Blog

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Trucking Nation!

Hello Trucking Nation, and 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. And who doesn’t like presents?

But that’s enough of the mushy stuff—back to the fun. 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 (probably better than anyone because of what we do) 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. No not Ghostbusters—us!

IFTA:

We know, we know, it seems like the third quarter just ended, right? Well just as soon as it began, it is now officially coming to a close on December 31. So you all should know the drill by now. The quarter is ending, and you’ve got until the end of the following month to get those IFTA reports together and filed. And in addition to that, your IFTA renewal must be done by the end of the year.

If you’re currently thinking to yourself, “I really wish I didn’t have to deal with anything IFTA related,” then you my friend are our type of person. Yes, we do IFTA too, so if you’re in need of a hand just give us a call and we’ll get you taken care of.

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 803.386.0320 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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Friday, December 18, 2015

TSNAmerica: Trucking Nation News Update

We’re back again Trucking Nation! And once again, we’ve crammed all the latest and greatest news updates in our newest installment of the Trucking Nation News Update. So sit back, buckle your seat belt, and let’s throw this thing into gear!

E-Logs


We know, we’ve mentioned this a time or ten, and so has everyone else. But the official ruling is FINALLY in place (took long enough, right?) and is set to go into effect December 16, 2017.

The federal rule that will require all truck operators to use electronic logging devices has now been published into the Federal Register, but not without backlash from the trucking industry. OOIDA has petitioned the ruling, and President and CEO Jim Johnston even went as far as to say OOIDA plans to, “fight this with everything we’ve got.” So while this rule may be now be published, it’s future is still unclear. (shocker)

Note: If you have a truck made before the year 2000, you’re a lucky trucker, because the e-log rule doesn’t apply to you. Enjoy your freedom!


URS- Unified Registration System


The Unified Registration System officially began its phased launch on December 12, 2015, putting into effect an entirely new system. What is it? It’s a new electronic online registration system made to streamline the FMCSA’s registration process. Skeptical? We don’t blame you.

But the good news is if you’re already registered you won’t have to worry about it until next year, because only new applicants are affected by the December 12 launch. Anyone that already has an existing USDOT, MC, or FF number will not be required to register using the new system until Sept. 30, 2016.

Don’t worry folks, we’ll be giving you plenty more information about the process before then, so stay tuned for our Unified Registration System FAQs!

Deadlines


With the excitement that comes with the holiday season and the end of the year, don’t forget about deadlines! Like we mentioned before, UCR Registration period is open and we’re here to help. The registration period began back in October and runs until the end of the year, so if you’ve successfully procrastinated doing it until now you may as well just let someone else do it for you! (Cough, us.) So just give us a call and let us take some of the unneeded stress of your plate this holiday season.

And just a quick and friendly reminder, the IFTA 4th quarter also concludes at the end of the year, so you’ll need to have your IFTA reports done and filed by January 31, 2016. Just in case you were wondering, yes, we do IFTA too.

You can give us a call at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@tsnamerica.com anytime. The end of the year is almost here—what are you waiting for?
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Friday, December 11, 2015

The 5 Necessities of the Road

Ever been in the truck and thought, “Darn I wish I had my...” You can fill in the blank with whatever you’d like there. We know you have, we all do it. It’s called Murphy’s law. And as a trucker, it’s one you should be especially familiar with, because on the road you understand that “whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” We know—it’s deep. But no worries, that’s what Truck Services of North America is here for, to prepare our friends in the Trucking Nation for what lies ahead. Take a look below at the five necessities of the road.

Emergency Package


One of the most important things you can have on the road, and not-so-ironically, the most useful, is an emergency kit. On the road, you never know what's going to happen, so it’s always best to be prepared. Some things to include in your kit: first aid supplies, extra food (non-perishable), water, reflective clothing (in case you need to work on your truck on the side of the road in the dark), and some chains for your tires. While you may not ever actually have to use any of these items, you should be familiar with the saying “better safe than sorry”—and trust us, it’s true.

Tool Kit


This is another necessity for emergency purposes, since you never know when your truck is going to require some quick maintenance or have a minor issue while you’re driving. So be sure that your truck is always stocked with tools so you can make the quick fix yourself if need be. The last thing you want is to have sit and wait on someone else to find and help you. Sometimes if you need something done quickly and efficiently, the best method is to do it yourself.

Electronics


Yeah we know, just saying electronics is a little vague. But give us a minute to explain, because as trucker you need all the electronic devices you can get. First and foremost, your smartphone is an incredibly useful tool. In the case of an emergency, you don’t want to have to rely on your CB radio if you need to contact help. Plus, with a smartphone/laptop/tablet (basically anything with Internet access) the entertainment options are unlimited. You can play games, stream movies or TV shows (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime), and even watch live sporting events (ESPN3) when you aren’t behind the wheel. And if you like knowing exactly where you’re going, how long it’s going to take to get there, and receiving live traffic updates, then a GPS is an essential tool for you, too.

Sidekick


Ever been bored on the road? We know you get to see a lot of interesting things and a lot of beautiful scenery as you travel about the country. But hey, sometimes there’s no replacement for some actual company. Lots of truckers bring their significant others or furry friends along with them on the road. So don’t be afraid to ask your wife/husband to join you on the road for a trip, or let your furry friend ride shotgun. Just don’t let them in the driver’s seat!

via GIPHY

Comfortable Bed


When your truck is essentially a home on wheels, the bed better be comfortable, right? So take the necessary steps to ensure you’re sleeping on a cloud. An egg crate is a sure-fire way to make that bed a little bit softer. Like your bed extra soft? Add another on top, the more the merrier. After all, ‘tis the season to be merry, right?

While we may have already listed five things, since temperatures are dropping across the country, you can also try purchasing a mini space heater for your cab. Even if your bed isn’t comfortable, with a nice toasty cab you sure will be.

Be on the look for more tips from your friends at TSNAmerica; we’re chop full of ‘em. And remember, friendly tips aren’t the only thing we’re good for. We’ve got a slew of services we offer just for truckers, so take a look, give us a call, and let us take care of it for you!
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Friday, December 4, 2015

UCR Registration: FAQs

Whether you like it or not, the deadline for renewing your UCR registration is fast approaching. We know it can be confusing, but luckily for you, your friends at Truck Services of North America are here to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about UCR registration. So if you’ve got a question, hold on to it for a minute, because we’re probably about to answer it for you!

FAQs

What is UCR registration?

Good question, and even though we’ve answered it 3600 times and explained exactly what UCR registration is in a previous blog about the opening of the UCR registration period, we’ll answer it one more time—just for you.

UCR registration is mandatory under the UCRA, or Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, and is regulated by the federal government. Typically, the registration is only for vehicles that travel interstate, and motor carriers are required to pay fees depending on the number of vehicles they need registered. Although, some states do not participate in the program, and some have a program for intrastate only carriers, like Georgia.

Who has to register under the UCRA?

All motor carriers operating in these states must register under the UCR program. If you do not operate in any of the states listed, then guess what, you don’t have to worry about it! If you operate intrastate only or under the PRISM program, you’re also not required to register.

Note: If you operate intrastate in Georgia, you must register with the state, which has separate UCR filing requirements.

When do I have to register for UCR?

Well, technically you don’t have to register ever if you don’t want to. But if you want to be, you know, on the road legally, then it’s probably in your best interest to register on time. When is on time? You’ve got until the end of the year to make sure you have all your trucks paid for and registered—so don’t wait until the last minute!

Why do I have to register?

That’s an easy one, it’s because the government is out to get you and take your money. We’re obviously kidding (or are we?) but it sure seems that way sometimes. In reality, the reason you have to pay for UCR registration is because the roads don't fix themselves, and the funding from HVUT and UCR fees is ideally supposed to go towards fixing the roads (although we've all seen how well that works). So basically, you pay because you have to, and unfortunately there's no way around it!

Do I have to pay a fine if I’m required to register and don’t?

Of course you do. If you operate in 2016 without registering for 2016 UCR, you'll be liable for civil penalties. The board of UCR directors is given the authority to determine non-compliance through bill of lading audits, compliance reviews, and roadside inspections. So if you don’t get your jollies from paying fines, we strongly suggest registering and doing so on time.

I just don’t have a clue. Can you help me with this?

Not to worry friend, of course we can—that’s exactly what we’re here for. Just give us a call at 803.386.0320, and we’ll help you take that pesky UCR registration of your to-do list, as well as answer any of your UCR-related questions that we didn't cover. And remember, we also offer lots of other trucking services, so take a look and let us know what you need!

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

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 put forth 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. (See what we did there?) That’s right, we’ll be offering Thanksgiving support! So if you find that you’ve eaten so much this week that you can no longer stand up, we’ll help hold you up so you don’t fall over! Not really, unfortunately we can’t help you there. But, we can help you with just about whatever else you may need this holiday weekend.

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! Just make sure it’s not a literal shout, because we don’t like those, and we’ll only be answering emails this weekend!

So remember folks, even though it’s Thanksgiving weekend, if you need some help with your UCR registration, NY HUT certificate renewal, or anything else trucking related, we’ll be happy to help you out. Sound convenient? Well it is—so give us a call at 803.396.0320 and let us thank you by making your life a little easier this holiday season. Enjoy your thanksgiving, and a special thanks for all that you do, Trucking Nation!
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Friday, November 20, 2015

Trucking Industry Update

Well folks, as the year comes to a close, it's busy time again in the Trucking Nation. In addition to all the fun that comes with year-end registrations and renewals, there are a lot of other trucking related happenings going on that we think you should know about. Why? Because you're a trucker, and you like to be aware of your surroundings. And at TSNAmerica, we like to keep our favorite truckers (that's you) as informed as possible.

Trucking News and Regulations


E-log Mandate:

Yeah we know, you’ve heard all about this one and every time you hear about it, it's something different. Well, we’re here to continue that trend! This rule has been all over the place the last few months, and while many of your were probably hoping it would kind of, you know, just disappear, it unfortunately looks like it’s here to stay.

Just this week the final rule outlining the specifications of the e-log mandate cleared the White House Office of Management and Budget. The review process took longer than planned, but technically the rule was able to clear four days ahead of the FMCSA’s original schedule. The final rule is still on track to be published into the Federal Register on November 30. So as much as you may be itching to find out more about this regulation and how it’s going to affect you, you’ll have to wait patiently just like the rest of us!

Highway Bill:

While you most likely are already familiar with the new highway bill (or should be, anyway), the bill is finally nearing reality, which would make it the nation’s first long-term highway bill in nearly a decade.

If you heard about this months ago and are wondering what the heck took so long, it’s mostly due to all the fine details in the bill that needed to be sorted out. Part of the bill, the Surface Transportation Restoration and Reform Act was recently passed by the house, and the Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act was passed by the Senate. Not sure what these acts are or what they entail? Well we wouldn’t worry about those too much if we were you. All you need to know is this is the government’s way of trying to improve the conditions of your roads as fast as possible. About time right? Judging by the current condition of the nation’s roads, the final passage and implementation of this bill can’t come soon enough.

When exactly will that be? Well if you’d quit asking so many questions we’d tell you! Just kidding, we’ll tell you anyway. Under the extension of the short-term highway fix, Congress has until December 4, 2015 to make a final decision, with a possible vote coming any day. So either way, it won’t be long before this one gets passed, Trucking Nation.

So as always, you’re welcome for making you the most informed trucker on the road. Stay tuned for more updates, because we’re chock full of 'em and we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date on all the latest trucking happenings. And remember, if you have any questions, or need any assistance getting your pesky UCR registration taken care of before the deadline, just give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com!


Read More »

Friday, November 13, 2015

Renewal Packages: Finding the Right One for You

Ever had multiple things to do at the same time? Well of course you have, because you’re a trucker!
Whether it’s dealing with UCR Registration, use taxes, or getting your NY HUT certificate renewed, there’s always something on your plate.

But wouldn’t it be nice if your plate was empty? And no, we don’t mean a literal plate. But now that you know we’re referring to your metaphorical plate full of things to do, you’re probably thinking that sounds pretty nice. And you should - because it is! No more worrying about trivial tasks that, as a trucker, you simply don’t have time for. Now you may be curious as to how exactly we’re going to do that, but just keep on readin’ and we’ll tell you!

Renewal Packages


We'll just cut right to the chase: the best way to simplify your life as a trucker is to take advantage of one of our new renewal packages. Why? Well, because who wouldn’t want to have someone else deal with all of the hassles that come along with updates, renewals. and registrations? At TSNAmerica, we know what truckers want, and more importantly, we know what truckers need. You want to spend your time driving, not dealing with mindless, trivial tasks. Which is why you’re going to take a look below and pick the package best suits you and your business!

Basic Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $295

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update


Premium Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $340

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-One State Permit Renewal (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees


Complete Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $385

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-Two State Permit Renewals (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees

Still not convinced? Well just give us a call and talk with us for a few minutes, we can be pretty convincing. You can also give us a call if you aren’t quite sure which package would be best for you, or if you have questions about any of our specific renewal packages. So don’t be shy, pick up the phone today and let us make your life a little bit easier so you can get back to truckin’. You can reach us by phone at 803.386.0320, or by email at support@tsnamerica.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon, Trucking Nation!
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Friday, November 6, 2015

The End of the Year is Near: Time for UCR and NYHUT Renewals!

Well congrats Trucking Nation, you’ve officially made it through the third quarter alive. And now you’re all done with taxes and registration for the year! Just kidding.

Sorry to get your hopes up, but you’ve still got a lot left to do before the year’s end. So let’s take a quick look to see what’s coming up, and as always, how we can help!

UCR Registration


UCR Registration is mandatory as part of the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, and is required for carriers that operate interstate. While the program is overseen by the federal government, it is administered by participating states. If you operate in a participating state, you must register with your base jurisdiction, and pay the required fees. As for the fees, they’re based on the total number of vehicles used or leased by a particular individual or company.

If you operate intrastate only, you may be in luck! Or you may have to pay anyway; it just depends on your state. For example, if you live in Georgia or another state that uses the PRISM program, even if you only operate intrastate, you still have to pay UCR fees. Keep in mind state requirements often change from year to year, so be sure that you’re always up to date of the rules and regulations of your base state, or any state you operate in. If you have any questions about a particular state, just give us a shout and we’ll make sure you’re the most well-informed trucker on the road!

The deadline for UCR registration? You guessed it, it’s the end of the year, December 31. If you guessed wrong, well, then at least you know the correct date now.

So if you haven’t already done so, stop procrastinating and make it happen!

NYHUT


As most of you already know, or should know at least, if you operate in the state of New York with a vehicle that weighs 26,000 pounds or more, you get a special benefit. What's the benefit? Use tax! That’s right, you get the honor and privilege of paying to help keep the highways you know and love in good shape. OK, so it might not be much of a benefit, and actually more of a burden when you think about it; but hey, sometimes "you gotta do what you gotta do." And if you operate in New York and meet the qualifications, then unfortunately, this is something you gotta do.

If you have to pay this special use tax, then you’ll need to be registered with the state, and have a New York HUT certificate. Now many of you are probably thinking, how often do I have to do renew this stupid certificate? Well friend, we’ve got some good news and bad news for you. The good news: you only have to renew it once every three years. The bad news: this is the year you have to renew. So before the end of the year, you’ll need to get that taken care if to ensure that you’re operating legally.

Now that we’ve given you all this great information, you’re probably wondering how to actually get your renewals done. Well, do you want the easy way or the hard way? We’ll assume you like things easy, because who doesn’t, right? So just give us a call at (803).386.0320, and let us show you just how easy it can be. Let TSNAmerica take the paperwork out of your way, so you can get back to your day!

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Friday, October 30, 2015

A Haunting Tale for IFTA Procrastinators

It’s an early fall morning, October 31st to be exact, just before the hour of five. The temperature—a brisk 46 degrees. Halloween is officially here. But Willy has far more important things to worry about today; he just doesn’t know it yet…

He rolls over in the cab of his truck, fast asleep, thoroughly enjoying the miniature space heater he purchased back in September. But despite the cozy environment of his sleeper, Willy is in for a rude awakening.

Beep! Beep! Beep!

“Crap. Is it time to get up already?” he muttered to himself, knowing full and well the answer to his own question.

He began to stretch and let out a loud groan before finally allowing his brain to convince his body it was time to crawl out of bed. It was 5 a.m., and for Willy, that means time for work. Today he was to begin his journey out to California to drop off his next load.

As he maneuvered his way into the driver’s seat of the truck, back still aching from the 12 hours of driving the previous day, he had a thought, “I feel like there was something I was supposed to do today... Eh whatever, probably wasn’t that important.”

Well unfortunately, poor Willy is about to find out the hard way that he couldn’t be more wrong. He does have something to do today and it is very important.

Just as he was merging onto the highway... it happened. Ding! An alert popped up on his smartphone. “I thought I turned off this stupid alarm!” he screamed to himself—but to no avail. However, this time, it wasn’t his alarm...

“Oh it’s just RigMinders sending me a reminder that my 3rd quarter IFTA filing is due today,” he said, as his anger slowly began to dissipate from his unnecessary outburst. Then, all of a sudden, it hit him, “Wait!!! My 3rd quarter IFTA filing is due today!? How on earth am I gonna get that done from the road!?”

Willy didn’t know what to do. While grateful for the handy reminder of his 3rd quarter IFTA deadline, the fact that it was due today had completely slipped his mind.

Willy then proceeded to have a meltdown. He yelled, screamed, and cursed, face glowing red with frustration and rage as he vigorously pounded on his steering wheel.

But once he realized his childish tantrum was going to be in vain, he began to calm down. Willy knew he was going to have to come up with a way to get his IFTA return taken care of— and fast.

He began to brainstorm, thinking of any possible way he could get his return filed while driving across the country for the next several days. After several grueling hours spent pondering what to do, Willy had an epiphany.

“Wait… what was that service agency Rick Carlisle used to get his IFTA return filed?” He asked himself aloud. “Truck Services or somethin’ other… uhh… Truck Services of North America… wait! That’s it, Truck Services of North America!”

After his impressive display of short-term memory, Willy decided he would give Truck Services of North America a call, and see if they could help.

Luckily for Willy, they always come through. After sending over a quick email with his trip sheets, TSNAmerica was able to get his IFTA return filed for him, and more importantly, filed on time. So now, Willy can enjoy his Halloween night in peace without having to worry about any late filing penalties.

Expecting something a little scarier? Well too bad, this is as scary as it’s gonna get. Just a little friendly reminder from your friends at TSNAmerica to GET YOUR IFTA RETURN FILED! So don’t be like Willy. Be prepared and give us a call today (803.386.0320), and we’ll take the hassles of IFTA out of your way.

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Use Tax Deadline Reminder: New Mexico, Kentucky, and New York

We know, we know—you’ve had about enough of tax deadlines. But despite the fact that you’ve been diligently working on (hopefully, anyway) getting your IFTA returns filed, if you operate in the states of New Mexico, Kentucky, or New York, you’ve got yet another filing deadline lurking at the end of the month.

Tax Deadlines


If you’re not quite sure what we’re talking about, we’re referring to each state’s special highway use tax deadline! If you operate in any of the three states listed above, you must pay these taxes in addition to filing your IFTA return. Here’s a list of the states that have a highway use tax deadline coming up on November 2.

New Mexico: As those of you that operate in New Mexico already know, the New Mexico Weight-Mile Tax is a special use tax paid on vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds. But luckily for you, the tax is graduated, so the less your vehicle weighs, the lower the tax rate.

If you only operate in New Mexico on a rare occasion, you can always obtain a temporary trip permit from your friends at TSNAmerica to avoid dealing with the hassles of getting a weight-mile permit!
 
Kentucky: All drivers that operate a vehicle with a gross weight over 60,000 pounds (with the exception of agricultural vehicles) must file a return to pay Kentucky Highway Use Tax. The tax, just like the other states with a special use tax, is determined based on the mileage driven on Kentucky public highways and interstates.

Note: In order to file your Kentucky Highway Use Tax, you must first obtain a tax license from the state, and then you’ll be given a KYU tax number to file under.

New York: All drivers that operate heavy vehicles in New York must file and pay New York Highway Use Tax. Only drivers operating vehicles that weigh 18,000 pounds or more loaded or 8,000 pounds or more unloaded are required to pay this tax, and mileage driven on toll-roads is not taxable.

For those drivers that only drive through New York on occasion, you aren’t required to pay this tax as long as you obtain the proper temporary trip permits required by the state of New York. If you don’t know what these are and you’re going to be headed into New York soon, temporary trip permits are the best and least expensive route for travel. How can you get one? Great question. Just give us a call and we’ll get you taken care of!

How Can I File?


How do you think? With us of course! Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and your use taxes will disappear! Well, not literally, but you sure won’t have to deal with them yourself. Sounds nice right? Well it is—so what are you waiting for?

And remember, if you’re having trouble with your IFTA return that’s due at the end of the month, we can help with that, too! Just give us a call. Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “wow these people really do it all.” And if you are then you’d be right because yes, yes we do. We look forward to hearing from you, Trucking Nation!

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Friday, October 16, 2015

TSNA: Trucking News Update

That’s right, the next installment of the Trucking Industry Update is here - powered by Truck Services of North America. Don’t hide it; we know you’re excited. In an industry filled with ever-changing regulations and policies, we know it’s a daunting task to stay up-to-date and informed. But not to fret, that’s what we’re here for. So just like always, keep reading and we’ll get to the good stuff.

Operation Safe Driver Week:


Starting on October 18 and running through the 24th is the annual Operation Safe Driver Week, sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). During this week, officers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada will be looking for a variety of specific violations.

The five most common violations they'll be searching for are:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to Wear a Seat Belt
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Devices
  • Improper Lane Changes
  • Following Too Closely

Last year during safe driver week, officers pulled over nearly 60,000 commercial vehicle and car drivers for “unsafe driving behaviors.” That’s right, almost 60,000 traffic stops across North America over a one week period. So if you want to be safe, drive safe, and don’t get pulled over next week!

Delayed Regulations:


There’s been a lot of long awaited trucking mandates that were expected to be implemented before the end of the year: but many have now been postponed. Don’t get too excited thoughthat’s postponed, not canceled. But regardless, it looks like you’re all going to be getting just a little bit more time before you have to deal with any of these new rules.

Let’s take a look and see some of the regulations that have been delayed so far:

Speed Limiters: The official rule that would mandate speed limiters was originally expected to be issued by the end of September 2015, but now the final rule is not expected to pass until the end of 2016.

ELDs: This one isn’t going to be delayed quite as long, but the ELD rule originally expected to pass by the end of September has been pushed back until the end of October.

Entry Level Driver Training: The new requirements for entry level driver training may not ever be passed. Just kidding, well, kind of. The rule has already been delayed multiple times, most recently to November 15, and Congress expects that date to get pushed back even further. The reason cited for the delay is that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has had a tough time justifying it from a cost benefit standpoint. So while this new regulation may still may be coming your way soon, there's actually a strong chance it may not be heading your way at all.

Minimum Insurance Increases: Many agencies already agreed to this rule in principal, and the FMCSA was set to to issue an advanced notice of the new regulation. Instead, it appears that other regulations have moved to the top of the priority list, and this has been put on the back burner for now.

I-95 Reopens in South Carolina:


This one hit us close to home here at TSNAmerica (quite literally), and we’re excited to say that all closed sections of I-95 through South Carolina have been reopened. Earlier this week, the state DOT announced that all southbound lanes had been reopened, and that bridges on the northbound lanes were still under construction. But as of now, all lanes in both directions are ready for truckin’!

Well folks, you’re welcome; you’re now the most well-informed truckers on the road. Stay tuned for more updates so you can continue to stay ahead of your brethren in both preparedness and knowledge.

At TSNAmerica, we take pride in helping you take care of all things trucking. We know the UCR registration season has begun and those 3rd quarter IFTA reports are due soon. So if you want someone to take care of it for you, just give us a call! You can reach us at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or send us a service request.
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Friday, October 9, 2015

UCR Registration is Now Open!

Yeah we get it, the timing is less than ideal. But what’s new? We know all you truckers are currently buried under piles of of paperwork trying to finish up your 3rd quarter IFTA returns, but don’t forget about your UCR registration amidst all the madness!

The period officially opened on October 1, and now is the time to get it out of the way before the end of the year deadline. After all, nobody likes things hanging over their head; you’ve got enough on your plate already. So give us a call and let us complete your UCR registration, and while we’re at it, we can do your IFTA return for you, too!

If you aren’t sure what UCR registration is or how to go about getting yours taken care of, no worries, just keep reading and we’ll answer some of the most common UCR questions.

What is UCR Registration?


UCRA stands for the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, which is mandated by the federal government. (Although it is administered by participating states) The registration is typically only for vehicles that operate interstate or internationally, and the fees are based on the total number of vehicles used or leased by the individual or company.

Most carriers that operate intrastate only, or that are registered under the PRISM program are not required to complete UCR registration. Although, certain states do have a UCR program for intrastate only carriers, like Georgia. If you’re unsure of the requirements of your state, be sure to check, as many state requirements change from year to year.

What’s My Base State?


Your base state is simply the state you are registered with that collects UCR fees on behalf of all participating UCR states. When choosing your base state, it is typical to choose the state where your business is headquartered, unless that state doesn’t participate in UCR.

If your state doesn’t participate, but you still need to register for UCR, you can choose the closest state that does participate where your business has an office or an operating facility. If that still isn’t an option for you, then you can just choose the nearest participating state as your base.

How Do I Change My Base State?


Well if you do need to change your base state, you couldn’t have picked a better time to do it. Even if your business has moved to another state, base changes are allowed once a year, and can only be done during the registration period - which is now! Just make sure you give the advanced notice of the change to your base state, and when renewing, choose your new base state.

What Happens if I Don’t Register or Register Late?


Each state that participates in the UCRA has the authority to enforce registration compliance through roadside enforcement checks and comprehensive business audits. During theses enforcement checks and audits, states are given the option to issue citations and fines if anything is found not to be in compliance. So while we can’t say for certain what will happen to you, we can confidently say that you can expect a pretty hefty fine.

We know that you have until the end of the year to register, but putting it off until then is probably the best possible way to forget about it entirely. So if you don’t think you’ll have time to get your UCR renewal completed, or if you just flat out don’t feel like doing it (we don’t blame you) then just give us a call at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or send us a service request. Let us take the paperwork out of your way so you can get back to your day!

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Friday, October 2, 2015

New Annual Renewal Packages: IFTA, UCR, IRP, DOT, and More!

Well folks, a new season is officially here, and that’s not the only thing that’s new. At Truck Services of North America, we’re proud to announce our newly-designed renewal packages! We’ve made some revisions in order to give you the most comprehensive packages in the industry, and also the best pricing.

Just take a look below and see which package fits your business best. After all, who wouldn’t want TSNAmerica as their own personal assistant for all things trucking!

Renewal Packages


Below we’ve listed all the latest and greatest packages we have available. Take a look at the details of each to see which one best fits you and your business!

Basic Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $295

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update

Premium Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $340

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-One State Permit Renewal (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees

Complete Annual Renewal Package - Starting at $385

-IFTA Renewal + state fees, if applicable
-IRP Renewal + state fees
-UCR Renewal + UCR fees
-DOT Update
-Two State Permit Renewals (NM, HUT, OR) + state fees

Find the package that you need? Great! Now just fill out a service request, and we’ll get you taken care of. If you have questions about any of our renewal packages or how you can register for one, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com. Let us take the paperwork out of your way so you can get back to your busy day!
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Thursday, September 24, 2015

3rd Quarter Filing Starts October 1!

No, you aren’t reading the title wrong - IFTA season is almost here again! We know it feels like the 2nd quarter just ended, but now the 3rd quarter is almost in the books, too. So don’t put off filing and leave yourself with a giant IFTA mess at the last minute. Give us a call and let us sort it out for you; that’s what we’re here for!

IFTA Filing


3rd Quarter IFTA filing officially opens up next Thursday October 1 - and the deadline to file your return is October 31, 2015. If you prepare yourself now, you can avoid rushing around at the last minute. Also note that if you have a valid IFTA license, you must file a quarterly return even if you didn’t operate in a member jurisdiction during the 3rd quarter.

To file you’ll need to have your:

Mileage Log- Whether you use manual trip sheets, a GPS, or electronic trip sheets; you’ll need to have your mileage handy to file your quarterly IFTA return. It’s also necessary in case you ever face an audit from your base jurisdiction. (If you do you’ll thank us.)

Fuel Receipts- You will need to know the total amount/type of fuel purchased in each state.

Once you have all your mileage and fuel purchase information ready, and it’s seperated by state, just send it on over to us and we’ll get your filing taken care of for you!

Other 3rd Quarter Taxes Due in October


And as many of you know, along with IFTA filing season comes the filing season for several other state specific use taxes including:

Kentucky Use Tax (KYU)- Kentucky requires all commercial vehicles with a gross weight of 60,000 pounds or more traveling either into or through Kentucky to be registered with the state. Once registered, drivers will receive a KYU number and are then required to file a quarterly return and pay mileage taxes to the state of Kentucky. If you are only traveling through the state for one particular trip, temporary permits can also be obtained.

New Mexico Weight Distance Tax- All commercial vehicles with a gross weight over 26,000 pounds are required to be registered with the state before traveling in or through New Mexico. If you are not already registered, entrance can be paid at the port. Once a weight distance account has been established for you in New Mexico, you are then required to file quarterly reports and pay tax on the mileage you travel.

New York Highway Use Tax (NYHUT)- New York requires carriers operating motor vehicles that weight 18,000 lbs or more to register and obtain New York Heavy Vehicle Use Tax credentials. Once you have a NYHUT account established, you must then file and pay mileage tax every quarter.

If you operate in any of these states and you don’t have temporary trip permits, you’ll need to file. The filing period for all of these special use taxes opens next Thursday October 1, 2015, along with the IFTA filing period.

So once again, and we cannot stress this enough, DO NOT wait until the last minute! Why would you when you can just call up your friends at TSNAmerica and have us do it for you?

As a premier processing agency, Truck Services of North America can assist with your your IFTA, NY HUT, KYU, and New Mexico Use Taxes. TSNA takes the paperwork out of your way, so you can get back to your busy day. You can view a full list of our services here, but feel free to call us at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com with any other questions.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trucking Industry Update

We know it’s been a bit since the last one and you’ve probably been itching for it… so here it is, the latest trucking industry update! This time, we’re going to be focusing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and and the initiatives set for the last three months of 2015.

How do they affect you, you might ask? Well, it’s the FMCSA’s job to do everything in its power to keep you safe. Don’t you like being safe and knowing what’s going on in your own industry? Of course you do, because there’s nothing wrong with being a well-informed trucker, and that’s why you’re going to keep reading to see the FMCSA’s newest initiatives!

FMCSA Yearly Initiatives


Safety Fitness Determination (SFD):

Currently, the FMCSA is in the process of publishing a new rule that would greatly increase the use of inspection data when making Safety Fitness Determinations of motor carriers. The new proposed rule would change the process for assessing the performance of truck companies to focus more on current performance information, such as roadside inspection and crash data. If you don’t like this rule, well, you may be stuck with it anyway. Although luckily for you, the FMCSA is giving everyone the option to voice their opinion. So if you don’t like it, you can tell them personally!

Inspection Modernization:

The FMCSA has officially launched a new version of their inspection software, called Aspen 3.0. It’s got a new look and feel, as well as lots of new and innovative features. The software includes many roadside functions, and even allows law enforcement officials to get direct access to out-of-service notices. So if you’re driving out of service you may want to rethink that, because it’s about to be much easier for them to find you!

Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) Phase III:

In order to prepare the launch of its final two CSA interventions, the FMCSA is working on training federal and state investigators. One of the biggest safety measures being implemented is the crash BASIC investigation, which will focus on specific trends that are most common in carrier crashes. Seems like that might be useful, right?
In addition to spending more time analyzing crashes for contributing factors, the FMCSA will also be fine-tuning its SMS algorithm to do a better job of identifying carriers to investigate. Once the changes are made official, they will be announced in a Federal Register notice. We’re not sure exactly how this works, but if you think your company could be at risk for an investigation, you better get it together fast!


Electronic Logging Devices (ELD):

Here’s the rule you’ve been hearing about a lot recently, and also the one that you’re probably the least excited about. Sense some sarcasm? Maybe just a tad. But in all seriousness, we know that most truckers across the nation are dreading the implementation of this rule, but it’s looking more and more likely that it’s only a matter when, not if. That’s right, the final ELD rule is currently under review and is scheduled to be published later in the year.

Don’t think this rule is going to help you? Take a look at why the FMCSA sees the rule as “beneficial to all parties,” and maybe it can change your view.

  • It is estimated that by improving the hours of service (HOS) compliance, up to 20 fatalities and 400 injuries can be prevented each year. 
  • The electronic logging systems will save companies time and money.
  • Drivers will be protected from harassment. The devices will keep companies from forcing drivers to drive for longer than the mandated period under the HOS agreement.
  • Law enforcement agencies can now view and review driver HOS records with ease.
Still not liking the idea? Yeah we don’t blame you, but it’s looking inevitable, so the best thing to do now is prepare yourselves!

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns about any of these new rules or implementations, just let us know! Just kidding, please don’t do that; take all those issues up with the FMCSA! They’re always happy to receive feedback from trucking professionals like yourself.

If you have any other trucking related issues, that’s where we come in. We offer a ton of services for trucking professionals, so if you need anything taken care of for you, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@tsnamerica.com.
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Winds of Change Coming In Wyoming

Anyone traveling through Wyoming must brace for unusually strong gusts of wind that can topple an empty rig in the blink of an eye. This article will focus on gentler winds, i.e. changes in Wyoming law and attitude that are still worthy of your attention.

Wyoming made national news in April when two huge pile-ups occurred on I-80 within a single week, raising concerns about highway safety along our vast open spaces. While truckers have always known to “expect the unexpected,” Wyoming weather and abundant wildlife can surprise even the most experienced drivers! Bluebird weather one minute can change to dense fog or ground blizzards the next, and pulling off to the side of the road has its own risk as everyone else is trying to do the same. It can become one big tragic cluster in seconds.

This is why the Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) opposed legislative bills to raise the speed limit from 75 mph to 80 mph on long, lonely stretches of our interstate highways. The patrol reasoned that higher speeds would result in less reaction time to our unpredictable everything and urged Wyoming lawmakers not to raise the limit. Those patrol worries did not win the day. So, Wyoming motorists enjoy the higher speed limit, but the WHP is showing less tolerance for those exceeding the limit even by a few miles per hour.

Several months ago it came to light that the WHP tied raises, promotions, and bonuses to ticket quotas, setting off a firestorm of criticism that resulted in discarding such policy before lawmakers felt compelled to introduce bills to formally stop the practice. The negative public sentiment toward the WHP changed quickly after the April pile-ups as the patrol worked tirelessly in horrible conditions to rescue accident victims and clean-up the carnage for days afterward.

Newspaper photos of the scene from both accidents showed multiple mangled semis and prompted a number of letters to the editor urging truckers to drive more cautiously. What few outside the industry realize is that truckers cannot stop on a dime and are as susceptible as any other driver to sudden zero visibility.

Like the Serenity Prayer, we seek patience to accept what we cannot change, and strength to change what we must. Obviously, operators can lessen risk by making sure their equipment and their brains are in good working order and capable of handling higher highway speeds and adjusting to sudden changes in conditions.

Another wind of change in Wyoming has been greater protection for persons using non-motorized modes of transportation. During the last legislative session, a law was passed that requires motorists to allow bicyclists three feet when passing them on the roadway. This happened, mind you, when legislators were also considering whether to increase the speed limits on two-lane roads (where cross-country bicyclists are more likely to travel). If safety is a top priority, increasing the speed limit on two-lane roads may not be such a wise choice. Such a law has not yet passed.

Truckers traveling on rural roads and in town should be aware that Wyoming school buses are now equipped with video cameras, so as to more easily identify and prosecute those drivers who pass a bus that is stopped with flashing red lights. This development occurred because of the death of a little girl exiting a school bus who was hit by a passing motorist ignoring the flashing bus lights.

For several years, Wyoming law has required motorists to move to the passing lane when passing a stopped patrol car with flashing lights on the side of the road…if you can safely do so. Traffic is beyond your control but maintaining reasonable speeds to allow maneuverability is still in your control.

Wyoming lawmakers have been keenly aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Hand-held cell phone use is banned in most cities and towns, and texting while driving is forbidden everywhere in the State. Marijuana remains illegal in Wyoming but not in neighboring Colorado. I’m wondering if I’m the only one who has noticed a distinct change in the flow of traffic in Colorado since marijuana became legal. Too often now, I cross into Colorado on I-25 and see a number of drivers appearing completely unaware of how slow they are driving and what effect that is having on other motorists. Their “happy zone” is my frustration.

Another small wind of change that is of particular interest is a new Wyoming law that deals with towing abandoned or disabled vehicles. The Wyoming Department of Transportation removes vehicles when an operator cannot. Law enforcement must now choose from a rotating list of tow truck companies, something that was not done in the past.

Lastly, truckers whose native language is not English, should be aware of English Comprehension Examinations that, by law, WDOT personnel can administer at a Port of Entry if they have reason to believe that the trucker does not have a sufficient grasp of the English language in order to understand roadway signs and signals. Unfortunately, the results of the test may be considered “passing” by one patrolman at the Port of Entry on the eastern border of Wyoming, while the same test with the same results by the same trucker on the western border is considered “failing” by a different WDOT grader. The subjective nature of this makes it vulnerable to criticism as patently unfair. The ACLU has raised a number of objections and concerns about this test in recent years but the ACLU just closed its Wyoming office so will no longer be around to try to right this wrong.

As you can see, Wyoming laws and attitudes have changed only slightly this year. People in this State are generally grateful for all that the trucking industry and individuals bring to us. By constantly expecting the unexpected, you will be doing your part to prepare for and adjust to those wild, windy things you cannot change or control.

By: Deb Kellam, Hall & Evans, LLC
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's Not Too Late to File Your 2290 Over the Phone!

Now that the deadline has passed, if you haven’t already gotten your 2290 filed it’s time to get going! You don’t want those IRS late fees and penalties to keep adding up on you, do you?

If you’re having trouble getting it filed or don’t know if you’ll have the time to waste in line at the IRS office, give us a call. Not only are we experts with trucking permits and registration, but we’re licensed tax professionals and can file your 2290 for you over the phone!

So why wait to get the 2290 out of your way, when you can call TSNAmerica and get your 2290 filed for you today!

What Do I Need?


All you need to do is make a five-minute phone call and give us your information. Here’s what you’ll need to have ready when you call:

  • Business Contact Information: You’ll need your business name, phone number, and address. Be sure that the information you give us matches exactly how it is registered with the IRS.
  • EIN: Employer Identification Number
  • VIN: Vehicle Identification Number
  • Taxable Gross Weight of the Vehicle: This number is the weight of your truck, trailer, plus the maximum weight that can be hauled in the trailer. If you are unsure of the taxable gross weight of your vehicle, it should be listed on the vehicle’s registration.
  • Payment Information: You’ll need to decide how you want to pay the tax fees, the IRS accepts payments via electronic funds withdrawal, EFTPS, or via check/money order. 

Once we have all that information, we’ll ask you if any of your vehicles are used for special purposes such as logging or agriculture, as it can affect your taxes. After we get all of your information, we’ll email you a copy of Form 8453 for you to sign and send back to us via email, fax, or postal mail, whichever is the most convenient method for you.

After we receive the your signed copy of the 8453, that gives us the “good to go,” and we’ll get your 2290 filed that day and send you a copy of your Schedule 1 as soon as your return is accepted.

So pick up the phone and make the five-minute phone call to TSNAmerica today, and let us take the paperwork out of your way.

If you have any questions about our 2290 e-filing service, you can give us a call at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or you can fill out service request. Remember, we also provide lots of other trucking services, so be sure to let us know if you need help with anything else so that you can get back to trucking!
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Free Live Training Session: IFTA Recordkeeping


When you’re on the road for a living, how on earth does anyone expect you to keep proper records? Do they expect you to keep a giant file cabinet in the cabin of your truck instead of a bed? Well of course not, because that would be ridiculous. But as you already know, just because something is ridiculous, doesn’t mean IFTA won’t require you do it.

If you haven’t already experienced an audit from your base jurisdiction you’ll have to take our word for it; they aren’t fun. Luckily though, there is one clear-cut way proven to help avoid audits and also to speed up the audit process if you do ever find yourself in that scenario. Wanna take a guess what is is? If you guessed that it’s keeping records based off the not-so-inconspicuous blog title, then you’d be right! So keep on reading, and we’ll tell you about how your friends at TSNAmerica can help you find better ways to keep your records and stay organized.

Live Training Session


If you’ve ever done a quarterly IFTA report, you already know that there’s a lot you have to keep up with. Between tracking your mileage traveled in every state, keeping up with all of your fuel purchased, and trying to manage all of your fuel receipts, it can get a little confusing and messy.

Luckily for you, we’ve got a sure-fire way to help you hone your skills; just watch our live training session! I mean seriously, what better way to learn some new recordkeeping skills than to watch our team of trucking service and recordkeeping professionals give you the best tips, tricks, and methods to keep yourself organized.

The session will be held Thursday, September 3 at 4:00 p.m. ET, and will cover the art of IFTA recordkeeping. We’ll also go over some examples of good reports and bad reports that have been sent to us over the years, so you can get a better feel of what to do and not to do.

How Do I Sign-up?


To sign-up, just follow the link here, and enter in your email address and name to register. Once registered, you will be able to attend the training session for free!

We take great pride in knowing our stuff, and our trucking service professionals always stay up-to-date on the latest industry standards. Since it’s our job to make sure that your operations run smoothly, we’ll also be hosting several other upcoming sessions, and we’ll be announcing the dates of each during the IFTA recordkeeping session. Plus, we’ll save all of our other training sessions, so you’ll be able to access them at any time!

At TSNAmerica, we take the problems of our customers and make them our own. Want someone to solve yours? Then just give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com, and we’ll make sure we get you taken care of.
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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Breaking News: New Trucking Regulations

So far this summer has been an uncharacteristically busy one for the trucking industry. It seems like just about every week the senate is passing a new transportation bill, and it can be a daunting task to keep up with all the new rules and regulations.

But that’s what your friends at TSNAmerica are here for, so take a look below and we’ll go over all the new mandates and bills that have been passed recently or will be coming soon.

Trucking Updates


So far this summer, these are the new mandates and bills that have been either passed or proposed.

Speed Regulator Law:

A newly proposed bill would require the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks is set to be published by the Department of Transportation this week. Details of the bill have not been made public yet, but the bill is expected to pass through the White House and be published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration later this week. However the bill is expected to include the proposed speed limit and also whether or not the rule will be applied to trucks that are already in use.

E-log Mandate:

Also this week, the final version of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule that would make the use of electronic logging devices mandatory is supposed to be finished. The rule will not actually take effect until two years after its publication in the Federal Register, but it will require all drivers that must keep duty records to use an electronic logging device.

The rule is currently under review by the Office of Management and Budget, although it is expected to be cleared next month on September 21 and published by September 30. in addition to this rule, a corresponding rule.

DRIVE Act:

Also within the last month, the DRIVE Act, which stands for Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy, was approved by the US Senate with a vote of 65 to 34. This is big news for trucking because let’s face it, we all know the highways across our country could use some work. The bill comes at a big time for the industry, as over the last several years 34 short-term extensions have been passed to extend the current method for highway funding, which has proven to be ineffective. The new bill will put over $350 billion into the funding of our nation’s highways, railroads, and public transit systems. While the sponsors of the bill were only able to guarantee the bill’s first three years, the bill is still a huge step forward for the industry.

New Transportation Bill:

In addition to the aforementioned DRIVE Act, the Senate has also been working on another transportation-related bill. Although it’s been 22 years since the last time taxes were raised as an act of Congress, it’s looking more and more likely that those 22 years will be coming to an end soon.

Senator Tom Carper from Delaware announced the TRAFFIC Relief Act of 2015, which would increase fuel taxes by four cents each year for the next four years in order to offset years of inflation. The money would go towards the highway trust fund, and the proposal would index taxes to the rate of inflation after four years and would make a pair of earned income tax credits permanent.

Thanks for reading Trucking Nation, we hope you enjoyed the trucking update. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates from TSNAmerica.

And remember, if you ever have any questions about new trucking regulations or registration requirements, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com.
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

IRP Registration: Everything You Need to Know

With the end of the second quarter in the books and 2290 season in full swing, it can be a
hassle to have to remember exactly what permit, tax form, and registration you need to complete or renew. That’s why your friends at TSNAmerica are here to remind you that with the end of August and September comes renewal deadlines for IRP registration in several states.

Now you may be thinking, “What exactly is IRP registration, and how do I do I register?” Just look below, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about IRP, and even how to get your registration done or renewed today!

What is IRP Registration?

IRP stands for the International Registration Plan, and is an agreement among US states, the District of Columbia, and provinces of Canada for payment of commercial motor carrier registration fees. If you operate in multiple states or provinces, you must register with your base jurisdiction.

The registration is mandatory for all commercial vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds or have three or more axles that operate in multiple jurisdictions across the United States/Canada.

How Do I Register for IRP?

To obtain and maintain your IRP registration, there are several steps you will need to follow including:

Choosing Your Base Jurisdiction: The first and most important step is choosing your base jurisdiction. Typically, this is just the state or province where your business is located. In order to choose a state/province as your base jurisdiction, you will need to have documentation to prove that your business is headquartered there.

Apply For Registration From Your Base Jurisdiction: In order to do this, you will have to prove your right to use the state as a base jurisdiction, complete an application, and pay the required fees. You will also need to make sure that you are current on all of your HVUT/Form 2290 payments, and that you have supporting documentation. Supporting documentation includes, but is not limited to, IFTA registration, vehicle title, and proof of insurance. If you are unsure what documents you need, check the requirements by contacting your base jurisdiction.

Display Vehicle Registration Credentials: This one is kind of self explanatory, but after you get receipt stating that you’ve paid for your registration and received your decals, make sure that you display them properly on your vehicle. The exact spot to display the decals varies by jurisdiction, so again, if you have any questions at all, contact them to ensure that you’re doing everything correctly.

Maintain Your Distance Records: After you have obtained your registration, just like with IFTA, you’ll need to be sure that you’re keeping proper distance records. Records must be kept for all mileage traveled in each jurisdiction, so the fees you paid are distributed properly to any states you operate in. In case you are ever audited, be sure that you keep records for at least three years after the close of the registration period.

If all of this sounds a little confusing, don’t worry, that’s where we come in. Not only will we help you obtain your IRP registration, but we’ll do it for you! Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@tsnamerica.com, and our team of trucking specialists will get you all taken care of. Not to mention, we also offer tons of other trucking services, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you ever need anything!
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

It's Official: Our Parent Company Has Made the Inc. 5000!

At TSNAmerica, we’re thrilled to announce that SPAN Enterprises, our parent company, has made the Inc. 5000! The Inc. 5000 is composed annually and contains the fastest-growing privately-held companies in the United States. SPAN officially checked in at number 1150 on the list, making it the 11th largest company in the Charlotte metro area and the fastest-growing software company in South Carolina!

TSNAmerica and the Company Behind the Scenes


Truck Services of North America was launched in 2012, and our team and agency is one of many services provided by SPAN Enterprises. As you may or may not already know, we are a registration and processing agency providing solutions for the hard workers in America’s highly-regulated transportation industry.

With our customer service and professionalism, we’ve done all we can to become the nation’s premier processing agency. All of our transportation service experts work closely with federal and state agencies to ensure that our customers stay informed of constantly changing rules and regulations.

We take pride in being a true one-stop shop for all your trucking needs, so we have professionals that provide services including 2290 filing, IRP registration, HazMat Certification, IFTA filing, and much more.

Not to mention, we have a US-based support team that’s able to answer all of your questions, all year long. No having to talk to someone halfway across the world or getting stuck with a clueless customer service representative, our tax experts have your back!

More About SPAN Enterprises


SPAN Enterprises was created in 2010 by co-founders Agie Sundaram and Naga Palanisamy, who first created Unitwise, a business management program specifically crafted for Mary Kay sales professionals.

Since then, the company has grown from its original duo to over 200 employees spanning the globe. SPAN has launched over 14 different cloud based applications, and over 20 different software program. Most of the company’s work is in e-filing tax software platforms and business management programs, although it plans to launch more in new industries before the end of the year.

As SPAN has grown over the last few years, TSNAmerica has grown as well. We have done everything in our power to continue our growth, while doing it from the same small town where it all began, Rock Hill, South Carolina.

As a company, we’re continuing to grow and striving to reach new levels every year. We couldn’t have done it without you, our customers, so thanks to you all for helping us to create something special. Even as we continue to grow, our small-town mentality will never change, and neither will our service. We look forward to the years to come, Trucking Nation!


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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2290 Phone Filing: Give Us a Call!


The Heavy Vehicle Use Tax season is in full swing, and you’ve got just under four weeks left to get those 2290’s filed.

If you’re having trouble getting it filed or don’t know if you’ll have the time to wait in line at the IRS office, give us a call. Not only are we experts with trucking permits and registration, but we’re licensed tax professionals!

So why wait until the August 31 deadline to get the 2290 out of your way, when you can call TSNAmerica and get your 2290 filed for you today!

What is a 2290?


Form 2290 is a federal tax form used to file Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, also known as HVUT. The form must be filed annually if a taxable motor vehicle weighing over 55,000 pounds is registered, or required to be registered in your name under District of Columbia, Canadian, or Mexican law at the time of its first use during the tax period, and that vehicle will travel 5,000 miles or more during the tax year. The HVUT season runs from July 1 every year to the following June 30. After filing, you will receive a stamped Schedule 1, which acts as your proof of payment and must be kept in your truck for records.

Need some help? File it all over the phone!


If you need any help filing your Form 2290, we offer phone filing! All you need to do is make a 5-minute phone call and give us your relevant information. Here’s what you’ll need to have ready when you call:

  • Business Contact Information: You’ll need your business name, phone number, and address. Be sure that the information you give us matches exactly how it is registered with the IRS.
  • EIN: Employer Identification Number
  • VIN: Vehicle Identification Number
  • Taxable Gross Weight of the Vehicle: This number is the weight of your truck, trailer, plus the maximum weight that can be hauled in the trailer. If you are unsure of the taxable gross weight of your vehicle, it should be listed on the vehicle’s registration.
  • Payment Information: You’ll need to decide how you want to pay the tax fees, the IRS accepts payments via electronic funds withdrawal, EFTPS, or via check/money order. 

Once we have all that information, we’ll ask you if any of your vehicles are used for special purposes such as logging or agriculture, as it can affect your taxes. After we get all of your information, we’ll email you a copy of Form 8453 for you to sign and send back to us via email, fax, or postal mail, whichever is the most convenient method for you.

Once we receive the your signed copy of the 8453, that gives us the “good to go,” and we’ll get your 2290 filed that day and send you a copy of your Schedule 1 as soon as the IRS accepts your return.

So pick up the phone and make the 5-minute phone call to TSNAmerica today, and let us take the paperwork out of your way.

If you have any questions about our 2290 e-filing service, you can give us a call at 803.386.0320, email us at support@tsnamerica.com, or you can fill out service request. Remember, we also provide lots of other trucking services, so be sure to let us know if you need help with anything else so that you can keep trucking!


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Thursday, July 30, 2015

What's Due: July 31 Tax Deadlines

That’s right truckers, the deadline is upon us, and there’s only 2 days left to file your taxes before facing fees and late penalties. In addition to your IFTA returns being due, special use taxes for the states of New York, New Mexico, and Kentucky are also due before the end of the day on July 31.

If you haven’t already filed, you’re not late yet, but you will be if you don’t get a move on! If you don’t like the stress that comes with the tax deadline, give us a call today and let us take the tax-filing burden off your shoulders with a simple phone call.

Below we’ve listed all the taxes that are due before the July 31 deadline:

IFTA:


IFTA stands for International Fuel Tax Agreement, and it is necessary to file if you operate in a participating jurisdiction. All 48 contiguous states participate in IFTA (with the exception of Oregon), as well as some Canadian provinces. The 2nd quarter ended on June 30, and you have until the July 31 deadline to get that return filed.

If your vehicle weighs over 26,000 pounds, or has over three axles, you will be required to file a quarterly return. Even if you didn’t operate during the quarter, if you have an IFTA license you will need to file.

New Mexico Weight-Mile Tax:


New Mexico weight-mile tax is a special use tax for all heavy vehicles that operate in the state of New Mexico. The tax must be paid on all vehicles that weigh over 26,000 pounds. However, the tax is graduated, so the amount of tax paid increases as the weight of the vehicle increases.

In order to operate in New Mexico and pay the state’s weight mile taxes, companies must obtain a New Mexico Weight Distance tax permit for each vehicle.

Kentucky Highway Use Tax:


Kentucky highway use tax is another special tax that is determined based on the amount of mileage traveled by heavy trucks within the state of Kentucky.

All vehicles that have a taxable gross weight over 60,000 pounds must file (although buses and farm-licensed vehicles are an exception). To file, you will first need to obtain a tax license from the state, and you will be given a KYU number that you will use to file under.

New York Highway Use Tax:


New York highway use tax is a special tax for all heavy vehicles that operate in the state of New York, excluding mileage traveled on toll-paid portions of the New York State Thruway. The tax must be filed by all vehicles that have a gross taxable weight over 18,000 pounds, and by all unloaded trucks over 8,000 pounds or tractors over 4,000 pounds.

If you only travel through New York on occasion, you may obtain a temporary trip permit to avoid having to file and pay for the highway use tax. However, you can only obtain a maximum of 10 trip permits per year so be sure to use them wisely!

At TSNAmerica, we understand that with all these tax deadlines at the same time, it can be difficult to get filed on time, especially if you’re running a bit behind. That’s why we make it simple by preparing and filing quarterly returns for you. Give us a call today at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com, and let us take the paperwork out of your way!

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

BOC-3: Everything You Need to Know

If you’re a trucker and you plan to operate in interstate commerce, you will be required to file a BOC-3. If you’re asking yourself what in the world a BOC-3 is, don’t fret. Stay tuned, and we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the BOC-3, and how you can get it filed today.

What is a BOC-3?


A BOC-3 is a federal form that designates legal agents upon which process may be served. It stands for “blanket of coverage,” and is often required before federal operating authorities can be granted within the United States.

A BOC-3 is typically filed after an MC# has been issued in order to obtain interstate operating authority. The BOC-3 form is submitted to the FMCSA, and is used to designate process agents in each state where your business operates.

Process service agencies are third-party companies capable of granting BOC-3 filings. All process agencies must employ or lease the services of individuals or entities in each state, and must be registered with the FMCSA in order to grant a BOC-3. Each process agent acts as your representative for that state, and accepts all legal documents or court papers that may be served to your business. The agent then forwards those documents to you, and can advise you on how to proceed according to the laws in your state.

How to File Your BOC-3:


To file your BOC-3, you can file it yourself or have a process agent file on your behalf with the FMCSA. The completed form must include all states for which agency designations are required. If you are having your form done by a process agent, that agent must be designated for each state in which the carrier, broker, or freight forwarder operates.

Once the form is finished, the original signed copy must be filed with the FMCSA, and a copy should be filed with each state where the operation is conducted. One copy must also be kept by the carrier, broker, or freight forwarder at its principal place of business. If for any reason you need to change your designation, you will need to file a new form BOC-3 with the FMCSA. When this is done, copies of the new form will only need to be sent to states affected by the change or new filing.

How We Can Help:


Filing your BOC-3 can be a little tricky, and you’re probably wondering, how am I supposed to find a processing agent? Well, we’ve got some good news for you; we are BOC-3 certified! Not only can we obtain your MC# for you, but we can take care of the BOC-3 at the same time. Or, if you already have your MC#, we can complete your BOC-3 form in less than five minutes! Don’t believe us? Well then give us a call at 803.386.0320, and start your stopwatch! If you have any questions about our services, you can call us or send us an email at support@tsnamerica.com.

We will also be hosting a webinar this week on how to file Form 2290 with us over the phone. To register for the webinar, click here and enter in your first and last name, along with your email address. The webinar will be taking place on Thursday July 23, from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

TSNA: Trucking News Update

It seems like just about every week this summer there’s been something monumental or groundbreaking happening in the Trucking Nation. Whether it's a new law or bill, new rig technology, or another tax deadline to remember, this summer has been quite a busy time for the trucking industry. Take a look below, and we’ll tell you about all the new and interesting additions to the trucking industry so far this summer.

Summer Trucking News Updates


Fuel Tax Increase: While for some this is more of a slight annoyance than it is news, for truckers this can be quite a costly issue. Since July 1, seven states have increased their fuel taxes, including Idaho, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Rhode Island, Nebraska, and most recently Washington state. If your state or a state you travel through isn’t included in the list, it could be next. Many other states and even some Canadian provinces are still considering a spike in fuel taxes.

House Announces New Short-Term Funding Bill: Just this week, the House of Representatives has unveiled a new short-term highway bill, the third bill since MAP-21’s expiration last year. The current funding is set to expire July 31, and the new bill would extend that funding to the end of the year. The funding would help the nearly bankrupt Highway Trust Fund by pumping in close to $8.5 billion from the nation’s general fund.

Samsung Announces New Smart Truck: At the end of last month, Samsung unveiled its newest addition to the tech industry, the smart truck. The smart truck was created to first be used in Argentina, where there is nearly one traffic fatality every hour, with many coming from drivers attempting to speed around semi trucks. The truck actually contains a camera on the front and a TV screen on the back, which shows the view from the front of the truck, essentially allowing drivers to “see around the truck.” While it may be some time before we see these on US highways, if they prove to limit traffic fatalities, it may be sooner rather than later.

Kentucky Emergency Exemption: On July 14th, Kentucky announced an emergency exemption for all utility vehicles operating in the state due to severe weather. This allows these vehicles an exemption from the standard hours of service requirements, mandatory stoppage at weigh stations, IRP registration, and also from obtaining oversize/overweight temporary permits. Keep in mind that these exemptions are not for all trucks, only those helping with relief efforts. The exemption is in place through the 23rd of July.

IRS Offices by Appointment Only: The IRS announced that for this Heavy Vehicle Use Tax season, 10% of its offices will be available by appointment only. So if you’re used to going up to your local IRS office and waiting in line, you may have to alter your plans a bit.

We know as a trucker with a hectic schedule, it can be hard to find time and find an IRS office to get an appointment scheduled. Luckily for you, there is another way to get your Form 2290 filed, and you can do it without even leaving the cab of your truck. Just make a 5-minute phone call to TSNAmerica, and we’ll do it for you, same day. Don’t forget Form 2290 is due by August 31, so don’t hesitate, and call us today!

Thanks for reading Trucking Nation, we hope you enjoyed the news update. Be sure to stay tuned for more updates from TSNAmerica.

And remember, if you ever have any questions about new trucking regulations or registration requirements, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 803.386.0320, or email us at support@tsnamerica.com.


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