Tuesday, 21 May 2019

What are the Top Rated Dash Cams for Truckers?


Over the last few years dashboard cameras (dash cams) have become the must-have accessory for road voyagers. This new device has some hefty pros and cons and cons. Before you press record or invest in a dashcam we want you to make sure it’s the right thing for your truck.


The technology that is dash cameras can come in handy and can also lead to tragedy. Knowing the ends and outs of the specific camera you purchase is the most beneficial way to be sure it is right for you and the long-hauls you’ll be making. Hopefully, these basic pros and cons will give you an idea of what to expect from truckers new favorite things.

Pros
  • Prevent Staged Accidents
  • Improve Driving Skills
  • Document Your Trip
  • Prevents Theft

Cons


Here is a list of five to performing and highly rated dashboard cameras truckers across the world are investing in. *In no particular order

WheelWitness HD PRO Dash Cam with GPS


Any product that is a two in one can easily be considered the best value, especially if it is a GPS that is included.

Garmin Dash Cam 35


Garmin has been around for some time now and has proven to be a leader in producing high-quality technology for all occupations.

ITRUE X6D Dual Car Dash Cam pro


This dash cam features wide-angle options to capture a full view of the road.

OldShark 3” FHD 1080P 170 Degree Wide Angle Dashboard Camera


With the footage being recorded in 1080p each time your footage will be clear and has a shock absorbency design to keep the camera steady on rough and bumpy roads.

KDLINKS X1 Full-HD 1920 x 1080 165 Degree Wide Angle Dashboard Camera


This model comes with an F1.6 six glass lens designed to give you the exceptional recording when driving in low light conditions.  

There are a few features your next dash cam should have that we encourage truckers to use as a checklist.

  • Dual Cameras
  • Light and Dark Recording Option
  • Variety of Range
  • Storage Option - Information Technology
  • G-Sensor
  • GPS


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Tuesday, 7 May 2019

How To Make Form 2290 Simplified For You

Logging VehiclesForm 2290 filing is coming up! Make sure you are prepared by knowing exactly what category your vehicle falls under. There are some questions that may trip you up. If you don't know definitions of the terms below you may end up wasting your time and money. These terms explained will help your Form 2290 filing be the simplest it's ever been.

Logging Vehicles

If your vehicle exclusively transports products harvested from a forest or exclusively transports forestry products to and from different points within a forest than it is classified as a logging vehicle.
Some commercial vehicles are often mistakenly classified as a logging vehicle in reference that a logging vehicle is any vehicle that tracks/logs mileage or fuel.

Answering the question of whether your vehicle is a logging vehicle is important so that you are taxed at the appropriate rate.


Agricultural Vehicles

Unlike logging vehicles, agricultural vehicles are identified by a special tag or license plate identifying it as such.

What is considered an agricultural vehicle is one that is used for farming purposes for over half of the vehicle's use, based on mileage, during the tax period.

Vehicles used for agricultural purposes, regardless of weight are allowed to drive up to 7,500 before having to pay any tax. That doesn’t mean that owners of trucks that fit in that category are exempt from filing HVUT. A Form 2290 is still required by agricultural trucks weighing over 55,000 pounds.


Suspended Vehicles

HVUT for a vehicle can be suspended if you expect to log no more than 5,000 miles of highway use. For agricultural vehicles, the limit is no more than 7,500 miles. As long as you don't exceed these limits, you don't have to pay the HVUT.

Regardless of the number of owners, the mileage use limit refers to the total mileage a vehicle is used during the taxable period.


Exempt Vehicles

Exempt vehicles are vehicles not required to file Form 2290 or pay HVUT.
In order for a highway motor vehicle to be exempt, it must be used and actually operated by one of the
following:

    Exempt
  • The Federal Government
  • The District of Columbia
  • A state or local government
  • The American National Red Cross
  • A nonprofit volunteer fire department, ambulance association, or rescue squad
  • An Indian tribal government but only if the vehicle's use involves the exercise of an essential tribal government function
  • A mass transportation authority if it is created under a statute that gives it certain powers normally exercised by the state.

Other vehicles that qualify as exempt are qualified blood collector vehicles, used by qualified blood collector organizations, and mobile machinery that meets the specifications for a chassis as described under Specially designed mobile machinery for non-transportation functions.

It is vital that you know what category your vehicle(s) fall under so that you won’t waste your time and money. No one wants to find out they filed the wrong vehicle or paid taxes that they didn’t have to.

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Tuesday, 30 April 2019

These Strategies Will Ease Your Road Rage

Road RageIt is almost inevitable that you’ll face aggressive drivers, as a long-haul trucker. We have all been victims of slow drivers, and drivers who forget that there’s a feature on their car that warns others that they’ll be turning. These are the two most common frustrations we can face on the road. As a trucker, managing the urge to go nuts behind the wheel of a 50,000-pound machine is important.

One mistake can turn tragic quickly and rather than falling into the road rage trap how about you develop methods to ease your road raging urges.

We know that frustration can be seen as part of the job, but it doesn’t have to be. Road rage has ended in death far too many times, whether a confrontation went wrong or a loss of focus and calmness being thrown out the window. The strategies below are effective ways to take you from 100 to 0 really quick. Next time you feel your blood boiling when you’re behind the wheel of your freight turn to these strategies and feel a sense of peace rush over you.

Control Is Out The Window

This is probably the hardest thing to face for control freaks, but it’s absolutely true. You have no control. Let's rephrase that, you have no control over other drivers. The only thing we can control is how we react. Whether we react to a stoplight on time, react to a driver cutting us off, or in some cases flipping us off it is up to us to react in a manner that’s appropriate. Remembering that you have no control over other drivers helps you reflect more on what you can do better. Maybe you left late, now you tell yourself you have to speed to be on time. Rather than getting upset with drivers going the speed limit strategize on how you can leave on time.

Relax And Release

No matter where you’re headed it’s important to not arrive flustered with wild hair and crazy eyes from a high-speed chase down the highway. Meditating either in silence or with a playlist or podcast will keep your mind on other things than what just caused you to become frustrated. Remaining calm is the key to staying safe while performing your job.

We’re All Humans

Road Rage
It is quite easy to find ourselves frustrated when we get cut off, but choosing to not take those things personal help us to manage our inner need to rage out. Humans make mistakes and humans sometimes have minded going about 200 MPH when we’re traveling. Some of the things we learned when we were 14 taking drivers-ed to go out the window when kids are kicking our back seat or we just spilled hot coffee in our laps. Life happens and mistakes do too. The best thing we can do is be grateful we stopped in time rather than shouting at the top of our lungs.




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Tuesday, 23 April 2019

6 Tips To Cut Down On Money Spending When Hauling

Cut CostAs you should know by now multiple small inexpensive purchases add up, and when you’re on the road it is easy to say “Oh it’s only $2” several times, each stop. There’s money to be found in the trucking industry but it is also easy to find yourself broke, if you aren’t cautious of your spending habits. We are always interested in enhancing your trucking career experience, so what better way to do so than making sure you keep money in your pockets. Here are a few tips and tricks on how you can keep the money rolling in while you’re rolling out.


6. Be A Safe Driver

Tickets and accidents are extremely costly. Not all tickets are attached with a fine, but the ones that are can get pretty steep. An unexpected expense can really put a damper on your finances if you haven’t budgeted for miscellaneous charges.

A serious offense could even get your license taken away from you, and when all your career is, is driving it can tough to get some income.


5. Monitor Your Speed

Of course monitoring your speed help you avoid hefty ticket fines, but it also helps you save on fuel. Fuel is where majority of your road expenses come from. By choosing to use cruise control or working on maintaining a good speed you’ll be keeping some extra change in your pocket every mile per hour.

TIP: If you know you’ll be going through a certain state look up what rest stops have a one stop shop. This won’t only save you gas if you go to one place for things like food, laundry, and sleep, but you can also score great rates at these places.


4. Stay Alert Of Deadlines

Making sure your taxes are done on time and properly can save you time and money. Who wants to pay unnecessary late fees? When mistakes are made they can affect how much you pay a tax preparer to correct your mess ups. The same goes for bills. As a long-haul trucker it’s hard to get home every 15th of each month to pay a bill on time, try opting to pay online to help with this.

TIP: Keep your receipts so that you can claim certain deductibles. Talk with a professional to make sure you are getting the most back.
 

3. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For A Discount

There are a lot of places that offer discounts to truckers. Hotels are known for the awesome rates they offer drivers with their CDL, but there are slos places that offer them who may not have it advertised. Saving $5 here and $10 there will have your pockets fuller than usual when you reach your destination.


2. Fuel Your Stomach Correctly

Limit how much you spend on fueling your stomach by meal prepping. Yo can also cut down on your food expenses by choosing foods that are more filling. Choosing baked chicken over a bag of chips will in the end cost you less than sugar filled snacks. Research shows that the average cost per meal if you make it yourself is significantly lower at $1.05 to $3



Cut Cost

1. Budget, Budget, Budget

Creating a budget is probably the best way for you to cut cost. If done correctly you will always know what you have, or don’t have to spend. Physically seeing where your money is going will make you aware of what your awful spending habits do to your bank account. We all have guilty pleasures and it is okay to factor those into your monthly, weekly spending expenses.




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Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Learn How To Protect Yourself From The Severe Changes In Climate

Heated RoadsDays are almost never-ending, the temperatures are rising, long-hauls are getting longer and the pavement is heating up. With Spring in full swing, there are a lot of other road concerns amplifying, other than convertibles swerving lane to lane, full of college kids heading off to their Spring Break designations. Warmer weather for truck drivers means it’s time to implement methods for additional road hazards.

Check The Fuel For Your Body

Heat exhaustion can go hand in hand with dehydration. There are two forms of heat exhaustion that can take place when the temperature begins to rise, water depletion and salt depletion. Water depletion symptoms can be weakness and headaches. The symptoms brought on by salt depletion are more drastic including dizziness, nausea, and even muscle cramps. To combat the two what you fuel your body with matters, as well as how you take care of yourself when these symptoms arise.

Food high in water content

  • Cucumbers 
  • Celery
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Yogurt
  • Spinach

Tips and Tricks

  • Remove tight-fitting clothing
  • Take a cool shower
  • Get out of the sun

Check The Fuel For Your Vehicle

Always check fluids before you start. The engine cooling system is important, especially in sweltering temperatures. Before beginning your trip make sure your system has both enough antifreeze and water. Checking on the coolant of your vehicle is important in making sure your vehicle isn’t overheating. Coolant that is too hot can lead to engine failure and even a fire.

Slow It Down And Take A Break

Your vehicle is more vulnerable to overheating when you are traveling at high speeds. There is extra stress on both the tires and engine being applied. Drive slow and remember to take frequent breaks to let the system cool down. During your breaks take time to make sure your tires are inflated. Tire blowouts are more common in hot weather. Air pressure also increases with temperature. Allowing the tires to cool off every few hours or ideally every 100 miles reduce the risk of not only blowouts but fire as well.

Become A Weather Watchman

Severe WeatherThe weather during this time can be pretty unpredictable. Truckers can find themselves facing April showers, devastating thunderstorms, and even heat waves. Checking the weather forecast on a regular basis is a necessity to be prepared for the shift in the climate. The type of extreme weather that comes along as we get further and further from winter can lead to slick roads. By doing regular inspections on brakes and tires you are ensuring that your truck is in proper condition. A rise in temperature can even lead to brake malfunction so knowing your truck inside and out will help you stay alert and ready for whatever Spring and Summer throws your way.

Your safety is always our top concern when you’re on the road and it should be yours as well. Adding these methods to your trucking routine can save you time and more importantly, save your life. Stay hydrated, stay as cool as possible and stay alert of your trucks needs.




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Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Reclaim Your Time And Avoid Filing For Six Months

Form 4868Time is slowly ticking to get your income tax return in. Don’t feel like you can meet the deadline in time for Tax Day? Don’t worry the IRS has you covered. File an Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, also known as a Form 4868. The Form 4868 gives you up to six-months to get yourself together. Missing important documents? No problem you can now file for an extension. The IRS won’t even hassle you as to why the extension is needed, so you can give your grade school excuses a rest this time. The deadline to file a Form 4868 is Monday, April 15th.


Costly Penalties

Did you know that by failing to file your tax return or tax extension on time you will be charged 5% of your tax amount per month or partial month, that you are late. The cap is 25% after five months of noncompliance.

The minimum penalty is $135 or 100% of your owed tax amount, whichever is the smallest value of the two.

How To Apply

There are 3 various methods to apply. You can pay electronically, E-file, or Send in a paper Form 4868. It is important to note that with each method that the Form 4868 only pushes back the filing of your tax documents. It doesn’t give you extra time to pay any taxes that you might owe. If you think you may owe money this year you’ll need to estimate the amount after filing for your extension.

Pay electronically: When you choose this method you don’t need to file Form 4868. By making a payment the IRS will automatically process an extension of time to file when you pay part or all of your estimated income tax electronically. This can be done online or over the phone.

E-File: When you e-file you can do it on your personal computer or through a tax professional. Be sure to have a copy of your previous tax return. This information will be needed for verification. At this time you can choose whether or not to make a payment online, or send it in via postal mail.

Paper filing: With paper filing all you will need to do is fill out a paper Form 4868. You can choose to send it in to the IRS in two ways. The first way is through mail and the other would be through a private delivery service. 

*Be mindful that if you are a fiscal year taxpayer, you must file a paper Form 4868.

Tips To Consider

    Tax Day Calendar
  • Have necessary information on hand prior to beginning to file. (SSN, EIN, tax withholdings, tax liability, and estimated tax payment)
  • If you E-file Form 4868 and mail in a check or money order, use a completed paper Form 4868 as a voucher and note with your payment that your extension was electronic.
  • Review page 4 of the Form 4868 to insure you are sending your form and payment to the correct address. Just because you live in a certain state doesn’t mean your payment is sent to that IRS mailing address. 
  • If filing over the phone or online, you’ll receive a confirmation number. It is important that you write the number down and keep it for your records.


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Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Choose Life And Stop The Madness

Choose Life And Stop The MadnessApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! There are thousands of parents, grandparents, children, coworkers and more who are affected every day due to distracted driving. Taking your focus off the road for 4.6 seconds, the average time it takes to read or type a text message is equivalent to driving the length of a football field completely blind, at 55 MPH.

According to crash database analyses, it is estimated that driver distraction is a primary contributing factor in 25-30 percent of crashes.

Cell Phones may be the number one source of driver inattention, but it doesn’t mean that a ‘what do you want for dinner?’ text is the only daily occurrences that take our focus off of the road when operating an 80,000 Ibs. vehicle.

Common Distractions

Music

A lot of drivers will say that rocking out on the road helps them to stay alert when becoming drowsy en route to delivery or pick up. A recent Israeli study has shown that tunes can negatively affect driving skills. Out of the tested drivers, those who preferred to play their music at the maximum volume made more mistakes behind the wheel. In the same study, those who drove with preselected tunes such as soft rock and light jazz playing softly had a decrease in errors and miscalculations of 20 percent.

Mood

Researchers who studied 1600 crashes over a three-year timespan noticed that drivers who showed signs of anger, frustration, and sadness right before getting behind the wheel were 10 times more at risk of an accident than those who did not.

Food

In March 2019, as a result of distracted driving, while eating, a crash involving two semi trucks claimed a woman's life. The woman killed was in the sleeper berth area of the distracted drivers truck. Reports say that eating and or drinking (non-alcoholic beverages) increase the likeness of an accident by 80 percent.

Prevent Distractions

Choose Life And Stop The Madness

Use Rest Stops

Rest stops are super convenient for truckers to use and will help you save lives. There is no gulp of Sprite or bite of chicken that is worth a life. We understand that some phone calls and text are a matter of life and death, however, if you deem it that important, it is just as important that you stop at the next convenient rest stop or general location to read, type, answer or call.

This goes also for a common distraction not previously mentioned, the need to ‘go’. Needing to use the restroom can take your focus off the road and on your bladder. A study found that having to go to the bathroom badly while driving impairs your judgment and focus similarly to if you were cruising along with a 0.05 blood-alcohol level.

Not All Technology is Bad

If you feel tempted to use your phone turn it on airplane mode before you get on the road so that all of your text and calls won’t be received until later on when you turn it off. There are even several apps designed specifically to keep your eyes on the road and off your device. A lot of these apps send automatic replies to the sender to make them aware that you’re driving.

We challenge you and your friends/colleagues to eliminate distractions starting this month. Hold each other accountable to stop eating, drinking, texting, or making phone calls while on the road. Take a pledge to take distracted driving seriously and also inform someone else of the statistics.



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