Monday, 20 April 2015

Trucking Nation Podcast: 18. IFTA, Stories from the Road, & Veggies for Truckers

What's up, Trucking Nation? Hopefully the road is treating you well these past few weeks. I have a great show for you filled with IFTA info and some stories from the road. I also throw in a health and fitness chat at the end. Click that Play button and let the good times roll!







Here's The Rundown

An interesting way to tell a story
I really enjoy reading those Highway Hero and Knight of The Road stories. It just warms my heart knowing there are people who still care in this crazy world. OverdriveOnline.com published a Knight of the Road story that is completely different from anything I have ever seen. It was just too cool not to talk about. It has these really great illustrations with it and at the end it shows a real picture of Vijaydeep Sahasi (the truck operator that saved a women having a heart attack). It is an amazing story and told in told just cool way. Check it out.

IFTA Deadline
You knew it was coming. The 1st Quarter IFTA Deadline is April 30th and you have a few filing options:
1) TruckLogics.com.  You can generate your IFTA return via your TruckLogics account. It's pretty easy- just click a few buttons, but if you do have a questions contact the TruckLogics Support team at 704-234-6946.

2) ExpressIFTA.com. Easily generate your IFTA return and find out all the filing information for each state jurisdiction. There are multiple upload options for your mileage, including GPS upload and Excel. If you don't see your GPS platform listed, just contact the ExpressIFTA Support Team to have it added at 704-234-6005.

3) TSNAmerica.com. Truck Services of North America is the best to have all of your IFTA filing handled over the phone by a professional. I talk about this company a lot because they are just so great. They can handle any and every compliancy issue, including registrations, trip/fuel permits, authorities, and they provide business startup services. Give them a call at 803-386-0320.

Veggies made for Truckers
If you are not a big vegetable fan, don't worry we can convert you (insert evil laugh). There are a good amount of veggies that keep well on the road and you can check them out in this blog I wrote - Eat Your Veggies Day . I'm really a big fan of grilling veggies when the weather is nice. I swear it just makes them better and splash on some lemon juice with a few spices and the world is magically a better place. Give it go and try something different; you only have one life so why not, right?

I hope you enjoyed the show and thank you so much for listening. I know this summer is going to be something amazing and I will make sure to tell you everything. Get your fitness on whenever you can and enjoy some great veggies, truckers. Remember you get what you give in this world, so try to be kind and enjoy the ride. Talk to you soon - Misty Noel.
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Thursday, 16 April 2015

1st Q. IFTA Deadline Coming Up: Create Your Return with TruckLogics!


Answer the following question completely and honestly:

Filing IFTA returns can be ______.
A. Exhausting
B. Frustrating
C. Terrifying
D. Expensive
E. All of the Above

The correct answer, folks, is clearly E. All of the above. Filing your quarterly IFTA return can be all kinds of stressful. But it doesn’t have to be.

As the April 30th IFTA deadline gets closer by the second, you’re likely feeling a hint of panic start to creep up.

But don’t give in! You aren’t alone. The Support Crew at TruckLogics knows what you’re up against. That’s why we’ve created software solutions to take the sting out of quarterly IFTA filings. Have a look at how fast and easy preparing your IFTA return can be when you have the right tools for the job.

Easier IFTA Filings- From Sea to Shining Sea


Some of you may have already heard that the TruckLogics’ IFTA feature uses your trip sheets to create a completed return for you.

Well...the rumors are true. TruckLogics will pull the mileage and fuel use data from your trip sheets and use that to generate IFTA reports, or if you choose, completed IFTA returns. All you need to do is print, sign, and mail.

No matter which state is your base jurisdiction, TruckLogics can create a completed, state-specific return for you. Plus we’ll include instructions on how to complete your submission, just in case.


Don’t Trip Over Your Trip Sheets


As we said, TruckLogics creates your IFTA return based on your trip sheet data, so be sure all trip sheets are complete and correct before you begin.

If you’re missing any trip sheets from January through March, you can either complete them manually, with Google Maps, or most effectively with ProMiles.

Our ProMiles add-on feature really supercharges your TruckLogics account and opens up tons of benefits, the main two being...

1. The most accurate address-to-address routing available for transportation professionals. You’ll never harm your bottom line with out-of-route mileage again.

2. One-Click Trip Sheets! Within the Trip Sheets tab, simply check the box for ProMiles and it will automatically fill in your mileage per jurisdiction. All you need to add are fuel purchases.

  • Pro Tip: Sometimes, truckers don’t always take the shortest route that ProMiles provides. Detours happen. That’s why we added a Routing Stops feature. If you deviated from the ProMiles route, be sure to add your routing stops so that ProMiles can correct your total mileage on your trip sheets. For more information about routing stops, check out this blog

Ready. Set. File.


Once all of your trip sheets for the quarter are complete, it’s time to generate your return! Get ready because this part goes by real fast.

1. Head to the IFTA Dashboard. Just select IFTA along the top menu. There you’ll see 1st Quarter 2015. Click “Start New Return.”
2. The IFTA Truck List: Check the boxes next to the vehicles you’d like included in the IFTA return. Remember, this will pull from the trip sheets associated with that vehicle. To view the trip data associated with each vehicle, select “View Log” next to that truck.
3. Return Details: This is a summary of your total mileage, fuel use, and MPG for the quarter. Simply review and click next.
4. IFTA Tax Due: Add credits or refunds to your return if applicable.
5. Summary: You did it! This is your last chance to review and edit your information before creating the return. If everything looks kosher, head to the final step.
6. Download Your IFTA Return PDF: Simply select “Download IFTA PDF” and watch in amazement as hours of IFTA calculations melts away. Just sign your return, prepare your payment, and follow the attached instructions to submit it to your base jurisdiction!


Filing your quarterly IFTA return has never been so simple. It truly is the fastest, most affordable, and stress-free way to stay IFTA compliant.

If you’re new to TruckLogics, now is a great time to sign up for a trial! The 2nd Quarter is just beginning, making now the perfect time to start keeping your trip sheets in TruckLogics.

To get your free 30 day trial, just use promocode APRIL15.

Have questions? The Support Crew has your back! Call them at 704.234.6946. or email them at support@trucklogics.com for answers to your IFTA questions.

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Friday, 3 April 2015

Trucking Nation Podcast: 17. Inspections, App Reviews, & Natural Remedies

Happy April, Trucking Nation! There is a lot going on this month, so much so that this month is National Stress Awareness Month. It doesn't have to be stressful and in this week's show we talk about all kinds of ways to lift that tax-stress off your shoulders. If tax deadlines weren't enough, inspection season is gearing up and you need to be prepared now. There's is a lot to talk about so click that PLAY button!










Here's the rundown

Inspections
Inspection season is about to start and to make your life easier it is best to always be prepared. Keep all your paperwork in one location like a zip up folder. You can hand over all the requested information easily without having to search for anything. Always inspect your truck before heading out on the road.

TruckLogics' New Features
TruckLogics.com has added some great new features. Check out this blog to find out more - Experience TruckLogics' New LTL Feature

App Reviews
I love technology and I love reviewing it even more. There are a lot of apps out there that say they are great for truckers, but really don't live up to their descriptions. Here are this week's Apps that I reviewed and are great for truckers.

 - Life360 App
This is a good app to stay connected with your family and they can see exactly where you are, and vice versa. It's easy to use and provides a messaging and panic feature. I would suggest not allowing the push notifications so you can use the app uninterrupted.

 - IFTA Fuel Tax Calculator App
ExpressIFTA's IFTA Fuel Tax Calculator App is amazing to allow you to plan your future expenses. It is very simple to use and you don't need to create an account or enter any business information. You just open the app and enter your states, mileage, and fuel purchases and the app automatically calculates your tax. It is free to download and available on App Store and Google Play.

 - Express4868 App
This app was released by ExpressExtension.com to provide tax filers with the option to file a personal tax extension from any location. There are guided help prompts to show you where to input your information and the entire process can be completed in 10 minutes. This app is available for free download on App Store and Google Play. Form 4868, when e-filed, will provide you with 6 more months to e-file your personal tax return. If you have any questions about tax extension e-filing, contact the ExpressExtension Support Team via phone: 803-514-5155 or email: support@expressextension.com.

Natural Remedies for Sore Post-Workout Muscles
There are a lot of over-the-counter products to help soothe your aching joints and muscles, but they contain ingredients that actually aren't very good for you. If I have a problem pronouncing the ingredients, I question what's in the product. I have growing distrust in over-the-counter products so I searched for natural remedies to help that aching go away after your workouts. Working out is amazing and so many truckers are switching to a healthier lifestyle, but muscle soreness can really take its toll. Here are some great remedies I found that really work:

 - Ace bandages soaked in Epson salt and apple cider vinegar. It sounds weird, but this is my go to muscle pain relief. All you do is soak a few Ace bandages in a solution of about half water/half Epson salt. Then add a few good dashes of apple cider vinegar (don't you love my measuring). I just let it soak in a sealed plastic container all day and warm it up before I wrap up. Keep it on for at least 20 min and you will feel so much better.
  - Molasses in coffee or tea. This one is new for me and I've tried it a few times. This remedy is great for really sore joints. After a hard workout in the morning my knees start hurting ones the adrenaline wears off. I will drink this little cocktail of goodness about 30 min after my workout and it really works to ease my joint problems. I really don't feel the pain anymore and I didn't have to take any over-the-counter drugs.

There were a few more I talk about, so be sure to listen to the show to learn them all.

Planning Your Workouts
One of the best ways to stay on top of your workouts is to plan them ahead and know exactly what you will be doing. Make sure you aren't doing the same exact thing every day and vary your workout difficulty. Adding some yoga in or a deep stretch session at the end of the day to stretch out your body from sitting for longs periods of time is great to make sure you won't have a lot of soreness the next day.

Thank you so much for listening! Follow me on Facebook and Twitter for meal, health, fitness, and everything trucking. Remember Trucking Nation, you get what you give in this world, so try to be kind and enjoy the ride. I will talk to you soon - Misty Noel

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Wednesday, 1 April 2015

There and MATS Again: A TruckLogics Tale


Each year, our friends at ExpressTruckTax make the long, treacherous journey from our headquarters in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to Louisville, Kentucky. Why? For MATS of  course! The Mid-America Trucking Show is the biggest trucking event in the US, and even the world, with over 80,000 attendees from countries spanning the globe!

With over a million square feet in exhibit space, hundreds of big rigs on display, and thousands of vendors from all sectors of the transportation industry, the TruckLogics Crew just HAD to get in on the action!

So we packed our bags, stuffed a mini van with supplies, and then stuffed ourselves in there too! And after driving 8 hours through the dark of night, we finally arrived at the Kentucky Expo Center on the dawn of Wednesday, March 25th, in the year 2015.




Getting There


We had hoped to beat the traffic, but even in the early hours of the morning, the Expo Center was already buzzing. (Translation: parking was impossible.)

With thousands of vendors needing to set up their booths like us, we had to fight our way to a parking spot, and then begin unloading what seemed to be an endless number of boxes. But still, we remained in high spirits.






Setting Up


We then spent the rest of Day 1 unpacking boxes of banners, floor tiles, and swag, and then setting up our spot- Booth 66121, which was to be our home for the next four days.

After hanging our banners, Agie (bottom right) laid the floor tiles and gave each a swift karate chop to lock them in place.

Notice the intense concentration as he hammers each tile into submission.







Life at Booth 66121


But luckily, by the end of Day 1 it had all come together, and our booth was ready for the flood gates to open!
But were we ready?

Ready or not, people came by the hundreds, and we greeted each with a smile!

Meeting potential new users and current users of our products is the best part of our job, so we were having an absolute blast, even if it meant standing for hours on end or eating lunch on the floor crouched behind our booth. Way to go, Bryan (top right)!




Mercer Cookout


Even in the midst of MATS Madness, we still found time to explore!

Our first night there, we went to a cookout with our friends at Mercer Transportation, who were raffling off a tablet to one lucky trucker (seen bottom left with Bryan).

And check out the incredible booth Mercer had! Mercertown not only featured a gorgeous silver semi, but a functioning diner too. So cool.







Fun & Games


MATS wouldn't be complete without getting behind the wheel of some beastly 18-wheeler's.

So whenever we had a spare second, we snuck away to snap selfies and "test drive" some of the top-of-the-line trucks on display.












Trucks!


This part is self-explanatory. We just couldn't help ourselves!

Whether you're a trucking enthusiast or not, you just can't help but get excited over these chromed out marvels of engineering.

Feast yours eyes on these babies!







And More Trucks!


But there weren't just semi's on display. All manner of manufacturers had their goods on show- from trailers, to race cars, to engines, there was plenty to take in.






Even More Trucks


Along the way, we even found a life-size version of our beloved Mean Green. Every inch was polished to perfection, even under the hood.



But as beautiful as she may be, she still can't beat our little ole' Mean Green. Does size really matter? Mean Green says no.





So after 4 days of chaotic fun, it was time to break down our booth and head back home to Rock Hill. As exhausting as MATS was, we can't wait to go back again!

If you missed us at MATS this time, have no fear! The TruckLogics Support Crew will definitely be heading back to Louisville again next year. We're already excited to see you there!

To learn more about the solutions we featured at MATS, head to ExpressTruckShow.com.


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