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

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

4 Major Keys To 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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Monday, September 11, 2017

Taking a Moment To Remember 9/11

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16th Anniversary of 9/11
No matter where you are and what you're hauling today be sure to take a moment and reflect on 9/11, as today is the 16th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil.

We know your hearts will swell with pride today as you see people on bridges and overpasses proudly waving our American flag. Many people can remember where they were and what they were doing the moment they heard about planes striking the World Trade Center. Those memories will most likely never be forgotten.

To honor the 3,000 victims of the 2001 terrorist attack and their families Trump lead a moment of silence to mark the moment that the first plane struck the World Trade Center. You too can spend a moment of silence to remember those events.

Two beams of light will be shooting into the sky tonight where the towers originally stood as a display to show Americans that we will never forget what happened as time passes and we progress as a stronger nation.

We're proud to be American at ExpressTruckTax and honor all those affected by 9/11. We will never forget what happened that day. The flag can be spotted around our office as everyone takes the time they need to reflect.

Thank you for continuing to work hard out there on our Nation's' highways even on historic days like today when we know you would much rather be home with your family. 

Veteran Truckers
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Friday, August 18, 2017

Are You Participating In A Day Without Truckers?

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

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

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

A Day Without Truckers


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

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

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

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

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

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

Stay Safe Out There


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

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

Join Rigs Without Cigs

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

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

Rigs Without Cigs


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

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

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

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

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

Smoking Makes The Road Dangerous


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

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

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

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

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

ExpressTruckTax Believes In You!


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

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com
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Friday, July 21, 2017

Safely Beat the Trucking Heat this Summer

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

Beating the Heat


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

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

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

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

The Signs of Heat Stroke


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

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

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

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

Safely Have A Great Summer


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

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

Peterbilt Vs Kenworth: Which Side Are You On?

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

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

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

The Peterbilt Vs Kenworth Battle


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

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

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

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

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

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

When It Comes To Buying Your Truck


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

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share which truck is your favorite and why in the comment section below.
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Monday, June 12, 2017

Overweight Loads Involve Risky Business

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Trucking comes with a variety of loads. Sometimes you don’t even have a full load, and other times whether you’re aware of it or not, you could receive an overweight load, which comes with its own set of issues. The authorities are doing all they can to stop illegal loads from happening, so carry them at your own risk.

The Issues With Overweight Loads

Not all trucks are the same. They have different shapes and sizes, which allow some trucks to carry more weight than others depending on the amount of axles they have and the space between them. However, each truck is only legally certified to carry a certain amount of weight, and when that amount is passed then problems arise.
 
First of all, carrying extra weight is dangerous for yourself and other drivers around you. More weight makes it harder to stop in time. Plus, it makes it a lot easier to tip over. Any accidents that happen while you’re hauling extra weight will fall back on you. Even if you try to drive safe and keep extra distance between yourself and other cars, you never know what will happen.

Roads, bridges, ramps, and other infrastructure can only hold a certain amount of weight. Exceeding the limit could cause major damage. Heck, we already pay the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax for the damage that our legal loads cause to public highways! More weight does even more destruction!

Sometimes you could pick up a load from a shipper without a scale. That’s dangerous because you won’t know if you’re overweight til you hit the scale, and could get pulled over on the way to one. Any fine you get is your responsibility, and trust us, you don’t want an expensive overweight ticket. As a result of ignoring your ticket, the state could revoke your license.

Sure, you could try to avoid the scales, but the DOT has caught onto that little trick. That’s why they’ve set up traps to catch drivers who seem to be evading them.

If your carrier tells you that they’ll handle any possible fines, then you’ll still be driving at your own risk because truckers are responsible for what they haul. Plus, they won’t be able to help you if an accident occurs. If your carrier persuades you to do illegal things then it’s probably time to find a new one.
 
You can actually get permits for carrying overweight loads but they vary from state to state, and you’ll need one for each state you’ll be traveling through. To make matters worse each permit has its own set of rules and regulations. For example, you may not be allowed to travel with your overweight load on Sundays or after 12 PM. Contact a DMV in each state to learn about their regulations.

You’ll also have to amend your route to avoid any areas that can’t handle your structural load. While the government actually helps out by providing routes for overweight loads to protect the roads, it’s still time-consuming to do those extra steps for planning. Also, don’t forget to hire a lead car if your oversized load requires one!

Avoid Overweight Loads

Loads happen, we all know that. We also know that sometimes you may not know what you’re gonna get. In the event of an overweight load, drive it at your own risk. You’ll be held accountable for anything that happens during your trip.

For more trucking blogs visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about overweight loads 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, April 28, 2017

From MATS 2 GATS Fitness Challenge Tips

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We had a great time at MATS, the Mid-American Trucking Show, in March, but now it’s time to get our rears in gear for GATS, the Great American Trucking Show! Why exactly do our rears need to be in gear? Because it’s time for the MATS 2 GATS weight loss challenge and we have the fitness tips to help you win.

From MATS to GATS Fitness Tips


GATS takes place in Dallas Texas from August 24th - 27th, and if you thought MATS was fun you’ll be in for a whole new trucking experience at GATS. However, are you up for the weight loss challenge?

Will you join forces with your fellow members of the trucking industry to lose a combined weight loss goal of over 2,000 pounds as a team by August 25th in the MATS 2 GATS challenge? Do you think you’re up to the task? Well then sign up here by May 31st! You will even get a t-shirt and a wristband for joining the challenge and we don’t have to tell you how cool trucking related shirts are. Plus, ToughTested will even be providing prizes! 

However, how exactly does a member of the trucking industry lose weight? By spending hours on the road and at work without much time to exercise this task might sound difficult. However, there are a lot of small changes to your schedule that you can make to shed some extra pounds.

We understand that the idea of losing weight can be totally unexciting because you know that you will have to diet and give up awesome foods, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Strict diets and cutting out some foods completely often results in rebounding hard and regaining all of your lost weight.

Instead of totally cutting out carbs and sugar learn how to eat healthily and in moderation. Limit your calories and replace bad snacks like chips and candy bars with fruit or nuts. Plan your meals in advance. If you have a big breakfast then go for a light lunch. Also, healthier options like salads with grilled chicken will fill you up more than you think.

Planning ahead and taking healthier options with you in your truck or to your office will help you stick to your healthier meal plan. Instead of dealing with the hassle to pull over for a snack or go out and buy lunch your healthier option will conveniently already be waiting for you.

Put down the soda cup. Instead of drinking insanely sugary sodas to stay awake go for sugar-free options like black coffee or green tea. These options even come iced and will keep you awake longer because you won’t have a sugar crash.

Also, you don’t need to join a gym or adopt some crazy time-consuming workout routine to lose weight, even though they help. You will be surprised by the results you will see simply from moving around a little more.

Try to get in some extra steps by walking around the truck stop or office. It really doesn’t take that much time to hit the daily recommendation of 10,000 steps per day by taking a few extra steps here and there. Some truckers just circle their rigs a few times.
 
Every time you use the bathroom or a tv commercial comes on do some planks or pushups. These are exercises that can be done anywhere, even with limited space. You can use a pair of resistance straps in your rig with some free weights to work out after you park.

The next step is easy. Get enough sleep! It’s hard to lose weight when you’re stressed, and when you’re tired your body craves more sugary items for energy. By relaxing with a good night’s sleep your body will be ready to drop some pounds and won’t give you as many cravings for foods you shouldn’t be eating.

Join the MATS 2 GATS Challenge


Trucker health is extremely important. It’s time to join forces with your trucking industry family to shed pounds and help prevent the health issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep deprivation, and more that come with being overweight. Step up and join the MATS 2 GATS challenge!

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your weight loss tips in the comment section below.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

How to Sleep on the Road?

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Snooze you lose? That statement is false because it’s more like you lose if you don’t snooze. Driving is an exhausting task, especially for truckers. If you add the exhaustion from driving for hours with sleepless nights then by the end of your trip you will feel awful. Learn how to eliminate stress and grogginess by checking out our tips on how to sleep on the road.

How to Sleep on the Road?


First, we want to remind you how important getting a good night’s rest is. Driving tired is dangerous because it’s the equivalent of driving drunk. When you’re tired then you’re more likely to be confused, stressed out, and have more cravings for sugary foods.

Sleep deprivation leads to slower reaction times, which is dangerous while driving and health risks like high blood pressure, heart disease, a weakened immune system, and more.

To stay in a good, alert mood, and feel your best then you really need to get some good sleep. But how do you do that in a truck?

Evaluate your sleeping materials. You will be spending a lot of time in your truck, so why not make it more comfortable? Invest in a quality cab mattress and a comfortable pillow, as well as a nice blanket. Think of it as making a miniature bedroom away from your bedroom at home.

Then block out all of the light. You could be sleeping in the day and you could be sleeping at night close to bright truck stop lights, so investing in a nice set of blackout curtains is a good call. That will take out the light from truck stops and the sun, but what about the lights from electronic devices inside your cab?

An annoying glow could keep you up for hours. Be sure to unplug everything you can before laying day. You also have the option of investing in a comfortable sleeping mask to block out every source of light around you.

Are you one of those people who can’t sleep through loud noises? Then a good pair of earplugs could do you some good. What if you can’t sleep when it’s too quiet? Then get a fan or a noise app to cover up silence as well as loud noises.

Have you ever been too hot or too cold to sleep? Well, don’t let that happen in your cab. Luckily, temperature issues are easy to fix with a fan or portable heater and an extra blanket or two.

Know where to park! You need to pick a place where you feel safe enough to sleep and one where people won’t knock on your door in the middle of the night. Pick well maintained and lit truck stops. Also, don’t dangerously park on the side of a busy road where cars that whizz by can make your trailer shake.

Give yourself time to unwind. Parking and going straight to sleep can lead to you just laying there all frustrated. Take a little break to read a book, relax with some stretching, or check out Netflix. However, video games, phone screens, and other stimulants should be avoided.

Keep your space clean. Even if you’re comfortable with messes on a subconscious level a messy cab can really stress you out. Make sure your bed and storage areas are kept free of clutter and funky smells.

Sometimes a distracting air freshener scent can keep you awake, along with moldy or nasty smells coming from old food wrappers. Place a can of coffee grounds or box of baking soda under your driver’s seat to soak up any and all odors.

Sweet Dreams


Once you start getting a good night’s rest you’ll realize how much better you feel. Better sleep boosts your mind, energy, and health, so you can focus on driving safely. Don’t be the grumpy trucker that’s secretly just tired!

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your tips about getting good sleep on the road in the comment section below.
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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

REAL Women in Trucking Presents Their Queen of the Road Finalists

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Did you know that the number of women in the trucking industry is growing more than ever these days? Even though trucking is a male dominated industry, more and more women are finding their way in with a strong and confident passion for what they do. However, women in the trucking industry have big challenges to face.

That's why REAL Women in Trucking presents their Queen of the Road finalists, to help shed light on the struggles for women and spread the truth about real encounters in the industry, to inspire other women to reach for their trucking dreams.

Queen of the Road - The Finalists 


The purpose for creating the Queen of the Road Awards presented by the REAL Women in Trucking, Inc. Organization is to create a dignified recognition for truck drivers who have overcome personal challenges and demonstrate a “Pay it Forward” attitude to help others by sharing their wisdom.
Nominations for the finalists closed in November 2016, Voting for the finalists ended December 31, 2016, The top three finalists have been selected though they have not yet been announced. No photos or names have been published until now to avoid bias.
Giving Back” by providing accurate information to those who are struggling to find their way through truck driver training has been the cornerstone of the REAL Women in Trucking organization.
R. Reaching Out (Outreach)
E. Encouraging Others (Accurate Information Empowers, It Does Not Discourage)
A. Achieving Personal Success (Whatever that measurement means to each Individual)
L. Leadership (To “Pay It Forward” demonstrates the mindset RWIT encourages)
Adversity: Several of the finalists have lost a child to accident, medical condition or because they did not have an adequate support system to help them when they needed it most. Some of them also experienced sex or hiring discrimination that included harassment and retaliation. They could have quit and found another line of work yet they relentlessly pursued truck driving, a profession they felt passionate about. Many people experience such obstacles but there are the special few who take the time to give back with gratitude by helping someone else who is struggling.
The “Queen of the Road” Awards is sponsored by HaulHound , the three (3) finalists that received the most votes will formally be announced during the “Queen of the Road on the High Seas” 1st Annual Lady Truck Driver Cruise March 2017. The winners do not need to be present to win though they will be notified prior to the cruise if they would like to attend.
The following biography profiles for all finalists will be read aloud during the cruise ceremony. This is the first time their names and photographs have been published in association with this award.
1. Alison Morris
~ Losing a family member (Her Mother) as a teen set her on a troubled journey that lasted over a decade.
For most people, there could be no return from the path that Alison took.
Thanks to a kind mentor that patiently provided her an introduction to truck driving, she was able to reinvent her life and was taught a marketable job skill she loves.
Today, Alison is an owner-operator who recently received her own authority. She hauls open deck trailers and is running her own business.
Each day she continues to grow as a human being, becoming a strong encouraging woman. “Alison has a huge heart who would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it” says Shannon Morris (no relation) who nominated Alison. Shannon is also an owner-operator that pulls an open deck trailer.
2. Daisy Delaney
~ Daisy exemplifies “shattered but not broken” determination. She experienced traumatic childhood events that separated her from her parents and as a Mother she endured the heartbreak of a nasty child custody case.
She may have given up but instead she has focused on becoming an exceptional driver and an emerging leader in our industry. Daisy sets goals for herself, and in a short time she has been able to move from being a new driver in a training fleet to a true open deck trailer owner operator.
She gives back to others in a number of different ways such as feeding the homeless, talking with other drivers who are experiencing loneliness on the road, and at one time had helped to create a shower credit exchange for drivers.
She shares her life on the road experiences on Facebook to help others who are looking for advice. Daisy can also be seen on the newly launched Transportation Nation Network as a panelist on the “The Drivers Lounge”. Daisy was nominated by Dawn Ling, a driver with three decades in the business. Daisy she says is a “… extraordinary woman who has incredible energy and the fine qualities of a person who will give back to others unselfishly…” Daisy has also shown that she is sharp, perceptive and has quite a good sense of humor as you can see by her photo submission. Yes, Daisy, we published it!  😉 
3. Adriesue “Bitzy” Gomez
~ During the late 1970’s Adriesue “Bitzy” Gomez found truck driving as a means to support her three Daughters as a single Mother in a decent fashion. Truck driving paid about $500.00 per week in the 1970’s which was good money for a woman though the sacrifices were great for her since she had no support system to help with childcare while she was on the road.
Since she lacked family that could help with her girls, she sought out neighbors and friends to babysit while she was away. Compensation she paid was barely enough to cover their food and laundry while she was away. Without truck driving, her alternative to provide for her children was to remain in an unhappy relationship or go on welfare, both she said left her feeling degraded.
A common practice she encountered when she entered truck driving when seeking employment was to be told that she would have to have sex with the instructor to pass her road tests.
Rather than walk away from truck driving discouraged she fought back by exposing the “Sleeper Test” a form of “Quid Pro Quo” Harassment that still exists today, and most commonly reported to be occurring at some of the larger truck driver training fleets that train new students who require team driving as part of the training.
Bitzy often said that women entering trucking must stand up for themselves and adopt to their vernacular the statement that “…co habitation with a man they have no relationship with is not a requirement for employment…”. She began working with other women truckers to file hiring discrimination lawsuits against a number of trucking fleets. These women worked together to identify carriers that would deny employment based on gender and challenge their practices in court. She won many of her battles which led to some of the EEOC “good faith” hiring requirements we see in the industry today. Bitzy was a founding member of the “Coalition of Women Truckers” that was formed under the NOW organization. She was written about in TIME Magazine, Women’s World Magazine and numerous newspaper articles.
She was known internationally according to her Daughter Delores who said that she remembers women truckers from the United Kingdom coming to visit her Mother in California during the late 1970’s. The Coalition also pushed for women’s restroom facilities at truck stops and walked picket lines to support other driver causes.
During one of her over the road trips, Bitzy’s babysitter’s home was raided by welfare investigators who came in the middle of the night. They were suspicious that the babysitting activity was additional unreported income, which was a common practice in the late 1970’s. As a result of the raid, the children were placed into foster care. Bitzy returned to California to search for her Daughters and fight the State of California to get them back.
Her job as an over the road truck driver had been deemed unfit for a woman. She lost custody of the children but eventually she was able to afford representation from a young lawyer by the name of Gloria Allred according to Daughter Delores Gomez.
During their time in foster care the girls were harmed emotionally and sexually. Bitzy was finally able to be reunited with her kids. She later went on to become a truck driver with the teamsters.
The Coalition of Women Truck Drivers at one time had international membership and chapters throughout the United States.
It ceased to exist after the custody battle. Bitzy did her best with what she had to focus on the healing of her children. Today, women truckers rarely recognize the sacrifices that Bitzy Gomez and her three Daughters made on behalf of all of the women who have entered truck driving as single women that had no advocate and simply had a deep desire and determination to become a qualified truck driver. Bitzy loved truck driving which gave her the financial support and self-confidence to live with a level of dignity despite other hardships she endured in her life. She was once quoted as saying, “…a good truck is what a man should be, big and strong, and takes you where you want to go…”.
Bitzy tragically died in April 2015 in Santa Ana, California while attempting to cross a busy street as a pedestrian where no crosswalk is marked. Her Daughters are currently fighting the city to have a crosswalk put at the location. Bitzy was 72 years old. Bitzy was nominated by Idella Hansen.

4. Janet Steverson
~ Janet began driving around 1996. At her CDL school she was often called out by instructors to intimidate and humiliate her in front of her other classmates. She did not allow this ridicule to deter her. Time and again she showed she has what it takes.
She graduated from her CDL training driving school and went straight to hauling tankers. For 2 years, she pulled a refrigerated trailer from Florida to California with produce.
Today, she drives a tanker locally and says it is the best job she has had.
Janet is knowledgeable in all aspects of trucking and has served as a trainer to others including her Brother, Cousin and her best friend. She has a reputation for always going above and beyond what she must do and going out of her way to help rookies, not just women.
She has been known to stop to help drivers chain up in snow storms and has aided in accidents to offer whatever assistance she can. Her niece Kasi nominated Janet and calls her “…phenomenal person on and off the road. Whenever she sees a person in need she offers help and her prayers”.
5. Sandi Talbott
~ Sandi jumped many hurdles in her career as a truck driver. She started as a team driver with her husband Jim hauling explosives and radioactive material. When he became ill, she cared for him on the truck and became his caretaker when he had become an amputee.
Sandi cared for Jim while adjusting to becoming solo driver in the outlaw days where at times she had to run both of their shifts. When Jim passed away she continued to drive hauling meat products.
Today, Sandi is 75 years of age and possibly one of the oldest women driving a truck solo in the United States.
Alison Morris nominated Sandi Talbott and says “Sandi is always available for phone calls, she is encouraging to young and old alike and often likes to underline the need to “keep it professional” and that “it can be done”.
6. Idella Hansen
~ “She gives from her heart at every move she makes, she does not tear people down; she lifts them up to be the best drivers they can be”.
Idella has held the hand of many others through tough issues and helped them to overcome. Anyone who knows her is a witness that she gives back daily to others.
She has her hand on most situations yet when she has trouble she admits it and looks for solutions. If she doesn’t know the answer to a problem, she will find out. She volunteers for many truck driver organizations and shares her expertise with new drivers and old timers.
She is strong, sweet and confident in her abilities without being arrogant and obnoxious; she will help anyone who asks. Idella Hansen was nominated by four different people for the “Queen of the Road” Awards, Lori Baker, Sandi Talbott, Geneva Handleman and Michelle Kitchen.

7. Dee Sova
~ Her early years in trucking were challenging. First, as with so many women entering trucking becoming a professional truck driver, being a woman itself was quite a trial. Being a black woman increased the challenge. As she says, “I had to keep my composure a lot”. Her greatest challenge however was losing her child to a drunk driver during her years driving.
Through strong determination, she has taken her trucking challenges as well as her personal tragedy and loss to become an advocate for women truckers as well as a spokesperson for the nationally known non-profit organization called, M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).
Dee made a conscious decision to become one of the best speakers they’d ever had and to never let anyone forget her daughter. She was a volunteer speaker, and she went on to join the board of directors as both the Secretary and the President of the founding chapter from 2005 – 2007.
Dee is popular in social media and dedicates herself to mentoring teaching and encouraging women within the trucking industry. She features and lifts many other women on her sites. She shares her life experiences with all transparency, the good and the not so good, in order reach women and let them know that they are not alone when it comes to life’s challenges, and she is there for them. Dee has been able to turn her difficult life experiences into triumph and now mentors, teaches, and encourages others to do the same.
She has devoted herself to care for women coming into the industry, coaching them along, to push themselves through the trials of life through faith and integrity. She has a deep faith in God and she is driven by a desire to be a blessing to woman drivers. Dee Sova was nominated by Donna Smith. 
8. Finalist 8 has been disqualified
9. Candace Marley
~ In May of 2009 her trucker husband, Mike, was diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma which was already stage 3 when they found it.
Candace was a 3rd shift stocker at Walmart making just a little above minimum wage and taking online classes to finish her Associates Degree in Business Administration when he was diagnosed, he was at that point too sick to work. Her $8.00 an hour job was not going to support a family of four, so, she decided to do something she never once entertained the idea of doing, to become a truck driver herself.
The choice meant she would have to be away from her husband and kids to complete training but hitting the road she felt it was her best option in order to be able to support her family. She completed truck driver training at the same time she was completing her online courses, she finished them right about the same time as her CDL training.
Her husband went through his therapy and during that time, she was only able to visit with him twice. Unfortunately, the treatments he received did not work. Candace turned in her truck on October 20, 2009 to bring her husband home from Washington where he was staying with his family while he received treatments. He passed away on October 22, 2009 before she could get him home to Ohio. Over the next two years she wallowed in grief, unable to work or live any kind of significant life.
As she worked toward reclaiming her life she started paying attention to all the trucks on the highways and realized how much she really missed being on the road. With the help of her mother’s friend she was able to get back to driving doing flatbed work. Eventually she moved onto Don Hummer Trucking where she is currently employed. In a short time she became one of only a couple of female trainers, at one point she was the ONLY female trainer.
At this date she has trained approximately 14 women to become “Over-The-Road” (OTR) drivers. Candace says “Not once in all my life would she have EVER thought that she would become a truck driver and LOVE it” She refuses to give up her career without a fight. It’s the first one that has ever given her the feeling of job satisfaction and she looks forward to being a driver as long as she is physically capable of doing so. Candace Marley was nominated by her friend Cassie Fletcher.
10. Naza Silvia
~ Naza overcame challenges from the moment she entered truck driving school. She said even her name created apprehension from some of the people she encountered in the trucking industry. Naza, who is from Brazil endured ridicule from fellow CDL students and an instructor that did attempted to discourage her from success.
Her male trainer told her that she should not become a truck driver because “trucking was not for women…that she should stay at home”. In order to reinforce his control of her on the truck he refused to stop and allow her to have bathroom breaks.
Naza became a qualified driver nonetheless and started her Florida based business five years ago. She did not utilize any business or bank loans. She is a one truck, one trailer operation based out of South Florida. Sheer sweat of her brow is how she has succeeded. Naza always gives back by making herself available to mentor new people in the industry, giving advice, encouraging company drivers to become owner operators and is always helping others says her Niece Elizabeth who nominated her.


Congratulations, Queens of the Road 


Here, at ExpressTruckTax, we believe every fabulous lady on this list is a queen of the road. We appreciate your hard work and all that you do to help motivate and inspire other women in the trucking industry. Heck, we even hear about times where men learn what to do from female drivers! 
To learn more about what it's like for women in the trucking industry visit realwomenintrucking.com, and please tell us about female trucker in your life who deserves to be a Queen of the Road in the comment section below. 
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