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Showing posts with label truckers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truckers. Show all posts

Friday, September 22, 2017

Proposed Bill May Ban Human Trafficking Convicts From CDLs

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Truckers Against Trafficking
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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Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Did You Know This About the FMCSA Sleep Apnea Screening Rule?

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Aeroflow Industrial recently brought to our attention that a silent killer is lurking on our roads, creeping up on the unsuspecting while they sleep, or at least while they try to. It’s sleep apnea, a condition affecting over 18 million adults across the country.


Sleep apnea often goes unnoticed because it affects you when you sleep. It prevents you from getting the rest you need, so you wake up feeling exhausted. This is especially dangerous for truck drivers because driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk.

However, truckers may be happy to know that they will face fewer regulations because FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) officially withdrew their proposed sleep apnea screening rule.

The Proposed Sleep Apnea Rule


Currently, medical examiners have the discretion to decide which drivers need to be referred for sleep apnea testing because no rules or regulations are put in place. FMCSA would have given examiners clarity and guidelines to follow.

For example, if you had a BMI (Body Mass Index) of 40 or higher you would be referred for sleep apnea testing. You would also be referred for testing if you had a BMI or 33 or higher and met other qualifications like having a collar size greater than 17 inches or having high blood pressure. The total list of qualifications can be viewed here.

Sleep apnea is a serious repository condition that can affect a driver’s abilities to safely operate their vehicle, that’s why sleep apnea screening will most likely become more prevalent in the transportation industry.

Recently in April, former driver Robert J. Parker filed a lawsuit against Crete Carrier Corp, one of the largest based privately-owned trucking companies, claiming that their sleep apnea requirement was unlawful.

The supreme court ruled in Crete’s favor, saying they did not act improperly when they required all drivers with a BMI of 35 or higher to be screened for sleep apnea and to undergo treatment. When Robert refused to be screened he was not given more work. 

A Little About Sleep Apnea


Aeroflow believes that treating sleep apnea is an important safety measure that will save lives and money. Truckers who undergo treatment often have an improved quality of life. Plus, for every $1 spent on sleep apnea testing $3.49 is saved on collision damage costs. One simple test could improve trucker health, safety, and save the U.S. economy about $150 billion. 

Sleep Apnea Testing For Truckers
 Sleep apnea is actually a disorder that causes a person's breathing to become shallow or to stop completely while they sleep. As a result, their brain and body don’t get enough oxygen. If left untreated conditions like diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and more could occur.

You don’t have to be overweight to have sleep apnea. You could have an obstruction in your airways, your neck could be too thin for proper air passage, your tonsils could be large enough to block air flow, and more.

Usually, you don’t know if you have sleep apnea unless you record yourself sleeping or your significant other notices that you snore loudly, gasp, or choke in your sleep. That’s why screening for it is so important. Other symptoms include depression, headaches when you wake up, insomnia, and more.

The test is easy, you go to sleep while being hooked up to equipment that monitors your heart, lung, and brain activity. You can also refer to a sleep apnea questionnaire to assess your risk. Aeroflow will actually review your completed questionnaire and assess your sleep apnea risk. Complete the questionnaire here.

If you have sleep apnea then may be prescribed a CPAP machine or oral breathing device to help you get the oxygen you need. In some cases, you may be asked to lose weight, require surgery, or be put on certain medications. 

Get The Rest You Need


If you get tired be sure to stop to get the rest that you need. Don’t go past your limits. If you regularly wake up feeling fatigued, confused, or with headaches then you may want to consider getting screened for sleep apnea. Also, please share your thoughts about carriers requiring sleep apnea screenings in the comment section below.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Are You Helping With Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief?

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Hurricane Flooding In Texas
Hurricane Harvey came in pretty strong as a category 4 storm to leave a major impact on Texas as the biggest storm in history to ever hit the state. Over 11 trillion gallons of water have fallen on the state, and it’s not over. More rain will be expected to hit the area and the neighboring state of Louisiana.

Some areas have already received 30 inches of rain, but Harvey may re-strengthen so residents can expect to face 15 to 25 more inches of rain through Friday, causing the flooding situation to become much worse. If you are helping with the rescue and relief effort, thank you for your hard work and time. Don’t drive towards affected areas unprepared, know what to expect.

Helping With Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts


First of all, Texas and Louisiana have both declared states of emergency, and as a result, a few driver regulations have been suspended, including hours of service. You can put in the time you need to help those in need. However, be safe, Don’t drive tired, remember to take breaks.

Drivers exempted from hours of service and other regulations include anyone traveling into or out of the state to transport supplies, people, or equipment, and those providing any emergency assistance to those affected by Harvey.

Routing to the affected areas may be tricky. Tons of roads are closed due to flooding, including 350 areas in Houston alone, so you may need to bust out a map to figure out where you’re going. Your GPS may not provide reliable information about which roads are closed or unusable.

Even though relief loads may offer more pay, there are a few things to consider before heading out. You and other trucks might be waiting around at relief sites for a very long time because people may not know what to tell you to do or where you need to go.

Hurricane Flood Water In Texas
Driving to these areas could be dangerous. You will need to be prepared with bottled water and packaged food for yourself. You will also need your own bathroom supplies, because there may not be a good place to stop and go for a long time. Be sure to keep your fuel topped off, because you may not have access to fuel later.

Speaking of fuel, expect prices to rise all across the nation. Texas’s crude refinery that can produce 1 million barrels a day has been shut down. Gas has already shot up by 10 cents, but that number could triple.

Flood zones are wet, and the extra rain will make it worse, so take supplies to keep yourself warm and dry. Bring a raincoat, rubber boots or bibs, with a poncho, and insulate underneath. Also, be sure to have a flashlight, batteries, matches, and other emergency items with you as well.

Don’t test the limits of your truck, avoid driving through flood water. Just turn around, don’t drown. Luckily there have been rescuers nearby to help pull stranded truckers out of their cabs to get them to safety so far.

Our Hearts Go Out To Texas And Louisiana


We are praying for those in Texas. If you’re helping with the relief effort thank you for your time and determination. Stay safe out there. If you need to take refuge head to the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center, where GATS (The Great American Trucking Show) was held. All those fleeing flood zones and disaster areas can seek shelter there.

Please share any information about the  Hurricane Harvey relief efforts in the comment section below and for more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Are You Participating In A Day Without Truckers?

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The trucking community is full of hardworking men and women who dedicate a majority of their time to the road in order to deliver goods all across the nation. As a result, our economy keeps moving. Without truckers, everything would come to a screeching halt.

Everything around you, your coffee mug, clothes, snack, and more were most likely on a truck at some point. If you like being able to go into a convenience store to pick up a drink or a pack of gum then thank a trucker.

People don’t realize how hard truckers work, and how dangerous of a job it is. Aside from the traffic danger and health risks, drivers also face murder. During the past decade, over 500 transportation professionals have been murdered. That’s why Trucker Lives Matter (TML) has created the event. ‘A Day Without Truckers’ on September 5th to spread awareness.

A Day Without Truckers


A Day Without Truckers is an event that will be held in front of the U.S. Capitol where all truckers are invited to gather to and ride in a memorial procession in memory of their fellow truckers who have been murdered. Those who cannot make it to Washington for the event are encouraged to shut down for the day. Also, everyone participating will be wearing all black.

Hundreds of truckers are expected to peacefully attend this event on September 5th, which is the first day back to work after Labor Day to bring awareness to the gun violence directed towards truckers and how they need self-defense and gun rights.

TLM has evolved from the equal protection bill named for Michael Boeglin, a trucker who after being murdered was burned in his trunk in Detroit during June 2014. TLM is working towards allowing every American to legally carry guns across state lines, which is quite the goal to have.

As of right now, truckers, as well as everyone else, cannot legally carry a gun across state lines even if they have concealed carry licenses and permits unless the states that the individual is traveling to and from have an official agreement.

Recently, Keith Odom was shot. The 49-year-old trucker from Tennessee was the victim of a random robbery at 8 AM in Baton Rouge on August 8th. He pulled over to repair a tire and was robbed of his belongings. He was shot even though he complied with the robber. Aside from being robbed of their personal belonging truckers face the dangers of cargo theft and road rage.

To deter people who want to cause you harm, park in well-lit areas, always be aware of your surroundings, stay calm, and have someone monitor your truck from dispatch. It also helps to park in areas with surveillance.

Stay Safe Out There


Whether you are participating in A Day Without Truckers, shutting down for the day, or simply wearing all black, be sure to remain alert and stay safe. We want to thank you for all of your hard work you do all across the nation and our hearts go out to those who have lost their lives.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about A Day Without Truckers in the comment section below.
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Join Rigs Without Cigs

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In some cases trucker health could really be improved. The industry is full of dedicated, hard working men and women that are plagued with conditions like high blood pressure, chronic back pain, sleep deprivation, diabetes, and more. While there are tons of articles and support for healthier eating and trucker exercises emerging, one aspect of poor health that often gets overlooked is smoking.

That’s why the St. Christopher Trucking Fund is doing their part to invite all smokers to join Rigs Without Cigs. 

Rigs Without Cigs


Rigs Without Cigs is a year long program sponsored by the St.Christopher Truckers Fund and a few other enthusiastic drivers to bring awareness to the trucking community about smoking and to provide tips and support to help finally gain their freedom back from the deadly habit.
 
You can preregister for the program now, and it starts on September 1st, 2017 and ends on August 31st, 2018. When you sign up you will complete an online questionnaire and then you’ll receive tips on how to quit nicotine, along with encouragement and accountability on a weekly basis through a network of support from fellow drivers. You can join at the beginning of each quarter of the year and continue the program during the year.

While the St. Christopher Trucking Fund will provide you with information about how nicotine addiction works, smoking triggers, smoking aids, and alternative therapy options, it's highly recommended that each participant receives an individual consultation with a doctor to determine the best method of treatment.

You will not be alone on this quest to stop smoking. You can encourage your friends, family, and fleet members to quit with you and you will have the support of other drivers. Also, there will be quarterly conference calls with Dr. John McElligott so you and all participants can discuss progress and find the answers to any questions that you may have.

If you sign up for Rigs Without Cigs at GATS, The Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX you will receive a gift and a free doctor consultation. Plus, there will be prizes drawn for participating drivers during each quarter along with a grand prize drawing for drivers who stay involved for the whole year. The prizes will be provided by Road Pro. 

For more information about Rigs Without Cigs and the official rules and regulations click here.

Smoking Makes The Road Dangerous


Eliminating smoking will help improve your personal health and increase the safety of the road. Drivers should really quit smoking because: 

- Smoking is a major cause of distracted driving. While you’re looking for your cigarettes, lighting them, smoking them, and more, your eyes are off the road and your hands aren’t on the steering wheel.

- Smokers get less REM sleep, meaning you don’t get well rested even if you get the recommended amount of sleep. Driving is an exhausting job and driving tired is the equivalent to driving drunk.

- Smoking raises the risks of getting cancer, heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, and more.

- Smokers are often affected by mental health disorders including depression, anxiety, anger, and more, which can be dangerous on the road.

ExpressTruckTax Believes In You!


There’s no better time to quit, plus joining Rigs Without Cigs will connect you to tons of other truckers who also want to kick the nasty habit. If that’s not enough you will also learn tips about how to quit and could win some awesome prizes. Do you part to make the roads safer and the nation’s truckers healthier by signing up today or while you’re attending GATS.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com
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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

AMX Shares How to Safely Share the Road with a Semi

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AMX, Alabama Motor Express, has kindly shared facts about how to share the road with semis in order to make the roads a safer place with ExpressTruckTax. Be sure to pass this important safety information along!



We’ve all been on a highway waiting on a semi to pass in the left lane thinking, “Why is this taking so long??”

Sharing the road with a big rig is inevitable these days. After all, there are 5.6 million tractor trailers registered for use in the U.S.

But, there are ways to make things better and safer for all parties involved.

We can start by understanding a few things about semi trucks.

According to a blog by Nationwide, due to their size:

- Their blind spot is bigger
- They need more space to maneuver
- They require more time and distance to stop
- It takes more time to pass them

NEVER ride alongside them. First, they have a large blind spot on their sides. Second, semis are notorious for blowing tires. At worst, a blown tire can knock you off the road. At the very least, the sound (as loud as a gunshot) can scare you, maybe even enough to make you lose control of your vehicle. Third, semis have a lot of surface area. Getting blown around by the wind is a real risk that can result in drifting into your lane.

Always pass them on the left side. If they’re in the left lane, it’s for a reason. Either they’re passing a slower car, an emergency vehicle is on the right side or there is road work requiring left lane travel.

When passing them, try and give them a decent amount of space before you get back in the right lane. A good rule of thumb is to wait until you can see the pavement in front of the bumper. They need to leave a wide berth in order to have enough time to brake if something were to happen. And, you do NOT want to be in front of an eighteen wheeler when he/she doesn't have enough space to brake.

If you see a truck's turn signal, do your best to get out of the way by either speeding up or slowing down to let him/her pass. Of course, we are all trying to get off the road as fast as possible, but being on the road is their livelihood. And, usually, if you are polite to them, they'll be polite to you.

Truck drivers spend a ton of time on the road with four-wheelers. And, accidents between a car and a tractor trailer can be fatal. According to statistics from Women In Trucking, 79% of all accidents involving semi-trucks are caused by car drivers.

Avoiding an accident with an eighteen wheeler is always a good idea. Let's share the road in a way that gets us all there safely.

To learn about how SmartDrive cameras can alert safety teams to drowsy drivers, proximity violations and unsafe following, check out our blog on /smartdrive-camera-implementation!

For More Information


Visit ExpressTruckTax.com and AMXTrucking.com for more informational posts! Don't forget that your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) Form 2290 is due on August 31st, and  ExpressTruckTax makes it easy to complete your form in minutes to get a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 the same day. 

If you need any assistance contact the dedicated ExpressTruckTax team Monday - Friday from 8 AM to 7 PM EST at 704.234.6005. We also offer live chat and 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com. 
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Safely Beat the Trucking Heat this Summer

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We’re sure that you’re aware that summer is here in full force. While summer comes with a lot of swimming, fun, and maybe even a vacation, it also comes with hard work. We know you’re putting in a lot of hours on the road, maybe even in areas with record-breaking high temperatures. When you’re in the heat you face risks such as sunburn, skin cancer, overheating, and even heat strokes can occur. So, be sure to stay safe out there this summer and spend a moment here today to learn how to beat the heat!

Beating the Heat


The sun can be your friend, but also your enemy, so protect your skin from its warming yet harmful UV rays. This is achieved by applying sunscreen a few times a day. The sun shines through your truck windows and can even give you one heck of a truckers tan, so remember to apply your sunscreen during breaks or stops.

It’s also good to wear protective clothing to shield your skin from the sun. Long sleeves and hats go a long way towards preventing sun damage. Just keep a long sleeve shirt around in your cab to throw on while you’re driving, you don’t have to wear it all the time or during stops. Remember to protect your eyes as well with a pair of polarized sunglasses. Otherwise once the light and heat reflecting off of the road your sight could be comprised.

You need to hydrate properly with water. Soda will need to take a backseat so you don’t overheat. Water is much more effective at hydrating your body than soda and can help keep you cool and prevent the blinding headaches that come with heat exhaustion.

Be sure to keeps things cool. Idle your truck while resting to be able to get enough sleep and place battery operated fans in your rig to keep the temperature down. To cool down after being outside of your truck for a while place a cold rag on the back of your neck or place a bag of ice or a cold bottle between your wrists. Trust us, you’ll be instantly relieved from the heat. You can also peel off a few layers and relax for a little while.

The Signs of Heat Stroke


If you’re too hot to the point of being at risk for a heat stroke you’ll be able to quickly notice the signs. Generally, heat stroke symptoms include throbbing headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, confusion, seizures, fainting, rapid heartbeat, muscle cramps, weakness, lack of sweating even in the heat, and dry or red skin.

With heat sickness, you can still have headaches, nausea, cramps, and more, but you’ll probably still be sweating. Once you stop sweating then the serious threat of having a heat stroke is on.

Once you start noticing any symptoms of a heat-related illness then it’s time to take a step back. Get out of the heat or at least rest in the shade if you can and start hydrating. Warmer water that’s closer to room temperature can be easier to drink if you’re nauseous.

Take off any tight fitting clothes or unnecessary layers and lay down with a cold compress. Make sure your legs are elevated so more blood flows to your heart. Also, never hesitate to contact help because if you faint or have a seizure, then you won’t be able to.

Safely Have A Great Summer


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

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips on how to stay cool in the comment section below.
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Friday, July 7, 2017

Peterbilt Vs Kenworth: Which Side Are You On?

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There are many things that can set people apart based on their preferences, such as if they’re a dog or cat person, if they like Coke or Pepsi, if the best chicken comes from Bojangles or KFC, and more.
 
Sometimes differences may start off small, like if you like Chevy and for some reason your buddy prefers Ford. Then things could quickly escalate into the Peterbilt vs Kenworth battle, a rivalry like no other!

Peterbilt and Kenworth, like Macks, are classic examples of all American steel and power that have been around for decades. Peterbilt got its start in 1939 with the goal of providing quality logging trucks that could get the job done and Kenworth was founded in 1912 to build rugged, high performing logging trucks as well.

So, no matter what side you’re on appreciate both trucks with their dedication to the trucking industry in American history, we don’t know where the industry would be without them. 

The Peterbilt Vs Kenworth Battle


Peterbilt trucks are seen as high quality, classy trucks. They have been referred to as the Harley Davidsons or Cadillacs of the trucking industry. Some drivers simply can’t get enough of that prideful ‘I worked for this Peterbilt and got it’ feeling with all of its pretty chrome and glory.

Kenworths are often viewed as the more rugged truck. It’s a hard workingman’s truck that also offers a high level of comfort, quality, and advancements at a more economical value. They get the job done with high performing parts under the hood.

For the truckers who need all the bells and whistles then Peterbilt is the better options. Everything about the Peterbilt can be customized to suit your needs. You can design the interior feel like your home away from home.
 
Peterbilts are often seen as more spacious, more comfortable highway vehicles, but the Kenworth’s AeroCab is extremely comfortable and spacious. Plus, Kenworths are customizable too.

What happens if your Peterbilt is too big though? You need to be able to climb in and out of it easily and reach the clutch. Kenworth is seen as the smaller truck, but it provides more than enough space to comfortably reach the clutch and stretch out.

Are Kenworths the truck of the future? Some people believe so with the innovative technology included in the dash. The Kenworth’s built in navigation systems are better than your smartphone’s. Also, if your truck has a problem you can take it to any dealership in the country to run web-based diagnostic tools from an app to locate the issue and have it quickly repaired.

That doesn’t mean Peterbilt is stuck in the stone ages though. They have advanced safety testing and include a DPA (Driver Performance Assistant) to give you live feedback on how to improve your driving skills. They also have some fuel efficient and hybrid electric engines up their sleeves.

When It Comes To Buying Your Truck


Buying a rig is a huge, expensive commitment. Don’t make your choice based off of the Peterbilt and Kenworth battle. Test out each truck to see which one works best for you and your business. Heck, you could even find out that a Volvo is the best option for you.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share which truck is your favorite and why in the comment section below.
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Friday, May 26, 2017

The Trucker's Guide To Driving In Teams

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You often think of trucking as a solo activity, just a man and his truck. However, these days there are a lot of female drivers and even team drivers. Teamwork makes the dreamwork, but driving with a partner is surprisingly different from going down the road alone. We decided to look into team driving ourselves to get the full scoop.

What To Consider For Team Driving 


The concept is pretty simple. You have two people in a truck instead of just one, and you drive in shifts while the other person sleeps. This works wells because both people can drive up to 11 hours per day, meaning the truck covers more miles in less time. As long as you can sleep while another person drives then this system should work out pretty well.

More miles comes with more money, so that’s a big incentive but that money is also split between both drivers. Some married couples have rigged the system by driving together to take home all of the pay!

The most important thing when it comes to driving in a team is pulling your weight. Split the driving hours evenly, help with the loading and unloading unless you need sleep. Do your part to keep the rig clean and don’t eat all your partner’s snacks without providing food for them as well.

Now if you like your personal space then team driving probably isn’t an option for you. Think about it, trucks aren’t very big and you’ll have to split the space. Some people just casually place stuff in bins, and others develop an even storage system. Do what works for the team.

That’s another thing to consider, you won’t be able to do everything the way you want, you’ll have to work with another person. You’ll have to decide who drives during the day or at night, when to stop, and more. We’ve heard of some cases where drivers don’t want to stop and some people have had to use the bathroom in bottles. That happens on solo drives too though.

Driving tired is the equivalent to driving drunk. If you drive tired you’re risking your passenger’s life. Also, you should let your partner sleep, so he will be refresh and energized to safely drive you. This means that you may not be able to blast loud music or take phone calls all the time. You’ll have to adjust your personal driving preferences for your partner.

Other things that come into play are if you’re a smoker and your cleaning habits. If you’re a little messy and you get paired with a neat freak you might have a problem. Also, if you don’t smoke and your partner does, but you refuse to let them smoke in the cab tensions could quickly escalate.

With all this partner talk how do you even find one? That’s easy companies can assign one to you and work out the details and paperwork to agree to, or you can put an add out to find one yourself and handle the details yourself.

When you get a random partner, we hope you like them. Keep in mind that you could also get a partner of the opposite sex. This is mainly an issue for women because lady drivers need to feel comfortable with their partner.

Is Team Driving For You?


While it can be nice to have a buddy on the road, especially when you need some help, most drivers prefer to drive either with a pet or totally alone because they don’t want their personal space compromised. However, if you can trust your partner and be a respectful driver yourself, why not cover more ground together?

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about team driving 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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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

You Asked, We Answered: 6 Popular IFTA Questions

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Any time when taxes are involved things can get confusing. You have to when deadlines are, what materials are required to file, how to file, and more. With the IFTA deadline quickly approaching on May 1st, we, the truck tax experts at ExpressTruckTax, decided to take it upon ourselves to be your resource guide, by answering common IFTA questions.

Popular IFTA Questions


When is IFTA Due?

IFTA is actually due four times a year, which is why your IFTA report is commonly referred to as your ‘quarterly IFTA report’. The IFTA deadlines are as follows:

1st Quarter - April 30th
2nd Quarter - July 31st
3rd Quarter - October 31st
4th Quarter - January 31st


It just so happens that this year the 1st quarter IFTA deadline falls on a weekend, Sunday, April 30th,  and when IFTA deadlines are on a weekend or federal holiday they’re pushed back to the next business day, so your first quarter IFTA report is actually due on Monday, May 1st, 2017.

2. What exactly is IFTA?

IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement and it is an agreement with the 48 contiguous states in the US and 10 Canadian provinces that's designed to simplify the fuel use reporting for qualifying motor carriers that operate in more than one jurisdiction (state).

Now you may be wondering what a qualifying motor vehicle is, so we will clear that up. A qualify motor vehicle is vehicle or combination of vehicles that are designed, used, or maintained for the transportation of property of people that have two axles and a gross vehicle weight over 26,000 pounds, two axles and a registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds, three or more axles regardless of weight, or a combination weight exceeding 26,000 pounds.

3. I rarely travel outside of my jurisdiction, do I need an IFTA license?

You don’t necessarily need an IFTA permit, but you will need a temporary fuel permit, which allows qualifying vehicles without IFTA credentials to temporarily travel in their intended state. To get your temporary permit contact a DMV in the state you will be traveling in. You will need to provide them with information such as your VIN, vehicle model, and more.

Each state has their own temporary trip permit regulations. Some offer temporary permits with varying prices and lengths of time, so you may purchase the one the best suits your travel needs.

4. How do I prove that I Filed my IFTA Report?

You will receive a copy of your IFTA license on an annual basis as long as you file your quarterly reports. Keep a copy of your license in your office and in your qualifying vehicles at all times.

Also, you will have two IFTA decals to display on your truck. It’s best to keep them clearly displayed under the window on your driver door.

When you travel without your IFTA license or decals, you will be subject to receiving a fine and you may have to purchase a temporary permit, or both.

5. What Happens if my IFTA Return is Late?

If your IFTA Return is late, or you fail to file, your base jurisdiction may give you a penalty of $50 or 10% of the taxes owed, depending on which is greater. Also, your base jurisdiction reserves the right to impose additional penalties based on their laws.

Plus, your base jurisdiction will assess the amount of unpaid taxes you owe to each jurisdiction and interest will accrue on that amount at a rate of 1% per month.

6. What do I Need to Complete my IFTA Report?

You will need the following information to complete your IFTA return:

The total miles taxable and nontaxable, traveled by all the licensee's qualified motor vehicles per jurisdiction. This includes IFTA and non-IFTA miles, and trip permit miles.

The total gallons of fuel consumed by the licensee's qualified motor vehicles per jurisdiction, including taxable and nontaxable, IFTA, and non-IFTA.

The taxable gallons used and purchased per jurisdiction.

And the current tax rate per jurisdiction.

Do You Have More Questions?


Well then ask us! We’re IFTA experts, and we’re here to help. Feel free to contact our dedicated support team with any questions that you may have. We’re available Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.234.6005. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@expresstrucktax.com
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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 31, 2017

A Look At ELDs

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The trucking industry is a growing and changing business. Oftentimes new proposed rules and regulations come out in an attempt to improve the industry. Generally, people want to promote driver safety, health, and slash costs for those participating in the industry. However, sometimes these changes are met with great resistance from drivers. One example of this is the Electronic Logging Device Mandate.

Electronic Driving Devices


The Federal Electronic Logging Device or ELD Mandate is in full swing, meaning that all drivers keeping paper logs have to switch to an ELD by December 18th, 2017.

An ELD is a small device that connects to a truck’s engine in order to record the date, location, engine hours, vehicle miles, driver information, user authentication, vehicle, and motor carrier information. The device will keep detailed records of truck driver’s habits.
The purpose of ELDs is to accurately report a driver's HOS or hours of service. The will let carriers know if truckers aren’t putting in enough driving hours or if they’re putting in too many. This way detailed electronic records can be kept to prevent drivers from running over their hours. Carriers will also be prevented from pushing their drivers to work over time.

A severe problem in the trucking industry is driving tired and fatigued. Driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk and it’s very dangerous. ELDs will help to make sure that drivers get the rest they need.

The ELD Mandate does include measures to prevent ELDs from harassing drivers. Carriers can’t use them to interrupt a driver while they’re sleeping or to push a fatigued or ill driver into driving more hours. Harassment from carriers will be met with fees and penalties.

A few benefits include the fact that less paperwork will be required of drivers, and they won’t have to keep up with paper logs. Plus, ELDs will allow dispatchers to stay updated on their driver’s location, so they’ll have more accurate estimations as to when loads will be delivered.

So, Why don’t drivers like ELDs?


Truckers and fleet owners don’t want to incur the costs of installing ELDs in their rigs, even though prices have recently dropped. Some ELDs are as cheap as $150 and truckers have the option of using their smartphone or tablet as an ELD as long as they meet the requirements.

If they prevent drivers from going over HOS then truckers feel as if they’ll lose money and loads, because they won’t be able to deliver them on time. However, paper logs require you to round up 15 minutes, and ELDs don’t. With an ELD you can drive up to your very last minute for your HOS.

Drivers feel uncomfortable under heavy surveillance. They don’t want to be constantly watched. Even though ELDs only record driving habits, and don’t provide carriers with video or audio feeds, drivers still feel as if they will being monitored too closely.

No one wants to be bothered by notifications. While driving or sleeping, truckers don’t want their ELD to bother them to either drive more or to stop driving. The ELD Mandate has taken action to prevent the harassment of drivers by not allowing carriers to push them when they’re tired, or send them notifications when they sleep.

Also, most ELDS automatically know when to switch in and out of driving mode, based off of the engine's activity. In order to prevent distracted driving, some ELDs don’t send out notifications until a few minutes after trucks have come to a stop.

What Do You Think?


Here at ExpressTruckTax, we want to know what you think about ELDs. Will they improve driver safety or will they just be a hassle? Please tell us what you think in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Use Factoring To Get Paid The Same Day

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The trucking industry can be hard to break into. You need a good cash flow to get your business started and to keep it going. Just because you’ve established yourself as an owner-operator doesn’t mean that you won’t face slow periods where you need a little extra cash flow to get by. Now, this doesn’t mean give up, it simply means consider the option of factoring to get cash fast for your business.

Factoring

Factoring can be the solution to helping you manage your cash flow for your company because it helps you get cash fast because factoring is an advance on accounts receivable.

Basically factoring companies give you a cash advance by paying you for the invoices on loads that you’ve already delivered. Usually, once you deliver a load you won’t get paid for it until 30 to 90 days later, so factoring cuts that time out by paying you the same day.

Drivers and owner-operators tend to turn to factoring as a way to keep their business afloat or to get their business started for a variety of reasons. For example, factoring could be the best option to get paid the same day when drivers can’t cover their bills, when they have a major fuel invoice, or need to pay their drivers. Different companies have varying amounts of time on when drivers actually get paid, and factoring will help drivers get paid the same day instead of waiting.

When you’re just starting out and want lease a new truck factoring can provide the cash that you need to cover business-related purchases in order to get your owner operating business going.

Before you get paid you will negotiate an agreement with the factoring company. The money you get upfront will be a percentage of the amount the load your client owes you. In the factoring agreement, your customer will pay the factoring company for the load you delivered and the factoring company will keep an agreed upon percentage, then you’ll receive the rest.

Our Top Factoring Companies

Here at ExpressTruckTax we pride ourselves in providing quality service and helping truckers out in any way we can, that’s why we’re telling you about two trusted, and outstanding factoring companies that you can turn to for cash advances.

Since 1994 TCI Capital has been helping those in the trucking industry and more get the cash they need on the same day instead of waiting for it. TCI has experienced and knowledgeable representatives to help serve clients with even the most unique funding needs.

Also, TCI offers the credit history and payment trends of potential clients to help companies take on new customers with confidence, and provides online reporting to keep you informed about your transactions at all times.

FleetOne has 28 years of experience in trucking finance and will work hard to get you funding within 24 hours. By providing credit checks and offering an experienced support team to answer all of your questions, FleetOne makes the factoring process quick and simple.

The FleetOne mobile app can be used to make factoring even easier, by providing you with the ability to take a picture of invoices, documents, and more to instantly scan and upload to your FleetOne account. The app also keeps all of your documents and transactions in one convenient location.

ExpressTruckTax is Here To Help


If you have any questions about factoring or about what we can do to help you e-file your HVUT and accurately calculate your IFTA totals please don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated support team at ExpressTruckTax via live chat, phone, or email.
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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, January 27, 2017

The Issues With Leasing

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Do you hear that? It’s the call of the open road, with miles of freedom. It would just be great to be an owner operator right? With the ability to schedule your own dispatches, and to drive without little company policies to follow or a manager constantly watching you to make sure you don’t make mistakes? Well to do that you need your own truck to operate, and one way to do that is by leasing one.

A Little About Leasing


Leasing is basically another word for borrow because you’re using someone else’s equipment. Only instead of ‘borrowing’ the semi truck you’ll be paying to use it. In order to lease a truck, you’ll sit down in an office and agree to a contract with set monthly payments over a certain amount of time. The average lease lasts about three years, then you’ll be on your way, driving a truck that someone else owns.

Many truckers turn to leasing because it’s a quick option to jump in a truck when their credit isn’t in order to buy a truck or their finances aren’t in order, because leasing companies often don’t turn those with bad credit away, and don’t require a down payment.

It’s seen as a good way to start driving as an owner operator while you can get your finances together and credit score up to buy your own truck. However, there are some negatives with leasing to consider.

The Downsides of Leasing


When you lease a truck, it’s not your own. Now you may be comfortable with that, but you also might not be. Part of the call of the open road is the romance of being attached to your truck. Not to be mushy or anything but in the automotive industry people really love their vehicles. Will you be able to give your truck up at the end of the agreement?

Plus, when the truck isn’t yours you can’t modify it. Lease contracts will prevent you from installing lift kits, or the latest technology to make your life easier as a trucker.

If you think that leasing is your way to get into a brand new truck you’re wrong. Just like with buying a newer trucker, leasing a newer truck comes with higher monthly payments. Chances are that if you’re trying to start your business you’ll be in an older truck with a lower monthly payment at first.

Also, leasing isn’t a way to get out of higher monthly payments due to poor credit. Your monthly rates will still be higher when leasing if you have a bad credit score.

Speaking of monthly payments, did you know that leasing companies have protecting their vehicles from depreciation in their best interest? So, they want their trucks to be perfectly repairs and maintained. will add on a maintenance fee to your monthly payment. They’ll also add in the cost of insurance.

Don’t forget to watch out for lease contracts that have step up agreements, meaning that over time the amount you pay will increase.

If you buy a used truck you can use it for its trade in value to help you out with your down payment on a new truck. However, with leasing you have to give the truck back, leaving you with nothing to trade in.

Sure, you can lease to own, but generally, at the end of your leasing contract you’ll end up paying more for the truck than you would have if you would have simply bought the truck up front.

Is Leasing For You?


Sometimes leasing is the right option to help guys get their business started. As their business grows they can buy their own new or used truck or continue to lease. Speak with a financial advisor to figure out your best option for your current financial situation and business plan.

For more trucking trips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about leasing 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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