ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Showing posts with label trucking lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trucking lifestyle. Show all posts

Friday, September 9, 2016

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

0
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.


Read More »

Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Driving Tips for Truckers

0


We’ve all seen it – you’re headed down a snowy highway and there’s a rig jackknifed into a ditch, clearly underestimating the dangers of an icy road. We talk a lot about filing your 2290s around here at ExpressTruckTax, but sometimes we need to talk safety.

Specifically, winter safety! If you’re new to the Trucking Nation, we suggest you winterize your rig this season. I mean, your route might take you all over the country, even into Canada – so it’s best you prepare for icy roads. While seasoned truckers may have their own routine, it never hurts to have a refresher.

Driving Dangers


While you’re on an icy road, make sure you approach driving with caution! Sure, we could probably write a book on roadside safety for the winter, but we decided to boil it down to a few key points.


  • Go slow! While your freight is important, your life matters most. You might think a road is good to go, but you won’t know if you’ve hit black ice until it is too late. Take it slow, at least until you know the roads are clear.
  • Top off your fuel tanks for extra weight. Not only will the extra weight help slow you down and give you more friction on the icy roads, but you never know when fuel will be hard to come by during a winter storm.
  • Tail lights can be deceiving. Keep a safe distance from other vehicles! If you’re tailing another truck’s lights for guidance, you might follow a vehicle off the road. On the same note, your lights might confuse other drivers during low visibility. Keep your distance!
  • Don’t pull over to the shoulder if visibility is low. Oncoming traffic might mistake your rig for an off ramp, a side road, or they might fail to see you altogether. Make it to a truck stop or a motel, instead.
  • Follow brake standards. Braking a rig always takes expertise, but make sure you approach it with extra care during a winter storm. Also, remember that Jake brakes are designed for dry roads – it’s best not to ride them on the ice.
  • Choose CB over Sirius. During winter storms, it’s best to keep your CB radio on and turn the satellite radio off. Sometimes we get into the habit of listening to music or talk radio, but it’s safer to stay in communication with your fellow drivers during dangerous conditions.



Preparation is Key


Before you head out, take time to prepare your rig for the colder months. Stock up on winter supplies, and inspect your rig! While you’ve hauled plenty of loads by now, take a look at your truck with fresh eyes. Check to see if your lights are in working order, look for accumulated ice, and have a plan for de-icing your truck. And don’t forget to check for low tire pressure. Not only will under-inflated tires decrease your fuel efficiency, but they also reduce road control as well!

After you winterize your truck, stock up on supplies!

  • As the cold sets in, it’s best to have plenty of warm clothing, insulated socks, and top quality boots. It’s better to have extras than to go without! 
  • Consider bringing extra blankets, or even a sleeping bag for the cold nights ahead. 
  • Make sure you have some nonperishable food on hand, since restaurants and stores might close down or become hard to reach. It’s not a bad idea to have mixed nuts, dried fruit, jerky, and an extra water supply stashed away for emergencies. 
  • And don’t forget to keep your phone fully charged, or carry a backup phone charger/spare battery. The last thing you want is to lose contact during an emergency! 


At the end of the day, you know your truck and the roads better than anyone else. Use your best judgement, and if it’s too bad out there, DON’T BE A HERO! Nobody will hold it against you for taking the safe route.


While we can’t thaw the roads ourselves, we’re here if you need help e-filing your 2290s. If you have questions about filing your HVUT, our US-based support team is available to assist you by phone at 704.234.6005, by email at support@expresstrucktax.com, and by live chat at our website.



Read More »

Monday, September 29, 2014

5 Tips for Travel with a Trucker's Best Friend

0
Leon, son of Sir Charles


Trucking has gone to the dogs...

And we love it! Around the ExpressTruckTax office, dogs are a part of the family. And we know that dogs are part of yours too! There’s nothing quite like hitting the open road with a furry companion by your side.

That’s why today, we’ve got an extra special blog, packed with plenty of tips for traveling with a pup. And as a bonus, you’ll feast your eyes on pictures of our puppies too!

Get ready to say “D’awwwwwwww” and shriek with girlish pleasure! The Support Heroes have some seriously adorable dogs.

*Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any heart attacks caused by a cuteness overload.*



Tip #1: Adopt a Pooch

Bella, Heather's baby girl
"Is it play time yet?"

If you’ve already got a furry friend, then you’re ready to move to Tip 2. However, if you’re riding solo, you can pick up a pup through adoption! Across the country, millions of pets are up for grabs at a very low cost, or even for free.

So why not make a dog’s day and adopt from a local shelter. Or for a shorter-term commitment, become a puppy foster parent! You’ll take care of them until they find their Fur-ever Home. Whether you adopt or foster, be sure to choose a dog with the right personality for your lifestyle, one that is calm and collected. This shouldn’t be too difficult. Anyone who’s ever rescued a pet has seen the gratitude these pup’s have for their new families!


Tip #2: Check-up Time


Hurley, Bryan's lovable mutt
"Dude, seriously. Where'd the ball go."


Before you set out on your travels, especially on a long journey, schedule a vet appointment. Be sure your dog is up-to-date on all shots, has refills of any necessary prescriptions, like heartworm medication, and a clean bill of health. 

Spaying or neutering your pet is also beneficial as it results in calmer behavior. (And it reduces other risks too, if you know what I mean!) It’s also a good idea to get your pet microchipped, just in case they get away from you. Ask your vet if they have any advice for your pet in particular: remember, no two dogs are alike! And always bring the current vaccination records and tags with you, just in case.




Tip #3: Safety

Grizzly Bear, Misty's Pomapoo
"I'm ready for my close-up."

Now that you’ve got a puppy (or two!), and the check-ups are completed, it’s almost time to get truckin’!

But first, consider bringing along a crate, barrier, or doggy seat belt. These devices will keep you and your pet safe in the event of a hard stop or accident. Without them, you risk your pet being jolted around (or even out of) the cab, which is obviously no good. While crating a pet may seem cruel, they often feel safer in these confined spaces, especially in a moving vehicle. Be patient as your pet adjusts to the crate, and always speak positively about it. Never force them in or yell. 

As another safety precaution, find several emergency veterinary care facilities along your route before you leave. Keep their location and contact info nearby, better to be safe than sorry!



Tip #4: Supplies

Mika, Jason's little Shih Tzu coming from
the groomer.
"I better get a treat for this..."
Aside from the basics, like food and water, bring along stuff that makes your cab feel more like home–for both of you!

If your pup has a favorite toy, treat, bed, or blanket, bring them all along! They’ll make life on the road more enjoyable for your fuzzy friend. To minimize messes, pick up a few cheap spill-proof bowls for food & water. Store dry food in a lock-top plastic container to keep it fresh and off the floor of your cab.

And don’t forget to bring jugs of bottled water along, in case you can’t find water elsewhere.


Finally, bring along small bags and a scoop for waste clean-up. After all, it’s not your backyard, so remember the others coming after you!


Tip#5: Road Rules


Now that you’re packed, planned and on the road, here are a few more things to consider.

  • Exercise! Your doggy needs to get out of the truck regularly (every couple hours at least), not just for bathroom use, but also to burn off energy. Take them for a long walk, or throw a ball around if you’ve got a large, safe area.
    Sylvia, another member of the Hardy pack
    "Look at me, I'm beautiful."
  • “Car” Sickness. Dogs are very susceptible to motion sickness. Quivering, drooling, vomiting, and unusual posture are all signs of motion sickness. Avoid it by not feeding your pet during or right before driving. If this is a recurring issue, your vet may be able to prescribe medication to help. 
  • Finally, never ever (did I mention ever?) leave your dog unattended in a vehicle, especially in hot or cold weather. If you must leave your dog for a few moments, make sure the truck is on and heat or AC are flowing appropriately. In just 10 minutes, the inside of a vehicle can jump more than 20 degrees higher than the temperature outside. And that will continue to climb with each passing minute. Vehicles are like ovens. Don’t cook your dog! 


Hopefully, the more you travel, the more your dog will become accustomed to life on the road. Of course, some dogs just may not be cut out for that lifestyle. So take a hint, and be considerate of their needs. Some pups may be best left at home or with a friend.

The ExpressTruckTax heroes hope you enjoyed the Slideshow of Cuteness! Happy travels!

Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.