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

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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Friday, September 9, 2016

3 Reasons You're Not Cut out to Be a Trucker

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3 Reasons You're Not Cut out to Be a Trucker
3 Reasons You're Not Cut out to Be a Trucker
As we approach National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, we want to take a look at what makes truckers such a unique group.

First of all, they are the backbone of our country. Without a strong freight system, we’d have nothing! But that’s only one factor.

In order to be a trucker, you need to have strength, an adventurous spirit, and be able to handle long stretches of isolation.

Most importantly - not everybody is cut out to be a truck driver. Without the following characteristics, you wouldn't last long as a trucker.

You're Not Strong Enough


We don’t mean physically strong, although we are big proponents of trucker fitness.

Let’s face it, trucking is a hard gig. A lot of the difficulty has to do with the fact that you spend most of your day alone, in a confined space, while driving nonstop. Some truckers have a reputation for being rough around the edges, sarcastic, or just plain rude.

But that’s not true - well, not fully. Truckers have to deal with a lot. If you were a trucker, you would feel underappreciated over time, especially when you deal with dispatchers, shippers, receivers who don’t care about you. And if you keep odd hours, it’ll only compound these issues.

What we’re saying is, truckers handle a lot of stress - don’t take this lightly! If you think you have the right kind of mental and emotional strength to handle what they handle, proceed.

You're Not Adventurous Enough


When you’re a trucker, your job changes daily. Maybe not the overall job description, but the conditions, the locations, the people, and the mileage vary from gig to gig.

This can bother some people, especially if you want a nice, safe job - something never changing.

But you’d be missing out! When you’re a trucker, you’ll see more of the country than anybody else. You’re gonna see everything from the bays of New England to the mountains of Colorado.

Truckers have to put up with a lot, but the trade off is experiencing something very few others get to. They get to see every mile of this country on the open road.

You're Not Solitary Enough


Unless you’re co-driving, you’re gonna be all alone while you’re on the road.

Which means, you’re going to have to deal with a lot of stuff on your own. No friends to share a beer with, and no family to boost your spirits. Of course, with the availability of mobile phones, you can still stay connected - but it’s not always the same.

If you prefer riding alone, there are plenty of options to keep yourself entertained. You can listen to the chatter of the CB radio, find a favorite station on satellite radio, or download some fun and entertaining podcasts.

Let's face it, you wouldn't want to waste time at a cubicle with your boss peeking over your shoulder all the time. A lot of truck drivers are drawn to the freedom to be themselves wherever they want, whenever they want.

Truckers are a rare breed - and most American workers wouldn’t be able to handle the stress these drivers go through. So we want to thank every trucker out there for keeping our entire economy afloat!

On top of all this, truckers still have to handle a whole lot of tax forms, ranging from fuel taxes to heavy vehicle taxes.


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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

2290 Filing for CPAs

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2290 Filing for CPAs
2290 Filing for CPAs
We spend a lot of time conversing with truckers around these parts, but we’re overlooking a key audience of filers out there.

That’s right, to all of our accountant friends out there - we don’t mean to ignore you. So this post is for you!

If you’re a CPA who needs to file form 2290 online, read ahead!

Understanding Taxable Vehicles


Most CPA's know this, but if you’re new to the game, let’s touch up on taxable vehicles.

A taxable highway motor vehicle includes any self-propelled vehicle with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more designed to carry a load over public highways, whether or not also designed to perform other functions.

Examples of these heavy highway vehicles include trucks, truck tractors, and buses.

Some vehicles, like logging and agricultural trucks, have a different set of rules. ExpressTruckTax walks you through all those road bumps, though.

Welcome to the TruckZone


If you’re a CPA, you’re probably not filing for a single truck. With the TruckZone, you can manage all of your vehicles in one place.

As you add vehicles, we store them in the TruckZone. The next time you go to file IRS 2290s, you can easily retrieve the trucks and drivers. You can even search by truck or unit number, driver, VIN, month filed, and even by the date the Schedule 1 was received.

The ExpressTruckTax Truck Zone can upload hundreds even thousands of trucks at one time.

If you need to file multiple Form 2290 returns, we’ve broken down the steps to e-file multiple 2290 forms.

If you have any issues with bulk uploading or transmitting, please contact our customer support experts at 704.234.6005.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

7 Ways Truckers Can Prevent Accidents

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Prevent Truck Accidents
Prevent Truck Accidents
There’s nothing worse than a close call on the highway. Well, except for an actual incident!

So what’s the cause of the many trucking accidents? It’s hard to pick one thing, but we know there are a few key factors that always come up.

How can you prevent accidents on the road? By starting with yourself!

We've listened to truckers and health experts to put together these 7 tips for accident prevention.

Get More Sleep


Nothing is more dangerous than falling asleep behind the wheel of a 70,000 lb truck speeding down the highway. Which is why you hear so many people in the industry discussing the sleeping patterns, health, and practices of drivers. Federal regulations do not allow more than 12 consecutive hours of road time, but there are many drivers who do more than this.

How can you avoid sleep deprivation? Rest for short intervals and take breaks when you’re tired. With small amounts of recharge time, you can prevent sleep related accidents.

Sit with Proper Posture


Over at TruckLogics blog, we told you about how you need to watch your back while you drive. And it’s true! When you sit comfortably and don’t damage your back, you reduce the likelihood of personal injury and even roadside incidents.

Related Blog: Is Your Truck Destroying Your Back?

Keep Your Distance


Always be aware of your lane distance as you cross the highways. Knowing your stopping and starting distance, break distance, and proper speeds will be essential for proper safety on the roads.

Stay Healthy


You know what sounds dangerous? Having a heart attack as you zoom down I-95, or any local highway.

That’s why we constantly tell drivers to eat healthy and exercise. Sure, exhaustion is dangerous enough, but your heart will be all the better with proper nutrition and regular exercise. With that one-two punch, you can reduce your excess weight

Bet you’d improve your sleep, too!

Watch for Blind Spots


Depending on what truck you’re driving, your blind spot is gonna be different. Make sure you know what your blind spot distance is, so you will know how far away a car or a person really is from your truck.

This will prevent major accidents on the road, when backing up, and even when removing items from your truck during a delivery.

Maintain Your Truck


Sure, maybe your employer is “responsible” for truck maintenance as a whole, but you should always implement pre-trip inspections and keep an eye on your truck out there on the road. These checks not only reduce the possibilities for something to go wrong, they also keep you secure in your work and your driving.

Manage Your Time & Profession


Time is money. Trucking is money. Instead of reacting to what happens on the road, plan ahead and document frequently. What we’re saying is, use a trucking software like TruckLogics to stay ahead of the game.

Sure, it might not prevent an accident as well as keeping the proper distance, but having access to all of your receipts, bills of lading, and invoices in one handy phone app will reduce a lot of the stress of your life.

Don’t forget, we’re only a few months away from your 2290 deadline - be sure to keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook for the latest HVUT e-filing updates!


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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Working Together in the Trucking Industry

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You hear of it all the time—truckers dealing with nightmare dispatchers, pushing them to their limits and making the job dangerous.

And from the dispatcher’s desk you’d probably hear a slew of bad trucker stories.

But we’re not here to point fingers!

We’re actually here to discuss communication between the many facets of the trucking industry.

Start from the Top


Truckers take the freight where it needs to go. Everybody knows that!

But business plans, shipment orders, and staffing requirements come from the top half of the industry. Sure, sometimes it's fun to dog on the suits in the offices, but they do play a vital role in the industry.

With support staff including managers, sales teams, dispatchers, communications professionals, and mechanics, truckers aren’t the only hats in the business.

But they sure are the most important! Much like an assembly line or a rowing team, everyone needs to play their part, but the truckers are your star athletes.

With the right people at the top watching out for drivers, we’ll be in a good spot as an industry.

People Are People


Sometimes it's easy for both sides of the industry to forget they’re dealing with people.

As a trucker, you KNOW you’re a person, but it's sometimes hard to get along with someone when your dispatcher sees you just as a number they’re tracking.

You represent a set of statistics, yes, but you’re still a person.

And you know more than anyone that electronic devices shooting out numbers can’t match up to human intuition.

On the flip side, the dispatchers, managers, and clients you deal with are also trying to do a job.

Just like you sometimes have a bad day, they do, too. And they also have to deal with all of their drivers’ bad days, too.

So above all else, make sure both sides use people skills and we can make working together a lot easier for the whole industry.

The Rig vs. The Office


You might know how we feel about offices already.

That job works for some, but it's a different ballgame altogether. An office is a field where employees need to work together, day to day.

There are lots of spoken and unspoken rules about how coworkers can act and speak to each other.

Yet as a trucker, you are more frank with your thoughts and feedback, like a warrior-poet strapped to 18 wheels of philosophy. You’ll share your thoughts with whoever you please!

This might come as a shock to anyone who is new to the industry, or has minimal contact with truckers on a daily basis.

That’s not your fault, by any means. But with a little understanding, both sides can communicate better.

Let's Work Together


But when it comes down to it, the best thing you can do as a driver, a dispatcher, or a manager is to keep the people in your industry on your good side.

A positive attitude, some kindness, and mutual respect will go far.

There are always going to be people who grind your gears, but with some honest effort and respect, there can be plenty of personal friendships and professional alliances you rely on in this job.

When it comes to working together, let us work with you on your HVUT 2290s this next truck tax season. If you have questions about filing Form 2290, reach out to our support experts at Support@ExpressTruckTax.com and by phone at 704.234.6005.

How do you think we can improve communication between players in the trucking industry?


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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Diet Tips for the Sedentary Trucker

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Now, we know not every trucker is OTR. But there are many members of our Trucking Nation who spend more time in their rig than they do anywhere else.

Hey, it’s a living! But now more than ever we know there are some health concerns with a sedentary lifestyle.

As for truckers? We know the human body faces additional stress from extended periods of sitting, but we also know those goods aren’t gonna deliver themselves!

There’s a dilemma, obviously. So we’ve gathered some healthy tips to help with your health concerns as a sedentary trucker.

Make a Plan


Like all good ventures, begin by planning out the route you’ll take.

Maybe you just eat too many carbs, and you need to cut them out. That’s a start! Just make sure you have a plan for the carb-withdrawal cravings, or you’ll end up at a truck stop binge eating potato chips!

Focus on your heavy hitters first, like the “empty” calories that don’t help you.

Calories Matter


Now, both men and women have a lot to contend with when it comes to calories. But how they intake calories differ, according to experts.

Typically, meal plans for women aim for about 1,800 calories per day (ages 19-50). According to the USDA, this could contain up to 2.5 cups of vegetables, 1.5 cups of fruits, 6 ounces of grain, and 5 ounces of high-protein foods like meats.

For men, a 2,400 calorie plan is encouraged. This would include 3 cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 8 ounces of grains, and 6.5 ounces of your high-proteins.

Now combating the sedentary life isn’t about losing weight, but if you master your calories you’ll see a definite decrease in pounds.

Fitness Helps


For a greater caloric deficit, become one of those fitness truckers!





We kid, we kid. Seriously, though, if you increase your burned calories, the deficit you create every day will contribute to your overall health.

It’s recommended that you get at least 30 minutes per day of exercise, which isn’t outlandish. We know most truckers are extremely busy, but it’s worth a shot. If you drive a flatbed, you probably get over 30 minutes of exercise per day.

Proteins are Everything


Basically, adult women need to eat about 46 grams of protein, and 56 grams of protein for men.

While carbs are an easy snack (I’m looking at you, bag of chips), there are plenty of protein alternatives you should seek out.

Instead of reaching for those chips, snack on some unsalted, roasted nuts!

Eat Unprocessed Foods


Speaking of chips, stay away from processed foods! I mean, we know you don’t have a ton of options on the road, but you can make some gains just by choosing wisely.

We know you might not be able to cook a full meal in your cab, but you can aim for more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead of processed snacks.

Also, just eat more salads. The vegetable kind!

At the end of the day, your bodily health is as important to your career as your truck’s maintenance. Don’t let it pass you by!

And don’t forget, the IFTA deadline is fast approaching. Generating your fuel tax report with ExpressTruckTax and ExpressIFTA is as easy as ever.

What are your tips to combat the sedentary lifestyle?

Suggested Blog: 3 Mouth-Watering Recipes That Won't Break the Bank


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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

#TruckTechTuesday: RigMinders App

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As you may or may not already know, we love technology here at ExpressTruckTax. This week, we want to discuss the RigMinders app, which is designed specifically for truckers and transportation professionals! Similar to the name, RigMinders reminds you of deadlines, both personal and professional, for things such as the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

Whether you have a single truck or a whole fleet, RigMinders is preloaded with every filing deadline you can think of. The app is also available through both iPhone and Android devices.

How Does It Work?


First things first—RigMinders is free and easy to use! Instead of creating a login name, you can use your email address to begin.

Deadline Alerts


Whatever deadline you need to remember, RigMinders has you covered. Since all important deadlines are already programmed in the app, all you need to do is enable the deadlines that apply to you or your business, and disable the ones that don’t. If you are unsure of what a certain deadline is for, just tap on the name and a short description will appear.

Customized Preferences


RigMinders allows you to customize your reminders, including the type and frequency. When you enter the app, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll notice a black box that prompts you to change your reminder preferences. Once you click it, you can choose whether you’d like to be reminded the week before, day before, or on the due date itself. Another perk: You can choose to be reminded by email, text, or push notification.

Edit Your Information


After selecting and saving your preferences, you’ll be presented with an email summary of your deadline selections. If you spot anything that’s missing or that has been filled out incorrectly, simply select the pencil icon, and you’ll be able to change your information.

...You’re Done!


Once you have selected your deadlines, customized your preferences, and edited any other information you need, you’ll never file late again!

If there is anything #TruckTech related that you wish to see featured here, drop us a line on our Facebook or Twitter!

And as always, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance or have any questions. Our support team is here to help! You can email us at support@expresstrucktax.com or call us at 704.234.6005.


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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: 4 Stretches to Eliminate Back Pain

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Bad backs and poor circulation are one of the most common health concerns facing truckers. It’s understandable, you sit in a cab for several hours with limited movement, watching the road like a hawk.

But since it’s #WellnessWednesday, today isn’t about what you can’t do, it’s about what you can do to fight the pain and restore circulation!

Driving trucks isn’t easy, but these 4 simple back stretches definitely are. And they could save a life, and your back! So here’s how to do some quick back stretches to help you avoid back, leg, and neck pain.

Back Bends


Back bends will really help you with decompressing your spine and fluid buildup that can happen in your back after sitting for long periods of time. It might sound a little scary, but this simple stretch will help you avoid any sort of complications.

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips behind your back, leaning backwards, and holding for 5-10 seconds. Then you should repeat that 5 more times, and that’s it! You’ve successfully helped your body eliminate future back pain.

Front Bends


Front bends are important because they help you loosen your hamstrings and increase circulation to your legs. Good leg circulation is crucial for good driving, good posture, as well as good health. And all it takes is this simple stretch to maintain some great circulation!

All you have to do is put your hands on your hips, just like the back bend, and lean forward. If you’re feeling up to it, you can also combine it with the back bends for a full range of motion. Remember to hold the stretch for 5-10 seconds, and do it 5 times, while breathing in and out like normal. You don’t want to hold your breath while doing stretches. Your body needs the oxygen to repair itself.

Then voila, you’re successfully helping to avoid both back pain and poor circulation!

Knee Up’s


Knee up’s may seem a little difficult at first, but in the long run they’re worth it. Much like the front bends, they help restore circulation to your legs. They also really help you loosen up and stretch your lower abdomen, which can be difficult to stretch otherwise.

All you have to do is use the side of your truck, and place your hands shoulder width apart, taking turns to bring each knee up. Then you should turn your knee to the side, stretching it across your body.

These knee stretches will make you feel much better very quickly. You’ll also feel a lot looser, and much more flexible. So do as many as you can and try to hold the stretch for 10-20 seconds.

At first it might seem a little difficult, but in the end it’ll be rewarding, I promise! Don’t worry if you can only do a few at first. Wellness is a journey, not a destination.

Neck Stretch


The next stretch will give you some much-needed relief from the tension that builds around your shoulders and neck.

All you have to do is start with one hand down by your side, with your other hand out at a 90 degree angle. Then just lean your head to the opposite side of your outstretched arm. Try to reach out as far as you can with said arm.

Make sure you don’t let your arm drop, keep it outstretched as far as you can for 5-10 seconds. Then do 5 reps and you’ll really begin to feel loosened up, and so much less tension!

Then all you have to do is keep up with these stretches. Even doing them once or twice a week can greatly improve your mobility. And it can combat the pain of being sedentary for long periods of time! All in under 5 minutes.

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you just want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

#WellnessWednesday: Wellness is a Journey

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Wellness is a journey, not a destination. It takes more than deciding to go on a diet, you have to decide to change your whole life.

I’m not talking about becoming obsessive and going to the gym 7 days a week for four hours or anything like that. I’m talking about your own personal wellness journey—what you alone are comfortable with doing.

Siphiwe Baleka, an Ivy-League swimmer, was already well into his own journey before he decided to help truckers begin theirs. Instead of pursuing an Olympic Career, he found his passion was helping truckers become more active.

And he’s doing a great job at it! In fact, he’s helped thousands of truckers lose tens of thousands of pounds.

Here at ExpressTruckTax, we know trying to eat well and maintain a healthy lifestyle while on the road can be tough. But we’ve got some health tips that might be able to help!

Beat the Boredom


Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. All wellness journeys should begin here. By getting your house (your mind) in order, you can begin to focus on your body. If your mental health is out of whack, then there’s a good chance you won’t be able to focus on anything else.

Boredom is a very common experience in the trucking industry. You have to sit and drive for hours, and listening to a radio station that recycles the same songs over and over isn’t very stimulating.
That’s when overeating can creep in. Because you can’t do much else while you’re driving (you also shouldn’t be eating, but we all do it). And you need to focus your mind on something other than what seems like an endless road in front of you.

But overcoming your boredom on the road can be as easy as buying an ebook, or subscribing to Amazon’s Audible (because you may not always have time to stop by a bookstore). When you have something else to focus on—other than a bad habit of eating when you’re bored—you can retrain your brain!

Which brings us to the next stop on your wellness journey: becoming health conscious.

Be Health Conscious


Nothing is going to change unless you’re willing to change it for yourself. The second step to living a healthier lifestyle is to address the problem.

Most of the time the problem is overeating, which is easy to start doing when you’re on the road all the time. Because most of the time what you’re eating has a skewed sense of serving sizes, not to mention way more than the recommended daily amount of sodium.

To help you become more conscious of what kind of calories, fat, sodium, etc. you’re taking in per day, there’s an app for that! The app is called MyFitnessPal, and you can use their website or log your daily food intake from their smartphone app.
And MFP is set by your weight and lifestyle, so even if you're sedentary, you can still lose weight or maintain your current weight.

Not to mention, after a while of recording your meals, you begin to notice that you automatically adapt to eat within your allotted calorie range. You begin to eat smaller portions because you realize just how much you may have been eating and you change it.

That’s why the second step on your wellness journey is making a change in the way you eat. It doesn’t even have to be a big one, it’s taking the step that counts!

Be More Active


Now, this next step is usually a red flag for people, but it doesn’t have to be scary. You don’t even have to step foot in a gym (unless you’re comfortable with doing that).

Being more active is just another step on your journey. And like everything else we’ve talked about, you can start small!

You can park a little farther away from where you need to go so you walk a few more steps. Or play your favorite song and dance a little in your truck. You can even spend a little more time walking around in a truck stop.

You won’t become physically fit overnight. And that’s not what this is about, it’s about taking small steps to become a better you. Because each small step you take helps you further along the road on your wellness journey.

And as long as you don’t stop, you’ll get there in no time!

Got some tips for how to stay healthy on the road? Or maybe you want to share some highlights from your own wellness journey. Drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter! We love hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.