some may surprise you! We are going to list our favorites for you on how to fill your tank, but if you have any that we missed, be sure and let us know

Okay, let us get the common ones out of the way first:

- Share a ride. If you have coworkers, neighbors, or students that near by you and are willing to share rides with you, each of you would save 50% of the fuel you use going to work or school.

- Keep your tank full 


- Check your tire pressure
   --When your tires are under-inflated you lose 0.3% of gas for every 1 PSI

- Check your gas cap
   -- If your gas cap is damaged or missing, you can lose up to 3 gallons of gas from evaporation every month

- Watch where you shop
    -- Some grocery stores put points on a card for every dollar you spend with them. You use those points at their gas pumps and you get money off of every gallon of gas. In some cases you can get up to $1.00 per gallon off.

- Don’t turn running errands into a road trip
  -- Schedule what you need to do in a way where you can make a route to each appointment. This saves time and money. If your daughter has dance class at 3 on Saturday and the dog needs to go to the groomer and you need a haircut, make the dog appointment at 2:30, drop the child at practice that lasts till 4 and schedule your hair appointment at 3:15. When you are finished, pick up the kid, then the dog and back home.

- Limit Idle time
   --We have all been told to let our car warm up before we drive, but that means for a moment or two. Then drive it at a slower pace for the first few miles. If it is in the dead of winter, warm it for 5 minutes, clear the glass with a ice scraper and go. After that you are just burning fuel for no reason.

- Get rid of extra weight
   -- You lower your gas milage 1% for every 100 pounds you carry. So, if you never use those luggage racks or bike racks, take them off. If your trunk if filled with junk, clean it out. Throw out everything in the car that you have no use for, but that does not include you mother-in-law.

- Coast
   -- You know there is a turn coming up so simply let off the gas and coast into position. Hitting the breakfast and then taking off fast uses a lot of fuel.

- Replace your air filter - it has to be clean to work

- Use less air conditioning
   -- You use 5% - 25% more fuel than normal by leaving the air on max. Instead turn it down. When you are almost to your destination you can turn it off and should stay cool the last mile or two.

- Never buy your gas right off the highway.
  --They build those stations for folks who do not pay attention and end up running very low on fuel. They have no choice but to pay the higher price. Save money by driving a few blocks away. 



Author Bio

Wendy Dessler

Wendy is a super-connector with Outreachmama who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition.

Thanks for Sharing, Wendy!

Now that y'all have more knowledge on how to be more fuel efficient it's time to keep on trucking and put these tips to the test! If you have more fuel saving tips please share them in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs. 
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Friday, May 12, 2017

8 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Trucking Mama

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8 Mother's Day Gifts For Your Trucking Mama

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, have you gotten your Mom, wife, or girlfriend, or any of the Moms in your life a gift yet? Well, it’s close to the deadline but it’s not too late yet! Show the Mom in your life what she means to you. On this special day, we would like to give a shout out to the Moms in the trucking industry who do their part driving solo, in teams, dispatching, riding along with their husbands, handling the books at home, and more!

What To Give Your Trucking Mama


1. You know what women and Mom’s enjoy? A little attention to show them that they’re special to you. That’s why you could get your wife or Mom a pair of headphones so she can talk to you hands-free when she’s out on the road. They even have excellent wireless headphones these days so she won’t even have to deal with the hassle of tangled cords.

2. When you’re out on the road you have to eat and drink, that means your Mom does too. Maybe you can get her a crockpot so she can conveniently cook her own healthy and delicious meals when she's out on the road. You could also get her a gift card to one of her favorite places to eat.

3. Is the Mom in your life a coffee fan? Then don’t make her walk across a truck stop parking lot in the morning for her first cup of the day! Get her a portable coffee maker to keep in her rig. She will love having the ability to brew a cup whenever she wants. Be sure to include a special mug too that has a loving message, photos of you or her favorite pet, or her favorite sports team on it.

4. Did you know most female truckers consider their rigs to be one of their babies? Maybe you could show you care by cleaning her truck for her. Go ahead and bust out the hose and suds to make that baby sparkle. Don’t stop with the outside, clean up the inside too. Wipe down the dash and the windows and clean out any trash or clutter.

5. Trucks are like a home away from home, so make sure the rig for the Mom in your life is cozy. Place some photos of yourself, the kids, or pets, around the truck for her to find. You could also write a series of special notes with reasons why you love her for her to find. Maybe weeks from now she will find another one of your notes and become overjoyed.

6. Is her sleeper cab comfortable enough for a good night’s rest? Sleep is important on the road and you don’t want your Mom or wife to drive tired. Does she need a better pillow? Space heater to stay warm? Softer blanket? Black out curtains to block the light? Ear plugs? The possibilities for making her rig more comfortable are endless.

7. Did you know that driving can boring? You probably did already, but that means the Mom in your life can get bored too. Get her an audio book or a subscription to an audio book streaming service to give her something fun to listen to for hours on the open road.

8. Let her relax. After getting home from a trip she will be tired, so cleaning the house or cooking dinner for the family might not be at the top of her list. Let her come home to a clean house and a home cooked meal so she can relax and catch up with everyone.

Don’t stop with a meal, have a movie picked out and ready to watch as a group, or you can get her a bubble bath kit with a bath bomb, lotion, and a candle, so she can take a load off for a while.

Appreciate Your Trucking Mama


No one makes you smile like the Mom in your life, so be sure to take the time to make her feel special this Mother’s Day. Moms all across the nation whether their drivers, work in the office, are involved in the trucking industry or not deserve to be celebrated for all that they do.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your Mother’s Day gift ideas in the comment section below.
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Friday, May 5, 2017

Rookie Driving Mistakes To Avoid

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The last thing you want to do on the road is look like a rookie. While truck drivers receive a lot of respect, it’s the drivers who seem experienced and like they have been driving for a decade who get the most respect. Even guys who have been driving for 3 or more years can still look like rookies to the seasoned professionals, so avoid the rookie mistakes listed below so you can be considered one of the top dogs. 

Rookie Driving Mistakes to Avoid


Don’t drive while distracted. If another driver catches you texting, holding your GPS, reading a book, or something else ridiculous you may not live it down. Plus, driving while distracted is extremely dangerous.

You’re providing a service to millions of people while transporting goods, but you want to keep those people safe on the road too. Avoid electronics and anything else distracting while on the road.

When it comes to your GPS type in your location before your start driving and make sure that it’s safely and securely mounted on your dash or windshield. If you’re typing stuff into it while you drive or it comes loose and you have to pick it up then a major situation could quickly be created.

Speeding is a major sign of a rookie driver. Not only is speeding dangerous and unnecessary, but it’s not fuel efficient. When you’re spending tons on fuel then saving where you can make a big difference! Driving about 10 mph below the speed limit will result in some major savings on fuel. Don’t worry about making cars around you mad by going slow, they will pass you either way.
 
Remember to take turns slow too. Rookie drivers often forget that they’re hauling a long trailer and turning too quickly to cause it to flip. Also, cutting a turn too close can result in running over curbs or hitting other vehicles which is always awkward. You don’t want to damage your freight or have accidents on your record.

You know those signs that suggest driving a certain speed or tell you the clearance of bridges? Yeah, don’t ignore those. Those signs are there for a reason, and that’s because other drivers have tested the limits of those exit ramps and bridges before. If your truck takes a tumble or you scrape your trailer you might be laughed at for a while.

Greenhorns don’t use their turn signals. What’s up with that? It’s important to let other drivers know what your intentions are. Other drivers can’t read your mind if you’re trying to merge over. By not using your turn signal you could cut people off and make them slam on breaks, creating a mess of things.

You also need to know when the right time to merge is. Some drivers move over the second they hit their blinker, and some guys wait too long to get over. Don’t hesitate and make sure it’s clear first. But if you wait too long other drivers will think you accidentally left your blinker on and will speed around you.

Another sign of rookie driving is tailgating. Don’t ride people’s butts! If they suddenly need to break there is no way you’re going to stop in time and could plow into or right through them. Plus, tailgating insight road rage which could lead to a potentially dangerous situation. 

Drive Like a Pro


You’re on the road for a reason, it’s your calling! Take pride in what you do by driving like a professional. Slow down, play attention to traffic signs and laws, and never drive distracted. Then before you know it you’ll be the seasoned trucker giving new drivers advice.

For more driving tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about what gives rookie drivers away in the comment section below.
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Friday, April 14, 2017

How To Find Trucking Jobs

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Being a trucker has its perks. Your cab serves as your independent office where you can listen to whatever music you want loudly, and enjoy the freedom of working alone without anyone else around to annoy you, except for those in other vehicles. It’s pretty awesome. But apart of being a successful trucker involves the ability to find trucking jobs, so where should you look? Luckily for you, we have the answers. 

How To Find Trucking Jobs


The first step is simple, look online. Use your laptop, phone, or tablet to check out job sites. There are a few job sites that that cover a broad range of industries and there are others that are dedicated only to trucking. Use those sites to search for jobs, and to post your resume so that employers can find you.

There isn’t just one magical place to find a job, there are many. People are using the internet in new ways every day to look for quality people to hire. Check out social media sites like FaceBook and LinkedIn, forums, company sites, and ads. Opportunity is everywhere.

If you’re just starting out remember that it will look better if you have a little experience. Consider going to a driver school to learn the basics and to get some time behind the wheel. Also, you will need to get a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License and pass the Federal Motor Certification Safety Regulation or FMCSR exam. It has a written, hearing, and physical part, and you’ll need to pass the physical on an annual basis. Some bigger trucking companies will actually provide driving and CDL training when they bring you on board.

You don’t need a college degree, but you do need your GED. Also, you will need a clean driving record. Make your record is clear of accidents, tickets, and DUI’s, as those will make you unqualified for some companies.

In order to get some experience, you need to put time behind the wheel. It’s generally easier to be a long haul trucker at first, instead of a daily local driver. Driving around town involves being on small crowded streets and having to back up and maneuver around parking lots on a daily basis, and you may only do that stuff a few times a week as a long haul trucker.
 
Also, local trucking companies are a little bit harsher about incidents even if they aren’t your fault

Where are you located? You may want to consider moving closer to a good city for trucking. As of right now, the top trucking cities include Atlanta, GA, Charlotte, NC, and Columbus, OH. Other cities in the top 10 trucking locations include Dallas, TX, and Nashville, TN, so those are good places to look.

You can turn to load boards or freight boards online. They allow freight brokers to post loads for drivers to bid on. It’s a good way to get started, but the loads are extremely competitive, and it looks better to have a long term relationship on your resume.

Try to build a good relationship with a shipper. To do that, act like you care, clean yourself up to look and act professional while picking up and delivering loads. Call the shipper to check in with them, deliver loads on time, drive responsibly, keep your truck clean, and more.

As an owner operator, you can lease yourself to a carrier. The carrier will find freight for you, provide dispatches, handle the paperwork, and more, in exchange for getting to use you and your vehicle. However, the carrier also will get to keep an agreed upon percentage of the load.

Get to Truckin’


If you feel the call of the road why not start trucking? The trucking industry is growing and is always looking for qualified drivers as a result. As long as your driving record is clean and you can pass the certification tests why not enjoy the freedom of having a trucking career?

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about where to find a trucking job in the comment section below.
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Friday, March 17, 2017

Preventing Back Pain On The Road

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You’re just chugging along on your route just fine until rush hour traffic hits. Then to make things worse your back pain starts to flare up, so you’re distracted by annoying aches and pinches while slowly moving forward in bumper to bumper traffic. Maybe you try to stay positive, but in reality, you’re worried about your back pain keeping you up all night.

Don’t let back pain be the monster that ruins your trip! Learn how to stop and prevent it from flaring up with our helpful back soothing tips.

Stop & Prevent Back Pain


One major cause of back pain is sitting still for too long. The vertebrae in your lower spine get compressed together and start to ache. Also, while sitting you sciatic nerve that runs down your back under your butt can get pinched, causing pain.

Now you may be wondering what you can possibly do to prevent back pain when your job involves sitting for 10 hours are more, but don’t worry, there are a lot of solutions.

The first step towards preventing back pain is looking at your posture. Your seat shouldn’t be so far back that you have to hunch over forward to reach the wheel. Keep your seat forward, but not too close to the wheel and keep it back, slightly passed a 90-degree angle. Then make sure that you’re leaning back in a relaxed position with your arms resting on your arm rests. By being relaxed you’ll be putting less strain on your butt and core to hold up your weight.

It’s not good to sit still in the same position all day, so make subtle adjustments to your seat every 45 minutes to the hour to engage different areas of your muscles, and to give other areas time to rest.

Keep in mind that your bottom, back, abs, and basically your entire core are responsible for holding up your weight and stabilizing it. This means that every muscle involved needs to be strong enough to do their job. Consider doing some exercises at night when you’re parked. There are tons of ab, glute, and back strengthening activities that don’t require much room to do.

You may want to consider adopting a healthier lifestyle to burn some of the weight your body has to support. Making simple changes like drinking plain black coffee or iced green tea instead of sugary sodas and eating fruit instead of processed snacks can put you on the right track towards dropping some weight. Also, try to walk whenever you can. Lap your truck a few times or hoof it around the truckstop to burn some calories.

Remember that water is your sugar and calorie free friend. Not only is it a healthy choice, but it’s extremely hydrating. By being hydrated you can avoid the ill effects of dehydration which include muscle fatigue and cramps.

Never forget to stretch, every morning when you wake up, and every night after you’ve parked. It’s important to stretch and warm up your muscles for their task ahead and to relieve them after a hard day of work.
There are many yoga stretches like the child’s pose and downward facing dog that do wonders for the back. However, the best thing you can do is pop a squat. Hunching over your knees and letting your bum hang down allows your vertebrae to decompress.

Along with stretching try to relax. Stress can lead to a number of problems, including tensed, tight muscles. Freaking out over a traffic jam or the truck stop running out of parking can be frustrating, but try to stay calm for your back’s sake. Yoga can be a calming practice that combines both relaxing and stretching, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

If your back is giving you grief you can always enhance your seat. Try getting a heated seat cover or something that provides lumbar support. Heck, you spend more time in that chair than any other one, so why not make it comfortable and supportive

At night, if you can’t get relief try soothing your back pain with over the counter painkillers, like Advil. You can also try icing your back or applying a gel or patch that heats and cools the area, like icy hot.

Keep on Truckin’ Pain-Free


Back pain doesn’t have to end your career, by making a few changes to your seat and daily routine you can totally knock out your pain to sit pretty. However, if problems do persist for more than a few days you should consult with your doctor.


For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your comments about relieving back pain in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Owner Operators Need To Budget

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Trucking is a hard industry to break into. Many drivers attempt to make it big and bring in a lot more money by becoming owner operators, but they fail for various different reasons. Sometimes they just don’t put in enough time, sometimes business is just slow. However, the number one reason new owner operators fail is because they either can’t budget or just don’t try to. Learn from our budgeting tips to help you save money to keep your owner operating business going.

How Owner Operators Budget Properly


We understand that budgeting is hard. It takes some self-control and discipline. When the money is there it’s fun and addicting to spend, but if you spend it all you could find yourself up the creek without a paddle pretty quickly.

One of the most expensive things drivers face on the road is food. You may not realize it, but fast food lunches, snacks, and dinners at sit down restaurants add up quick. Before you go out on the road buy your snacks in bulk, also plan ahead by bringing meals to store in your fridge, microwave or cook in a crockpot.

By cooking your own meals and having your snacks on hand you’ll save money and you won’t have to stop every time you get hungry. Plus, the meals you prepare are often much healthier options.

Another expense that adds up is the cost of lodging. Every time you stay in a motel you’re spending money that you don’t have to. By getting a mattress, a nice bedding set, and some blackout curtains you can turn your sleeper cab into a space that’s even more comfortable than a hotel.

Nothing is exciting like a semi truck is. When guys are starting out they want the coolest rig to barrel down the road in. You can get that super awesome new truck one day, but consider starting off in an older rig, or leasing a truck when you first get started in order to have lower monthly payments and sometimes even a lower insurance payment.

Depending on your client there could be a 1 to 3-month wait before you get paid for a load. You could consider using a factoring company to get paid the same day. With factoring companies, you’ll make an agreement where the factoring company pays your invoice from a client. They’ll pay you a percentage of the invoice the same day and then your client will pay the factoring company and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest. It’s a way to get money faster, but you’ll get a little less as a result, so budget it wisely.

When the bigger paychecks start to roll in, save them. A lot of guys go out and start to buy fun stuff
for their families and take vacations instead of saving their money. Then when business is slow or their truck needs a major repair they’re out of luck and their business goes under. Trust us, you always need to keep an emergency fund.

We have tips to save your gas because it’s actually your number one expense. First of all, slow down. Actually going to speed limit, or staying at 65 mph will save you tons of fuel. Also, gradually speed up and slow down, to avoid slamming on brakes. Stick to the interstate when you can, unless you need to avoid traffic jams and rush hours. Also, you can save a lot of fuel by cutting down on your warm up, cool down, and idling time.

Take care of your truck. Don’t get lazy and skip out on routine maintenance. Be sure to change the oil, filters, rotate the tires, and more to keep your truck in tip-top shape. The goal is to get every penny you can out of it to avoid the major expenses of having to buy a new truck or pay for a repair.

You Can Become A Budgeting Pro


By studying your books and keeping track of your profit and loss record you can easily give yourself a budget and start to really save money. It does take a little practice at first, but soon saving money will become second nature to you, and your business will reward you later for it. Nothing saves the day like an emergency fund to help you cover your bills and keep your business afloat.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about budgeting in the comment section below.
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Friday, March 10, 2017

Delicious Crockpot Recipes To Cook While Trucking

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You’ve just parked for the night after hours of driving and all of the sudden your stomach growls. However, the truck stop you’re at has slim pickings for dinner options, and there isn’t a fast food place nearby. Now you have to deal with the hassle of bobtailing somewhere for an expensive meal!

What if we told you that you could avoid all that hassle and get comfy in your bunk with a warm, home cooked meal? All you have to do is get a crockpot for your rig!

The Crockpot Way


By investing in a 12V crockpot you’ll save money and time by having your own home cooked meal ready to eat in your rig. Plus, the meals that you prepare yourself will be tastier and healthier options than fast food. Before you know it you’ll be the top trucker chef!

The leading cause of death for truckers happens to be obesity, so by cooking your own meals and avoiding fast food options, you’ll be able to watch your weight and give your body more nutrition.

Many truckers enjoy having a crockpot in their truck because the meals are easy to make, and often spiced to their preferences. Also, since crockpots operate at a lower temperature they’re safer to keep in the cab instead of hot plates and electric skillets.

Plus, they make crockpot liners now, that you place in your crockpot before your put in your ingredients, to keep your crockpot clean. All you have to do is remove the liner and throw it out when you’re done, so you don’t have to find a place to wash your crockpot while you’re on the road.

Meal prepping for the road is easy. Before you leave chop up and veggies or cook any meat for your recipe and place them in a bag or Tupperware container in a bag to keep in your truck’s fridge until you’re ready to cook them. If you have a freezer in your rig then you can store your recipes even longer.

All you have to do is make sure that your crockpot and a good place to sit. Many come with lids that lock so your food won’t spill if your crock pot takes a tumble. They can easily sit in a storage cabinet or on a shelf.

Delicious Crockpot Recipes


Now let’s take a look at a few delicious recipes you can cook up on the road:

BBQ Pulled Pork

Nothing beats a good bbq plate or sandwich! Here are the ingredients you’ll need:

3lbs of pulled pork tenderloin
1 bottle of your preferred bbq sauce (at least 18 oz.)
1 can of soda (like Coke or Dr.Pepper.)
½ a sliced onion.

Directions:

Place your onions at the bottom of your crockpot, then add your pork on top of them. Then mix your bbq sauce and soda together, and add any preferred spices and pour it over the pork. Cook it for 6 to 7 hours on low then shred the pork and enjoy.

Chicken Teriyaki

Who loves Chinese food? We do, and this recipe is easy. Here is what you need:

1 lb of chicken cut into small chunks
½ cup of teriyaki sauce or marinade
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of grated ginger
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
⅓ cup of brown sugar
1 of cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of cornstarch

Directions:

Place all of your ingredients except for the cornstarch into your crockpot and cook it on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. Then add the liquid from the crockpot to the cornstarch in a pan to thicken it, and add your chicken to the pan. This chicken goes great with broccoli and rice steamed in a microwave.

Breakfast Casserole

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a warm breakfast waiting for you? You don’t even need to get dressed or leave your truck for this one, as long as you have these ingredients:

1 bag of frozen hash browns (32 oz.)
1 lb of bacon
1 small onion (diced.)
An 8 oz bag of shredded cheese
1/2 of a red bell pepper (diced.)
1/2 of a green bell pepper (diced.)
12 large eggs
1 cup of skim milk

Directions:

Either get pre-cooked bacon or cook your bacon drain it and cut it up. Then add half of your hash browns, bacon, onions, peppers, and cheese. Next, add the remaining half of your hash browns, bacon, onions, peppers, and cheese. Then add your milk and eggs together and pour it over the rest of your ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook your casserole on warm for 8 hours and enjoy it in the morning. You can also cook it for 4 hours on low to have it ready faster.

What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin'?


Don’t deal with the hassle of finding a dinner or fast food restaurant every time you’re hungry. Relax in the comfort of your own cab with a delicious meal you cooked yourself, and take pride in your cheaper, healthier option. For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and share your secret crockpot recipes in the comment section below.
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Friday, February 24, 2017

DYI Hacks To Make Your Sleeper Cab Feel Like Home

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We’ve all felt it. The lonely feeling of the open road. While we’re addicted to driving for miles and miles sometimes we do get a little homesick. Sometimes it’s hard to be away from your spouse, children, and pets. However, somehow you have to fight through feeling homesick to make your drops in time. One easy step you can take towards not feeling homesick is to make your cab feel like home.

DYI Hacks To Make Your Cab Feel Like Home


The first thing you need to feel at home is comfort. You spend a lot of time in your cab, sometimes you spend more time in there than you do at home, so make it a comfy place to be.

In order to do that invest in at least one awesome seat cover. The seat cover can be heated and it can come with built-in massagers, making it the perfect place to lean back in relax in after hours of driving.

Make sure your mattress in your cab is a high-quality one. Not getting adequate rest on the road could leave you cranky and just wanting to head home. You don’t have to come with the factory issued cardboard mattress that came with your truck, especially if you got your truck used. Instead, consider your memory foam and gel mattress options.

You know what comes with a comfortable bed? Comfortable bedding! If you’ll be spending a lot of the nights on the road don’t settle for cheap sheets and blankets. Spring for the softer materials with higher thread counts. Heck, you could even treat yourself to an electric blanket to be warm and cozy.

To get a proper night’s rest you’ll have to block the world out. Invest in some blackout curtains to get rid of all the lights from tracking and truck stops. Also, consider getting some ear plugs so block out some of the noise that traffic and rest stops produce.

It’s important to fill your cab with a few of your favorite things in order to boost your mood. This can be done by adding pops of your favorite colors around. From crimson red to sprinkle blue, whatever color is your favorite will work.

You can add your favorite color by getting a steering wheel cover, seat covers, rubber mats, a rug, a bedding set with multiple of your favorite colors, and more. The possibilities are endless, all you have to do is look around your cab to see what you can customize.

Be sure to put up posters you like and to put up a few of your favorite pictures. Seeing photos of your family and pets or posters of your favorite superheroes can really boost your mood.

It’s always good to be able to do more things in your truck, and the first step towards powering more electronics is getting a good power inverter. Then you can set up awesome things like a flat screen tv and your favorite gaming console.

Nights won’t feel so long and boring when you can watch your favorite movie on Netflix or play multiplayer games online with your kids back home. Also, you can bring a lamp for extra light in your cab at night.

Why stop every time you’re hungry or thirsty when you can stock your cab to be your own personal mini kitchen? You can have your own mini coffee maker to brew coffee anytime you want. If you don’t want to deal with coffee grounds consider getting a K-Cup machine.

For more food options you can place a microwave, mini fridge, and freezer in your cab. This way you can bring more food items with you on your trips that can easily be stored and heated up.

Did you know that you could even bring along a hot plate to boil water? Sometimes nothing is better than a hot bowl of ramen!

You can complete your kitchen with a TV tray or fold out shelf or table to balance meals or your laptop on.

This item should never mix with kitchen items, but are you tired of walking across cold parking lots to wait in a long bathroom line? Then get your own portable toilet to bring along on the road with you. Just make sure it has a lid that you can seal tight to prevent spills.

If you want to bring something with you on the road like extra clothes and tools then bring them with you. Just invest in storage bins and organization items to maximize your storage areas.

Enjoy Your Home On The Road


Your truck is sometimes your office and can be the area where you spend most of your time. Be sure to customize your cab to fit your personal preferences to have a comfortable and cozy space when you’re missing home.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share how you make your cab cozy in the comment section below.
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Safety Tools You Need To Always Keep In Your Cab

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Accidents happen. Even the best truckers with spotless records get caught up in emergency situations because you just never know what can happen on the road. In the event of a major accident or inclement weather be prepared with the proper tools in your cab.

Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry


You should always have a bag of emergency clothes with you on the road. This is important for all seasons, but especially for winter. Your pack should have warm items in case it gets cold like a sweater and hat, but it should also have waterproof items.

Remember, you can layer a lightweight jacket over winter gear or bring a heavy insulated winter coat. Just make sure the items are in layers so you can shed something if you get too hot.

Don’t forget about your hands and feet. Always carry waterproof gloves and waterproof shoes in case you have to get out of your cab during a major downpour or a cold wintery mix.

Most people carry extra underwear and socks in case they get held up somewhere for a few days.

It’s also good to carry extra blankets. You never know when your heat will go out or when you’ll be in a situation where a little extra heat and a nice dry blanket could make a major difference to your night.

Never forget to bring along extra batteries and chargers for your radio, CB, phone, flashlight, and more. You’ll want your electronics to have a nice charge, and a way to charge them. Hand crank radios and solar powered chargers can give your phone the extra juice it may need.

It’s always great to carry a fire extinguisher with you in case something starts to flame up. Heck, you could even be stuck near a forest's wildfire, so having the ability to spray out some flames could come in handy.

You’ll need some emergency meal items. Keep at least a gallon of water in your cab and a few days worth of nonperishable foods like cans of soup packages crackers, and jerky. Don’t forget your can opener!

A multi-purpose knife can go a long way. You never know what type of items you’ll need to cut. Some knives come with seat belt cutters and points to break glass if you need to climb out of your cab quickly.

If you take a daily medication be sure to bring the bottle with you. You won’t want to be without it if you get stuck somewhere for a few days. It’s also a good idea to carry some pain relievers and antacids.

Consider bringing some personal hygiene items on the road with you. This way you’ll have items to keep your teeth and body looking and smelling clean.

Take a small first aid kit full of bandages, antiseptics, and baby wipes. You might actually be surprised with how often you want a band aid while on the road.

Other people on the road will need to be able to see you, so be sure to bring along flairs to set out, and those reflective triangles. It helps to have a reflective vest if you’re stepping out of your cab near a busy road. Also, have a proper flashlight with you, sometimes your phone light won’t cut it.

Maybe a few candles and waterproof matches would be good to keep on hand as well, in case you need light in a dark cab.

Be Prepared!


You never know when severe weather or a bad driver will strike, so be prepared for any emergency situation that may arise. You never know when a few extra items in your cab will really come in handy.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and share what emergency items you carry in the comment section below.
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Friday, February 3, 2017

These Practices Cause Owner Operators To Fail

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Some owner operators fail, that’s just a plain fact. Sure, some guys make it and bring home the bigger paychecks, but most truckers fail. Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of risks and precise planning, and they guys who don’t make it, usually don’t due to reasons that can easily be avoided. 

Mistakes Made By Owner Operators


The owner operators who fail are generally too big for their britches. They think they can do everything themselves. Even though it’s true that will start out doing the majority of work yourself, it’s best to get the advice of a financial advisor or an accountant to figure out the best plan for your business before jumping in. A man with a plan is generally smarter than the guy without one.

Plus, you shouldn’t be too shy or prideful to ask for advice. Successful owner operators probably know a few tips and techniques about the business that you haven’t heard about before. Why not ask them a few questions to see if they can help you climb up the ladder?

Eventually, as your business grows you’ll get to hire employees! Instead of doing everything yourself, that you probably won’t even have time for, it will be best to hand things off to your trusted team.

2. Speaking of time, a lot of owner operators who fail simply didn’t consider the amount of time the job requires. You’ll be gone a lot more. If you don’t want to drive extra overtime hours and want to be around for more school plays and baseball games then you might want to stick to driving for a carrier.

A lot of owner operators fail to think about the strain it will put on their family when they’ll be gone more, and relationships are tested. Be sure to speak with your partner about being gone more and how to stay in communication with them. This way you won’t end up like the people who had to choose between their new business venture or their relationship.

3. A quick way to find yourself up the creek without a paddle is by not making a budget. If you live paycheck to paycheck you could quickly end up on missing some bills or not having enough cash to pay for dinner. Know how much you’re spending on fuel, insurance bills, your truck, and more a month, so you’ll know how much to set aside for your meals, personal pay, and more. Tracking software like TruckLogics can help you keep up with all of your finances.

Also, a lot of the time new owner operators don’t set aside any money for emergencies, and that’s just not good because things happen. Trucks break down and you’ll need to be able to pay for the repair. If your insurance will cover the repair you’ll still need money to float you by while it’s in the shop.

Keep in mind that being an owner operator isn’t the fast way to success. It takes months and maybe even years to build yourself up as a reputable owner operator who brings in the big bucks, and even then some months are just slow. Always keep an emergency fund set aside for the slow periods.

4. Some people just buy the wrong truck. They get a brand new truck up front that’s all shiny and awesome, but then crumble when they aren’t bringing in enough cash to pay for the bills that come with it.

They don’t explore all their truck options. For example, leasing generally comes with no down payment and lower monthly rates, so it can help owner operators get started in the beginning. Although, at the end of the agreement if you don’t lease to own you won’t have your own truck to trade in towards getting a new one.

If you want to own your own truck avoid getting a lemon. Lemons are new, cheap trucks that don’t have a good turnover rate. You’ll want a truck you can quickly sell to make some of your money back with, in case you find out that owner operating isn’t for you.

Older trucks that are built sturdier are often more fun to drive and have higher turnover rates. They can be great to start out with until you grow your company enough to comfortably buy a new truck.

5. Owner operators who fail are low maintenance. They don’t take care of themselves. They cut corners and drive even if they haven’t gotten enough sleep. Some truckers don’t take their personal health into account and constantly get terrible options from fast food chains, smokes, and don’t even think about making an effort to work out. You have to be healthy and full of energy to put in the time and work that being an owner operator requires.

They also don’t take the time to maintain their trucks. Skipping out on regular maintenance like oil changes and changing your brake pads can wear out your rig pretty quickly. You have to take the steps to winterize your truck, tune it up, check all the fluid levels, and more in order to squeeze all of its value out of it. 

Don’t Fail!


You can make it as an owner operator, we believe in you. Just make sure you don’t make simple mistakes that can easily be avoided. Make a plan for your business, ask the experts and tell your family what you’re up to. Be financially responsible and know where your money is going. Also, don’t forget to take care of your truck and yourself.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and please share your comments about why owner operators fail in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We're Revealing 8 Secrets About Average Owner Operators

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If you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to become an owner operator in most cases the risk is worth the reward, if done properly. However, if done improperly you could go under pretty quickly and build up a lot of debt. In order to see if the owner operator or independent trucker lifestyle is right for you, we’ve put together a list of common traits found in successful owner operators.

Secrets About The Average Owner Operator


1. Owner operators are financially smart. When the bigger paychecks finally start to roll in they don’t blow it all on a new pool table or jet ski. They set money aside until they can afford that cool stuff later in order to plan for accidents like major truck repairs or for when business is slow. Engine repairs or accidents can set you back quite a ways, so it’s best to be prepared.

2. They’re older guys. I guess some truckers just need to grow up a little first before making the transition to becoming an independent driver instead of a corporate jockey. The average age of truckers for both men and women is about 37 when they become owner operators and the average age of owner operators out there on the road right now is 55.

3. Most are patient and persistent creatures of habit. They’ve lived and driven around the same area for years, and realize that success doesn’t come overnight. You could spend years building your personal business before it really takes off.

Plus, they take care of their trucks with regular maintenance. By squeezing every penny possible out of their rig it will last longer and they won’t have to deal with the major expenses of getting a new one, so don’t skip out on those oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, and more.

4. The majority of owner operators are gone most of the time. They put in more hours and spend more nights away from home. More miles put on the road is simply a part of the job if you want to make it. To avoid putting stress on your family and relationships remember to call time or facetime them as much as possible. Hopefully, you won’t feel guilty about missing a few holidays or special occasions too.

5. Now this isn’t a plus, but it is a fact. Most owner operators are unhealthy. They’re obese, they’re smokers, and have issues like high blood pressure. In order to take your business further and have the energy to maintain it get a little healthier. Try to go for healthy snacks like a package of almonds or a heart healthy omelet for breakfast. Maybe see where you can fit in an extra walk around the truck stop or experiment with exercises you can do from your cab.

6. Owner operators tend to be experienced, drivers. They have some education like a high school degree and maybe a little college, but in most cases, they went to driving school and completed their courses. They were determined students who put at least 60 hours of driving training behind the wheel to learn how to drive like a boss. Plus, most owner operators don’t come from average desk jobs, they spend a few years out on the road trucking for companies first.

7. The average owner operator is a planner. They don’t spend down time twiddling their thumbs or checking facebook, they spend it planning their next move. When their freight is being unloaded they’re scheduling a new pick up. Also, they’re always thinking about who they need to call in order to build good relationships and gain repeat customers.

It’s important to check in with the people you regularly work with to show interest and keep spirits high. It’s also important to market yourself to new customers. Either from your office or your cab think about where to go and who to call next instead of going in blind.

8. They answer to almost no one. While owner operators still have to comply with DOT regulations and taxes like the 2290 and IFTA they don’t have managers constantly watching them to make sure they follow every little company policy. They only keep up with their own standards which do involve a high level of professionalism. The fact is they have a nice level of freedom on the open road.

Are You Ready To Become An Owner Operator?


The average owner operator is a hard working person who is financially smart. They’re planners and don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease. If you’re ready to take the leap make sure you have a good head on your shoulders for being your own boss and the persistence and patience to make your business successful.

More more trucking tips keep coming back to ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your facts about the average owner operator in the comment section below.
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Monday, November 14, 2016

5 Ways to Survive Truck Driving School

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Every year, tons of hopeful truckers enroll in schools and programs to get their CDL's. As with any training program, the work is tough, and you get out of it what you put in. But how can you make sure you survive the whole process? Let’s run through this!

Start Early


So once you’ve been accepted and enrolled into a program, you need to hit the ground running. Find out what books and training materials you need as soon as possible, and start reviewing.

Review everything. It’ll be tough, but you will understand more of what you’re learning later. Learn the definitions of words, or at least familiarize yourself with them.

Also, look into some online communities and learn what you can from there. Whether that’s lingo, or survival tips, you can find plenty in forums, social media, and blogs!

Study Hard


Oh, nobody wants to hear it. You need to study hard. Yeah, you’re going to spend a lot of time learning all this in your classes, but you’re gonna have to put in a ton of time and study hard.

Think about it, not everybody passes their CDL right away. You want to become a trucker, so you’re going to need to get through your training and learn as much as possible.

You don’t want to be a rookie trucker forever, do you? Or worse, a CDL dropout?

Start Sleeping Well


This is a tough one. You might not know this, but sleep is crucial for success, health, and happiness. While you might imagine a gruff, short-tempered trucker as the standard cut of the cloth, that isn’t actually the case.

But plenty of truckers out there have sleep problems from the lifestyle. Of course, this leads to risks. Without sleep, you can find yourself with a grumpy disposition, impaired immunity system, and unable to concentrate.

That’s why you need at least eight hours of sleep, which is even more important once you’re a truck driver. So start doing everything you can to improve your sleep schedule!

Start Being Healthy


When you’re learning the ins and outs of your CDL, you should also spend some of your time off implementing healthy habits that will stick with you in the cab.

Start with your fitness by creating a good workout routine that will stick with you. Learn how to use your environment and your own body, or find mobile fitness tools and routines you can take with you.

We’ve given you fitness advice before, but we’re also big proponents of healthy eating. Ask any trucker about food on the road, and you’ll find out that truck stops are full of convenience foods — not health food.

Now, we’re not saying you need to eat kale chips every day (they’re good, I swear!), but you should do what you can to eat plenty of fresh veggies, whole grains, and lean proteins. Your diet will affect your disposition as much as sleep and fitness, so start eating right!

Of course, there are other problem areas for truckers — like perpetual back injuries from sitting all day, for example. You will need to watch your health as a trucker, bottom line.

Plan Ahead


Our first bit of advice is to start setting personal goals beyond getting your CDL. All things considered, you will put in the hard work and it’ll pay off with a CDL, and hopefully a trucking job!

But then you will have to decide what kind of job you want to have, where you want to be based out of, and all sorts of other considerations.

While you’re still in school, figure out what you like about driving a truck, learn about company drivers as compared to owner operators, and connect with other students.

No matter what you do, getting your CDL is hard work. With all the hard work you put in, you’ll be a truck driver before you know it. Once you’re a trucker, we’ll be ready to help you e-file Form 2290 right here at ExpressTruckTax!


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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Downtime Entertainment: Fun and Games on the Road

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Fun and Games on the Road
Fun and Games on the Road
When you’re out on the road, you have enough troubles to contend with.

Over the years, we’ve encouraged proper health through diet and exercise, but sometimes you need to give your mind a workout.

So we asked Susan, one of our truck tax experts and our resident Queen of Sage Advice, about how truckers can work their mental fortitude while on the road.

Here’s what she had to say:




You may spend most of your driving time in your own head. When you park at the end of your shift, all you want to do is decompress with some guilty pleasures, like binge watching TV shows or movies. But it’s much healthier to get out and about doing something physical (walking), social (talking with someone while you walk), or learning something new (juggling maybe?).

After some physical exercise, consider working that grey matter in your head with some games and puzzles.

Studies have shown working your body will increase oxygen flow throughout your system. They also show engaging in mental play can also be good for your overall health and well-being.

Putting the Pieces Together


With its birth around 1760, the jigsaw puzzle is a good way to work those brain muscles. Either done solitary or with a friend or two, puzzles have come quite a long way from its rudimentary beginning of paper on wood.

From small (100 pieces or less) to colossal (record breaking 24,000 pieces) there is a picture and number of pieces that will work for you. Puzzles can be kept with a puzzle keeper, found in many big box stores, or use a roll of felt to keep the pieces from moving around. You can even work puzzles online, use “free jigsaw puzzles” in your search.

Consider the Game at Hand


There are all kinds of card games available using standard decks or special decks, like Pinochle, UNO and many others. If you want to really flex your brain, consider learning Bridge, one of the greatest thinking card games around.

Cards can be played in groups or online. If you prefer, there is the ever popular Solitaire, but there are also variations of Solitaire, other than the well known Klondike.

There are books and online sources with instructions, or just look for virtual games where you can play a hand or two with players from around the world.

If You're Bored, Try Board Games


If you don’t have a physical board game available, take a look at what is available online. Scrabble has a broad online player universe, giving you the opportunity, just like with cards, to meet other game players from around the world.

There are always the classic games that will engage the brain just as well: dominoes, checkers, Chinese checkers (marbles), Bunco (dice), chess, and backgammon. Plus, there are many new incarnations of these games available.

Playing games, interacting with others in person (or online) can be just what ‘the doctor ordered’ to help you remain sharp and focused while on the road. The great thing about these mental gymnastics? You can play anytime and anywhere you park your rig.

When it comes to filing that 2290 HVUT, using an 8849 Schedule 6 for a refund, or filing that VIN correction, the team at ExpressTruckTax.com wants you to know that we don’t play around.

Our system makes it easy and fast to complete your filings. Plus, we are here to guide you through the steps so you can get on with your day.

Give us a call Monday - Friday, 8 am to 6 pm EST - or drop us an email with any questions you may have. Plus, drop in anytime and visit with us on Twitter or Facebook. It’s always nice to chat with friends!


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