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Showing posts with label trucking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trucking. 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, November 10, 2017

What To Consider Before Getting A Trucking Pet

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ExpressTruckTax explains the responsibilities that come with trucking pets
The open road can be a lonely place. Somedays you might not see or talk to another person for hours. That’s what some truckers love about the job, but it can really bother others. In order to combat the loneliness of the road sometimes people turn to getting a trucking pet.

Nothing lights up the world like a fuzzy companion that’s happy to see you and excited to spend time with you, even on the road. However, with pets comes great responsibilities. Be prepared to handle all the tasks that come with getting a pet. Before you make up your mind on what to rescue we have a few things for you to consider.

Consider This Before Getting A Trucking Pet


First of all, when you get an animal consider the fact that they have to potty, so you will need to make sure that they have a place to go. That means either finding a safe place to let your dog out to go, which you will find yourself frequently doing with a puppy, or providing a place in your rig.

If you would like a cat secure their litter box. You don’t want it to go flying if you have to slam on the breaks. Also, keep in mind that you will need to scoop the litter once or twice a day or get some odor blockers. Some truckers swear by having birds as pets, which tend to go where they want unless you train them to go on command, which is actually possible.

Next, consider energy levels. Do you want a super energetic kitten that may pounce on you or an older, more relaxed cat? Can you handle an energetic dog breed like a German shepherd? Will you have time to pull over so they can run off some of their fuel?

Some people may think smaller dog breeds have less energy, but that's not always the case. Beagles and yorkies are smaller and very energetic. Low energy dog breeds include bulldogs, pugs, basset hounds, and more.

Also, animals come with pointy objects like claws and teeth. If you get a puppy you will have to protect your rig when they are teething. Anything looks like the perfect chew toy during that phase, but you can distract them with bones and toys. Also, if you fear a car might destroy your seats you can distract them by purchasing scratchers for them to use.

You will also need to plan ahead for your pets. You will need to take enough food and water for them during your trips, also you will have to make space for their beds and toys. Don’t forget their medicine if they need any. Plus, will you be able to stop during your trip to head to the vet if you need to?

If you have to leave your truck for a little while then you will need to leave it idling for your pet’s comfort or you will have to make sure that you can take your pet with you into a public location. Having a leash and a crate to carry your pet in will help them be more welcomed in public locations.

Last but not least, think about how a new pet would make you feel. If the idea of a pup wagging his tail on a daily basis or cat purring while you head to your destination makes your heart swell then what are you waiting for? Go ahead and head to the local shelter to find your perfect trucking pet.

Happy Trails With Waggin’ Tails


If you feel lonely on the road a pet is a great way to cheer up. There’s nothing like a companion on the road. We’ve heard excellent stories of truckers and their corgis, pugs, chihuahuas, cats, lizards, and even their spouses on the road!

Just be sure that your carrier actually allows pets and that you can handle the responsibilities that come with them.

If you have a trucking pet please share a pic and tell us all about him/her in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Friday, October 20, 2017

Finding and Accepting the Right Trucking Job

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So, you have your CDL and now you need a trucking job. It’s time to look online, in the newspaper, and everywhere else! Load boards post new loads every day and companies are desperate for more drivers, providing you with a lot of job options, but make sure you find the right job.
It can be easy to jump at the first opportunity that offers money, but you may be neglecting a better opportunity. You may also accept a load for a company that doesn’t have your best interests in mind. Learn what questions to ask and what to look for when considering your trucking job options.

What To Look For In Trucking Jobs


Solid Pay & Benefits

You need to make sure that you make a profit per load, or that the rate per mile is high enough to cover your bills and provide you with the ability to build some savings. Sometimes when business is slow you may accept loads to break even, but on a salary, you will want to profit. Also, after gaining some reputable experience you may be offered hourly pay.

Before signing on with a company be sure to research the pay scale and ask about scheduled pay increases, accessorial pay, layover pay, and bonuses. It’s perfectly fine to ask about future opportunities before investing your time with a new company.

While you’re at it see what type of benefits the company has to offer. Will they offer you insurance coverage? Do they have a retirement plan? Will you be offered paid time off for vacations or holiday pay? These are all important things to consider for your personal needs and the needs of your family.

Look Past Face Value


Most trucking companies will have a professional looking website with images of happy truckers, but don’t let that sway your opinion. Read the text to learn about the company’s goals and how they work to achieve them.

Also, Google reviews of the company to see what the general public and previous workers think of them. This will give you a good idea about their reputation.

ExpressTruckTax shares how to find the right trucking job
Look at how the company values safety. Trucking is a dangerous job, so if they have safety regulations put in place and offer safety training, that’s a good sign that they actually care about their drivers.

Do The Policies Match Your Lifestyle?

Are the lanes in the routes that you like to travel? Will your loads be limited to a flatbed, tankers, and dry vans or will you get to gain experience with more specialized loads? Can you get your foot in the door by hauling dry vans and eventually work your way up to heavy loads?

Do you have a family that you would like to see as much as you can? Then look at the time off the company has to offer and try to find a terminal nearby. Some companies do offer drivers the ability to go home for weekends or every two weeks. You could also consider regional trucking instead of OTR.

Do you have pet you can’t imagine leaving behind? Then look at the company’s pet policy to see if they allow pets on trips. Some places may only allow smaller animals and others may only allow dogs. The rules and regulations for cats and dogs in the rig also vary between different carriers.

The Right Trucking Job Is Waiting For You


When looking for a trucking job it’s not important to find the perfect company or the perfect load. Instead, it’s important to find the right job for you that fits your needs and lifestyle. You may have to get out of your comfort zone a little in the beginning but as your reputation builds you will have access to bigger and better opportunities.

Please share your tips about finding the right trucking job in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Trucker Budgeting Tips To Really Help You Save

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ExpressTruckTax encourages trucking businesses to budget
Trucking gives you freedom. It provides the ability to drive all over the country without coworkers breathing down your neck and if you’re an owner-operator then you even get to be your own boss. However, with great power comes great responsibility.

In today’s case, we mean spending responsibility. Trucking can be very expensive, especially when you’re just starting out. Before you establish yourself as a reputable driver you may have to really nickel and dime a few things. A proper budget can make or break you in the transportation industry, so check out a few budgeting basics.

How To Create A Trucking Budget


Know Your Numbers

Before you start spending it’s a good idea to know how much you can actually spend. Meet with an accountant or financial advisor to see how much of a loan you can get when you decide to start up your trucking company.

Also, you will want to know how much you’re making and spending. These numbers can be easy to track with the help of a program like TruckLogics. TruckLogics will track your expenses and income so you can run financial reports at any time to see exactly where your money is coming and going.

Cut Costs
Once you know how much you can spend, you don’t have to spend it all. Cut costs and allocate money to the proper places. If you need office supplies consider getting refurbished computers. Also, you don’t have to buy the top of the line, brand new rig. Look into your used options or consider leasing.

The top 3 trucker expenses are gas, food, and lodging. Save on fuel by slowing down to improve fuel efficiency or consider getting a fuel card for rewards. Also, buy your on the road snacks in bulk to save and cook your own meals in your rig.

Last but not least, to save on lodging, stop sleeping in motels. Outfit your sleeper cab to be comfortable enough for a great night of rest.

Then put all the money you save from cutting costs into your actual savings. You will need it in case business becomes slow or something happens to one of your trucks. In the event of an emergency if you don’t have savings to pull from then you could find yourself in trouble.

Consider Your Options


Don’t just jump in and impulsively buy things. If the first insurance policy you’re offered looks good read the fine print anyways. It may offer more coverage than you need, so be sure to see what your state actually requires.

Also, things like bobtail coverage to protect your truck while in operation without a trailer or physical damage coverage may cost extra.
ExpressTruckTax helps truckers file Form 2290 on time

Do you really need an assistant back at home to cover your books and manage dispatches or can you do it all yourself with the help of a trucking business management program like TruckLogics?

Be On Time

Nothing stings like late fees, so be on time. File your 2290 by the deadline with the help and ExpressTruckTax and stay on top of your quarterly IFTA return with ExpressIFTA. Also, pick up and deliver your loads on time!

Time is money in this business, so you don’t want to keep people waiting. Plus, you can even be fined for delivering loads late and in some cases, you may have to wait until the next day to come back and unload your freight. That extra day of waiting won’t just be frustrating, because it will also be expensive.

Happy Trucking


We know you’re in the trucking business because you love it, and we know you can make it. Soon you will grow your business to new levels and with the help of budgeting, you will be able to save faster. You never know when those savings will come in handy, so be prepared when an emergency or great investment opportunity comes along.

Please add your budgeting tips 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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Friday, October 6, 2017

How To Beat Unforgiving Solitude On The Road

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ExpressTruckTax provides tips to beat homesickness
A number of people are attracted to the trucking industry to enjoy the freedom of being alone and enjoying adventures on the road. The appeal of seeing new places and beautiful views highly outweigh sitting at a desk with a boss breathing down your neck all day.

However, sometimes drivers can miscalculate how much time they will actually be spending alone in their rig. When traveling through remote areas they can go for days without having a friendly conversation with someone.

Plus, some days homesickness and missing your loved ones can really set in, but this should not steer you away from a career in trucking. There are ways to battle unforgiving solitude on the road.


Fighting Solitude


1. Break Up The Silence

Don’t just ride for miles listening to the sounds your truck makes as it barrels down the road. Fill your cab with entertaining noises. Turn your CB on to listen to what other truckers are talking about and join in on the conversation.

You could also invest in a satellite radio subscription so you don’t have to keep switching to different local stations all day. This way you can find a station you like and stick with it. There are also a number of trucking podcasts you can listen to on a weekly basis that actually discuss what’s happening in the industry.

If you download a music app like Pandora or Spotify you can build your own playlist. Your friends and loved ones can also make custom playlists and send them to you.

2. Talk To Meaningful People

You will run into a lot of people on a daily basis while delivering and picking up loads, but the guys at the warehouse are there to get the job done. They don’t necessarily want to shoot the breeze and might be a little short, but don’t take it personally.

Talk to the people who matter in your life. Give your friends and family a call back at home or video chat with them to see their faces. Seeing your kid’s smile will really turn your day around.

ExpressTruckTax promotes trucker health
There are also a number of online forums to connect with fellow truckers online. Once you make friends with a fellow driver then you will have a new friend for life. You guys will talk about the industry and may even spot each other around different areas of the country.

3. Bring A Pet Or Friend On The Road

Nothing livens up your rig like a four-legged pal, even though some truckers also swear that having birds or snakes on the road are excellent companions. Just be sure to put some thought into what type of pet you want to bring and be prepared for them. For example, cats will need a secure litter box, and puppies will go through their teething phase no matter where they are.

A majority of pets that work well on the road include smaller and lazier dog breeds who don’t require frequent stops. Also, older cats who like to chill do well. However, we've seen all sorts of animals enjoy the trucker life.

If your spouse has some time off work or your kids have a school vacation bring them along for a trucking adventure. They will love riding in your big rig and seeing what the trucker life is like. For kids especially, the trucking industry can be really exciting.

4. Make Your Cab Feel Like Home

Why not take the time to make your cab feel like a mini home to enjoy while you’re away? Take your favorite blanket or pillow with you, or hang up posters for your favorite sports team. You can also bring your favorite coffee mugs.

Go ahead and get a TV so you can watch your favorite Netflix shows or movies. You can also get a gaming console to enjoy your favorite video games and even play them online with your friends and kids.

Why not bring your comfort food too? Outfit your rig with a mini fridge, hot plate, microwave, and maybe even a crockpot to cook your favorite meals. You could also cook a few of your favorite meals before your trip and bring them with you to enjoy later.

Enjoy The Road


Nothing beats getting away from people to enjoy the tranquility of being alone, but sometimes loneliness can catch up with you. You could be on the road for weeks at a time and sometimes a call
from a shipper could cut your time at home short. However, when this happens it’s easy to beat unforgiving solitude by making a little effort to connect with your loved ones and make your cab feel like home.

Tell us how you beat the solitude of the road in the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 Simple Tips for Trucking Success

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Getting into the trucking business is a difficult task. Many people try to break into the market every year and fail. Either as drivers, fleet owners, owner-operators, and more. No matter how you want to emerge in the business there are risks to face. Trucking isn't just something you can wake up one day and decide to do because it takes a lot of practice and learning to be good at it.

To help you and your career along today we’re focusing on the positives to prepare you for the transportation industry by providing you with a few keys to trucking success. No matter if you’re starting out as a company driver or trying to launch your own fleet, check out these tips.

The Keys To Success

1. Budget

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that trucking is expensive. You will want to save anywhere you can, especially in the beginning. Do things like research all of your options before making a purchase. For example, don’t jump on the first big rig you see, considering buying used or leasing instead. Also, shop around and compare the best insurance rates to suit the best one for your needs.

When you’re on the road slow down. Literally, driving at slower speeds will help you save fuel, which is your number one expense. You may want to also join a fuel rewards club to see where you can save. Also, stop buying expensive meals and fast food all the time. Save by making meals in your cab and by buying your snacks in bulk to take along with you. Another way to save a lot is to sleep in your truck instead of buying a motel room.

2. Stay Healthy

When you first hit the road it can be easy to let yourself go. Literally, the trucking lifestyle that involves sitting and poor food options can be extremely unkind to your britches, because you may end up ripping through them. The amount of time drivers spend sedentary can lead to rapid weight gain, depression, heart disease, sleep apnea, and more.

Be aware of how much you sit and what you eat. Try to bring your own healthier meals on the road or choose from healthier fast food options like grilled chicken salads, which are actually very filling, just avoid the salad dressing and croutons. When you park, get a good walk in by exploring the truck stop or just by lapping your rig. Smartphones will record your steps to give you an idea of your activity. Also, you can bring strength training equipment in your rig.

3. Be Proactive


You can’t wait for business to fall in your lap. Using load boards is a great way to get started but you’ll bring in much more by building quality relationships with shippers. Call them, be polite, and deliver your loads on time. If your delivery will be delayed let your dispatcher know as soon as you discover that information. You could text them, but it’s best to call them directly and never text and drive. 

Part of being proactive is seeming like you care. That means wear something nicer than sweats and flip flops all the time, be polite, and remember to shower. Carriers talk to shippers and can make or break your reputation pretty quickly, so be professional. Plus, having a good attitude can help you get warnings instead of tickets.

4. Just Ask Your Question 

In this business, there is always something new to learn, but you have to look for it. Read articles online and simply ask other drivers for help. You can ask them questions on online forums or in person and they will appreciate being asked and usually love to talk.

Our last bit of knowledge today to share is GOAL. Get Out And Look! If you’re backing up or pulling onto a road and aren’t sure if you have a place to turn around or not then get out and look. It’s perfectly fine to take your time. Spending a few minutes taking a look before backing up is much better than hitting something.

Enjoy The Road


Congratulations on your trucking career. No matter where you are in the transportation industry you play a major role in moving our economy forward. Just remember to budget, keep your health in mind, be proactive, and if you have a question just ask!

If you have more keys to success for trucking please add them to the comment section below and visit ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking blogs.
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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Prep Your Rig For Storm Season With These Emergency Items

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Truck Driver Emergency Kit Needs
Hurricane Harvey, Irma, Jose, and more, oh my! It’s been quite the crazy hurricane season and we’re still smack dab in the middle of it. If you haven’t been affected by one of these monstrous storms, consider yourself lucky.

However, has a road veteran with hours of experience behind the wheel then you may know that it’s easy to find yourself stuck in inclement weather. Pop up storms, blizzards, tornado warnings, and more can strike, some without warning. When you start the day a few states away in an area with perfect weather it can be difficult to know what to expect along your route. Unfortunately, you can’t predict Mother Nature’s actions, but you can be prepared when she strikes.

How To Safely Truck Through Storms


No matter if you’re OTR or a local driver you should carry emergency items in your cab just in case you’re caught in an urgent situation where the tools could save your life. Also, if you find yourself stuck for a few hours or even a few days these items could make a major difference for your comfort level. So, what emergency items should you have?

It’s important to have some bottles of water and nonperishable food. Canned items and packages of crackers will do the trick, just don’t forget your can opener. A fork may come in handy as well.

Be sure to bring an extra change of clothes in case you’re stuck somewhere for a few days, and make sure the clothes fit the season. Pack an extra jacket and warmer clothes in the cooler months and clothes that you won’t overheat in during the summer. Always have a reflective vest to be visible to other drivers if you have to get out of your truck.

Since winter is coming up remember to have a hat that covers your ears, waterproof gloves, extra socks, and warm boots. Extra blankets are also great to have, including an electric one.

Waterproof gear is extremely important because you will be much happier if you can stay warm and dry. Plus, you don’t want to come into contact with flood water. Flood waters are contaminated with feces and chemicals, so if you have to get out of your truck you’ll want to be wearing stuff to keep that water off of you.

How to truck through rain and snow
Other emergency items that are great to have include utility knives, flash lights, batteries, an extra phone battery or portable charger, a hand crank radio, matches or a lighter, a first aid kit, an auxiliary power unit to heat your cab without the engine running, a portable heater, and extra fuel.

To avoid being caught off guard in inclement weather pay attention to the weather forecasts. Know what to expect during your route and if bad weather is a factor reroute to avoid it or delay your trip until the storm passes.

If you find yourself in a pop-up storm with a tornado warning then slow down, turn your flashers on and find shelter. Pulling off to the side of the road is pretty dangerous when visibility is low, pull off as far as you can. Also, you should never stop under a bridge or overpass as they turn into wind tunnels and lots of debris pass through them. If you can’t find shelter park safely and lay in a ditch or low area.

When it’s snowing or raining heavily and you decide to keep driving at your own risk use tail light in front of you as a guide to follow to make sure you stay on the road. Also drive slowly, you don’t want to hit the person in front of you.

If you find yourself caught in a flash flood find high ground and if the road is flooded to risk driving through water. The current could over power your rig or you could get stranded. Turn around, don’t drown!

Stay Safe Out There


Winter is coming, along with it come hurricanes, storms, snow, and more! Be sure to be safe and prepared for whatever Mother Nature has in store for us this season. Know what weather to expect during your routes and have the right tools in your cab in the event of an emergency.

If you have more safety items to include or tips on how to drive a semi truck safely during inclement weather please share them in the comment section below. For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com.
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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?


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, 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 4, 2017

Rookie Mistakes New Owner Operators Need To Avoid

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

They Don’t Run The Numbers


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

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

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

Rookies Don’t Save Money


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

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

New Guys Waste Down Time


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

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

Tenderfoots Buy New Trucks


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

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

They Skip Out on Regular Maintenance


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

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

Is It Time To Become An Owner Operator?


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

If you have rookie mistakes to add to our list be sure to comment in the section below. Also, check back with ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking tips.
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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Common Start-Up Trucking Company Mistakes

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Trucking is a competitive industry that millions of people try to break into every year. Also, many truckers seek to make the transition from truck driver to owner operator, and unfortunately a lot of them fail. If you want your trucking company to make it avoid these common mistakes.

New Guys Don’t Plan

Sometimes new trucking company owners don’t take the time to consider what will make their business work or fail. Instead, they say goodbye to their managers and take off down the road without being sure of their next move.

They don’t sit down with a CPA or business professional who can help them draw up the plans for getting equipment, hiring a few people, getting loans, and more. They go in blind and get hit with too many unknowns, and often times crawl back to their manager to ask for their job back as a result.

They don’t plan for more than one load at a time. They haul something to a city far away and drive home with an empty trailer wasting days at a time. Try to get a few loads near each other to make getting out there and back home worth it.

Their Finances are a Mess

With a bad credit score and bad financial planning bring on a lot of problems fast. If you spend all your money on one top of the line rig what will your other drivers use? Something that should have been left in the junkyard years ago?

Don’t just jump in and buy something. If your credit is a mess you’ll have trouble getting a proper loan, or your monthly rate and interest charges may go through the roof. Consider leasing as a cheaper option. There are even lease to own options available.

Another rookie mistake is not having any money set aside for maintenance and accidents. Trucks need regular servicing and run into problems just as much as we do, so be prepared in the event of dents, dings, and accidents. Will you be able to stay afloat if one of your trucks can’t be used for a month?

Then they also forget or don’t realize that shippers pay out on 40 to 60-day bases, so for a load they deliver today, they might not get paid for it for up to two months. What in the world? No money for two months? Then how will you pay your bills and employees? By planning ahead by having savings in advance ready to go in order to avoid payday loan services.

They Cut Corners

Instead of taking the time to call people in their area and develop quality relationships with shippers they just hit the load board over and over for quick, one-day loads that are competitive and don’t offer much return.

They get shoddy equipment that quickly malfunctions and hire less than reputable truckers that will deliver a load for cheaper, but don’t exactly build the best relationships with truckers.

They skip out on quality people to work in the back office at home. Without someone to do the paperwork and filing then it will all come back on you. Do you have time to handle everything yourself? Will you remember to keep up with tax filings and DOT regulations?

They Don’t Market Themselves

How can shippers choose you if they don’t know who you are? Put your brand on the side of your trucks. Put your drivers in uniforms with hats and shirts that display the name of your company.

Also, you can have a small team at home that works on making outbound calls to shippers in order to set up meetings to introduce yourself and talk about your business. As a result, long lasting relationships with repeat customers can be built.

You need to invest a little into having a professional website that displays your contact information. Plus, take advantage of social media to display your trucking company to millions of people online. Eventually, as your budget grows you can invest in google and social media ads.

They Start off too big

A lot of new guys cut off more than they can chew in the beginning and may choke as a result. Instead of slowly growing with two rigs they jump into business with five new trucks. If you don’t have loads for them to carry they’ll sit and collect dust as the bills pile up.

They hire truckers from all over. Someone in Charlotte will start paying guys in New York and Chicago instead of getting in with their local guys who usually are more reliable with cheaper rates. Creating a few personal relationships with truckers you can give raises to as your company grows will take you a lot further than have too many truckers all over the place.

There are too many people in the back office. New owner-operators get nervous about all the stuff that needs to happen so they’ll bring on secretaries and a big sales team, without considering the fact that they can’t pay that many people yet. Wait for the business to roll in before promising paychecks to too many people.

Slow Down and Plan it

Your trucking company can be successful. All you need to do is sit down with a financial planner and build a plan for your growing company. It may take off a little slower than expected, and there may be a few more things to consider than you thought, especially financially.

However, by taking it slow and adjusting to your new role as an owner operator and by building quality, long lasting relationships, before you know it you could have 10 trucks in your fleet or more!

For more tips on how to make it as an owner operator visit ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your secrets to success in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Consider The Facts of Becoming an Owner Operator

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Do you want to become an owner operator? You love trucking, and the call of the road runs through your blood, but are you ready to take the next step to further your trucking career? Becoming an owner operator is a serious choice that can’t be made overnight, but considering these following facts may help you weigh in to make your final decision.

You Have to Talk to the Suits

It isn’t as simple as gassing up the rig and hitting 70 on the highway when becoming an owner operator, you need a plan. You also need to get around all of the red tape with the proper licenses and meet the standard regulations.

Most likely you’ll have to put on a nice shirt and go visit the offices of financial planners, accountants, and professionals who know the business and can help you make a serious plan for your trucking business. Trust us, even if you want to be independent and hate the idea of sitting in a boring waiting room, you’ll be a lot better off with a plan and guidelines to follow.

There are way More Costs Than you Think

As an owner operator, you will have to be financially smart and set budgets for your personal paychecks and meals. Can you handle sticking to a certain budget for every meal or will you buy a filet mignon at the beginning of the trip and be down to a loaf of bread a jar of peanut butter by the end of it?

How much debt do you have? Are you close to unburying yourself? Can you add more to your credit cards to spruce up your rig and make necessary repairs? On and off the road, emergencies happen, do you have funds squirreled away to handle them, even if you can’t work for a month or more? Will anyone give you a loan? Hopefully, your credit is in good shape.

Are you prepared for the future? You’ll need a lot of insurance, including disability and life. If you become disabled and can’t work you’ll need the regular checks to keep coming in to help you out. Also, if you don’t make it in the event of an accident don’t you want money going to your wife and family to get your affairs in order?

It Takes More Time

Are you ready to put in the time it takes to be an owner operator? Can you handle driving longer hours with further routes? Will you mind driving all weekend? You have to be ready to put in a little overtime, or while getting started and establishing yourself, a lot of overtime.

Do you like to park on the weekends at stops to talk to your fellow road warriors and catch up on some tv or shoot the breeze to talk about what the bears with ears are catching on the CB or how the turtle races have been grinding your gears? Unfortunately, owner operators have less time to fraternize.

Is your home life demanding? Do you have a wife and kids to get back to? Do you have to be back every other weekend for custody of your kids?

You and Your Truck Might not be Healthy Enough

How old are you and how do you feel? Can you stay up for longer hours to drive farther? Do you have the time to put in overtime hours or are you just too exhausted? You never want to push yourself past the dangerous limit!

Do you have a growing health condition that will require more time for rest in doctor visits in the future? Will you need time off for treatment? If so then it might be the best time to make the jump to owner operator.

How old is your truck? Can it make the distance? How many miles have you and your loved one gone together? Do you own your own trailer and is it in good condition to haul various loads of frozen foods or materials? What if you needs to haul liquids or livestock? Do you have the necessary trailers or will they be another expense?

You may Miss Company Comforts

Leasing yourself to a company or being totally independent is always something to consider. While the freedom of not having to say yes sir to a supervisor and not having to follow dumb little rules may seem irresistible, you might miss the perks.

Working with a company comes with company trailers, paid time off, reimbursements for permits, miles, gas, and more. Plus, you can get on a company insurance plan. It’s a little less work, with a little more financial padding, even if you have people to answer too.

Do you Have What it Takes?

This article isn’t meant to put you down or discourage you from taking the steps to become an owner operator, it’s to make sure you’re prepared. Consider all the costs and the effort it will take. In the end, if the timing is right, your finances are in order, and your health is in good condition then there’s nothing like being an independent owner operator, making your own schedule, without any managers breathing down your neck. It’s pure trucking freedom.

Learn more about becoming an owner operation at ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your tips and tricks in the comment section below. 
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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

New Trucker Mistakes

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New Trucker Mistakes
New Trucker Mistakes
It’s no doubt that an influx of truckers enter the industry every year - it’s undeniable, the turnover rate in this industry can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, sometimes the system that feeds negativity into itself - new drivers hear disheartening information and carry this on their shoulders. After a while, the attitude can sour a driver.

Learning The Wrong Stuff From the Veterans


If you’re new, you need to learn the ropes from those that know them. Sure, school teaches you the rules, but putting these techniques into practice teaches you how they work in the practical sense. Someone who has backed their trailer in a thousand times can offer advice you may have missed.

As far as rookie drivers go, you should apply your learnings to the logic of seasoned drivers, picking up the safe and time-saving tricks and tips they offer. However, be sure to shrug off any unsafe shortcuts.

According to what one trucker told Business Insider, you’re getting ripped off if you’re less than 33 cents a mile.

If new drivers need to learn anything, it’s the livable rates they should earn for driving. Nobody wants to be ripped off, but the risk is high for truckers.

Just remember, if something is too good to sound true, it is!

Rushing Into It Without a Plan


It’s tempting to push through your training, ready for the actual job. But think about it - you don’t want to land a gig and find out that you are clueless! Sure, you will feel a little lost when you start a new job regardless, but you don’t want to leave your training without a clue!

Sure, you’re ready to drive - but make sure you’re not desperate. Desperation can lead new truckers to do reckless things, and that’s the last thing we need.

According to some seasoned drivers, new drivers are so green that they don’t understand that leasing trucks come with a significant cost of maintenance and overhead. When young drivers end up in this situation, they can have very little to show for it.

If you’re spending $900 a week on your truck, and find yourself barely able to afford ramen noodles, you need to rethink what you’re doing here!

Perpetuating the attitude, when you get started at your new company, you were introduced to a grizzled, older trucker who seems unphased by your presence. He probably doesn’t care about you - that you knew from the moment he grumbled something under his breath and walked off.

Don’t be that guy. I mean, everybody has bad days - that’s unavoidable. But you don’t want to be the one who perpetuates the poor attitude trope. You don’t have to be pure sunshine, but communicating in a likable fashion allows you to build relationships as you progress in your field.

Ask questions, be honest with your coworkers, and win them over with competence and openness. What you bring with your positivity will help you as an earner, and provide an example for other truckers.

With the right attitude, you’ll even avoid driver burnout.

Getting Burned Out


Some people get into trucking as a temporary way to earn some cash until they figure out their next venture. That’s fine! But If you want to last in this industry, you need to take care of yourself and keep a nice environment.

Taking care of yourself means a few different things. First, whether you’re an owner-operator or a company driver, if you drive local or OTR, you should go out of your way to work (and possibly live) in a nice, clean truck.

Other burnout prevention methods just happen to cross paths with health and hygiene tips, surprisingly. If you want to keep a sound mental state, find ways you can relax in your downtime.

Don’t get too relaxed, though! You should also find ways to improve your food and fitness routines!

One of the worst mistakes you can make is not e-filing your Form 2290 when the deadline rolls around - or when you purchase a new truck.

With ExpressTruckTax, e-filing HVUT is not only easy, it’s fast, safe, and supported by a great U.S.-based customer satisfaction team. E-file with us and we’ll answer any and all questions you may have.

So for all of our new truckers, let this be your year to be the best trucker ever!

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


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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Due Date Cometh: August 31 is the 2290 Tax Deadline

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Due Date to File Form 2290 is August 31
Due Date to File Form 2290 is August 31
With the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290 deadline approaching, we decided to break down some of the Form 2290 basics.

First of all, let’s reiterate the 2290 truck tax due date.

The Deadline for Form 2290


The IRS HVUT Form 2290 due date (or) deadline for the 2016-2017 tax year is August 31st, 2016.

When you need to file form 2290 online for 2016-2017, you also need to know your First Used Month.

The First Used Month of Vehicle

The First Used Month is the first month that the vehicle is used in a tax year.

If you have a new vehicle, the first used month is the first month that the vehicle is used in a year.

You need to file your HVUT Form 2290 a month after the first used month. If you bought the truck in February and started using it then, you would need to file your HVUT by the end of March.

Taxation Year


In order to understand how to file your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax return Form 2290, you need to comprehend how the HVUT tax year works.

If you have owned your truck for multiple years, July counts as your first used month for subsequent years after the first purchased year.

So when you go to e-file truck tax Form 2290, knowing the little details of your tax filing will make all the difference.

E-filing on the go? Check out the ExpressTruckTax mobile app!

Unsure about your First Used Month still? Contact our expert support team at ExpressTruckTax by calling 704.234.6005.

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trucking Spotlight

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- David Elliott
- 2001 Peterbilt - 550 6NZ
- 1,418,000 Miles
- Bought it new in Dec. 2010
- This truck will out-pull the new ones out there. Love the old girl!

If you would like to share photos of your truck, we would love to feature them on our blog. Photos can be submitted after E-Filing the IRS Form 2290 at
ExpressTruckTax.com

Happy Trucking!
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Trucking Spotlight

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-Lee Thomas

If you would like to share photos of your truck, we would love to feature them on our blog. Photos can be submitted after E-Filing the IRS Form 2290 at
ExpressTruckTax.com

Stay Safe on the Road!
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Friday, December 27, 2013

Trucking Spotlight

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- Lazaro Oscar Correa

If you would like to share photos of your truck, we would love to feature them on our blog. Photos can be submitted after E-Filing the IRS Form 2290 at
ExpressTruckTax.com

Happy Trucking!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Trucking Spotlight

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- Victor
- KLL Transport Express

If you would like to share photos of your truck, we would love to feature them on our blog. Photos can be submitted after E-Filing the IRS Form 2290 at ExpressTruckTax.com

Happy Trucking!
 
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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Trucking Spotlight

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- Harley D Nelson

- Solo Cup 2008 Limited Edition Pro Star


If you would like to share photos of your truck, we would love to feature them on our blog. Photos can be submitted after E-Filing the IRS Form 2290 at ExpressTruckTax.com

Happy Trucking!
Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.