January 8, 2019No Comments

Bridge Law/Federal Bridge Law: What you should know!

   What is the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula?

 Truck drivers and department of transportation officials use The Federal Bridge Law Formula to determine the appropriate maximum gross weight of trucks. Truck axle weight limits by state vary. The formula is part of federal weight and size regulations regarding interstate commercial traffic also known as Bridge Laws. Preventing heavy vehicles from damaging roads and bridges is highly important.  Allowable weight depends on the number of axles a vehicle has and axle spacing. There are many axle spacing diagrams out there. An axle is a rod around which a wheel moves or rotates. Any kind of vehicle with wheels uses some kind of axle for those wheels to rotate on.

History of Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula or Truck Axle Weight Limits by State

First, let's take a look at how this formula originated.  It started in 1913, only four states enacted the formula. Eventually, by 1933, all states had some form of truck weight regulation. Then, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 instituted the first federal truck weight regulation.

Formula Law

  In fact, weigh stations check each vehicle's gross weight and axle weight using a set of in-ground truck scales.

w=500\left({\frac {\ell n}{n-1}}+12n+36\right)
  • w = maximum weight in pounds that can be carried on a group of two or more axles to the nearest 500 pounds (230 kg)
  •  = spacing in feet between the outer axles of any two or more consecutive axles
  • n = number of axles being considered

As a matter of fact, the axle groups must comply with the bridge formula.

For example, the figure below shows the most common vehicle checked for compliance with weight limit requirements.

Although, the Bridge Formula applies to each combination of two or more axles, experience shows that axle combinations 1 through 3, 1 through 5, and 2 through 5 are critical and must be checked.

More importantly, any two axles must comply with the results of the formula. The axle groups 1–5, 1–3, and 2–5 are most critical. Indeed, this truck is not in violation of the formula.

Penalties

Penalties for violating truck axle weight limits by state varies, as the states are responsible for enforcement and collection of fines. To learn state specific fine amounts contact the Department of Transportation.

NOTES:

1. Axles are measured to the nearest foot between the extremes on any group of two or more consecutive axles.

2. Gross weights for 5 and 6 axle vehicles apply to combinations only.

3. Two consecutive sets of tandems may carry 34,000 pounds each providing the overall distance between the first and last axles of such consecutive sets of tandems is 36 feet or more.

4. Also, if the distance between the centers of the first and third axles in a group of consecutive axles does not exceed 96 inches, the group is a tandem.

5. So, the maximum weight of any single axle is 20,000 pounds and the maximum weight of any tandem is 34,000.

6. To compensate for these weight restrictions, some tractors have a fifth wheel (also called as "slider"), that can slide forward or backward on the tractor frame. This sliding motion shifts and balances the trailer's kingpin weight put on each axle without moving the cargo around. Sliders let you adjust the wheelbase in order to be in compliance with the bridge law.

December 12, 2018No Comments

GIFTS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS: TOP 5 CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Gifts for truck drivers

There are so many awesome gifts for truck drivers.  How do you choose the perfect gift? From practical gifts to funny but useful gifts we are sharing our ideas. You might just find an amazing gift idea to surprise that special person! Take a look at our top five gifts for truck drivers to help you this holiday season!

Read more

December 10, 2018No Comments

Why People Become Truck Drivers

 

People don’t always think of glamour and glory when they think of the trucking industry. It’s a job that requires hard work, long hours, and the ability to drive long distances. Truck drivers are often underappreciated members in the US workforce. They perform their job every day and often don’t receive the respect that they deserve. Truck driving may seem like a grueling profession, and many may wonder what exactly motivates somebody to commit their life to the road. While there are indeed some challenges that come along with being a truck driver, there are many great reasons that people decide to take up the occupation.

They Enjoy Traveling

Travel is an important part of many people’s lives, and truck drivers are no different. For the free spirits that enjoy seeing everything that the country has to offer, driving a truck can be the perfect vocation.Truck drivers get paid to experience the different cities and change of scenery across America. If seeing different cultures and trying new, unique regional cuisines interests you then you may  benefit from getting behind the wheel of a truck and embarking on their cross-country journey.

The traveling is a major perk but with that comes a job to be done. Drivers can often choose the shipments they want to take them to the places they’ve always dreamt of seeing. During long stretches of highway, drivers can enjoy the views and the sense of adventure that comes with hauling a big rig to new, exciting places.

They Prefer the Open Road to an Office

Most people don’t enjoy performing the same routine tasks over and over again in an office setting. Drivers benefit from the luxury of never having to worry about sitting at a desk for hours on end while staring at a computer screen. Instead, they can fire up their truck and head to a new location every single day. Truckers are always willing to accept adventure since there is always something new and exciting over the road.

 

For those who don’t want to fill out spreadsheets or send emails all day long, the open road provides a different kind of job. Drivers may have to battle against thunderstorms, blizzards, or low visibility, but these are challenges that they genuinely enjoy. There is a certain sense of victory that comes with completing a shipment despite the literal and figurative roadblocks that may make things more difficult.

 

People that make good drivers are the top that is always looking for a challenge, and the road is ready to provide them with plenty of these. They can put their problem-solving skills to the test in an exciting environment rather than sitting in an office all day. In this sense, drivers can sometimes be thrill-seekers who have a strong desire to succeed.

 

They are Looking for Success

 

In many regards, drivers are ultimately responsible for how successful they can become in this profession. They can make the decisions that will determine how profitable they will be on their runs. The driver alone decides to work as hard and as often as he or she sees fit in order to meet their financial needs or lifestyle desires.

 

There is no single way to be successful when it comes to driving a truck, but the freedom afforded by making your own decisions is a significant selling point for truckers. They can seek out the shipments that they believe will help them advance both financially and personally. In a sense, a driver is running his own business while moving that truck across the country, and he must make sound decisions and remain motivated to do well.

 

It is this drive to succeed that keeps so many drivers on the road. They know that they can make a life for themselves by choosing wisely and working diligently. Although a suit and tie arent typical attire, truck drivers are often just as business-savvy as some of the sharpest-dressed financial gurus and executives. It’s just that they prefer to practice their business skills from inside a cab rather than behind a desk.

 

They Seek Out Adventure

 

From the weather problems to potentially treacherous terrain, there is always the adventure that is about to happen. Imagine hauling a massive shipment into the high-altitude ski towns in the Rocky Mountains. This is not an easy task! However, those towns need to get their goods somehow, and somebody needs to be willing to answer the call. Truck drivers are the ones that keep these places in business. Their ability to and willingness to take on these difficult loads makes this possible.

We might think these shipments would ruin our day, but the adventurous drivers out there enjoy being assigned to these tasks and proving that they have the skills and dedication to carry them out. There is a major sense of satisfaction when these jobs are finished successfully. A truck driver can be seen as somewhat of a hero when he delivers essential goods to the towns that need them.

Work-Life Balance

For those that enjoy all of the above things – adventuring, the open road, independence, and travel – driving a truck can be an excellent way to be financially successful while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When you enjoy your career, you are far more likely to find happiness and satisfaction in life. Drivers who enjoy venturing out and delivering goods are keeping themselves in better health. They are also

doing a great job to provide for their needs and the needs of their families. Trucking can be a highly lucrative career for any person who believes in hard work and adventure.

December 9, 2018No Comments

Buy vs Lease a Truck?

Buy vs Lease Truck is one of the first decisions future owner-operators must face. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are many different situations that apply to different people. Always keep in mind that a truck is a tool for work first, and a vehicle second. Potential business owners should consider the job at hand to make the best choice.

 

Lease a Truck

Leasing a truck makes sense when you are starting your career or you lack good credit. It does not require a significant down payment, and the monthly or weekly amount is generally smaller than that of a loan. The driver will own the truck, as the lease agreement ends. There is a type of lease where downpayment is required. Monthly payments are generally low because the balloon payment at the end of the contract matches the value of the truck at the time. For example a 10 percent down payment on a $130,000 vehicle with $2000 per month for 60 months and a balloon payment of $24,000 at the end. This is a sweet deal for a new truck if you plan to keep and use it longer than five years.

The most common lease is directly through a trucking company. Weekly payments will be deducted from the driver's check. A required down payment of around $5000 will be needed. It shows good money management skills and establishes good faith. It also allows for lower weekly payments.

A lease is a form of rent. Drivers must take care of the truck, and when the contract expires, the truck should be in good condition.

 

Maintenance under lease

Drivers are responsible for the maintenance of the trucks unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske. These two companies charge between $0.12 and $0.20 per mile for regular maintenance. This, however, does not include accidents and or incidentals. If you hit a deer or a rock cracks the windshield, repairs come out of your pocket.  

Buy a Truck

When a future owner operator purchases a truck and finances it, the bank takes the title as collateral for the loan. The driver owns the vehicle, and like in the lease (unless the lease is from Ryder or Penske) all responsibility for the ownership falls on him.

Advantages

Financing a loan is a cheaper option. Also since the driver is the owner, he can build some equity in the truck. If the market is strong, an owner-operator can make extra principal payments towards the loan, thus paying it off early and saving on interest.

Disadvantages

Drivers need a credit score over 630-650. That puts those with less than perfect credit at a disadvantage. The higher your credit score, the better the interest rate on the loan will be.

Many banks require down payments when credit history is an issue. Ten percent is standard, but some will only ask for five. Almost any lender will agree to finance a truck driver with 20 percent cash in pocket. Putting down a substantial down payment secures lower monthly payments that won't put a toll on the driver when the market is slow.

A major factor improving the odds of financing a truck is previous owner-operator experience. Many banks will deny even 20 percent down payments if the future truck owner cannot provide past truck payment history. That is probably the main reason why many drivers start off with a lease. Experienced truck drivers are not necessarily experienced business owners, and banks know that. Previous owner operator experience shows knowledge of how to manage a business and offers banks more security.

 

Let us know if you want to receive our lease information!!!

December 8, 2018No Comments

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter driving advice, you should ask a driver from all the states North of I70. However, if that is not possible, you can read our blog. We will outline the most common issues our company had in the winter and how we have solved them.

Do not freeze up the fuel Filters

With the low winter temperatures, it is very important to put anti-gel in the fuel tanks of the truck. Unlike gasoline which does not gel up unless it is -120 F, the diesel fuel gels up at around 10-15 F. The fuel does not run through the fuel filters which kills the engine. The popular belief that, if you idle the engine, the fuel won't freeze is not true. Yes, the water separator has heaters, but the fuel gels up the primary filters. The solution for the situation is to change them and prime the engine.

 

Do not forget your chains

Different states have different chain laws. Colorado chain law requires every passing truck to have chains between September 1st and May 31st. Not all states require you to have chains in the truck, but they may give you a fine when you are stuck in the snow.

 

Do not leave your fuel tanks empty

When you go home in Minneapolis or stop for 10-hour break in Laramie, WY make sure that your fuel tanks are full.  Because warm diesel circulates between the tanks while the truck is moving, water condenses on the inside of the empty fuel tanks. Winter driving with extra water in the fuel tanks can make fuel filters freeze faster.

 

Do not forget the airlines

New trucks have sophisticated aid dryers. As the name suggests they make the air in the air system dry. That is important because moisture can build a lot of ice inside the lines which will malfunction the air brakes.

 

Do not try to be a hero

All loads can wait. If the weather is dangerous, just pull over. If your dispatcher or customer complain about it, you work for the wrong company. Your paycheck maybe shorter this week, but you will live longer.

 

Do not think of Winter Driving as a joke

Ice on the road makes trucks unstable. Cold weather will weaken the metal and the truck will feel different.

December 7, 2018No Comments

When Do I Get Paid?

One of the first questions asked during orientation. Our payroll workweeks begin each Saturday and end on Friday's. Each Friday you will receive an email statement with a copy of your pay stub. These emails are highly important! They are confirming the loads and mileage you will be paid. Furthermore, check your bank account the following Monday as your check will be there.

 

 

5 Ways to read your paycheck:

  1. Load - This will be the Trip number.
  2. Date -  Date of the load.
  3. Trip Information - City delivered, miles that were driven, empty miles, etc.
  4. Rate per mile- Pay per mile.
  5. Total Pay -  Pay breakdown of each trip.

 

 

When in doubt...

Call your dispatcher right away!

 

 

 

 

November 19, 2018No Comments

Hours of Service Update Regarding Personal Conveyance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new guidance earlier this month

regarding the use of Personal Conveyance time associated with hours of service regulations. The introduction of PC time back in May afforded drivers the much-needed flexibility to perform their duties. We covered the use of personal conveyance in a previous blog post, but after the recent clarification issued by the FMCSA, we feel it is important to revisit the subject.

The updated hours of service interpretation released on the FMCSA website now states that

Drivers can log Personal Conveyance even when under a load as long as the driver is off work.

The exact text, which can be found here, is as follows:

Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for personal use while off-duty. A driver may record personal conveyance as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the motor carrier.

To help avoid confusion, the FMCSA offers a number of examples as follows:

Proper use of PC time

  1. Time spent traveling from a driver’s en route lodgings such as a motel or truck stop.
  2. Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between work sites and his or her residence. In these scenarios, the commuting from work and start to work times must allow the driver enough time to obtain the required restorative rest as to ensure the driver is not fatigued.
  3. Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) or 395.5(a) (passenger-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.
  4. Moving a CMV at the request of a safety officer during the driver’s off-duty time
  5. Time spent transporting personal property while off-duty.

Not qualified for PC time

  1. The movement of a CMV in order to enhance the operational readiness of a motor carrier. For example, bypassing available resting locations in order to get closer to the next loading.
  2. Continuation of a CMV trip in interstate commerce for a business purpose, including bobtailing or operating with an empty trailer in order to retrieve another load.
  3. Time spent transporting a CMV to a facility to have vehicle maintenance performed.
  4. After being placed out of service for exceeding the maximum periods permitted under part 395, time spent driving to a location to obtain the required rest, unless so directed by an enforcement officer at the scene.
  5. Time spent traveling to a motor carrier’s terminal after loading or unloading from a shipper or a receiver.

 

Most of these examples are common sense but some have been issues of heated debate between logistics professionals. Pay special attention to item number 3 above. It is a common misconception, especially among owner-operators, that taking their equipment in for service or repairs affords them the ability to log this time as off duty. This is not the case. According to hours of service regulations, a driver should log the transit time to a repair facility as on duty.

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog.

Bridge Law/Federal Bridge Law: What you should know!

   What is the Federal Bridge Gross Weight Formula?  Truck drivers and department of transportation officials use The Federal Bridge Law Formula to determine...

→ Read More

GIFTS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS: TOP 5 CHRISTMAS GIFTS

Gifts for truck drivers There are so many awesome gifts for truck drivers.  How do you choose the perfect gift? From practical gifts to...

→ Read More

Why People Become Truck Drivers

  People don’t always think of glamour and glory when they think of the trucking industry. It’s a job that requires hard work, long...

→ Read More

Buy vs Lease a Truck?

Buy vs Lease Truck is one of the first decisions future owner-operators must face. Both options offer benefits as well as drawbacks. There are...

→ Read More

Winter Driving Tips for Truck Drivers

A calm sea does not make good sailors, and driving in Florida only does not make good truck drivers eater. For the best winter...

→ Read More

When Do I Get Paid?

One of the first questions asked during orientation. Our payroll workweeks begin each Saturday and end on Friday's. Each Friday you will receive an...

→ Read More

Hours of Service Update Regarding Personal Conveyance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration released new guidance earlier this month regarding the use of Personal Conveyance time associated with hours of service...

→ Read More