Cross-border Trucking Reforms included in NAFTA negotiations

A revamp of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s cross-border trucking program with Mexico is under consideration in a planned update of the North American Free Trade Agreement, claims Mike Dolan, a Teamster staffer. Under current NAFTA regulations, any Mexican-based carrier can apply for authority to operate in the U.S.

The Trump Administration along with a broad set of stakeholders across multiple industries, including transportation, are working on a new version of the agreement behind closed doors. Although Dolan is not free to discuss the reforms, he says the cross-border stipulations and renegotiations are meant to modernize the deal.

Easy Road Trip Preparation Tips for Truckers

Setting off on the road for a long trip can be nerve-wracking, and you don’t want to spend the first hour or so sitting there wondering what you forgot to do. With every inch of your rig needing to be checked before you depart on your haul, here are some preparation tips you may have forgotten to do to well prepare yourself for the trip ahead.

Check the total distance of your trip. It is easy to think you won’t need to calculate this out, but it will really help you in the long run. Calculating in time to stop for food, fuel, and bathroom breaks are necessary. However, it is important to budget time for traffic, border crossings, or inclement weather; this brings me to my next tip.

Map out the weather forecast for all points along your trip. It is so easy to check the weather app on your phone quickly and think you have the forecast for the next few hours. What a lot of drivers will neglect to remember is that as you drive you’re changing terrains, weather patterns, and possibly colder climates. The weather at your point A could be drastically different than the weather at point B. If you don’t budget time for bad weather farther along your route, you may run into trouble down the line.

Know where the essential services are on your route. Do a little research and find some tire repair shops, oil change centers, or maybe even an express medical center along your route. Knowing where these services are ahead of time will help you to be able to plan when to stop most efficiently.

Take Advantage of ELD’s at Love’s

Small fleets and independent owners have to go about tracking consumer data differently than small fleets. Essentially, it’s all in your hands to stay organized. But, what if there was a device that could lighten the load a little for you?

Transflo’s ELD’s engine-connection device offers new opportunities for independent fleet owners to organize and track delivers, as well as managing logs. Better yet, the device is now for sale at Love’s Truck Stop locations! Interested in getting your hands on one? Check out Overdrive’s write-up on the offers available.

What Cars Can Do To Avoid Trucker Blind Spots

The blind spots on a semi truck are typically directly in the front and the back. However, the right side of the truck is also a blind area because of the position of the driver’s seat. Knowing where their blind spots are helps you avoid them easily. When you are passing them, make sure you do it quickly so you are not lingering in their blind spots.

When driving next to a semi, keep the trucks mirrors in sight. If you cannot see the mirrors, it is likely the driver cannot see you either. If you are driving beside a semi and you notice the driver coming into your lane, honk your horn a few times to alert the driver that you are around.

Lastly, make sure you keep a safe distance behind the truck. While usually two car-lengths is appropriate for driving behind a regular sized vehicle, it is better to drive about 15 car-lengths behind a semi so that you have more than enough time to stop if the truck slows down.

Being conscious of your trucker-road companions is important for avoiding accidents. Keep the tips above in mind next time you hit the road!

Meal Prepping for Truckers Made Easy

Eating and living healthily on the road is not always the easiest task. Fast-food chains or quick truck stop meals can bog you down. But, you don’t have to settle for greasy, unhealthy meals. Check out this trucker’s advice on how to meal prep so you can eat properly on the move!

Companies Work to Strengthen Trucker Safety

Over the past few years, accidents caused by or involving semi trucks have stood out as a strikingly relevant issue. In fact, in 2012 alone, about 4,000 people were killed and 100,000 people were injured in a semi-truck related accident. This number came as a surprise to experts, who now are working to improve the safety of truck drivers and other drivers on the road.

So, what’s being done?

Trucking companies are making efforts to strengthen safety by improving oversight over operators, drivers, and vehicles. They are starting the process by making adjustments to the current safety compliance. By making these efforts, companies are ensuring that any issue with a truck or driver is dealt with an in appropriate and timely manner. Life-saving technology such as tire pressure monitoring systems and rolloverstability control systems are updating and improving fleet maintenance.

Additionally, companies are strengthening driver safety by constantly regulating and treating sleep apnea and other potentially imparing medical conditions.

Diesel Prices Dropping

Truckers can stop cringing when they roll up to a truck stop. Diesel prices, $0.03 cheaper from last month, are expected to keep dropping. This time last year, diesel prices were $0.30 more expensive! Trucking companies are relieved to see that they won’t have to invest as much money into filling up their tanks.

Check out the numbers of dropping diesel prices from the past few years here!

Use Freight Bill Factoring For Your Trucking Company

If you own a truck company you must be fully aware that the intensity of cash flow in this business is much higher than most businesses. The list of ongoing expenses like fuel expenses, salaries, truck repairs, rental charges can be overwhelming for anybody. It is a known fact that running a truck company is profitable but the wait for freight bills to get paid after 60 days can be overbearing even for large profitable trucking companies. This situation is more difficult for small and new trucking companies.

In most cases, owners try to get finance from banks in the hope of solving the problem with a line of credits. But this is not easy as the company needs to show a minimum of 3 years of audited finances with regular profits. If that is the case then why would the owner go to a bank for a loan in the first place?

A better solution in such a case is to opt for freight factoring. In freight factoring you are able to convert your slow paying freight bills into easy cash by selling them to a freight factoring firm/company/broker. In this way you are able to get easy finances and handle ongoing expenses for your business. Freight bill factoring is a more flexible way of getting finances as compared to loans.

The process of freight bill factoring for trucking companies is easy. The factoring companies buy your invoices and pays for them upfront. The payment is done in two installments. The first installment, called the advance, of 90-95% of the bill amount is paid when they take over the invoice. The second installment comes when the customer has paid the invoice amount to the factoring company, who then pays the remaining 10% after deducting their fee. This 10% is held up as reserve money in case of charge backs or disputes.

The factoring fee is dependent upon the time taken to clear the invoice and the monthly volume of invoices provided to the factoring company. Discount rate can be from 1.5% to 4% per month depending upon the given parameters.

It is generally seen that factoring companies buy invoices by the non-recourse invoice factoring method. In such cases, it is the factoring company that carries the risk and bears the losses if a client is not able to pay the bills. This comes as an added benefit of factoring and allows you to concentrate on your business to make it grow.

In many cases factoring companies also provide collections and credit protections as part of their services. This saves you from spending more money and time in back office work and provides you with the benefit of concentrating your time and energy and redirecting your money to grow your business.

Freight bill factoring proves to be a boon for the new and emerging trucking companies as they can make their businesses grow without worrying about payments of invoices. Many truck factory owners started factoring their bills to avert dealing with slow or non payers, have with time been able to put away a lot of tension and concentrate in a more focused manner on their business.