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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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