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Thursday, December 19, 2019

5 Truck Registration Renewal Deadlines You Need To Know About

Truckers at truckstop filing for ifta renewal and irp renewal
We know you’ve got a lot on your plate. There are so many things to keep track when you’re trucking.

But to remain compliant in 2020, you need to be sure you’ve kept up with renewing all your registration.

Here are five important registration renewal deadlines you need to be aware of.

Registration Renewal Deadlines


IFTA


The deadline to file for IFTA license renewal is December 31st.

All of your quarterly IFTA taxes for 2019 need to be filed before you can be eligible for IFTA license renewal.

This is a good reason to get ahead of the curve on filing for this quarter.

Table of ifta renewal, irp renewal and wdt new mexico renewal dates

IRP


The IRP renewal deadline is staggered. It will, however, always be 30 days before the date you originally registered. 

So if you originally registered on March 1, your filing deadline will be February 1.

Typically you will receive an IRP renewal notice 45-90 days before that date.

UCR


The Unified Carrier Registration deadline for 2020 was originally set for but has been delayed “until further notice” while the FMCSA completes final rulemaking. 

When this has happened in previous years, the due date has been pushed back into March.

NM WDT


If you will be driving in New Mexico a lot in 2020, you need to register for their Weight Distance Tax (WDT). The WDT tax in New Mexico is calculated based on mileage. The deadline for license renewal is December 31.

Similar to IFTA, the NM WDT requires quarterly reporting in addition to yearly registration.

Oregon


Similar to New Mexico, Oregon charges taxes per-mile in addition to IFTA that must be reported either monthly or quarterly. The deadline for license renewal is December 31 with no grace period.

How to make keeping track easier in 2020


With TruckLogics, you can track expenses, records, maintenance, and much more from anywhere you are.

Get a 15-day free trial and give TruckLogics a try in 2020! There’s no obligation and no credit card information required.



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Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Short On Time? How To Save Time With a Trucking Management Software

Trucks from a fleet managed by TruckLogics Trucking management software
As a fleet manager, you’ve got a lot on your plate.

You’ve got to keep up with drivers, dispatching, expenses, truck service intervals, clients, insurance, and more (and that’s not even including your quarterly IFTA and yearly HVUT taxes).

So how do you keep up with all of it? Luckily, we’ve got just the trucking management software to help you save time and money.


What TruckLogics trucking management software can do for you


OTR expense tracking


Pass off some responsibility to your drivers by letting them track their own expenses on the road. With the TruckLogics mobile app, they can notate expenses like fuel-ups, per diem, and just about anything else. You can even have them capture receipts right from their phone so you don’t have to rifle through physical receipts later.

This one trucking management software feature can save you from a lot of unnecessary data entry and wasted time.


Maintenance scheduling


Add service intervals to individual trucks in the TruckLogics digital garage. Whether you select a certain amount of time or a certain number of miles, TruckLogics will automatically update you when it’s time for maintenance. You can create truck service intervals for any kind of maintenance and even enter preferred servicer information.

IFTA tracking


With TruckLogics, you can generate pre-calculated reports for IFTA filing. As you assign individual trucks to specific dispatches and notate their fuel consumption, TruckLogics will keep that information on file for quarterly IFTA reports. All you have to do is enter the information from TruckLogics reports into the IFTA form and you’re good to go.

Check calls


In addition to allowing your drivers to manually send check calls to clients from our mobile app, Truckloguics now supports automated geofencing check calls. This means that your clients will receive automatic updates when your drivers leave or pick up or arrive. These updates can be fully customized.
Trucks from a fleet managed by scheduled for truck service intervals by TruckLogics Trucking management software


Expense reports


TruckLogics will automatically generate business reports for you, based on information like 'Cost Per Mile', 'Revenue Per Mile', and 'Profit Per Mile'. This way you can see what routes, clients, and drivers are most profitable for you. TruckLogics gives you unparalleled control of and visibility into your trucking business.

Try TruckLogics for free!


You can try all of these TruckLogics time-saving fleet management software solutions free for 15 days! There’s no obligation and no credit card information required.



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Thursday, December 5, 2019

Want to Start Hauling Interstate Loads? Here’s What You Need To Know

There are two types of trucking: intrastate and interstate. Intrastate refers to hauling loads only within one state. Interstate, refers to moving freight between multiple states.

In order to start hauling interstate, you’re going to need a lot more registration than before. Let’s cover everything you need to legally operate interstate trucks.

Interstate operation requirements


USDOT Number:

Issued by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration), USDOT Numbers are required for vehicles that haul cargo or transport passengers interstate and that meet one or more of the following requirements:
  1. Has a gross or combined weight of 10,001 lbs or more
  2. Transports 8 or more passengers for compensation
  3. Transports 15 or more passengers not for compensation
  4. Transports hazardous materials.
The USDOT Number serves as your identification during inspections, compliance reviews and more.
*If you solely travel intrastate within one of the 33 states that require a USDOT Number or transport hazardous materials in any state, you will still be required to obtain a USDOT Number.

MC Number

The MC Number serves as your interstate authority, or your right to travel between states. In addition to your USDOT Number, you may be required to obtain one or more types of authority through the FMCSA based upon your business and the type of cargo you carry. The type of authority obtained will determine the type and level of insurance coverage needed.

BOC-3

The BOC-3 is a federal form that designates legal agents upon which process may be served in each state. BOC stands for “blanket of coverage,” and is often required before federal operating authorities can be granted within the United States.

A BOC-3 is typically filed after an MC# has been issued. The BOC-3 form is submitted to the FMCSA, and is used to designate process agents in each state where your business operates.

Process agents act as your representative for particular states and accept all legal documents or court papers that may be served to your business. The agent then forwards those documents to you and can advise you on how to proceed according to the laws in your state.

Process service agencies are third-party companies capable of granting BOC-3 filings. All process agencies must employ or lease the services of individuals or entities in each state and must be registered with the FMCSA in order to grant a BOC-3.

UCR

The Unified Carrier Registration Agreement (UCR) requires anyone operating interstate or international commercial vehicles that weigh at least 10,001 lbs to register annually and pay fees based on the number of vehicles used. 

Even if a business is not based in a participating state, interstate carriers are still required to register with the UCR and will be assigned a base jurisdiction in a nearby state.



IRP

The International Registration Plan (IRP) is required for commercial motor carriers operating in multiple jurisdictions across the contiguous United States or provinces of Canada. Vehicles that require IRP have a gross weight in excess of 26,000 lbs and/or have three or more axles. 

IRP fees are determined by the number of miles driven in each jurisdiction, but all fees are paid to the base jurisdiction only. This jurisdiction then apportions the funds accordingly, which are used to improve highways and safety programs.

IFTA

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), like the IRP, applies to commercial motor carriers traveling in more than one jurisdiction (state or province). 

Fuel use must be accurately recorded and filed with one’s base jurisdiction four times a year. Taxes are then distributed to other jurisdictions according to the amount of fuel burned in each.

How to file IFTA

The quarterly IFTA deadline is January 31, 2020. Our sister product Express IFTA is the best way to file your IFTA taxes! 

Enter your mileage and fuel consumption and they do all the complicated calculations for you!




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Thursday, November 21, 2019

Here's How to Easily Keep Your Truck Maintenance Up to Date

Man with toolbox doing maintenance for a truck service interval
Keeping your truck up-to-date with service intervals can be difficult, especially if you’re always on the road or overseeing lots of vehicles.

But it’s no secret that well-maintained, up-to-date vehicles will have fewer breakdowns, get better gas mileage, and cost you less money.

So how do you keep track of truck service intervals and keep them running longer? Here are our top tips for keeping your truck service intervals up-to-date.

Track mileage from your computer


It's not good enough just to have paper logs or ELDs. Neither of those can send you automated updates to remind you of service intervals. What you need is a software that tracks your mileage ahead of time-based on dispatch information, and then applies that to the specific truck running the route.

Fortunately, our sister product TruckLogics does just that. When you enter dispatch information, you can attach a truck or trailer and TruckLogics will keep track of how many miles it has run. Depending on the service interval preferences, TruckLogics will send you automatic updates when it’s time for truck or trailer maintenance.

Track all kinds of maintenance


But what if you want to check electrical components every several months, in addition to getting the tires serviced every several thousand miles? TruckLogics can send you reminders about that too. 

Man doing wheel maintenance for a truck service interval


TruckLogics tracks service based on the parameters you choose, whether mileage or time. You can even enter notes about what needs to be done and select a preferred vendor to perform the maintenance.

Use TruckLogics


If you’re a company driver, owner-operator, or fleet manager, using TruckLogics can help you keep track of your service intervals.

By employing TruckLogics powerful maintenance scheduling tools, you won’t have to ever forget another oil change, annual registration fee, tune-up -- or anything else -- again.

Get a 15-day free trial today! There is no obligation and no payment information required.

 



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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

2020: The Year of The Electric Semi?

Tesla semi truck
Electric semi-trucks are coming soon.

Volvo and Peterbilt have already rolled out fully electric semi-trucks. Daimler and Tesla have plans to release theirs sometime in 2020.

Tesla has generated significant buzz and pre-orders from large trucking companies. Could this be the beginning of the end for fossil-fueled semi-trucks?

Some experts aren’t so sure.


The future of electric trucks: Tesla semis

For starters, Tesla has made bold claims of fully electric semi-trucks with a 500-750 mile range.

Tesla's statements about their semi-trucks have been controversial, to say the least. Competitors like Daimler say it's impossible. Martin Daum of Daimler said:

"If Tesla really delivers on this promise, we'll obviously buy two trucks: one to take apart and one to test, because if that happens, something has passed us by. But for now, the same laws of physics apply in Germany and in California."

Microsoft founder and billionaire Bill Gates also weighed in on the issue saying, “Eventually batteries might work for a truck, but it’s a far more difficult problem because the weight is a lot higher there.”

Daimler, Peterbilt, and Volvo meanwhile are all promoting day cab models with expected ranges well under 500 miles.

Daimler quotes about 250 miles, Peterbilt about 133 miles, Volvo about 186 miles.


Nikola semi truck trying to beat Tesla semi truck

Startups: Nikola semis & Xos Trucks

There are a number of other companies with plans extending farther into the future.

For instance, newcomer Nikola is planning both fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell semi-trucks for the near future.

The release date projected for Nikola semis is around 2022.

Xos Trucks (formerly Thor Trucks) also had plans to push out electric trucks with a 100-mile range this year, but so far there is no word on when that will actually happen.


Will Tesla semis overtake diesel?

What do you think? Will diesel ever be phased out? Will trucking become entirely autonomous?

One thing is for sure. Until that happens, you’ll still need a trucking dispatch system. Have you heard about our sister product TruckLogics?

They offer dispatching, invoicing, IFTA compliance and so much more. You can get a 15-day free trial with no obligation!





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Thursday, November 7, 2019

So. What Happens If I File IFTA Late?

Trucker filing IFTA quarterly report form online with express truck tax
Well. That depends on how late you are. And since there are four quarterly deadlines each year, it’s easy to forget to file IFTA. We wouldn't recommend that, though. No need to fork out more money towards taxes than you already are.

If you file IFTA one month late.

In the first month, you will be slapped with an additional fee of $50 or 10% of the tax you owe, whichever is greater. That $50 might not sound like much, but let’s put it in perspective.

The actual amount you will owe for IFTA will vary widely, depending on factors like the miles you drove in each jurisdiction and how much fuel was purchased and consumed.

So, for example, let’s say you would have owed $300 for the quarter. This is already a lot to be forking out. But after forgetting for that first month, you will be looking at another $50 penalty on top of that. After a month, you already owe $350.

If you file IFTA more than one month late

But let’s say you fail to file IFTA even longer. Well, you’re going to get another .4167% tacked on each month.
So if you forget to file IFTA for three months, you’ll owe $353.75.

Are you starting to see why it’s important to file IFTA on time? When these kinds of unnecessary expenses pile up, they can sink a business.

And did we mention that your base jurisdiction reserves the right to suspend or even revoke your IFTA license? That’s right. Not filing your IFTA form can get you in big trouble.

Trucker filing IFTA quarterly report form online with express truck taxGenerate your IFTA quarterly report form in minutes

The easiest way to avoid paying these unnecessary late penalties is to generate your IFTA quarterly report form with our sister-product Express IFTA. They make it simple it for you.
Express IFTA is user-friendly, and it does all the complicated calculations for you. Just input your information and Express IFTA will generate a highly-accurate form you can file with.
Best of all, you’ll get a report starting at just $19.90.



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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Your Ultimate Guide To The Jake Brake

It's important for truck drivers to understand how to use a Jake Brake.
A Jake Brake is a separate component installed on diesel engines. When engaged, it releases compressed air, using kinetic energy to slow the vehicle.

This is why truck drivers also refer to it as the “compression release brake”.

Basically, it puts resistance or drag on the crankshaft, and therefore on the tires, to slow the vehicle down.

It is not the same system as the service (foot) brakes, and will slow the truck when it is in gear and both throttle and clutch are released.

There are certain situations in which one should not use the Jake Brake. Understanding how to use a Jake Brake is critical for truck driver safety.

Truck Driver Safety

How To Use a Jake Brake

With winter approaching, it’s more important than ever to adhere to these truck driving tips regarding the Jake Brake.

Each truck’s Jake Brake and engine combination can be different, so check with your mechanic for the safe operating ranges of your truck.

Jake Brakes are great for controlling truck speed when descending a steep grade. This saves the foot brakes from wear. Many drivers also keep it on most of the time.

It’s a good idea to use them in the mountains, as it can add years of life to your foot brakes and save from wear and tear on tires.

If you choose to keep it on all of the time, slow your speed relative to road conditions to maintain traction.

The Jake Brake is incredibly helpful, and can be used in conjunction with foot brakes. 

Jake Brake Safety Tips for Truck Drivers

However, although the Jake Brake is a great tool, there are many situations when you should avoid using it, or use it with caution to maintain truck driver safety.

Most importantly, the Jake Brake is not designed to be used on ice or other slippery conditions.


Using the Jake Brake on slippery surfaces could cause your wheels to lock up and lead to a jackknife. This is due to the fact that the anti-lock braking system has no effect on the Jake Brake.

If you must use it in these conditions, be sure that the tractor-trailer unit is lined up before engaging.

Also, keep an eye out for road signs, as some municipalities and jurisdictions will have laws against the use of the Jake Brake for certain areas.

Here are some other safety tips for truck drivers:

-  Don't use your Jake Brake when shifting gears
-  Make sure you're not low on oil before using it
-  Don't use it when the engine is cold - give it time to warm up!
-  Before descending a long grade, briefly lift your foot off the throttle to check Jake Brake functionality

Road Safety

Truck driver safety and the safety of those around you depend on your ability to make good decisions on the road.

That’s why it’s important to stay educated on how to use a Jake Brake, and other truck driving tips.

TSNAmerica is here for you. For more trucking resources and information, check out our blog.

Stay safe out there!







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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Latest on the DOT and Automated Trucking

Automated trucking is growing and how it will affect the trucking industry remains to be seen.
A big point of conflict in trucking industry news today is trucking driving automation.

You may have heard that less than a month ago, on September 18th, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that they were funding research groups and state transport departments who are exploring vehicle automation projects.

This funding, in the amount of $60 million, was made possible through the Department of Transportation Automated Driving System Demonstration grant program.

This program supports the development of automated driving systems.

For truckers, it means the possible advent of automated trucks. Here’s what you need to know about automated trucks and the trucking industry.

Trucking Industry News

Automated Trucking

Truck drivers around the world have mixed feelings about automated semi-trucks, making it a huge topic at GATS this year, where there were a variety of educational sessions addressing automated trucking, including a session called “The Driver’s Role with Driverless Trucks”.

The truth of the matter is that truck driving automation offers a huge opportunity to increase roadway safety, which is the main focus of the DOT.

While many truck drivers express fear regarding AI and automated semi-trucks, the more immediate impact of automated trucks on the industry is positive.

Automated trucking increases efficiency on the back end and decreases human error.

The DOT

This goal is made apparent by how the DOT chose to delegate its money.

Of the $60 million of DOT grant money, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute received the most at $15 million split between two grants.

The first will support the development of Fleet Concept of Operations, intended to provide the trucking industry with guidelines on how to implement and benefit from automated trucking systems.

The second will support a project for demonstrating scenarios for the safe interaction of automated vehicles in northern Virginia.

What Does Truck Driving Automation Mean For You?

A report by MarketsandMarkets estimates that the AI market for transportation is projected to grow nearly 18% from 2017 - 2030.

With this increased focus on truck driving automation comes increased value for human skills.
As more jobs or activities become automated, people are freed from routine and predictable tasks, and the attention shifts to things that are uniquely human.

This is a positive change, involving the extinction of boring mundane tasks and the addition of challenging processes like managing new technologies and exercising greater critical thinking skills on a regular basis.

Growing truck driving automation in the trucking industry means growing human skills like communication, empathy, trust, and judgement.

TSNAmerica knows trucking. We’re here for you in every aspect of the industry you love.

Check out our other blogs to stay up to date with the latest trucking industry news. 








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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Hotshot Trucking: Everything You Need to Know

Hotshot trucking driver hauling a load with one his pickup truck.
Though it’s been around for a while, it seems like hotshot trucking is now more popular than ever.

Truck drivers who want to start their own trucking company often look to hotshot trucking as a cheaper option.

Hotshot hauling supports a specific niche in the trucking community, and there are various things you can and cannot do when you start a hotshot business.

What is hot shot trucking and what are the hotshot trucking requirements?

Find the answers to these questions and more in this hotshot trucking guide.

Hotshot Business

What is Hot Shot Trucking?

Hotshot hauling involves using medium-duty or one-ton trucks to pull trailers containing time-sensitive loads.

The “term hotshot” originated from the Texas oil fields, where pickups used to deliver quickly-needed parts to off-road drilling and pumping stations.

Hotshot trucking has survived from them to now, and is actually regaining momentum with the increase in truckers’ desire to be their own boss without the high startup costs.

Plus, certain hotshot driver requirements make it a bit easier to get started quickly.

Pros and Cons of Hotshot Trucking

Besides avoiding the trucking business startup costs of buying or leasing expensive equipment, many hotshot loads are local and close-by, which means plenty of time at home.

Smaller loads that most freight trucks don’t want to haul are perfect for hotshot hauling.

Circling back to equipment expenses, purchasing a dually or 1-ton new truck is, on average a $40,000 investment, much cheaper than a rig.

Also, that vehicle won’t burn through fuel the same way that a larger semi-truck or rig will.

Hot Shot Trucking Requirements

Another major perk of hotshot trucking is that hotshot drivers are not necessarily required to have a CDL license.

A CDL is meant for vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more, depending on the state.

However, depending on what loads you’ll be transporting, you may want to get a CDL if you’re crossing state lines.

You’ll also need a USDOT number and possibly an MC number.

Speak to the Department of Transportation to find out specifically which documents you’ll need.

So, are you ready to start your own hotshot business? Hopefully, this information helped!

If hotshot hauling isn’t for you, but you’re interested in owner operator trucking or fleet management, check out some of our other blogs for resources, or print the one-page guide below to help you get started!


If you’re already in business and you’re looking for a trucking business management solution, check out TruckLogics, trucking management software with features for dispatch management, maintenance planning, business report generation, expense management, and more.

Use the free 15-day trial to check it out today!








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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Do You Need to File Form 941 Online for Your Trucking Business?

Trucking businesses with employees may have to file Form 941 for 2019.
If you own a small trucking business, it can be tough to know which taxes you’re required to file.

IRS tax Form 941 is a quarterly tax, and the 3rd quarter 941 deadline is October 31, 2019.

Check out this article for information on the 941 federal tax form to determine whether or not you need to file before the October 31st 941 deadline.

IRS Tax Form 941

What is the Form 941 Tax Return?

IRS Tax Form 941 is the employer’s quarterly tax return.

It is used to report employment taxes. All employers are responsible for withholding federal income tax, Social Security tax, and Medicare tax from each employee’s salary.

The IRS Tax Form 941 is also used to calculate the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare tax. 

Do You Need to File 941 Form 2019 for Your Trucking Business?

The first question to ask yourself is, “Do I have employees?”

If you own and operate a business with employees, you’ll need to file Form 941 online.

Note: Independent contractors are not considered employees.

If you have independent contractors, you are not responsible for withholding taxes, you are simply responsible for paying the gross wage agreed upon in the contract.

Therefore, if you only have independent contractors working for you, you do not need to file 941 Form 2019.

The second question is, “Is my trucking business an S-corporation?”

S-corporations, or S-corps, are taxed on a pass-through basis, like sole proprietorships or partnerships.

Due to this, the S-corp does not pay tax on its profits. Instead, those profits pass on to shareholders who are taxed on it as part of their personal income.

Even though an S-corp may have no employees in the traditional sense (people working for the business without ownership stake), for tax purposes, any shareholder who performs duties on behalf of the business may be treated as a shareholder-employee.

Therefore, the money each shareholder receives in dividends may be treated as income, meaning you’ll need to file Form 941 online.

How to File Form 941 Online

If, after these two questions, you’ve determined that you need to file Form 941 for 2019, check out TaxBandits.

In just a few minutes, you could be done filing your Form 941 tax return. Don’t wait until the 941 deadline - knock it out now!

Here’s how it works:

1.  Create a free TaxBandits account
2.  Choose Form 941 for 2019
3.  Enter your employer details
4.  Follow the interview-style process
5.  Pay & transmit your Form 941 tax return

Still unsure if you need to file a 941 federal tax form?

Give the TaxBandits support team a call at 704-684-4751 and speak with a live, US-based agent who can help you determine whether you need to file a Form 941 for 2019. 






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Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Hurricane Season: The Best Tips for Trucking Through Storms

Trucker in hurricane season staying safe
Hurricane season is here, but the trucking industry doesn’t stop.

Our nation relies on truck drivers to transport necessary goods 24/7.

That being said, if you’re caught driving during hurricane season, you’ll need to be aware of safety regulations for truck drivers to help you stay safe while trucking through storms.

Here are some safety tips for truck drivers to help promote safety in trucking industry.

Truck Driver Safety

Hurricane Season

With Hurricane Dorian roaring up the East Coast recently, it’s clear that hurricane season is in full effect.

It’s important to understand that hurricane season is incredibly unpredictable. Safety in trucking industry depends on you. Be prepared.

Strong winds can be a side-effect of hurricane conditions, reaching far beyond where the hurricane’s eye is.

If at any moment you feel you have lost control of your vehicle, pull off of the road and seek shelter immediately. 

At the end of the day, this is #1 on our list of safety tips for truck drivers: 
Your life and the lives of those around you are more important than delivering your load in a timely manner. 

Trucking Safety Tips

Be sure to watch out for weather warnings. Trucking through storms is easier when you’re aware of them.

In addition, hurricane season can cause many pop-up storms far from the actual hurricane. Prioritize truck driver safety over efficiency. Take note of these trucking safety tips.

First, avoid high water on the road. It may seem obvious, but don’t drive through high water or that small pile of debris.

You don’t know what dangerous objects may be covered by the water or hidden amongst the pile of tree branches. Don’t risk it.

Most importantly, bring emergency equipment. Here are some important truck driver safety items to include:

Remember, if you bring canned food, don’t forget a can opener!

Also, pack a waterproof jacket, and dry clothes in case you get stuck in the rain. If you have an electric blanket, consider bringing that as your extra blanket.


Safety in the Trucking Industry

Truck driver safety is incredibly important to us at TSNAmerica.

We strive each day to make life easier for you, and we know the huge role you play in American economy.

Be safe out there drivers!

Stay on top of maintenance this hurricane season, and don’t leave anything to chance.

If you’re an owner-operator, fleet owner, or leased operator, check out our sister product TruckLogics.

TruckLogics is a trucking business management software designed to keep you on top in the trucking industry.

Manage invoices, dispatches, maintenance, and more, all from one place. Try it free for 15 days.










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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Starting a Trucking Company? Here's What You Need to Know

Starting a trucking company is a great move. Look into tips for owning a trucking company before you start.
Trucking is a huge industry in America today.

You’ve decided to take advantage of that.

Are you set on starting a trucking company, but don’t know where to start?

You’ve come to the right place.

Check out this guide for everything you need on how to start a trucking company.

How to Start a Trucking Company

Paperwork

When starting a trucking company, the first step is to form an LLC.

Owning a trucking company as an LLC will protect you as a business owner and offer tax advantages.

To form an LLC, most states require that you appoint a registered agent. This person will accept and send legal documents on your behalf and act as the direct point of contact with the state.

You’ll also need an EIN, or Employee Identification Number, for your LLC. This number is unique to your business and required for many aspects of operation, such as submitting certain tax forms.

After that, there’s more paperwork coming your way. Obtain necessary business licenses and permits, including USDOT Number, MC (Motor Carrier Operating Authority) Number, and IRP (International Registration Plan).

How to Run a Trucking Company

Once you’ve gotten started owning a trucking company and have a truck, maintenance and growth are the name of the game!

Above all else, the best answer for how to run a trucking company is consistency.

Owning a trucking company requires awareness at all times. Track your expenses, stay tax compliant, and understand your finances.

Missing deadlines or expiration dates can cause you to lose good standing with the IRS. Plus, you’ll accrue penalties and affect your cash flow.

At this point, you may have mastered how to open a trucking company, but maintaining one is a whole new beast.

Let’s talk about the tools, such as owner-operator trucking software, that can help get you there.

Trucking Business Software

The best way to stay on top of your trucking company is with trucking business software.

Take advantage of technology when you’re starting a trucking company. There are many things to keep track of and monitor.

Utilizing a trucking business software makes it easy to keep it all in one place.

TruckLogics is a trucking business management software designed for leased operators, owner-operators, small fleet managers, mid-size fleet managers, and large fleet managers.

No matter where you fall in the trucking business world, TruckLogics is here to help you succeed.

Independent owner-operators can utilize this owner-operator trucking software to control their entire business from one place by managing dispatches, tracking income & expenses, scheduling maintenance, sending invoices, and more.

Plus, leased operators can take advantage of recordkeeping features like profit & loss reports or compliance records for maintenance and trip details.

On top of all of that, fleet managers have the added benefit of accessing TruckZone, which keeps fleet details organized and accessible.


Track maintenance, stay on top of finances, and so much more. Get started with a trucking business software solution right away when starting a trucking company. It can make or break your business.

Take TruckLogics for a test drive with a 15-day free trial.











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Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Here's Exactly What To Do If You Missed The 2290 Deadline

The 2290 Deadline for IRS Form 2290 2019 was September 3rd. Late filers should file ASAP.
Did you miss the Form 2290 deadline?? It was yesterday, September 3rd, 2019.

If you dropped the ball on your heavy highway tax this year, act fast!

IRS 2290 penalties will only increase as time goes on. Online 2290 filing helps you file and pay your HVUT 2290 fast to minimize additional costs.

Here’s how.

Filing After The Form 2290 Due Date

IRS 2290 Penalties

First, here are the penalties you’ll face for filing IRS Form 2290 after the Form 2290 due date.

Filing your heavy highway tax after the Form 2290 deadline results in a penalty of 4.5% of your total HVUT 2290 tax amount. This penalty will increase monthly for up to 5 months.

If you filed IRS Form 2290 but did not pay your HVUT 2290 amount by the 2290 tax due date, you’ll have a penalty of only 0.5% of your HVUT 2290 tax amount, plus additional interest of 0.54% per month.

Keep in mind that the IRS may not penalize you if you can give them a reasonable explanation for filing your heavy highway tax after the 2290 tax due date. 

Filing IRS Form 2290 Over The Phone

No matter where you are right now, you need to make IRS 2290 filing your priority.

If you’re on the road, give TSNAmerica a call at 803.386.0320. All you’ll need is simple IRS 2290 filing information, such as business information, EIN, VIN, gross taxable weight, and authorized signatory details. 

Once you’ve given us this information, we’ll file your IRS Form 2290 over the phone for you.

Filing HVUT 2290 Online

Another quick option for IRS Form 2290 filing is ExpressTruckTax.

ExpressTruckTax, our sister product, is the industry-leading IRS-authorized e-file provider.
Despite missing the Form 2290 due date, you can still file online within minutes and receive an updated Schedule 1 Form 2290.

You’ll need a current Schedule 1 Form 2290 for operation, so it is critical that you file IRS 2290 as soon as possible to get one.

Take a deep breath. The Form 2290 deadline is passed, but it’s not a huge deal. 

Take 10-20 minutes and sort it out with TSNAmerica phone filing or ExpressTruckTax online filing.









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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Truck Driving Tips To Help You Stay Alert On The Road

truck driver preparing for long haul with truck driving tips to stay alert on the road
Early mornings, late nights, long days, and crazy sleep schedules while on the road can make it difficult to stay alert.

Staying awake and alert for long periods of time plays a critical part in your safety and productivity as you Keeping America Trucking.

Here are 10 truck driving tips to help you stay alert on the road.

Truck Driving Tips To Help You Stay Alert On The Road

1) Avoid Exhaustion

NEWS FLASH! You and your fuel tank can’t be on “E” prior to your next haul! Adequate sleep is necessary to avoid exhaustion and reckless driving while on the road.

Take more frequent naps and get as many hours of sleep as possible. The more rested you are the more alert you will be!

2) Stay Away From Large Doses of Caffeine

Many drivers depend on caffeine to get them through the day. Although a cup of coffee here and there won’t hurt, too much caffeine will lead to a caffeine overload and ultimately put your health at risk.

Go easy on the caffeine, please!

3) Don’t Eat Large Portions of Food

As tempting as it may be, you can’t eat it all. A full belly will make you sleepy and cause you to not be fully alert while on the road.

4) Excercise

Taking a quick 5-minute walk at your next truck stop or rest area will give your body a new-found boost of energy that you need and even help you burn a few calories.

5) Take a Nap

Jumpstart your next drive with a quick 15-20 minute nap before hitting the road. Sleeping for less than one hour gives your body the energy it needs to stay awake longer.

6) Avoid Lights with High Contrast

The high contrast between pitch black and bright lights causes your eyes to feel sleepy. Be cautious when driving and avoid looking directly into bright lights.

7) Turn the Volume Up

Let’s get this driving party started! Upbeat music helps keep your energized, especially when you sing along with it.

8) Take Vitamins

The best vitamins to take for a boost of energy are Vitamins B & C! Take them alongside a healthy meal and get the energy you need for the long haul.

9) Open the Window

If you’re like me, a crisp breeze at night from outside will help keep you alert. Studies show that cold air gives your body a temporary boost and keep yous awake longer. Give it a try!

10) Pull over if you are tired

This one is a “no-brainer”. If you find yourself becoming tired or distracted during your haul, simply pull over and rest. Your safety, along with the safety of other drivers and haulers on the road, is extremely important.

Always get rest when needed!

Get Rest & File Form 2290

Once you’ve taken the time to get the adequate rest that you need be sure to file your Form 2290 for 2019 by the upcoming September 3rd deadline.

The fastest way to complete your Form 2290 filing is by filing over the phone with one of our bilingual support representatives.

Simply grab your business name & address, EIN, VIN, gross taxable weight, and authorized signatory details and give us a call at 803.386.0320 to handle your Form 2290 filing. Once you file you will receive your stamped Schedule 1 via email in minutes.






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Friday, July 12, 2019

Step on the Gas! It's Time For The Truckers Jamboree

Trucker filing IRS 2290 at trucker jamboree
All the talk this summer has been about IRS Form 2290. Well, we think you’ve earned a break.

If you’re around Walcott, Iowa this weekend, check out the 40th annual Truckers Jamboree! And if you’re not, you better start driving because it looks like a fantastic event.

With over 175 exhibits, carnival games, fireworks, food and more, there’s plenty to do. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to meet others in the truck transport industry. It’s the perfect chance to network and exchange industry secrets.

Event admission and parking are completely free, so go check it out!

Step on the Gas! It's time for the Truckers Jamboree

What is the Truckers Jamboree?

Every year, the folks at the Iowa 90 Truckstop host the Truckers Jamboree. They’re located off Exit 284 on I-80 in Walcott, Iowa.

Now, this isn’t just any truck stop. In fact, it’s the largest truck stop in America!

Since 1979, this event has been a huge celebration of America’s Truckers. The Truckers Jamboree is a much-needed chance to show appreciation to the drivers who keep America running by delivering things we consume daily.

It’s also an opportunity for truckers to relax and connect with others in the truck transport industry, and a great place for families to come together and celebrate their livelihood. 

Events Happening at the Largest Truck Stop

The Truckers Jamboree started yesterday, July 11, but the festivities will continue today, July 12 and tomorrow, July 13.

Friday’s events start at 10 AM with various exhibits and Super Truck/Antique Truck displays. At 10:30 there will be a Pet Contest, followed by an Iowa Pork Chop cookout at 11!

Events continue into the night with music performances and more, ending with a fireworks display at 9 PM.

On Saturday, events kick off at 9AM. The highlights of Saturday’s Truckers Jamboree festivities include a donut wall, Trucker Olympics, and Truck Contest Awards!

Get Your IRS Form 2290 Out of the Way Before You Go!


Now hold on just one second... it’s not the weekend quite yet! There’s still some work to be done.

Don’t start your weekend worrying about paperwork.

Do it now, BEFORE you head to the truckers jamboree. Call us today and let us file your Form 2290 for you.

We’re here to help make your IRS 2290 filing process as easy as possible and take the paperwork out of your way.

If in this tax period, you first used your vehicle in June of 2018, you must file IRS Form 2290 and make your payment by July 31, 2019.

Avoid the temptation to save your IRS 2290 Form until the last minute. Get it done NOW in minutes.

File Form 2290 by phone with TSNAmerica and move on with your life.



Tel:+1803.386.0320



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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

What To Expect From Upcoming Truck Inspections

Trucker prepping for brake safety week
One thing we like to say around here is "stay ready, so you don't have to get ready".

We are halfway through 2019 and there are still a couple truck inspections and important dates, like the 2019 Form 2290 filing deadline, you have to make it through.

The CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week 2019 and the CVSA's Brake Safety Week are approaching.

If you're still operating your rig, it is safe to say you survived the CVSA Roadcheck 2019.

If you have been in the industry you know that the truck inspections don't stop there. Here are a few upcoming truck inspection dates you need to be aware of.


Upcoming Truck Inspection Dates


CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week 2019 (July 14-20, 2019)
The first truck inspection date you should remember is the CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week 2019. This inspection will last from July 14th to July 20th.

 Each year this inspection focusses on some form of dangerous driver behavior and this year there is an emphasis on speeding. 

During this week, North American jurisdictions will be promoting and endorsing the message: "Late won't kill you, speeding will"

Speeding is the one thing we have all been found guilty of from time to time, so this comes as a forewarning to every trucker with a led foot, who may get stopped.

The CVSA will partner with law enforcement personnel to issue warnings and/or citations to drivers operating a commercial vehicle or passenger vehicle, driving at unlawful speeds.


Previous Operation Safe Driver Week Results
During the CVSA's Operation Safe Driver Week last year, there was nearly 17,000 passenger vehicle pulled over alone for speeding and almost 2,000 commercial vehicles. In addition to those, 17 commercial vehicles were given a citation for driving too fast for the weather conditions.


CVSA's Brake Safety Week 2019: (September 15-21, 2019)
The CVSA's Brake Safety Week will be taking place from September 15th through 201th. Roadside safety truck inspections will be conducted on commercial vehicles throughout North American jurisdictions. 

During this truck inspection, any vehicle found with critical brake violations, or other critical violations, will not be able to travel until they are up to protocol.  

Any commercial vehicle that passes the truck inspection during the CVSA Brake Safety Week 2019 will receive a CVSA decal to identify them as such. 

Alongside the truck inspection, law enforcement will also be doing outreach and bringing awareness to the importance of proper brake safety.






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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Guide to Choosing the Perfect Dash Cam for Your Needs

best dash cam pros and cons
Over 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?

Trucker using form 2290 and 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
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 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

Truck 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, April 17, 2019

Try These Methods To Increase Your Salary This Year


Truck using CDL Endorsments to get a 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 into 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.

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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