Trucker Pride Contest

Trucker Pride Contest

Enter to win a $200 US Cargo Control e-gift card and US Cargo Control gear!

In 2-3 sentences please tell us why you are proud to be a trucker or tell us about a trucker that you are proud of.

Contest Rules: Contest valid 8/6/2018 – 8/24/2018. US Cargo Control reserves the right to cancel or change this contest at any time.
By submitting your information to this contest, you are granting US Cargo Control access to the content submitted for marketing or advertising purposes, you are agreeing to the US Cargo Control terms & conditions and US Cargo Control privacy policy, including receipt of US Cargo Control email offers and promotions. To manage your preferences please access the My Preferences section of the US Cargo Control email or the My Account section on the US Cargo Control website.

A Complete Guide to Flatbed Trailer Tarps

Flatbed trailer tarps protect cargo from weather damage and general wear-and-tear that highway travel can cause. Tarps are waterproof and often made of vinyl, kevlar, or canvas with a polyethylene coating for added protection. Read on to understand the differences among types of flatbed trailer tarps, how to properly tarp a flatbed trailer, and how to repair a torn tarp.

 

Types of Flatbed Tarps

The type of tarp you should use depends on what you are hauling and how big it is. Not all tarps are created equal.

 

Lumber Tarps

how to use a lumber tarp

 

 

 

 

 

Lumber tarps are used on loads that are tall and box-shaped. They have flaps at each end to cover the ends of lumber. Both the sides and tail flap of a lumber tarp are usually fitted with grommets and multiple rows of D-rings for a variety of tie-down points. Usually, two lumber tarps are used to cover a flatbed load.

 

Steel Tarps

how to use steel tarps

 

 

 

 

 

Steel tarps on the most commonly used flatbed trailer tarp. They will also typically have grommets and D-rings built-in, however no flaps. They are used to protect shorter and lower-profile loads, and also used in combination with lumber tarps.

 

Smoke Tarps

how to use a smoke tarp

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke tarps only cover the upper front portion of a flatbed load. This protects loads from getting covered in exhaust fumes and dirt. They can also be used in combination with steel and lumber tarps when additional coverage is needed.

 

Machinery Tarps

how to use a machine tarp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Machinery tarps are designed to protect manufacturing or machine equipment from weather and road vibration. These heavy-duty tarps have grommets around the hems and multiple rows of D-rings on each side.

 

Coil Tarps

how to use coil tarps

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coil tarps are commonly used to protect steel or aluminum coils and cable spools during transport. Their rounded top-half allows for a fitted cover over cylinder-shaped loads. The side flaps are more rectangular shaped and split in each corner to allow transport chain to pass through.

 

How to Tarp a Flatbed Trailer Load

A tarp is only effective if it’s applied correctly and secured tightly. Follow these step for tarping a load on a flatbed trailer.

 

flatbed tarping

1. Lift your rolled-up tarp on top of the load and center it as best as you can.

2. You should always start from the back of your load. Start unrolling the tarp towards the back while keeping the centerfold of the tarp in the center of the load.

3. Once the tarp is unrolled, pull the bottom of the tarp so that it is covering the entire back of the load and touching the flatbed trailer.

4. Next, start unfolding the tarp once on each side, making sure it stays center.

5. If you are using multiple tarps repeat the steps above to cover any exposed cargo.

6. Once your tarps have been completely unrolled and your load is covered, roll up or fold in any excess tarp and secure the D-rings with bungee cords.

7. If your load is tall or oddly shaped, throw an extra tie-down strap over the tarp to prevent it from billowing.

 

How to Repair Tarps

Eventually, weather and prolonged use wear down tarps to the point that they must to be repaired to remain effective.

how to repair a tarp

  1.  Buy a flatbed tarp repair kit.
  2. Place the tarp on a flat surface with the underside facing up. Smooth out any wrinkled areas.
  3.  Cut a patch slightly larger than the tear.
  4.  Apply a heavy layer of tarp repair adhesive to one side of the patch and place over the tear.
  5.  Use a roller to smooth out and remove any air bubbles. Let dry for at least three hours.

 

Custom Tarps and Other Flatbed Equipment

Shop US Cargo Control for all your flatbed trailer equipment needs, including winch straps, winch bars, and custom tarps.

 

Everything You Need to Know About US Cargo Control

 

Check out our updated “About Us” video and read more about everything we have to offer below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55QIogFp7X0?rel=0

Video Transcript

At US Cargo Control, “what you want, when you need” is more than just a slogan or philosophy. It’s the foundation on which we were built. With humble beginnings in our founder’s garage, it was always our goal to make our customers feel understood and taken care of. Even now, more than 10 years later, with in-house manufacturing, thousands of cargo control products, and a 133,000 square-foot facility; our goal remains the same. To understand our customers better than anybody, and to get you what you want, when you need it.

In the trucking, rigging, and moving industries- product and service needs are time-sensitive. Getting you what you want, when you need it looks a little different for every customer.  Our dedicated teams allow us to be highly responsive in finding the right solutions for all of our customers.

Whether visiting us at uscargocontrol.com or speaking to your dedicated service representative over the phone – we always strive to get you what you want, when you need it.

 

What’s important to you?

Here are more details on how we can help deliver the cargo control products you want when you need them.

 

US Cargo Control team

Dedicated Teams of Cargo Control Experts

Throughout the years, we have carefully assembled a dedicated staff that thrives on being product and industry experts. Every last one of them seeks to make your job safer and easier, and your equipment allocation more efficient. We are always happy to take your calls and promptly answer any questions about product, price, shipping, or custom order needs. Let us know what’s important to you, and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen.

 

US Cargo control tie down strapQuality Products with Custom Capabilities

We offer thousands of cargo control products, both foreign and domestic. From quality moving supplies to lifting and rigging gear, and of course a huge selection of heavy-duty trucking and transportation equipment– more variety means more choice for you. In addition, we manufacture custom tie-downs, cargo nets, tarps and more in our 23,000 square-foot manufacturing facility. Don’t see what you’re looking for on our website? Just ask and we’ll do everything we can to get you what you want.

 

 

custom pricing for cargo controlCustom-Pricing Programs

We understand your business and its goals are unique and believe our pricing should reflect this reality. Bulk orders, special shipping requests, and payment plans. Partner with us and together we can create pricing programs that work for your individual needs.

 

 

 

US Cargo Control warehouseSwift Delivery

Our central Midwest location means delivery time is just 1-3 days to most of the United States. With thousands of items in-stock and to ready to ship, orders placed before 4:00pm Central time ship out the same day. Plus, you get free shipping on orders of $199 or more.

 

Your Single-Source Cargo Control Supplier

At the end of the day, actions speak louder than words. So what are you waiting for? Put us to the test and challenge us to deliver on all your cargo control needs.

Shop our website anytime, or call us at 866-444-9990.

7:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Thursday (Central time)

7:00am – 5:00pm Friday (Central time)

 

 

Why Hours of Service Rules Could Change for Livestock Haulers

A Senate proposed bill called “The Transporting Livestock Across America Safely Act” has the potential to significantly change Hours of Service (HOS) rules and ELD enforcement for thousands of drivers.

The bill aims to modify HOS requirements for transporters of livestock and insects. Now that ELD enforcement has started, industry stakeholders are more divided than ever on whether livestock truck drivers should have to comply to the same HOS limitation that other drivers do.

Read on to gain a full understanding of the situation and come to your own conclusion on this debate.

 

What the Livestock Exemption Bill Says

The bill only applies to drivers transporting livestock (as defined in section 602 of the Agricultural Act of 1949) or insects. And the proposed hours of service exemption would only be applicable to drivers who travel no more than 300-air miles from their pick-up point.  Here are the details of the proposed bill.

Livestock drivers would be exempt from hours of service requirements in the following situations:

A) at a plant, terminal, facility, or other property of a motor carrier or shipper or on any public property during which the driver is waiting to be dispatched.

B) loading or unloading a commercial motor vehicle.

C) supervising or assisting in the loading or unloading of a commercial motor vehicle.

D) attending to a commercial motor vehicle while the vehicle is being loaded or unloaded.

E) remaining in readiness to operate a commercial motor vehicle; and

F) giving or receiving receipts for shipments loaded or unloaded.

In addition, the proposed bill states:

1) the driver may take 1 or more rest periods during the trip, which shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time;

2) after completion of the trip, the driver shall be required to take a rest break for a period that is 5 hours less than the maximum driving time under paragraph (2);

3) if the driver is within 150 air-miles of the point of delivery, any additional driving to that point of delivery shall not be included in the calculation of the driving time; and

4) the 10-hour rest period under section 395.3(a)(1) of that title shall not apply.

 

The Argument for Support

Supporters of the bill say the current one-size-fits-all HOS rules do not make sense when it comes to transporting live animals. They say that forcing a driver to stop and wait 10 hours before driving again strands the animals in potentially dangerous conditions.

One supporter of the bill is The National Pork Producers Council. They argue that pigs and other livestock are vulnerable to health issues triggered by extreme temperatures.

livestock hauling exemption pigs

Steve Hilker, a Transportation Committee Chairman for the United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA), also voiced support for the livestock exemption bill. In a Progressive Farmer article, Hilker says the ELD mandate (which digitally records and reports HOS compliance) leaves cattle potentially stranded roadside on a truck. “The list of poor outcomes begins to grow exponentially almost immediately,” says Hilker. He also raises the concern that putting livestock haulers through this would only add pressure to an already “thinly populated driver pool.”

 

The Argument for Opposition

Those against the bill say making an exemption defeats the purpose of the hours-of-service rules: increased safety for people on our roadways.

And opposers say making an exemption for a federal regulation is a slippery slope. They worry that once there is an exemption for one portion of the industry, it will set a precedent and potentially open the door to more exemptions down the road.

One key opponent of the bill is the American Trucking Associations (ATA). In an interview with Transport Topics, Bill Sullivan, leader of advocacy for ATA, stated, “lives of livestock should not be a priority over the lives of people. Sullivan goes on to say, “This bill would allow truck drivers to stay behind the wheel for almost twice as long as they’re permitted under the current hours-of-service rules, it needlessly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of people who travel our highways.”

 

hoursofservicecompliance

Current Status for Livestock Haulers

This bill was just introduced on May 23, 2018, so it is still in the first stage of the legislative process. It is typical for a bill like this to first be considered by a committee before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate. If both the House and Senate pass the bill, it must then be signed by the President to become law.

However, it doesn’t look promising for supporters of the bill.

An A.I.-powered data analysis firm called Skopos Labs predicts the bill has just a 4% chance of becoming law.

Currently, there is a temporary exemption for livestock and insect haulers until September 30, 2018. But, livestock truckers will have to start complying with current ELD and HOS rules if nothing is passed by that time.

 

 

Uber Freight Expands Capabilities with Fleet Mode

You’ve probably heard of the Uber app before. Open the app, see available drivers, and reserve a ride. Within minutes, a vehicle is there to pick you up and already knows where you need to go. No phone calls or reservations, and payment is seamless. Pretty slick, but what does it have to do with the trucking industry?

Well, about a year ago, Uber introduced Uber Freight. And it’s as simple as open the app, see available loads, and book a job. But, up until now, it has only been used by owner-operators.

That all changed last month when Uber Freight introduced fleet mode. It’s an extension of Uber Freight that is focused on helping trucking fleets negotiate shipments more efficiently. And fleets are already seeing time-saving results.

 

Uber freight for trucking fleets
Uber Freight gives truckers “fee-free payment within 7 days”

What can you do with Uber Freight?

Before we dive into this new fleet mode, it’s helpful to understand more about what Uber Freight can do. Uber Freight is a free app that matches carriers with shippers. According to the Uber Freight website, load pricing is upfront and set. This means no haggling or back-and-forth negotiations with brokers. However, fixed rates mean drivers can’t manage to negotiate higher pay for delivery.

While some drivers say they wish they had the ability to negotiate higher rates, this policy has undoubtedly resulted in quicker and more efficient shipping agreements. And given the recent ELD mandate and current HOS regulations, time spent driving instead of talking is priceless.

The part that drivers seem to enjoy most about the Uber Freight app? Fast payment. The app promises “fee-free payment within 7 days of delivery.” No more waiting months to receive payment.

 

How fleet mode enhances Uber Freight

Released in May 2018, fleet mode is an addition to the Uber Freight app that allows fleets to manage and assign shipments.

Eric Berdinis, a senior project manager at Uber, says fleet mode streamlines the communication between the dispatcher and their drivers. Now, dispatchers are not only able to see available loads on the app, they can also access a page that displays all the drivers in their fleet in real-time. The drivers may have a status of available, busy with another load, or offline. So, dispatchers can assign a load to an available driver and once the driver accepts; the dispatcher, Uber, and the shipper get simultaneous confirmations.

While there is no limit to the number of drivers a company can manage, Uber expects it to be used mostly by fleets with around 10 trucks.

Phil DeKnight, the owner of DeKnight Enterprises, has three drivers in his fleet. In a Trucks.com article DeKnight says, “Before, I would spend a lot of time on the phone finding out more information about a load, then have to check with my drivers to see if they have enough hours to haul it, only to find out that the load’s gone. I don’t have to do that now.”

 

uber freight launches fleet mode
In Uber Freight fleet mode, dispatchers can view driver status in real time.

 

The future of digital freight

Obviously, digital freight marketplaces are nothing new. Uber Freight has been around for over a year now. And other freight booking apps, like ITS Broker, Getloaded, and Trucker Path have been on the scene for over half a decade.

But, because loads per available truck trailer have nearly doubled in the last year, (6.6 loads compared to 3.5 loads last year according to DAT solutions) shippers are actively seeking the newest and most effective ways to secure drivers. Meanwhile, drivers and carriers are constantly looking for the newest ways to increase efficiency and bottom-line earnings. These digital freight apps offer the potential to help a wide range of workers in the ever-important trucking industry.

 

Is your fleet looking to increase cargo equipment allocation efficiency? With dedicated teams and the ability to create custom products and custom pricing programs, US Cargo Control can get you what you want, when you need it. It’s just one reason why carriers and owner-operators across the country count on US Cargo Control for all their cargo securement needs. Visit our website or give us a call at 866-444-9990 today.

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affects the Trucking Industry

April 2019 might seem far away, but the decisions you’re making now are affecting how much money you’ll end up paying next tax season. And with the newly implemented Tax Cuts and Jobs Act  in effect, next years return will be calculated much different than prior years.

To understand how new tax laws affect the trucking industry, and learn how to make optimal financial choices today, read on.

business tax documents
source: Getty Images

What does the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act change?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017, has brought more change to the U.S. tax code then Americans have seen for the last 30 years. While there are many variables to consider, Troy Hogan a transportation industry tax expert and CPA at Katz, Sapper, and Miller Advisory Group says there are three main takeaways that all trucking companies should be aware of.

1. Depreciation and Equipment Transactions

Previously, bonus depreciation only applied to new property, but it now includes old property as well. From now until the year 2023, acquired equipment that is placed in service will be allowed a 100 percent write off under the newly revised bonus depreciation rules. Starting in 2023, that 100 percent write off will decrease 20 percent each year until it no longer exists at the end of 2026.

Section 179 has been expanded and now allows for up to $1 million in equipment expensing. However, total equipment purchases can’t exceed $2.5 million for the year. Hogan says to keep in mind that some states allow for bonus depreciation, but not the Section 179, and vice-versa.

Like-kind exchanges have gone away for equipment, but are still in effect for real-estate.

2. Per-Diem Programs

Trucking companies who do not currently have a per-diem plan may want to consider adding one. Drivers of companies that do not offer a per-diem plan will no longer be able to claim their own per-diem deduction as an itemized deduction. Therefore, even though tax rates overall have decreased and standard deductions have doubled, some company drivers may see an increased tax bill next year.

That’s why Jim O’Donnell, CEO, and Founder of Trucker Tax Service, told Fleet Owner he has “already heard from one client that his company is going to bump the per diem pay to 16 cents a mile.”

Because per diem pay is considered reimbursement pay, it does not need to be claimed on tax returns. Higher per diem rates put more money in the driver’s pocket and keeps it there. In addition, trucking companies can turn around and write that reimbursement pay off as an expense. It’s a win-win situation, and a simple way trucking companies can attract and retain drivers.      

3. Tax Rates and Entity Tax

C corporation tax rates have been reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent. However, C corporations will still be subject to double-taxation. Meanwhile, S corporation and other pass-through entities will see a new 20 percent deduction for domestic qualified business income.

Hogan has cautionary advice for S corporations considering making the switch to a C corporation. He warns that S corporation shareholders with suspended losses would have to forfeit those losses if a switch was made. In addition, S corporations are not subject to gross income limitations when choosing an accounting method.

how tax cuts affect truckers
source: Walter Hodges/DigitalVision/Getty Images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How should trucking companies react to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act?

It’s important for trucking companies to understand new tax laws and how to best take advantage of them. But, it’s also important to remember that these tax laws mean different things for different trucking companies. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, it’s all about making the overall best choices for your particular fleet. Even more important, fleet owners must not become so focused on their current year tax situation that they ignore the long haul. Successful businesses consider and plan for the long term.

For example, a fleet owner might consider buying a truck late in the year to gain the deduction. It’s true that will result in lower taxes for that fiscal year, however, the acquisition is just a short-term piece of the equipment’s overall lifecycle. For a truck to be deducted, it must be placed in service before the end of the tax year. That means additional operation, maintenance, and compliance costs now, and for years down the road. And this is all assuming that you actually need the truck.

The best course of action is to meet with a tax expert you trust in order to understand all the changes this new tax code has brought. What is best for one company, may not be ideal for yours. This post does not intend to provide any specific tax advice.