Thursday, 21 September 2017

How To Properly Use Load Boards

Need to find a loads fast to keep your trucks moving? Well, Then you could always use a load board. There are hundreds of them all over the internet that post loads for you to book. It sounds easy enough, right? You find the load, you book the load, you pick up and deliver the load! Then you get paid.

Well actually, load boards can be a little tricky and like everything else in the trucking industry you should research your options before just diving in. Luckily we have your back with advice on how to efficiently utilize load boards to get the best bang for your work.

Get A Load Of This


You can’t marry the first load board you find. You could, but who knows what other loads you might be missing out on? Research different load boards to find a few different ones to use on a regular basis. Keep in mind that some have a monthly subscription so you will have to add the charge into your monthly budget. If the fee is over $30 then move on, you can do better.

When shopping around look at the load boards with the most loads and the best rates in the lanes your serve. It can be easy to settle for low rates in the lanes you don’t serve if you get tired of looking, but stay focused and take your time. Also, always have more than one load board.

Don’t go in blind. Before calling a load know your break-even point and your lowest possible rate per mile, that will at least let you break even on the load, even though, of course, you want to make a profit. Also, if a shipper or broker has no credit or low credit avoid them.

Be aware that with load boards you will be working with strangers, so you will have to feel comfortable contacting a lot of different people. When you call them, be firm and ready to negotiate, but don’t get frustrated when they try to hit you with lower rates. Loads have a lot of competition for them. Remember that you can always walk away from a load if it doesn’t suit your needs. Hold out for the right one for your business.

If you’re tight on funds see if the broker can give you an advance, and if they can’t you can always consider factoring your freight bills to get by until your next load. Factoring is a great way to get started as an owner-operator until you have enough cash flow to support your business.

Calculate the distance of your load in order to keep your deadhead miles to a minimum. Is your return trip too expensive? Maybe there is another load close by to deliver close to home base. This is where referring to multiple load boards can help you, just remember to never overbook your business.

As you work with brokers and shippers your reputation will start to build. People in the transportation industry will talk, and you can’t control what they say but you can have a hand in if the conversation is good or bad by being professional and reliable. Once you have a positive reputation shippers and brokers will choose you over other truckers and may even come to you with loads.

So how do you do that? Deliver loads on time, and follow through with the work you agree to. Have good communication skills and call a shipper as soon as you know about a potential problem so they can help solve it. Maintain your appearance and shower often. It also doesn’t hurt to wear jeans and a polo or button-down shirt instead of a t-shirt with gym shorts and slides. Also, be polite and carry yourself confidently without the use of profanity.

Get Those Loads


Load Boards are becoming increasingly popular as a way for owner-operators and fleets to find business. They can really help you get your business off the ground and find business fast as long as you take the time to find the right load for your needs. Just research your options and know your financial requirements before picking one and running with it.

If we left anything out about load boards please fill in the blanks in the comment section below, and on another note:

STOP WASTING MONEY, START EFFICIENTLY MANAGING YOUR TRUCKING BUSINESS TODAY


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Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Sleep Apnea, The Silent Killer For Truckers

Driving tired kills truckers
As a trucker are you getting enough sleep? Is your rig outfitted with blackout curtains and a comfortable mattress so you can get the rest you need? You may be thinking that you do get about 8 hours of sleep of night, but still, wake up feeling tired and groggy.

That’s because if you’re affected by sleep apnea then you may not even know you have it. Unless you record yourself sleeping or someone tells you that you snore extremely loudly this condition could go completely missed.

You might wake up coughing, irritated, with headaches, and worst of off exhausted. This is a problem because sleep apnea is filling our nation’s highways with danger because driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk. So, please help truckers spread awareness about his condition by taking a moment to learn about sleep apnea today.

The Dangers Of Sleep Apnea In Truckers


First of all, driving tired is dangerous because it can slow down your reaction time, impair your judgment, and affect your vision. It can also make it more difficult to process information and decrease your short-term memory. When you drive tired your performance is greatly decreased while mood swings and aggression can be increased, leading to higher rates of road rage. However, at the end of the day driving tired simply leads to more wrecks and fatalities.

You may think you aren’t at risk for sleep apnea because it’s more common among larger truckers, but the unhealthy lifestyle can make you gain weight without noticing and lead to conditions like sleep apnea. It can also affect smaller people for reasons such as an airway obstruction or due to having constricted airways.
 
Driving tired kills truckers
If you have sleep apnea it’s important to get screened because it can lead to even more dangerous conditions aside from driving tired. Conditions that sleep apnea can lead to include heart disease and an increased risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, weight gain, high blood pressure, acid reflux, asthma, and more.

Now a few of these conditions like high blood pressure, weight gain, and heart disease can be caused by the sedentary trucker lifestyle already and made worse by sleep apnea, so getting tested for the condition the sooner the better so you can get your life back.

Those who have been screened and started their treatments rejoice in the fact that not only do they have their lives back, but their quality of life is greatly improved. Treatments may include working out and living a healthier lifestyle, surgery, and getting a CPAP machine.

If you aren’t sure that you need to be tested check out Aeroflow’s sleep apnea screening questionnaire. All you have to do is honestly answer the questions and submit the form and they will assess your sleep apnea risk for you, for free. Then you can take further actions based on the results.

Catch Sleep Apnea, Save Lives


If you feel constantly exhausted then maybe it’s time to see your risk for sleep apnea. Trucking is currently the most dangerous profession, so we need to eliminate driving tired to make our roads safer and to get more truckers home with their lives.

If you have anything to add about sleep apnea please share it with us in the comment section below and for more trucking blogs please visit TruckLogics.com.
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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Maximize Profits By Running Your Trucking Business Online

Increase Trucking Business Profits
In the trucking industry, it’s always good to figure out where you can cut costs, as it’s a difficult industry to break into. Saving a little here and there can help your business stay afloat until it really gets established.

One way to maximize profits involves reducing paperwork and the need for an office administrative representative to handle paperwork for you by managing your business online. This is where TruckLogics, the complete trucking business management solution can help because it makes your business just as mobile as you are.

With TruckLogics you can eliminate time-consuming paperwork and save time while managing your entire operation right at your fingertips with innovative features for accounting, online dispatching, IFTA reporting, and more.

Managing Your Trucking Business Online


First of all, it’s important to mention that TruckLogics provides multi-user login access, so you can grant different levels of access to your employees to improve productivity and streamline business management. You can allow your staff to access dispatches, the TruckZones, loads, IFTA reports, and more.

Driver Logs

With the TruckLogics app, you can also eliminate tons of paperwork and the need for your drivers to carry logbooks in their rig with electronic driver logs. This makes it incredibly easy to comply with DOT without having to spend hours going through paper logs.

Drivers can simply update their hours of service with just a few clicks on their smartphone or tablet. Plus, with the use of auto location creating a driver log graph is incredibly easy! Also, the driver logs can be instantly printed or emailed to go wherever they need to.

Invoice, Billing, and Expenses

Where do you currently track all of your business expenses? Do you keep up with what you spend in an excel sheet? Do you keep all of your receipts in a folder? Well, there is a better way. Instantly record all of your expenses in TruckLogics. 
Online Trucking Business Management Program

Whenever you make a purchase, like on fuel, for example, you can record the quantity, type, cost, and even upload a photo for your records. If you add a monthly bill as a recurring expense then it will automatically be added to your records on a monthly basis so you don’t have to keep manually adding it month after month.

You can also create a professional invoice in a matter of seconds to email your clients. Instantly add or edit load details, rates, and memos. You can also set the due date and will receive reminders when the due date is near or has passed.

Once you receive the payment for your invoice you can post it in your TruckLogics account for your records with details such as if the payment was full or partials, the payment mode from cash, check, credit, EFT, and any notes if needed.

Maintenance Schedules

Keeping your trucks regularly maintained will extend their life and reduce costs and keeping up with their maintenance schedule doesn’t have to be a paperwork filled hassle. Simply use TruckLogics to make sure your trucks are maintained with accurate record keeping.

All of your equipment can be tracked in your account with the company, year, make, model, and serial number. Simply search for the vehicle you need and you will instantly be able to find its information.

Create a maintenance plan based on the custom needs of your fleet. The maintenance tasks can be scheduled by date, mileage, or hours. The maintenance task can be recorded and every time you log into your account head to the TruckZOne to see your scheduled maintenance, completed maintenance, upcoming maintenance, and past due maintenance.

Go Ahead, Cut The Paper Work!


Ring ring, the 21st century is calling. It’s time to reduce costs and cut hours spent processing paperwork by using TruckLogics to simplify managing your entire business online. Take advantage of your free 15-day trial now to see how TruckLogics can be used to help you save time and maximize your profits.
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Thursday, 14 September 2017

How To Build Quality Relationships With Shippers

Trucker and shipper relationship
Load Boards are a great way to get started in the trucking industry but they don’t give you the most pay for your work. The loads posted offer incredibly low rates and have a lot of competition.

As soon as you get a load you better start planning and looking for the next one! To make it as an owner operator or fleet owner you and your drivers might be much better off by building quality relationships with shippers, so we have a few tips on how to do exactly that.

Building Quality Relationships With Shippers


It’s time to be a shark and find the shipper you want to deliver for. They don’t necessarily have to look for drivers because other owner operators are also looking for work. However, don’t just pick the first shipper you see, research your options.

You will want to work with the same shipper for a while, so look up their company reviews. Make sure their previous employees left positive comments to get an idea if you will be happy working there for a while or not. The transportation industry has a high turnover rate, so if you have a history of staying with shippers long term then that will give you a leg up.

If you contact a shipper and don’t hear back from them right away then don’t give up. Follow up within the next few days. Also, make sure your pitch is clear, organized, and to the point.
 
Grow Your Trucking Business
Present yourself well. When picking up and delivering loads make sure that you wear something a little nicer than sweatpants and flip-flops. Make sure you’ve showered recently and comb your hair. Grocers will report back to your shipper about you, so it’s important that you make a good impression.

Also, speak well. Use your manners and be polite. You have no idea how far a few please and thank yous will go. If you get frustrated try your best to stay calm and keep your language clean.

Speaking of speaking, it’s also a great practice to have good communication. There are many hands-free ways you can contact your shipper. They will appreciate being kept up to date on your progress.

It’s really important to contact your shipper as soon as you know your delivery is going to be delayed. That will give your shipper time to notify the grocery and make arrangements. Waiting til the last minute could cause tensions to rise.

You are responsible for yourself, shippers won’t make excuses for you. Communication will solve a lot of issues. If you are nervous about facing a shipper you could text them, but it’s much better to call.

Remember shippers are also trying to get loads delivered at the lowest rate possible, so be aware of the supply, demand and current market rates when it comes to your pay. Don’t be afraid to negotiate rates, but don’t get upset when you get offered a lower rate. As you spend time in in the business getting experience to build a good reputation you can get higher rates.

Build Those Shipper Relationships


If you’re ready to take your trucking business to the next level then it might be time to move away from load boards to build quality relationships with shippers. Go get ‘em, tiger. Be smart, responsible, and respectful and you will quickly be on your way towards earning more for your work.

Please share any tips you have towards building relationships with shippers in the comment section below.
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Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Truckers Are Crucial For Providing Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief

Truckers HOS suspended
Harvey just made a huge splash in Texas and before the relief effort could even finish Irma the category 4 hurricane slammed Florida. The entire state was covered by the massive wind and rain storm.

Just like truckers did their part to help with Harvey you can get in your rig and head down to the sunshine state to help out. Just remember to be prepared in case of emergencies and to get enough rest in order to safely contribute. Here’s what you can expect if you pitch in with Hurricane Irma relief efforts.

Hurricane Irma Disaster Relief Efforts


As Irma arrived the Department of Transportation issued a Regional Emergency Declaration for 7 states, including Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and of course, Florida.

As a result of the declaration HOS or hours of service regulations were suspended for drivers and carriers in those states providing direct assistance to the impacted areas. Now because those helping with relief efforts can drive past the normal HOS regulations we urge you to not go past your limits. Take the time to rest if you need to, driving tired is incredibly dangerous because it’s the equivalent to driving drunk.

Even though loads for the relief effort may be offering extra rates per mile, keep in mind that helping out may not be easy. You will be entering a disaster area after all. Before heading down to Florida be sure to have a few emergency items packed in your cab.

You should take some extra clothes because you may not have an area to shower or do laundry for a few days You should also take a flashlight, batteries, power inverter, hand crank radio, utility knife, and a first aid kit. You never know when these items could come in handy and they are actually beneficial to carry in your rig at all times.

Truckers helping with hurricane irma
Hurricanes make areas flood, causing them to be extremely wet, so make sure you take water proof items with you. You’ll want to be totally protected from flood water as it’s generally contaminated with chemicals and feces, so bring your water bib if you have one.

If your route is flooded don’t push your truck’s limits. You don’t want to get stuck in the water or swept away. Remember, turn around, don’t drown.

Be prepared to wait. When you get to a disaster zone the people there may not be able to tell you where to go or give you further instructions for hours. As you wait you might get hungry but there might not be a place for you to grab some food, so be sure to pack non-perishable food for your trip, along with some bottles of water.

You may want to bring extra food and water in order to give out to those in need if you happen to rescue someone. If you have any coffee or soda that you can’t live without take some of it with you too.

It’s a good idea to carry some extra fuel with you and to top off where you can. The evacuation caused many fuel shortages all around the state, and some places might not have been able to refuel yet.

When you stop to rest try to find a safe well lit area. Even though police are stopping looters they may not be able to catch everyone and the last thing you will want is to be bothered by someone trying to take your stuff.

Are You Helping With Hurricane Irma Relief?


If you’re heading to Florida to deliver emergency items to those in need and to provide aid, thank you for your hard work. Just remember to stay safe and don’t go past your limits. If you aren’t driving to provide assistance you can donate to the cause here.

Please share any tips about providing hurricane disaster relief in the comment section below and for more trucking blogs visit TruckLogics.com
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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Use Technology To Retain Young Truck Drivers

New drivers today have something that road veterans didn’t start off with and that’s tons of brand new technology. GPS units, tablets, satellite radio, new apps to stay connected, and more. As an old school trucker, you may feel like technology is more of a curse than a blessing, but it can be used to your advantage.
 
With the high turnover rate and driver shortage in the industry the ability to retain drivers, even younger ones fresh out of CDL school will give you the advantage. It could help you get your fleet where you want it to be.

Before you retain a driver you need to attract a driver--that can be done by making your fleet more interesting than the competition. With many new drivers coming into the workforce, employers need to consider their communication style. Younger drivers are very attached to their mobile phones and tend to thrive on efficiency. 

5 Ways Technology Can Increase Driver Retention 


Close the deal by offering mobile management to eliminate paperwork and to make everyone’s lives in your operation easier. A program like TruckLogics, for example, can completely mobilize your business by being available on smartphones and tablets. Drivers can use technology to increase efficiency and help grow your business in 5 distinct ways.

1. Create dispatches and share the information with your drivers in a matter of minutes, so they won’t have to call you and ask for instructions. The dispatch details can include the shipper and consignee details, pick up and drop-off locations, contact information for those locations, any special instructions, and more.

2. Drivers can also constantly update you on their progress and location to keep your clients informed. Plus, they can capture and send BOL and proof of delivery to make their daily check-in easier.

3. The driver settlement will allow drivers to access records to their pay at any time in case they have any questions. They can simply log into their TruckLogics account to clearly see how much they were paid and when. Hauling charges, fuel surcharges, accessorial fees, reimbursements, and deductions will be clearly listed for your drivers to see in order to answer any questions that they may have.

4. Electronic driver logs with TruckLogics eliminates the hassle of having to carry around paper log books. They can use the app to easily enter their hours of service and instantly create driver log graphs. This takes the stress out of complying with HOS rules.

5. By using TruckLogics drivers will get access to ProMiles and electronic trip logs. ProMiles will track the most fuel efficient or quickest route based on your preferences and will let you and your drivers know where the cheapest place to fuel up is. Then all of the miles traveled per jurisdiction in your trip logs will be compiled for an IFTA report that can be used to quickly complete your return.

The Future Is Now


We respect tradition and hard working, true grit. No matter how advanced technology gets it will never beat the ability to do things like read and follow a map correctly. However, technology can be convenient, help retain drivers, and help you save time while managing your entire business online.
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Monday, 11 September 2017

Remembering and Honoring 9/11

Today isn’t just another Monday, as it falls on the 16th anniversary of 9/11. You may notice people on bridges and overpasses proudly waving the American flag during your route today. No matter where you are, and what you're hauling we hope you honk your horn and support them.

The 2001 terrorist attack was the largest terror attack on U.S. soil and it claimed 3,000 American victims. In order to honor their memory, tonight beams of light will shoot into the sky where the World Trade Center buildings originally stood.

Earlier today Trump lead a moment of silence at the white house that marked the time when the first plane struck in order to remember the fallen and honor their families. We hope that with your busy schedule on the road today that you will get the chance to take a moment of silence to reflect on those who lost their lives as well.

Here at TruckLogics, we are proud to be American you will be able to spot the American flag in multiple places around the office, and everyone will be able to take the time they need to remember. As America progresses into a stronger nation we will never forget our history.

Thank you for all of your hard work. We know that on days like these you would like to be home with your family to be with your loved ones to remember those who lost their lives. Be sure to let them know how much they mean to you and that you’re thinking of them during this historic day.




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