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The annual Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week will be July 15- 21st. Are you prepared for the driver-focused blitz week? During this weeklong enforcement spree, CVSA enforcement inspectors will be focusing on traffic violations, driver regulatory compliance, seat belt enforcement, and will conduct driver roadside inspections. According to the CVSA, driver behavior is the leading cause of accidents involving a heavy use vehicle. Driver behavior causes 88 percent of truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes.
So what does this all boil down too? Mind your “p’s” and “q’s” during this week. However, if you are already obeying all of the rules of the road, you will be fine.
Last year approximately 39,000 citations and warnings were issued to truckers during the Operation Safe Driver Week. More than 85 percent of the citations given were for state and local moving violations. So during this week plan ahead by researching any state traffic violations that are particular to where you will be traveling. Also, pay careful attention to your surroundings.
The jake brake or engine brake is an invaluable tool available to professional truck drivers. It is typically used for slowing down your rig in certain situations. It is not intended to replace your service brake, however. It uses your diesel engine’s power to slow your truck. Some truckers might use their jake brake on dangerous snowy roads or during severe storms. However, in recent years they have become a thoroughly debated topic among those in the trucking industry. Here is what rookies need to know about the jake brake.
What Rookies Need to Know About The Jake Brake
10 Tips and Tricks For Using The Jake Brake:
The engine brake is excellent to use in normal conditions at virtually anytime you need to slow down.
If you use the engine break correctly on mountain roads, it could add years to your brake shoes.
Can prevent brake fires that are caused by leaving the top of a grade too fast, resulting in too much pressure on the brake pedal.
Do not use the jake brake when the engine is cold.
Always check to see if your engine is low on oil.
In position 3 the engine brake is strongest, and positions 1 & 2 are used for better road conditions.
Test your engine brake at the beginning of your trip once the engine is at operating temperature to ensure it is working properly.
It runs on a ‘no fuel position’ meaning your foot is off the gas pedal. To activate you will take your foot off the gas when the jake brake is left on (it can be turned on and off as required).
When driving down the mountain, it is preferred to start downgrade and allow the jake brake to do 90% of the work and only tap the brake pedal as needed.
Please don’t use it in a truck stop parking lot!
How to Use The Jake Brake
Leave it on
Flip it on as needed
Some truck drivers like to switch it to one when they start driving and leave it on. While others prefer to switch it on somewhere in the middle of their shift, as needed. Some say that it messes with shifting gears, but this is up to your preference and rig.
However, the consensus is that it is a convenient tool when needing to slow down a truck and many couldn’t do without it.
The ‘No Jake Brake’ Signs
Ok, now we are going to go into the debate itself that we mentioned at the top of this piece. If you have your CDL, you have probably noticed the ‘no jake brake’ signs floating around various locations prohibiting the use of the jake brake.
Jake brakes or engine brakes do make an unbelievably loud noise which can be disturbing to those living near the highway or interstate. However, the general public needs to understand that truck drivers do not use the jake brake to upset those in the surrounding area it is merely a safety precaution.
The sound the engine brake makes is loud, and there is no point in trying to argue that point, but it is used to slow a 55,000 plus vehicle down.
To Jake Brake or Not to Jake BrakeIt comes down to your preferences if you wish to use this stopping device. The advice listed above is merely to get you started and to educate you on the basics. You should always follow the advice of your training instructor or safety director.
Hey, wait! Before I let you go, just a quick reminder, your IFTA and HVUT taxes are coming up fast! Don’t get run over by the IRS and file now before it is too late. For more information on the upcoming Form 2290 filing deadline and IFTA fuel tax click here.
One of the most frequently asked questions in the trucking industry is whether to be an owner-operator or a company driver. While the driving and knowledge for either are the same, there are a few things to concerned before making a decision. Here is what you need to know about choosing between these two types of careers.
Owner-Operator vs. Company Driver: What You Need to KnowIf you are currently a company driver considering a career as an owner-operator or an owner-operator thinking about driving a company truck and selling your rig, you need to weigh the pros and cons and choose which fits you.
Taking the leap of faith and becoming an owner-operator is never something that should be rushed. There is a high demand for drivers in the US currently, so time is on your side. If you want to buy your own truck be sure to think about your financial circumstances and everything that will be required.
While you might think a career as an owner-operator will mean more money this, however, is simply untrue. There are several company drivers (depending on their company) that make as much as an owner-operator.
Perks of Becoming an Owner-OperatorWhile there is no guarantee that you will have more money in your pocket as an owner-operator, you will have the potential if you are running your trucking business efficiently. Typically you will get paid for the extras where a company driver does not, because of the contractual agreement. There are also lower rates, especially when incorporated.
Another advance of being an owner-operator is, of course, owning your truck. You don’t have to deal with switching vehicles each run or other drivers messing with the equipment. You can choose the gear that works best for your needs and comfort. You can get your preferred brand of seating or any other equipment to personalize your convenience while on the road. However, it does sometimes come at a steep price.
As an owner-operator, you are your own boss, so you don’t have to worry about dispatching forcing you onto the road. You have freedom choosing loads and when you work. You will generally have more control over your job as a whole.
Cons of Becoming an Owner-Operator
Now that you know the perks or pros of becoming an owner-operator, let's look at some of the disadvantages. To start off as an owner-operator, you will need a good chunk of cash to start off with. Buying your rig will take a sizable down payment, and there is always a financial risk when it comes to the monthly payments. Also, you will need money left over after buying your rig to stay on the road and to cover any possible repairs that are required.
Compared to a company driver you will have more time off, however, this time will be mostly spent on repairs and maintenance. If you plan to have a repair shop do the work you will still need to take time to drop off and pick up, plus there will be a substantial expense. There is also business bookkeeping that must be completed to keep your business afloat. With all of this, there is typically not much time left over for quality family time.
Due to the risk of failure and the lack of downtime, you will endure a great deal of stress when it comes to being an owner-operator. Even when you are doing everything right, you are always at risk from the unexpected. Unexpected illness, repairs, truck payments, and everything else that comes with being an owner-operator will cause some stress.
So What is the Better Option?Some are completely satisfied with driving for a company because of the lower stress, while others love the independence and freedom that comes with being an owner-operator. It’s essential that you do your research to understand your options and what will be required. However, the bottom line is that you should not rush into a decision and this choice should be made for yourself and what you want from your career.
With rising consumer confidence, a stronger economy, and the lowest gasoline prices we have seen in years, truckers can expect a lot of four-wheelers on the road this weekend. This Independence Day the AAA has estimated 41.9 million travelers for the holiday weekend. This is up 0.7 percent from last year and the highest number we have seen since before the recession.
How to Beat The Worst July 4 Traffic?The AAA says that the worst congestion can be expected around metropolitan areas as holiday travels are combined with regular commuters.
“This Independence Day will be one for the record books, as more Americans take to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways than ever before,” Bill Sutherland, senior vice president of AAA Travel and Publishing, said in a statement from the company. “Confident consumers with additional disposable income will look to spend on travel this holiday, building on an already busy summer travel season.”
At TruckLogics. we hope you will spend this Independence Day with your friends, family, and loved ones, however, if you find yourself on the open road, we want to share our appreciation. It is through the untiring resolve of those like yourself in the trucking industry that we can celebrate. Your trucks have brought us the fireworks, hotdogs, buns, charcoal, and grill that we all get to enjoy.
So thank you for your dedication and determination in serving millions of Americans across the nation. We appreciate your continued efforts to keeping America moving. You truly are the backbone of the economy. Happy Independence Day!
Today we have decided to switch things up by bringing you some hilariously trucking memes from around the web. Without laughter, we may cry, and some days the trucking industry can make grown men weep, so it’s time to take our minds off all the trucking stress. So much has been happening in the news lately with new regulations self-driving trucks, tornadoes, and more! It’s time to take a load off with some gold ole fashioned trucker entertainment, and no one gets the business like the people who made these! Check them out.
Hilarious Trucking Memes You Need to See
Share A LaughHave a good one today. Wherever you travel spread humor along the way with your favorite trucker memes and jokes. We hope we were able to provide a laugh with these top trucker memes and appreciate all the hard work you do.
A Quick ReminderBefore we let you go, we wanted to remind you that the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax or Form 2290 filing season is officially here. Instead of waiting in a long line at the IRS or postal office, you can quickly complete your Form 2290 filing online with ExpressTruckTax. Plus, the process is incredibly easy with our step-by-step filing guide. Complete your IRS Form 2290 in just a few minutes and transmit it directly to the IRS. Get your stamped Schedule 1 today!
Living a healthy lifestyle while on the road might seem impossible but it can be done. As an over-the-road trucker, driving long distances can keep you away from home for weeks at a time. Trucking is a tough position that keeps you sedentary for hours at a time. Many rely on caffeine and junk food to help pass the time and get energy. Rest stops are a contributing factor to this issue. In a single stop you can fuel up, shower, eat, and get your truck serviced. However, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only crucial to your well-being but your overall success. Here are five healthy habits for truckers on the road to keep you energized and prevent burnout.
5 Healthy Habits For Truckers on The RoadHealthy Meals on The GoMost grocery stores and Walmart supercenters will have enough parking for your rig although you may have a bit of a walk. Since we live in a world of convenience, there are nutritious options even at gas stations even though they don’t sound as appetizing as a bag of chips. Here are a few options to try.
Pre-washed spinach and lettuce
Pre-washed fruits and vegetables
Grilled turkey and chicken
I would suggest investing in a portable grill for future trips. However, fortunately, most grocery stores will have a deli section with cooked food ready to go.
Regular ExerciseExercising doesn’t have to be impossible. You drive for approximately 11 hours a day, take 10 hours off then rinse and repeat. Here are some healthy exercise options to consider on the road:
The Value of SleepGetting a good nights sleep is essential for your health and safety. Since you practically live in your truck for weeks or even months at a time, it is critical that you don’t settle for the cheapest mattress and pillow. Invest in a quality berth mattress with the firmness/softness that you need to get your best nights sleep.
Another way you can make this time on the road more comfortable is by purchasing a portable fan and heater. If by some chance your truck breaks down you will likely need a way to stay warm or cool down while waiting for assistance.
Mind as Well as BodyLet face it mile after mile can sometimes get monotonous. It is easy to get distracted or over think. Distracted driving is never good but overthinking or dwelling on something can cause emotional distress while on a long haul. Try carrying up your drive with some of these following options:
Weeks Away From HomeIt is a fact that the life of a professional truck driver can keep you away from home for weeks or more. Being apart from your family for long periods of time can be tough, Anxiety, depression, and of course, loneliness is universal among truck drivers.
One way to connect with your family when you are home is to share stories of your travels and send them pictures along the way. Tell your children where you will be going next. Look up the history of the states or locations along the way and send pictures back home. This is a great learning experience, and they will be more interested in your job.
One way you can connect with your spouse is by reading a book together. This can either be an audiobook or paperback. Next time yall talk on the phone or over Skype you can share what you liked most about the chapter or book. You might find things in common you never knew.
Simplify Your Trucking BusinessTruckLogics is a cloud-based trucking management software with plans and tools designed specifically for your business. From dispatches to expenses reports our array of features will save you both time and money. Spend less time worrying about the business aspect and get back on the road faster.
Click here to start your 15-day free trial and see for yourself the difference TruckLogics can make in your business.
Our friends over at ExpressTruckTax tell us that this is a frequently asked question during Form 2290 filing season. So to help our owner-operators here is how to transfer Form 2290 to your new truck.
How To Transfer Form 2290 From My Old Truck?When you get a new truck, you will use Form 2290 to adjust the credits. You will report your new vehicle for a pro-rated tax period based on when you first used your new truck. If you need to file a Form 2290 refund claim, you will use Form 8849 Schedule 6. This is a request form and once submitted it will take approximately four to six weeks for you to receive your refund.
2290 Tax Transfer Instructions:Head on over to ExpressTruckTax and start your Form 2290 filing. 1. E-File a new Form 2290 2. Claim a Credit Vehicle on that form 3. Receive your new Stamped Schedule 1 via email instantly
Step 1:Login or create an account or if you are new to ExpressTruckTax, quickly enter your name, business information, EIN, and VIN before you begin e-filing. Finally, click “Start New Return,” choose Form 2290, and then enter your first-used month.
Step 2:Now to enter your taxable vehicle information. Input the VIN, gross weight, and select whether this is a logging vehicle.
Enter Credit Vehicle details. Click “+Add a Credit Vehicle,” enter the VIN & gross weight, then enter details of the “loss event.” Enter the date on which the vehicle was sold, lost, or destroyed. You will also upload any required evidence, like a bill of sale or police statement.
Input your payment method, and then hit ‘transmit.’
The IRS will have to review your return, and if accepted you will receive your new stamped Schedule 1 via email.
Form 2290 Filing Now AvailableIf your previous truck was sold, stolen, or destroyed, and you are choosing not to replace it, then you can still get a pro-rated refund of the HVUT tax you paid! The procedure is different from the “transfer” process. To claim a pro-rated refund, you will need to e-file a Form 8849.
If your business name or EIN has changed, then you can also get a pro-rated refund for the taxes paid under the previous name/EIN. E-file a new Form 2290 for all vehicles under this new name or EIN. Then e-file a Form 8849 under the old name/EIN to receive your HVUT tax refund.
The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax season is here, and the deadline is rapidly approaching! You can try to jump out of the way, but you will still need to file your IRS Form 2290. Don’t let this deadline pass you by. Be prepared and file as soon as possible to avoid having your form rejected or worse being penalized by the IRS. Part of being prepared involves you knowing what is required to file.
What is Form 2290 in Trucking?If you own and operate a heavy use vehicle with a gross weight of 55,000 lbs or more, then you are required to file IRS Form 2290. Gross weight means the weight of your truck is fully equipped for service. This includes the body and accessories that are a normal part of your hauls. Your gross weight does not include yourself or any specialized equipment that is typically not used.
You will need to file HVUT Form 2290 and pay any taxes owed to receive your stamped Schedule 1.
What is a Stamped Schedule 1?Your stamped Schedule 1 is proof of payment for your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax. Without this proof of payment, you will be unable to renew your tags at the DMV or renew your registration for IFTA, IRP, or UCR.
Once the IRS receives and approves your IRS Form 2290, you will receive your stamped Schedule 1. When you e-file IRS Form 2290, the IRS stamps it with a digital watermark. This digital Schedule 1 is your official proof of payment and will be accepted by the DOT, DMV, and other federal authorities.
It is always a good idea to keep a copy of your stamped Schedule 1 in your glovebox, especially if you are crossing international borders (Canada and Mexico). Border patrol will check that you have a current stamped Schedule 1 before allowing you back into the United States.
File 2290 Online TodayWhy wait when you can file your IRS Form 2290 today? File 2290 online with ExpressTruckTax and be among the first to receive your stamped Schedule 1. Our filing process is quick and easy with zero complicated IRS terminology. Directly transmit your completed form to the IRS and rest easy knowing you are set until 2019.
If you are currently on a haul and don’t have time to file online, you can do so over the phone in just 10 minutes. Our sister product, TSNAmerica is available in both Spanish and English for your convenience. Give them a call and let us file on your behalf today!
Are you still looking for the perfect Father’s Day gift for your favorite trucker? We are here to help! Check out this list of thoughtful suggestions for your Dad on the road. Here are amazing Father’s Day gift ideas for truckers.
Amazing Father’s Day Gift Ideas For Truckers
1. Heavy Duty Phone CaseWorking as a truck driver can be rough, and it is a long way from the cob to the concrete. So having a quality phone case is a must-have for any trucker.
2. AC/DC Power InverterBeing able to plug in everyday appliances like a TV, microwave, or video game is essential for anyone away from home for days or even weeks at a time. Now your Dad can have some of the conveniences of home while on the road.
3. Audio BooksSometimes you need a good book to keep you occupied while on a long haul. If your dad is a reader, you should consider getting him an Audible subscription. They offer thousands of titles from any genre imaginable. There is no way your dad won’t find something to enjoy. 4. Sirius Radio SubscriptionIf your dad is more of a music buff, then I would recommend a Sirius Radio subscription, because let's be honest there is nothing better than driving along with your favorite tunes. They offer several packages to choose from including sports, racing, and news. No more having to find local radio stations or constantly listen to the same old songs from their iPod.
5. Hotel VoucherThis is a great way to treat your dad for the day especially if they can’t make it home for Father’s Day. After a long and stressful day, they get to enjoy a big bed, private shower, wifi, and cable TV.
However, you will need to do your research and consider a lot of details before choosing a hotel. This gesture can quickly turn into a nightmare for your favorite trucker.
Do they allow truck parking?
The hotel should be a national chain or have several locations in the region your dad hauls in.
Check out online reviews and the experience of fellow truckers.
The hotel needs to be located near a major interstate and highway.
Do they allow pets? (If your Dad has a dog with him on the road)
6. Restaurant or Truck Stop Gift CardA delicious warm meal at a nice sit-down restaurant could just be the things to turn a rough day around. Even an ice cold drink or snack can help your Dad get back on the road in higher spirits. Just remember when you are choosing a truck stop or restaurant that it should be an established chain with truck parking available.
7. Shower Duffel Bag
It might sound like a super simple gift, but your trucking father will really appreciate it. Pick up a solid color duffle bag with metal zippers because it is higher quality and will last longer. Throw in a big fluffy town, shampoo, conditioner, his favorite wash (if he likes bar soap get a travel case), deodorant, toothpaste, a new toothbrush, and a pair of shower sandals.
8. Seat Cushion or Massage InsertTrucking driving is hard on the body, and a seat cushion and/or massage cushion is perfect for relieving some of the stress. He can get a massage to ease some of the pain and soreness he gets from his long days on the road.
9. Home Cooked MealIf your trucking Dad has a mini fridge and access to a microwave, you might consider making a delicious home cooked meal for him to take on the road. This is a great way to remind him of home when he is on the road. Besides, let's face it, home cooking is always better than what he is getting on the road. Ask your Mom what his favorite meal is and have it ready next time he hits the road. Send your Dad off with some of the luxuries of home.
10. Mobile Air PurifierDoes your Dad suffer from seasonal allergies? Get him a 12-volt air purifier that plugs right into the cigarette lighter. This little device will eliminate dust, odors, pollen, and smoke! This is an inexpensive and thoughtful gift that will help your Dad on a daily bases.
What Happened When The Senate's DOT Bill AdvancedUnlike this bill’s counterpart that passed through the House, this version did not include trucking policy reforms such as the Denham Amendment and ELD waiver for livestock haulers. The Denham Amendment would have provided standardized meal and rest breaks for truckers.
The Senate Appropriations Committee did direct the DOT to evaluate the needs of livestock drivers in relations to the ELD mandate further. The plan passed by the U.S. House extended the ELD exemption for both livestock and insect haulers to September 2019. The Senate committee stated that the lawmakers should “consult with stakeholders, the Department of Agriculture and Congress on legislative solutions for drivers with unique working conditions.”
The current DOT funding expires at the end of September however the Senate has not set a date for considering the bill. Once consideration begins in the Senate, legislatures can add trucking reforms during the amendment process. The U.S. House has yet to bring the DOT appropriations bill to the floor as well.
If the two governing bodies pass a different version of the bill, the lawmakers will enter a conference committee to produce a finalized bill. This will then be passed again by the respective governing bodies. Any trucking reform that is attached would be subject to intense review during the committee process.
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