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Tax Planning

Tax Planning for Small Business Owners

Tax planning is the process of looking at various tax options to determine when, whether, and how to conduct business transactions to reduce or eliminate tax liability.

Many small business owners ignore tax planning. They don’t even think about their taxes until it’s time to meet with their accountants, but tax planning is an ongoing process and good tax advice is a valuable commodity. It is to your benefit to review your income and expenses monthly and meet with your CPA or tax advisor quarterly to analyze how you can take full advantage of the provisions, credits and deductions that are legally available to you.

Although tax avoidance planning is legal, tax evasion – the reduction of tax through deceit, subterfuge, or concealment – is not. Frequently what sets tax evasion apart from tax avoidance is the IRS’s finding that there was fraudulent intent on the part of the business owner. The following are four of the areas the IRS examiners commonly focus on as pointing to possible fraud:

  1. Failure to report substantial amounts of income such as a shareholder’s failure to report dividends or a store owner’s failure to report a portion of the daily business receipts.
  2. Claims for fictitious or improper deductions on a return such as a sales representative’s substantial overstatement of travel expenses or a taxpayer’s claim of a large deduction for charitable contributions when no verification exists.
  3. Accounting irregularities such as a business’s failure to keep adequate records or a discrepancy between amounts reported on a corporation’s return and amounts reported on its financial statements.
  4. Improper allocation of income to a related taxpayer who is in a lower tax bracket such as where a corporation makes distributions to the controlling shareholder’s children.

Tax Planning Strategies

Countless tax planning strategies are available to small business owners. Some are aimed at the owner’s individual tax situation and some at the business itself, but regardless of how simple or how complex a tax strategy is, it will be based on structuring the strategy to accomplish one or more of these often overlapping goals:

  • Reducing the amount of taxable income
  • Lowering your tax rate
  • Controlling the time when the tax must be paid
  • Claiming any available tax credits
  • Controlling the effects of the Alternative Minimum Tax
  • Avoiding the most common tax planning mistakes

In order to plan effectively, you’ll need to estimate your personal and business income for the next few years. This is necessary because many tax planning strategies will save tax dollars at one income level, but will create a larger tax bill at other income levels. You will want to avoid having the “right” tax plan made “wrong” by erroneous income projections. Once you know what your approximate income will be, you can take the next step: estimating your tax bracket.

The effort to come up with crystal-ball estimates may be difficult and by its very nature will be inexact. On the other hand, you should already be projecting your sales revenues, income, and cash flow for general business planning purposes. The better your estimates are, the better the odds that your tax planning efforts will succeed.

Maximizing Business Entertainment Expenses

Entertainment expenses are legitimate deductions that can lower your tax bill and save you money, provided you follow certain guidelines.

In order to qualify as a deduction, business must be discussed before, during, or after the meal and the surroundings must be conducive to a business discussion. For instance, a small, quiet restaurant would be an ideal location for a business dinner. A nightclub would not. Be careful of locations that include ongoing floor shows or other distracting events that inhibit business discussions. Prime distractions are theater locations, ski trips, golf courses, sports events, and hunting trips.

The IRS allows up to a 50 percent deduction on entertainment expenses, but you must keep good records and the business meal must be arranged with the purpose of conducting specific business. Bon appetite!

Important Business Automobile Deductions

If you use your car for business such as visiting clients or going to business meetings away from your regular workplace you may be able to take certain deductions for the cost of operating and maintaining your vehicle. You can deduct car expenses by taking either the standard mileage rate or using actual expenses. In 2016, the mileage reimbursement rate is 54 cents per business mile (57 cents per mile in 2015).

If you own two cars, another way to increase deductions is to include both cars in your deductions. This works because business miles driven is determined by business use. To figure business use, divide the business miles driven by the total miles driven. This strategy can result in significant deductions.

Whichever method you decide to use to take the deduction, always be sure to keep accurate records such as a mileage log and receipts. If you need assistance figuring out which method is best for your business, don’t hesitate to contact the office.

Increase Your Bottom Line When You Work At Home

The home office deduction is quite possibly one of the most difficult deductions ever to come around the block. Yet, there are so many tax advantages it becomes worth the navigational trouble. Here are a few tips for home office deductions that can make tax season significantly less traumatic for those of you with a home office.

Try prominently displaying your home business phone number and address on business cards, have business guests sign a guest log book when they visit your office, deduct long-distance phone charges, keep a time and work activity log, retain receipts and paid invoices. Keeping these receipts makes it so much easier to determine percentages of deductions later on in the year.

Section 179 expensing for tax year 2016 allows you to immediately deduct, rather than depreciate over time, up to $500,000, with a cap of $2,000,000 worth of qualified business property that you purchase during the year. The key word is “purchase.” Equipment can be new or used and includes certain software. All home office depreciable equipment meets the qualification. Some deductions can be taken whether or not you qualify for the home office deduction itself.

If you’re ready to meet with a tax professional to discuss tax planning strategies for your business, call the office today. Call 480-940-8351

DAT News & Blogs

Home Based Truck Dispatch

Get the inside with our “Truck Dispatch Seminar”

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Aug 28 – Sep 3 vs.
Aug 21 – 27
Aug 2016 vs.
Jul 2016
Aug 2016 vs.
Aug 2015
Spot Market Loads +8.4% +0.5% +29%
Spot Market Capacity 2.5% +14% +8.6%
Van Load-To-Truck +16% 4.6% +49%
Van Rates (Spot) +3.7% 1.2% 8.0%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +4.4% 26% 6.0%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% 1.6% 8.2%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +14% +4.8% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.6% 2.1% 6.9%
Fuel Prices +0.0% 2.2% 9.4%
Freight Rates and Ratios Rise at End of Month

Van Rates Add 6¢

Aug 28 – Sep 3 – Van rates jumped 6¢ and reefers added 3¢ last week. Even flatbeds got a 1¢ raise, due to an increase in the fuel surcharge. Load-to-truck ratios got a healthy boost, so the higher rates may outlast end-of-month and pre-holiday pressure.
Last update: 9/6/2016 – Next update: 9/13/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.41 / gallon

DAT News & Blogs

Dispatch Trucks

Attend our Seminar, One on One,  3 days, 2 hours per day via Skype.

After you signed up for our 3 day seminar, we will contact you and arrange a schedule at your convenience. You can attend a seminar only by phone, however if you are not familiar with certain forms and documents, we like to show these forms and documents via Skype, scan if necessary and forward them to your email account for an immediate learning process.

The seminar will teach the entrepreneur planning to start a dispatch service business. We will also help you finding clients for your new business. (Free advertising on TruckingSuccess.com and free ads on Facebook and Twitter.) We offer continue support for our clients, even after the seminar has ended, anytime, no additional charge. In addition you will receive a certificate stating that you have attended our seminar and that you are now part of a professional group of  independent dispatchers.

What will you learn attending our seminar?  –  What you need to know starting a Home Based Business  –

We will provide information to successfully dispatch your clients truck(s). We list important business contacts, and provide information about laws and regulations as well as required documents. We describe how to provide excellent customer service, build successful business relationships and effectively manage time and stress. It explains freight volume and facts affecting load availability. It guides you through the process of obtaining your own loads and dispatching your clients truck(s). And you also learn about proper freight handling and important delivery procedures. Finally, we will dispel myths and common misconceptions about the trucking industry, provide you with facts to disprove “truck stop” gossip, and make the process of dispatching transparent. Best of all, we will tell you the truth what you can really earn as an independent dispatcher. We will not give you an unrealistic number, like many of our competitors offer on their websites only to wheel you into their service scam. We came to the realization that these companies don’t care about your success, only their own success, meaning their own revenue. We offer continue support for our clients, even after the seminar has ended, anytime, no additional charge. One more advice, be aware when someone is telling you that you can charge a percentage of the load you are dispatching, you can’t, because you are not a broker and you don’t have a broker’s license. You don’t carry a $75,000 bond and you may be subject to all kinds of lawsuits when things go wrong.

Below you can see one of the important learning tools, the round trip concept.

 

Our Skype ID is: trucking.success

To order click here

DAT News

Trucking USA

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Aug 21 – 27 vs.
Aug 14 – 20
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads +4.7% 15% +19%
Spot Market Capacity +0.0% 6.4% 9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck +8.4% 2.4% +60%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.2% 9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 5.2% 20% +6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 1.6% 2.0% 9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +12% 8.4% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.0% 9.0%
Fuel Prices +1.7% 0.7% 14%
More Loads, Steady Rates for Vans and Reefers

Flatbed Rates Decline 3¢

Aug 21 – 27 – More loads were available last week for vans and reefers on the spot market, and national average rates were unchanged. Load volume and rates declined 3¢ for flatbeds, however.
Last update: 8/30/2016 – Next update: 9/6/2016

Fuel Prices
+1.7%$2.41 / gallon

DAT News

Many new trucking companies close their doors within the first year of operation. Why? There are a few of the common mistakes that I’ve seen owner-operators and small carriers make, and as a result I’ve seen a huge number of them close their doors before their first anniversary.

Below are four of the most common mistakes a trucking company might make – plus ways you can avoid them.

How to survive as a trucking business

1. Growing Too Quickly

Running a small fleet is a daily challenge that requires patience, organization and hard work. However, some owners jump out and hire too many people to help them through this process. Hiring people is often the single largest expense for a company – in trucking, it’s usually only surpassed by fuel costs.

Outsourcing simple tasks will allow you to focus on what you’re best at: hauling freight. Good examples of items that can be outsourced: back-office functions, payroll processing, human resources and marketing. You can also use a load board or a dispatch service instead of hiring a salesperson. Most of these services can be handled by experts at a much cheaper rate, while also ensuring that you meet all state and federal guidelines related to these functions.

Before hiring staff members, see if your current staff is overwhelmed and often working overtime. Ask them to outline all of their tasks for the week, plus how much time they spend on each task. Ask yourself: Are these tasks essential to meeting our goals? Can we eliminate this task? Can we outsource this task? You’ll need to answer these questions, so that you don’t outspend your revenue.

2. Not Meeting “New Entrant” CSA Guidelines

The “new entrant” guidelines state that all new fleets filing for DOT registration will be audited WITHIN the first 18 months. Many new entrants assume this means that they have 18 months to meet all of the guidelines before they are audited, but I’ve known many fleets that were audited on month 3 and were shut down for 30 days until they met all of the requirements. This temporary shut-down almost always results in bankruptcy.

New entrants will AUTOMATICALLY FAIL the CSA Safety audit for the following violations:

Alcohol and Drug Violations

  • No alcohol and/or drug testing program
  • No RANDOM alcohol and/or drug testing program
  • Using a driver who refused a required alcohol or drug test
  • Using a driver the company knows had a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or greater
  • Using a driver who failed to complete required follow-up procedures after testing positive for drugs

Driver Violations

  • Using a driver without a valid CDL
  • Using a disqualified driver
  • Using a driver with a revoked, suspended, or cancelled CDL
  • Using a medically unqualified driver

Operations Violations

  • Operating a motor vehicle without having the required level of insurance
  • Failing to require drivers to make hours-of-service records

Repairs and Inspections Violations

  • Operating a vehicle declared Out-of-Service for safety deficiencies before repairs are made
  • Not performing OOS repairs reported in driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs)
  • Operating a CMV not periodically inspected

See the full list of carrier requirements at the FMCSA website.

3. Not Having Enough Insurance Coverage

Most fleets realize that they need liability and cargo insurance, and most fleets generally meet the base guidelines. However, it’s also important to have coverage for physical damage of non-owned trailers and general liability protecting your drivers or others when the truck is not involved. Some examples: customers slipping or falling on your premises, erroneous delivery of products resulting in damage, actions of a driver at loading docks, truck stops, etc. Some fleets, based on size and type, may also need Workers Compensation coverage – too many fleets are not carrying enough in this area.

Not having enough insurance has left many fleets with the inability to pay for damages. They just purchased enough to meet the minimum requirements and didn’t fully understand the long-term effects of their decisions.

4. Not Understanding Your True Costs per Mile

You need to know both the fixed and variable costs to operate your business. Fixed costs are the expenses you incur even if your truck isn’t running, like truck payments, insurance, building rent, etc. Variable costs are what you spend to move a load: fuel, tires, maintenance, etc. Starting out, you should have enough cash on hand to cover your expenses for 3-6 months, since you’ll need to cover these costs before money starts coming in. Plus, your business might not grow as fast as you expected at the beginning. Knowing your costs per mile will help you manage that cash flow.

The cost per mile and other financial reports are also a good barometer for the financial health of your business. It’s best to understand your basic cost per mile based on the annual mileage and annual expenses for all of your vehicles. The simplest way to do it is divide the annual costs by the number of miles run that year. The challenge is to accurately allocate ALL of the expenses – the key reason many fleets don’t survive. All too often, new fleets do NOT take the time to understand their expenses, document their expenses, and then fully understand their cost per mile. They then accept nearly any rate just to get a load. Over time, this model gets them upside down with their cash flow. Before long, bills aren’t getting paid, drivers aren’t making the amount of money they need, and the entire business starts to collapse from within.

DAT News

Van Reefer Flatbed Rates

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Aug 14 – 20 vs.
Aug 7 – 13
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads 0.9% 15% +19%
Spot Market Capacity 0.2% 6.4% 9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck +1.7% 2.4% +60%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +1.2% 9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 7.1% 20% +6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.0% 9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +4.3% 8.4% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% 2.0% 9.0%
Fuel Prices +2.5% 0.7% 14%
Load Volume Rises for Vans and Reefers

Are Van Rates Ready to Rebound?

Aug 14 – 20 – Spot market rates edged down 1¢ per mile for vans and reefers last week, but load posts increased for both trailer types, so rates could be ready to rebound. The national average flatbed rate was unchanged, week over week, and flatbed load volume declined.
Last update: 8/22/2016 – Next update: 8/29/2016

Fuel Prices
+2.5%$2.37 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Most years, van volumes and rates fall in July and pick back up again in August. The timing is off this year. Rates and volumes mostly held steady this past July, but loads and rates dropped off last week. We could still see another rebound in a couple of weeks.

So, where can you find a load for your van right now? The top five markets for load posts on DAT TruckersEdge are Atlanta, Chicago, Elizabeth NJ, Dallas, and Indianapolis. There were more loads in Northern New Jersey last week, and Indy had a good week, too. The other three markets (Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas) lost traction, but they are not moving out of the top 5.

Darker colored states above have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning there’s less competition for van freight in those states.

The rates below include fuel surcharges and are averages based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.

RISING

43 of the top 100 van lanes saw prices go up last week, but most of the increases were small.

  • Biggest gain last week: Philadelphia to Boston up ▲10¢ to $3.19/mile (That rate sounds great but you have traffic and tolls on I-95, plus it can be tough to find a load out of the Boston area)
  • Second-biggest gain last week: Chicago to Buffalo up ▲8¢ to pay $2.26/mile on average
  • Seattle and Denver had the biggest improvements in volumes last week.
  • Rates didn’t change in Denver, but Seattle prices got a boost
  • The bad news is that the Seattle average was still just $1.19/mile outbound.

Also, some truckers are getting loads from FEMA this week to bring emergency supplies to the flood zones in Louisiana. That can be dangerous work, and it’s hard to find a load back out, so be careful out there.

FALLING

  • Los Angeles rates dropped to a 6-week low last week, an average of $2.07/mile.
  • The lane rate from L.A. to Chicago dropped ▼17¢ to just $1.16/mile, which makes your trucks more competitive with the railroad, but that’s just not an attractive rate for 2,000 miles
  • Memphis to Charlotte fell ▼14¢ to just $1.67/mile
  • Charlotte to Buffalo rates lost ▼22¢ to $1.95/mile, the first time that lane has averaged less than $2.00 in a while.
  • Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Truck Load Boards

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Aug 7 – 13 vs.
Jul 31 – Aug 6
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads 6.2% 15% +19%
Spot Market Capacity +3.1% 6.4% 9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck 7.0% 2.4% +60%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.8% +1.2% 9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 14% 20% +6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 0.5% 2.0% 9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 5.5% 8.4% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.6% 2.0% 9.0%
Fuel Prices 0.4% 0.7% 14%
Volumes and Rates Take a Late-Summer Dip

Van Rates Drop 3¢

Aug 7 – 13 – Spot market demand dipped 6% last week, accompanied by a 3¢ decline in the national average van rate. It’s now lower than the June average, for the first time in six weeks, a transition that typically occurs in the first week of July. Reefer rates also fell 3¢, and the national average flatbed rate edged down 1¢ on declining fuel surcharges.

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.31 / gallon

Last update: 8/16/2016 – Next update: 8/23/2016

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Recent blog posts about the DAT survey on driver detention have yielded lots of comments, including sad stories, but also recommendations for brokers as well as carriers.

Bottom line: When carriers and brokers work together effectively, they can help reduce excess detention and its impact.

motor carrier detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

Communication is Key

Many comments emphasized the importance of communication. Reader Bob Farrell noted that both the carrier and broker need to communicate more:

Carriers should know the ‘game rules’ in advance and notify the broker when they: 1) have arrived. 2) have been placed to the dock. 3) are approaching the end of the free time (i.e., at 60 minutes, 90 minutes, etc.).

Likewise, Farrell says that the broker needs to notify the customer that the time window is closing. Another commenter, Chris, pointed out:

If you speak with your broker, they can help most of the time. They just don’t want to have the conflict and potential loss of income. Drivers think load by load, brokers think about overall volume from the customer.

Need for Documentation

When detention does occur, having the proper documentation is critical. Catherine Mallery, a 3PL, says:

We have a standard detention policy that outlines free time, rates per hour, and necessary actions/documents to qualify for detention. Each customer has their own policy and we have to manage all these expectations to try and recover detention. 

Many carriers, however, complained that getting detention pay is nearly impossible, even with proper documentation. Mitch writes:

What about the broker who tells you they can’t pay detention without the in and out times being stamped on the bill of lading, and the dock worker tells the driver they do not stamp bills with in and out times?

Julie, who identified herself as a former owner-operator and now a broker, said this about detention pay:

We tried putting it in our contracts, but now shippers don’t want to sign our contract. They want us to sign theirs, which of course doesn’t include detention. 

More on Driver Detention

We’ve also received a lot of comments on Facebook

“Like” our Facebook page to join the conversation.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Semi Truck Shipping Quotes

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jul 31 – Aug 6 vs.
Jul 24 – 30
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.9% 15% +19%
Spot Market Capacity +0.1% 6.4% 9.6%
Van Load-To-Truck 2.2% 2.4% +60%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.2% 9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 11% 20% +6.7%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% 2.0% 9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +3.6% 8.4% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% 2.0% 9.0%
Fuel Prices 1.3% 0.7% 14%
Spot Market Rates in a Holding Pattern

Reefer Demand Picks Up

Jul 31 – Aug 6 – Prices held steady for vans and reefers on the spot market, despite falling fuel surcharges, while the national flatbed rate added 1¢. Load availability slipped, but reefer demand was up, as the back-to-school grocery season coincides with late summer harvests.

Last update: 8/9/2016 – Next update: 8/16/2016

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

The Most Accurate Freight Rates

DAT RateView is an innovative online tool that puts real-time spot market and current contract freight rates at your fingertips. Rates are based on $28 billion of actual transactions—what brokers and shippers are actually paying carriers. There are two ways to buy RateView: as a standalone cloud-based software service, or as an integrated solution on some load board packages.

 

DAT News

Truck Engine Repair

7 Signs Your Truck’s Engine Might Give Up on You

By CAG Truck Capital

Trucking is tough. Anyone who knows a trucker is well aware of the long hours and hard work involved in providing for your family. Your truck is your livelihood, and when yours starts creeping towards the million mile mark, it’s easy to get blindsided by an engine that gives up on you. While it’s painful to be down, it’s always better to have it happen on your terms. Keep an eye out for these warning signs, and you’ll avoid getting stuck on the side of the road.

  1. Low Fuel Economy

Are you spending more at the pump? When your engine needs help, poor fuel economy can be one of the signs. Worn or damaged injectors can be a likely cause.

  1. Loss of Engine Power

Does your engine give you less? Is your truck not pulling the same? Is your top speed a fraction of what it once was? It’s possible that you’ve lost cylinder compression. Piston rings, valves, or the head gasket can cause your truck to lose its muscle.

  1. Increased Oil Consumption

Always checking your oil? Are you constantly adding more between oil changes, fearing that you’ll run dry? Your engine might be leaking or burning oil, caused by issues with your piston rings or cylinder liner.

  1. Blue or Black Exhaust

Has the exhaust from your truck taken a different color? Blue or black exhaust tells you that you’re either burning oil or the fuel environment in your engine is too rich or lean. This can be caused by issues with your piston rings, injectors or cylinder liner.

  1. Excessive Blow-By

Do you have excessive amounts of smoke or unburnt fuel blowing into your crankcase? This could be caused by wear on your piston liners or an issue with the steel rings.

  1. Poor Engine Brake Performance

Is your engine brake not working as well as it used to? Does going down a long hill make you more nervous every day? You could have lost cylinder compression. Piston rings and the cylinder liner could be the cause.

  1. Engine Knocking

Does something sound a bit out of the ordinary? Did the hum your engine normally produces get replaced with something terrible? This could mean that your combustion timing might be off or oil contamination. Engine knocking could be caused by worn or damaged liner seals, main bearings or piston skirt.

It might be tempting to keep going when your engine is giving you these warning signs but continuing on could cause catastrophic engine failure. Listen to your truck, and avoid getting an unrepairable issue like a cracked engine block. Finding a nationally certified CAT, Cummins, Detroit, Volvo, Mack or PACCAR repair shop can help give you a quick answer and let you service your truck on your terms instead of being forced into a tough situation. Peace of mind is important to everyone, so ensure that your business keeps rolling without unexpected down time.

Established in 1984, CAG Truck Capital helps customers of all credit types get the financing they need to keep their business going. CAG Truck Capital works with customers looking to either purchase a truck or finance big repairs such as engine overhauls.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

 

DAT News

Freight Business

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jul 24 – 30 vs.
Jul 17 – 23
Jul 2016 vs.
Jun 2016
Jul 2016 vs.
Jul 2015
Spot Market Loads +3.5% 16% +18%
Spot Market Capacity 5.0% 6.6% 9.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +11% 2.6% +60%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +1.2% 9.4%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +4.9% 20% +6.6%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% 2.0% 9.4%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +18% 8.4% +16%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.5% 2.0% 9.0%
Fuel Prices 1.3% 0.7% 14%
Surprise! July Van Rates Exceed June Averages

Demand Rises at Month’s End

Jul 24 – 30 – More loads were available as July ended, so load-to-truck ratios rose for vans, reefers and flatbeds. Van rates lost a penny and reefer rates dropped 3¢ per mile for the week, but flatbeds added 1¢. The big surprise: the monthly average rate for vans in July topped June levels by 2¢.
Last update: 8/2/2016 – Next update: 8/9/2016

Fuel Prices
-1.3%$2.35 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax Update:
Time to file Form 2290

The annual filing for Form 2290 must be
completed by 8/31/16
J. J. Keller is an IRS-approved 2290 e-file provider and we look forward to helping you painlessly file your taxes. You can file online today at 2290online.com:

  • If you have vehicles with a gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more, you must file IRS Form 2290 Heavy Vehicle Use Tax
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  • Thousands of fleets rely on us for annual 2290 filing

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Regards,

2290 Team
2290Online.com

DAT News

Reefer load volumes continued to drop seasonally, especially in Southern California. Reefer prices are also lower than they were in June, but that’s normal for this time of year. The good news is it’s happening slower than it did in 2015.

Below is a look at some of the biggest price changes for spot market reefer freight last week.

All rates include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.


Darker-colored states have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning that there’s less competition for reefer loads in those states.

RISING

Chicago reefer volumes have been building up for a while, and outbound rates finally started to improve last week.

  • Chicago to Atlanta paid ▲14¢ more for an average of $2.20/mile
  • Green Bay to Minneapolis rose ▲14¢, to $1.90/mile
  • Reefer rates and volumes were up slightly in Dallas
  • Southern California lagged, but volume is rising in Sacramento. Hopefully that’ll lead to some higher rates this week

FALLING

Rates are still falling out of Florida, and California prices have also started tapering off.

  • Lakeland, FL to Charlotte rates plunged ▼28¢ to just $1.18/mile. The lane from Lakeland to Atlanta also lost ▼16¢
  • Atlanta to Philadelphia lost another ▼17¢, to $2.36/mile
  • Outbound rates slipped across the board in Los Angeles, Fresno, and Ontario, but prices are otherwise holding up pretty well
  • L.A. to Portland, OR lost ▼18¢, but it’s still paying an average of $2.43/mile
  • Fresno to Denver dropped ▼14¢ to $2.42/mile

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

 

 

DAT News

Truck Loads for Owner Operators

DAT Trendlines

               Powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jul 17 – 23 vs.
Jul 10 – 16
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads 5.3% +29% +0.8%
Spot Market Capacity 1.2% 7.6% 1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck 5.0% +63% +22%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +5.2% 13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +2.5% +7.5% 20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.1% +1.6% 11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 8.1% +65% 2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.0% +4.2% 11%
Fuel Prices 0.8% +4.7% 16%
Demand Slips for Vans and Reefers in Mid-July Lull

Rates Drift Down

Jul 17 – 23 – Spot market demand and rates drifted down again last week for vans and reefers, a typical trend for mid-July. Flatbed rates edged up, however, compared to the previous week.

Last update: 7/26/2016 – Next update: 8/2/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.8%$2.38 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Drivers: Find Loads On the Road

More than 250,000 drivers have installed the DAT Trucker mobile app for iPhone and Android. The free trucker app provides drivers with all the services they need while on the road. Owner operators and carriers can access a limited number of nearby DAT Extended Network loads and get other community resources.

Already using our app?  Learn more about our services

DAT Trucker

Download the free trucker services app now!

Download for iPhone

Download for Android

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Truck Loads Available

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jul 10 – 16 vs.
Jul 3 – 9
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads +6.6% +29% +0.8%
Spot Market Capacity +37% 7.6% 1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck 26% +63% +22%
Van Rates (Spot) 2.4% +5.2% 13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 14% +7.5% 20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +2.2% +1.6% 11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 27% +65% 2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 2.0% +4.2% 11%
Fuel Prices 0.4% +4.7% 16%
Van and Reefer Rates Fall From Seasonal High

Ratios Trend Downward

Jul 10 – 16 – Spot market demand and rates typically fall after July 4th, but that decline came a little later than usual this year. National average spot market rates for vans and reefers declined 4¢ per mile, after hitting their highest marks of the year in the previous week. Flatbed rates added 4¢.

Last update: 7/19/2016 – Next update: 7/26/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.40 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Where can I find more loads.

The Panama Canal opened a new lane for larger ships this week, and East Coast ports have been expanding efforts to attract Asian imports that would otherwise arrive on the West Coast. The canal expansion has run into plenty of obstacles along the way, and many East Coast ports still aren’t ready to accommodate the larger ships. 


Expansion at the Panama Canal, pictured above, has led to a business boom in South Carolina. Photo by Stan Shebs.

But the South Carolina freight market has already gotten a boost thanks to the expansion, and the industrial boom has been evident on DAT Load Boards. Greenville, SC, rose to 11th place for the number of van load posts last year, and its average load-to-truck ratio in 2015 was higher than any other “top 30” market. Last week’s load-to-truck ratio in Greenville rose to 7.4, well above the national average of 2.7 loads per truck. 

Warehouses and industrial parks continue to grow in and around Greenville and Spartanburg, according to the Wall Street Journal, and more goods are expected to arrive from the Port of Charleston, some 200 miles away. 

Cities from the Gulf Coast to New York are also trying to lure more Asian imports once the canal opens. Economists and developers say the Upstate’s low labor costs and acres of cheap, undeveloped land, give the region an edge. They also cite its manufacturing base, as the auto industry draws suppliers to locate closer to factories, and growing auto exports require bigger ocean vessels to reach customers around the world.

The expanded Panama Canal “is going to drive industry and create even more businesses there,” said Joel Sutherland, director of the Supply Chain Management Institute at the University of San Diego. “Having a regular flow of containers…will attract major manufacturing, then their suppliers, then their suppliers’ suppliers, and ultimately more people.”

The rates are also trending up. The top outbound lane from Greenville is a short hop over to Atlanta. That lane paid an average of $3.09 per mile last week, which is 20¢ higher than it was a month ago.

 Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Most drivers spend 3 to 4 hours waiting to get loaded or unloaded, according to a DAT survey of 257 carriers and owner-operators. Of the carriers surveyed, 54% of them said they had to wait between 3 to 5 hours every time they’re at a shipper’s dock.

Another 9% said that they wait more than 5 hours on average.

You don’t have to crunch a lot of numbers to figure out how that’s bad for business.

motor carrier detention
The graph above shows responses from 257 carriers surveyed

Detention fees usually range from $30 to $50 an hour after the driver has been detained for more than two hours, based on responses those same carriers plus 50 brokers who were also surveyed. And that’s if the carrier is actually lucky enough to collect a detention fee.

Two-thirds of the brokers said that they only paid detention when they were able to collect a fee from the shipper or consignee. When a broker is able to collect from the shipper, they were twice as likely to pay detention fees to the carrier.

But those fees are just a drop in the bucket compared to how much that detention time actually costs trucking companies. One owner-operator cited a $1,900 loss due to two loads he was unable to accept because of a lengthy detention at a receiver’s dock.

Get the full survey results.

DAT News

Trucking Freight Rates

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jul 3 – 9 vs.
Jun 26 – Jul 2
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads 19% +29% +0.8%
Spot Market Capacity 22% 7.6% 1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck +5.8% +63% +22%
Van Rates (Spot) +4.9% +5.2% 13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 0.7% +7.5% 20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) 5.1% +1.6% 11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +0.9% +65% 2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +2.5% +4.2% 11%
Fuel Prices 0.1% +4.7% 16%
Rates Continue to Rise for Vans and Reefers

July Freight Gets Strong Start

Jul 3 – 9 – Load-to-truck ratios and rates continued to rise last week for vans and reefers, which is not a typical trend for July. Flatbed rates declined, however.        Last update: 7/12/2016 – Next update: 7/19/2016

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

Truckload Rates

Today’s Truckload Rates Based on Actual Transactions

When you talk to brokers or shippers, do you know what the market rate is for the lanes where the loads are? When you put hundreds of thousands of miles each year on your trucks, if your average rate per mile is two cents too low, it’s a huge hit to your bottom line. That’s why having the most accurate freight rate data in the trucking industry matters. With DAT RateView™, carriers gain access to:

  • Real-time truckload rates for lanes throughout North America
  • Freight rates compiled from $28 billion in actual transactions
  • True broker-buy rates updated daily
  • Monthly contract rate averages by lane
 
Increase Revenue Per Loaded Mile
  • Get suggestions for triangle routing to improve revenue and asset utilization
  • Know where your truck capacity is most valuable with Hot Market Maps
  • Respond to RFPs with bids based on today’s rate, 30-day and 13-month lane histories

Download RateView Carrier Product Sheet

RateView Features Include:
  • View rates for the past 7- or 15-day period in popular lanes
  • Get 13-month historic rate data for thousands of lanes
  • Track rate trends lane by lane to predict and adjust for seasonal changes
  • See load-to-truck ratios on specific lanes based on rolling 30-day averages

DAT News

Do you have shipper customers who need to move more freight than you can service with the current size of your fleet? You could buy more trucks to move that extra freight, but adding a brokerage is another option. If you already have relationships with shippers, know their lanes, and know the capacity that they need, then brokering their freight could add another source of revenue for your transportation business.

There are 6 steps you’ll need to take before you can start brokering freight.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS

DAT Solutions can help you add a brokerage to your carrier business

1. Apply for operating authority

You’ll have to apply for broker authority through the United Registration System. This will be separate from your carrier authority. You’ll also need to decide how to organize this separate company: sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S corp., etc.

Getting your broker authority means you have to designate process agents in every state you’re doing business, just like you did to get your carrier authority. Our fleet services team can help with all the paperwork.

2. Get a broker bond

Every freight broker has to have a $75,000 surety bond or trust fund. It’s similar to the liability insurance required for your trucks, and it’s there to ensure that a carrier can get paid if a broker doesn’t fulfill a contract. The bond covers the entire brokering side of your business. DAT customers can get a broker bond at a special price.

3. File state permits

Some states require extra permits to set up your business, so be sure to check the requirements in your state. DAT Fleet Services can help with that too.

4. Invest in a TMS

Managing your cash flow is key to your brokerage’s success. You’re already familiar with days-to-pay – the number of days a broker has to pay the carrier – but as a broker, you won’t always get money from the shipper before you have to pay the carrier. TMS software like DAT Keypoint is the easiest way to manage your transactions, keep records, and manage the company’s cash flow.

TMS software also lets you manage all your new brokerage’s operations in one place, so you can move more freight with a smaller back-office staff. A streamlined, entry-level TMS like DAT Keypoint Ops requires minimal training and lets you control all your operations on one screen. You can also upgrade it seamlessly to fit your business needs as your company grows.

5. Make personnel decisions

Are you going to be the one working the phones, or will you need new employees? Would you be better off working with independent agents? Will your brokerage share the same office space as your carrier business?

6. Anticipate hidden startup costs

When you started your carrier business, most of the startup costs were tied to equipment. For a brokerage, some of those costs are a lot less obvious – contingent cargo insurance policies, for example. Meet with a business attorney who has experience with brokers. That will save you some headaches.

DAT can help get your brokerage off and running, whether that means getting your broker authority or streamlining your business with broker TMS software. Call 800.551.8847 for more info.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT – News

Super Paying Truck Loads

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jun 26 – Jul 2 vs.
Jun 19 – 25
Jun 2016 vs.
May 2016
Jun 2016 vs.
Jun 2015
Spot Market Loads +10% +29% +0.8%
Spot Market Capacity +5.0% 7.6% 1.9%
Van Load-To-Truck +19% +63% +22%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.6% +5.2% 13%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 11% +7.5% 20%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.6% 11%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +12% +65% 2.9%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +4.2% 11%
Fuel Prices 0.4% +4.7% 16%
Van and Reefer Rates Rise to Close Q2

Load Posts Increase Ahead of Holiday

Jun 26 – Jul 2 – Shippers rushed to move van and reefer loads before the end of the second quarter and the start of the July 4th weekend. Spot market rates rose for vans and reefers, but flatbed rates held steady for a third consecutive week.
Last update: 7/5/2016 – Next update: 7/12/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.4%$2.42 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

Find Good Paying Loads

Find good paying loads

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jun 19 – 25 vs.
Jun 12 – 18
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads 6.2% +4.0% 18%
Spot Market Capacity 9.3% +3.8% +11%
Van Load-To-Truck +2.8% +18% 29%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.4% 17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 2.9% 22% 19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.1% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +9.0% +23% 42%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +5.6% 14%
Fuel Prices +0.0% +7.6% 20%
Load-to-Truck Ratios Increase, But Rates Hold Steady

Rates Could Rise This Week, for Vans and Reefers

Jun 19 – 25 – National average rates held steady for vansreefers and flatbeds last week. An increase in the load-to-truck ratios for vans and reefers indicates that rates could rise this week, however, as the second quarter ends and a holiday weekend begins.

Last update: 6/28/2016 – Next update: 7/5/2016

Fuel Prices
+0.0%$2.43 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

How To Start a Truck Dispatch Company

How To Start a Truck Dispatch Company

What will you learn attending our dispatch seminar?

We will provide information to successfully dispatch your clients truck(s). We list important business contacts, and provide information about laws and regulations as well as required documents.

We describe how to provide excellent customer service, build successful business relationships and effectively manage time and stress.

It explains freight volume and facts affecting load availability. It guides you through the process of obtaining your own loads and dispatching your clients truck(s). And you also learn about proper freight handling and important delivery procedures.

Finally, we will dispel myths and common misconceptions about the trucking industry, provide you with facts to disprove “truck stop” gossip, and make the process of dispatching transparent.

Best of all, we will tell you the truth what you can really earn as an independent dispatcher. We will not give you an unrealistic number, like many of our competitors offer on their websites only to wheel you into their service scam. We came to the realization that these companies don’t care about your success, only their own success, meaning their own revenue.

We offer continue support for our clients, even after the seminar has ended, anytime, no additional charge.

One more advice, be aware when someone is telling you that you can charge a percentage of the load you are dispatching, you can’t, because you are not a broker and you don’t have a broker’s license. You don’t carry a $75,000 bond and you may be subject to all kinds of lawsuits when things go wrong.

Below you can see one of the important learning tools, the round trip concept.

 

Our Skype ID is: trucking.success

To order click here

DAT News

Here are some of last week’s hot spots, where rates changed the most.

All rates include fuel surcharges and are based on real transactions between carriers and brokers.

Darker colored states above have higher load-to-truck ratios, meaning there’s less competition for van freight in those states.

SOUTHEAST

Northbound loads boosted the Charlotte market, which finally caught up to where it was before Memorial Day.

  • Charlotte to Allentown, PA, surged ▲31¢ and paid an average of $2.58/mile
  • One backhaul lane heading back into Charlotte also paid a lot better: Philly to Charlotte rates added ▲17¢ to $1.31/mile
  • Memphis to Dallas went up to $2.05/mile

NORTHEAST

Since there are a lot of loads heading to the Northeast, it also means that a lot of trucks there are looking for loads out. That led to falling prices on a handful of lanes. 

  • Buffalo rates took the biggest hit last week, despite strong volumes
  • Buffalo to Allentown dropped ▼17¢ to $2.28/mile
  • Philadelphia to Buffalo also lost ▼12¢ and paid $2.00/mile on average 

WEST

Freight is still strong in Southern California. 

  • The lane from L.A. to Phoenix paid ▲14¢ better last week at $2.61/mile
  • Seattle and Denver are usually tough places to find loads, but last week they got worse. Load-to-truck ratios fell to just 0.6 loads per truck
  • Seattle to Eugene, OR, has been one of the better options for getting out of Seattle, but that lane fell ▼19¢ last week to $1.91/mile

MIDWEST

Columbus and Chicago have been on a big upswing this month but both stalled a bit last week. A bright spot was the lane from Columbus to Buffalo, which was up ▲17¢ to a strong $2.76/mile.

SOUTH CENTRAL

No big rate changes outbound from Texas last week. Prices rose slightly in Houston and fell a little out of Dallas.

 

See what other truckers got paid on the lanes you run by signing up for TruckersEdge Enhanced. You’ll see the average prices paid on more than 65,000 lanes, based on real transactions between brokers and carriers.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

Trucking Business

Trucking Business

Poor health in the trucking business contributing to driver shortage

Hire Right poll finds that 21% of  truck drivers  are leaving the industry due to health issues.

45% of respondents to Hire Right’s survey say they do not offer a wellness program at all. 

A recent survey of 3,500 human resources, recruiting, security, and management professionals by Hire Right found that “health issues” is the reason cited by 21% of truck drivers leaving the industry, with a further 41% saying they’re quitting the profession to spend more time at home.

Kent Ferguson, director of transportation for Hire Right, told Fleet Owner that more transportation companies are recognizing the importance of the truck driver health issue and are doing more to address it.

“We’re finding that wellness programs are becoming a popular retention tactic because of the median age of the driver workforce and the physical demands of the job, as it can be difficult to get proper rest, eat healthy and exercise while on the road,” he said.

“It’s no surprise that living a healthier lifestyle can improve one’s quality of life, and the industry is realizing these kinds of wellness programs are effective methods to boost driver’s overall health and well-being, which ultimately helps retain them,” Ferguson added. “Additionally, the programs are also resonating with drivers because it shows them the companies they’re employed by have the workers’ best interests in mind and are thinking about their quality of life – not just getting the job done.”

  • With the driver shortage expected to worsen this year, 59% of respondents reported finding, retaining and developing talent has become a top business challenge.
  • Where “wellness programs” are concerned, some 35% of respondents offer safety and accident prevention programs, 21% offer free immunization/flu shots and 18% offer smoking cessation programs.
  • Yet 45% of respondents said they do not offer a wellness program at all.
  • Some 31% of respondents indicated a focus on dedicated operations for more home time.
  • Another strategy being implemented to help drivers spend more time at home is load swapping which shortens the periods of time they spend on the road, Ferguson noted.
  • Other tactics being used to attract and retain drivers are increased pay (51%), upgraded equipment (49%) and recognition/rewards programs (41%).
  • Non-monetary benefits are also gaining popularity with 57% investing in driver appreciation events and 35% providing flexible work arrangements – with 10% allowing their drivers to earn bankable home days
  • To improve the “driver on-boarding” process, some 34% of respondents said they are creating longer orientation/training periods, with 32% appointing a driver liaison/mentor for their new drivers.

“While increasing pay certainly helps to incentivize drivers to continue working, [tactics] such as driver appreciation events are also going a long way with regard to boosting morale,” Ferguson noted. “When drivers feel that the commitment they’ve made to this business is appreciated, they’re more motivated to stay on board.”

Truck Dispatcher Course

Truck Dispatcher Course.

Our truck dispatch manual and our truck dispatch course provides all the tools and information an independent Owner Operator or a home based dispatch service needs to successfully dispatch his or her own trucks,  or his or her clients trucks. 

It explains how to set up your mobile office, lists important business contacts, and provides information about laws and regulations as well as required documents. It describes how to provide excellent customer service, build successful business relationships and effectively manage time and stress.

It explains freight volume and facts affecting load availability. It guides you through the process of obtaining your own loads and dispatching your own truck or your clients trucks.  And you also learn about proper freight handling and important delivery procedures.

Finally, our publication and our dispatch course dispels myths and common misconceptions about the trucking industry, provides you with facts to disprove “truck stop” gossip, and makes the process of dispatching transparent.

Every industry, trade, profession, and occupation has established business practices and ethical standards that set certain guidelines how business should be conducted. The primary purpose of these practices and standards is to establish trust among the industry to promote good business relationships and facilitate business transactions.

Therefore it is very important to pick the right load board and deal only with reputable brokerage firms. Our publication and our service will show you how to succeed and where to find the best paying loads from the brokerage companies with a 90+ credit rating.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

To order our Truck Dispatch Manual Click here

To attend our Truck Dispatch Seminar Click here

 

Truck Dispatcher Training

Truck Dispatch Seminar Click Here

FMCSA Awards $32 Million to Border States to Ensure Commercial Truck and Bus Safety Enforcement

June 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has awarded $32 million in financial assistance to 15 states to help ensure that foreign truck and bus drivers and vehicles involved in international commerce at or near border crossings with Canada and Mexico are properly licensed to operate on U.S. roads.

The Border Enforcement Grant (BEG) program is a federal discretionary grant program focused on reducing crashes, fatalities, and injuries by drivers and vehicles involved in international commerce by ensuring that these motor carriers, drivers, and vehicles are in compliance with U.S. commercial vehicle safety regulations, including financial responsibility, operating authority, driver qualifications and licensing, and vehicle maintenance.

The grants are awarded to state law enforcement agencies that share a border with Canada or Mexico and responsible for enforcing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations at the roadside.

FMCSA awarded BEG funds to the following states:

State

FY16 BEG Award

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities

   $187,503

Arizona Department of Public Safety

$5,610,269

California Highway Patrol

$5,291,243

Idaho State Police Commercial Vehicle Safety

     $97,923

Maine Department of Public Safety

   $300,000

Michigan Department of State Police

   $200,000

Minnesota State Patrol

   $285,000

Montana Department of Transportation

   $871,410

New Hampshire Department of Safety

     $33,319

New Mexico Department of Public Safety

   $491,215

New York State Department of Transportation

   $643,240

North Dakota Highway Patrol

   $256,375

Texas Department of Public Safety                  $17,205,619
Vermont Agency of Transportation

     $66,058

Washington State Patrol

   $460,826

For further information on the FMCSA Border Enforcement Grant Program, visit the Border Enforcement Grant page.

Updated: Friday, June 24, 2016

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jun 12 – 18 vs.
Jun 5 – 11
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads 2.7% +4.0% 18%
Spot Market Capacity +9.7% +3.8% +11%
Van Load-To-Truck 12% +18% 29%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% +3.4% 17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 10% 22% 19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +1.0% +1.1% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 11% +23% 42%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +1.0% +5.6% 14%
Fuel Prices 0.2% +7.6% 20%
Reefer and Flatbed Rates Edge Up

Upward Rate Trend Continues

Jun 12 – 18 – National average rates rose 2¢ per mile for reefers and flatbeds last week, but the average van rate was unchanged. Van traffic and rates increased for northbound loads leaving major Southeastern markets.

Last update: 6/21/2016 – Next update: 6/28/2016

Fuel Prices
-0.2%$2.46 / gallon

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
Jun 5 – 11 vs.
May 29 – Jun 4
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads +36% +4.0% 18%
Spot Market Capacity +12% +3.8% +11%
Van Load-To-Truck +23% +18% 29%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% +3.4% 17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +10.0% 22% 19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +1.1% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +29% +23% 42%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.5% +5.6% 14%
Fuel Prices +1.0% +7.6% 20%
Rates Remain High for Vans and Reefers

Ratios Rise During Inspection Blitz

Jun 5 – 11 – Load-to-truck ratios rose for all equipment types in the first full week after Memorial Day, which also included the annual Roadcheck inspection blitz. National average rates edged down 1¢ for vans last week, and reefer rates increased 1¢, following big gains in the previous week for both equipment types.

Last update: 6/14/2016 – Next update: 6/21/2016

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

powered by DAT RateView

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
Industry Trends WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 29 – Jun 4 vs.
May 22 – 28
May 2016 vs.
Apr 2016
May 2016 vs.
May 2015
Spot Market Loads 9.0% +4.0% 18%
Spot Market Capacity 26% +3.8% +11%
Van Load-To-Truck +31% +18% 29%
Van Rates (Spot) +5.2% +3.4% 17%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +30% 22% 19%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +1.1% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +12% +23% 42%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +3.2% +5.6% 14%
Fuel Prices +1.1% +7.6% 20%
Rates and Diesel Prices Continue to Climb

Ratios Rise After the Holiday   Last update: 6/7/2016 – Next update: 6/14/2016

May 29 – June 4  – Spot market rates continued their upward trend after Memorial Day. Last week was a 4-day work week, which would normally account for a 20% decline in load posts, but load availability was only down 9% last week. That led to higher load-to-truck ratios for vans, reefers, and flatbeds.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 22 – 28 vs.
May 15 – 21
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads +8.5% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity 0.1% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +16% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.7% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 7.6% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +25% 10% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.0% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +2.6% +2.9% 23%
Van Rates Climb on High-Volume Lanes


Last update: 5/31/2016 – Next update: 6/7/2016

Fuel Surcharge Plays a Role

May 22- 28 – Van rates recovered 1¢ per mile last week, due to big rate increases on the highest-volume lanes. Flatbeds also added 1¢, but reefer rates were unchanged as a national average. The fuel surcharge also played a role, as diesel prices continue to climb.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

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DAT News

How to Get the Most Out of Our Free Trucker App

By Michael Tupper, Product Manager, DAT Solutions

If you use the DAT Trucker™ mobile app for Android, you probably noticed some big changes recently. We redesigned the app to work the same way that most other mapping apps do. More importantly, now DAT Trucker lets drivers find what they need faster and easier. Based on your location, you can find truck stops, rest areas, fuel prices, Walmarts, nearby loads, truck-friendly hotels and more.

We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from new users who love the app, but truckers who’ve been using the app for a long time are telling us that they’ve had trouble finding the tools they used in the old version.

Everything is still there, and after you first get the app set up with your personalized settings, you can find what you’re looking for in one click.

When you open the app, there’s a map based on your phone’s GPS location. The markers show locations that match your search results – just like in Google Maps. You can see everything at once, or choose whether you want to see truck stops, rest areas, Walmarts or more. Tap the magnifying glass in the top-right corner to search other cities.

If you tap the triangle icon circled in the screen above, you can choose which categories you want to search: Truck stops, rest areas, etc. The app will remember what you select and do the same search anytime you open the app, based on your GPS location. Once you have it set to your preferences, you’ll find what you’re looking for faster than you could with the old version.

If you want to see a list of search results like you did in the old version, you can tap “list” from the map screen. Tap on the sort options (circled in the picture), and you can sort the list by name, distance, fuel price and more. Also, this is often the most useful way to see search results if you’re in a place where the internet connection isn’t strong.

Trying to find a parking spot? From the list, you can get more details about each business. Tap on a truck stop to see how many parking spots they have and get info about showers, laundry, scales and much more.

You can still search for nearby loads. Just tap on the main menu in the top-left corner and choose “Find loads nearby.” You might see fewer results than you used to because the old version showed loads for every equipment type. The new version shows loads that match the truck and trailer in your profile, so the loads are more relevant to what you’re looking for.

You can also tap the DAT Trucker icon in the bottom right corner and choose what you want to do. For example, you can tap “Fuel up” and find the cheapest nearby diesel prices, or “Sleep” to find truck-friendly hotels.

Another advantage of the new version is that it lets our software developers make updates faster and make changes based on your suggestions. For example, many of you pointed out that we didn’t include landscape mode, which flips the display when you turn the phone sideways. That’ll be fixed in an update coming soon, so keep sending suggestions.

Get the DAT Trucker mobile app in the Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

* This offer is available to new TruckersEdge subscribers only

About TruckersEdge®, powered by DAT®

TruckersEdge® Load Board is part of the trusted DAT® Load Board Network. DAT offers more than 68 million live loads and trucks per year. Tens of thousands of loads per day are found first or exclusively on the DAT Network through TruckersEdge.

Note: This article was adapted from DAT’s blog post on www.DAT.com. It was first published in April, 2016.

DAT News

Houston is mostly a backhaul market, meaning that loads going into the city usually pay more than loads going out. There are some popular lanes out of Houston that do pay headhaul rates, though, like Houston to New Orleans, San Antonio, or Texarkana. You can use that to your advantage when planning a roundtrip.

Haul Two Loads on the Return Trip Instead of One

If you upgrade your load board subscription to DAT Express, you get our TriHaul tool, which gives you suggestions for triangular routes that pay better than a regular there-and-back roundtrip. You can also research the average rates paid on those lanes, so you can decide if the extra money is worth the time it’ll take for the extra pick and drop.

Let’s say you’ve got a load booked for Atlanta to Houston, which has paid $1.60/mile on average for the past week. The average rate for loads heading back from Houston to Atlanta is only $1.37/mile.

If you can fit it in your schedule, you’d be better off hauling a load from Houston to St. Louis or to Cape Girardeau, MO, about 120 miles to the south. The average rate on that trip is $1.44/mile, which isn’t a whole lot better, but loads going from Cape Girardeau to Atlanta have paid $1.98/mile on average. You’d boost your loaded miles from 1,600 up to almost 2,000 miles, and the TriHaul will pay $869 better than the roundtrip. That gives you more than $3,200 for 2,000 miles.

Some truckers make it a point to drive 55 all the time to save fuel, but the speed limit is at least 70 in all the states you pass through in this TriHaul. So if it’s safe and economical for you to drive faster, you could get back to Atlanta with enough hours for another quick roundtrip, maybe to Charlotte. That’s another $1,000 at today’s rates, to finish your week on a high note.

 

Get the TriHaul tool by upgrading your load board subscription to DAT Express.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 15 – 21 vs.
May 8 – 14
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.7% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity 5.6% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +1.4% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) 0.6% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +4.7% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +18% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 0.5% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +1.1% +2.9% 23%
Tighter Capacity Could Spark Rate Increase


Last update: 5/24/2016 – Next update: 5/31/2016

Rates Dip as Ratios Rise

May 15 – 21 – Van and reefer rates edged down 1¢ per mile, and flatbed rates were unchanged as a national average. Load-to-truck ratios rose, however, so rates may increase this week.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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DAT News

Below are your best bets for finding loads fast on DAT Load Boards this week. All the cities listed below are in the top 5 for load posts and have load-to-truck ratios that are above the national average for that equipment type, which means your truck is in higher demand in each of these places.

VANS

National load-to-truck ratio: 1.6 van loads available per truck 

The national average spot market van rates finally rose last week. Rates held steady for weeks, even though load posts had been going up at a pretty steady clip. Produce season is also keeping a lot more reefer trucks busy, which helps vans, too. That’s because carriers with reefers sometimes compete for van loads when there aren’t as many reefer loads to go around.

REEFERS

National load-to-truck ratio: 3.4 reefer loads per truck

Notice that Florida isn’t on this list any more. Reefer volumes are slipping in Lakeland and Miami, and those markets aren’t short on trucks now. If you’re in the Southeast, Georgia produce is still going strong. Otherwise, a lot of reefer activity has shifted to the West.

FLATBED

National load-to-truck ratio: 14.7 flatbed loads per truck

Flatbed rates have been trending up in the big Texas markets for the past month, but Houston is the one to make the top 5 for load posts. Places like Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Raleigh are usually busier this time of year, but they’ve had a quiet spring.

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 8 – 14 vs.
May 1 – 7
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads 3.9% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity +12% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck 8.3% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) 1.9% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 22% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck 18% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) 1.1% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +0.2% +2.9% 23%
Mid-May Rates Exceed April Averages


Last update: 5/17/2016 – Next update: 5/24/2016

Van Rates Lose 3¢

May 8 – 14 – Van rates lost 3¢ of the previous week’s 7¢ increase, and reefer rates declined 2¢ after rising 11¢ in the first week of May. Flatbed rates were unchanged, week over week.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Trucking Success partners with DAT to offer a special on the TruckersEdge load board. Sign up for TruckersEdge today and get your first 30 days free by signing up at http://www.truckersedge.net/promo123 or entering “promo123” during sign up.

DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
May 1 – 7 vs.
Apr 24 – 30
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads +5.1% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity +1.9% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +11% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) +4.7% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck 11% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.5% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +5.9% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +6.1% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +3.1% +2.9% 23%
Rates Rise Sharply for Vans and Reefers


Last update: 5/10/2016 – Next update: 5/17/2016

Loads Abound in Sun Belt

May 1 – 7 – Boom! Rates rose sharply last week, following a steady increase in demand for vans and reefers, especially in the Sun Belt: California, Texas and the Southeast. By contrast, flatbed demand and rates held steady.

The chart at left depicts national average spot market rates, including fuel surcharges, for the past four weeks. Rates are derived from DAT RateView.

Learn about RateView Get Trendlines Updates

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DAT News

DAT Trendlines

Industry Trends - Spot Market Industry Trends - Van Industry Trends - Flatbed Industry Trends - Reefer Industry Trends - Fuel Prices
INDUSTRY TRENDS WEEK MONTH YEAR
Apr 24 – 30 vs.
Apr 17 – 23
Apr 2016 vs.
Mar 2016
Apr 2016 vs.
Apr 2015
Spot Market Loads +8.8% +0.2% 28%
Spot Market Capacity 1.9% 3.6% +1.7%
Van Load-To-Truck +17% 5.9% 46%
Van Rates (Spot) +0.0% 0.7% 19%
Flatbed Load-To-Truck +6.4% +23% +1.2%
Flatbed Rates (Spot) +0.0% +2.2% 12%
Reefer Load-To-Truck +22% 10.0% 54%
Reefer Rates (Spot) +0.6% +0.6% 16%
Fuel Prices +1.5% +2.9% 23%
Late-Blooming Spring Freight Yields 9% More Loads


Last update: 5/3/2016 – Next update: 5/10/2016

Reefer Rates Rise

Apr 24 – 30 – More loads were offered for all equipment types, and reefer rates began to climb, in a long-awaited blossoming of the spring freight season.

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