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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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