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TDMST Email Newsletter, 2017-03
March 10, 2017

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter

Issue #92, March 10, 2017



Featuring content from and supporting:

Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com

"Because truckers know that no trucker deserves to be stung financially."

  • We provide real world tips that help professional truck drivers save hard-earned money and personal reporting about products and services for use on the road.
  • We've developed our unique website as a place to share the tips we have learned through the years -- and where other professional drivers can do the same.



Table of Contents




Partnership

Here are some serious questions about aspects of your earning potential as a professional truck driver:
  • Have you ever been told there's "no freight" to haul?
  • Are you tired of being under-utilized as a trucker?
  • Are you routinely not getting all the miles you want to run during your Hours of Service?
Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com is proud to partner with the company that provided the original load board over 35 years ago that continues to maintain the largest database of trucks and loads in the industry.

Access more than 68 MILLION loads and trucks posted each year. Of those, 45 MILLION loads and trucks are found here first or nowhere else, giving you first choice in priority loads.

TruckersEdge is powered by the DAT Load Board network - the industry's leading load board, with over 250,000 fresh loads posted daily.

Start your subscription on this load board with the best price and value you can find.

New subscribers get their first 30 Days FREE!





Important Notice


  • Our Website Platform

    While Vicki's high hopes of quickly changing the platform upon which Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com is hosted were dashed, she is undaunted!

    The changeover is just going to take longer than we thought.

    Thanks for your patience as we work to provide a system with greater flexibility and functionality than we currently have. :-)



  • Email Newsletter Format

    Some weeks back, Vicki began writing a "TDMST Weekly Round-Up" of articles that she considered worthy of comment on our site.

    As of this email newsletter, we've combined several sections into one and will be utilizing content from the round-ups.

    Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.



 

Media


In numerous places throughout some of the TDMST Weekly Round-Up content, you'll see where we request a comment "below", which is a reference to the place on the page from which the content was taken where comments may be left.


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From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.02.18


1. If "88% of young millennials engaged in at least one risky behavior behind the wheel in the past 30 days", according to this February 15, 2017, article, how can you protect yourself, trucker?

Besides driving defensively and having your insurance paid up, check out our Truck Cam page for help. Are there other helps out there?


2. If there are no nearby facilities that truckers can use to remove snow and ice from the tops of their trailers and if "the Occupational Safety and Health Administration prohibits anyone on the job to climb to such heights without proper safeguards" (link), then how can truckers win against state laws specifying this?

Must all trailers come equipped with snow removal "sweeping" devices or should truckers be equipped with something like a Big Rig Rake? What's your solution?


3. Which of these 6 Reasons to Use a Fuel Card is most important to you, trucker?


4. When you're driving a big truck of any kind, always assume that warning signs posted along your route are directed at you. Know the height, width, length and weight of your vehicle at all times.


5. Do you save money "effortlessly" by using a mobile app? Which app listed in this article is your favorite -- or do you have a different one?


6. The consequences for doing drugs while being employed as a professional truck driver can be severe. In the case of this trucker, he was detained before he could kill anyone in his impaired state.

However, now he has a criminal record and will most likely never driver professionally again. This is a very expensive lesson to learn. Don't do drugs and drive -- ever.


7. According to a poll, the results of which are shown on Overdrive.com, 35% of truckers have at some time been forced to use a form of self-defense while trucking.

Truckers, which form of self-defense would you use on the road? Does it depend on the situation? Is the type you would use listed on our Self Defense page?

Contact Us or connect with us through our social media channels.



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From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.02.25



1. If the trucker was only hauling raisins and figs, why did he appear "very nervous ... when [he was] stopped ... for routine questioning as he tried to cross the Ambassador Bridge to get to Ontario"? Because his load contained cocaine, the trucker "now faces a federal charge of Possession with Intent to Deliver Controlled Substance." Hauling illegal drugs isn't worth your trucking career.


2. We would like to know how much trucking companies in Illinois have had to pay out in "distribution fees" in order to do business with the state. If the trucking fee is repealed, how do Illinois-based trucking companies play to spend the money that would have gone to pay the fee? What other "neighboring states" have this fee, where does it go and how is it spent?


3. A "truck driver [who] had been driving under the influence of alcohol" killed a 31-year-old motorcyclist. Don't drink alcoholic beverages before or during your work as a truck driver. According to this source, "Most states have adopted the FMCSA regulations for commercial drivers and alcohol, which set a 0.04 percent blood-alcohol concentration limit. This is half the BAC limit for non-commercial drivers in most states. The FMCSA rules also stipulate that commercial drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle within four hours of using alcohol."


4. Use proper loading and unloading procedures so that you don't get fatally crushed by your load, as this trucker was. If you are unsure how to go about loading or unloading freight from your truck, get answers from a supervisor.


5. Truckers, if you have been delayed at the Port of Baltimore, how much money have you lost as a result? Who would pay your detention fee? Have you ever been successful in being paid for your waiting time? Please contact us.


6. How can you avoid accidents such as the one where a large bird flew through the windshield of a truck? (Photo source.)


7. Congestion in Kentucky costs drivers billions annually and the "cost of traffic congestion increased in 2016 to an average of $1,400 for U.S. drivers" (link). Truckers, how do you deal with the costs of traffic congestion?


8. "The nation's three largest banks ... collected more than $6.4 billion in" ATM and overdraft fees. That averages out to be "more than $25 in fees for every American adult." Professional drivers, how do you guard your finances against fees like this? Please share on our budgeting page.



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From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.03.04



1. According to a March 3, 2017, article, "... Connecticut appears ready to earn a reputation as even more truck-unfriendly. ... Seven rest areas on I-84, I-91 and I-95, containing a total 222 truck parking places, were targeted for shutdown..."

While we certainly empathize with states needing to cut their budgets, closing over 200 truck parking space without approving the construction of truck stops to make up for the loss is going to hurt professional truck drivers.

What is holding back the construction of truck stops in Connecticut? Please share your thoughts below.



2. Navistar's president and CEO, Troy Clarke, spoke at the 2017 TMC annual meeting about "how the 'connected truck' is going to upend traditional freight shipment practices in the U.S.", according to a March 3, 2017, article.

Please share your thoughts below about
- how much extra (in U.S. dollars) you expect for this "connectivity" to cost per truck and
- whether you think the ROI (Return on Investment) will
   - come quickly;
   - come slowly; or
   - never come at all.



3. It's good that trucking companies want to "keep drivers happy" when it comes to pay, but engaging in payroll theft isn't the way to do it.

If you had the means by which to do it, how would you structure truckers' pay so that they were paid for all of the time they spend driving and taking care of truck-related duties (fueling, washing the truck, getting maintenance done, etc.)? Please share your thoughts below.



4. A March 2, 2017, article, stated, "Michelin is the first manufacturer to integrate RFID into its full commercial truck tire portfolio."

If you use -- or plan to use -- RFID-equipped Michelin tires on your commercial motor vehicle, how much do you think this technology will save you over 1 year, 3 years, 5 years or more? Please share your thoughts below.



5. In a March 2, 2017, article about real-time data being collected by the Iowa DOT to "help fleets refine routes and avoid idle time," it was said that "fleets with fewer than 100 trucks were found to not have access to the technology or the manpower needed to receive and process DOT data."

How much money would it take for each fleet -- or each truck in a fleet -- to access, process and utilize this DOT data -- in Iowa and other states?
How much it would end up saving each company per truck in the end?
Please share your thoughts below.



6. If you were in your truck in an area being battered by 71 mph winds, how would you keep your truck from overturning?

Please share your ideas on truck overturn prevention below.



7. When we were in truck driver training school, we were told that if there was an impending collision, to "get some paint" (let the other driver hit your truck) rather than wreck to avoid a wreck. This driver didn't do that.

The article says nothing about the trucker having had a truck dash cam in his truck to prove that he swerved to avoid the car. Swerving to avoid an accident can obviously lead to an accident -- and in this case, did.

What would you do if you were in this situation? Please share your thoughts below.



8. Trucker, even if you're desperate for cash, don't ever agree to sell a load of freight in exchange for cash to anyone other than the receiver. You'll end up in legal hot water, as did this trucker, who now faces a "charge of grand larceny."

If you need more income than you're earning in trucking, consider earning a second income.



9. A February 27, 2017, article stated that "a truck driver has been sentenced to 14 years to prison for ... conspiracy to distribute cocaine."

Hauling illegal drugs will eventually catch up with those who transport them. It's not worth the risk.

Oh, and don't go to work for any trucking company that would hire someone who is "on probation for a drug conviction." Show yourself some respect.



10. The writer of a letter to the editor stated that "[the] trucking industry, tractor-trailers and big rigs" are "perpetrators" in damaging the "interstates, highways and roads" in the state of Tennessee.

If you were in charge of this situation, how would you go about making sure that vehicle owners/operators pay "their fair share" for road maintenance?

Is charging a per-mile tax the way to go? If not, what is? What is your solution? Please share your thoughts below.



11. A March 3, 2017, article opened with this paragraph: "Autonomous trucking technology companies have popped up like gophers in the past 12 months, each with similar technology that can’t quite clear two very important hurdles: getting the truck on and off the highway."

It's only a matter of time, in our opinions, before this technology hurdle is cleared. How long do you think that will take? Please share your thoughts below.



12. The "in-pavement detection systems" that I predicted years ago is being used in Florida and has "a 95 percent or greater accuracy rate".

Is this kind of technology helping you find truck parking? Please share your thoughts below.



13. Have you invested in "variable engine-driven accessories [that] have emerged as minor fuel-saving strategies" as described in this February 26, 2017, article?

If so, would you please, provide a truck parts review?



14. If you outfit your trailer with the "Trailer AeroKit", would you please provide a truck parts review?



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From the TDMST Weekly Round-Up: 2017.03.11



1. Two news articles from New Zealand reported how dash cameras are being used to show bad driver behavior on the road.

A March 6, 2017, article was about a female trucker who films "near-misses" and a March 4, 2017, article recorded a truck driver that rammed into the back of a car and drove off.

The video taken of the "runner" (hit-and-run driver) was posted on Facebook and has rightly sparked outrage over the trucker's leaving the scene of an accident.

More and more dash cams are in use. We advocate the use of outward-facing truck cams to help protect the truckers. But be aware that you are also being watched!

What are your thoughts about dash cams? Please share them below.



2. A March 9, 2017, article from FleetOwner.com opened with this statement: "If the nation’s infrastructure were a student in school, it would most likely be held back, based on the second consecutive D+ grade it received Thursday from the American Society of Civil Engineers."

Given that report, do you agree that the solution for "Incentivizing private companies to invest in U.S. infrastructure with cheap financing and tax breaks" will be for them to create toll roads?

If you're a trucker based in the USA, have you found that the toll roads upon which you've driven have been maintained commensurate with the amount of money you've paid to drive on them?

Please share your thoughts below.



3. Didn't we know all along (or predict) that the 2013 change to the Hours of Service (HOS) regulation was not going to help?

A March 9, 2017, article stated, "Not only did the drivers operating under the more restrictive regulations show no greater levels of safety, in some cases they were less safe, according to FMCSA’s summary of the research provided to Congress this week."

A March 6, 2017, article from FleetOwner.com contained this quote: “We concur with the Department’s conclusion that the study did not explicitly identify a net benefit from the use of the two suspended provisions of the restart rule on driver operations, safety, fatigue, and health,” the OIG letter states.

Other articles about this HOS situation are: here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Please share your thoughts below.



4. How do you protect your rig from being overturned in high winds?

If you were driving a rig that was flipped on its side in winds approaching or at 70 mph, would your trucking company in any way blame you?

Would this kind of accident be called "preventable"?

What if in the process of your rig flipping over, your truck hit another vehicle? What if someone was injured or killed?

If you had no dash cam -- and no one behind you had a dash cam -- that proved it was the wind's fault, how could you prove you didn't swerve and cause the accident?

Please share your thoughts below.



5. The failure to pay tolls is catching up with some drivers.

One "Trucker [was] arrested for owing more than $300K in tolls," stated this March 9, 2017, article. There were other drivers who owed more than that!

Furthermore, "New technology the state put in place on some of New York City’s bridges and tunnels this year has helped cops bust more toll scofflaws."

Be honest. Pay the stated toll to drive on a toll road.



6. According to a March 7, 2017, article, "Truckers have asked the National Labor Relations Board to intervene in a string of cases in which the drivers say they have become victims of workplace retaliation, including termination, as they pushed for collective bargaining and better working conditions."

Have you been retaliated against as a truck driver because you engaged in activity that your trucking company didn't like (such as voting to join a union)?

Have you experienced "dispatch delays" or a lack of loads or some other financial penalty as a result?

How much would you say it has cost you?

Please share your thoughts below.



7. A March 6, 2017, article from Fox40.com reported that I-80 had been closed "from the Nevada State Line to Applegate due to heavy snow." The amount of snow that had fallen as of that writing was 32 inches and drifts were reported at up to 5 feet.

The interstate was finally reopened almost 24 hours later. The article stated that "the financial impact to truckers and the companies they work for could be huge."

One of the truckers indicated that if his refrigerated load went bad, they were forced to bear the financial cost.

Have you ever had to bear the cost for a product being ruined in-transit when you were delayed by weather, an accident or something else beyond your control?

How much did you have to pay?

Please share your thoughts below.



8. Which kind of Electronic Logging Device (ELD) do you prefer:
- one that gives away or leases the hardware and charges a monthly fee for software usage; or
- one that charges "a onetime charge for their ECM-connection hardware" with no monthly fees?

If you have an ELD and if you had the opportunity to buy one all over again, would you choose another brand, model or type of service?

If you use ELD capability on your Smartphone, would you prefer to get a separate Smartphone to record your logs?

Which Electronic Logging Device do you use and how well is it working for you?

Please review your unit on our Product Reviews page.



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Updated: On Death and Dying On the Job as a Professional Truck Driver

No one wants to talk about it, but professional truck drivers should deal with the possibility of death and dying on the job ahead of time.





 

Earn More, Save More


Did you see the article above about I-80 in the Nevada-California area being closed for almost 24 hours due to heavy snow? And did you notice that the article stated "the financial impact to truckers and the companies they work for could be huge"?

Did you see the two articles listed above about trucks that were overturned in high winds?

When severe weather strikes, drive time can be lost and property can be damaged. And it can happen at any time of the year.

Question: How do you make up for time that is swallowed up due to winter or severe weather?

One way to help offset the loss of trucker income is to develop a second income from the cab of your truck.

Vicki is working on the technical things behind the revision of her Second Income for Truckers E-Course into a different format. Learn more about earning a second income as a trucker.




 

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While spring has "sprung" in some areas of the country, winter weather is still prevalent in other areas.

Where it is necessary to do so, please slow down. The old saying is still true: "The fastest way to cool off a hot load is in a ditch."

To all of our readers who are professional truck drivers, we wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road!

Best regards,
Mike and Vicki Simons, Owners
NKBJ InfoNet, LLC

Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com

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All information on this site and in this email newsletter is intended for informational and educational purposes.
It neither substitutes for professional advice nor negates user responsibility to do due diligence.




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