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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

How To Be A Trucking Father On The Road

Some people call me a truck driver the most important call me dad

Happy Father's Day 2019!


Father’s Day 2019 is this weekend and in honor of the amazing trucking father’s we all know, Truck Services of North America (TSNAmerica) is giving you our own outline of how you can be a trucking father on the road. There are a lot of books, podcasts, YouTube videos and more than try and give us the blueprint to parenthood and the truth is there is no blueprint.

With that being said, being a transportation professional with a family is a big task. Although you are on the road in order to provide for your family you are also sacrificing seeing some of their biggest moments. You miss out on first visits from the tooth fairy, first steps, and even first heartbreaks when you are a trucking father. These are the moments that impact your child’s childhood and impact your fatherhood.

Create a Schedule for Your Children Passengers

Since most traditional schools have already started their summer break what better time than now to take your child on the road with you. If your child attends a year-round school you can use their breaks as your chance to have them on the road with you.

Depending on the company you drive for you may have the privilege to bring your family on the road. Not only will you have the opportunity to provide for your children, but you will also be able to give them an experience of a lifetime as you travel from state to state.

Truck to Inspire

What makes the opportunity to truck with your family such an experience of a lifetime is because a lot of children never make it out of their own state until they are adults. By doing this you can teach them not only about your day to day occupation, but that the world is their stage and they don’t have to be constrained.

Be a Protective Trucking Father

Trucking Father and son shaving in the bathroomThe golden rule of taking your child with you on the road is considering their safety, at all times.

Odds are your children passengers will be around some pretty dangerous equipment and material. Making sure that you know what they are doing and where they are may seem overbearing, but remember it is better to be safe than sorry.

This goes for in the cab, as well as when you are making pit stops.

It is easy to say ‘that could never be my child’, but what if it could be. Having your family around as a transportation professional can make you seem like a vulnerable target so be watchful of not only your family but your cargo as well.

Create a Healthy Work-Life Balance

Finding what works best for your family is essential when establishing a healthy work-life balance. Work-life balance is difficult for a lot of parents, but as a trucking father, you will likely find it frustrating. We want all transportation professionals to live healthy lives and the key to a healthy life on the road is an even healthier support team at home. Happy Father’s Day 2019 to all of our trucking fathers who keep America moving. Your sacrifices never go unnoticed by TSNAmerica.




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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Dash Cam for Your Needs

Man in denim shirt weighs the pros and cons of a dash camOver the last few years dashboard cameras (dash cams) have become the must-have accessory for road voyagers. Next, to artificial intelligence, this new device has some hefty pros and cons. If you’re considering getting a dash cam for your next long-haul we have made a list of things for you to think about. Before you press record or invest in a dashcam we want you to make sure it’s the right thing for your truck.

The technology that is dash cameras can come in handy and can also lead to tragedy. Knowing the ends and outs of the specific camera you purchase is the most beneficial way to be sure it is right for you and the long-hauls you’ll be making. Hopefully, these basic pros and cons will give you an idea of what to expect from truckers new favorite things.

Pros

There are some obvious pros to dash cams that are changing the game for truckers and one of those would be that it prevents staged accidents. Often times passenger vehicles blame large trucks for accidents that just never happened. It’s easy to play the blame game when there are no witnesses or proof. Statistics say that of the car-truck crashes approximately 80 percent of them were at the fault of passenger vehicles. This number may be increased as more dash cams are installed. Dash cams can save you from a rise in insurance and keep you from being blamed for a staged accident.

Other Pros of Dashcams Include the Following:

Improve Driving Skills

CDL instructors and company freight trainers are beginning to use dashcams to train new drivers and help prevent common mistakes. Dash cams are becoming a new method of learning and are creating a culture of safety on the road. Some dash cams can even store information technology that may assist in the training process. CDL training is slowly improving with the help of gadgets like dash cameras.

Document Your Trip

Being away from family on long-hauls can be extremely tough, but once you come home watching the footage from the dashcam will give you a chance to bond with loved ones.

Prevents Theft

Cargo theft can cost you thousands, but with the use of a dash cam, you can capture the culprits and possibly retrieve the stolen cargo.

Cons

The cons of dash cams are a little lighter than the pros, but there are a few things that should be considered.

Driving Distraction

Dash cams can easily be a distraction. Technology has a mind of its own and while you’re driving something may happen and you feel the urge to fiddle. The combination of fiddling with one hand and using the other to operate a 55,000-pound truck may not end the best way.

Rule Breaking

There are some states where recording without consent is illegal. You may be arrested, charged, or even fined, so making sure you are aware of the laws of each state line you cross will save you from facing some heavy consequences.

The Best of The Best

Here is a list of five to performing and highly rated dashboard cameras truckers across the world are investing in. *In no particular order

  • WheelWitness HD PRO Dash Cam with GPS
  • Garmin Dash Cam 35
  • ITRUE X6D Dual Car Dash Cam pro
  • OldShark 3” FHD 1080P 170 Degree Wide Angle Dashboard Camera
  • KDLINKS X1 Full-HD 1920 x 1080 165 Degree Wide Angle Dashboard Camera


There are a few features your next dash cam should have that we encourage truckers to use as a checklist.

  • Dual Cameras
  • Light and Dark Recording Option
  • Variety of Range
  • Storage Option - Information Technology
  • G-Sensor
  • GPS


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Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Do You Need To File a Form 8849?


If you’re new to trucking the numbers used for necessary forms may be a bit overwhelming. There’s 2290s, 8849s, 4868s, 1099s, and 123s, we might be exaggerating with the 123s, but you get the gist, it’s a lot of forms and a lot of numbers to remember. We won’t bore you and got through each form 1 by 1, but we will tell you about the two most relevant ones for this filing period.

What is Form 2290?

The form that you have probably heard the most about, as of late is Form 2290. So what is Form 2290, and how does it relate to you, if at all.

Form 2290 is used to figure and pay the tax due on highway motor vehicles used. Your next question
File
is probably does it even apply to you, and the answer is it might. All vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more that travel by highway is required to file a Form 2290.

After paying taxes you will be given a Stamped Schedule 1 that serves as proof of payment from the IRS. This document is important, as it is needed in order to register your commercial vehicle.

Do You Need to File Form 8849?

There are exemptions and claim suspensions that apply to some vehicles meeting certain requirements. The requirements are as follows:

  • The vehicle used 5,000 highway miles or less during the period. 
  • The vehicle is an agricultural vehicle and used 7,500 miles or less during the period.
  • The Vehicle was stolen during the period
  • The vehicle was destroyed during the period
  • The vehicle was sold during the period 

The above list leads us to the importance of Form 8849. If any of the above are true about a vehicle you owned then you must first file a Form 2290 and pay the correct amount of Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT) and then complete the Form 8849.

Claims and Refunds

In order to claim credits or refunds for vehicles stolen, destroyed, sold, or only used for 5,000 miles or less and 7,500 miles or less for agricultural vehicles, the Form 8849 is required. The things you’ll need to file a Form 8849 are your name, address, details on the vehicle you are seeking a claim/refund for and your Employee Identification Number (EIN). Be sure to double check that the EIN you are using is consistent with what the IRS has on file. 

*If an EIN is needed you are able to apply for one online with the IRS.

File With Truck Services of North America

TSNA Pre-FileTruck Services of North America (TSNA) is offering pre-filing! File as early as today, with one phone call. Support team members are standing by to assist you with all of your Form 2290 needs.

File With ExpressTruckTax

The great thing about our sister company, ExpressTruckTax is that it makes all of your Form 2290 filing simpler. It even gives you a chance to auto generate a Form 8849 if you are in need of one for the current filing period.
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Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should File With TSNAmerica


Form 2290TSNAmerica is now offering Form 2290 filing for truckers who have a vehicle with more than 55,000 pounds in gross weight. TSNAmerica users have the opportunity to score additional benefits by filing prior to the start date of the Form 2290 filing. Listed are ways that TSNAmerica can be beneficial to you.

Right Your Wrongs: By filing earlier you can avoid costly mistakes. Prefiling with TSNA gives users a chance to amend the return in case it is rejected due to mistakes. Truck services of North America offers 2290 amendments.

Error Check: Prior to submission of your Form 2290 there is an instant error check ran to look for any errors located that may cause for rejection from the IRS.

File Now, Pay Later: Just because you are filing earlier, doesn’t mean you are required to pay any earlier than you normally would. There is also no extra charge applied for filing earlier, making it a top-rated value. File as early as today and have up to three months to save before paying your taxes.

Never Miss A Deadline: It is too easy to forget deadlines, but as a courtesy to all clients, TSNA sends reminders of important dates through email. Helping you to avoid late fees and additional penalties.

Quick And Easy: TSNA makes sure you receive your Stamped Schedule 1 within minutes. Eliminating the need to wait to renew your vehicle at the registration office.

Short Wait Time: Avoid the hassle of long lines over the phone and in the office. When you pre-file you eliminate the chance of having to listen to hold music As the deadline approaches hold times can get longer and longer. You can beat the rush easily when you opt-in to pre-file.

Paper Free: TSNAmerica prepares your paperwork so you won’t have to. With one phone call, you can wipe your hands of Form 2290 stresses, until July. Making this method the easiest way to file.

Multiple Ways To Pay: There’s no difference between what the IRS accepts and the methods of payment TSNAmerica accepts. You can use EFTPS, Direct Debit, Check/ Money Order.

Client Support: Although the process of filing is quick and easy, TSNAmerica’s US-based bilingual support team is available to answer any questions you may have regarding your Form 2290

Top Security: Filing with TSNAmerica is a secure process. Your information will be protected by the latest data encryption.


Call TSNAmerica at (803) 386 0320 to reach a support team member and file your Form 2290 today. Take the time to have the following items on hand to make filing as quick and easy as possible.
  • Business name & address
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)
  • VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
  • Gross Taxable Weight
  • Authorized Signatory Details
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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Try These Methods To Increase Your Salary This Year

Salary Increase
It is always a good thing to be grateful for what you have, but it is also wise to be mindful that you can make more. Maximizing your career as a truck driver is easier said than done, but with determination you can make it happen.

There are a number of avenues that can be chosen to make a significant increase in your salary. We want to see you thrive in your career, so we are giving you a bit of insight on how exactly you can make the trucking industry work for you.

Add Some CDL Endorsements

Passing the CDL exam is a huge accomplishment and if you've made it past that step it certainly deserves a pat on the back. There are however certain things your CDL can’t do for you.

By adding extra permissions to your CDL you will be allowed to carry loads the CDL alone won’t permit you to. Having additional endorsements will give you a competitive advantage over other drivers, allowing you to have an opportunity to choose between loads that generally pay more. Getting your HazMat endorsement or Tanker vehicle endorsement will help in increasing your salary.

Gain Additional Experience

There are a few things truckers are required to have knowledge of, but a lot of times that knowledge only comes by experience. Experience is one of the most important criteria for truckers to have in order to get a competitive salary. Experience takes time, and getting to the point where you are making the big bucks requires a bit of patience.

It is proven that drivers with 5 to 8 years of experience earn anywhere between $50,000 and $70,000, including benefits. In comparison to inexperienced drivers, who make an average of $18 per hour, experienced drivers can make up to $50 per hour. Talk about a major difference.

Commercial Driving 101 Reputation Goes A Long Way

We’ve all been taught that reputation goes a long way and in the trucking industry it is no different. With a clean performance record truckers are presented with better driving opportunities that lead to better pay.

Companies are interested in protecting their reputation and hiring someone whose reputation coincides with that is ideal. Having a good reputation isn’t up to anyone else, but you. The money is out there, you just have to work hard for it.

Get With The Times

By improving your IT knowledge you are already more sought after than drivers with tons of experience, who still choose to use paper logging methods. Anyone who refuses to adapt to the modern age we are currently in are slowly being weaseled out. By being up on the latest IT trends you are now a more valuable asset to the industry. This makes your time more valuable to the company you’re with.

It is not possible to dodge hard work on your way up the industry ladder. In order to get paid more, you are going to have to do a lot more than ask for a raise. There are large salaries available in the trucking industry, it just requires people with a certain type of caliber to access them.



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Wednesday, April 3, 2019

You Qualify For An Extension From The IRS

Form 4868April 15th is approaching us fast. For some, it’s only Tax Day and for those who have a lot on their plate and too much to wrap up, it's the deadline to file Form 4868. It may not seem like it, but the IRS is somewhat reasonable. They realize you could have possibly misplaced important documents and need more time, unexpected life events happen, and time can simply just slip away. This is why they have created Form 4868.

The Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S Individual Income Tax Return, better known as Form 4868 extends the deadline of the income tax return as far as six-months (October 15, 2019).

The 3 Ways To Request A Form 4868

  1. Pay Electronically: When you choose this method you don’t need to file Form 4868. By making a payment the IRS will automatically process an extension of time to file when you pay part or all of your estimated income tax electronically. This can be done online or over the phone. 
  2. E-File: When you e-file you can do it on your personal computer or through a tax professional. Be sure to have a copy of your previous tax return. This information will be needed for verification. At this time you can choose whether or not to make a payment online, or send it in via postal mail.
  3. Paper Filing: With paper filing, all you will need to do is fill out a paper Form 4868. You can choose to send it into the IRS in two ways. The first way is through the mail and the other would be through a private delivery service. Be mindful that if you are a fiscal year taxpayer, you must file a paper Form 4868.


Form Sections


Form 4868 is broken down into two parts. The first being identification and the final part is where you’ll plug in all tax information.

Part I - Identification
This is the section where your name(s) will go. If you are filing a joint return you must list the names of both spouses, in the order that they appear on the return. Mailing addresses, Social Security number (SSN), and employer identification number (EIN) are also fields included in this section.

Part II - Individual Income Tax
In this section is where you’ll be filling out the estimate of total tax liability, be sure to be as accurate as possible. Total payments, balance due, and the amount you’ll be paying will also need to be inserted here. Have these important pieces of information on hand for quick filing.

Deadline Extended

Did you know that filing an extension doesn’t put you at higher risk of being audited? Generally, an extension is issued automatically and they won’t hassle you about why you are in need of an extension. So there is no need to pull out the old faithful, “My dog ate my homework” excuse.

Take the time to put in your extension today. We’d rather you be safe than sorry and paying some pretty costly penalties.




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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Your Guide To The Perfect ELD For Your Fleet Needs

Aside from compliance requirements, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing your dream ELD. Taking the time to know whether or not you are exempt from the new mandate, and what game-changing features that make your job a whole lot easier will save you time and money before Dec. 16.

The ELD Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations:

Requires ELD use by commercial drivers who are required to prepare hours-of-service (HOS) records of duty status (RODS).

Sets ELD performance and design standard, and requires ELDs to be certified and registered with FMCSA.

Establishes what supporting documents drivers and carriers are required to keep.

Prohibits harassment of drivers based on ELD data or connected technology (such as fleet management system).

Provides recourse for drivers who believe they have been harassed.


Three Add-Ons for the ELD Feature Checklist

#1 Instant Messaging

There is no requirement for having an instant messaging feature including with your ELD, but this feature would enable all parties to stay in direct communication during a route. Streamline communication between drivers and dispatch aids in dissolving miscommunication and confusion, similar features with the same motive can be found by using apps like the TruckLogics app.

#2 Dash Camera

For some the use of a recording device may seem like a disaster waiting to happen but, 100% of truck drivers who were falsely accused of being at fault of a truck-passenger accident would agree that they wished there were proof to show they weren’t to blame. 

Not only does a dash camera protect individuals and companies against fraudulent claims, but it also can be used for education purposes in training processes for more effective coaching.

There are also a number of insurance carriers who recognize the benefits dash cameras have on the safety and reward forward-thinking companies with reduced subsidies and premiums.

#3 Safety Alerts 

Many of the ELDs that are FMCSA complaint have features that help in improving the safety of the road, but there are some that take it a little further in offering alerts on not just speeding, but hard braking, and lane departures.

ELD Exemptions


Those who must comply with the transition typically know who they are, however, there are exceptions to the new mandated requirements. Even though it seems as if the world is going full-on electronic, time cards and paper RODs fall in line with those being exempt. 

Drivers who operate under the short-haul exceptions are able to continue using timecards, and those who use paper RODs less than 8 times over a 30-day span are exempt as well. The 30-day period is not restricted to a single month but does apply to any 30-day period. 

Drivers who operate a vehicle manufactured before 2000, based on the VIN they qualify to no have to make the transition along with drivers conducting drive-away-tow-away operations, in which the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered. At this time, with exemption being likely to change, transporters of livestock and insects are not required to have an ELD and are not required by the FMCSA to carry documents regarding the exemption. 

Meeting ELD Compliance


When searching for the perfect ELD device there are several aspects to consider. The main aspect transporters should look for is whether or not the device is registered at FMCSA.

A compliant ELD solution will provide:

Separate accounts for administrators, both non-drivers and drivers.

Integral Synchronization with the Electronic Control Module (ECM).

Automatic recording of information such as; location, date, time, engine hours, vehicle miles, and driver identification.

Although there are basic compliance requirements for ELDs it is wise to make sure the selected device offers the use of cellular networks, USB, and even Bluetooth. 

The cellular network feature is vital in transmitting data between engine-connected vehicles and smartphones and tablets. The most reliable way of transmitting information is through the use of US and Bluetooth, in the event that there is no cellular service. 

Waiting until the end of the year to begin the search for an ELD to make the perfect match for specific fleet needs, will more than likely end in an additional extension for the mandate. 
By making the migration from AOBRDs to ELDs in the first quarter when IFTA reports are due to the pressure of having the first choice be the best choice is eliminated.



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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

It's Crunch Time! The IRS Deadline is Tomorrow

Time to File Your Tax Forms!

It's Crunch Time! The IRS Deadline is Tomorrow

You only have one day left!

Tomorrow, January 31st is the deadline for your IRS Form 1099, IRS Form W-2, and IRS Form 940 or 941! As a trucking business owner, you have to make sure your employee and contractor tax forms are filed on time. The differences can be confusing, but TSNAmerica has parented with our sister product Taxbandits to provide you with everything you need to file on time!

Before we jump into it let’s review the basics. 


What You Need to Know About the 2018 1099-Misc Form, W-2, & More


Knowing what tax forms you are required to file and how to submit them on time is important for you as a business owner, your employees, subcontractors, and anyone else you paid during the previous tax season. However, depending on various factors, they may require different or even multiple forms.

IRS Form W-2 is for reporting your employees’ wages and other compensation.

IRS Form 1099-MISC is for reporting payments made freelance drivers, leased owner-operators, or other contracted workers in your trucking fleet.

It's Crunch Time! The IRS Deadline is TomorrowIRS Form 941 is used to report employment taxes for those who own and operate a business with employees, including adjustments for tips, sick pay, and any overpayment or underpayment made during the tax season. Like your IFTA report, IRS Form 941 is a quarterly Federal Tax Return and must be filed as such.

IRS Form 940 is an annual federal tax report form used to document and pay unemployment taxes. The form calculates the employer's federal unemployment tax liability, adjusts for any state unemployment taxes paid, and calculates any due unemployment taxes from there. The form also compares unemployment tax due for the year to the taxes already paid.

Don't forget, you may need to file one or more of these forms by the deadline tomorrow! Also, remember to file your 4th Quarter IFTA report with your base jurisdiction! 


Start Your Free Account Today!

Pay Only When You Transmit!



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