Mandatory E-Logs to go to White House

The final rule that mandates the use of electronic logging devices in all commercial trucks is now in the hands of the White House for final review. If the mandate is approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the rule will be publicized in the Federal Register as soon as September 30. Not only will the e-logs be mandated, but the rule will also establish minimum performance and design standards for logging devices, requirements on supporting documents drivers have to retain, and measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of the devices. There is opposition against the mandated use of electronic logging devices that comes from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA). They state that research has failed to prove the electronic devices improve highway safety or hours of service compliance over the use of paper logs. The devices can’t distinguish off-duty not driving and on-duty not driving activities, which renders the devices useless in determining actual compliance with the regulations. OOIDA believes that the FMCSA has distorted facts and figures in order to justify the rulemaking and they plan to share it with the OMB before the ruling is over. Scott Grenerth, director of regulatory affairs for OOIDA, said, “we hope that they will address our concerns. It would be awfully refreshing to see the agency putting in equal effort into addressing driver detention and coercion, rather than just going after every possible way they can tighten down on enforcement.” Even if the final rule is published at the end of September, Grenerth said implementation would likely take two to three years...

Know Your Blind Spots

Safety is the most important part of being a truck driver. Along with safety is knowing your blind spots. Read below to see where the safety spots are for...

5 Essential Items to Keep in Your Cab

As a long haul truck driver, you spend a lot of time on the road and in your truck. Essentially, your truck is your home away from home and as such, you should make it as comfortable as possible. To ensure that you’re going to enjoy life on the road a little more, we suggest having these 5 items in your cab at all times. Mini fridge – If you want to eat healthy while on the road, there’s only so much you can store in your cooler without it going bad. Having a mini fridge or a 12-volt cooler will let you store perishables as long as you need them. Tablet or laptop – Today’s day and age makes it easy to keep connected with your family. Thanks to laptops and tablets, you can keep in touch, download useful trucker apps and pass the time while you’re on break. Just make sure you bring your charger with you! GPS – With the updated technology, you have the ability to have updated maps at your fingertips with a trusty GPS. Navigating your destination and seeing it turn-by-turn is convenient and safe. Tools – If you’re not an owner operator, you probably won’t be working on your own truck. However, you still need the basic tools like an adjustable wrench, duct tape, electrical tape, screwdrivers and gloves. Trucks aren’t guaranteed to run 24/7 so it’s important that you have the tools in case your stuck on the side of the road. Emergency kit – Just like the tool set, you’ll never know when you’ll need an emergency kit. This is...

Three Things You Need to Know About Lease Agreements

Understanding lease agreements can be confusing for someone who is considering becoming an owner operator and to people who are new to trucking. In simple words, the term lease means paying a fee to use someone else’s equipment. When leasing a truck, the leasing agreement can be for years or month by month. People are mostly confused by the word “lease” because it is often used in conjunction with another word and each term means something slightly different. However, after reading this, you’ll know what the context is when you hear the word “lease” with the other words or even when it’s by itself. Below are three ways you will hear the word “lease” used as it relates to trucking. Lease Purchase/Lease to Own Some trucking companies have a lease purchase program that allows the driver to lease a truck with the option to buy. Many drivers use this program if they want to become an owner operator, but don’t want to invest their own money right away. Because it requires no money up front, drivers tend to enter this program if they have poor credit or if they don’t have money. Lease Program Just like you can lease a car, you can lease a truck from a company or dealership. Like lease purchases, often times you don’t need to put any money down or have good credit. Unlike lease purchases, you don’t intend to buy the truck. Once the lease is up, the trucking company will lease you another truck that is new or like-new. For both lease purchase and the lease program, you and the trucking company...

Trucking Accidents: Who Really is to Blame

One of a truck driver’s main goal is to keep safe on the road. Unfortunately, they aren’t the only people on the road, meaning that accidents can happen that aren’t their fault. Learn the statistics on truck driver accidents to see who why truck drivers are the safest people on the...

Understanding the UCR Process and Fees

What is the UCR? In September 2007, a federally mandated, state administrated program called the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan and Agreement went into effect. Under this program, states collect fees from motor carriers, private motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers and leasing companies, based on the number of qualifying commercial motor vehicles in their fleets. The fees acquired by UCR are used by the states to support its safety programs and USDOT officer training. UCR Process and Fee Structure Each company is required to pay the UCR fee with a base state. If your base state doesn’t participate in the program, you are required to pay your UCR fee through a neighboring participating state. Currently, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Wyoming and the District of Columbia do not participate in the UCR. Your fleet size is determined by the number of commercial motor vehicles you own or operate in interstate commerce. Brokers and leasing companies are required to pay the 0-2 fee tier and trailers are not included in fleet size. The current fees for each fleet size are as listed below: Need help? Give us a call today, we’re here to help. Call Now! Not Paying the UCR Fee Failure to pay UCR fees will hurt your business in the long run. If you cross into UCR participating states without having paid your UCR fee, the state and its USDOT officers will pull your trucks off the road immediately and they will not release your trucks until the UCR fees are paid. Not only will you be pulled off the road for not paying...

Finding Your Freight

If you’ve already started down the path of running your own motor carrier company, you find yourself stuck at the most crucial part – finding freight. When looking for freight, it’s not so much finding random loads to haul here and there, but finding consistent work that is worth your time. Thanks to technology, finding freight is easier than ever. There are resources all over that can help you grow your business, however, without the proper planning, the path to growing can be unclear and overwhelming. Unfortunately, these resources can also make the competition a little tougher. So how do you succeed in as a motor carrier company? Find out below! Work Directly With Shippers The most successful motor carriers develop relationships with shippers and only use brokers or load boards for their backhauls. You typically get paid more for loads without a middleman, like a broker. So keep your profit margins up by working directly with shippers as often as you can. What Clientele Do You Want Before you start chasing down loads, define the client you want to work with. It’s not only about if something is a good load or client, it’s knowing your target client. This will give you a clear perspective on what you want and how you can find them. Here is a a list of some of the things you should look for in an ideal client: A large, established shipper Pays well and on time Good reputation Has regular work Shipments are on lanes you want to drive There’s never a perfect client, but you should be able to find clients...