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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Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Improved Self-Driving Technology Makes Headway In China

Automated DrivingThere are several key players when it comes to self-driving technology from the United States to China. A lot of emphases, regarding autonomous vehicles (AVs), have been placed on leisure vehicles for personal use, but the game-changing technology will have the biggest impact in the trucking industry.

With the shortage of truck drivers, the introduction of AVs into the trucking industry will not only save money but will serve as a mitigator for the racking increase in problems caused by the driver shortage.

Record-Breaking Strides Made

In China, two of the largest delivery and logistics companies will start making package delivery services using AVs, as early as April 2019. FABU, a self-driving startup announced their partnership with these two companies, Mar. 5, describing it as the first time self-driving vehicles will be put into commercial use.

Founder and CEO of FABU, Xiaofei He, stated that 'FABU is very excited to be at the heart of the first autonomous delivery trucks in China.' With plans to expand the self-driving service to 100 routes in the near future, both China Post and Deppon Express have been pleased with the partnership.
Testing began in November 2018, in China’s heavily populated Zhejiang Province with level 4 autonomous driving. It is recorded that the tested AVs successfully drove over 2,000 miles and delivered over 60,000 parcels.

Game Changers

One of the first companies to enter the AV field out of other competitors was Daimler, the parent company of Freightliner Trucks and Mercedes-Benz. The company plans to launch an Oregon based automated truck research center soon. Tesla is also making an impact in the way commercial AVs are seen, with plans to put a truck on the road in 2019.

Other Game-Changing Companies:

  • Waymo
  • Tusimple
  • Ford
  • Volvo
  • GMC 

Other Game Changing Countries:

  • Japan
  • Europe
  • India
  • Southeast Asia

Trucker 1The Impact AVs Have on Trucking Jobs

There is little for those in the trucking profession to be worried about when it comes to AVs replacing jobs. As more autonomous trucks are put on the road there will be a greater need for drivers to be in those trucks. Leading innovators state that there are too many incidents that could occur with the technology for a CDL driver to be absent during routes.

The biggest changes in the trucker profession would be in training. With technology, a strong tech background would be required to perform duties safely and efficiently. It is projected that the added jobs will level out the jobs that would be ‘taken away,’ due to driverless cargos. Having local drivers would still be a need in the industry since most AVs would be used for long-distance trucking.

There is plenty of opportunities for new roles within the industry such as; global autonomous truck-port workers, local street navigators, near-field communicators, and also managerial logistic employees. There may not be much change in the number of truck industry employees, but inevitably there are rapid changes being made to the trucking industry, as we know it.



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Tuesday, 19 March 2019

How Prepared Are You For The 2019 MATS

TruckLogics is on the road again and taking on the 2019 MATS! With help from ExpressAmber the team of representatives for ExpressTruckTax and TruckLogics has been getting into shape to make the most of the largest annual heavy-duty trucking industry event, Thursday, March 28 - Saturday, March 30, 2019.

Over 71, 300 truck enthusiasts from all across the world will be in one area for 3 days to network, get informed, and gain some awesome freebies all while having a little fun. We want to see you there and make sure you take advantage of all the things this event has to offer.
MATS Booths
What better way to prepare than getting MATS tips from a couple of veterans? The team headed to Louisville, Kentucky is quite familiar with how MATS tends to go. With roughly 6 years of experience the group has learned from past year mistakes and successes. Here are a few things that will ensure your trip goes off without a hitch, unless you’re into those kinds of things.

Be Present

It is easy to coil into ourselves and fail to be present in situations where we feel as though we know no one, but it is important at events like MATS to be an extrovert for the weekend. MATS is a great networking opportunity for all in the industry, not just big corporations with their logos plastered all over the place. Put your phone away and connect face-to-face with leaders in the industry. Partnerships and new career opportunities happen all the time when leaders in the same industry are together. Authentic relationships and conversations can go a long way.

Don't Be 'That Guy'

Any company that has a booth, more than likely have free incentives to get you over to their table. If you are drawn to the table because of what they are offering, be courteous enough to listen to what booth representatives have to say. If not for yourself get the beneficial knowledge for someone you know. We’re not saying become one of their subscribers or purchase the most expensive thing in their catalog, but just suggest lending your ear for a brief 5 to 10 minutes. We don’t want you to be the one lugging around a huge bag of free stuff only searching through the crowd for your next gift. 

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Explore The City

Louisville is a city full of rich history, so schedule your trip to include a day or several days to visit some of its unique attractions like the Louisville Slugger Museum. The city also offers an amazing discount program for visitors in town for conferences, conventions and showcases. The Show Us Your Badge discounts range from restaurant deals, awesome attraction rates and even discounted purchases at some of the cities well known establishments. If your schedule doesn’t allow for you to partake in the discounted fun, plan ahead and stay an extra day, or make your voyage to Kentucky a day early. You can find a list of over 20 participating locations on the Louisville, Kentucky travel site.

Be On The Lookout For TruckLogics

The TruckLogics team will be walking around MATS being the center of attention in some pretty show stopping attire. Be sure to stop them and say hello. Get a few selfies in and be sure to tag the TruckLogics social media handles. The team is pumped to see everyone there. This years MATS is going to be one to remember!
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Monday, 11 February 2019

Your 2019 Trucking Per Diem Rates Don't Have to Be Scary!

Your 2019 Trucking Per Diem Rates Don't Have to Be Scary!

2019 Per Diem Rates and You

As many of you know, last October the transportation workers’ standard per diem rates were increased to $66 from $63 in the US and from $68 to $71 for those traveling to Canada. Or to get technical, the US per diem went up to $66 per day, or a net of $52.80, and the partial rate is 75% of the full rate.

So, $66.00 x 75% = $49.50 gross or $39.60 net.

But what does that actually mean for you as an owner operator?

What You Need for Per Diem Tax Deductions


Generally, any worker who is self-employed, contracted, or subcontracted can claim per diem deductions. In the trucking business, this applies to owner-operator truck drivers that are self-employed, operate under a 1099 Form, or don’t receive a W-2 Form from an employer. If you’re an owner operator, you can take these GSA per diem deductions by meeting the following conditions:

  • Keep your tax deductions recorded and itemized.
  • Remain compliant with DOT Hours of Service regulations.
  • Have a “tax home”: a business or home to park your rig when off duty.
  • Provide evidence that you traveled for business on the days with a claimed per diem allowance.
  • Keep receipts for work expenses your employer does not reimburse, such as wiper fluid, uniforms, gloves, maps, and more.
  • Meet the overnight trucking rule by logging any hours spent sleeping in your truck. You must also be far enough away from home base that you cannot return in 24 hours. 

Your 2019 Trucking Per Diem Rates Don't Have to Be Scary!

Carpe Diem with TruckLogics!

TruckLogics makes keeping track of your per diem expenses easier than ever! Many carriers only store their electronic data for a limited time. And if you try to go at it alone, there’s also the risk of computer viruses, damaged equipment, or other unforeseen setbacks can cost you thousands if your return triggers an audit and if you cannot produce the logs.

But with TruckLogics, the leased operator version of the mobile app lets you easily log your per diem deductions and even a partial per diem deduction if needed. These new per diem rates are in effect until Sept. 30, 2019, so it’s important to stay up to date with all of your expenses and other tax information. Luckily, TruckLogics is here to help!

We can also help with your IRS Form 2290, Form 1099, Form W-2, and more!

Start Saving Time!


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Thursday, 7 February 2019

What You Need to Know About Loss Prevention on the Road


What You Need to Know About Loss Prevention on the Road
We’re only just over a month into 2019 and already, there have been a number of reports of cargo theft on America’s highways.

Now more than ever, it’s important to keep yourself safe out there on the road and protect your cargo from would-be thieves. They’re out there and they’re organized, ready, sophisticated, and successful.There have even been recent reports of Mexican fleets outfitting their trucks with bullet-proof metals and security cab ladders to prevent armed theft. Nobody needs that on their long haul. What's an honest Trucker to do? With all the various moving parts of the supply chain, anything can happen anything can happen at any time to disrupt it.

The best way to combat this problem is with knowledge - the who, what, when, and where of cargo theft. TruckLogics has the inside dirt to help you beat the season!

What Are Cargo Thieves After?

Whether you’re a trucking company owner operator or a driver yourself, odds are you or your fleet are hauling something of general value these days. Everything from electronics, pharmaceuticals, clothing & food goods continue to be targeted by thieves as high-value shipments.

According to the FBI, cargo theft has become problem totalling $15 to $30 billion annually - an average that is expected to peak in the year’s coming months. Historically, the months between Labor Day and the December Holidays are the worst for cargo theft.

During last year’s second quarter, the most costly commodities stolen from trucks were electronics, totaling $14.6 million — but not the most frequently stolen. The most commonly stolen items were food and beverage items, totalling $3.8 million.

The national average for the same period was a logged 297 reports of cargo theft, identity theft, vehicle theft, and other criminal intelligence matters within the U.S. and Canadian transportation supply chain. A single incident of cargo theft was valued at an estimated $8 million alone.

Many cargo thieves tend to target food and beverage items because many fresh goods don’t have serial numbers and can be more difficult to trace. US food products are generally lack and type of RFID tracking tag attached or hidden in their packaging.

How Do They Do It?

What You Need to Know About Loss Prevention on the Road
Modern cargo thieves have displayed a far greater level of sophistication than any time before. Many thieves today focus on shipping facilities, surveilling their establishments, and tracking the route times of truck departures and arrivals. However, that doesn’t mean truckstops have suddenly become completely safe. All too often at these stops, truckers find themselves under risk of theft or bodily harm in the name of a quick buck. And it’s not as simple as making sure your cab doors are locked anymore.

At TruckLogics, we probably don’t need to remind you that no matter what you’re hauling, a trucker salary isn’t worth putting yourself in unnecessary danger. Not everyone is on your side, but luckily for you, TruckLogics is! Here are some common sense tips to help you avoid theft on your next truck route!

Loss Prevention & Safety Tips for Drivers:

  • Do not discuss the nature of your cargo with strangers. 
  • If carrying valuable cargo, travel at least 250 miles before stopping in case you are being followed. 
  • If you need to relay your cargo to another fleet member, make the transfer face-to-face.
  • Never separate a valuable load from your vehicle unless it is in a locked and secure area. 
  • When separated, always secure your trailer with a king pin lock or additional locks for extra security. 
  • Always lock up your truck and trailer while parked, even when still inside. 
  • Only park in well lit, populated areas.

Loss Prevention & Safety Tips for the Owner Operator:

  • Complete full background checks on all new employees and contractors.
  • Know the value of your cargo.
  • Safeguard all important registration and insurance documents.
  • Always se experienced drivers to transport valuable cargo.
  • Provide driver safety and awareness training. 
  • Develop formal security procedures for your drivers in case something happens.
  • Invest in quality locks and security devices for your vehicles and trailers. 
  • Consider using Assisted Global Positioning System (AGPS) devices.
  • Regularly check your Safety Measurement System (SMS) report for any fraudulent activity.

At TruckLogics, our goal is to help trucking companies to streamline fleet management in every way, including actively reducing cargo theft. In a perfect world, following these tips would prevent a truck theft from ever happening again. But just in case something does happen, our sister product ExpressTruckTax can help you deal with the aftermath! Their software allows you to report any stolen vehicle for tax credit. They’ll even let you transfer the taxes to your new truck with ease. You can even do it all with their convenient mobile app!

With a 100% US based customer service team and nationally coordinated data-sharing system, ExpressTruckTax is designed to help your trucking company decrease losses and increase profits.

Stay tuned to TruckLogics for more trucking news!


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