Posts Tagged ‘acuity insurance’

Cab Essentials for the Road

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

If you have ever taken your family camping, you know there is a lot to pack. Food, clothing, activities, and so much more. Similarly, truck drivers must understand the items needed on the open road. This knowledge is shared from driver to driver. We then add to this wisdom from our own experiences and personal needs. For example, a long-haul driver operating from coast to coast will need different resources than a local driver who is home most nights. Drivers need to be prepared for delays due to weather, inability to get loaded or unloaded, breakdowns, inspections, fatigue, and even sickness.

Truck Insurance

Here is a short list of items I found necessary to keep in my truck in a regional trucking operation:

1.An emergency preparedness kit. It is sometimes difficult to predict what we will encounter on roadways. As a result, the emergency kit should contain extra batteries, gloves, a flashlight, a sleeping bag, winter clothing when in season, non-perishable foods, extra medication, an extra pair of prescription glasses, a basic tool kit, duct tape, spare bulbs, jumper cables, extra fuses, bottled water, a foldable shovel, window deicer, emergency flares, an extra cell phone charger, and a first-aid kit.

2.Extra money. If your credit card quits working, you lose your wallet, or the store’s power is out, a few hundred dollars tucked away in a safe place can come in handy when you need to spend the night or purchase provisions.

3.Keep your food cold. If your truck is not equipped with a refrigerator, an insulated cooler is important in preserving perishable food items and keeping your drinks cold.

4.How are you cooking? A lot of drivers used to use little propane stoves to prepare meals in their trucks and save money on food costs. My preference is a microwave, which many trucks are now equipped with or have a converter or an APU. A microwave can make a big difference in comfort for a long-haul driver.

5.Another alternative is a slow cooker. Meat, potatoes, and fresh vegetables can be a satisfying end to a long day. A slow cooker allows you to prepare your own healthy food with minimal effort. However, make sure it is secured so it does not cause injury in the event of a sudden stop.

6.Food for truck drivers is no longer one size fits all. Many cultures and tastes influence our food choices. I chose to stock up on items that remained safe at room temperature and could be easily prepared, such as granola bars, bread, peanut butter, jelly, apples, bananas, nut varieties, deli meat, cans of soup, and water—lots and lots of water. There are a lot of healthy choices out there. Google and decide what works best for you.

7.Paper towels and wet wipes were essential items for me. They can be used for maintaining personal cleanliness, as a cleaning cloth in the truck, or as a rag to complete an unexpected repair.

8.Extra clothing. You will need several changes of clothing, depending on the duration of your trip. I found that extra socks, underwear, gloves, and footwear could make life much more comfortable in unexpected events such as weather and breakdowns.

9.Personal hygiene items, including deodorant, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a comb, mouthwash, and floss.

10.Know where you are going. A motor carrier map can prove very helpful in arriving safely to your destination. Understanding your route options and identifying toll roads, inspection stations, and roadway and bridge restrictions can prove invaluable. Personally, I used a trucker’s road atlas first and GPS as a second referral only while driving.

11.Stay warm and pack essentials. If you have ever been really cold and alone, you will identify with why I also kept a small propane heater stowed away. The same holds true for a portable toilet. Whether trapped in a traffic jam or in a remote location, having extra toilet paper and a clean portable toilet can bring a lot of comfort in those emergency situations of life on the road.

When you are stopped, take some pictures to share with family and friends, and remember to take the time to enjoy your trucking experience—appreciate the sunrises and sunsets, the old barns and cattle grazing, and the mountains you encounter along America’s roadways.

Cliff J. on August 15, 2018 in Trucker Focus , Acuity.

Interested in an insurance review and competitive bids on your Trucking Operation?  Call Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, send an email to joe@beckinsurance.com , or click here.

How to Request an Upgrade to Your DOT Rating

Monday, May 7th, 2018

Though your team does a good job managing your operations and you’re proud of your safety performance, you still ended up with a Conditional or Unsatisfactory rating. In other words, the FMCSA auditor has determined that your company failed to have “adequate safety management controls in place to ensure compliance with the safety fitness standard.”

We all understand why a Satisfactory safety rating is important to motor carriers. Negative ratings can bring many repercussions—your fleet is scrutinized on roadways, customers may have concerns about you hauling their goods, there can be a reluctance to pass on available rate increases offered to better-rated carriers, you may get questions from your insurance company’s underwriters and loss control people, and it can be difficult to attract quality drivers. The best drivers tend to align themselves with well-managed carriers who are not being scrutinized by enforcement officers.

One of the interesting things I notice when visiting motor carriers—especially with smaller, well-managed trucking companies that have been in business for many years and have not had large safety issues—is that they can be unaware of how FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program works and how it can drastically affect their company. CSA’s Safety Management System (SMS) uses a motor carrier’s data from roadside inspections, crash reports, and investigations to calculate performance in the 7 Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs): unsafe driving, hours-of-service compliance, driver fitness, controlled substances and alcohol, vehicle maintenance, hazardous materials compliance, and crash indicator. Based on BASIC CSA scores, FMCSA determines what interventions are taken against a carrier.

Following a compliance review, one of three safety ratings is issued—Satisfactory, Conditional, or Unsatisfactory—based on the following categories:

1.Documented, adequate safety management controls.
2.Frequency and severity of regulatory violations received by motor carrier.
3.Frequency and severity of driver and vehicle regulatory violations.
4.Frequency and severity of out-of-service driver and vehicle violations.
5.A pattern demonstrating an increase or decrease in similar types of regulatory violations.
6.Frequency of crashes and incident rate are indicators of preventable incidents, whether they are increasing or decreasing.
7.Number and severity of violations of FMCSA regulations.

If you receive a Conditional or Unsatisfactory rating, the first step in obtaining a Satisfactory rating is to understand the deficiencies and controls that were deemed inadequate or missing during your audit. Once your updated safety management plan is developed and you have implemented controls to ensure safety compliance, you will need to provide FMCSA with documentation that deficiencies have been rectified and an upgrade to a Satisfactory rating is an appropriate step for your company.

The FMCSA has a user-friendly guide and accompanying form, 385.17 Upgrade Request, outlining how to request an upgrade to your safety rating based on correction action, or visit Acuity’s Motor Carrier Toolbox to learn more.  Source Acuity Insurance

 

Auto Insurance

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

Auto Insurance

The right auto insurance policy can help get you back on the road quickly if your car is damaged or destroyed by accident, fire, theft, or other covered event. Your policy may also provide protection against medical and legal expenses resulting from injury, loss of life, or property damage caused by an accident involving your vehicle.

An auto insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. You pay a premium, and in exchange, the insurance company promises to pay for specific car-related financial losses during the term of the policy. Work with us to determine the best coverage for you.

Insurance for cars, trucks, boats and more!

Beck Insurance Agency can insure your Motorcycle, Classic Car, Motor Home & RV, Boat & Jet Ski, and ATV too! Contact us for more information today!

How much auto insurance is right for you?

Based in Archbold, Ohio, the team at Beck Insurance Agency understands the auto insurance needs of our customers.

Auto insurance requirements vary by state. In some states, to drive you must carry:
Liability coverage – to pay for losses you cause others, or:
No-fault coverage – to pay you and your passengers for medical and related expenses caused by injuries from a car accident, regardless of who is at fault, or
Both liability and no-fault coverage.

We write insurance in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida and would be happy to help you ensure you have the right coverage for where you live.
Even in states where coverage isn’t required, drivers must, by law, be able to pay for losses they cause others. Having insurance is the simplest way for most people to comply. To finance a car, it is usually necessary to have insurance which covers damage to your vehicle. This includes:

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance coverage pays for damage caused to your vehicle in an automobile accident. Standard collision coverage will pay for any repairs up to the fair market value of your car. Collision coverage usually also comes with an insurance deductible. It’s the amount of money you pay toward repairs before your collision insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible you’re willing to pay, the less the collision coverage will cost.

Comprehensive Insurance (Other than Collision)

Comprehensive insurance covers damage done to your car in some way other than a collision, such as if it were stolen or vandalized. Flood, hurricane, theft, windshield damage and fire are also events usually covered by comprehensive car insurance. Like collision, comprehensive will pay up to the fair market value of your car (less your insurance deductible). And although it’s not legally required by any state, you will probably need it if your car is financed.

Every person is unique – talk to us today to find out how to get the best price and value on auto insurance for you.

Beck Insurance Agency:  “Check with Beck Before You Wreck“.  Call for a quote today at 877-446-BECK (2325), Email us at info@beckinsurance.com, or hit us up via the our Contact Us page!

What does a CIC Designation mean for you?

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

Today’s insurance and risk management industry is vast, complex, and full of confusing variety. As you consider what kind of coverage you need for your unique set of risks and exposures, keep in mind that training as a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) has prepared us to be the competent and proven advisors you need. Our drive is what led us to go for the CIC designation. It represents a career-long commitment to stay on top of important industry changes and to be aware of new risks that arise so that we may better serve our clients.

Beck Insurance is not the kind of agency that is content to just collect annual commissions. We strive to be the best that we can be. We use our education to gain an in-depth understanding of the nuances of complex risks and the best way to address them. Training to become a CIC includes 100 classroom hours and five comprehensive exams. Additionally, we attend far more continuing education courses than required every year to keep our knowledge and skills up to date in order to ensure that you always receive the attention, care, and current information necessary to make your coverage decisions.

The CIC designation and pin are marks of distinction that demonstrate our commitment to professional excellence and leadership in the insurance industry. We are proud to be among 31,500 CICs in the country, “the best and most knowledgeable insurance practitioners in the nation.”

Joe Beck, VP/CIC – Bill Beck, Pres/CIC – Kirk Beck, Ret/CIC

 

Trucking Firms Facing Recruitment Problems Ahead of Holidays

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

By Jennifer Smith Oct. 24, 2017 9:01 a.m. ET

Trucking companies are worried about finding enough drivers now that the freight market is recovering.

Shipping demand is strengthening after a roughly two-year slump, as manufacturing activity expands and retailers stock up in advance of the holiday season. Meanwhile, fleets are reporting trouble recruiting qualified drivers to haul those loads. Some are raising wages even before they secure rate increases from shippers.

Long-haul truck drivers often hop from one fleet to the next in search of better pay or other benefits, such as schedules that permit them to spend more nights at home. They also tend to be older than the general workforce, fueling concern about driver supply as more truckers near retirement age and younger people enter other fields.

A tight employment market compounds the issue, as the construction and energy sectors draw from the same labor pool. Long-haul truckers make on average about $55,000 a year, compared with the roughly $80,000 to $100,000 they could earn driving for the oil-and-gas industry, said Bob Costello, chief economist with the American Trucking Associations, an industry group.

This year “driver shortage” ranked as the trucking industry’s top concern for the first time since 2006, according to an annual survey released Monday by the American Transportation Research Institute. Nearly 40% of respondents ranked driver supply among their top three concerns, according to the industry research group’s report.

“This is as tight a market as we’ve seen in 25 years, and we expect it to tighten further,” said Derek Leathers, chief executive of Werner Enterprises Inc., a large truckload carrier based in Omaha, Neb. “Demographics are working against us.”

Over the past two years, Werner has boosted wages by about 15%, one of a number of steps to aid driver recruitment and retention. The company has also spruced up its equipment and terminals.

Tightened capacity can benefit carriers, giving them more leverage with shippers on price, but it can also mean passing up work if they can’t find drivers. Though fleets often expand when business is booming, that may be off the table this time.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to believe that we could significantly grow our fleets given the driver capacity issue next year,” Richard Cribbs, chief financial officer at Covenant Transportation Group Inc. said on an earnings call last week.

At Covenant, a large trucking company based in Chattanooga, Tenn., employment costs for the third quarter rose 4.8% from a year earlier, though revenue rose faster and profit soared 59% to $4.6 million. The carrier expects shipping rates to increase by 5% to 9% in 2018, but said its truck count will remain largely flat.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc., one of the biggest U.S. carriers, said earlier this month that rising driver pay, a decline in fleet size and an increase in trucks lacking drivers weighed on third-quarter results in its truckload division. That unit had a 5% drop in revenue from the year-earlier period, though operating income increased 12%.

Drivers often scoff at the idea of a shortage, saying the solution is simple: pay more.

Companies are increasing wages “and they should,” said Mr. Costello. “But it’s about more than pay. It’s about the lifestyle.”

The ATA says the driver shortage is leading to delivery delays, and estimates the shortfall has yet to peak this year. Carriers will need to hire about 898,000 new drivers over the next decade as more truckers retire and the industry expands, according to the group.

Source:  https://www.wsj.com/articles/trucking-firms-facing-recruitment-problems-ahead-of-holidays-1508850070?__prclt=Xw9mCo1R