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Thursday, February 18, 2021

Your Guide To The Perfect ELD For Your Fleet Needs





Aside from compliance requirements, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing your dream ELD. Taking the time to know what game-changing features that make your job a whole lot easier will save you time and money.

The ELD Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:

Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).

Sets ELD performance and design standard, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA.

Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.

Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system).

Provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.


Three Add-Ons for the ELD Feature Checklist

#1 Instant Messaging

There is no requirement for having an instant messaging feature including with your ELD, but this feature would enable all parties to stay in direct communication during a route. Streamlined communication between drivers and dispatch aids in dissolving miscommunication and confusion. Similar features can be found in apps like the TruckLogics app.

#2 Dash Camera

For some, the use of a recording device may seem like a disaster waiting to happen but, 100% of truck drivers who were falsely accused of being at fault of a truck-passenger accident would agree that they wished there were proof to show they weren’t to blame. 

Not only does a dash camera protect individuals and companies against fraudulent claims, but it also can be used for education purposes in training processes for more effective coaching.

There are also a number of insurance carriers who recognize the benefits dash cameras have on the safety and reward forward-thinking companies with reduced subsidies and premiums.

#3 Safety Alerts 

Many ELDs have features that help in improving safety on the road, but there are some that take it a little further in offering alerts on not just speeding, but hard braking, and lane departures.

ELD Exemptions


There are exceptions to the new mandated requirements. Even though it seems as if the world is going full-on electronic, time cards and paper RODs fall in line with those being exempt. 

Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions are able to continue using timecards, and those who use paper RODs less than 8 times over a 30-day span are exempt as well. The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month but does apply to any 30-day period. 

Drivers who operate a vehicle manufactured before 2000, based on the VIN they qualify to no have to make the transition along with drivers conducting drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered. At this time, with the exemption being likely to change, transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD and are not required by the FMCSA to carry documents regarding the exemption. 

Meeting ELD Compliance


When searching for the perfect ELD device there are several aspects to consider. The main aspect transporters should look for is whether or not the device is registered at FMCSA.

A compliant ELD solution will provide:

  1. Separate accounts for administrators, both non-drivers and drivers.
  2. Integral Synchronization with the Electronic Control Module (ECM).
  3. Automatic recording of information such as; location, date, time, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification.

Although there are basic compliance requirements for ELDs it is wise to make sure the selected device offers the use of cellular networks, USB, and even Bluetooth. 

The cellular network feature is vital in transmitting data between engine-connected vehicles and smartphones and tablets. The most reliable way of transmitting information is through the use of US and Bluetooth, in the event that there is no cellular service. 

Our Recommendation


KeepTruckin is our number 1 recommendation. It has all these features and more! Plus, as the biggest ELD provider on the market, they have the most integrations with other trucking solutions. For instance, if you use TruckLogics, the market-leading TMS, you can import your mileage and fuel information for quick IFTA reporting.

Learn more about TruckLogics and KeepTruckin today!





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Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Short On Time? How To Save Time With a Trucking Management Software



As a fleet manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

You’ve got to keep up with drivers, dispatching, expenses, truck service intervals, clients, insurance, and more (and that’s not even including your quarterly IFTA and yearly HVUT taxes).

So how do you keep up with all of it? Luckily, we’ve got just the trucking management software to help you save time and money.


What TruckLogics trucking management software can do for you


OTR expense tracking


Pass off some responsibility to your drivers by letting them track their own expenses on the road. With the TruckLogics mobile app, they can notate expenses like fuel-ups, per diem, and just about anything else. You can even have them capture receipts right from their phone so you don’t have to rifle through physical receipts later.

This one trucking management software feature can save you from a lot of unnecessary data entry and wasted time.


Maintenance scheduling


Add service intervals to individual trucks in the Truck Zone digital garage. Whether you select a certain amount of time or a certain number of miles, TruckLogics will automatically update you when it’s time for maintenance. You can create truck service intervals for any kind of maintenance and even enter preferred servicer information.

IFTA tracking


With TruckLogics, you can generate pre-calculated reports for IFTA filing. As you assign individual trucks to specific dispatches and notate their fuel consumption, TruckLogics will keep that information on file for quarterly IFTA reports. All you have to do is enter the information from TruckLogics reports into the IFTA form and you’re good to go.

Check calls


In addition to allowing your drivers to manually send check calls to clients from our mobile app, Truckloguics now supports automated geofencing check calls. This means that your clients will receive automatic updates when your drivers leave or pick up or arrive. These updates can be fully customized.


Expense reports


TruckLogics will automatically generate business reports for you, based on information like 'Cost Per Mile', 'Revenue Per Mile', and 'Profit Per Mile'. This way you can see what routes, clients, and drivers are most profitable for you. TruckLogics gives you unparalleled control of and visibility into your trucking business.


Try TruckLogics for free!


You can try all of these TruckLogics time-saving fleet management software solutions free for 15 days! There’s no obligation and no credit card information required.



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Monday, January 25, 2021

Your 4th Quarter IFTA Return Is Due Next Week



Ready or not, the 4th quarter IFTA deadline is here! That means you need to file your IFTA return with your base jurisdiction (home state) by midnight tonight or you will have expensive penalties to face. This may seem like a hassle since IFTA can take hours of figuring out complicated calculations to complete.

However, with the help of our sister product, ExpressIFTA, you can actually quickly and easily prepare your IFTA report and use it to instantly complete your return. Plus, we’re going to go over the IFTA basics so you’ll have everything you need to know.

The IFTA Deadline Basics


First of all, IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement. It was put in place for the purpose of simplifying fuel reporting by those who operate qualifying motor vehicles in two or more jurisdictions. This agreement includes the lower 48 United States and 1 Canadian provinces.

IFTA reporting actually makes a major difference, because before it was put into place each state had their own complicated rules and regulations for fuel use reporting. Now the quarterly IFTA return is used to easily determine the net tax refund due to and redistribute taxes from collecting states to states that are due.

Your vehicle qualifies for IFTA if you travel between two or more jurisdictions and:


  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or more
  • Has a gross registered vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or more 
  • Has three or more axles, regardless of weight and/or 
  • Is used in combination when the weight of the combination exceeds 26,000 pounds in gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight. 
To comply with IFTA you will need to apply for your IFTA license with your base jurisdiction (home state). Be sure to keep it in your cab at all times. You will also receive two IFTA decals that you need to place on your driver door. Then you will need to complete your IFTA return four times a year.

In order to complete your return you will need to provide the following information:


  • Total miles traveled per jurisdiction 
  • Total gallons of fuel consumed per jurisdiction 
  • The total tax-paid gallons of fuel purchased per jurisdiction, and 
  • The current tax rate per jurisdiction 

Online IFTA Reporting With ExpressIFTA 

ExpressIFTA has streamlined the IFTA reporting process to be incredibly quick and convenient in one online location. You can easily import all of your information then they will automatically calculate all of your IFTA calculations with 100% accuracy.

The IFTA totals will all be listed in an easy to read IFTA report that can be downloaded, printed, and emailed. Best of all, the report can be used to instantly complete your IFTA return!

After creating your free ExpressIFTA account you can import your IFTA records at your own pace. For example, you can import your data per trip with the trip sheet entries feature, or upload all your information for the month with the quick entry screen.

You can also use the bulk upload feature to import all of your information at once, or directly pull your mileage records from your GPS. Plus, ExpressIFTA even accepts ELD data!

There’s no better way to prepare for IFTA, so why wait? Get started and avoid penalties now! If you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact the live TSNAmerica US-based support team. We’re standing by to help.





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Tuesday, January 19, 2021

The Easiest Way To E-File Your Trucking Business Taxes



If you are an owner-operator or fleet owner and your pay trucking employees or contractors, you need to file your 1099s or W-2s by January 31. Like most small business owners, you’re probably pressed for time, so how can you quickly and accurately e-file your employment tax forms?

Luckily, we’ve got a solution for you! With TaxBandits, you can e-file your forms quickly and securely, and have them sent to your employees or contractors easily. Here’s how it works.


Trucking Business Taxes with TaxBandits 


TaxBandits makes trucking taxes easy by offering an easy interview-style process and helpful tips all along the way. Just create an account, verify your business information, and start generating and filing your trucking taxes.


You won’t even need to worry about printing and mailing
forms - we’ll take care of it for you! Simply use our mailing feature for a small extra fee and your employees and contractors will receive their forms with no extra effort from you. 


E-file with TaxBandits

The whole process is simple, quick, and affordable. Get started with TaxBandits today to beat the January 31, deadline.







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Friday, January 8, 2021

Here's How to Easily Keep Your Truck Maintenance Up to Date in 2021



Keeping your truck up-to-date with service intervals can be difficult, especially if you’re always on the road or overseeing lots of vehicles.

But it’s no secret that well-maintained, up-to-date vehicles will have fewer breakdowns, get better gas mileage, and cost you less money.

So how do you keep track of truck service intervals and keep them running longer? Here are our top tips for keeping your truck service intervals up-to-date.

Track mileage from your computer


It's not good enough just to have paper logs or ELDs. Neither of those can send you automated updates to remind you of service intervals. What you need is a software that tracks your mileage ahead of time-based on dispatch information, and then applies that to the specific truck running the route.

Fortunately, our sister product TruckLogics does just that. When you enter dispatch information, you can attach a truck or trailer and TruckLogics will keep track of how many miles it has run. Depending on the service interval preferences, TruckLogics will send you automatic updates when it’s time for truck or trailer maintenance.

Track all kinds of maintenance


But what if you want to check electrical components every several months, in addition to getting the tires serviced every several thousand miles? TruckLogics can send you reminders about that too. 

Man doing wheel maintenance for a truck service interval


TruckLogics tracks service based on the parameters you choose, whether mileage or time. You can even enter notes about what needs to be done and select a preferred vendor to perform the maintenance.

Use TruckLogics


If you’re a company driver, owner-operator, or fleet manager, using TruckLogics can help you keep track of your service intervals.

By employing TruckLogics powerful maintenance scheduling tools, you won’t have to ever forget another oil change, annual registration fee, tune-up -- or anything else -- again.

Get a 15-day free trial today! There is no obligation and no payment information required.

 



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Monday, January 4, 2021

How To Report IFTA In No Time



The 4th quarter IFTA deadline is on January 31!

We know IFTA reporting can be a serious hassle -- especially when you’re short on time.

The calculated and reporting process can be maddening when done alone. 

IFTA exemptions and rates change every year, constantly complicating the process.

But you don’t have to be a mathematician to accurately report and calculate your IFTA taxes. 

You just need ExpressIFTA.

Reporting ExpressIFTA


With ExpressIFTA, reporting IFTA taxes is super simple.

Just enter your miles and fuel purchases for each date or bulk upload from a spreadsheet or ELD. Then, ExpressIFTA will take that information and automatically calculate your tax due and give you a detailed report that you can use to file with your base jurisdiction.

Truckers at gas station using ExpressIFTA for IFTA fuel tax reporting


ExpressIFTA will even check for common errors in your IFTA reporting.

Use ExpressIFTA Today


ExpressIFTA is convenient, accurate, and affordable. Generate your report today!



Want more help?

Check out this helpful step-by-step guide to generating your report with ExpressIFTA!




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Monday, December 21, 2020

Merry Christmas Trucking Nation!



Merry Christmas from everyone here at Truck Services of North America! We hope you’re having a great holiday season so far, whether you’re on the road working hard, or just relaxing at the house with some friends and family.

Without you truckers, this holiday wouldn’t be possible. No Christmas trees, no turkey dinners, and no presents. That’s right, we have you all to thank for all the wonderful presents nestled under our trees this Christmas. 

Don’t forget that with the end of the year, in addition to all the New Year’s festivities, comes several trucking renewal deadlines.

End of the Year Trucking Deadlines


UCR:

The deadline for renewing your UCR registration is December 31, so you’ll need to have that done before the end of the year. We understand just how difficult and time-consuming this process actually is. So if you need help or want someone to take care of this pesky registration for you, then you know who to call. 

HVUT:

The IRS will shut down from December 25 until mid-January. That means if you still need a 2020-21 Form 2290, you need to file before the shutdown. The IRS will not process any forms during the shutdown.

So while it may not be something that can be wrapped, bagged, or even placed under the tree, give yourself the gift of TSNAmerica this holiday season. With all the bustle going on around this time of year, who has time to deal with registrations and renewals? Only us—that’s who. So give us a call at 877.520.8640 and let us make your holiday season by taking the paperwork out of your way!

Please note that we will be out of the office on Christmas eve, Christmas day, New Year’s eve, and New Year’s day, so if you need anything during that time, we’ll be offering emergency email support during those times at support@tsnamerica.com.


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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Starting a Trucking Company? Here's What You Need to Know


Trucking is a huge industry in America today. In fact the number of trucking jobs in America has increased by over 30,000 since April 2020.

You’ve decided to take advantage of that.

Are you set on starting a trucking company, but don’t know where to start?

You’ve come to the right place.

Check out this guide for everything you need on how to start a trucking company.

How to Start a Trucking Company

Paperwork

When starting a trucking company, the first step is to form an LLC.

Owning a trucking company as an LLC will protect you as a business owner and offer tax advantages.

To form an LLC, most states require that you appoint a registered agent. This person will accept and send legal documents on your behalf and act as the direct point of contact with the state.

You’ll also need an EIN, or Employee Identification Number, for your LLC. This number is unique to your business and required for many aspects of operation, such as submitting certain tax forms.

After that, there’s more paperwork coming your way. Obtain necessary business licenses and permits, including USDOT Number, MC (Motor Carrier Operating Authority) Number, UCR (Unified Carrier Registration), and IRP (International Registration Plan).

How to Run a Trucking Company

Once you’ve gotten started owning a trucking company and have a truck, maintenance and growth are the name of the game!

Above all else, the best answer for how to run a trucking company is consistency.

Owning a trucking company requires awareness at all times. Track your expenses, stay tax compliant, and understand your finances.

Missing deadlines or expiration dates can cause you to lose good standing with the IRS. Plus, you’ll accrue penalties and affect your cash flow.

At this point, you may have mastered how to open a trucking company, but maintaining one is a whole new beast.

Let’s talk about the tools, such as owner-operator trucking software, that can help get you there.

Trucking Business Software

The best way to stay on top of your trucking company is with trucking business software.

Take advantage of technology when you’re starting a trucking company. There are many things to keep track of and monitor.

Utilizing a trucking business software makes it easy to keep it all in one place.

TruckLogics is a trucking business management software designed for leased operators, owner-operators, small fleet managers, mid-size fleet managers, and large fleet managers.

No matter where you fall in the trucking business world, TruckLogics is here to help you succeed.

Independent owner-operators can utilize this owner-operator trucking software to control their entire business from one place by managing dispatches, tracking income & expenses, scheduling maintenance, sending invoices, and more.

Plus, leased operators can take advantage of recordkeeping features like profit & loss reports or compliance records for maintenance and trip details.

On top of all of that, fleet managers have the added benefit of accessing TruckZone, which keeps fleet details organized and accessible.

Track maintenance, stay on top of finances, and so much more. Get started with a trucking business software solution right away when starting a trucking company. It can make or break your business.

Take TruckLogics for a test drive with a 15-day free trial.











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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving Trucking Nation



First and foremost, we at Truck Services of North America would like to wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! We know a lot of you are still on the road working this holiday season, but we’d just like to take a second and let you all know that we appreciate you and what you do. Without you truckers, this Thanksgiving wouldn’t be possible, so thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication, and for keeping America running.

Thank A Trucker This Thanksgiving


Yes, we know—you are a trucker. But that’s why we’re thanking you! We know all the long hours and hard work you do just to make this holiday possible. Because let’s face it, without you, we wouldn’t have the delicious turkey on the table, the stuffing, the apple pie, and heck, we wouldn’t even have the table itself. So thanks for working hard to make sure all of us are able to celebrate this joyous occasion with a delicious meal and those most dear to our hearts.

Thanksgiving Support


But now to the real meat of the blog. We’ll be offering Thanksgiving support! We’ll be out of the office on Thursday November 26 and Friday November 27, but we’ll be providing email support at support@tsnamerica.com all holiday weekend. If you need anything at all give us a shout! 

So remember folks, even though it’s Thanksgiving weekend, if you need some help with your UCR registration, 2290, or anything else trucking related, we’ll be happy to help you out. Enjoy your thanksgiving, and a special thanks for all that you do, Trucking Nation!
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Monday, November 9, 2020

Truck Driving Tips To Help You Stay Alert On The Road



Early mornings, late nights, long days, and crazy sleep schedules while on the road can make it difficult to stay alert.

Staying awake and alert for long periods of time plays a critical part in your safety and productivity as you Keeping America Trucking.

Here are 10 truck driving tips to help you stay alert on the road.

Truck Driving Tips To Help You Stay Alert On The Road

1) Avoid Exhaustion

NEWS FLASH! You and your fuel tank can’t be on “E” prior to your next haul! Adequate sleep is necessary to avoid exhaustion and reckless driving while on the road.

Take more frequent naps and get as many hours of sleep as possible. The more rested you are the more alert you will be!

2) Stay Away From Large Doses of Caffeine

Many drivers depend on caffeine to get them through the day. Although a cup of coffee here and there won’t hurt, too much caffeine will lead to a caffeine overload and ultimately put your health at risk.

Go easy on the caffeine, please!

3) Don’t Eat Large Portions of Food

As tempting as it may be, you can’t eat it all. A full belly will make you sleepy and cause you to not be fully alert while on the road.

4) Excercise

Taking a quick 5-minute walk at your next truck stop or rest area will give your body a new-found boost of energy that you need and even help you burn a few calories.

5) Take a Nap

Jumpstart your next drive with a quick 15-20 minute nap before hitting the road. Sleeping for less than one hour gives your body the energy it needs to stay awake longer.

6) Avoid Lights with High Contrast

The high contrast between pitch black and bright lights causes your eyes to feel sleepy. Be cautious when driving and avoid looking directly into bright lights.

7) Turn the Volume Up

Let’s get this driving party started! Upbeat music helps keep your energized, especially when you sing along with it.

8) Take Vitamins

The best vitamins to take for a boost of energy are Vitamins B & C! Take them alongside a healthy meal and get the energy you need for the long haul.

9) Open the Window

If you’re like me, a crisp breeze at night from outside will help keep you alert. Studies show that cold air gives your body a temporary boost and keep yous awake longer. Give it a try!

10) Pull over if you are tired

This one is a “no-brainer”. If you find yourself becoming tired or distracted during your haul, simply pull over and rest. Your safety, along with the safety of other drivers and haulers on the road, is extremely important.

Always get rest when needed!

Get Rest & Renew Your UCR

We now offer UCR filing services! Simply call (877) 520-8640 and one of our expert representatives will renew your UCR for you! 





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Tuesday, November 3, 2020

So. What Happens If I File IFTA Late?



Well. That depends on how late you are. And since there are four quarterly deadlines each year, it’s easy to forget to file IFTA. We wouldn't recommend that, though. No need to fork out more money towards taxes than you already are.

If you file IFTA one month late.

In the first month, you will be slapped with an additional fee of $50 or 10% of the tax you owe, whichever is greater. That $50 might not sound like much, but let’s put it in perspective.

The actual amount you will owe for IFTA will vary widely, depending on factors like the miles you drove in each jurisdiction and how much fuel was purchased and consumed.

So, for example, let’s say you would have owed $300 for the quarter. This is already a lot to be forking out. But after forgetting for that first month, you will be looking at another $50 penalty on top of that. After a month, you already owe $350.

If you file IFTA more than one month late

But let’s say you fail to file IFTA even longer. Well, you’re going to get another .4167% tacked on each month.
So if you forget to file IFTA for three months, you’ll owe $353.75.

Are you starting to see why it’s important to file IFTA on time? When these kinds of unnecessary expenses pile up, they can sink a business.

And did we mention that your base jurisdiction reserves the right to suspend or even revoke your IFTA license? That’s right. Not filing your IFTA form can get you in big trouble.

Trucker filing IFTA quarterly report form online with express truck taxGenerate your IFTA quarterly report form in minutes

The easiest way to avoid paying these unnecessary late penalties is to generate your IFTA quarterly report form with our sister-product Express IFTA. They make it simple it for you.
Express IFTA is user-friendly, and it does all the complicated calculations for you. Just input your information and Express IFTA will generate a highly-accurate form you can file with.
Best of all, you’ll get a report starting at just $19.90.



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