There’s a lot of experienced people in trucking out there. Fortunately, for a lot of us, many take to the web to inform and update about the hurdles, struggles, and solutions to the problems in the way of a blog. This gives them a regular voice over the internet waves and allows us to take advantage of their nuggets of wisdom and entertainment. Yes, this is a blog about blogs. Is that some form of blog inception?
1. Trucking Life Blog
About: Get real about Trucking. This blog poses questions and posts about trucking lifestyle, trucking jobs, trucking schools, and other transportation related information.
2. Real Women in Trucking
About: This blog looks to assist newcomers to the industry see beyond the inflated claims of the “Truck Driver Shortage” and realize that high turnover in entry-level truck driver training is occurring because of a broken system.
3. Allie Knight
About: This is more of a vlog but their videos are fun, quirky, and beautifully shot. Yes, they use video equipment beyond the camera phone. It adds a fun dynamic to the things going on in the lives of a trucker and more specifically a couple going through it together.
4. Trucker to Trucker
About: This site is a sales platform for buying and selling trucks, parts, and other equipment. They also offer an insightful blog about different topics going on in the trucking world.
5. Truckers of Reddit
About: This mostly opinion-based forum (Reddit) has questions, thoughts, and reactions to various topics in trucking. It’s not a single blog, per se, but gives some great insight into the different things being dealt with on the road.
6. Smart Trucking
About: This blog is written by Catherine and Dave. They offer and share information, advice, tips, and honest opinions.
7. Healthy Trucker
About: It seems to be the most neglected skill… staying healthy while on the road. This blog can help with eating habits, exercises, and other tips to help maintain your trucker body from slipping away because you’re “too busy” to do anything about it. So grab a donut and a Red Bull and read up. Wait… Maybe read first.
When starting a new trucking company, you may be looking for the best freight factoring company options as a tool to increase cash flow. There is a lot of information, marketing, reviews, and ideas of what factoring is or isn’t. Let’s look at a few of the common misconceptions that you may come across out there and let’s clear them up.
Factoring is Only For Start-Ups
Yes, many start-up trucking companies utilize factoring. It makes sense that the immediate cash flow would be necessary at that stage. There are a lot of expenses out of the gate and only so much money coming in. The truth is, numerous established trucking companies will also partner with a factoring company in order to cater to their active or future growth. This will give them the capital to purchase more trucks, increased payroll, or expansion facilities. Utilize the factoring services and immediate money to grow your business into something you’ve always dreamed of. Once you get to a good place, revisit to see if factoring your invoices will continue to benefit your growth
Factoring is Expensive
The cost to factor your invoices will vary from company to company. You’ll see some factoring companies charge flat rates and others charge a rate based on the time it takes to receive payment from the customer they are collecting from. Many factoring outlets will charge a lower rate based on a higher volume of invoices factored, thus, giving you an opportunity to save as you grow.
What it all comes down to is determining the value for what you are paying. If you are getting true value from the likes of factoring your freight invoices, then it shouldn’t be labeled “too expensive.”
Forced to Factor All Your Invoices
Years ago, it was more common to have a program that was all or nothing. Today, many factoring companies will allow you to choose the customers you would like to factor. When searching for quality factoring operation, be sure you have the ability to select the customers you want to factor. If you have a couple customers you work with that pay you in less than a week, you may not want to pay a factor fee on those invoices if you don’t have to.
A Factoring Company Will Take Control of Your Business
Some assume that after you partner with an invoice factoring company, you’ll no longer have access to your financials or you might have to work through the factor to get your own money. This is just not true.
The factoring company is acting more like a facilitator of capital. The programs allow you access to funds that would have traditionally been tied up in your receivables. The long and short of it is, no… the factoring company doesn’t take control of your business. Be sure to educate yourself on the specifics of how a prospective factoring operation to ensure it compliments your business.
The reality is that you can determine the true need of a factoring company. If you don’t have the capital on hand, factoring would be a viable option. We always recommend doing your homework in order to ensure you match yourself with a company that fits you best.
This truck driver films a terrifying near miss with overtaking car.
Brake Safety Week will take place throughout the US and Canada from Sept 16 – 22.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s Brake Safety Week is right around the corner. Sept. 16-22 will mark the week for roadside inspections for commercial motor vehicles.
“Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe commercial motor vehicle operation,” the CVSA wrote in a news release. “Brakes must be routinely inspected and carefully and consistently maintained so they operate and perform to the manufacturer’s specifications throughout the life of the vehicle. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency, posing serious risk to public safety on our roadways.”
The primary function performed during Brake Safety Week will be The North American Standard Level 1 Inspection. This 37-step procedure includes an examination of vehicle mechanical fitness and driver operating requirements.
Brake-related violations make up the largest portion of all out-of-state violations cited during roadside inspections. Poorly maintained brake systems on the road can heavily jeopardize public safety.
As a dad, you never know what you’re going to get for a Father’s Day gift. Maybe you’ll score another “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs, the infamous necktie, or a singing trout that will sit in the closet. Sometimes you just want to get yourself a little something. How about a coffee… on the house.
Pilot Flying J is honoring dads across the country during Father’s Day weekend with a free cup of Pilot Coffee from June 15-17.
You’ll be able to enjoy any size from Pilot’s variety of coffees. If you don’t already have the myPilot mobile app, you’ll need to download that in order to redeem the offer starting on June 15.
If you want to make it a better day, you can take advantage of their opportunity to win coffee for a year! Or better yet, a grand prize of $10,000 during their Coffee and Cash Giveaway that goes through June 28.
If you’re looking to go out on your own in the freight world, you’ve likely been looking at starting a trucking company and what it takes. The freight industry continues to be dominant hitting an all-time revenue record $719.3 billion a couple years ago. As long as people have a demand for products, the trucking industry will remain strong and necessary for the years ahead.
These massive fleets with hundreds of trucks can be intimidating… but fear not. It’s the little guys that have the numbers. 90 percent of the trucking companies on the road are small fleets of six trucks or less. If you’re looking to start a small trucking operation, you are still needed and utilized out there. From getting your CDL to cash flow management and choosing a freight factoring company, let’s look at what it takes to get started.
1. Get Your CDL
Before you get into the details, you’ll need to have a commercial drivers license (CDL) and a little experience. There are some companies out there that have a built-in training program and some will help cover the cost of CDL school. Many start as a company driver for another company.
2. Determine Your Company Type
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)
- Corporation (C-corp, S-corp, etc)
You’ll find different pros and cons to each company structure. It would be a good idea to consult an attorney or accountant on this to determine what would work best for your business.
3. Compliance – when Starting a Trucking Company
- USDOT Number (MCS-150) – Update this every two years to maintain compliant.
- Operating Authority (MC Number) – You must have your operating authority before hauling loads or arranging freight.
- Heavy Vehicle Use Tax -The heavy vehicle use tax or HVUT is a fee assessed annually on heavy vehicles operating on public highways at registered gross weights equal to or exceeding 55,000 pounds. The gross taxable weight of a vehicle is determined by adding:
- the actual unloaded weight of the vehicle fully equipped for service
- the actual unloaded weight of any trailers or semitrailers fully equipped for service customarily used in combination with the vehicle, and
- the weight of the maximum load customarily carried on the vehicle and on any trailers or semitrailers customarily used in combination with the vehicle
- IRP -Individuals and companies that operate commercial motor vehicles across state lines are required to register and pay an annual fee based on the size of their fleet.
- IFTA -International Fuel Tax Agreement is an agreement between jurisdictions in the U.S. and Canada to collect fuel use taxes. IFTA jurisdictions include 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces.
- BOC-3 – All truckers-for-hire, brokers, or freight forwarders must file a BOC-3. This designates a process agent in every state who will accept and forward legal documents.
- Permits – Simple permits are required if you’re crossing into these states:
- Kentucky (KYU Number)
- New York (New York Highway Use Tax)
- New Mexico (New Mexico Weight Distance Tax Permit)
Locate additional assistance on the above with our partnering company, TurnKey Authority and can be very valuable when starting a trucking company.
A carrier is required to obtain Liability and Cargo insurance. It is recommended that you obtain a $1,000,000-liability policy and a $100,000 Cargo policy. It is necessary to obtain insurance within the first two weeks after your MC number is filed to avoid delays in the processing of your authority. Your authority may be dismissed if you fail to get your insurance on file within the first 60 days. Waiting beyond a year to obtain your insurance will cause you to have to start the authority process over again as well as repay all applicable fees.
5. Equipment – Buying or Leasing a Truck
When starting a trucking company, you may look at either purchasing or leasing a truck depending on what works best for your initial circumstances. If your up-front capital permits, you may even be looking at buying more than one truck which can result in a possible volume discount from a dealer.
Leasing a truck will often keep your regular monthly costs down. Lease-to-own options may be available as well. Purchasing a used truck may be a good fit as you save on the front end, but maintenance costs might be a heavy factor sooner.
6. Invoice Factoring (Cash Flow Management)
A common difficulty in the transportation industry is cash flow management issues. All too often, your customer may request (or require) terms beyond 30 days before payments are made. Unfortunately, your regular expenses such as fuel, insurance, maintenance, and payroll must be paid sooner than later. This is where freight factoring can come in handy. You’ll receive cash in advance, so you can utilize your current money in the business.
Oldie but a goodie from Trevor Hoagland. I know you can all relate to wasting time at the dock.
Unfortunately, there are some of these folks on the road that we have to deal with from time to time.
Shell Rotella officially unveiled its hyper-aerodynamic StarShip concept tractor-trailer in March, three years after the company announced the project’s initiation. Bob Sliwa, head of AirFlow Truck Company, talks about the rig’s making and its key fuel-saving features here. Sliwa and AirFlow headed the production of the StarShip.
The time has arrived. October has come and gone, kicking in the mandatory use of Electronic Log Devices and issuing fines for those caught not operating in a compliant manner. April 1st has arrived and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s mandate has gone full force. This requires most commercial vehicles to have a compliant ELD in the cab to track the driver’s hours of service.
There has been quite a bit of resistance throughout the industry from owner-operators, not to mention the amount of misunderstanding and confusion of the rules and timing.
Let’s take a look at the key bullets that you should know about when it comes to this ELD shenanigans.
1. A driver that does not have a legal and compliant ELD in the cab after April 1 can be placed out of service
2. Many are just learning about specifics of the penalties for non-compliance with the ELD mandate
- If required to have a compliant ELD and found without one, the driver will be placed out of service. The OOS order will be in effect for 10 hours. At the end of the OOS period, the driver will be allowed to make their scheduled stop using paper logs. The driver should not be dispatched again without an operating ELD.
- The fines for driving without an ELD will likely be similar to being cited for not possessing a paper log (before the ELD mandate).
3. Most motor carriers and drivers are required to use ELDs but there are some exceptions
- Drivers operating under the short-haul exceptions may continue to use timecards
- Drivers using paper logs for not more than eight days out of every 30-day period
- Drivers operating a power unit part of the driveaway/towaway shipment
- Drivers who are driving or towing a recreational vehicle that is part of driveaway/ towaway shipment
- Drivers who are operating vehicles with an engine model year older than 2000
4. Hours of Service (HOS) rules are the same
While some believe the hours of service rules have been altered, they are the same. Some have been able to skate past certain rules in the past and the ELD may be pointing out these non-compliance issues that have always been in effect.
5. The AOBRD grandfather provision explained
The grandfather clause in the ELD rule excuses carriers and drivers as long as they were using a compliant automatic onboard recorder device before Dec 18, 2017.
6. Ensuring your ELD is compliant
The carrier is responsible for making sure their device is registered with the FMCSA. Be sure to check both the registration and revocation list periodically. That list can be viewed here: https://3pdp.fmcsa.dot.gov/ELD/ELDList.aspx.
7. Annotate when necessary
When drivers were using paper logs and something went wrong, they’d make a note on the paper log. The same goes for the ELD use. It has the same capability. These notes will be imperative for you and your company as well as those enforcing the mandate.
If you’re still in need of a compliant ELD for you truck, check our one of our partners, www.drive-eld.com. They provide one of the most cost-effective devices out there right now. Also, if you work with us (www.SteelheadFactoring.com), we’ll get you an additional discount.