Monday, January 22, 2018

Don't Drive Like A Trucking Rookie

Truck drivers deserve a lot of respect, but it’s not just because they carry keys to a big rig around. You quickly notice that the truckers who know what they’re doing have the most respect. It’s the super truckers with decades of driving experience under their belts.

Even guys who have been on the road for about three years can look like rookies to seasoned professionals. If you want the ultimate respect, then you have to earn it by gaining real experience and by not making rookie mistakes. Check out our tips on how to avoid looking like a trucking rookie.

Don't Drive Like A Trucking Rookie

Don’t Drive Distracted

One important thing to do is avoid driving distracted. Respectable drivers take safety for themselves and all other people on the road incredibly seriously. If you’re holding a phone, typing something in or your GPS, or reading a book, then your eyes aren’t on the road.

Type in your destination before you get rolling and use a Bluetooth device to make your phone hands free. If you can’t resist using your phone put it in your glove box while you drive or consider switching to a less time demanding profession.

Research Directions

These days rookies are using their iPhones to get directions, which can lead to problems because those routes aren’t specifically for trucks. They can lead drivers through crowded downtown areas and through rush hour traffic.

Use a GPS and a trucking software like ProMiles to plan your best route, then don’t follow it blindly. Use google maps to make sure it isn’t taking you through a crowded city. Plus, you can use the satellite images to look at the shipping facility to learn where to go and avoid circling it 5 to 6 times.

Take Responsibility

Guys who aren’t respected are the ones who blame everyone and everything else for their own actions. Know your own limits and don’t drive past them. If you’re tired that’s the equivalent to driving drunk. Never drive past your HOS and take brakes if you need to.

Also, represent yourself well. That means presenting yourself well by wearing jeans and a nicer shirt like a button-down or a polo. There’s no need to wear pajama pants and slides all the time.

Speak to other drivers and all members of the trucking industry with respect. Don’t curse and avoid speaking with profanity. Everything will come back on your record as you build your trucking reputation.

Think About Your Actions

You can't just drive a semi in autopilot mode. You have to be aware of your actions and surroundings at all times. If you make mistakes like failing to use your turn signal it could really end up costing you. Be sure to be conscious and courteous of traffic around you.

Also, go the speed limit. We understand that driving faster to get more miles can help your bottom line, but slowing down is more fuel-efficient. Plus, you don’t want to deal with a cop who pulls you for speeding.

Take your time while turning to make sure you have enough room to avoid hitting objects or other vehicles. Hitting or running over curbs can weaken your tires, making it easier for them to blow.

When it comes to backing up take your time. This can be tricky to master, but you’ll get more respect for taking your time than rushing and hitting something. When in doubt or if you cant see remember GOAT. Get Out And Look! Never nose in, it's a huge rookie mistake that makes it difficult to back out.

If you have rookie driving mistakes to avoid please add them to the comment section below and Visit TSNAmerica for more trucking blogs.

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Trucking Is The Most Dangerous Industry

It’s no secret that the road is an incredibly dangerous place. Not only for truckers but for all drivers. We’re tired of hearing about our nation’s truckers making early trips to the golden highway, but unfortunately, truck driving to the most dangerous profession in the nation.

The government’s workplace fatality census reported that truck driving is the most dangerous job, so we’re hoping to help improve conditions by spreading information on the dangers included with the trucking occupation.

The Dangers Of Trucking

Driving Distracted

You know what’s pretty entraining? Our Smartphones. In fact, they’re so much fun that some drivers can’t resist playing on them while on the road. When they are tweeting, taking pictures, posting updates, and more behind the wheel their eyes aren’t on the road, creating extremely dangerous situations.

Be sure to put your phone down or keep it in your pocket until you’re safely parked. To make or answer calls while driving, use a hands-free device. Also, other causes of distracted driving include reading, applying makeup, fixing your hair, eating, rubbernecking, messing with your radio or navigation system, and more.

Driving While Exhausted

Trucking can really tire people out, so make sure you get enough rest. Driving tired is the equivalent of driving drunk. Your reaction time, judgment and vision become impaired. Driving tired can also decrease performance and vigilance while increasing aggression. Be sure to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night and take naps if you get tired.

Sometimes drivers have sleep apnea, the silent killer, without even knowing it. If you wake up with headaches, feeling exhausted, confused, or out of breath considered getting screened for sleep apnea. Correcting this issue could greatly improve your quality of life. You can actually take a quick, free, sleep apnea test online with Aeroflow.

Having An Unhealthy Lifestyle

Truck stops can have some strange sites sometimes. Including drivers who look like they’re popping out of their jeans like a can of biscuits. This is because you can gain weight so rapidly in the trucking industry that you quickly grow out of your clothes before you notice. Having a poor diet and lack of exercise can really put your health at risk.

Obesity leads to conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, heart disease, sleep apnea, and more. However, you don’t have to give into an unhealthy trucking lifestyle.

For example, you can find healthier food options on the road by opting for grilled chicken salads or salmon with nutritious snacks like boiled eggs or nuts. Fast food options even have all sorts of fresh wraps and fruit. Also, get rid of soda for green tea options and black coffee.

Then don’t let sitting too much become the death of you. Try to move around whenever you can. Take extra laps around your truck or around the truck. You can also take a few free weights and resistant bans in your rig to squeeze in a few calorie-burning workouts here and there.

Stay Safe!

We wish we were reporting on happier news, but trucker safety is incredibly important. The best way to educate people is by spreading awareness. However, we’re happy to announce that the rate of trucker fatalities is decreasing annually.

By teaming up in the trucking industry to practice safer driving and healthier habits the mortality rate will decrease even more! Please visit TSNAmerica for more trucking blogs and share your safety tips in the comment section below.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

The 4th Quarter IFTA Deadline is Almost Here

Hey, trucking nation! We hope you’re staying safe and warm out there. This winter has been one for the books so far. However, while navigating your trips around harsh winter storms don’t forget that tax season is here!

You know what's even harder than staying warm? Explaining to the IRS why you missed important tax deadlines! That’s why you shouldn’t let the 4th quarter IFTA deadline on January 31st sneak up on you.

The 4th Quarter IFTA Deadline is Almost Here

Because the 4th quarter IFTA due date is less than a month away, we’re here to help you prepare to file. In case you need a little refreshing, IFTA is the International Fuel Tax Agreement that was put in place by the 48 contiguous United States and 10 Canadian provinces.

The purpose of IFTA was to simplify the reporting of fuel use by qualified motor vehicles traveling between two or more jurisdictions. The taxes collected are equally redistributed among each participating jurisdiction.

Your vehicle qualifies for IFTA if it:

  • Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds
  • Has two axles and a registered gross weight of 26,000 pounds 
  • Has three or more axles regardless of weight 
  • Or has a combination weight exceeding 26,000 pounds. 
To comply with IFTA you will need to apply for your IFTA license with your jurisdiction or state where your vehicle is registered. Then keep it in your cab at all times. You will also receive two IFTA decals that you will need to keep on your driver’s side door. Plus, you have to file your IFTA return four times a year.

The following information is required to complete your IFTA return:

  • Total miles traveled per jurisdiction 
  • Total gallons of fuel consumed per jurisdiction 
  • Total tax paid gallons of fuel purchased per jurisdiction 
  • And the current tax rate per jurisdiction. 
If you fail to file your IFTA return you will have some expensive IFTA penalties to deal with. For example, if you don’t file by the deadline you will face a penalty of $50 or 10% of the total fuel tax you owe, depending on which amount is more.

On top of that, you will face a monthly penalty of .4167% of the total amount of IFTA tax you owe until you pay the amount in full. Your base jurisdiction also reserves the right to impose their own penalties and revoke your IFTA license and we know you don’t want that!

ExpressIFTA Is Your IFTA Reporting Solution

At TSNAmerica we have your back to help you easily prepare your IFTA report to file by the deadline. Simply check out our sister, ExpressIFTA to easily import and track all the information you need to complete your IFTA return online in one convenient location.

The process is quick and easy! You can import all of your data at once with the bulk upload feature or even directly upload all of your mileage information right from your GPS. However, you can also keep detailed trip sheet entries. ExpressIFTA lets you handle your reporting at your own pace.

Then at the end of each quarter, all of your totals will be automatically calculated in an easy to read IFTA report. Your IFTA report can be downloaded, printed, emailed, and used to instantly complete your return!

Visit ExpressIFTA for more information.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Winter Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry

What a winter we’re having. It’s really started off with a bang, causing record-breaking freezes all over the nation. New York has been below freezing for days and snow is seriously pounding the east coast. Even Georgia is getting iced over.

You have to be careful out there trucking through these serious winter conditions and we hope you’re able to stay safe and warm. You never know what to really expect from mother nature may throw at you, so make sure you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.

Winter Emergency Equipment Truckers Should Carry

It’s extremely important to have extra clothes with you to stay warm and dry, especially during the winter. You will need an extra coat, hat, socks, and gloves. Make sure that these items are waterproof and functional so you’ll be able to make repairs with your gear on.

You will also want a lightweight jacket, sweaters, and a heavier insulated coat. This will give you the ability to wear layers so you will be able to stay warmer. You will also be able to remove layers if you feel too hot.

Last but not least, while packing extra clothes, don’t forget about extra underwear. It will really come in handy if you get stuck somewhere for a few days.

Make sure you have enough blankets. You could even carry an electric one with you to stay extra warm. A hot and dry place to sleep could make a major difference after a long day.

Make sure you’re prepared with enough food and water if you get stuck somewhere for a few days. Take non-perishable foods like canned items and beef jerky. Just don’t forget the can opener.

Also, carry matches or a lighter to create a fire if you need to, but have a fire extinguisher to put out unwanted flames. Another great safety tool to have is a multi-purpose utility knife with a seatbelt cutter and point to break glass.

Remember to have a good first aid kit on hand as well. It should have antibacterial ointment, bandages, scissors, band-aids, and baby wipes. You could keep some aspirin for emergencies too.

No one likes o be without their electronics, especially during an emergency. That’s why you should have extra batteries for your phone, flashlight, and more. You should also have a hand crank radio and solar-powered chargers for your favorite devices.

If you have things you can’t go a day without like daily medication or coffee, be sure to take an extra amount with you during your trip so you won’t run out during an emergency. Plus, daily hygiene items to keep you looking and smelling fresh are great to have.

Winter is dark so if you get in an accident chances are that visibility will be low and other drivers won't be able to see you. That’s why you need to turn your flashers on and you should have flares to put out if necessary.

Stay Safe And Warm

Thanks again for all of your hard work trucking through snow, ice, and frigid temperatures. We hope you will be able to stay safe and warm, but please be prepared in case an emergency happens.

Please share your winter safety tips in the comment section below and visit for more trucking blogs. 
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