Posts Tagged ‘truck insurance’

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.

Trucking…with Max and Kassie

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Max and Kassie stopped by the Beck Insurance recording studio to bring you another important message from Beck Insurance.  Today’s message is Truck Insurance!

Max:  Hey Kassie, you got your ears on?

Kassie:  10-4 Max!

Max:  Hey you know where I can find a solid insurance plan for my big rig?

Kassie:  Of course!  Beck Insurance in Archbold.  Beck Insurance has four markets that fit most trucks operating within a 600-mile radius.

Max:  Can they help with my filings, and certificates too?

Kassie:  Yes, and the companies that they work with have resources available to help with your hiring practices, safety manuals, and much more.  I would call Beck Insurance Agency for your trucking insurance needs at 419-446-2777.

Max:  Thanks Kass!

<HONK HONK>

 

Updating your fleet equipment. (Trucking)

Thursday, January 17th, 2019

Are you considering updating your company’s heavy trucks and trailers and, if so, what factors do you use to make these decisions? One thing is certain, there is no right or wrong answer, as a crop farmer’s needs will be completely different than a regional general freight motor carrier. Every trucking operation is unique, and every owner looks for different things in their trade-in cycle. However, we can discuss some common items for you to consider when updating your equipment.

Trucking Insurance

Equipment Specification. Make sure the equipment, whether new or used, fits your operational needs and is spec’d accordingly. Is the engine the correct size, the axles appropriate for weight and gear ratio, the frame the correct length, and the fifth wheel able to be adjusted for your trailers and loads? Depending on the freight you are hauling, is your trailer as universal as possible to meet various load configurations and weights your customers might expect?

What Do You Want to Afford? If you are financing a vehicle, you should ask yourself, “What can I afford?” followed by “What do I want to afford?” Remember, the average term of a truck or trailer loan is 60 months, so you should be sure your income is secure for at least the next 5 years. For example, in the case of a farmer, it must be determined the equipment will be utilized enough to justify the ongoing monthly payments.

Maintenance. The cost of running older equipment is not always limited to mechanical breakdowns and repairs. Unless you have a good maintenance program, CSA violations can also contribute to the cost of operation.

Warranty. Manufacturers are providing some pretty good warranty options on new trucks—many coming standard with 5-year or 500,000-mile warranties. Many larger fleets are buying trucks in bulk, sometimes saving $10,000 to $15,000 per truck. They run these trucks up to 380,000 miles and get a good trade value as they still have 120,000 miles of warranty.

Fuel Economy. Just a decade ago, 5 or 6 miles per gallon was considered good, with some trucks getting 4. Truck technology has changed, and some fleet applications are claiming to see 8 miles per gallon from their fleet.

Driver Satisfaction. Drivers today have a lot of choices—especially professional drivers with years of experience and a clean MVR. What differentiates your company to attract and retain drivers of this caliber? Nice equipment is often thought to be a part of that equation.

Financing. New model trucks are usually easier to finance and often qualify for lower interest rates. The higher cost of buying new when considered with the lower APR can sometimes make more financial sense than buying used. This is important as the standard over-the-road truck is now selling for $140,000 to $150,000, while used equipment commonly runs between $30,000 and $90,000.

Depreciation and Resale Value. Like all new vehicles, trucks and trailers depreciate fairly quickly, so the resale value will drop significantly in the first year. In some circumstances, buying used enables you to recoup your initial investment should you decide to sell the equipment.

Regulations. Are you in trucking for the long term? If so, consider the required CARB regulations when traveling in some states. This can end up costing truckers $16,000 to $18,000 for compliance on a used truck, whereas a new truck is already compliant.

Content provided by Cliff J., trucking insurance specialist at Acuity Insurance.  Original blog post can be found here.

For a quote on your trucking operation please contact Beck Insurance Agency at 419-446-2777, or click here.

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.

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!

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