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Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips Email Newsletter, Issue #18, 2011-01-14
January 14, 2011

Issue #18  |  January 14, 2011

Truck Drivers Money Saving Tips

Email Newsletter

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. In other words...

Get and share great money saving tips for truck drivers at

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Reader Submitted Content



Social Networking

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Important Notice

  1. We have redesigned the layout of this email newsletter to make it easier to navigate and read. Please let us know how you like it.
  2. We have received the first news release to publish on our site, which you'll find below in Reader Submitted Content.
  3. We seek reviews from professional truck drivers on products and services marketed and sold to truck drivers, truck parts and truck stops.
  4. If the information on our website or in this email newsletter is helpful to you, please let others know.



Subscribe to our Truckers' Savings Blog to receive these bloglets -- with the links -- as they are sent. If you have news about how professional truck drivers can save money (directly or indirectly) please submit it for publication on our Truckers Savings News page.

New Hampshire bill would make idling incentive law

An incentive to reduce truck idling could soon become law in New Hampshire. A House bill would increase the maximum weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology.

Sponsored by Rep. Brian Rhodes, D-Nashua, the bill would authorize commercial vehicles equipped with auxiliary power units to weigh up to an additional 400 pounds.

Supporters say the weight exemption removes the disincentive that would keep truckers from using APUs. They say a reduction of 400 pounds in cargo is a major loss in hauling potential and represents an economic disincentive for using these units.

An analysis attached to the bill explains that the rule allows additional weight for vehicles using idle-reduction technology in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 25 states have laws that allow the weight exemption.


Indiana bill targets reckless drivers

If an Indiana state lawmaker gets his way, drivers who show little regard for the safety of others could face stiff penalties.

Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, has offered a bill that targets reckless driving and other poor driving decisions.

Indiana law now calls for anyone found guilty of driving in a reckless manner to face up to 180 days in jail and up to $1,000 fines.

In addition to fines and possible jail time, the bill calls for anyone found to be driving a tractor-trailer "in a reckless or deliberate attempt" to endanger others to face a lengthy amount of time off the road. If such actions result in injury to another person, a judge could recommend a one-year license suspension. Injuries that result in death could result in a three-year ban.

According to the fiscal impact statement attached to the bill, there were 35 occurrences of truck drivers being cited for reckless driving during the five-year period that ended in 2009.


New Jersey DOT says it will reimburse tows, penalties during snowstorm

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has announced it will reimburse "reasonable towing costs" incurred by drivers during a post-Christmas snowstorm that stranded many.

No one has publicly stated, however, whether trucks towed during the storm will be covered by the reimbursement.

The snowstorm caused many vehicles on the Jersey Turnpike to be stuck, prompting police and tow companies to remove many from the scene. Members of the public were outraged at automatic tow policies in place on the Jersey Turnpike - an issue truckers have dealt with in more expensive form for years.


A spokeswoman with the New Jersey DOT told Land Line Magazine on Monday, Jan. 10, that additional information would be forthcoming as to which vehicles would be eligible for tow reimbursement, and whether trucks would be included.


Kentucky bill would limit tolls

Discontent over a plan that sought to toll three existing bridges in the Louisville area in order to pay for new Ohio River bridges has spurred action at the Kentucky statehouse.

Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, has introduced a bill that would make sure tolls are not added. The bill, dubbed the "Keeping Kentucky's Freeways Free Act," would make it illegal to charge tolls on existing roadways to pay for new projects.

If approved by lawmakers, tolls could not be charged on the Sherman-Minton Bridge, Clark Memorial Bridge and John F. Kennedy Bridge to pay for the new east-end and downtown bridges.


NRA calls for lower toll charges

[] The National Roads Authority has announced that it feels motorists and hauliers are being over charged at a number of toll plazas around the country.

The call from the NRA will put more pressure on the toll operators to reduce their prices at certain plazas, and if it goes ahead, it will be a huge relief to hauliers around the country, who are paying exorbitant amounts on the tolls every week.


Averitt Associate Wins New Pickup Truck for Saving Fuel

Averitt Express has proclaimed driver Marty Robbins the winner of the "F-150 4x4 Fuel Duel" challenge. Robbins was handed the keys to his new truck at a surprise ceremony held at the Greensboro, N.C., service center. Robbins was randomly selected as the winner of the grand prize, a 2010 Ford F-150 4x4 pickup truck, from a pool of hundreds of eligible associates. In addition, 20 other Averitt associates each won a $500 fuel card after their names were selected from a random drawing.

The unveiling was the culmination of the six-month-long "F-150 4x4 Fuel Duel" challenge. Averitt designed the program to create enthusiasm about fuel conservation amongst its associates.


Averitt drivers conserved 132,544 gallons of fuel over last year and saved the company $356,545.


Meritor, students co-design future fuel efficient truck

ArvinMeritor recently entered into a heavy-duty truck design partnership program with one of the nation's leading art/design universities.

For the second year in a row, College for Creative Studies (CCS) in Detroit will work with the truck components systems manufacturer on the program, which involves 15 senior-level students in looking for new ways to slash fuel consumption and emissions by 10 to 20 percent as required by impending government regulations.


[Mark West, professor and assistant chair of MFA Transportation Design at CCS] says the students' designs address fuel efficiency, sustainability/recycling, and aerodynamic issues. They also closely considered the vehicle's life expectancy, hybrid powers, integrated solar panels, highway safety, driver comfort and safety, and serviceability.


Winter Wonderland?

10 natural safety threats likely to test your driving skills over the next several months


This time of year the experts have one piece of advice: Be prepared for the worst.


Toll free? Governors agree to cut costs on Louisville bridges

Toll opponents in the Louisville area have won a victory this week, but there's still work to be done. On Tuesday, Jan. 4, the governors of Kentucky and Indiana and the mayor of Louisville agreed on a plan to scale back the Ohio River Bridges Project, save $500 million, and work to keep at least two of the three existing bridges free of tolls.


Pa., New York tolls rise

The start of a new year usually includes toll increases, which for 2011 includes the Pennsylvania Turnpike and New York City bridges and tunnels.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike toll increases began Jan. 2. E-Z Pass customers are paying 3 percent more in 2011, while cash customers face a 10-percent increase. The fare schedule will not be printed on tickets until the authority receives the new tickets this spring. ...

How to: Maintain Landing Gear

Crank, lube, inspect


Doing the job


Inspect these


Truckers say $1.21 per mile is unfair for West Virginia toll road

History has proved that truckers will avoid toll roads if the rates get too high. Upon learning that the proposed U.S. Route 35 toll project in West Virginia could carry a toll of $1.21 per mile for five-axle vehicles, truckers are already saying they won't use it.


According to the toll schedule, two toll plazas will be set up. Truckers paying cash will be asked to pay $8.50 at each plaza, or $17 for a full-length trip, which amounts to $1.21 per mile. E-ZPass account holders would pay $8.08 for fix axles at each plaza, or $16.16 for a full trip, which amounts to $1.15 per mile.

Toll increases would be guaranteed every four years through the proposed sunset date of 2043. Toll rates toward the end of the contract are proposed at $16 for five axle vehicles per toll plaza, or $32 for a full-length trip. That amounts to $2.29 per mile.


Dollars and Sense: Idle-reduction strategy

Choosing an idle reduction technology can be one of the most difficult decisions to make. Systems and costs vary widely. A study by the American Transportation Research Institute put diesel-fired heaters at the bottom of the cost range for purchase ($888) and annual maintenance ($110). Full-function diesel auxiliary power units/gensets are at the top, at $7,750 to purchase.

If you don't employ idle-reduction technology today, start evaluating your need by keeping a detailed idle log. Write down every time you idle and why. Keep track of hours idled and sort them by reason, such as air-conditioning, heat, AC power, warming the engine, etc. Try this for a year ideally, or at least for three months.


Bad Money Habits--and Eight Steps Toward Changing Them

...What exactly are the money habits that Americans so desperately want to reverse?

Impulse spending, for one -- ...'s Lisa Bertagnoli offers eight steps to change bad financial habits that New Year's Resolvers can put into play: ...

Pilot Flying J Enhancing Driver Benefits Through Frequent Fueler Program

Pilot Flying J is launching Frequent Fueler Advantage on Jan. 3, calling the new loyalty program nation's largest for professional drivers and RV customers.

Frequent Fueler Advantage will allow professional drivers to instantly accrue and redeem loyalty points in all participating Pilot and Flying J travel centers, travel plazas and restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.

Pilot Travel Centers and Flying J merged in July, and the new loyalty program combines the best of both previous programs. Added benefits of the new program include extended shower expirations for loyal customers, shower credits for expeditors and in-store rewards for club members.


Anti-toll petition nets more than 10,000 signatures

An anti-toll group based in Louisville, KY, recently submitted 10,300 signatures in opposition to a plan that calls for tolls to be levied on existing bridges.

Shawn Reilly, founder of the group Say No to Bridge Tolls, said the signatures were sent to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's office.

"We're asking Secretary LaHood not to allow tolls on existing infrastructure," Reilly said.

Truckers and trucking companies are among those deeply entrenched in the fight to keep the Sherman Minton, John F. Kennedy, East Side and U.S. 31 bridges toll free.


IdleAir offers free services to drivers stranded over Christmas

It's the reality that not all drivers will make it home for the Christmas holidays - and sometimes that's because of the weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

IdleAir is offering free services from noon on Christmas Eve through midnight Christmas day to drivers stuck on the road. The offer is good for all drivers, not just drivers working for companies with fleet accounts.

To receive the free service, ...

Treating Sleep Apnea in Truck Drivers Lowers Health Care Costs

For commercial motor vehicle drivers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), effective treatment lowers health care costs and disability rates, reports a study in the May Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM).

Treating OSA in truck drivers has economic as well as health and safety benefits, according to the new study, led by Dr Benjamin Hoffman, chief medical officer of Waste Management Inc.


For treated drivers, health plan costs decreased by an average of $2,700 in the first year and another $3,100 in the second year, compared to no change for untreated drivers. The treated drivers also missed fewer work days (average 4.4 days in the first year) and had lower short-term disability costs ($528 over 2 years).

On average, treatment for OSA led to "over $6,000 in total health plan and disability cost savings per treated driver," the researchers write. Total costs decreased by 41 in drivers treated for OSA (compared to an 8 decrease in untreated drivers).


Ohio Turnpike raises speed limit to 70 mph for all vehicles

The Ohio Turnpike Commission voted Monday, Dec. 20, to raise the speed limit for trucks and cars to 70 mph effective April 1, 2011. Ohio Turnpike Commission commissioners are hoping the 5 mph increase will give truckers an incentive to use the toll road. The speed limit on other major routes in the Buckeye State is 65 mph.

"Time is money for truckers. And we anticipate that the increased speed limit on the Ohio Turnpike will encourage commercial vehicles off of the congested, rural, two-lane country roads and onto the safer, well-maintained, well-designed Ohio Turnpike," Commission Chairman Joseph Balog said in a statement.


Speed limits and time savings are only part of the equation truckers use to determine whether to use a toll road. Another important threshold is price.


Belzer and Swan calculated that when tolls increased by 83 percent on the turnpike, 13 percent of the truck traffic diverted to alternate routes. The researchers then showed that much of the traffic returned to the turnpike when the toll rates were decreased.

The Ohio Turnpike Commission approved a toll increase in 2009 and provided a discount incentive for customers who have E-ZPass.


Christmas: Time for stealin'

A new report by FreightWatch International shows a whopping-28 percent increase in cargo theft on a per-day basis during the Holidays compared with the other calendar days.


[Dan Burges, corporate director of Global Intelligence] said the Holiday season gives cargo criminals a greater opportunity to commit thefts and disappear with the product.

"Prior to each major holiday, the logistics and security industry is reminded to increase security measures over the upcoming days," Burges continued.


Reader Submitted Content

News Release 2011 01 12 Instructional Technologies

A January 12, 2011 News Release from Instructional Technologies. News Release 2011 01 12 Instructional Technologies.

Detention Pay

I ask for and charge $90/hour. This rate is based from this calculation: 60 miles per hour average x $1.50 per mile. I seldom get paid that rate for detention.

kettlebell fitness

For a handy and effective fitness device that can be stored, get a kettlebell and learn how to do a proper kettlebell swing with one.(check youtube) Strengthens

elderberry capsules for cold/flu.

elderberry capsules for cold/flu. find them at herbal/health food store. ----- Response from Vicki: Hello. Thank you for your suggestion of a natural

Is free dry really free?

As a laundromat owner I analyze my needs as well as the customers needs on an on-going basis. Free Dry is one of the scams that annoys me most about this

Beware of sparks around batteries

When troubleshooting any electrical problems, try to avoid anything that causes sparks close to batteries. Hydrogen gas vapors rising from batteries can

Cooking with Aluminum is bad

Please be aware that aluminum leaches into your food and is VERY unhealthy over time. Use cooking materials that are made of stainless steel instead.



Klenz Shower in a Towel: Reviews from Professional Truck Drivers

Professional truck drivers often take showers at truck stops. An alternative is using a pre-moistened Klenz Shower in a Towel. How do drivers like it?



The Credit Card Statement Shock Some People Get, Especially After Christmas

Some people get credit card statement shock, especially after running up huge bills for Christmas. Isn't it time to break the cycle?

Aerodynamic Wheel Covers Help Big Trucks Save Fuel

By removing areas of air resistance on big trucks, fuel efficiency can be increased. Wheel covers can improve truck aerodynamics.

Crock Pot Chicken: An Easy Way to Fix Poultry in Your Truck

If you have a taste for poultry, consider making crock pot chicken. You can make it in batches of your choice, season it to taste and so much more.

Truck Parking: An Idea About Vacancy to Save Time, Effort and Money

If you could name one thing about truck parking that would save you time, effort and money, what would it be? We have an idea regarding vacancy...

Railroad Crossing Accident Prevention for Semi Tractor Trailers

Drivers of semi tractor trailers can prevent being involved in a railroad crossing accident. Here's how...

Barbeque Pork: An Easy Crock Pot Entree in Your Truck

We show you how easy it is to fix a mouth-watering crock pot full of barbeque pork. Just follow our tips...

Your Personalized To Do List to Help You Reach Your Goals

Those who have no target hit it every time. Using a to do list will help you plan your work and work your plan until you reach your goals. Ours is free...

On Surviving New Years Eve as a Professional Driver; Beware of Drunk Driving

Mike Simons never likes driving his truck on New Years Eve. If you have to drive, how do you survive if others engage in drunk driving?

On Parking Too Far Back

Every professional driver must master the art of backing his or her rig into parking spots. It is possible to park too far back and cost yourself big bucks...

On Riding a Trucker Bike for Fitness and Exercise on the Road

Some professional truck drivers might ride a trucker bike for fitness and exercise. What should you know before you invest in one?

Truck Mirrors that Fold In: The Benefit of Folding Mirrors

Having folding truck mirrors can really help you in tight docking situations. We'll show you why...

A Portable Ice Maker in Your Truck: The Pros and Cons of Make-Your-Own Ice

Truck drivers who store perishable food in ice chests can make their own ice. We discuss the pros and cons of having a portable ice maker in a big rig.

Hamburger: Tips on Buying, Preparing and Using the Meat

Hamburger meat is very versatile and can be used to make lots of dishes. When it comes to buying, preparing and using it, we provide some tips.

Repurposing Items for Better Use and Functionality in Semi Tractors

Because semi tractors have a small amount of storage space, clever professional truck drivers engage in repurposing some items for better use and functionality.

Best Frugal Christmas Decoration for Semi Tractor Trailers: Who Has It?

Just because you drive a truck for a living doesn't mean you can't have a Christmas decoration. Who has the best frugal one of all?


Social Networking

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We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road!

Mike and Vicki Simons, Owners

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