Proof that Truckers are the Backbone of America (with infographics)

September 9th – September 15th, 2018 is National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Here’s why it’s so important to show your appreciation all year long.

 

Imagine waking up to no coffee, milk, or juice. Trying to get to work with no gas in your car. And going to sleep with no blankets, pillows, or pajamas. The fridge is continually empty and there’s not a single pen or piece of paper around to make a grocery list. Even if there was, store shelves sit empty. Hospitals are without medicine, and assembly lines have no parts or raw materials.

No, it’s not a zombie apocalypse. It’s what would happen if we had no truck drivers and it would happen faster than you think.

what would happen if we had no truck drivers
source: CDL Life

 

Luckily we don’t have to face these challenges in America. Why? Because we have millions of dedicated truck drivers who drive billions of miles each year to deliver just about every good imaginable. Day in and day out they sacrifice time with their families and the comforts of home to make sure our families have everything they need. And what do they get in return?

Well, most commonly they get less-than-friendly gestures from fellow roadway regulars when they switch into the left lane. And trust me, I get it. When you’re hauling down the highway it’s easy to not think about the fact most big rigs are speed governed to go only 60 to 65mph (which means passing a fellow truck driver isn’t so quick and easy). Or that once a truck reaches an incline their heavy cargo loads start to play a huge factor in their speed and acceleration. And I definitely don’t know what it’s like to be strictly limited to 11 hours of driving in a 14-hour period. All this while still having a tight delivery deadline someplace thousands of miles away. My point is it’s easy to not think about all this as a regular driver but, for truck drivers, it’s a daily reality.

Still not sold on the fact that truckers are the backbone of America? Then take a look at these infographics that show the undeniable impact of trucking:

proof that truckers are the backbone of america

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

why are truckers important?
source: Trucker Path

 

US Cargo Control Appreciates Truck Drivers

We proudly support truck drivers all year long by providing them with quality cargo control equipment including ratchet straps, flatbed trailer products, and more. If we don’t carry a product you need, we go out of our way to get you what you want, when you need it. We also share helpful tips with our email subscribers and through this blog. For more insight into US Cargo Control and our dedicated efforts to serve truck drivers, check out our LinkedIn page and Facebook page. Here is an example of a recent video that we created for Trucker Appreciation Week:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlwabcrYFd4?rel=0

Truckers Show True Character at “18 Wheels for Bubba” Event

dakota bubba cadd party
16-year-old Dakota “Bubba” Cadd has always had an interest in trucks. (source)

If there was ever a question about the integrity or spirit of truck drivers, this recent story sets the record straight.

On August 18th, more than 180 trucks and around 1,200 people attended a surprise birthday party for Dakota “Bubba” Cadd. Bubba is a trucking enthusiast who suffers from Dandy-Walker Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and seizures. This affects his brain development and movement, requiring him to be in a wheelchair.

“It was a pretty amazing event,” said Peggy Cadd, mother of 16-year-old. “Everything about it was awesome.

 

How it all started

Bubba can often be found sitting right outside his home, along Highway 26 in Milton, Wisconsin. He likes watching trucks drive by and trying to get them to blow their thunderous horns. His mother says he’s been fascinated by trucks ever since she can remember.

Because of his dedication and love for watching trucks, he has become well-known to those who regularly pass by.

Mark King, a truck driver for CH Hall Trucking in Stillman Valley, Illinois, doesn’t have a horn to honk, so after seeing Bubba nearly every time he passed by, he decided to brighten his day in a different way.

In July, King decided to leave a CH Hall Trucking shirt and toy semi-truck on the lawn for Bubba. Peggy shared the story of King’s generosity on social media, which then inspired local retired driver, Jeremy Wallenkamp, to throw a party for Bubba.

18 wheels for bubba post
Peggy Cadd posted a picture of Bubba with his presents from CH Hall Trucking. (source)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Wheel for Bubba

Wallenkamp created a Facebook page, called “18 Wheels for Bubba,” and asked local trucking companies to donate shirts and hats for Bubba’s party. To his shock, the event went viral and garnered support from truckers as far as Australia and New Zealand.

On the big day, Bubba arrived at a local park, still unaware of the massive party awaiting him.

“When we pulled in, he looked at me and said ‘me’ as in ‘is this all for me,'” Peggy said. “We said, ‘yeah, this is your birthday party, and the truckers came for you.'”

bubba's party in milton
Over 180 trucks showed up at Schilberg Park in Milton for Bubba’s birthday party. (source)

 

At the event, Bubba rode in trucks and even became an honorary member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association. He was also given a CB radio, so now he can talk to the truckers that pass by.

“I just want to show him the support from our industry that he deserves,” said Wallenkamp. “He loves trucks. There’s a lot of great people in the trucking industry, and we just want to be there and support him and stand next to him.”

 

So, next time you find yourself on Highway 26 in southern Wisconsin, keep an eye out for Bubba. And don’t forget to give him a honk.

18 wheels for bubba
Dakota “Bubba” Cadd’s hometown of Milton, Wisconsin is about 10 miles north of Janesville.

 

4 Simple Ways to Get the Best Fuel Mileage for Your Semi-Truck

increase semi truck MPGWhen you think of semi-trucks, fuel efficiency probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, on average, semi-trucks get only 6.5 miles per gallon according to this Wired article. And while they comprise just 4.3 percent of vehicles in the US, they consume more than 25 percent of all fuel burned annually.

 

Whether you’re an owner-operator or you manage an entire fleet, you understand that high fuel costs result in decreased profits. But, with a little effort and initial investment, reducing fuel consumption might be simpler than you think.

 

1. Stay on top of truck maintenance.

This is one of the most important and simplest things you can do to maximize fuel efficiency in just about any vehicle. It’s basic mechanics and the benefits go far beyond better gas mileage. Regular maintenance such as on-time oil changes, filter changes, and regular fluid level inspections will keep everything operating at its best for longer. Also, remember to periodically check your tire pressure and add air if necessary.  Not only does this prolong the life of your tires, it also adds quite a bit to your fuel efficiency.

 

2. Drive with efficiency in mind.

Changing the way you drive costs you nothing, yet it’s often the hardest change to make. One of the biggest culprits of high fuel consumption is frequent accelerating and braking. Minimize braking to a full stop as much as you can, and accelerate more slowly. Also, staying in a higher gear helps save fuel. On the other hand, letting your truck idle for long periods of time can quickly cost you at the pump. This Arrow Truck article suggests turning your truck off if it’s going to be sitting for more than five minutes. Just one hour of idling will burn a full gallon of gas.

stay in a high gear for best semi truck gas mileage
Staying in a higher gear increases fuel efficiency.

 

3.  Equip your rig with fuel-efficient products.

This is the one that requires a bit of an initial investment, but the long-term payoff can really be worth it. There are a variety of aerodynamic additions you can make to both your tractor and your trailer that will result in higher MPGs. Everything from your mudflaps, bumpers, mirrors, hood, roof, and even headlights can become more aerodynamic. You may also consider automated manual transmissions. They replace your manual shifter and clutch with a computer that shifts the manual transmission at the optimal time. The North American Council for Freight Efficiency claims that automatic manual transmissions can improve average fuel efficiency by 1-3 percent.

 

4. Secure cargo low and even.

Each time a load goes on your truck, think of it as a part of your truck. Just like mudflaps and mirrors, your cargo can cause you to be more or less aerodynamic depending on how it’s loaded. When cargo is loaded unevenly, it can increase the fuel needed to get your truck moving. Also, it’s best to keep your cargo load height as low as possible on flatbeds to reduce wind resistance.

how to get best fuel economy in semi truck
Load cargo evenly to maximize fuel economy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using the proper cargo securement equipment will ensure all your cargo stays put and remains intact. Visit uscargocontrol.com for all your cargo equipment needs. 

 

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. 

 

SC&RA Hauling Job of the Year Spotlight: Precision Specialized, Edwards Moving & Rigging 

US Cargo Control is a proud member of the SC&RA and had a great time attending the SC&RA annual conference in Boca Raton earlier this year.  

The entries for 2018 Hauling Job of the Year were seriously impressive and now the results are in. 

Find out what it took for two transportation companies to take home the trophy in their respective categories and see their incredible entry videos below. 

2018 SC&RA award winners
2018 SC&RA Hauling and Moving job winners. Source: SC&RA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hauling Job of the Year – Under 160,000 Pounds

Precision Specialized, a flatbed trucking company out of Ontario, Canada took home this award. Their massive job entailed transporting 16 various sized modules for the world’s largest designer of modular plant and demonstration-scale systems. These expensive and fragile modules ranged in size from 40′ x 12′ x 12′ up to a whopping 40′ x 16′ x 14′. The driving route, from the Greater Toronto Area to just south of New York City, was nothing short of hectic.

First, weight-per-axle restrictions on the bridge connecting Canada to the U.S. required numerous special application requests. Then, construction patterns in Pennslyvania made it extremely difficult to find a viable route. Eventually, it took a full road closure for five miles in both directions and a tricky two-trailer load. After two years of careful planning, including trimming low-hanging trees and coordinating power line clearance, the job was successfully completed. Precision used their Aspen 95-ton, 13-axle rear steer perimeter trailer, with a custom-made 13-foot deck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3FEakrge6M?rel=0

 source: PrecisionGroupAG


Hauling Job of the Year – 160,000 Pounds to 500,000 Pounds 

Edwards Moving and Rigging out of Shelbyville, Kentucky won the trophy for this middleweight category. In May 2017, they hauled three of the largest-ever fully assembled turbines 230 miles, from New York to Pennslyvania. Each turbine weighed in at 375,000 pounds and measured 16.25′ tall by 16.48′ wide.

After six months of planning and coordination with upper-level DOT personnel, the first turbine was loaded and delivered. It took 10 days and about 2,993-man hours for it to reach its destination. The route included going through a private property owner’s yard and, at one point, crossing over an interstate median and driving on the opposite side of the interstate. The final permitted weight of the configuration came to 913,227 pounds and measured 345′ x 19.5′ x 18′. It was all handled by a dual-lane 32-axle Aspen A500 expandable transporter with three Kenworth C500 tractors as the prime movers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKetJ5G8N5I?rel=0

source: edwardsmovers


How to Enter Hauling Job of the Year Competition 

Does your transportation company have an outstanding job to share? Check out the rules and regulations to understand the different categories and judging criteria.  

For all your flatbed trailer equipment, including oversize and wide load signs, check out the USCC website for quality products that are backed by teams of dedicated consultants. 

2018 International Roadcheck: Focus on Hours-of-Service Compliance

Heads up. The largest targeted commercial vehicle enforcement program is back again. From June 5th – 7th, CVSA inspectors will be out in droves conducting North American Standard Level I Inspections at checkpoints across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.  

If a critical violation is found, inspectors may place you out of service.

Learn what to expect during this 72-hour International Roadcheck to ensure you and your vehicle are ready for inspection.  

Hours-of-Service Compliance 

Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations have always been a hot topic amongst truck drivers and carriers. Since recent ELD implementation, demands for change to the current HOS regulations have only increased.

But law enforcement is not backing down.

ELD mandate HOS rules
The more familiar you are with your ELD device, the quicker your inspection will go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the CVSA, thirty-two percent of all drivers who were placed out of service during the 2017 International Roadcheck had violated HOS regulations.

This year, HOS compliance is the main focus for inspectors. 

Remember, simply having a functioning ELD is not enough for you to pass inspection. To verify HOS compliance, make sure you have all your supporting documents ready and available for inspection. The more familiar you are with your ELD device, the quicker your inspection will go.

What Else to Expect from International Roadcheck 2018 

There will be more roadside inspections during this 72-hour period than any other time all year. And, while there will be an average of around 17 vehicles inspected every minute, it will still take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes to complete an inspection.

Most likely, an inspector will come to open your door and talk with you for a bit. He or she will be checking for signs of drug and alcohol use. Have your licenses and other driver documents ready. Next, they will be checking to ensure your seatbelt and fire extinguisher are in working order.  Then, they will get under your hood and inspect your entire vehicle from front to back. 

The main areas they will be inspecting include brake systems, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, wheels, rims and hubs, and even windshield wipers. 

They will also be checking for proper cargo securement 

International Roadcheck CVSA sticker
A CVSA decal will prove you passed inspection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If no critical inspection item violations are found, you will get a CVSA decal put on your vehicle. This will prove you successfully passed your inspection and keep you from going through another inspection for the next three months.  

Have you ever been through an International Roadcheck inspection? Share what you experienced in the comments below, and stay safe out there. 

Unpacking Moving Industry Trends: Why, When, and Where Americans are Moving

According to U.S. Census data, 11.2 percent of Americans move each year on average. That’s over 35 million Americans who will make the big decision to pack up and move on this year. 

The big questions are: what makes Americans want to move, when are they doing it, and where are they going? Continue reading to understand moving industry trends that will better prepare you to make tough moving decisions. 

Why Americans Move 

According to U.S. Census data, most Americans move specifically to change their current housing situation. This includes a desire for new or better housing, housing that is their own, or cheaper housing.  

Meanwhile, other Americans are moving due to a new job or for personal family reasons.  

Other less common reasons include a change in marital status, leaving for college, seeking a neighborhood with less crime, retirement, or just wanting a change of climate. 

top reasons Americans move
According to 2016 U.S. Census Data

When Americans Move 

Among those using a professional moving service or renting a moving truck (those that are trackable), Fridays are the most popular day to move. According to My Moving Reviews Annual Data Report, 20 percent of moves in 2017 were done on a Friday.  Moving on this day allows more time to unpack and be ready for work on Monday. 

The least popular days to move? Sundays and Tuesdays. If you can move on either these days, you will most likely get better prices on moving services. 

most popular moving days
Friday is the most popular day of the week for moves

The summer is by far the busiest time of year for moving. The overall busiest moving month? June, with about 13 percent of total moves. Interestingly, the overall busiest moving day of 2017 was June 30. The second? Just one day later on July 1.  

most popular months to move
June is the most popular month for moves

Where Americans Move 

So, which states are Americans heading to, and which ones are they leaving?

Top inbound states for 2017:

  1. Vermont 
  2. Oregon 
  3. Idaho 
  4. Nevada 
  5. South Dakota 
  6. Washington 
  7. South Carolina 
  8. North Carolina 
  9. Colorado 
  10. Alabama

Top outbound states for 2017:

  1. Illinois 
  2. New Jersey 
  3. New York 
  4. Connecticut 
  5. Kansas 
  6. Massachusetts 
  7. Ohio 
  8. Kentucky 
  9. Utah 
  10. Wisconsin

 

Green = top 10 inbound states for 2017. Orange = top 10 outbound states for 2017

Moving Advice 

If you’re thinking about moving, whether it’s across town or across the country, make sure you have plenty of moving supplies and set time aside to plan and prepare. Start by getting tips on how to remove the stress of moving.

2018 Trucking Industry Trends: The Year of the Truck Driver

“This year [2018] will be the best for the trucking industry since 2005”, says David Ross, an analyst at Stifel Financial Corp. 

What makes Ross so confident? It’s all about freight rates, truck sales, and ELDs.  

Learn how 2018 trucking industry trends are hauling the trucking industry towards one of its best years ever.  

freight rates

Freight Rates are Soaring 

According to the American Trucking Associations For-Hire Truck Tonnage Index, January 2018 saw an 8.8 percent increase in freight tonnage compared to January 2017. 

Combine this with the current driver shortage, and you begin to understand why we are seeing record shipping rates in 2018.  It’s all about supply and demand. 

And those who are in the industry can capitalize. In January 2018, freight rates for refrigerated trailers reached $2.66 per mile. That’s a 71-cent increase from the same time last year. 

Similarly, dry van spot rates shot up by 59 cents ($2.26 per mile), and flatbed rates climbed 47 cents ($2.39 per mile) compared to last year. 

Experts expect rates to grow even higher as we move towards spring freight season. 

Truck Sales are Surging 

Many carriers have been investing in new trucks instead of continuing to spin their wheels investing in new drivers. This is due to a combination of the economy’s health, new tax policy, and high driver turnover rates. 

According to Americas Commercial Transportation Research Co. (ACT), big-rig manufacturers received orders for more than 49,100 trucks in January 2018. A 121 percent increase from the same time last year. 

 

 

 

 

 

And Class 8 truck orders just rose to the second-highest level since March 2006. 

Peterbilt is already forecasting sales of a quarter-million Class 8 trucks this year. 

Also, according to ACT, the industry saw a 250 percent increase in refrigerated trailer orders compared to last January.

ELD Mandate Passes Pressure to Shippers 

Interestingly, lingering concerns related to the ELD mandate has partially contributed to rising shipping rates. At least temporarily. 

But, there are also positive long-term ELD effects to expect. 

truck shippers

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you know, ELDs track the exact amount of time a driver spends waiting for loading and unloading. Shippers can be quickly analyzed, compared, and dropped if they are found to be inefficient.

This means shippers will have to work harder and smarter for drivers. 

With such high freight tonnage, and a low number of drivers, the power of choice lies more in the hands of carriers and drivers.  

7 Tips for Smarter Truck Parking

There’s no question that lack of available parking is a major challenge for truck drivers across the United States. Even after the introduction of Jason’s Law back in 2012, commercial drivers are still struggling to consistently find safe parking spots. 

In 2017, truck parking ranked fourth overall on the ATRI’s list of Critical Issues in the Trucking Industry survey. If you look only at the responses of commercial drivers, truck parking is the second most critical issue. 

While these tips won’t make new parking spots magically appear, they can help you park smarter and sleep easier. 

1. Plan Ahead  

Pre-plan when and where you’re going to stop each day. Obviously, the goal is to avoid highly congested areas and areas with high crime. Tools like Google Earth and the TruckerPath app are great ways to see how crowded an area is in real time.

 2. Park Early  

Truck stops usually start filling up early in the evening. If you start your day earlier, you can park before others. If you can’t park early, try reserving a parking spot at the truck stop where you plan on stopping.

 3. Avoid Parking Near an Entrance  

It will be tempting to grab the closest spot when you pull in tired. But parking spots on the end of rows, and in the front third of a parking lot, are where the heaviest traffic and highest chance of accidents are.

4. Be Picky About Who You Park Next to  

If the truck next to you is parked over the line, or at an angle, try finding a different spot. If you must park there, it’s not a bad idea to take down their license plate and DOT information.

5. Avoid Backing Out of Spots  

It will be much quicker and easier getting back on the road if you choose a spot you can either pull through or back into.

6. Choose a Well-Lit Area  

Parking near plenty of bright lights will decrease your chances of being targeted by thieves. Seek out truck stops and department store parking lots that are filled with floodlights.

7. Seal Your Truck 

If you’re going to sleep in your truck, close all your windows, put up window screens, and keep valuables out of sight. Consider installing a dash cam for extra peace of mind. Sometimes just the sight of them is enough to deter potential thieves.  You can also use bungee cords or tie down straps to latch your truck’s doors shut from the inside.

12 Top-Notch Truck Stops in America with Secure Parking

truck stops across America

Every long distance driver needs a place to refuel, recharge, and most importantly – a place to feel safe parking. We’ve compiled a list of truck stops across America that stand out for their secure parking and generous amenities.  

These are the types of truck stops we need more of across America. 

1. Florida 595– Davie, FL  

Conveniently located at the intersection of I-595 and I-441. With over 450 parking spaces and 24/7 on-site security, you can sleep without worry. The sports bar and chrome shop don’t hurt either. 

2. Lodi Travel Center– Lodi, OH  

Reserve one of the almost 250 parking spaces by going to their website. They also have a laundry room, pet area, repair shop, general store, and more. After you eat in the 24-hour restaurant, you can burn some calories playing basketball, horseshoes, or bag toss.  

3. Bosselman Travel Center– Grand Island, NE

Described as ” the most luxurious, full-service travel facility in the Midwest.” With over 400 parking spaces, a movie theater, chiropractic office, and masseuse – it may well be. 

4. Clearwater Travel Plaza– Clearwater, MN 

Located just off I-94, 60 miles west of the Twin Cities. This place aims to make you feel at home. You can relax in the drivers’ lounge with free wi-fi and flat-screen TVs. They will even deliver food and drink from the restaurant, pub, bakery, or food court – right to your chair. 

5. Little America– Flagstaff, AZ 

Little America is a mini-chain that knows how to treat their guests. Expect a spacious, fenced, and lighted parking area. They also offer hot showers, fine dining, and a 24/7 repair shop. 

6. Jubitz Travel Center– Portland, OR       

Jubitz is just off I-5 at Exit 307. With over 300 parking spaces, showers, oversized towels, and jacuzzi tubs, this place is certainly worth checking out.  

7. Johnson Corner Truck Stop– Johnson, CO 

Located just off I-25 at Exit 254. This historic stop has been open 24 hours a day since 1952. That’s the type of dedication to truckers we need more of! They offer overnight parking and cinnamon rolls as big as dinner plates. What more could you ask for? 

8. Davis Travel Center– Stony Creek, VA 

Take Exit 33 off I-95 to get to this spacious travel center. Fuel up your rig, then fuel yourself up at Denny’s, Subway, or Starbucks. Overnight parking available. 

9. Dysart’s Truck Stop– Bangor, ME 

Family-owned for over 45 years. This place has ample space in their well-lit parking lot. Enjoy authentic Maine cuisine in their restaurant, and de-stress in the arcade room.  

Iowa 80 is the World's Largest Truck Stop
The World’s Largest Truck Stop is in Walcott, Iowa

10. Iowa 80 Truck Stop– Walcott, IA 

With over 900 spots, no truck parking list is complete without Iowa 80. The World’s Largest Truck Stop. Some call it the “Trucker Disneyland.” With eight restaurants, a dentist, museum, and so much more, this place could easily have its own zip code.

11. North Forty Truck Stop– Holladay, TN 

Take Exit 126 off I-40. In addition to overnight parking and spacious showers, this stop has laundry rooms, a barbershop, and even a masseuse. Also, the 24/7 restaurant has a reputation for making delicious southern comfort food.

12. South of the Border– Hamer, SC 

Okay, this stop isn’t so much about the parking as it is the fun. There’s a golf course, reptile lagoon, and 200-foot Sombrero Observation Tower. If you’re driving through South Carolina, you must check this place out. 

Where is Your Favorite Truck Stop? 

We love to hear from you! Have you visited any of these locations? Maybe you’ve been to a place that deserves to be on this list. Let us know in the comment section below.