Thursday, 14 June 2018

Amazing Father's Day Gift Ideas For Truckers

Amazing Father's Day Gift Ideas For TruckersAre you still looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift for your favorite trucker? We are here to help! Check out this list of thoughtful suggestions for your Dad on the road. Here are amazing Father’s Day gift ideas for truckers.

Amazing Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Truckers

1. Heavy Duty Phone Case

Working as a truck driver can be rough, and it is a long way from the cob to the concrete. So having a quality phone case is a must-have for any trucker.

2. AC/DC Power Inverter

Being able to plug in everyday appliances like a TV, microwave, or video game is essential for anyone away from home for days or even weeks at a time. Now your Dad can have some of the conveniences of home while on the road.

3. Audio Books

Sometimes you need a good book to keep you occupied while on a long haul. If your dad is a reader, you should consider getting him an Audible subscription. They offer thousands of titles from any genre imaginable. There is no way your dad won’t find something to enjoy.

4. Sirius Radio Subscription

If your dad is more of a music buff, then I would recommend a Sirius Radio subscription, because let's be honest there is nothing better than driving along with your favorite tunes. They offer several packages to choose from including sports, racing, and news. No more having to find local radio stations or constantly listen to the same old songs from their iPod.

5. Hotel Voucher

This is a great way to treat your dad for the day especially if they can’t make it home for Father’s Day. After a long and stressful day, they get to enjoy a big bed, private shower, wifi, and cable TV.

However, you will need to do your research and consider a lot of details before choosing a hotel. This gesture can quickly turn into a nightmare for your favorite trucker.
  • Do they allow truck parking?
  • The hotel should be a national chain or have several locations in the region your dad hauls in.
  • Check out online reviews and the experience of fellow truckers.
  • The hotel needs to be located near a major interstate and highway.
  • Do they allow pets? (If your Dad has a dog with him on the road)

6. Restaurant or Truck Stop Gift Card

A delicious warm meal at a nice sit-down restaurant could just be the things to turn a rough day around. Even an ice cold drink or snack can help your Dad get back on the road in higher spirits. Just remember when you are choosing a truck stop or restaurant that it should be an established chain with truck parking available.

7. Shower Duffel Bag

It might sound like a super simple gift, but your trucking father will really appreciate it. Pick up a solid color duffle bag with metal zippers because it is higher quality and will last longer. Throw in a big fluffy town, shampoo, conditioner, his favorite wash (if he likes bar soap get a travel case), deodorant, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, and a pair of shower sandals.

8. Seat Cushion or Massage Insert

Trucking driving is hard on the body, and a seat cushion and/or massage cushion is perfect for relieving some of the stress. He can get a massage to ease some of the pain and soreness he gets from his long days on the road.

9. Home Cooked Meal

If your trucking Dad has a mini fridge and access to a microwave, you might consider making a delicious home cooked meal for him to take on the road. This is a great way to remind him of home when he is on the road. Besides, let's face it, home cooking is always better than what he is getting on the road. Ask your Mom what his favorite meal is and have it ready next time he hits the road. Send your Dad off with some of the luxuries of home.

10. Mobile Air Purifier

Does your Dad suffer from seasonal allergies? Get him a 12-volt air purifier that plugs right into the cigarette lighter. This little device will eliminate dust, odors, pollen, and smoke! This is an inexpensive and thoughtful gift that will help your Dad on a daily bases.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

What Happened When The Senate's DOT Bill Advanced

On June 7th the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportations, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act.On June 7th the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportations, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act. The massive $71.4 billion spending bill was passed by a unanimous bipartisan vote (31-0). Here is what happened when the Senate’s DOT bill advanced.

What Happened When The Senate's DOT Bill Advanced

Unlike this bill’s counterpart that passed through the House, this version did not include trucking policy reforms such as the Denham Amendment and ELD waiver for livestock haulers. The Denham Amendment would have provided standardized meal and rest breaks for truckers.

The Senate Appropriations Committee did direct the DOT to evaluate the needs of livestock drivers in relations to the ELD mandate further. The plan passed by the U.S. House extended the ELD exemption for both livestock and insect haulers to September 2019. The Senate committee stated that the lawmakers should “consult with stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture and Congress on legislative solutions for drivers with unique working conditions.”

On June 7th the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY2019 Transportations, Housing and Urban Development, and Related (THUD) Appropriations Act.The current DOT funding expires at the end of September however the Senate has not set a date for considering the bill. Once consideration begins in the Senate, legislatures can add trucking reforms during the amendment process. The U.S. House has yet to bring the DOT appropriations bill to the floor as well.

If the two governing bodies pass a different version of the bill, the lawmakers will enter a conference committee to produce a finalized bill. This will then be passed again by the respective governing bodies. Any trucking reform that is attached would be subject to intense review during the committee process. 

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Thursday, 7 June 2018

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018
The Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) reauthorization 2018 bill passed through the House on April 26, 2018, and included an amendment that will affect all within the trucking industry. The Denham-Cuellar-Costa Amendment simply known as the Denham Amendment has received very mixed reactions from those within the trucking industry. Here is what you need to know about the Denham Amendment 2018.

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018

Sponsored by U.S. House representatives Jeff Denham (R-Cali), Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and Jim Costa (D-Cali), the Denham Amendment will provide standardized meal and rest breaks for truckers. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) believe that the amendment will streamline interstate commerce by further federalizing the hours-of-service rules and regulations. However, on the other end of the spectrum, you have the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), they believe the Denham Amendment is a threat to drivers fair pay and breaks.

What Does The Denham Amendment Mean?

Before we get into the current industry fight, we will review the facts about the Denham Amendment and how it will affect you. In summary, the amendment will prevent an individual state from setting their own rules and regulations. All drivers will need to abide by the Department of Transportation’s (DOTs) hours-of-service by federal law.

What You Need to Know About the Denham Amendment 2018Under the current federal hours-of-service regulations, drivers are required to take a 20-minute break after driving for eight hours. This means drivers can now work longer hours without taking breaks and without violating state laws.

For example, California requires a 10-minute break for every four hours driven and a 30-minute meal break for every five working hours. The new hours-of-service will be enforced using a mandated Electronic Logging Device (ELD).


So what do both parties want regarding the Denham Amendment?:

American Trucking Associations (ATA):
  • They want unified regulations that will not hamper interstate commerce.
  • ATA believes productivity will rise with the Denham Amendment since drivers can continue driving to meet shipment times.
  • This will cause less confusion when crossing into new jurisdictions.

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA):
  • They believe this will deter drivers from taking much-needed breaks, potentially causing accidents and a decrease in productivity.
  • Under the Denham Amendment drivers wages will be standardized as well because companies will not be required to meet state-imposed minimum wages. 

We want to hear from you! Click here to share. Let us know your thoughts on the Denham Amendment. Do you like that the hours-of-service will be standardized between state lines or do you believe it will negatively affect your pay/breaks?

For more trucking news and information click here.

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

The ELD Mandate Latest News You Need to Know

CVSA certified inspector check truck for Roadcheck violationsToday we are going to be looking at the ELD Mandate latest news you need to know. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated the list of hours-of-service (HOS) violations used in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) enforcement model or the Safety Measurement System (SMS).

The ELD Mandate Latest News You Need to Know

As many of you already know, ELD violations didn’t affect your Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) scores during the “soft enforcement” period (December 18, 2017 - April 1, 2018).

However, now the ELD Mandate is being fully enforced which means any ELD violations will affect your CSA score. If you are stopped during next week's CVSA Roadcheck 2018 and do not qualify as exempt you will be placed out-of-service for a minimum of 10 hours.

ELD Violations and CSA Scores

Any ELD violations that were accrued following the full enforcement on April 1, 2018, will be counted against your SMS scores. These ELD violations can be seen on your May 2018 monthly SMS report.

Here are the 22 ELD violations, the severity of the violation, and how it will affect your SMS score.

ELD Mandate Exemptions

The 90-day waiver for federally defined agricultural commodities pushes the pause button on the ELD mandate. If you are transporting agricultural commodities as defined by the federal government, you will be covered under the ELD AG Exemption no matter how many times you exceed the 140-mile distance.

All pre-2000 engines are exempt. This applies to all pre-2000 engines whether it came with the vehicle or if it was a replacement. However, this exemption does not apply if the pre-2000 engines are rebuilt to a certain extent and should relabel. If you undergo a roadside inspection, the officer will check the engine tag to determine if your truck is exempt.

CVSA certified inspector checking truck and driver to make sure they are following DOT regulations especially the HOS ELD mandateIs all transportation of agricultural commodities exempt? This is a more difficult question that owner-operators and self-employed drivers are still asking. According to the Federal government, ELD Ag exemption is considered the transportation of bees, livestock, unprocessed fruits, and vegetables. The exclusivity of the federal definition of agricultural commodities leaves several drivers concerned, considering the ELD mandate. This is in combination with the CSA Roadcheck 2018.

Under the ELD exemption, you do not have to comply with new regulations if you do not exceed 150-miles more than eight times in a 30-day period. Once you extend past this, you have 11 hours of driving time and 14 hours of off-duty time.

CVSA Roadcheck 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 31st Annual International Roadcheck will be June 5-7, 2018. During this 72-hour period, CVSA-certified inspectors will be out to inspect your vehicle.

During the Roadcheck, CVSA inspectors will perform a 37-step inspection on you and your trucks. You will be required to provide your motor carrier registration and commercial driver’s license. The CVSA inspector will check different parts of your vehicle, including the braking system, fuel and exhaust, suspension, and windshield wipers.

This year’s focus will hours-of-services as result of the because of the DOT’s electronic logging device mandate.

“Although the electronic logging device (ELD) rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017, does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance,” said Capt. Turner. “We thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”

If the CVSA does find significant violations, you or your vehicle may be placed out of service. This means you will not be allowed to operate your vehicle until the driver and/or vehicle violation(s) are corrected.

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Tuesday, 29 May 2018

How Your Trucking Business Can Save Money

How Your Trucking Business Can Save Money
As a fleet owner or manager, we know you’re always looking for ways to improve your budget. Especially when in the truck industry a few extra pennies here and there can make a major difference in keeping your business going. Check out how your trucking business can save money with preventative maintenance and fuel.

How Your Trucking Business Can Save Money

It may be time-consuming to check your brakes, get your tires rotated, get your oil changed on a regular basis, and more. Plus, you may not be particularly excited about the costs of routine care but taking care of your trucks will help you in the long run.

Preventative Maintenance

If your truck breaks down, then the unexpected repair cost will often be more than the cost of preventative maintenance, and that’s just the start. Repair cost will pale in comparison to lost profits and loads. Your customers will also be affected.

Especially, your best customers - those who have come to rely on your services on a regular basis. One or two canceled loads is not only a loss in profits but a loss in customer confidence. Worse still, those customers will have to hire your competition to deliver the canceled or lost loads, effectively giving your trucking business away to the competition.

Preventative maintenance isn’t just about maintaining your equipment because it can benefit your drivers as well. Healthy drivers are more aware out on the road and less likely to make mistakes. Just as you would make sure your drivers are qualified and certified, make sure they’re healthy with routine check-ups beyond the required DOT physical exam.

A lot can affect your drivers’ health over two years, and if possible, offer to pay for a regular six-month checkup with a doctor. A couple of doctor bills could save you a lot of time and money by preventing wrecks. Also, let your drivers rest, don’t push them past their or your limits or if they get sick. Driving tired is the equivalent to driving drunk. 

Save On Fuel

Fuel is your number one expense, but there are a few ways to save on it. For example, get rid of extra miles and improve your miles per gallon. This is possible with the help of ProMiles to either plan the most direct or most gas efficient route.
How Your Trucking Business Can Save MoneyTell your drivers to stick to the interstate if they can and to avoid taking back roads with four-way stops and traffic lights, which cause them to stop and accelerate more often. It may help to make sure all of their rigs have updated GPS systems to prevent drivers from getting lost.

You’ll want to cut down on all unnecessary miles so be sure to track your drivers during their routes and let them know you can see their trips so they’ll be more motivated to stick to the route. You could also provide incentives for the drivers with the best fuel efficiency. Your fleet could also gain a better driver retention rate with fun and unique incentives.

You’ll want to make sure drivers are doing what the can to improve their fuel efficiency. Are they cutting down on idling time? Are they braking hard or accelerating too fast? Are they pros at shifting gears? Also, cut down on is speeding to save a lot of fuel!

Enjoy Those Savings

Saving more allows you to set aside money for emergencies, grow your business, purchase better equipment, finally treat yourself, reward your drivers, and more. By taking a look at your budget, you’ll quickly find new ways to save, especially when it comes to preventive maintenance and fuel.

For more trucking blogs visit TruckLogics and please share your tips on ways to save in the comment section below.

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Thursday, 24 May 2018

Short-Haul vs. Long-Haul Jobs. What Do You Need to Consider?

Short-Haul vs. Long-Haul Jobs. What Do You Need to Consider? When you choose to pursue a career as a trucking Owner-Operator, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to do short or long-hauls. Today we are going to delve into the pros and cons of both so you can make an informed decision.

Short-Haul vs. Long-Haul Jobs. What Do You Need to Consider?

One of the biggest factors to consider is the type of rig you own. Typically, long-haul owner-operators drive tractor-trailers that have the compacity to carry large loads. These trucks will also have plenty of room for you to stretch out at night. Short-haul Owner-Operators normally operate smaller trucks making it easier to drive on city roads.

Time Spent Away From Home

If you have commitments at home, such as a family, kids, or a house you will need to consider your schedule. Short-haul drivers will work local trucking jobs meaning you will be able to return home at night.

Long-haul drivers spend a lot more time on the road and could be gone for weeks at a time. This can put a strain on your relationship and could distance yourself from your children. By no means does this apply to everyone but it is something to think about. 

Job Requirements and Duties

As a short-haul Owner-Operator, you will make several hauls a day. While you will spend time on the road, your day will mainly consist of coordinating, loading, and unloading.

Long-haul Owner-Operators spend most of their time on the open road and very little unloading and coordination. Unlike short-haul drivers, you will make deliveries every few days over hundreds or even thousands of miles.

Expense Comparision

Short-Haul vs. Long-Haul Jobs. What Do You Need to Consider?
Staying on a budget is fairly simple for short-haul drivers because of the distance. You can easily pack your lunch and other on-the-job expenses are low.

However, expenses for long-haul drivers are much much higher. Since long-haul owner-operators spend days or even weeks away from home you will need to purchase snacks, meals, showers, and the occasional lodging.

The Boiling Point

What the decision comes down to is if you can afford the higher expenses and the distance from home. If you are searching for a job that will require physical activity and operation on a standard working day then short-haul driving is for you.

If you want to see the country and experience the freedom of the open road then long-haul trucking is your ticket.

Trucking Business Management

Whether you decide to go the short or long haul TruckLogics is here to help you every step of the way. Sign-up for your free 15-day trial today and see the difference a complete business software can make.

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

What You Need to Know About Driving in Severe Weather

Severe weather spring 2018 puts drivers at risk. Here is what you need to knowA spring storm safety refresher is essential whether you are a seasoned veteran or a rookie. During this time of year, you run a higher risk of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes, and more while on the road. Here is what you need to know about driving in severe weather this spring.

What Truckers Need to Know About Driving in Severe Weather

The most important thing you can do during this time of year is to stay up to date on weather conditions in the areas you will be driving through. Watch the weather channel, listen to local stations, or check the weather conditions on your phone along your route. Being informed of severe weather will help you plan the safest route possible.

Avoid Severe Weather When Possible

Plan your route accordingly and avoid potentially dangerous weather when at all possible. If your destination is in the path of the storm, you should consider leaving early or waiting out the storm. However, this is not always possible, but avoiding hazardous conditions altogether is still the best solution during storms and possible tornadoes.

Overpass Death Trap

The myth of hiding under an overpass is not only a lie, but it could cost you dearly. Never hide out a storm under an overpass. Truckers used to believe that this was one of the best places to wait out a storm. During a severe thunderstorm or tornado, an overpass can become a wind tunnel creating powerful winds.

Staying in The Truck vs. Getting Out

There is much debate on whether to remain in your cab or to get low to the ground in a ditch or valley. This decision wholly depends on the individual situation. Sometimes it will be safer to leave your cab while others will call for you to remain in your truck for shelter.

However, seeking shelter in a building is always the better option than hiding in a ditch or remaining in your cab.

Staying in The Truck

Overturned semi truck in the ditch after severe weather
Inside your truck, you are protected from flying debris, lightning, and hail. If you remain in your cab keep your seatbelt fastened. If the wind is too severe, your vehicle may overturn. If there is loose debris or a possibility, crouch below the windshield to protect yourself.

Ditch The Truck

Literally! Get out fast and get in a ditch to get below the wind and out of the path of debris. If the wind is strong enough to overturn your vehicle, you will be thankful not to be inside. However, you need to be far enough away from your truck so if it does overturn you won’t end up underneath it.

Stay Safe Truckers

You are now armed with the information you need to combat severe spring weather. It is also a good idea to go over safety with your family before hitting the road on your next route. Making sure your family is safe at home will give you peace of mind while you are away.

For more trucking related information click here.

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