February 3, 2022No Comments

U.S. truck drivers preparing for Convoy to D.C. 2022

The Convoy to D.C. 2022 aims to launch the convoy from numerous points across the nation and eventually meet in Washington, D.C.

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May 4, 2018No Comments

Different truck insurance explained

4 types of insurance associated with owning an eighteen-wheeler

Owner operators are asking us to have truck insurance explained and what are the charges.

 We found out that many owner operators who want to lease with us, don’t know how different types of insurance coverage work. There are four main types of insurance that trucking companies and owner operators should be familiar with.

Liability Insurance

This is the most important from a legal standpoint. Without it, a trucking company cannot legally haul freight on public highways, making the company MC (motor carrier number) unusable.

As the name implies this type of insurance covers liability in a potential accident. When drivers with bad records apply for work, it is this type of insurance that prohibits the company from hiring them. From their standpoint, putting unsafe drivers in the truck is too big of a liability and the risk of potential accidents with such drivers is too high. Once denied coverage it is illegal to put these unapproved drivers behind the wheel.

Liability insurance covers only the accidents that happen under dispatch. These are during the normal work of the truck. Auto-liability insurance does not cover little personal trips.

The price varies among carriers, but for the most part starts at $500 per month and goes up, depending on the safety profile of the company. We, at Logiflex, implemented eLogs 2 years ago, which resulted in a significant revenue cut (you know paper logs are more “elastic”), but our safety scores improved dramatically and our claims decreased. I will get into more detail about the pros and cons of eLogs in a future post.

In a nutshell, when it comes to liability insurance, the safer the company the lower the premium.

Physical Damage

Covers the damages on the insured equipment. If we have an example with an insured bobtail and uninsured trailer. In a potential accident, the insurance company will pay for the first without covering the second.

The formula, calculated as a percentage of the value for which the equipment is insured, is as follows: truck value x (policy percentage) / 12 = monthly physical damage payment. If we put in some numbers it would look like this: truck valued for $50,000 with insurance rate of 3%, in the formula, we get 50,000 x 0.03 / 12 = $125 monthly payment. Sometimes the driver can bargain a lower percentage. There are plans where you pay 25% upfront and the rest of the amount splits into 9 equal payments. Not paying anything in the last three months.

Some drivers are tempted to insure their equipment for a price higher than the actual value, so in case of a total loss accident, they get more money than the truck is worth. Don’t do that!!! Insurance companies would only pay for the market value of the equipment. (You know when something happens with the batteries and the truck burns down). On the other hand, if the value of the truck on the policy is below market value, the insurance company will only use the reported value amount instead of the actual market value amount.

Cargo Coverage 

As the name implies, this type of insurance covers the cargo that is transported in the trailer. It is usually very cheap — about $50–100 a month. If you are an owner-operator who leases to Chicagoland carrier, most likely you know $700-900 “cargo” insurance per month(or $170 or so per week).

The lingo name of this truck is "bobtail". If it hits one of the surrounding cars, the claim will go under Bobtail Liability policies. The dispatcher did not authorize the driver to take it to that parking lot.

Bobtail Liability

When owner-operators purchase physical damage insurance, they are also asked to add bobtail liability coverage. It usually costs just a few dollars per month. It covers potential accidents when the driver is using the truck as a personal vehicle. An example would be  driving bobtail to and from the movie theater, buying groceries, etc.

Many trucking companies would require owner-operators to show proof of such coverage before leasing with them. This way carriers protect their liability policy from potential claims that would happen during non-dispatched driving.

There you have it - truck insurance explained. For all documents that need to be in your truck folder read here.

May 4, 2018No Comments

Blockchain and Trucking Explained

Trucks-blockchain

What’s a blockchain and why should you care?

If bitcoins and blockchain make you scratch your head in confusion, you’re not alone. I spent the better part of last week doing exactly that — scratching my head and wondering how this new technology relates to us and why I keep hearing about it from my trucking industry peers.

I googled blockchains and quickly felt overwhelmed by a multitude of articles on the topic. It turns out people are very excited about them. I promptly ran into a problem though. I could not wrap my mind around the technology. It seemed like an incredibly complicated concept, so I figured I would change my approach. Forget the mechanics behind it, let’s focus on what it does.

So, a blockchain is an internet-based system that is efficient, transparent, very secure, and highly customizable. A ledger is a proper description, as it allows multiple parties to record transactions and agreements with great ease.

Getting back to my original question though, how does this relate to trucking?

Imagine you are a manufacturer that needs to ship some freight, or better yet you are a trucker looking to transport some cargo. Blockchain technology enables the logistical connection between these two parties. An electronic contract records the agreement between the shipper and the carrier. All parties to the contract can access and confirm any of the details at any time. And this is how you create the first block of blockchain and trucking.

Blocks keep adding up as more players take the stage. Shippers, receivers, carriers, customs agents, compliance officers, financial institutions, and all parties involved in the logistic process create input which translates into new blocks explicitly relating to their part of the process.

Blockchain technology, however, offers more than just transparency and ease of access. Process validation performed by third parties regularly checks and double-checks every transaction and agreement on the network against all relevant rules, laws, and regulations.

So, let’s put this in perspective

Say you are a trucker who has to deliver some customer freight. Say delivery will have to happen within the framework of hours of service along with any other DOT rules and regulations. This blockchain eliminates the need for third-party transportation intermediaries because of the transparency and ease of access to the entire process. Electronic logging devices and global positioning systems transmit location and transit information directly. Therefore, all parties can log in and double-check any aspect of the block they are part of.

Deals can be revised and adjusted in real-time to identify and address issues as they arise. As a carrier, you can plug in additional caveats to the deal such as detention, layover and stop off charges.

The shipper can do the same. They can request temperature control on their shipment by adding it to the agreement. Onboard temperature sensors in the trailer will record and transmit that information to the block. Once again, all parties involved in the contract can access that block in the chain and verify the shipment is proceeding by their agreement.

As delivery is made and the blockchain is completed, everything is validated and signed off on in real-time. Once all conditions are met, the carrier receives its payment immediately. All invoicing and billing is part of the blockchain already in place.

Blockchain and trucking

This is all good, and well you say, but why should drivers care about how customers and carriers transact? After all, computer systems have been around for a while, but without the guy or gal behind the wheel, logistics is just a bunch of phone calls and empty promises.

Well, see, here’s the thing. Blocks make the blockchain, and the essential building blocks of logistics and transportation are the drivers. Going back to the concept of a universally accessible ledger that records every step of the process we now have a tool that eliminates the most common problems that drivers struggle with on a daily basis. Detention, downtime, stop off charges and mileage pay are all seamlessly becoming part of the ledger as they occur.

But that’s not all, here’s where this technology stands out. If you ever drove a commercial vehicle, you are painfully aware of not just the multitude of rules and regulations but also the fines that go with them. Instead of penalizing the drivers, the industry needs to reward them.

Department of Transportation and employers record and report driver's mistakes. Now good driving records will finally be a part of the drivers’ files as well. The same way a good credit score opens doors for consumers, a good driving record will now open the door to opportunity.

So being an owner-operator or company driver, maybe the blockchain can provide the answer to the question "Are truckers paid enough?"

Experience and performance can finally be quantified and documented, and there you have it, our industry is instantly revolutionized. Now join Logiflex and ride the wave with us or try to catch up if you can!

May 4, 20181 Comment

Trucking trip to Alaska and back in January Part 2

logiflex highway snow road january alaska trucking

Alaska Trucking

We’ve told the story from our perspective, about how we sent a truck to Alaska in January. But the better story comes from the field and our driver Marc. Here are four takeaways he took from his experience:

Wildlife

Be careful of the wildlife. Not just for the moose crossing the road, or the random bison grazing on the shoulder paying you and your truck no mind whatsoever. There’s more. There are eagles, lynxes, bears, and ravens. The moose generally tend to move out of the roadway. Animals want nothing to do with you unless they feel threatened, which they won’t allow themselves to be put in a position to be. The bison get mildly irritated by your air horn. Lynxes are blind to human existence, but also really want nothing to do with you. And then there are bears. They’re a lot like lynxes. They want to get away from you and be left alone. Leave them alone; they leave you alone. I think bison are the biggest threat. They are everywhere and usually in big herds. They pay no attention to their surroundings, and they are just oblivious to human existence, so be careful while driving near them. Always proceed with caution when there’s wildlife near/on the roads.

Cellular connections

There’s not much 4G going on up in the Yukon, but if you come across electricity, you’ll probably come across a usable cell signal. Internet signal will be dodgy at best, but a phone signal isn’t impossible. Make sure that your cellular provider can grant you international roaming and be aware of your charges. I have Sprint and while my data was free, (yee freaking haw seeing as how my data sucked) my voice calls were $0.20 a minute. You should map out your route with your GPS AND Google maps (or whatever computer-based mapping system you like) ahead of time and take screenshots. You won’t have a chance to look at it again once you are out of range. Keep in mind; there is more out there on the Alaskan Highway than a truck stop guide, or app is going to tell you. I’d say that there’s a safe haven every 50–100 miles. That’s just a guess, but that’s better than what you’d find in a guidebook.

Funds

The Canadian currency has generally been worth far less than US currency for as long as I can remember. (Born and raised within 30 miles of the Canadian border.) When we were preparing for this trip, the exchange rate was $1US = $1.36CAN. That’s a pretty substantial exchange rate. Plus, most items in Canada are more expensive than they are in the States. Figure out how much you need on a daily basis and work out a budget for the entire trip through Canada. Also, it’s a good idea to exchange some funds at the Duty-Free at the border crossing. Most banks near the border, on either side, will do the same and give you the most current rate of exchange. The Duty-Free is just a bit easier.

Distractions

If you’ve driven most of the lower 48, you’ve seen some pretty amazing things. The scenery is almost unexplainable. There’s a newly added variable when driving up the Alaskan Highway, and it’s called “isolation.” If you think Iowa is “isolated,” guess what, you’re wrong, if you think west Texas is desolate, guess what, you’re wrong, and if you think the drive on I-10, from California to El Paso is boring, guess what, yeah, you got the idea. You cannot fully grasp the concept of what it means to be so thoroughly and utterly alone and on your own, until you’ve driven the Alaskan Highway. It’s not in the middle of nowhere; it IS nowhere. YOU are nowhere.

Regardless of all that, AK trucking might be the most beautiful experience you ever come across in your life.

May 4, 2018No Comments

Are Truck Drivers Paid Enough?

Are Truck Drivers Paid Enough - Our take on the problem

The average full-time workweek for an adult in the United States is 34.4 hours. Seems like quite the workload, but we are a nation of hard workers, and we take pride in that.

Now imagine having a worker that really pushed the line and worked twice as hard. Every week. Every month. Year after year. A 70 hour workweek is something else! Imagine the productivity if one could find such workers!

Now imagine having an entire team of these workers as part of your operation. Wouldn’t you want to reward them for their dedication?

We do! At Logiflex, we don’t have to imagine these hard workers. We call them our team of expert drivers and they are the secret behind our track record of excellence!

Yellow Truck Happy Driver paid per hour tracktor trailer old logiflex logo

We don’t settle for mediocrity and neither should our drivers. Therefore we are introducing a compensation package that is virtually unmatched in our industry. In addition to offering medical, vision, dental, and life insurance benefits, we are now adding a 401k retirement plan and two separate payment options.

Drivers paid per hour

Is that the answer? This is what we think. Starting today our top runners will earn 60 cents per mile along with all the benefits and job security offered by W-2 employment. Furthermore,  we are also rolling out a different payment option for those who’ve had enough of the same old game of getting paid by the mile. Hence, we will pay those employees hourly. After all, ELDs afford you 14 on duty hours per day. And doesn’t on-duty time equal time on the job? It’s high time drivers get compensation for pre and post-trip inspections, for downtime at shippers and receivers, fueling, and of course for driving. And because driving is at the heart of it all, we will pay overtime when you log more than eight driving hours on any given day.

Our drivers certainly deserve it, and as a matter of fact, every driver deserves it.
Don’t settle for less, give us a call, and come share in our success!

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog.

Different truck insurance explained

4 types of insurance associated with owning an eighteen-wheeler Owner operators are asking us to have truck insurance explained and what are the charges....

→ Read More

Blockchain and Trucking Explained

What’s a blockchain and why should you care? If bitcoins and blockchain make you scratch your head in confusion, you’re not alone. I spent...

→ Read More

Trucking trip to Alaska and back in January Part 2

Alaska Trucking We’ve told the story from our perspective, about how we sent a truck to Alaska in January. But the better story comes...

→ Read More

Are Truck Drivers Paid Enough?

Are Truck Drivers Paid Enough - Our take on the problem The average full-time workweek for an adult in the United States is 34.4...

→ Read More