July 6, 20183 Comments

How the ELD Mandate Helps Drivers

 

The ELD mandate has been a controversial subject among truckers, shippers, and manufacturers alike. Many drivers have complained that it places unfair restrictions on them and results in lost revenue, rendering their job less lucrative than it was in the past. Shippers and manufacturers have fought against the mandate because it increases their transport time, forcing them to put more work into supply chain planning. These are all valid concerns, but many people believe that the ELD mandate is a blessing in disguise, bringing higher levels of safety and fairness into the industry, making it more profitable for everyone involved. Some of the benefits of the mandate are highlighted below.

 

Reduced Abuse of Paper Logs

 

It is no secret that paper logs have been abused in the industry for years. Paper logs are easily manipulated, allowing the driver to work far beyond his legal limits by making a few simple tweaks in the logbook. This practice hasn’t been limited only to rogue truck drivers looking to get more money out of more miles. Dispatchers, shippers, and customers have played a significant part in abusing the system as well.

 

Before the ELD mandate was put into place, it was common practice for many shippers to expect team service out of solo drivers. They wouldn’t explicitly tell drivers to manipulate their logs, but the implication was clear that the carrier would only win the shipment if they were willing to run illegally. Despite how many honorable carriers would reject the load due to being unable to meet the requirements, shippers knew that there was always going to be a driver that would accept the task.

 

This was harmful to the industry in several ways. First, it set a precedent for these abusive shippers that they could get away with promoting illegal runs while not suffering the consequences. The only party that would be held responsible would be the truck driver. This then made expectations across the industry unrealistic, and even worse, extremely unsafe. A single driver running cross-country in two days with little to no sleep is a hazard to anyone in his path. Not only is he more likely to be involved in an accident, but he is also harming his health by overloading his body.

 

Drivers that were taking these kinds of shipments were doing a disservice to the honest, hard-working drivers across the country. They were undercutting reliable companies to make a quick buck. Thanks to the ELD mandate, shippers have more realistic expectations and can’t as easily skirt the law by hiring drivers who will run illegally.

 

Increased Safety & Health

 

No matter which way you look at it, it is not safe for any driver to be on the road if he is sick, tired, or overworked. While there is room for debate over just how many hours a driver can work before he should be required to shut down, it is commonly accepted that there needs to be some regulation on continuous hours driven. The ELD mandate helps to make the roads safer for the drivers and everyone else in their vicinity.

 

It isn’t fair for shippers to hold drivers to more demanding standards than warehouse workers, factory hands, or office employees. A long day of driving can be stressful and exhausting, taking a significant physical toll on the driver’s body. In the past, drivers were often told by dispatchers to keep moving past their legal hours to meet a deadline. This was not only illegal but extremely dangerous. No load is worth risking life and driving while sick or tired is a hazard that puts everyone’s well-being on the line.

 

If a driver continues to burn himself out by driving too many hours, he is putting his overall health at risk as well. Every person needs to get the right amount of sleep to function healthily regularly. Continually running overtime and neglecting rest periods has been proven to be detrimental to your health, so it’s essential for a driver to pay attention to these. By shutting down for the required hours, a driver is helping both himself and his company by staying healthy. The ELD mandate helps with this and may even curb the illegal use of amphetamines that many drivers abused to stay awake.

 

Higher Pay

 

One of the most common complaints about the ELD mandate is that it hinders the driver’s ability to make money. Many drivers claim that because they can’t drive as far in a short amount of time, they are missing out on the loads that provide them with the money they need to survive. In the time it took to haul a single load, they say, they used to be able to knock out two or three.

 

This is an understandable concern, and the new structure may take some getting used to. However, the ELD mandate offers plenty of opportunities to make more money while working fewer hours. Because of the mandate, capacity has tightened, and shippers have been forced to pay more, with some lanes almost doubling in price over the past year.

 

Many carriers have increased their rate per mile pay because of this, but that isn’t necessarily the only way to guarantee more money. Owner-operators can work on a percentage basis, which often turns out to be more lucrative than mileage pay. If a driver is working for a carrier that refuses to increase his wage, there are plenty of other companies out there that are rewarding their drivers. The country is experiencing a shortage of drivers due to the increase in manufacturing, so it is a great time to look for new suitors if a driver feels that he is being mistreated.

 

By taking advantage of a thriving market, drivers can use the ELD mandate to become more profitable while driving fewer miles. Not only will their wallets benefit, but they will become healthier and more well-rested. While there have undoubtedly been some growing pains in adjusting to the mandate, opportunities abound throughout the industry thanks to many of its positive attributes.

 

 

 

 

July 6, 2018No Comments

Don’t Haul Without a 401(k)

Don't Haul Without a 401(k)

Not all employers offer the same benefits to their drivers; if you are looking for a comfortable retirement, then you want to ensure that your prospective company offers a 401(k). What exactly is a 401k and why does it hold the key to your future?

401k might not seem like a need right now, but later on in life it will be.

What is a 401(k) Retirement Plan?

Simply put a 401(k) is a retirement plan that allows you to store money for your later years. A percentage is taken out of your paychecks and helps replace your typical employment income when needed after retirement.

Depending on your employer, they may also opt to match a percentage of your monetary contributions. As 401(k) offerings differ between companies, it is essential to understand precisely what the company you are prospecting is offering.

Employers are not required to match 401(k) contributions, but it has become a common practice within most larger companies. An example of a basic policy would be one that mirrors 50% of your contributions.

Saving a certain amount from your paycheck and your employer also making a contribution will result in a total contribution. It is important to take advantage of this benefit when offered its like free money for retirement!

 

Why Should I Consider a 401(k)?

A 401(k) is a vital company offering and should be carefully considered when seeking a company for employment. It might be better to opt for a lower paying position with a 401(k) than a higher paying position without.

Once you pick the company you wish to work for that offers a 401(k), do more research.

For starters, it is critical to discover when you can begin contributing to a company’s 401(k) offering. You may have to work a certain amount of time before being eligible for a 401k plan.

Some employers require a more extended amount of time like a year before you can participate in the 401k program. The sooner you decide on a 401k the better, you're money will grow allowing you to live comfortably during retirement.

 

What Should I Look Out For With a 401(k)?

401k Savings Plan

Many companies require you to stay with the company for a specific amount of time before you can keep their contributions. Don’t be afraid to ask the company for details about their 401(k) offerings. While some companies will help to maintain your plan for no cost, many will request fees for maintenance.

Remember to keep an eye on the policy that shares what percentage of your contribution a company is will match. Some companies do not match a percentage. However, while a 401(k) plan is better than nothing an employer that offers a higher match percentage is ideal.

At this point, you should see the incredible advantage of working with a company that offers a 401(k) for retirement. While you might be comfortable with your current income, what happens when you retire and your active income drops to nothing? The answer to not only comfortably in your older age but also essential security, comes thanks to your 401(k) contributions.

 

When Can I Take Advantage of a 401(k)?

Now that you know your company selection and current financial contributions can shape the latter half of your life, you might ask when you can begin to access that money. When does retirement start for a hard working individual such as yourself?

Generally, you need to be 59.5 years of age to obtain your contributions without incurring a 10% withdrawal penalty, but if you decide that you need money from your 401k sooner you may do so paying tax on what you withdraw.

If the 401(k) game isn’t new to you, or if you remembered that one of your past companies offered a plan you can opt to move the assets into your new employer’s plan. If your new company has a human resources or finances department, it may be best to speak with them to determine the best course of action for your future.

 

Why Should I Work Towards my Future?

When we work hard at our jobs, many of us keep our eyes on the present to ensure that ourselves, and our families, can live comfortable lives. Still, working with your employer goes beyond merely considering the present day. Every day we work, we need to be conscious of what we will do one day when we are no longer able to drive long hauls or provide the services we have previously.

Finding an employer that offers a 401(k) retirement plan helps to shape your future, allowing you to enjoy your elder years. If you are currently seeking driver opportunities with a company that is keen to look after your future, be sure to checkout Logiflex.

Not only does Logiflex offer drivers disability insurance, life insurance, and pet-friendly vehicles, but also that critical 401(k) retirement plan that we have been discussing. If you are ready for the next step of your life, apply at Logiflex’s website today.

 

July 6, 2018No Comments

Why People Become Truck Drivers

 

People don’t always think of glamor and glory when they think about trucking. It’s a job that requires hard work, long hours, and the ability to drive long distances. In many cases, truck drivers are underappreciated members of 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. Not only do they get to experience the different cities and to change scenery across America, but they also get to be paid for doing it! Anybody who is interested in seeing different cultures and trying new, unique regional cuisines could greatly benefit from getting behind the wheel of a truck and embarking on their cross-country journey.

 

With the traveling comes a job that must be done, but 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. When a load is delivered, drivers can decide to stay in the area or pick up a new shipment and head somewhere new.

 

They Prefer the Open Road to an Office

 

Most people don’t enjoy coming into the same office every single day and performing the same routine tasks over and over again. 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. There’s always something new to be found on the road, and truckers are ready and willing to accept that adventure.

 

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. It is up to the driver alone to work as hard and as often as he or she sees fit to fit with 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. They may not wear a suit and tie, but they 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, but 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 thanks to their ability to and willingness to take on these difficult loads.

 

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. The truck driver can be seen as somewhat of a hero when he delivers these 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 and 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.

July 6, 20181 Comment

Truck Driving and Family Life

 

family truck

 

Truck driving and family life is not an easy thing to navigate. Most people work a job that allows them to come home to their family at the end of the day. Whether it’s in an office, factory, or retail shop, their work location is usually within an hour of their home. For over the road truck drivers, however, this is not the case. The unfortunate reality of life for them is that they must be on the road for weeks at a time, often leaving their families behind without certainty as to when they are going to return. Such life can be stressful for both the truck driver and his wife, creating many difficulties that drivers must face when pursuing a career behind the wheel.

 

Uncertainty of Schedule

 

When a driver embarks on a trip across the country, he doesn’t always have a direct route back home. In many cases, he must rely on several backhauls to move from location to location until he eventually gets a shipment that brings him back to his destination. Sometimes, a driver may be able to set up his schedule so that he has a clear route back. This still comes with uncertainty, however, as shipments can be canceled, reconsigned, or significantly delayed. When that happens, there is no guarantee that a driver will be able to find a profitable replacement shipment that will get him where he wants to go.

 

Inclement weather, accidents, and traffic can also contribute to this uncertainty. With the United States being such a massive landmass, it can be hot and sunny in one city while a blizzard is ravaging a location only a few hundred miles away. Drivers can’t expect regular weather patterns if they are driving over the road, so they can’t always accurately predict when they are going to be home. They also have to account for their DOT hours of service. 

 

Loneliness

 

While many truck drivers enjoy the “lone ranger” lifestyle that the open road affords them, the fact remains that it can be stressful to be isolated for such long periods of time. Many drivers report that they miss their families immensely when they are driving, causing them emotional distress and contributing even more to their feelings of loneliness. This one of the most significant difficulties of choosing the independence that comes along with being a truck driver.

 

Drivers can make friends on the road, and they often do. However, this is not quite the same as being at home with a loving family and permanent companions. They can’t expect that they are going to be creating long-lasting bonds when they are always moving in different directions and running on separate schedules. This lack of attachment can cause feelings of isolation and depression. Most people want to connect with others, and it is increasingly difficult to do so when you must continuously be shuttling off to different locations.

 

An Empty Home

 

Drivers aren’t the only ones who are negatively affected by life on the road. Their partners at home can feel just as lonely and stressed out if they are gone for long periods at a time. A driver’s wife at home may experience the same feelings of sadness and isolation while her husband is driving across the country for weeks at a time. This stress on both parties can lead to arguments when he does eventually make it back home.

 

These problems are even worse if a driver has children. Kids want to be around their mother and father frequently, and they can become very disappointed if they find out that their parent will be delayed even longer than expected. Younger children don’t understand that some things are out of their parents’ control, so they may feel neglected or let down even though their father or mother is doing his or her best to get back home in a reasonable amount of time.

 

Solutions

 

While there are many issues that can put a strain on the family life of a driver, there are also ways to work around these. As with any job, there are going to be ups and downs, but it is up to the individual to work through these and focus on the positive aspects of the job. These are some of the things that drivers can do to reduce the stress caused by their position.

 

Set Realistic Expectations

 

A driver should talk with his or her spouse and be honest about the reality of their job. He should not set unrealistic expectations that will only serve to let his partner down. When the partner at home knows that the truck driver will not be back soon, he or she will be more accepting of their absence and able to plan around it. It will take some work, but couples must strive to understand each other and know what to expect in the future.

 

Focus on Scheduling

 

As mentioned, a driver can’t always rely on getting a direct route back home. However, he can be proactive about finding the right loads and taking better routes to increase his chances of a timely return. He should study the markets and try to make consistent contacts with shippers that can give him quality shipments that take him where he needs to go. Problems and delays will inevitably occur, but a driver should stay focused on doing everything he can to reduce the likelihood of these occurrences.

 

Consider Driving as a Team

 

Many couples share the responsibility of driving. Such arrangement works best for families without kids or whose kids are already out of the home. Operating as a team allows the couple to be with each other and get through the job together rather than being apart for weeks or months at a time. If they plan their routes efficiently, it can also be far more profitable than driving solo because of the reduced amount of downtime. Traveling the country is an excellent way for couples to bond.  Moreover, driving together allows them to make money while maintaining a happy and healthy relationship.

July 5, 20182 Comments

The Benefits of Pursuing a Career as OTR Driver

 

Truck in beautiful place

Being a professional truck driver can be hard work.  You may have to travel long distances, fight through inclement weather, and be on the road for weeks at a time. However, this hard work is extremely rewarding, and the freedom provided by the job is perfect for the millions who pursue the career every year. Driving a truck isn’t for everyone, but many people are seizing the opportunity to work on their own schedule and explore the country. Truck drivers are often unique, motivated individuals, and there are many benefits that come with pursuing the profession. Here are some of the truck driver benefits when they get in the industry.

Freedom

 

As already mentioned, driving a truck allows you a certain amount of freedom that many other careers cannot provide. Your tractor is your office, and you take it with you everywhere that you go. You don’t have to sit down at a desk every day staring at a computer screen for 10 hours straight. Instead, you get to face the open road and drive across the country at your own accord. Sure, you have deadlines to meet and shipments to deliver, but you get to decide how you are going to succeed and what loads work the best for you.

 

Driver having barbecue on a rest area

Driver cooking during his break

Once a truck driver gets behind the wheel, they are in charge of their day. They may  communicate with dispatchers, shippers, and manufacturers throughout the day, but they are ultimately responsible for the route that they take. It can be a liberating feeling to fire up that engine and embark on a cross-country journey. You can choose the music you want to listen to, the food you want to eat, and the route that you want to take.

 

As with any job, truck drivers have expectations that they have to meet. They must do their best to deliver on time and drive safely, keeping the freight intact and looking out for those with whom they share the road. This, however, isn’t a problem for most drivers. They enjoy the challenge of meeting these deadlines, and the better they are at it, the more they will get paid. In this respect, drivers are free to decide their own fate and choose how and when they want to work. Successful truck drivers use this freedom to make profitable decisions while maintaining a steady flow of work.

 

Individuality

 

Driving a truck allows someone to express themselves in ways that many other jobs do not. Owner-operators can pick their tractors and customize their “office” to their liking. Whether this is done through personalized graphics or paint jobs is completely up to the owner of the truck. As they travel across the country, they can make the decisions to change the truck as little or as often as they see fit.

 

Driving a truck allows a person to operate individually without needing to conform to certain standards. Yes, drivers must comply with the laws of the road and the HOS regulations of the industry, (you can read about Personal Conveyance or 14 hour rule extension) but they aren’t necessarily required to dress or act in a certain way as part of their job. They are allowed to maintain their identity and work as individuals with their own personality and ideas. Truck drivers provide a vital service for the economy, but they are able to do so by being themselves rather than latching onto some sort of corporate character.

 

Endless Opportunities

 

Truck driving is a lucrative and smart career choice because it will always be a needed service. No matter what advances are made in technology, there will always be a need for products to be delivered. Even when the economy slows down, people need to eat. As long as this remains constant, there will always be jobs for truck drivers. Manufacturers will always be producing, and they will need trucks to deliver their goods.

 

This ties in with individuality as well, as drivers can choose the opportunities they want to pursue.  If somebody doesn’t want to venture too far from home, they can take on local delivery jobs. On the other hand, if they want to take shipments that send them from one end of the country to the other, there will always be plenty of loads available. As long as Americans keep producing goods, there are going to be opportunities for truckers.

 

Entrepreneurial Spirit

 

People may not regularly think of truck drivers as savvy businessmen, but the most productive drivers are making sound business decisions on a daily basis. They need to have an understanding of the current economy and the rates that they will receive on certain lanes and by offering specialty services. In this way, every individual truck driver is an entrepreneur. There is a lot at stake when taking on a shipment, and the driver must manage his or her risk and evaluate what loads are worth taking and which should be left to someone else.

 

Truck drivers can use their business skills to be highly successful, and they get to do so while living the life that they please. Driving can be a humbling experience, but it can also be extremely educational, with drivers learning how to market themselves on the job. They are involved in every step of the decision, and anybody with an entrepreneurial spirit can succeed in the industry.

 

Constant Travel

 

Driving a truck provides an excellent opportunity to travel across the country and enjoy a constant change of scenery. For those free spirits who just can’t be satisfied by sitting around in one place, trucking is the perfect job. Whether they want to see every major city or simply enjoy cruising the open road through the vast geographical expanses of America, drivers can truly travel to their heart’s desire. On top of this, they are getting paid to be a tourist on their own time! In a world where many people are stuck inside on their computers, truck drivers can experience the picturesque landscapes that millions of people only ever dream of seeing!

June 1, 201812 Comments

DOT hours of service extended by recapturing your hours

Commercial drivers often times refer to DOT hours of service regulations as their 3 clocks. The eleven, fourteen and seventeen hour “clocks” have to do with with the amount of driving and on duty hours allowed daily and over the course of a week.

Read more

© 2018 Logiflex Inc

Blog.

How the ELD Mandate Helps Drivers

  The ELD mandate has been a controversial subject among truckers, shippers, and manufacturers alike. Many drivers have complained that it places unfair restrictions...

→ Read More

Don’t Haul Without a 401(k)

Don't Haul Without a 401(k) Not all employers offer the same benefits to their drivers; if you are looking for a comfortable retirement, then...

→ Read More

Why People Become Truck Drivers

  People don’t always think of glamor and glory when they think about trucking. It’s a job that requires hard work, long hours, and...

→ Read More

Truck Driving and Family Life

    Truck driving and family life is not an easy thing to navigate. Most people work a job that allows them to come...

→ Read More

The Benefits of Pursuing a Career as OTR Driver

  Being a professional truck driver can be hard work.  You may have to travel long distances, fight through inclement weather, and be on the road...

→ Read More

DOT hours of service extended by recapturing your hours

Commercial drivers often times refer to DOT hours of service regulations as their 3 clocks. The eleven, fourteen and seventeen hour “clocks” have to...

→ Read More

New FMCSA Personal Conveyance Rule

→ Read More