Thursday, 20 April 2017

6 Fleet Management Mistakes To Avoid


Trucking is already a time-consuming job that comes with both stress and advantages. Now imagine being a fleet manager with multiple drivers to keep up with. That job comes with a lot more stress and tasks to handle, but it also has bigger rewards. As a fleet manager don’t get overwhelmed because you don’t want your fleet to go under. Instead, relax and check out common mistakes for fleet managers to avoid and drive your operation to new levels of success.

Common Fleet Manager Mistakes To Avoid


1. Don’t avoid truck or driver maintenance. Your vehicles need to be regularly maintained so that they will last longer and you can avoid the costs of major repairs or having to purchase a new vehicle. So, keep up with when the oil needs to be changed when the brakes need to be adjusted when filters need to be changed, and more.

Regular maintenance has to potential to save your drivers time and help get drop offs delivered on time because regularly maintained trucks are less likely to break down. You can use a program like TruckLogics to notify you when your trucks need regular maintenance.

Your drivers can break down just like your trucks. Check in on them to make sure they are doing alright. Also, be sure to keep up with their certifications and licenses, so you don’t miss an annual renewal date. Also, never forget about tax deadlines like IFTA and HVUT 2290.

2. Speaking of drivers, you can’t let things slide. While drivers are outstanding people with honesty, integrity, and a sense of pride for what they do, we can’t speak for everyone. Sometimes when employees get away with something they’ll try to take advantage of their manager to see what else they can get away with.
  
That’s why when a driver gets a speeding ticket, drives over 11 hours, doesn’t take breaks, skips a pre-check inspection, texts while driving, or more, you need to step in and take necessary action.

3. Don’t ignore the budget. Look to see where you can save costs. Plan trips in advance to make sure the right vehicles are going on the right trips. For example, use your truck with the best MPG for the longer routes and use ProMiles with TruckLogics to optimize the route for fuel efficiency.

Look at all your options before making a purchase. For example, see if a used truck or leasing a truck would be a cheaper option. Buy your office supplies in bulk or use a program like TruckLogics to run financial tracking reports like your Cost Per Mile, Profit For Mile, Profit and Loss, and more to see where money is coming in and going out.
 
4. You can’t get burnt out. Long hours are a part of the job sometimes, but you can’t stay late every day. Take some you time to relax. Maybe take a day off to play golf, and definitely make time for a vacation at least once a year.

When things are hectic and you can’t get away try taking an hour or two to indulge in your favorite TV show, see a movie, take a long walk to destress, or even meditate. Even a small amount of you time will make a big difference.

5. You can’t let your drivers get burnt out either. Be sure to give rewards and recognition when they are due. Celebrate a driver’s good idea and share it with the team. Give out rewards and prizes for good behavior. For example, you could give out a monthly prize for the most fuel efficient driver, or call a team meeting and mention what a great job your drivers have been doing on the road.

6. Last but not least, don’t get comfortable. There is always room for improvement. Instead of sitting back and letting things happen like they always do, study the system to see where things could be improved. Maybe you can change the way driver logs are handled, maybe you could suggest to stop doing a certain report that seems like a waste of time.

While change can be met with resistance, they can also improve the way the entire operation runs, so if new policies need to be adopted at least give them a chance. Businesses, especially in the trucking industry are living organisms that need to adapt to major changes in the industry to survive.

Make Your Fleet Great


You became a fleet manager for a reason, and that’s because you have the guts necessary to manage your fleet while also improving it. While it’s easy to make mistakes, it’s also easy to avoid them with a little planning, preparation, and attention to detail.

For more trucking tips visit TruckLogics.com and please share your tips about what mistakes to avoid as a fleet manager in the comment section below.
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Thursday, 13 April 2017

Are You Ready For These Tax Deadlines?


Spring is here, making it a little more interesting to drive with major rainstorms hitting the road. Some areas have been hit with severe storms and even tornados! However, intense weather isn’t the only scary thing that comes with spring, because it's also tax time! Make sure you’re up to date with the upcoming personal and truck tax deadlines.

Upcoming Tax Deadlines


Don’t let IFTA sneak up on you. I know, it feels like you just did your report, but that was actually a little while back on January 31st. Now it’s time to calculate your first quarter IFTA totals by May 1st. The deadline is usually on April 30th, but that day is on a Sunday, so the deadline has been pushed back to the following Monday. That means you have an entire weekend to file.

But, don’t worry, with the help of TruckLogics you will have your IFTA totals calculated in a matter of minutes and you can spend the rest of your weekend doing fun stuff. TruckLogics uses ProMiles to automatically record your miles traveled per jurisdiction so updating your trip sheet and calculating IFTA totals is a breeze.

Also, there are quick entry screens for you to quickly enter odometer readings and your fuel totals. Since TruckLogics is completely mobile you can update your totals from any location, at any time. However, if you have a Fleet One fuel card then you’re in even more luck because you can upload your transactions directly from the card.

All of your information will be saved for you to access and edit at any time and when you’re ready to file you can generate an IFTA report with all of your totals to email or print. The totals on these reports can be used to quickly and easily complete your IFTA return.

The HVUT Form 2290 deadline is a little farther off, with the deadline on August 31st. That means you have all summer to file, but it’s best to not wait until the last minute. If you have a new truck, or new to you truck then your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax is due the last day of the month after your first used month. Meaning that if you first use your new truck in April then your Form 2290 is due by May 31st.

To quickly file your 2290 and receive your stamped Schedule 1 head to a 2290 e-file provider, like our sister company ExpressTruckTax. They will help you file your 2290 in order to instantly receive a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 via email. ExpressTruckTax also offers free VIN corrections and notifications via text or fax.

Don’t forget about your personal taxes. The Individual Income Tax Return Deadline is only a few days away on April 18th! We understand that it’s a busy time, and you may even be out on the road as the deadline approaches, but don’t worry you can simple e-file an extension.

By heading to our sister company, ExpressExtension, you can e-file Personal Tax Extension Form 4868. IRS Form 4868 is the application for individual and joint taxpayers to receive an automatic extension of 6-months to file, moving the deadline back to October 16th.

All you have to do is follow ExpressExtension’s step-by-step guide to quickly complete your form and transmit it to the IRS by the April 18th deadline to gain 6 extra months to file your return.

By using the free 4868 app on any iOS or Android device you can e-file IRS Extension Form 4868 from any location, at any time, making it super easy to get an extension even if you’re on the road.

Contact Us, We’re Here To Help


If you have any questions about the upcoming deadlines, extensions, and more please don’t hesitate to contact the dedicated TruckLogics support team Monday-Friday 9 AM to 6 PM at 704.234.6946. We’re also available via live chat and offer 24/7 email support at support@trucklogics.com.
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Thursday, 6 April 2017

How To Cope With Missing Home


Being a trucker gives you the freedom of the open road. For introverts the ability to have total privacy while blasting whatever music you want while trucking alone is addicting. However, trucking comes with a lot of alone time. As a result, some drivers end up feeling homesick and missing their families. Trucking is a huge career choice that you should enjoy, so use our tips to learn how to cope with missing home.

How To Fight Homesickness


First, before making a drastic career change and spending days or even weeks at a time away from your family on the road, talk to your spouse and see if they can handle it. If you miss your family, chances are that they really miss you too. Your relationship with your spouse has to be strong enough to handle the distance.

Next, make your cab feel like home. Make it feel cozy and comfortable so that sleeping in it won’t be so bad. A nicer cab mattress really goes a long way, plus you’ll feel a lot better when you get enough sleep.

Place a few posters up of your favorite things, like your favorite movie or sports team. Be sure to bring a cool coffee pot or crockpot to cook meals and brew coffee,  because being able to do that stuff in your truck will make it more exciting.

Also, bring your favorite pillow or blanket that maybe even smells like home or your spouse to comfort you as you drift to sleep.

Don’t forget to bring photos of your wife, kids, and pets to keep in your cab and show off to other drivers. Just looking at the photos from time to time will really put you in a better mood. You can also ask your spouse to send you photo updates throughout the day.

There are fun apps like SnapChat that have interactive photo filters for you and your kids to play with. Using those filters always guarantees a laugh, and they can even be used on your pets.

Make the time to talk to your family and friends. They’ll enjoy the updates. Call them and ask them how their day is going. Just remember to be positive and don’t weigh them down with how much the traffic jam sucked or how much you don’t like your new job. Tell them a funny story about something you saw on the road, like a seagull in the backseat of a car!
 
By making them laugh your mood and their moods will all improve. You can also use a device with a webcam or Skype, Facetime, or video chat with your loved ones to see them smiling from ear to ear when they get to talk to you.

To spend time with your kids you can set up a gaming console in your rig and log on to play games with them at night. Playing with them is an interactive way to bond with them and pass the time.

Speaking of passing the time, get a hobby to take your mind off of missing home. Listen to a fun podcast, check out the newest movies and shows on Netflix, or pick up a book to see how much you secretly enjoy reading.

Being social can help you stop feeling lonely, so reach out on the CB for a quick chat with fellow truckers. When you park at a truck stop make small talk with other truckers. Trust us, some guys will love talking your ear off about all things trucking.

Part of feeling less homesick involves feeling good so take the measures to eat healthier for more energy, work out a little to relieve stress and anxiety, and to get enough sleep. Feeling relaxed, yet energized makes a huge difference.

Also, think positive. Keep your spirits up by going over the good things that happened to you today. Maybe even write it down in a notepad or in your phone. Keeping a positive outlook will help you overcome bad moods.

Remember that it gets easier. Over time you and your family and friends will learn how to have a healthy long distance relationship and your homesickness will fade.

You Can Do It


Trucking has major rewards by providing you with an independent career on the open road. There’s a reason why truckers are so proud of what they do and that’s because they love it. If you find yourself to be a little homesick, don’t worry the feeling will pass while connecting with your loved ones.

For more trucking tips visit TruckLogics.com and share your tips about how to cope with missing home in the comment section below.
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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Avoid Repairs With Our Truck Maintenance Software


In life sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug and unfortunately, trucks break. You could be chugging down the highway making great time, when all of the sudden, something breaks. The best way to keep your trucks in top condition is by sticking to regular maintenance schedules, but sometimes remembering which vehicle needs service can get tricky, and maintenance gets a little neglected. This is where TruckLogics can help with automated maintenance reminders.

TruckLogics


TruckLogics is the complete fleet management solution that specifically designed for members of the trucking industry like owner operators and fleet owners. It has a ton of great features that help truckers save time while managing their entire business. A few of the features include invoicing, electronic driver logs, IFTA reporting, maintenance reminders, and more. 

Maintenance Reminders


TruckLogics provides a place for you to quickly upload every detail about all of your drivers and trucks. Details such as your vehicle's make, model, serial number, odometer reading, mpg, and more will all be stored in one convenient location. You’ll also have your driver’s contact information and any notes would like to add about them as well.

Adding a maintenance schedule for your vehicle is easy. Log in to your TruckLogics account, then hover the ‘TruckZone’ tab and click maintenance. Then click ‘Add Maintenance’ and select your truck by unit number and include the current odometer reading.

You can then add the type of maintenance your truck needs to receive from a list of our options or add your own maintenance task. Then simply enter how often you need the maintenance task to occur. For example, you can say that you would like to change the air filters on your truck every 5,000 miles. Complete adding your maintenance task by adding any vendor details, if you would like.

Your maintenance schedule is totally customizable to you and your fleet’s preferences. Maintenance schedules can be tracked by date, hours, or miles. Then you can relax knowing that TruckLogics will notify you when it’s time for your trucks to be maintenanced again.

You can set email reminders to be sent to you a day, 5 days, or 7 days before the scheduled maintenance time. You’ll also see a maintenance reminder when you log on to your account on your dashboard.

With the help of electronic driver logs that allow drivers to quickly update their trip information on their tablets or smartphones, TruckLogics can track the hours and miles of each vehicle and driver.

TruckLogics also uses ProMiles to track information such as odometer readings. The amount of fuel purchased, used, and miles per jurisdiction will be recorded to correctly update the odometer readings for your maintenance schedules. These totals also provide you all of the numbers you need to quickly and correctly calculate your IFTA totals.

ProMiles also helps you improve your fuel efficiency by being able to provide you with the most fuel-efficient route for your trips. However, you can use ProFiles to plan the most direct route as well. By providing you with the cheapest fuel rates in the area ProMiles will show you where the best place to fill up is.

Keep That Maintained Vehicle Truckin’


There’s one thing after another in the trucking industry. One day you could be turning your jeans into a sweet pair of cut offs because spring is coming, only to find out a major blizzard is about the slam the East coast.

You’re busy keeping up with your trucks, drivers, records, and more, so let TruckLogics handle your maintenance schedule. Sign up for your free 15-day trial with TruckLogics to instantly see how you can take advantage of their awesome features that will help you save time while managing your entire operation.
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Thursday, 23 March 2017

We're Heading To MATS!


It’s our favorite time of year, when we get to truck on over to MATS, the Mid-America Trucking Show, to celebrate all things trucking with fellow trucking enthusiasts and members of the trucking industry.

Mid-America Trucking Show 2017


MATS was created in 1972 to provide the North American Trucking industry with a place to work together to advance the industry, exchange ideas, and showcase new products. It’s the place to be if you want to learn about what’s coming to the trucking nation.

Because the trucking industry heavily supports MATS in a little over four decades it’s grown to be the largest annual trucking industry event in the world! Over 70k people come to attend, with over 1,000 exhibitors from all over the world! It’s a big trucking deal.

Head to Louisville Kentucky to attend this event at the Kentucky Expo Center from March 23-25, 2017. There are tons events to attend that involve expanding your knowledge about the trucking industry and having some fun.

Celebrities and along with professionals from the largest trucking corporations will attend this event to answer your questions and proudly celebrate trucking. There are a number of free educational seminars to attend from Picking and Choosing the Most Profitable Loads presented by Truckstop.com to Driver Training and Certification program presented by Truckers Against Trafficking.

We know y’all are just as excited about us to learn and to walk around to see all the top of the line, newest trucks, and technology. Along with taking a peek inside of the most luxurious trucks on the market, we get to see custom trucks too, at the PKY Truck Beauty Championship.

The PKY Truck Championship is the event named for Paul K. Young, who started MATS. At this show, custom trucks compete for a variety of awards and accolades for things like People’s Choice, Antique-Custom, Working Bobtail Lights, and more.

Later we might swing by the MATS concert to see Tony Justice, the 2nd generation trucker out of East Tennessee sing the songs he wrote about the trucking life that he lives. Also, you can catch Thompson Square, the singing couple that was awarded the AMC Award for ‘Vocal Duo of the Year’.

It’s also fun just to walk around, mingle, and see the sites. Tons of celebrities will be around for meet and greets and autograph signing. Steve Sommers from America’s Trucking Network will be there, along with Edgar Hansen from The Deadliest Catch, MMA World Champion, Andrea ‘KGB’ Lee, and more.

We Hope To See You There


We can’t wait to enjoy mats. Feel free to ask us any questions that you may have about TruckLogics, the market leading management solution, specifically designed for members of the trucking industry.

Truckers, fleet owners, owner operators, and more can save time while managing their entire operation with our innovative features for IFTA calculations, dispatch management, electronic driver logs, and more.

For more trucking news visit TruckLogics.com and please share your thoughts about MATS in the comment section below.
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Thursday, 16 March 2017

Truckers Need To Improve Accident Prevention



We’ve been seeing an increase in accidents involving semi trucks lately.  We know truckers take safety extremely seriously and are even safety certified, but we can't speak for the driving habits of everyone in the industry. Overturned trucks can block lanes for hours and cause frustrating traffic jams! Also, if you’re the one involved in the accident any damage done to your truck and trailer could take weeks, maybe even months to repair, putting you out of work until it’s fixed, and the cost of fixing it won’t be cheap.

Also, these accidents are extremely dangerous to your own life and the lives of others around you. Semi truck accidents account for an 8th of all traffic deaths, so please consider our safety tips to learn how to avoid wrecks.

How To Avoid Major Wrecks


Be attentive when you drive. If you drive tired then that’s the equivalent of driving drunk. Make sure that your rig is comfortable enough for you to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night so you’ll feel refreshed and alert. If you start to feel tired and need a break, then take one.

Put your cell phone and other distracting items away. Your texts, FaceBook, Snapchat, or other fun phone activities can wait until you’ve come to a safe and complete stop. Also, put the newspapers and books away. When you read while driving your eyes are off the road for an extremely long time. If you get bored while driving consider taking a quick break to do something fun or listen to an entertaining podcast.

Slow down! Not only does speeding burn your fuel, but it makes you drive dangerously. Other cars around you don’t have enough time to anticipate your moves, and you might not have enough time to come to a stop. Plus, how many times have you seen a truck on its side from taking a curve or turn too fast?

Try not to make any sudden movements. Slow and steady is the key to driving safely. Don’t suddenly change lanes, give other cars enough time to realize that you need to come over. This, of course, involves using your blinkers to show other drivers your intentions. Accelerate slowly and also come to a stop slowly. If someone is tailgating you don’t want them to slam into the back of your trailer.

Give yourself enough room away from other vehicles. You don’t want to ram a car if it has to come to a sudden stop. Keep an eye out for other trucker’s as well. They take up more space and have more momentum than cars.

Even though most truckers are outstanding drivers who take their job seriously, you just don’t know how much training other driver’s around you have had or how much sleep they got the night before.

When it’s raining, icing, snowing, foggy, and more, slow down even more. Inclement weather makes roads slippery, making it harder for heavy trucks to slow down. Plus, if it’s hard for you to see then that means it’s hard for other drivers to see your truck!

Don’t engage with people who have road rage around you. For whatever reason yuppies in their little cars can’t handle being behind a truck and they dangerously tailgate and speed around them. By engaging in their anger they could cut you off or lead to rash decisions. Also, while you’re busy flipping them the bird or yelling at them your eyes will be off the road.

Don’t skimp out on daily inspections and routine maintenance checks. Make sure all of your tired and gauges are working. Make sure your brakes are working, check all of your lighters and blinkers, and more. A properly functioning truck is a safe truck.

Keep on Safely Truckin’


Don’t get added to the wreck statistics, keep yourself and others around you by being a safe driver. Anything can happen, even drivers who are on the road for 20 years can get in a major accident before they retire, so be alert, don’t drive distracted, and be aware of other vehicles around you.

For more trucking tips visit TruckLogics.com and share your thoughts about driver safety in the comment section below. We thank you for your dedicated service and safe safety practices.
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Thursday, 9 March 2017

Enhance Your Business With Fleet Management Software


How do you manage it all as an owner operator or fleet owner? Pen and paper is a thing of the past for good reason because papers get lost and often times you have to trust your own memory to keep up with the dates of important meetings, bills, tax deadlines, and more. Plus, if your drivers write their logs, it can be pretty hectic to try and read their handwriting.

Simply the process of managing your entire business and never miss an important date again by taking things online with a trucking management software, like TruckLogics.

TruckLogics


TruckLogics is the ultimate trucking management software that's specifically designed to help you save time while easily managing your entire trucking business, even when you’re out on the road.

By being 100% mobile you can use your computer, smartphone, or tablet to check in on your business at any time, from any location. It doesn’t matter if you’re at a rest stop, stuck in traffic, or sitting in your favorite chair at home, you’ll always be able to log on to your account and check in on things with TruckLogics Innovative features.

Note: We do not support distracted driving. Please do not use the TruckLogics app unless you’re safely parked.

Truck Logic’s Innovative Features


We’ve compiled a list of TruckLogics top features that will make your life easier when it comes to managing your business. Once you try them you’ll wonder how you ever managed your fleet without them.

TruckLogics offers dispatch management to help you quickly set up trips for yourself and your drivers. You can easily enter pick-up and drop-off locations for each client to save time while creating loads, and enter in specific notes about these locations if your driver needs them.

You can also assign the equipment to each load to help you keep up with maintenance schedules. As the drivers you assigned to a dispatch are in route you can track their progress to update clients about their time and location.

Best of all you can capture and send your BOL and proof of delivery to make your daily check-in easier.

The Invoice & Billing feature helps you keep track of all of your bills and payments. In a matter of seconds, you can create a professional looking customized invoice to send to your clients. You can add and edit the invoice details such as the load, rates, and more.

These invoices can be downloaded, printed and emailed so that you can easily share them with your clients at any time. With our invoice reminders, you’ll never forget about a payment because will alert you when an invoice is coming up, due, or past due.

Once you receive a payment you can post it to TruckLogics and record it as a full or partial payment. You can also select the payment method used and add any notes if needed. Payments can even be posted towards multiple invoices for frequent clients.

With TruckLogics you get free access to ProMiles which helps you get the best fuel optimization possible. ProMiles allows you to plan out your route based on the best fuel efficiency or the fastest way possible to help you either save fuel or get somewhere on time.

You can also use ProMile to look at all the fuel prices in the area so you’ll know where the best place to stop is along your route. This will help you decide if you need to partially fill your tank at one location in order to fill up somewhere else with cheaper fuel later.

ProMiles also helps out with your IFTA calculations to help you keep track of your miles per jurisdiction, fuel purchased per jurisdiction, fuel used per jurisdiction, and fuel tax per jurisdiction. This will make calculating your IFTA total a breeze.

Try TruckLogics Today


We only mentioned a few of the amazing features that TruckLogics has to offer. Other features include Quickbooks integration, electronic driver logs, IFTA calculation tools, driver settlements, and more. Sign up for your free 15-day trial to test out the features for yourself. Once you see how easy it can be to manage your trucking business from any location you’ll be hooked.
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