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Showing posts with label truckers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label truckers. 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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Friday, October 27, 2017

The Halloween Dangers On Our Roads

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ExpressTruckTax warns truckers bout Halloween dangerous driving
Truckers, it’s Halloween weekend! You probably won’t see any ghosts unless you take some haunted routes. For example, you could check out South Carolina’s haunted crybaby bridge, which has personally scared the snot out of me a few times.

However, you could still run into some tricksters and ghouls causing trouble on the roads. Just like around any holiday, traffic will increase and the roads will become more dangerous. We want you to stay safe this Halloween, so we have a list of what to watch out for during your routes.

Halloween Danger On Our Roads


1. Drunk Drivers

Halloween has all of the vampires and goblins crawling out to dress up and drink for a good time. From house parties to bar crawls people will venture out all over and may not use their best judgment.

If you see a drunk driver on the road pull over and call 911. Report the car model and license plate number so the cops know what to look out for. If you stay on the road with them be sure to maintain a safe distance.

Signs of drunk driving include swerving, tailgating, sudden braking, drifting, driving without headlights on in the dark, driving in the wrong lane, and more.

2. Increased Law Enforcement

Extra drivers will be on the road and extra law enforcement officers will be out to catch speeders, drunk drivers, and more. We don’t know what your worst fear is, it could be spiders, maybe it's snakes, but explaining your speeding ticket to your wife might be a terrifying Halloween experience all on it’s own!

In order to avoid getting pulled over be on your best driving behavior. Don’t speed, tailgate, or sporadically change lanes. Also, if you go through a checkpoint things will go much quicker and more smoothly if you remain calm and polite.

3. Oh Deer, So Many Deer!
ExpressTruckTax explains how truckers can avoid hitting deer

We’re in rut season for deer, meaning more deer are out looking more mates. During this active time, they are hopping all over the place, including into the road. If you hit a deer or swerve around them and hit something else your truck could suffer thousands of dollars in damage. Also, you could become injured or lose your life.

Watch out for deer on the side of the road by keeping a lookout for shining eyes and slow down. If a deer is in the road, frozen in fear, flash your lights and honk your horn to snap it out of its trance. If a collision is unavoidable, don’t swerve or slam the breaks. Plow through it and assess the damage when you can come to a safe stop.

4. Tricksters

Many kids like to play pranks on Halloween. Including throwing rocks, pumpkins, and eggs at windshields. If you see any suspicious activity on overpasses report it immediately, because this activity is extremely dangerous.

Recently teens in Michigan were throwing rocks from an overpass and their prank turned deadly. A father of four was killed in traffic as a result. The teens were caught and will be tried for murder. Hopefully, other teens will learn from this example.

If your windshield is struck by an object remain calm. Don’t swerve or slam on the breaks, just gradually slow down and turn on your caution lights. Also, if you need to clean your windshield come to a safe stop in a safe area first.

Happy Halloween


We hope you enjoy this spooky holiday. We hope you get the chance to trick or treat with your kids, watch a scary movie, and eat your favorite Halloween treat. If you’re going to be out on the roads be sure to stay safe and drive alert with caution.

If you have any safety tips to add please share them in the comment section below. Also, visit ExpressTruckTax for more trucking blogs.
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Monday, October 16, 2017

Finding Healthier Trucking Options On The Road

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ExpressTruckTax promotes trucker health
It’s one of the best times of the year. The leaves are changing colors, pumpkin spice flavored everything is out, and the heat is finally starting to break. However, it’s also the time of year when we get excited about holiday food and can pack on a little extra weight for winter.

Trucker health isn’t something that should go ignored. As temperatures drop and you find yourself wanting warm, carb loaded comfort foods, stay strong! Don’t let yourself binge eat and outgrow your rig. Check out our list of healthier food options to help you stay fit this holiday season!

Healthier Food Options On The Road


When you go into your favorite truck stops, like the hook you may find yourself instantly facing sugar loaded breakfast options like donuts and cinnamon buns. Just briskly walk past them and go for the healthier options. For example, you will see fruit like apples, oranges, and bananas which provide tons of morning energy. You can add some protein with a healthy breakfast omelet, breakfast meat, or boiled eggs.

If you don’t have time to sit down and need something on the go you have healthier options than greasy breakfast biscuits. For example, you can get an egg and cheese sandwich from Subway, or an egg McMuffin from McDonald's. You could even head to Starbucks for a healthy spinach and feta wrap.

One really important thing to remember in the morning is to not load up on extra calorie filled coffees with tons of creamers and sugar syrups. Save the pumpkin spice lattes for special occasions. You will really do yourself a favor by drinking coffee plain. If you can’t stomach black coffee, then try a flavorful variety of green tea. Flavors like peach, blueberry, mint, and more are sweet without any sugar.

While we’re on the subject of drinks, kick your soda habit to the curb. Your body doesn’t need all those chemicals slowing it down and you could do without the sugar crash. Stick to water, coffee, and sugar-free teas.

When it comes to finding healthy meals, truck stop menus have all added delicious low carb options like fish and chicken. You will find something you like and it will be filling. Plus, most fast food restaurants also have a number of healthier options to their menu to choose from.

ExpressTruckTax promotes healthy trucker recipes
For example, the Grilled Chicken Cool wrap from Chick Fil A is only 340 calories, and it’s delicious. The Wendy's Asian Cashew Chicken Salad offers an explosion of flavor for only 380 calories. Just avoid the salad dressing. Also, the McDonald's Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwich is warm and life-changing for only 360 calories.

In between meals, you should choose healthy snacks and that’s actually pretty easy to do on the road. You can take some almonds, pecans, or walnuts in your rig or you can buy Lara Bars with all natural ingredients and no added sugar. Also, you can keep a few Oikos Triple 0 yogurts in your mini-fridge.

If you don’t like the healthy options fast food restaurants have to offer, consider meal prepping. Cook your own healthy options like taco salads or spicy chicken with sweet potatoes in advance to take with you on the road.

You can even take a crockpot with you to cook healthier options in your rig. For example, crockpot meatloaf is outstanding. You can also make healthy chilis or pork loin with apples. Many truckers have already put effort into crafting irresistible, healthy crockpot options for you. All they take is a little planning. 

Happy Fall


We are happy that football is back, Halloween decorations are out, and Thanksgiving plans are in the works. However, hopefully, all this bliss won’t make our waistlines increase. Maintain your trucker health this season by thinking about your options and choosing healthier meals. Heck, you can even cook a few yourself.


If you have any healthy options to add please share them 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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Friday, September 29, 2017

Preventing Road Rage: Stay Calm And Keep Driving

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ExpressTruckTax emphasizes the importance of trucker safety
We have all gone hulk once or twice. Maybe it was for acceptable reasons and maybe it was a tragic overreaction to something. Either way, since birth people are taught to be in control of their own emotions because anger can be dangerous, especially when it enters our roads.

Recent Road Rage…


The Nation’s highways are already filled with dangers such as driving tired and driving distracted, and that’s only made worse when people are driving angry. Recently, in Allentown, Pa, a trucker named Ernest S.Weisburg was so consumed with road rage that he began hurling rocks out of his window, striking a van.

The victims followed the trucker until state troopers were able to pull the driver over, and when they did they found 3 more rocks behind Weisburg’s passenger seat. This is an example of incredibly dangerous road rage that could have lead to major wrecks and traffic deaths.

Thank you for being a responsible trucker and doing your part to keep other motorists safe, even though an influx of four wheelers can really test everyone’s patience. Let’s continue making our roads safer by taking a look at preventing road rage.

Identifying Road Rage


Road rage is known as aggressive or violent behavior coming from a driver’s uncontrolled anger towards fellow motorists and truckers on the road. Many things can cause road rage from a bad day at work to running late.

Often times road rage beings with aggressive driving such as speeding, tailgating, and not using a blinker. If you notice yourself doing these things take a moment to calm down before your situation escalates.

Road rage is extremely dangerous because it’s distracting. Usually when involved in road rage drivers are looking at other motorists instead of the road, making it easy to run into objects or other vehicles.

Drivers also have the tendency to make obscene gestures at other motorists, meaning they don’t have both hands on the wheel. With only one hand on the wheel is can be much easier to lose control of your own semi truck.

Those involved with road rage may also speed up and maneuver dangerously around each other, putting themselves and other drivers at risk. In severe cases, vehicles will try to push each other off the road or use weapons to cause harm.

Road rage could result in the loss of your life, traffic deaths, vehicle damage, physical damage, fines, going to court, going to jail, and more. It’s best to just keep calm and avoid it at all costs.

Preventing Road Rage


The best way to avoid road rage is to ignore other drivers, even if they are truck drivers. We sure you encounter a lot of angry people on the roads, and you’re good at not letting them get to you. Avoid eye contact with them and give them enough space to pass you so they can be on their way.
 
ExpressTruckTax wants truckers to stay safe
You can also play calming music or an interesting podcast to distract yourself from other drivers. If they seem to be getting to you just take a deep breath and go to your happy place for a few minutes until drive away. You can also pull over to gather your emotions or count backward in your head. Thinking about the consequences of your actions can also help you stay calm.

It’s a good practice to be mentally prepared for your drive. You can most likely expect other drivers who are upset during their daily commute, so go ahead and let that stress go before you even get in route.

If you find yourself in a situation that could quickly escalate into road rage it helps to wave and mouth the word ‘sorry’. Remember it’s much better to be the bigger person than another victim of road rage.

Keep On Trucking


As the holiday season approaches and more motorists get on the road remember to keep calm and continue driving safely. Road rage accounts for a high amount of traffic deaths and can be completely avoided by keeping your cool.

Please share your tips for avoiding road rage in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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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 3rd quarter IFTA deadline quickly approaching on October 31st, 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.

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?


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E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.