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15 Useful Apps for Truckers

Sunday, August 18th, 2019

With so many apps available to the trucking industry, choosing the right app can be somewhat confusing, and it can be difficult to know where to start. So, why would you want to use an app? Simply put, mobile apps extend the reach and productivity of your time and business.

By equipping your smartphone, tablet, or laptop with apps, it can perform a wide variety of business functions for you while out of the office, traveling, at a shipper, talking to brokers, or determining your best route of travel. A mobile app usually enables the user to do something specific, like accessing their bank account or tracking hours of service (HOS) using an ELD app. But most importantly, apps can help truckers enhance three important areas: time, money, and safety. In short, apps can have a positive impact on your business’s bottom line.

In this article, we focus on 15 free trucking apps that may be helpful to your operation.

1. oCFR

The U.S. DOT Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) made available their online Code of Federal Regulations (oCFR) mobile app, which provides quick access to both its hazardous materials and safety pipeline safety regulations.

2. Drive Axle

Drive Axle is an app that allows you to scan and send documents through your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. It allows both drivers and motor carriers to document work completed more efficiently and invoice quicker.

3. Truckstop Mobile or DAT

The Truckstop and DAT apps are both fast and effective ways to find loads. Post your truck or choose from thousands of loads posted daily.

4. Dock411

Interested in knowing the details about a pickup or delivery location? For example, do they have restrooms available to drivers, are they pet friendly, what is the average time to load or unload, or do they allow overnight parking? The app is populated with information reported by other drivers.

5. Trucker Path

Trucker Path provides useful information, including truck stop locations, fuel prices, parking availability, and weigh station locations.

6. Drivewyze PreClear

Drivewyze is a trucker app that, depending upon your CSA score, allows you to bypass more than 700 weigh station locations.

7. Weigh My Truck CAT Scale

This app provides truckers the opportunity to weigh their truck, pay for the transaction, and have their axle group and gross weights displayed on their smartphone and emailed.

8. BigRoad Trucking Logbook

BigRoad is an electronic logging device app and electronic logbook. It tracks hours of service and can help you maintain compliance with the ELD mandate.

9. Lose It! Calorie Counter

The LoseIt! app can help you control your weight by setting calorie intake goals and tracking your meals, exercise, and nutrition.

10. Weather Channel

Weather is something every motor carrier and truck driver must plan for. This app will help ensure you won’t be caught off guard by weather.

11. Waze

Waze is a GPS app used by many in the transportation industry. It provides a lot of roadway information, but it does not provide low clearance, road weight restrictions, or other trucking-specific information.

12. Vigillo

Exclusive for Vigillo Scorecard subscribers, Vigillo’s CSA Daylight mobile app provides CSA BASICs as a bar chart. It aggregates your BASIC percentiles, including HOS, Driver Fitness, Controlled Substances, Crash, Vehicle Maintenance, Unsafe Driving, and Hazardous Materials.

13. Trucker’s Slide Calculator

This app is able to calculate how much each axle is over or under, including the gross, and provide suggestions on where to slide axles or move weight to become legal.

14. Audiobooks.com

The Audiobooks.com app has over 125,000 offerings with more than 8,000 free titles. One nice feature is that the books can be downloaded so they can be listened to when Wi-Fi is not available.

15. 511

511 apps are available through many states. They are the official mobile apps travelers can use to find information for the state’s Department of Transportation. 511 apps can provide current traffic, winter road conditions, road closures, and many have freeway camera images available. Just enter a state’s two letter abbreviation followed by 511 (e.g., WI511) in your app store.

Content courtesy of Acuity.

Hybrid Long Term Care policies are flying off the shelves….

Sunday, August 11th, 2019

Hybrid Long Term Care contracts are “flying off our shelves” here at Beck Insurance Agency!

Hybrid Long Term Care
Hybrid long term care insurance is the product we’ve all been waiting for.

The good news?  We can’t sell out, our “inventory” is limitless!

Today, a stay in a nursing home is around $7,200 a month, or around $86,400 a year.  Home health care is around $4,000 a month, or annually $48,000. 

If you need this level of care what is your plan on how to pay for it?  Do you have 100% of your assets in an irrevocable trust?  If so, are you beyond the five year look back?  Is your plan simply having your assets liquidated?  Do you have enough cash set aside to pay out of pocket?  Or would you rather transfer that cost to another party and pass that money on to your loved ones? 

This potential expense is probably the largest uninsured exposure in the average person’s personal risk management plan.  Let’s set up a day and time to review and explore potential solutions.  Let’s close this potentially devastating exposure today.  Call Beck Insurance Agency 419-446-2777 or click here and request an appointment.

Joseph D. Beck, CIC, VP, V.S. Beck Insurance Agency, Inc. 

Life Insurance 101

Thursday, August 1st, 2019

There are interesting differences between Term Life Insurance and Whole Life Insurance when you dig down deep.

Term Life Insurance is the least expensive today, but the most expensive over time.  Less than 1% collect a term life death benefit.

Whole Life Insurance is the most expensive today, and the least expensive over time.  100% payout, with the ability to add Long Term Care coverage.

So how can you say whole life over time is less expensive than term life?  Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777 or click to schedule an appointment and a life insurance illustration comparison.

“I have life insurance through my employer.”

Monday, July 29th, 2019

When discussing or proposing life insurance options to people we often get this reply.

While I could easily touch on a number of reasons why you shouldn’t rely on employer provided life insurance, in this post we will only focus on one. A big one.

Approximately 95% of employer provided, group life policies have an active employee requirement written within. Meaning, once you no longer meet the definition of “active” – coverage often is voided without notice.

True story / example: A acquaintance of mine works with a lady. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer. He had to leave work to fight his cancer and not too long after unfortunately passed away. The life insurance the family thought he had, denied the life insurance benefit because he was no longer an “active” employee at the time of his passing.

Employer provided life insurance is a nice benefit….but buy your own as well.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency today to explore your own life insurance options. It’s not as expensive as you think.  Click or call 419-446-2777.

PMI Insurance

Friday, July 26th, 2019

It has come to my attention that some home buyers mistakenly believe that the PMI, or Private Mortgage Insurance that they are paying for as part of their mortgage payment – protects them.

PMI is generally required by the lender when the home buyer has less than the recommended 20% down payment, or equity in the home they are buying.  While you pay the premium, this insurance only protects the bank in the event that you default on your mortgage and the home sells for less than the outstanding balance owed at the foreclosure auction.

PMI is not coverage that protects you, it protects the bank and it does not pay off your mortgage in the event that you die.

If you do need life insurance please, please call or click.

What is Basic form, Broad form, and Special form?

Wednesday, July 10th, 2019

Basic, Broad, and Special form are three common coverage forms when insuring property.  Basic form is the most restrictive, while Special offers the greater level of protection.

Basic form covers these 11 “perils” or causes of loss:  Fire or Lightning, Smoke, Windstorm or Hail, Explosion, Riot or Civil Commotion, Aircraft (striking the property), Vehicles (striking the property), Glass Breakage, Vandalism & Malicious Mischief, Theft, and Volcanic Eruption. 

Broad form covers the same 11 perils, but adds 6 more:  Falling objects, Weight of ice, snow or sleet, accidental discharge or overflow of water or stream from within plumbing or related systems; does not include discharge or overflow of water from a sump,  sudden and accidental rupture of heating, air conditioning, fire protective sprinkler, or hot water heating system.  Freezing of plumbing or related systems.  And Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current.

Special form does not specifically list perils, rather it is “all risk” coverage unless otherwise specifically excluded.

As always refer to your actual policy for coverage language as it could vary slightly from carrier to carrier, and product to product.

Key Employee Retention

Friday, June 14th, 2019

Employers – do you have a rock star level employee?  You know the one, the dependable self starter.  The one who solves problems on their own, but still knows what they don’t know.   The one that out performs the rest.  Maybe if you are lucky, you have more than one. 

If you do have a rock star employee – the thought of them leaving is one of the things that probably keeps you up at night.  What if they leave?  How much disruption would it cause?  What would it take to replace them?  Is replacing them possible?  Worse yet, what if they went to my competition? 

The good news is – we have a solution.  I won’t dive into the details on this blog post, but if you have that great employee you can’t bear the thought of losing – call me today at 419-446-2777, stop by our office, or send me an email at joe@beckinsurance.com and we will put together a solution to keep that performer as a part of your team.

Joseph D. Beck, CIC, VP / Beck Insurance Agency, Inc.

   

Joe Beck and Joe Buller visit Acuity Insurance

Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

Joe Beck and Joe Buller recently visited with Acuity Insurance in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. 

“Joe and Joe”, spent two days meeting with the various management teams, industry experts, underwriting, loss control, and the audit team. 

While it was a short trip, these meetings provided greater insight into Acuity’s coverage differences, product guidelines, the claims process, loss control, and other additional services. 

The visit was commercial lines focused, specifically on Trucking, Contractors, Manufacturing, and Retail / Restaurant risks.

All in all, great visit.  Thank you Acuity!

6 Tips to Get Your RV Ready for Use

Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

From our friends at Acuity!

Ready to get your RV out of storage and on the road? Before you pack up, do a check up on your RV to help ensure your vehicle is safe and ready for your adventures ahead.

Contact Beck Insurance Agency for a quote on your RV Insurance today!

Time to dust off that motorcycle!

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Finally….it’s that time of the year again! (if the rain would stop)

Right now you are pulling your beloved steel horse out of storage…changing the fluids, airing up the tires, checking the lights, topping off the tank, and getting a nice polish on it.

Storm S. Schultz
Archbold, Ohio

But do you have proper insurance coverage on it (and yourself) as well?

Before getting back on the road again, have Beck Insurance Agency review your motorcycle insurance needs.  Lets make sure your values are correct, your liability limits are good, all that extra chrome is accounted for, and that your rate is fair.  Beck Insurance Agency has several of the top markets for your motorcycle insurance needs.

Call Kylie Schultz at Beck Insurance Agency today!  Phone 419-446-2777, or click here.