Advice On Getting Your Truck Repaired

If you feel uneasy about trusting the first opinion you get on what is wrong with your truck, do not feel bad about this. It is in fact a very good thing. Always ask questions and insist that a mechanic justify any major repairs that he or she is recommending.

Make sure the oil in your vehicle is changed about every 3,000 miles. Waiting longer for an oil change can result in dirt and debris fouling your oil and that can damage your engine. If you use synthetic oil in your vehicle, you only need to change the filter every other oil change.

Checking and repairing the air conditioning in your truck is quite complex. If you need to have it checked or fixed, find a mechanic with an air conditioning certification. The gas used for air conditioning is potentially dangerous and this system is a lot more complex than the other parts in your vehicle.

If you have doubts about the work of a mechanic or their diagnosis, ask if you can see the old damaged parts. A good mechanic will show you the part and point out the issues. If a mechanic cannot show you the old damaged parts, you need to check your truck to make sure the mechanic actually put some new parts in.

Ask your friends and family for advice on a trust worthy trucking body shop. It can be very hard to find a shop that will not rip you off or produce poor quality work. Asking for advice can save you from a lot of wasted money and time trying to do it on your own.

Research any truck repair service station online. These reviews can give you a good idea of the satisfaction that the customers had. You can then use that information to pick a shop that you can feel comfortable giving your money to.

Truck Repair

Keep a basic repair kit in your rig’s trunk at all times. A simple kit consisting of wrenches, jumper cables, screws, and a jack can be a lifesaver if your truck breaks down on the road. This will allow you to make small repairs on the spot, saving you the cost of an expensive tow truck.

If your truck overheats on the highway, move to the side and turn off your engine as soon as you can. Don’t try checking on any liquids as they can burn you if you aren’t sure what you are doing. Rather, call a tow truck immediately to get you to your truck repair shop.

If you want to be sure that someone is there for you if you need repairs, AAA may be able to help. This is a great service to have when you are stranded and need help. Also, you can use discounts to save a lot of money through AAA.

If you need to have your truck towed, look for more details in the user’s manual. Some cares should always be toward backwards while other absolutely need to be mounted onto a flat bed. Let the tow truck driver know in advance to make sure he has the proper equipment.

If your truck overheats, you should pull over on the side of the road and shut it down. Call a tow truck and have the truck taken to a garage or dealership. If you keep driving your truck after it starts overheating, you might damage your radiator badly enough to need a new one.

If you notice there is something wrong with your truck, you should pull over to the side of the road and stop. You might be tempted to keep driving until you get home before checking your vehicle but you could cause more damages if you keep driving. It is often less expensive to pay a tow truck driver than to replace more parts.

As you know from the tips in this article, there are things you can do empower yourself when it comes to keeping your truck in good running condition. Just because you are not a mechanic yourself does not mean that you must be vulnerable to potential fraud. Speak your mind, be proactive and then trust your truck to the hands of the professionals that you choose.

Get The Right Coverage For Your Truck

Truck insurance is a necessity of life. If you can afford to purchase and operate a motor vehicle, you need to make sure that you can afford the insurance, as well. Not only is there the state requirement for you to have it, but you also have a moral responsibility to other motorists to be able to pay for any mistakes caused by you. So here are a few ideas on how you can obtain affordable truck insurance.

When insuring a teenage driver, lower your truck insurance costs by asking about all the eligible discounts. Insurance companies generally have a discount for good students, teenage drivers with good driving records, and teenage drivers who have taken a defensive driving course. Discounts are also available if your teenager is only an occasional driver.

If you can afford to do so, save some money on your truck insurance by paying the entire year’s premium at once. Most insurers will offer the option to pay premiums monthly. But this adds on a fee for the convenience, which can add up over the course of the year. You can still save by splitting the annual premium into two payments.

Save money by evaluating your truck insurance needs and improve your personal finance. The more your truck costs, the more your insurance will cost. With so many variables in insurance policies, choosing what you need versus not needing can be tough. However, one that you might want to consider cutting is the collision damage part. If your truck is in bad shape then there is obviously no need to have that type of coverage.

Once you have a teenage driver in your house, your insurance premiums will go up. To save money, buy a less expensive and safer truck for your teen to drive. Don’t give in if they beg you for a fancier, sportier truck. The safer the truck, the cheaper the insurance.

You should raise your deductible, so that you can save more money in the end. While this means more money spent up front if you are have an accident, it will save money on your premium. In order to make this strategy work, you should set aside enough money for the deductible in case of an accident. Your insurance rate will go down the higher your deductible is.

Try to dig up as much information about how a particular truck insurance company handles claims. There are some out there that will get the work done on your truck as quickly as your mechanic can do the work ,and there are others that will really drag their feet when it comes to paying out a claim.

If you have memberships in any organizations, it would be to your advantage to ask your carrier if they offer discounts to members of these organizations. Doing so could help you save even more money on your insurance premiums. For example, some companies may offer discounts to state employees or members of truck clubs. It never hurts to ask!

Your insurance premiums are based on your demographic information. This means that certain categories of people will pay more than others. If you find your insurance too high, perhaps someone else can insure it in their name for you. This is not illegal if this is a shared vehicle.

Always receive quotes from multiple providers when seeking truck insurance. Even those providers you wouldn’t consider at first could be offering the lowest rates. You never want to settle on any policy before comparing the price to others as there can be a great difference from one policy to the next.

If you are a man, you should be prepared to pay more for your truck insurance. This is because, statistically, men are more likely to have accidents. If you are a married man, however, the agencies tend to believe you are more responsible. Make sure that you re-evaluate your policy if you change your marital status.

You need to contact your insurance company and add your teen to the policy, before allowing him or her to get behind the wheel. If your teen would get into an accident while not on the policy, it could cause you to have to pay for any damages out of your own pocket. It only takes a few minutes to add someone to a policy.

Truck Insurance

A great way to save some money on your truck or truck insurance is to drive your vehicle less frequently. Many of today’s best truck insurance companies offer discounts to customers for low-mileage, incentivizing people to keep their trucks parked. If you can walk instead of drive, you can get some good exercise and save money on your insurance.

Using the information provided above and by doing some comparison shopping, you should be able to obtain truck insurance that is adequate enough to meet your needs. Remember to keep your policy current and payments up to date, so that any claim can never be voided due to this oversight. Happy motoring to you.

ELD compliance rates jumped in advance of April deadline

A late-March survey by CarrierLists found that the trucking industry was 91 percent compliant with federal Electronic Logging Device (ELD) requirements a week before the April 1 implementation deadline.

Drivers stopped without an ELD in the vehicle will face being put out of service for 10 hours.

Joe DeLorenzo, director of the Office of Enforcement and Compliance at FMCSA, addressed the issue at the recent Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville.

“It amazes me how many times people don’t understand how the rule works,” he said, quickly adding, “but it was written by Congress, so it can be confusing.”

DeLorenzo tried to clear up general questions on the ELD regulations, including the 150 air-mile agricultural exemption.

“Once you exit that 150 air-mile radius, that’s when you have to use the ELD and your 11 hours start,” he said. DeLorenzo said that if an ag hauler is taking a load of cows, the first 150 air miles (approximately 172 actual miles) do not count against hours of service limits. Once the driver goes to mile 151, he must start recording his driving time on the ELD.

FMCSA is considering whether that 150 air-mile exemption should also be included on the back end – meaning a driver could take 150 miles before 11 hours and 150 after 11 hours and still be compliant. He said this issue has yet to be resolved.

Currently, there is a 90-day waiver from the ELD rule for ag haulers that expires on June 18, 2018. DeLorenzo advised any driver using that exemption to carry a copy of the waiver in the vehicle.

In general, any driver that must currently fill out a Record of Duty Status (RODS) will need an ELD with a few exceptions, namely those who do not need to fill out a RODS more than eight times in any 30-day period; those who are in drive away-tow away operations where the product being delivered is the vehicle being driven; and those using engines made before model year 2000.

Some in the industry believe the new regulations will push some drivers out of the business.

“The overall impact, I think, is going to reduce the drivers throughout North America,” Maine Pointe’s Bob Gernon told Supply Chain Dive. “I think there’s going to be a terrific amount of competition for that particular demographic (truck drivers) as infrastructure and overall construction picks up.”

One industry making loud protests against the ELD requirements is the food industry, which voiced its concerns at the February meeting of the United Fresh Supply Chain Logistics Council in Washington, D.C.

Dante Galeazzi, president and chief executive officer of the Texas International Produce Association, told regulators and members of Congress that the regulations are raising costs for small businesses.

Galeazzi quoted a Reuters article. “The drive for cost cuts and higher margins at U.S. trucking and railroad operators is pinching their biggest customers, forcing the likes of General Mills Inc. and Hormel Foods Corp. to spend more on deliveries and consider raising their own prices to pass along the costs.”

“It’s not only produce, but meat, processed and frozen foods are going up on costs. That’s exactly what we’ve been saying. It is very important. ELDs are one of the big factors leading to a driver shortage,” he said.

Leonardo Tarriba, chief executive officer of Farmer’s Best, said transportation costs around the beginning of 2018 “were the worst we’ve ever seen. Me and my coworkers, who’ve been here 25 years or more, have never seen that shortage of drivers and trailers. Plus, trucks are always short at the holidays.”

Tarriba said the ELD law “created a lot of panic” and led to trucking increases as high as 100 percent. “The demand was there. Consumers were asking for our products, but we didn’t have wheels.”

“Eventually consumers will have to pay more,” Tarriba said. “Now there are negotiations between buyers and sellers.”

Ken Evans, CEO of ELD provider Konexial, told FreightWaves he doesn’t believe the 91 percent compliance rate is accurate. “I’m familiar with a couple of data points that have been reported in the press which claim more than a 90 percent compliance rate for ELD. I do not believe their data is accurate,” he said.

Evans said most of the survey reports are from companies that run six or more fleets. Evans said there are at least half a million Class 8 vehicles without an ELD device on them and that the majority of the 16 million Class 3 to Class 7 vehicles are not compliant either. “We have data on how many devices we think have been manufactured and it is not anywhere near enough to support the whole industry,” he said.

Why millennials should start considering truck driving

Single semi truck at a distribution goods warehouse

Commercial truck driving has a reputation for grueling hours, weeks away from home, and a burly machismo that isn’t particularly welcoming to women. It’s high time that reputation got a makeover, according to a report by NBC News.

A 2017 report by the American Trucking Association noted that the industry needs to hire almost 900,000 more drivers to meet rising demand, while the latest jobs report noted that 185,000 jobs have been added over the past four months alone. Bottom line: this sector is getting desperate for talent, and the problem is only worsening.

“The shipping infrastructure is facing a tight capacity crunch this year, and the small- to-mid-sized business shipper will feel the upward pressure in raised rates due to the lack of drivers and trucks available,” said Tim Story, EVP of freight operations at Unishippers.

And the workers prized by many of these companies aren’t getting any younger.

“The average age of commercial truck drivers is 55 and rising rapidly,” said Jon Gilbert of PLG Consulting. “The concern is that older, qualified truck drivers are retiring, and we are not getting adequate replacement drivers.”

A tough sell to young people

Young people looking at a first or new career may be disenchanted by commercial trucking not only because of what Gilbert describes as an “arduous lifestyle,” but because they need a special kind of license (CDL) to qualify. Though some companies offer free training (tuition can cost up to $8,000), that’s hardly the standard, and either way it’s a solid investment of time. You also need to meet physical and health requirements, and, in what is perhaps the biggest obstacle the industry sees here, be at least 21 to cross state lines.

“Right off the bat we’re knocking a significant portion of potential workforces out with that age restriction,” Brian Andalman, director of carrier sales and client services at AFN, told NBC News. “If kids aren’t interested in doing college but can’t attack this arena, that’s a big hurdle.”

Neil Abt, senior editor at Fleet Owner, noted that there are efforts in the industry to “create graduated licensing programs that would allow 18-20-year-olds into the industry, as opposed to them starting a career elsewhere and being gone by the age of 21.”

“It is common for a speaker at a trucking conference to ask the crowd to raise their hands if they hope their children become truck drivers. Few, if any, ever raise their hands.”

However, the larger issue in appealing to younger adults seems to point to deeper roots.

Abt notes that in recent years there has been more recruiting from companies via social media, which is “a good start”, but Story observes that companies are struggling to lure fitting candidates — and it’s hurting their wallets, especially if they’re shelling out higher pay to retain top talent.

“Carriers are having to spend more money on advertising to get people to apply, but only getting one to two drivers out of each 100 applications they receive,” said Story. “Between the training required, predominantly male-dominated field, age hurdles and more, carriers are having to pay drivers higher rates that will continue to increase. Right now, there aren’t enough qualified drivers in the applicant pool to satisfy the needs of the industry. Until a recruitment solution is identified, it will continue to be a problem.”

One company that seems to have found a solution, at least for itself, is UPS. Dan McMackin, public relations manager at UPS and a former truck driver himself, told NBC News that while the company does have to get creative during the Christmas season to bring in new workers, the company isn’t facing any general shortage of drivers.

“We have roughly 127,000 drivers, and about 20,000 of those are tractor/trailer,” McMackin said, adding that the majority of the drivers work in delivery. “About 12,000 or so are over the road, but most just go out in one day for around five hours and then return that distance. This makes it a very unique and attractive job offering because you don’t have to sleep in a truck cab or berth or eat at truck stops.
We’re one of the largest users of rail in America, so any ground shipments going beyond about two states away from origin go on the rails.”

Though UPS does recruit outside the company, most of its drivers come from the UPS pipeline and, like McMackin, have held other internal positions before they work up to being a driver, where the perks are cushy. “They get a better package than I do: full pension, full healthcare, and a 401(k) that the company matches.”

McMackin adds that while he’s not certain of the stats, the job does skew mostly male, but that said, some of the best drivers he’s ever worked with have been women, and he hopes to see more taking the wheel.

That most truck drivers are men is a critical point, and an area where the sector has the most advancements to make.

Driver perks can include full pension, full healthcare, and a company-matched 401(k).