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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Temporary Trip Permits & Temporary Fuel Permits

What do you do when you need to travel somewhere that you’ve never been and you don’t have proper authority?

Well, if can be tough if you lack IRP credentials and can’t legally travel in those jurisdictions.

So what do you do? Thankfully, you can get a temporary permit.

Who Needs Temporary Trip & Fuel Permits?


If you normally don’t travel interstate but find yourself needing to travel on a longer haul, temporary permits were created just for you.

So if you normally only work in West Virginia, but end up on a haul that takes you to Ohio, a temporary trip or fuel permit will be required.

So what are these permits?

Trip Permits: These are designed for you if you are traveling to a jurisdiction you lack credentials for. You will need a temporary trip permit in lieu of IRP registration. Thankfully, a temporary trip permit is a great solution for sporadic interstate travel, but are not an economical solution for long term freight solutions.

If you find yourself needing permits more than a few times a year, it is more economical to register under IRP or the state tax license required for the jurisdictions you’re traveling in.

Trip permits must be obtained prior to entering the jurisdiction, and since processing costs and times vary by state, it’s best to inquire as soon as you know you’ll need one.

Temporary Fuel Permit: When you’re traveling interstate, you can get a temporary fuel permit issued in place of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) registration.

Like trip permits, these must be obtained before traveling into the jurisdiction you are not licensed to operate in.

Best of all, most permits are issued same day! Especially when you request a permit through TSNAmerica. Whether you’re headed to Michigan, Texas, or Ohio, trip permits will help you travel interstate with ease!

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Friday, August 12, 2016

We're Streamlining to Focus on Our Customers - TSNAmerica Update

In order to offer the highest level of service, we’ve decided to change how we do things around here. We want to deliver the top-notch service you’re used to, we’re doubling down on the heavy hitters.

So what are we still offering? Our most popular services! Let’s break this down for you.

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Form 2290


Let’s face it, nobody wants to spend their day stuck waiting at the local IRS office.

You have stuff to do—maybe you need to go fishing, or hang out with your kids. Well, you’ve lucked out, because filing Form 2290 by phone is our specialty.

How does it work? We file your Form 2290 by phone and submit it directly to the IRS for processing. We ensure your HVUT Form 2290 is accurate by using an IRS authorized e-file provider, getting your 2290 Schedule 1 back for you within minutes.

Nothing is worse than waiting around for your stamped Schedule 1 for weeks on end. Let TSNAmerica handle your 2290 phone filing and receive your Stamped Schedule 1 while you wait in line.

Federal Employer Identification Number


A Federal Employer Identification Number is a unique nine-digit number used to identify a business entity. Generally, most businesses need an EIN. There was a time when truckers could file their 2290s with just their social security number, but those days are long gone. You’re gonna need an EIN to file!

The process of receiving an active EIN can be a bit time-consuming, and can delay your filing if not done in time. On average it takes the IRS about 10 business days to activate an EIN, and in some cases it can even take up to 15.

Until your EIN becomes active, you're gonna face rejection after rejection. We can help you avoid that!

BOC-3 Filing-Designation of Agents for Service of Process


What else are we offering? We’re still going to offer the BOC-3. What is the BOC-3? It’s used to designate process agents (also known as BOC-3 agents) in all 50 states in which the business operates.

As it is, the BOC-3 is required by all motor carriers, brokers, and freight forwarders to obtain their own operating authority and must be kept on file with the Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration (FMCSA) at all times.

A BOC-3 agent is a designated person or office that accepts legal documents on your behalf. TSNAmerica is an FMSCA Registered Blanket Agent with our Blanket Agent Service, we file your BOC-3 form with the FMCSA directly. Not only do we offer same day service, we also stay with you throughout the process, and keep you up to date and current.

Temporary Permits


We understand that you’re gonna need temporary permits every now and then. In fact, we want to help you obtain these permits. Maybe you need to travel through a jurisdiction you’re not licensed for, how would you go about getting a temporary permit?

We’ll help you do that! We offer:

  • Temporary Trip Permits: The trip permit is a temporary permit issued to operate in a state which is not currently registered under your IRP and must be obtained prior to entering the state.
  • Temporary Fuel Permits: The temporary fuel permit is a temporary permit issued in place of IFTA credentials and must be obtained prior to entering the state.

So while we’ve streamlined what services we offer, know that we’ll never cut back on the level of service we offer you. We look forward to helping you in any way we can this tax season!

Please Note: We are sorry to inform you that 3rd quarter will be the final quarter that TSNAmerica will be offering quarterly IFTA filing services. We’re doing our best to give you enough time to make arrangements for your 4th quarter filing(s). Everything will remain the same for your 3rd quarter filings, however.

If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, we’re always available to answer your questions by phone and email.


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Want to Avoid an IFTA Audit? Avoid These Errors!

Alright, Trucking Nation. The 2nd Quarter IFTA deadline is getting closer and closer, and we need to focus on avoiding an audit.

We’re gonna take this step by step, and focus on the heavy hitters.

The following are some of the red flags IFTA auditors keep their eyes out for:

Non-continuous Jurisdictions


Alright, this is kind of obvious, but it happens. Your trip logs must show continuity from your starting point to your destination. That includes every district in between.

There’s no way your vehicle began in New Jersey and then suddenly shows up in Ohio. Make this kind of error, and an auditor will be knocking on your door in no time.

Gaps in Mileage


If your end of day trip logs don’t match up with the beginning of the next day, you got yourself a mileage gap.

This usually happens because drivers don’t realize that their personal or leased miles must also be included on the trip logs.

Over-simplified Fuel Calculations


When reporting fuel, it is not acceptable to divide your miles traveled by a predetermined Miles Per Gallon estimate as MPG will naturally fluctuate. The precise fuel use and mileage must be recorded.

Skewed MPG


If your average MPG has drastic variations from one quarter to the next, without a legitimate reason such as differing road conditions, varying weights of the loads carried, etc, an audit could be triggered.

Excessively High/Low MPG


The average MPG for a heavy vehicle is between 5-10 MPG.

If your MPG falls outside of this range, you probably made an error in calculations.

The tough part is, some states won’t let you file your IFTA return until your MPG is within that acceptable range.

However—even if you avoid these obvious errors—you can still be chosen at random for auditing.

If you feel your IFTA return is too complicated, or you don’t have time to dedicate to it, contact one of the dedicated specialists at Truck Services of North America. We not only calculate the tax amount due and prepare the return based on the information provided to us, we also file it directly with the state.

Give us a call at 803.386.0320 or fill out our service request form today!


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Friday, July 1, 2016

HVUT Refunds: Form 8849

Congrats, you!


You finally got out of the old hunker of a rig, and now you drive a brand new shiny truck that’s from this century.


But you paid your 2290 for the truck before you sold it and now you’re out $500.


Well what if I told you could get that money back? Some may call it magic, others call TSNAmerica.


When we file a Form 8849 on your behalf for your sold/destroyed/stolen vehicle, we’ll help you get your paid 2290 tax fee back.


Unsure? Let me give you some background on the form and how we can do it.


Form 8849


To put it simply, Form 8849 is designed to let the IRS know that you’ve sold your truck, or that it was destroyed or stolen and the taxes you paid on it should be returned for it that you need back.


Your previous truck is considered exempt, so that tax money should come back to you.


How Does That Work?


That’s simple too! To get money back with Form 8849, just give TSNAmerica a call.


Be ready to provide us with your correct name and address ready, also your EIN, the vehicle’s information, and when it was sold/destroyed/stolen. Then let us do the rest.  


One More Time for Clarity


Your sold, stolen, or destroyed vehicle is worth money if you paid your HVUT Form 2290 before selling it.  


All you need to do to get a refund back on the taxes for that truck is to give us a call and let us help you.


So what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone and call TSNAmerica at 803.386.0320. We’ll be glad to help you get the money back that you deserve.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Keep Proper Records as a Truck Driver

Ever been on the road and think, “man, I wish I didn’t have to deal with all this stupid paperwork. Can’t I just drive?”

Of course you have, and let’s face is, what trucker hasn’t?

But even though it’s a pain in the tail, you still need to be keeping the proper records. And yes, it’s easy just to toss your old receipts on the dash and let them dance around the cab of your truck every time you open the window.

But is that really the best practice for keeping proper records? And with so many trucking regulations, what exactly do you even need to keep records for?

Recordkeeping Tips

Keeping records as a truck driver can be complicated, but we’re about to simplify it. Here’s what you need to do:
  • Keep record of all of your fuel purchases. So that means the amount, type of fuel purchased, name and address of where it was purchased, cost per gallon, total sale amount, and the original receipt.
  • Keep track of the total distance you have driven, including your mileage driven in each jurisdiction, the routes you drove, and any out-of-route mileage.
  • Keep truck maintenance records and service records so that you know when your truck needs to be serviced. After all, you do want your truck to last for as long as possible, right?
  • Be sure to keep track of your logbook accurately, because a messy, unorganized logbook can spell disaster for an independent trucker. It is required that truckers keep a logbook that tracks their location and the time spent both on and off duty. Hey, we don’t have to deal with e-logs yet, so we might as well enjoy the logbooks until then. 
  • Keep track of other job-related expenses. In addition to fuel receipts, there are many other miscellaneous expenses incurred by truckers. Like CAT scale charges, meals, lodging, or anything else that you expect to be reimbursed for.
  • Hold on to your stamped Schedule 1, as it is required to be kept in your truck at all times. If you need help getting one, you can get one in 10 minutes or less at ExpressTruckTax.

There are a lot of records that must be kept as a truck driver or owner-operator and keeping them can be quite a hassle. If you’re tired of dealing with this hassle all by yourself, then we’ve got good news for you. TruckLogics let’s you track your mileage using ProMiles, upload pictures of fuel receipts into your TruckLogics account for safe keeping, and even use that information to complete quarterly IFTA filings. Sound convenient? That’s because it is.

And if you have any other questions about what records you need to keep, just give out trucking experts at TSNAmerica a call at 803.386.0320 and we’ll help you out. And did we mention that we can also help you with your BOC-3, IFTA, and 2290 filing? Yup, we do that too. So what are you waiting for? Give us a call!






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Friday, June 3, 2016

Get Ready for CVSA Roadcheck 2016!

That time of the year for truckers is fast approaching, and no I’m not talking about tax season -- well, not yet anyway. The dates for the 29th annual CVSA International Roadcheck are set, and the 72-hour program will begin on June 7, 2016, and run through June 9, 2016.

We know, it can be a pretty big hassle for truckers. But remember, it’s not just for the safety of four wheelers on the road, it’s for your safety, too. So keep reading and we’ll make sure you’re ready for anything the CVSA may throw your way this year.

What is the CVSA International Roadcheck?


International Roadcheck is a program aimed to educate both the trucking industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations. The inspections are performed by over 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial, and territorial inspectors in jurisdictions across the US, Mexico, and Canada.

The inspectors will administer the North American standard Level I inspection, which is an oddly thorough 37-step inspection that takes about an hour. During the inspection, drivers will be tested for seat belt usage as well as for the use of drugs or alcohol during vehicle operation.

Drivers also will need to provide their:

  • Driver’s License
  • Endorsements
  • Hours-of-Service Documentation
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (If Applicable)

The truck will also be inspected (obviously) which includes an examination of the vehicle’s:

Braking System, Coupling Devices, Driveline, Exhaust System, Fuel System, Frame, Lights, Safe Loading Ability, Steering Mechanism, Suspension, Tires, Van and Open-Top Trailer Bodies, Wheels & Rims, and Windshield Wipers.

2016 CVSA Roadcheck Point of Emphasis


Every year, the CVSA selects a special category of violations for both inspectors and drivers to focus on, and this year the emphasis is being placed on tire safety. Meaning they’ll be measuring your tire depth, checking the tire pressure, and examining the condition of the tires overall.

And if you’re wondering why exactly the CVSA decides to put you truckers through this mess, it’s because the International Roadcheck has been wildly successful since its inception in 1988. The Roadcheck has inspected over 1.4 million vehicles in its 28 years of operation, and those inspections have saved an estimated 300 lives and prevented nearly 6,000 accidents.

Not to mention that on average, having your truck put out of service by an inspector will cost you $861, and that doesn’t even include the cost of fines or repairs as a result of the inspection. So in save yourself some time and money by making sure you have all the proper documentation, and have taken all the proper precautionary measures to ensure that you pass inspection.

If you have any questions about the roadcheck, give us a call at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@TSNAmerica.com. Not only can we answer any questions you may have about International Roadcheck, but we also help with HVUT Form 2290, quarterly IFTA filings, and even your HazMat Certificate of Registration.
Read More »

Friday, May 27, 2016

Avoid Late Penalties and Pre-file Form 2290 Today With TSNAmerica

We know, we know… 2290 season doesn’t even start until July. Well, for most people that is.

But here at TSNAmerica, we do things a little differently, and 2290 season here is already underway!

That’s right, we’re offering pre-filing of your 2290’s right now so you can avoid those annoying penalties and late-filing fees down the road.

Why Should I Pre-file Form 2290?


Because then you don’t have to deal with annoying 2290s until next July!

And you’ll also get a lot of other benefits:

Even though you’re pre-filing, you aren’t pre-paying your taxes! That’s right, you won’t have to pay any taxes until July 1 if you choose to pay with Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW).

And if you choose to pay by check or money order, you'll have until August 31! That's over three full months to save up for your taxes.

Not to mention, you can still use the same three tax payment methods the IRS accepts: Direct Debit (EFW), EFTPS, and Check/Money Order.

Plus, pre-filing gives you more time (two months to be exact!) to amend your return if it gets rejected or if you make a simple filing mistake.

And your return will be at the very top of the stack when the IRS begins processing returns on July 1. Which means you’ll get your Stamped Schedule 1 before everyone else, too!


How Do I Pre-File Form 2290?


Just give your friends at TSNAmerica a call at 803.386.0320! Once you do, we’ll get all the information we need to pre-file your 2290 for you.

And then on July 1 once the IRS begins accepting 2016-17 returns, we’ll officially transmit your return for you.

And as soon as they accept it, we’ll email you your stamped Schedule 1 in minutes!

So stop waiting around and beat the crowd this year by pre-filing Form 2290 with TSNAmerica today!

Read More »

Friday, May 20, 2016

Warning: The HazMat Registration Deadline is June 30th!

We know you truckers have a lot to worry about right now with HVUT season looming over the horizon, but with all the hustle and bustle surrounding the upcoming HVUT and IFTA deadlines, a lot of folks forget that it’s time to renew your HazMat certificate of registration, too!

And just like filing your 2290, it’s not wise to wait until the last minute to register. Because let’s face it, no one likes dealing with fines and late penalties.

For those unfamiliar with the registration process or that need a slight refresher, we’ve got everything you need to know about HazMat registration.

Why Do I Need to Apply for a HazMat Registration Certificate?


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration requires anyone that offers transportation of shipments containing hazardous materials, including hazardous waste, to file a registration statement with the Department of Transportation in addition to paying an annual fee. This is required for the transport of any hazardous material requiring a US DOT placard, which includes oil, petroleum, and propane.

The HazMat Certificate registration period for the upcoming year began May 1, 2016, and runs until June 30, 2016.

How to Register to Carry Hazardous Materials


By calling us, of course! That’s right, just give us a quick call at 803.386.0320 and we’ll get you all taken care of.

And if you’re unsure which placards are required for your operation, we can help you determine what’s right for your business.


HazMat Recordkeeping Requirements


After obtaining the proper registration, it is necessary to follow PHMSA regulations, which require that registration be kept on file at a company’s place of business for three years and available for inspection at any time.

Every truck or tractor used in the transportation of hazardous materials is also required to keep a copy of the current registration on board.

HazMat Penalties


Penalties can be imposed on those that fail to register or to comply with recordkeeping requirements. If a roadside inspection or DOT audit shows that a truck is not properly registered, the owner of the truck faces:
  • Fines up to $32,000 per day of violation. 
  • The revocation of their interstate or intrastate operating authority. 

To avoid penalties, be sure that all of your trucks are properly registered today. To check on the registration status of any of your trucks you can visit the PHMSA company registration search.

If you need help with your HazMat registration, or even with your HazMat safety permit, give us a call at 803.386.0320, or fill out a service request form!
Read More »

Friday, May 13, 2016

Trucking Nation News Update

It’s been a while, but we’re finally back with more trucking news updates for you, Trucking Nation! You may not have realized it since you’ve been busy in your rig, but there’s a lot going on in the realm of trucking. Take a look and see!

IRS Adds 700 New Employees for Audits


The IRS has officially announced that it will be adding 700 employees to its audit personnel. Not great news for anyone that didn’t do their taxes correctly this year.

But even if you didn’t, don’t worry too much, because the IRS is currently only auditing about .84 percent of individual taxpayers, so less than 1 in 100 filers. Although since the IRS recently claimed that they were severely underfunded and would have to cut jobs, this announcement to up their audit force comes as quite the surprise. Although you truckers should know as well as anyone else, nothing the IRS does is really surprising anymore.

Form 2290 Season is Underway


“But wait, doesn’t 2290 season start in July??” Well yes, technically it does. But your friends at TSNAmerica are ahead of the game, as usual, and we’re starting things a little early this year. How early, you ask? Well here at TSNAmerica, 2290 season is already underway!

That’s right, we’ve already started accepting pre-filed Form 2290s for the 2016-17 tax year. So for those truckers that want to get their 2290 out of the way and forget about it until next July, just give us a call!

Diesel Prices Continue to Skyrocket


Diesel prices hit $2.27 per gallon on average last week, up from $1.98 in February, according to the Energy Information Administration. Costs are reportedly rising due to a growing demand for diesel in both the US and abroad, along with the globally rising oil prices.

Most carriers have been increasing fuel surcharges as costs rise, but so far many have not been able to keep up.

Hopefully this trend won’t be continuing much longer!

So now that you’re all up to date on the latest information in the trucking world, you can back to trucking! Well, after you call us at 803.386.0320 that is, and pre-file your 2290! Why wait until July when you could stop worrying about it today?
Read More »

Friday, May 6, 2016

Pre-file Your HVUT Form 2290 Over the Phone Today!

It may be hard to believe, but it’s already almost time for you to start filing those 2290's! If you’re currently thinking, “But wait, doesn’t 2290 season start in July?” then you would be correct -- kind of. Because this year, TSNAmerica is doing the unthinkable…

That’s right, we’re offering pre-filing of your 2290's now!

How Do I Pre-File Form 2290?


That’s easy -- just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and talk to one of our friendly support ladies for a few minutes. Once you do, we’ll get your truck information and everything we need to file your 2290 for you, and you can just sit back and relax.

On July 1, once the tax season officially opens up, we’ll officially transmit your return to the IRS for you. And as soon as they accept it, we’ll email you your stamped Schedule 1.

After that, you’re good to go until July of 2017!

What are the Benefits of Pre-filing Form 2290?


  • Pre-filing gives you more time (two month’s worth!) to amend your return if it gets rejected or if you make a tiny mistake.

  • Even though you’re pre-filing, it doesn’t mean you have to prepay your taxes! You won’t have to pay any taxes until July 1 if you choose to pay with Electronic Funds Withdrawal (EFW). And if you choose to pay by check or money order, you'll have until August 31! That's almost four full months to save up for your taxes.

  • You can still use the same three payment methods you’re used to: Direct Debit (EFW), EFTPS, and Check/Money Order.

  • Your return will be at the very top of the stack when the IRS begins processing returns on July 1. This means you’ll get your Stamped Schedule 1 before anyone else, too!

  • Then you can get back to your life! After you give us a call, we’ll take it from there. We will securely transmit your return to the IRS for you and then email you your Schedule 1.
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Stop worrying about those pesky 2290's today and don't think about it until next July by giving us a quick call today at 803.386.0320! 


Read More »

Friday, April 29, 2016

The End's Not Near It's Here: Last Minute IFTA Filing Tips

Well Trucking Nation, just like that, the IFTA quarter has come and gone, and your time to file is almost up! But don’t fret fellow procrastinator, we’re here to help truckers just like you.

So without further ado, let’s get onto some useful filing tips for those of you that like to file at the last minute!

IFTA Tip #1: Have Your Mileage Ready


The first (and also the most important) thing you’ll need is your mileage information on hand and organized. This should include the total taxable miles you traveled in each participating IFTA jurisdiction.

But what if you don’t know what taxable miles are??

That’s no problem, a lot of folks don’t! If you have any questions about your mileage, just check out this helpful blog on taxable and non-taxable IFTA miles.

IFTA Tip #2: Have Fuel Reports and Receipts


In addition to your mileage information, you’ll also need to be sure that you have all of your fuel information. You’ll need to have the:

  • Address of each fuel purchase 
  • Type of fuel purchased 
  • Amount of fuel purchased 
  • Total sale amount 

IFTA Tip #3: Don’t File IFTA (Yourself)


The third and most useful tip? Don’t file IFTA -- that is, by yourself anyway.

That’s right, if you need to file at the last minute, what’s easier than having someone do it for you? Exactly.

So if you’re in a crunch for time to get that IFTA report filed before the deadline on May 2nd, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and see just how easy it is!
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Friday, April 22, 2016

Warning: Make Sure You Have These 3 Things Ready for IFTA

Once again, the first quarter of the year has come and gone in a hurry, and now (believe it or not) we’re less than 10 days away from deadline day.

With only days left to get your reports together, if you haven’t already filed, congrats, you’re a professional procrastinator. But those are our favorite kind! So don’t worry, keep reading and we’ll tell you exactly what you need to file your IFTA return.

What You Need to File IFTA


Mileage:

The first (and also the most important) thing you’ll need to have is your mileage information. This should include the total taxable miles you traveled in each participating IFTA jurisdiction.

If you have any questions about your mileage, you can check out this helpful blog on which miles are taxable and which are not.

Fuel Information:


In addition to your mileage information, you’ll also need to be sure that you have all of your fuel information. You’ll need to have the:

  • Address of each fuel purchase 
  • Type of fuel purchased
  • Amount of fuel purchased 
  • Total sale amount

Records of Mileage and Fuel Purchases:

The last thing you’ll need, and this can be especially helpful in the event of an audit, is to have copies of your fuel receipts and your mileage records.

You are required by law to hold onto your previous receipts for three years after filing, and if you do face an audit, let’s just say it isn't going to end well unless you have those records.

Need some help keeping up with yours? Well with TruckLogics, not only can you get unlimited ProMiles usage and routing, but you can even take pictures of your fuel receipts and upload them into your account for safekeeping!

So now that you all know what you need, what are you waiting for? Someone to file your IFTA return for you?

Well, if you are, you’re in luck because that’s exactly what we do! Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and see how easy it is!
Read More »

Friday, April 15, 2016

How Safe is Your Truck From Cargo Thieves?

OK, so you’re the type of trucker that always plays it safe. You always lock your truck up when you’re going inside a truck stop for a bite to eat, you roll your windows up, and make sure your cargo in the back is safely secured and locked. 

But even if you do everything in your power to prevent something from happening, is your truck safe from cargo thieves?

The Growing Issue of Cargo Theft


Unfortunately, cargo theft is a growing problem throughout the US, and it’s one that isn’t slowing down. Just last year in the United States, cargo theft increased 30%, further proving that something needs to be done, and fast.

But the real question, what do we do to combat the issue?

Many think increased security will help cease the problem, as countries like the Netherlands and the UK have already implemented increased security, and in turn, have seen cargo theft decrease dramatically over the last few years. So maybe we need to start taking cargo theft as seriously as they do, before the problem becomes worse. 

But since you can’t really control the amount of security the US decides to allot towards cargo theft, there are a few things you can do yourself in order to keep yourself safe on the road.

How to Protect Yourself and Your Cargo


While there is no sure-fire way to thwart all cargo thieves, here are a couple preventative measures that will help keep both you, your truck, and your precious (or not-so-precious) cargo safe on the road:

Keep it moving: As common sense would tell you, cargo theft is significantly easier for thieves if you stop and leave your trailer unattended. Well, that is, unless you’ve got the crew from The Fast and the Furious coming after your cargo. So be sure to keep your truck moving and on the road as much as possible, and when you do stop, NEVER leave your trailer or cab unlocked or unattended.

Keep an eye on high-theft areas: Yeah, after all it is 2016 now, so you don’t have to look around and make an educated guess as to whether or not you think you’re in a safe area to stop or park for the night. Just do a little research; trust me, Google is your friend. Just look for states, cities, areas, and even truck stops that have a high rate of crime, and then avoid those places like the plague (if you can). And if that inevitable load comes and you do have to travel through an area you aren’t comfortable with, be on high alert.

So now that you know how to keep your cargo safe, don't forget that IFTA is coming soon. And do you know who does IFTA returns for truckers? WE DO! That’s right, no adding up miles and worrying about all those annoying calculations. Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and see how easy it is!

Read More »

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Shocking Truth About E-Logs: What They Don't Want You to Know

OK, so with all the recent (and not-so-recent) coverage on ELDs, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about them by now.

And you’re also probably well aware that these ELDs are set to become mandatory by 2017.

But there’s something you probably haven’t heard much about, and it’s because they don’t want you to know. What is it and who are they? Keep reading and we’ll explain.

What’s wrong with the new ELD mandate?


Well the main issue is that it violates your 4th amendment rights. Don’t believe me? Take a look.

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Yep, sounds like a violation to me, too. It’s pretty clear the e-logs don’t advance highway safety and also clearly violate your constitutional rights as an American.

What about driver harassment from e-logs?


Another worry from drivers is that they’ll be harassed by their carriers. Is that a valid complaint?

OOIDA sure thinks so, and that’s why they’ve been fighting the e-log mandate since it was announced, claiming that the law didn’t contain adequate safeguards to be sure that trucking companies are not going to be able to use these logs to harass their drivers.

So while we can’t say for certain if these logs are going to be used to harass you, there sure are a lotta folks out there that think they will be. 

And even if they aren't, they still violate your constitutional rights as both a trucker and an American. But hey, on a positive note, OOIDA was able to push back the last e-log mandate, so let's see if they can do it again!

And don’t forget Trucking Nation, IFTA is right around the corner and we can complete your IFTA return for you! That’s right, no adding up miles and worrying about all those annoying calculations. Just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and see how easy it is!
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Friday, April 1, 2016

What Are Non-Taxable and Exempt IFTA Miles?

Now that the IFTA first quarter has officially come and gone, it’s time to start getting those IFTA reports together. And when you’re doing those reports, figuring out which miles are taxable and which aren’t can be a daunting task.

So check out the guide below to non-taxable IFTA miles to see which of your miles are going to cost you and which miles you don’t need to report!

What Do I Need on my IFTA Report?


On your IFTA report, you will need to include the following information:

  • Total Miles- The total miles traveled in each jurisdiction for each fuel type
  • Total Taxable Miles- Total miles traveled in each jurisdiction minus the non-taxable miles
  • Total Gallons Consumed- Divide your total taxable mileage by your estimated mpg 
  • Total Gallons Purchased- Enter the total gallons purchased for all qualified motor vehicles
  • Net Taxable Gallons- The difference between net gallons consumed and net gallons purchased 

What Are Non-Taxable IFTA Miles?


So what are non-taxable IFTA miles exactly? Well, non-taxable miles are miles that you drove that do not need to be included on your IFTA report. Why do these miles not need to be included on your report? Take a look.

Do you use fuel permits at all when driving? Well if you do, any mileage driven while using fuel permits is not taxable. Now, you’ll still want to include any mileage driven in your total miles section, it just won’t be included in the taxable miles section for the jurisdiction where you purchased the permit.

But what about toll miles? Are toll miles taxable? Another good question, and one would think (incorrectly, that is) that toll miles wouldn’t be taxable, since you’re basically already paying taxes on those miles, right? Wrong. Even though you have to pay to drive on toll roads, the amount you pay doesn't go towards fuel taxes. Those fees are just paid in exchange for using a particular road. So make sure you're including all toll mileage in your taxable miles.

Some other states have other rules for specific areas, vehicles, or roads that are non-taxable areas, and remember, if a state doesn’t participate in IFTA, those miles are non-taxable, too!

So hopefully now you know exactly which miles you need to include as taxable on your IFTA report, and which miles you don’t. But if you have any other questions or are still a bit confused, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 and we’ll help you out. And don’t forget, we can file your IFTA reports for you!
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Friday, March 25, 2016

What is MATS?: All About the Mid-America Trucking Show

We’re officially less than a week away from MATS time, and you know what that means? You’ll be seeing us soon! That’s right, we’ll be heading up to see you all in Louisville at MATS once again this year.

But even though it’s one of the most popular events for truckers in the United States and we’ve been giving away FREE tickets, a lot of folks are still a little confused about what exactly MATS is. So take a look and we’ll go through all the fun, and we’ll even tell you how you can find us there!

What is MATS?


So MATS stands for the Mid-America Trucking Show, and the show is held every year in Louisville, Kentucky for truckers and enthusiasts everywhere to come join together in appreciation of this great industry.

What Can I Do at MATS?


I think the real question is, what can’t you do at MATS? Well, in all seriousness, there’s an awful lot you can’t do there, but let’s take a quick look at what all you can do at the 2016 edition of MATS.

The full weekend at MATS includes:

The MATS Fleet Forum

MATS hosts a Fleet Forum every year, which combines the experience and resources of the publications Fleet Owner and Heavy Duty Trucking. The forum is a conference for fleet execs and commercial vehicle industry VIPs to get an in-depth look at the future of equipment and trucking. 

MATS Seminars

In addition to the fleet forum, MATS also provides attendees with trucking seminars, providing “must-know” trucking information for companies, fleets, and trucking professionals. And the best part -- all of the seminars are free and require no advanced registration. So all you have to do is show up!

PKY Truck Beauty Championship

This year officially marks the 27th edition of the PKY Truck Beauty Championship, an annual show to find the most beautiful rig in the US. The show is officially the largest grouping of trucks in the country, as each tries to take home the crown of the nation’s premier truck beauty show. To find the truck show, just visit Lot “J” behind the West Wing!

Annual MATS Concert

Of course, it isn’t MATS without a concert, and this year is no different. Just like every year, MATS will be hosting a free concert on the first night of the event (Friday, March 31). This year, you’ll be able to check out Craig Morgan! If you need tickets, just check out the Exhibitor’s booth on Thursday evening or Friday morning to pick yours up!

Why Should I Go to MATS?


To come see us at booth #66121 of course! That’s right, the TSNAmerica team will be posted up in Louisville, Kentucky from March 31-April 2! But if seeing us isn’t enough to bring you there, hopefully all the fun we mentioned above will be. And if that still doesn’t do it, just give us a call at 803.386.0320, and we’ll even give you FREE tickets to come out and see us!
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Friday, March 18, 2016

IFTA: How to Get Ready for the End of the 1st Quarter

Well just like that, another IFTA quarter has come and gone, and it’s about ready to be put in the books (so to speak).

But the real question is, have you been keeping up with this quarter’s IFTA information correctly in your books?

If you haven’t been keeping track of anything other than the mileage you’ve driven in your log book, then the answer is probably not.

But don’t worry, your friends at TSNAmerica are here to save the day yet again, and we can help you get ready for the end of the 1st quarter. How? Keep reading and find out!

The IFTA 1st Quarter is Coming to a Close


If you'd like to avoid running around in a frenzied panic before the deadline like last quarter, you'll need to have all your information ready beforehand.

The first thing you'll need to have is an accurate breakdown of your mileage. This could be kept through log books, E-logs, or even with trip sheets.

The second thing you’ll need to have is your fuel receipts, and those receipts will need to have the following information:

  • Place/state of purchase
  • Address of purchase
  • Type of fuel
  • Amount of fuel 
  • Amount of sale 

Note: These do not have to be the original copies of your receipts, you can make your own copies! Although the original copies do need to be kept in a safe place in your records, just in case you do ever face an IFTA audit.

And if you aren’t sure of the best way to keep copies of your receipts, check out TruckLogics! With TruckLogics' trucking management program, you can easily upload pictures of your fuel receipts straight from your phone with their mobile application.

Sure sounds better than keeping a pile of wadded-up receipts on your dashboard, huh?


How Can I Get Someone to File my IFTA Return for Me?


Now there’s the million dollar question. Well, maybe not a million dollar question; we sure hope your IFTA taxes aren’t that much! But anyway, you get the gist -- it’s a great question. And the answer is easier than you might think. Just call us! That’s right, if you need an IFTA specialist to help you get your IFTA return taken care of, just give us a ring.

We’re just one ring away. Or maybe two -- but either way we’re pretty quick about picking up the phone. Try us and see!

All you’ll need to do is collect your mileage records and fuel records, then send them all over to us and we’ll get to work! Just give us a call today to get started or you can simply fill out our service request form.

So don’t let the end of the IFTA quarter get you down. Start getting your information together and give us a call at 803.386.0320! Sure beats doing it yourself, right?
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Friday, March 11, 2016

The 5 Best Apps for Truckers on the Road

Ever been waiting in your cab while getting your truck loaded or unloaded and thought, “man, I wish I had something to do?” Probably not, because you’re not the complaining type, but we both know that as a trucker there's a lot of down time during pickups and drop-offs. And that’s why today, we’ve got a list of the best apps to help you out as a trucker and to give you some entertainment on the road -- so take a look!

Download These for Some On-the-Road Entertainment


Streaming Apps

Yeah we know, just saying streaming apps is a little bit vague. But, it really all depends on your preferences. If you’re an avid sports fan, then the WatchESPN app is your new best friend, allowing you to watch live sporting events from around the globe for free. If you’re more of a movie watcher, HBO GO or Netflix might be for you. And if you’re a network TV kinda trucker, then Hulu might be your cup of tea. So no matter what you like to watch, there’s a streaming app just for you.

Skype

When you’re on the road for a living, it can be tough being so far away from your loved ones. But that’s the great thing about 2016, you can always speak to them face to face! Just download Skype (or FaceTime if you have an iPhone) and you can video chat with them anywhere you have an Internet connection. It may not be the same as being with them, but it’s definitely the next best thing!


Download These to Make Life as a Trucker a Little Easier


Trucker Path
Trucker Path is an app designed just for truckers, and they must be doing something right because they have over 300,000 active users a month. That’s right 300,000 truckers use this app every month! But anyway, the app has several different versions to provide different functions, and provides information on rest stops, real-time parking updates, and even a load/dispatch board for you to get some extra business!

RigMinders

With all the permits, registrations, and taxes you have to take care of to be a trucker, have you ever forgotten about something? Of course you have, because you’re human, and all that stuff can get pretty darn confusing, right? But that’s what RIgMinders is for, to remind you of any and every trucking registration, permit, or tax deadline you need to know about. Not to mention, you can even add in your maintenance scheduling for your truck and the app will remind you when your truck needs servicing!

TruckLogics

And while we’re still on the topic of apps built specifically for truck drivers, we felt we had to bring up TruckLogics. And unfortunately, many truckers out there aren’t aware of the fact that operating a truck is essentially owning your own business. And what better way to keep track of everything you need than a trucking management tool built to do exactly that! With TruckLogics, you can dispatch loads, create and send invoices, track your mileage and fuel purchases, and even find the most optimal route for your trip. And if this hasn’t already sold you, they also offer a free 30-day trial for new users.

So now you know all about the most useful apps for truckers on the road. Hopefully, we gave you an app to help with just about everything! And don’t forget that we can make your lives easier too, by taking care of your permits, registrations, taxes, operating authority, and anything else you can think of. So give us a call at 803.386.0320 and let us make your life a little easier!

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Friday, March 4, 2016

How to Obtain Your Operating Authority

You’re a trucker -- so whether you’ve been on the road for 30 years or you're a greenhorn that’s new to the industry, you get the treat of obtaining and maintaining your operating authority. Sure is a pain isn’t it? Yeah, we know, but that’s what we do here: take care of your operating authority so you can get back to trucking. Take a look and see what all you’ll need in order to obtain your authority and how we can help!

Obtain Your MC# 


This here is one of the first steps in obtaining your interstate operating authority, and this number is issued to interstate carriers by the FMCSA. Need an MC#? Give us a call or fill out a service request!

Obtain Your USDOT#

Now you're probably thinking to yourself, "Wait, I have to get another number!?" We know, it's a lot -- not only will you need to get your MC# to operate interstate, you’ll also have to get your USDOT# if:
  • You operate interstate (across state and international lines)
  • You transport passengers or cargo
  • Your vehicle has a total gross or combined weight of 10,000 lbs or more

If you meet all three of these criteria, you must register with the FMCSA and obtain a DOT#. Also please note that many states now also require carriers to have DOT#’s, especially those transporting hazardous materials.

File Your BOC-3


Even if you’re new to trucking, you’ve almost undoubtedly heard this term tossed around among your trucking brethren. But what does it mean? Well, BOC-3 stands for blanket of coverage, and it needs to be filed before your MC# can be activated. For this reason, many truckers choose to take care of both their MC# and BOC-3 filing at the same time. Although, it can get a little tricky to find someone that can do that,. Because in order to file your BOC-3 with the FMCSA, you need a FMCSA designated process agent. Any idea where you can find one of those? That’s right, we're one of those, and we can get it done for you the same day!

Register for IRP


The International Registration Plan is mandatory for all interstate carriers that weigh over 26,000 pounds or that have three or more axles. Once you register, you will receive an IRP license, and these licenses must be renewed every year. Although unfortunately for you, the deadlines vary from state to state, so if you’re confused about when yours is you'll need to give us a quick call!

Register for IFTA


IFTA, as most of you already know (or should know, anyway) stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement, and you have to register with IFTA if you operate interstate with a vehicle that weighs over 26,000 pounds or that has three or more axles. Once you register, you’ll get a license and decals for your truck, and you’ll need to renew those every year. And we do IFTA too, so come the end of the quarter, just send us over your mileage and fuel information and we’ll get you taken care of!

Pay Your HVUT


In addition to all of these other items, you’ll also need to pay some taxes. No surprise, right? Especially when you’re dealing with the federal government. So if your vehicle weights over 55,000 pounds and travels over 5,000 miles on public highways (7,500 for agricultural vehicles), you’ll need to pay this tax. To do so, the easiest way is to give us a call and let us do it for you. Think about it, would you rather deal with filling out and sending this form to the IRS yourself, or just give us a quick five-minute phone call? Yeah, we don’t blame you there. 

Familiarize Yourself With the New URS System


The Unified Registration System is a new fully-electronic system that was created to streamline the FMCSA’s current registration process. Instead of having to deal with countless registrations and licenses individually, this system aims to make the entire process easier. If you’d like to learn more, you can view our helpful post answering questions about the new URS system to see how exactly it works and when it will be fully implemented. Or, if that doesn't answer your question, you can always talk to us!

Sensing a bit of a trend here? Yeah, we really pride ourselves on making the lives of the truck drivers that keep our country moving a little easier. If you need any help obtaining any of the items above, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 or send us a service request! What are you waiting for?
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Friday, February 26, 2016

Trucking Nation News Update

We know it’s been a while, but try not to get too excited. That’s right, your friends at TSNAmerica
are back for the newest edition of the Trucking Nation News! Over the last couple of months, there's been an awful lot going on the the world of trucking, and we’re here to give you the inside scoop. Take a look and see what’s changed and how it will affect you!

Oregon Highway Speed Increases 


Currently, as many of you probably already know, Oregon law allows motorists to travel 65 mph on most rural stretches of highway, and trucks are only allowed to travel 55 mph. But, starting on March 1, a new law will be put into effect that will increase the speed limit on rural stretches of highway to 65 mph for trucks, and 70 mph for motorists. The law is expected to make the stretches of highway safer, as it cuts the speed gap between motorists and truckers in half. And hey, you'll be able to drop off your load a little quicker too!

Some CSA Scores Will Still Be Public


Now you may have already heard about CSA scores being hidden, but despite the FMCSA reports claiming that the new updated scoring system would end the constant updates to the publicly displayed score, individual BASIC categories are going to be publicly available again with the February update. So by March, the FMCSA expects carriers’ absolute measures to be returned to the site. So if you were banking on your company’s score from being hidden, you may want to think again!

Snow Free Vehicle Mandates


With the winter comes cold weather, snow, and ice. But did you know that you could get fined for not properly removing the ice remnants from your truck before you hit the road? That’s right, several states have already implemented a law on the subject, including:

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Michigan
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • Wisconsin

The penalties vary, but most range between $200 and $1,000 if the ice or snow causes any injury or death. So exercise caution, be sure to rid of your truck of excess ice or snow before hitting the road, and be on the lookout for flying ice from other truckers and motorists that didn’t clear theirs off!

*Note - This rule is only for snow or ice that has accumulated before driving. Injury or damage resulting from snow or ice that accumulates during the course of a trip is not punishable.

So you’re welcome Trucking Nation, now you can get back to trucking all informed and what not. And remember, it’s that time of the year, so if you need your BOC-3 filed, your MC#, or even a 2290 done for your new truck, just give us a call at 803.386.0320 or fill out a service request. We’ll do everything we can to get you back on the road legally in no time!
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Friday, February 19, 2016

What to Do in the Event of an IFTA Audit

Even though the IFTA 4th quarter has come and gone, don’t think you can put it in your rear-view mirror just yet. Even though you filed your return, paid the necessary fees, and even registered for your new license and stickers, unfortunately, there’s still the chance of an audit!

Now we know you’re a responsible trucker; you tracked your mileage properly, and kept all of your fuel receipts nice, neat, and organized. But what you may not know, is that even if you do everything right, there’s still a chance you're going to get audited. Each base jurisdiction is required to audit three percent of its filers, just to make sure that truckers across our nation are keeping their logs and receipts properly.

So what can you do if you’re one of the unfortunate truckers that gets audited?

Get Your IFTA Information Ready


The first step (and only step, really) in a routine audit is for the auditor to go through and verify all of the information on your return. So you’ll need to have the following information ready to go:

Basic Information About Your Vehicle: 


  • Driver’s Name and Signature
  • VIN (vehicle identification number) 
  • Trailer Number
  • Registrant’s Name 
  • Make, Model, and Gross Weight of the Vehicle 
Trip Log Information:


  • Beginning and End Dates of the Trip 
  • The Route(s) of travel 
  • The Origin Point and Destination Point of each Trip 
  • Odometer Readings Before and After Each Trip 
  • Total Trip Miles
  • Miles Traveled in Each IFTA Jurisdiction 
Fuel Record Information: 


  • Receipts for Each Purchase (Please note that copied or scanned receipts are not acceptable.)
  • Date of Each Purchase (If it’s not listed on the receipt) 
  • Seller’s Name and Address 
  • Price Per Gallon/Liter 
  • Fuel Type
So just make sure you have all of the following pieces of information together, and you'll have nothing to worry about in the event of an audit.

And if you think maybe you got audited because you threw your return together yourself at the last minute, then next time, try giving us a call at 803.386.0320 and letting us do it for you! But that's not all we do, we can also take care of your BOC-3 filing, trip and fuel permits, and even your MC#!
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Friday, February 12, 2016

What You Need to Know to File Your BOC-3

All the hustle and bustle that goes along with with your year-end renewals and 4th quarter IFTA returns has finally come and gone, but what’s next? Well, based on our phone conversations, for many of you it seems that you’re looking to get your BOC-3 filings taken care of.

And if you are, you’ve probably figured out the hard way that BOC-3 is no joke. But luckily for you, that’s what we’re here for—so as usual, keep reading, and we’ll go in detail about what exactly BOC-3 filing is and how you can get yours done today!

BOC-3 Filing


BOC stands for blanket of coverage, and is typically filed after you receive your MC# in order to obtain your interstate operating authority. The filing is submitted to the FMCSA, and is used to designate process agents in your state to serve as your legal representative. This process agent can then accept court papers and legal documents on behalf of your business.

How do I file my BOC-3?


There are a couple of different options for this, but don’t worry, we’ll go over both.

Option one is you file it yourself. To do this, first, you’ll need the contact information for an agent in your state, as well as their consent. And keep in mind, the agent has to reside in the state in which they are designated, and it also is a big help if they are a lawyer. But do you really want to deal with all that? Of course not. So let's get on to option two.

The second option is to have a processing agent file for you, but you’ll need to exercise caution when choosing one. Because no matter who your agent is, they need to be registered with the FMCSA as a BOC-3 blanket agent. What is a BOC-3 blanket agent? Great question, and glad you asked. You become a BOC-3 blanket agent once you have already leased the services of an agent in every state—quite a tall task to complete.

Now you’re probably wondering, “How would I go about finding one of these agents to do it for me?” Well look no further, because we’re BOC-3 certified! And that blanket agent thing? Yeah, we’ve got that covered too. So give us a call at 803.386.0320 and we can get your BOC-3 registration done in five minutes or less. And if you need your MC# we do that too, so you can get both done at the same time! Yeah, we’re all about convenience here at TSNAmerica—let us make your life a little bit easier today.

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Friday, February 5, 2016

Breaking News: 2016 IFTA Grace Period Announcement!

So you did everything you were supposed to, got your IFTA license application in before the December 31 deadline, paid your fees, and you’re just waiting on your new license and decals. But what now? Is it OK to drive before you receive your new decals and license?

While applications were due by December 31, as you know, it typically takes a few weeks to actually receive your new license and decals. This “grace period” was put into place in order to serve as the gap of time between new applications being submitted and new credentials being received.

2016 IFTA Grace Period


Without further ado, here is the official wording from the IFTA headquarters in Arizona on how the R655 Grace period works:

Carriers renewing their IFTA license and decals have a two-month grace period (January and February) to display the renewal IFTA license and decals. To operate in IFTA jurisdictions during this grace period, carriers must display either valid current or prior year IFTA license and decals from the jurisdiction in which they were operating or a valid single-trip permit from the IFTA jurisdiction in which they are operating.

So just to be clear, it is required for carriers to display at least one of the following items in order to legally travel in IFTA jurisdictions for the first couple months in 2016:

  • 1) A valid IFTA license for 2016 and two IFTA decals from a member jurisdiction
  • 2) A valid IFTA license for 2015 and two IFTA decals from a member jurisdiction (only if a renewal application has been filed) 
  • 3) A valid trip permit from a member jurisdiction (it must be from the member jurisdiction you are operating in)
For those of you that haven’t already applied for your 2016 IFTA license and decals, you’ll need to go with option number three, and purchase some temporary fuel permits. And just for your convenience, we know the perfect place to buy them—from us! If you want some more information on the subject, check out our previous post on how to obtain temporary trip and fuel permits.

So now you know everything there is about the IFTA Grace Period for 2016! If you have any questions, or need some help getting yourself and your rig road legal just give us a call! We’re available by phone at 803.386.0320 or you can fill our a service request!
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Friday, January 29, 2016

Interstate vs Intrastate Operating Authority: What's the Difference?

It never fails; every year around this time (and all the time, really) we get question after question asking, "What's the difference between intrastate and interstate authority?" Well friend, that’s a great question, and also probably the reason you’re reading this. So what exactly is the difference between the two?

Well, interstate, just like the term used to describe our cross-country roadways, means “existing or carried on between state lines.” So as you can piece together based on the definition, it means being able to drive your truck and haul loads across state lines. While intrastate, with the root word “intra,” means within; so it refers only to mileage driven within a particular state. Simple enough, right?

But if you are going to be driving across the country, or at least in multiple states (as most truckers do) then you’ll need to make sure the following items are taken care of prior to crossing state lines in your rig.

Apply for a USDOT#


Your USDOT# is issued by the FMCSA, and is used for vehicles that travel interstate, either to haul cargo or to transport passengers. You must have one if:

  • Your commercial vehicle weighs 10,001 pounds or more,
  • Transports 8 passengers or more for compensation, or 15 or more without comp.,
  • Transports Hazardous Materials, or 
  • If you travel in a state that requires a DOT#. 

Please note: This process will be done using the URS system for new applicants, and previous applicants will register using the new system as well starting on September 30, 2016. If you have any questions about the new URS system, take a look at our blog covering the most common questions about URS registration.

Apply for an MC#


Your MC# is what actually serves as your interstate authority, which gives you the ability to legally travel and haul loads between states. So yeah, it’s pretty important. But not so fast—don’t think that once you’ve got this you’re in the clear! You’ll still need to obtain another type of authority from the FMCSA depending on what type of business you have. If you’re unsure what type is right for you, just give us a call!

Register for UCR


UCR is another necessity for truckers traveling interstate, as the agreement requires all commercial vehicles travelling interstate and weighing at least 10,001 pounds to register for UCR annually. You’ll also have to pay the required fees based on the total number of vehicles you need to register.

Register for IRP


This is for vehicles that travel across multiple jurisdictions in the United States or in Canada and that weigh at least 26,000 pounds and/or have three or more axles. The fees for this particular registration depend on the mileage driven in each jurisdiction, and those fees are paid to the base jurisdiction where you are registered. It is then your base jurisdiction’s responsibility to apportion the funds to the correct jurisdictions based on your mileage.

Apply for an IFTA License and Decals


If you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you will have to apply for your IFTA license and decals with your base jurisdiction. Your fuel use and mileage traveled in each participating jurisdiction must be recorded, and then that information must be filed with your base jurisdiction.

Sound a little confusing? Well, we’re not going to lie, it most certainly is. But luckily for you, we can help you take care of every item on this list, and IFTA services are our specialty! So if you need someone to take the IFTA-filing burden off your plate this quarter, just give us a call and we’ll show you just how easy it really is!
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Friday, January 22, 2016

How to Obtain the Proper Permits: Trip, Fuel, HazMat, and More!

So you just got a call from your dispatcher, and now you’ve got to take a load somewhere you’ve never been. Somewhere far away, a magical place, filled with luscious fields and amber waves of grain. Sound familiar?

OK, so it’s probably not quite that glamorous. But what if you’re going somewhere you’ve never traveled before and you don’t have the proper authority? Well if you are, we can assure you it’s going to be the opposite of glamorous. That is, unless you enjoy paying fines to the government! But not to worry, we’ve got the perfect solution to keep you on the road legally, no matter where you're going or what type of load you’re hauling -- so take a look!


Temporary Trip Permit:


To travel anywhere interstate without your IRP credentials you’ll need to secure a temporary trip permit. These permits allow you to travel legally without having your IRP registration. Convenient, right? And just so you know, If you’re using one of these to travel, you’ll need to get it before you actually enter the jurisdiction -- so don’t wait until the last minute!

Temporary Fuel Permit:


So a trip permit allows you to travel without being registered under IRP, but what about IFTA!? Don’t worry, there’s a permit for that too. Just get a temporary fuel permit and you'll be able to travel interstate without registering under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). But just like with trip permits, you’ll want (and need) to have these taken care of and purchased before actually entering the jurisdiction.

Hunter’s Permit:


If you’re currently wondering what the heck a Hunter’s permit is, you may have also heard/seen it referred to as an Unladen Permit. These permits are used for leased owner operators that were forced to turn in their IRP plates and decals after the lease with their carrier is terminated.

HM Safety Permit:


Now that we’ve covered fuel and trip permits, what about those of you carrying loads with hazardous materials? Well, there’s a permit for that, too. Anyone carrying dangerous or hazardous substances (you know, like toxic, radioactive, or combustible materials) will need to renew this Hazardous Materials Safety Permit every two years (biennially).

PHMSA Permit:


In addition to the HazMat safety permit, HazMat carriers must also get a PHMSA permit, also known as a HazMat Certification of Registration. All carriers transporting hazardous materials must obtain this permit, and the exact type of permit you need depends on the specific material you’ll be transporting. This permit, however, has to be filed every year, and the registration year conveniently (or inconveniently, depending on how you see it) runs just like the HVUT tax year, from July 1-June 30 the following year. But unlike HVUT, and unfortunately for you, if you register mid year there is no prorated amount -- you’ll have to pay your registration in full.

Harvest Permit:


If you just finished your harvest and are going to start transporting heavier loads, then the harvest permit is for you! This permit allows you to temporarily increase your gross vehicle weight without having to do it permanently, saving you money if you’re only transporting heavier loads during harvest season -- hence the name!

Now that you know about all the different types of permits and what each is used for, how do you get one? Well that’s easy, with us of course! You can reach us at 803.386.0320 and we can hook you up with any one of the permits listed above; or, you can check out all of our permit services on our website!
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Friday, January 15, 2016

4 Ways to Prevent Back Pain on the Road

Ever been on the road and felt some discomfort in your back? Well of course you have, because when you’re driving for hours on end, back pain is pretty much inevitable. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to avoid back pain? And no, we don’t mean by taking four packs of Goody's powder or ibuprofen - we're talking about solving the problem at its roots! Take a look at our tips below on how you can eliminate back pain straight from the source.

Maximize Your Movement


Yeah duh, we know this seems kind of like a no brainer. But do you know why it’s so important to move around? Because your vertebrae is made up of lots of tiny bones, 33 to be exact. In between these bones is a special liquid, essentially acting as a lubricant to keep these bones functioning as they should. And do you know what happens when you don’t move around enough on a daily basis? Well this liquid doesn’t work like it’s supposed to, which can lead to intense back pain, and who wants to deal with back pain on the road?

So be sure that whenever you get the chance, whether it’s during a fuel up or while you’re dropping off a load, you get out of the truck and move around. It doesn’t have to be strenuous, just a 15-minute walk or some quick stretches can make all the difference.

Activate Your Core


Since you’re behind the wheel of a truck for hours on end, it can be hard to find a way to properly strengthen your core so that you have the proper muscular balance between your glutes, abs, and lower/upper back muscles. And no, we’re not saying you need to go lay down in the parking lot and do 600 crunches every morning. Instead, you can simply try doing more stretching, deep breathing, or some other quick and simple exercises that can help increase core strength.

Strengthen Your Glutes


Nope, even though you’re laughing at glutes, we’re not joking. Having weak glutes is actually one of the biggest causes of back pain since your they're are tasked with stabilizing your hips, which in turn has a direct affect on the position of your spine and neck. And unfortunately for truckers, sitting down for 10 hours a day doesn’t work the glutes much. But by focusing on improving glute strength, you will in turn stabilize your hips and pelvis, leading to better posture for your neck and back. It may sound simple, but trust us, it can make a world of difference when you spend long hours driving a rig.

Call Truck Services of North America


Wondering how giving us a call is going to solve your back pain? Well giving us a call and letting us do your 4th quarter IFTA return for you seems like it would probably do the trick, too. Don’t believe us? Give us a call at 803.386.0320, and see how easy IFTA can be when someone else handles it for you!
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Friday, January 8, 2016

What You Need to Know About the URS: URS FAQs

Hello there, Trucking Nation! At TSNAmerica we pride ourselves on covering the hottest topics in trucking, and boy do we have a hot one for you todayURS! That’s right, we’re going to go through and answer some of the most commonly asked questions truckers have been asking us about the new system.

What is the URS?


URS stands for Unified Registration System and is a new electronic registration system put in place to streamline the FMCSA’s current process for registration. The system will also conveniently provide a database of information on all companies regulated by the FMCSA.

Does the URS apply to me?


Well, if you’re an interstate motor carrier, then yes, it absolutely does. All motor carriers that travel interstate, including freight forwarders, brokers, etc. must comply with the new guidelines set by the URS.


When do I have to comply with this new system?


There are several different implementation dates and rules for the new system:

  • As of December 12, 2015, all new applicants applying for a USDOT number must use the new online application system.
  • Starting September 30, 2016, both new and existing applicants must use the new online system to process new applications. The FMCSA has already stated that they will not be accepting paper forms or faxes! 
  • Starting December 2016, all private and exempt carriers will officially be required to have BOC-3 filings and insurance in place. All new applicants applying for a USDOT number will have to begin providing that information on Sept. 30, 2016. 

What is the benefit of URS?


The ideal benefit of the new system will be the streamlined manual processes, as the system combines several forms that companies are required to submit into the same registration process. The FMCSA has even estimated that the trucking industry as a whole could see up to $9 million over a ten year period just from time and fees saved alone.

The FMCSA also stated that 16 percent of new registrations are currently submitted by paper. So please note that for those without internet access or that aren’t fans of using computers, the FMCSA recommends that you use a processing agency. And how convenient for you, because that’s exactly what we do!

Now we know it’s an entirely new system and it’s going to require some getting used to, but if you have any questions about it you know who to call! Just give us a ring at 803.386.0320 or email us at support@tsnamerica.com and we’ll be happy to answer any URS-related questions you can throw our way!
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Friday, January 1, 2016

3 Ways for Truckers to Start off the New Year Right

Happy New Year’s to everyone out there from us here at TSNAmerica! It’s officially 2016, which means it’s time to put 2015 on the back burner. Our resolution here at TSNAmerica is for you truckers to have the best 2016 possible. No seriously, that’s our resolution. Don’t believe us? Well we’ve got three helpful little tips that say otherwise—so take a look.

Spend Time With Friends, Family, and Other Loved Ones


This one seems pretty self-explanatory, but there’s a reason it’s number one on our list. Because what’s a better way to start 2016 than spending it with the people you care about most? It doesn’t matter where you spend it, as long as you’re ringing in the new year with people you love, it’s bound to be fun, special, and most of all—memorable.

And for you truckers on the road, there’s always FaceTime and Skype, so even if you aren’t at home, there’s always a way to be close to those you care about.

Remember to Have Your End-of-Year Renewals Taken Care of


Like we’ve mentioned previously, as of today, both IFTA and UCR renewals are required to be taken care of. If you just had a slight panic attack because we just reminded you that you didn’t get yours renewed, then give us a call and let us handle it! After all, that’s what we’re here for.

Oh and another friendly reminder that the 4th quarter for IFTA has ended, and that means you’ve got until the end of the month to get your returns filed. But, if you send us your mileage records, fuel records, and fuel receipts, we’ll take care of that for you, too!

Stay Prepared for the Year Ahead


There are numerous ways you can prepare yourself for the year ahead, but we’ve got the best one in 2016 for truckers. If you’ve got a smartphone, (and we know you do, it’s 2016) then head on over to either the App Store or the Google Play store and download Rigminders today for free! It’s truly a one-of-a-kind app and it’s built specifically for truckers. Just plug in some truck information, and Rigminders will send you customizable notifications anytime there is an upcoming truck deadline (HVUT, IFTA, UCR, BOC-3, etc.) and even send you reminders when your truck has scheduled maintenance. Trust us, it’s as convenient as it sounds. But don’t take our word for it, download it and see for yourself!
Well, hopefully you take our advice and take advantage of these three tips, and if you do, we’re sure they’ll help get you on track for a great year. Happy New Year’s from us here at Truck Services of North America, and have a happy and healthy 2016!
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