Business Freight Loads

Elevated Methods of Moving freight

Several different types of equipment move freight from one location to another. Depending on whether you are moving freight inside a building or outside in a storage area, you should use the best equipment to stack the freight.

Elevated freight equipment uses chains and hooks to pneumatically lift the freight high off the ground. Workers should engage in safety practices and have the required training concerning the equipment they plan to operate to elevate the freight for movement.

Move freight inside the warehouse with hoisting equipment. This hoisting equipment consists of a mechanical crane elevated above the warehouse floor that can be moved by a hoist operator. Attach the freight to the hoist with lifting cables and hooks.

Push the button on the pendant control to hoist the equipment off the warehouse floor. Guide the hoist with the freight by using the pendant control, which is a control box on a long cord that operates the hoist above. Lower the hoist and freight once you have moved it to a new location in the warehouse.

Move the freight from the warehouse with a telescoping boom attached to a forklift. Slide the lifting cables around the freight and hook the chain to the telescoping boom at the rear of the forklift. Ensure the freight is stable and centered on the forklift to prevent the machine from tipping over by the sheer weight.

Drive the freight to the necessary area. Lift the freight to the required height and stack it. Detach the chain and lower the telescoping boom to a normal height.

Business Lifestyle

What Is Contingent Cargo Insurance?

People ship cargo out to different regions on trucks, ships, trains, planes and other vehicles. This lets them do business with different people and companies even if they are far away. However, shipments don’t always reach their destination. This is where contingent cargo insurance can prove itself a true asset to a broker.

Contingent cargo insurance is a type of insurance that freight brokerages carry. It is a secondary insurance that covers some or all of the cost of handling, storing, getting rid of or replacing cargo that’s refused, damaged or lost. It pays only if primary insurance doesn’t pay out. It is called contingent cargo insurance because it covers unexpected expenses that aren’t covered in a primary insurance policy.


There is no law that requires a broker to cover contingent cargo insurance. However, carriers usually won’t work with brokers who don’t have this insurance. Brokers usually forward claims to their carriers if something happens to a shipment, but if the carrier’s policy won’t pay out, someone still has to pay expenses. If you don’t have contingent cargo insurance as a broker, your shippers — the people who hired you to find someone to ship their goods — can blame you for the loss even if you can’t be held liable. Your relationship with your shippers consequently can suffer. Carriers understand this and prefer not to work with brokers who are willing to take such risks.


Coverage under a contingent cargo insurance policy will vary based on where you get the policy. However, some standard protections are for theft, vandalism and accidents.


Having contingent cargo insurance lets you compete with other brokers and establish good relationships with carriers without paying for losses out of your own pocket. It also aids the consumer; if anything happens to a shipment, you still can get goods to others without too much disruption.
When It’s Needed

There are two instances when having contingent cargo insurance is imperative. The first is if you sign an agreement with a carrier that transfers liability to you. The second is if the carrier you select doesn’t have proper carrier’s insurance. Ideally, this shouldn’t happen, but carriers sometimes neglect premiums unintentionally or simply don’t have a policy that covers as much as you’d like.

Lifestyle Trucker News

How to Get Your DOT Number Today

Your company needs a U.S. Department of Transportation, or USDOT, Number if you haul cargo or transport passengers across state lines. Some states require all commercial motor vehicles to acquire a USDOT Number. Companies receiving a number for the first time are enrolled in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, New Entrant Safety Assurance Program. The FMCSA program requires passing a safety audit and maintaining good roadside safety performance. Your USDOT Number acts a unique identification number for government safety inspections, audits, investigations and reviews.

Register with the FMCSA online at its website. Answer a series of questions about your company to determine which form you need to complete. Skip online registration if you want to submit your application by mail.

Download and complete either the MCS-150 or MCS-150B form. Motor carriers requiring a Hazardous Materials (HM) Safety Permit need to complete the MCS-150B form. If you don’t need a HM Safety Permit, complete the MCS-150 form. These forms can also be acquired from your local FMCSA field office. The MCS-150 form requires information about your drivers, the number of vehicles that you operate, total mileage and information about the cargo you transport.

Print the form to keep a record for your company or if you want to submit the form by mail.

Submit the application form on the FMCSA website. FMCSA will immediately inform you of whether your application is approved. Successful applications immediately receive a USDOT Number. Alternately, you can mail the application form to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Mailed applications take an average of 4 weeks to 6 weeks to process.

Carriers Trucker News

What Is an Intrastate DOT Number For?

If you run a business that involves moving people or goods, you probably need to apply to the U.S. Department of Transportation, or USDOT, for an identification number. Transportation firms also need to register with the USDOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The USDOT uses this information to keep track of a firm’s safety records.

The federal government requires all companies that move goods across state lines, and all companies that transport hazardous material within state lines, to file for a USDOT number. Many states require all companies that operate commercial motor vehicles to get a USDOT number. Each company has a unique USDOT number covering its vehicles.

Interstate vs. Intrastate USDOT Numbers

Intrastate business occurs within one state’s boundaries. Interstate commerce involves moving goods or passengers across at least one state line. When registering for a USDOT number, businesses must report whether they will be operating within (intrastate) or across (interstate) state lines.
An intrastate USDOT number classifies the business as operating within one state.

Changes from Intrastate to Interstate Status

Firms can change the status of their USDOT numbers to interstate from intrastate by filing an update with the Department of Transportation. A business retains the same registration number when it changes status, but its classification changes. Companies do not need to file separately with the USDOT for intrastate or interstate registration, so an intrastate USDOT number is not wholly distinct from an interstate USDOT number.

Purpose of Intrastate DOT Number

The federal government has an interest in keeping safety records regarding companies that transport hazardous materials. Some states require registration with the USDOT to help with their own record-keeping, and because some automated registration systems use the federal USDOT number as the standard means of identification.

States That Require USDOT Registration

These states require all commercial vehicle operators to register with the USDOT: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Lifestyle Trucker News

How to Start a Transportation Company

Transportation companies transport goods or people via taxis, shuttles, ferries, limousines, buses or freight companies. If you’re interested in starting a transportation company, you will first need to define a structure for your business. Start with a business plan to help you identify a need and any competition.

Define your business. Freight companies move vehicles across the nation and overseas for commercial and individual clients, such as car dealers who may need to move a handful of cars to another locale or individuals whose jobs have moved them across the country. A freight company will have significantly higher start-up costs, insurance needs and manpower. Local transport companies may service hotels, restaurants, schools, and tourists. A school bus service may charter kids to school. Another option is to start a moving company for residents moving within the local area.

Get licensed, insured and registered. Select a relevant name for your business that includes the type of service you provide and then register your business and purchase liability insurance. Obtain the required license for your company. For example, if your company will include buses, trucks or vehicles designed to carry more than 16 people, you will need a commercial driving license. If operating a school bus company, contact your local motor vehicle department to learn the requirements for procuring a school bus driver’s license. Additionally, companies that move passengers or cargo across state lines may be required to obtain a USDOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) number.

Find a location for your business. A taxi or shuttle service should be situated near hotels, airports or downtown. If operating a school bus service or freight company, look to move into an old warehouse to eliminate construction costs and zoning concerns.

Procure your commercial vehicles. Find reliable mechanics who are skilled on your particular makes and models. When first starting, you may have a small fleet, which means that anytime a vehicle breaks down, you are literally losing money. Quick repairs are imperative. Purchase commercial auto insurance for your vehicles. Hire trained and licensed drivers with clean records. Purchase workers’ compensation for your employees.

Procure a website for your transport business. Then invest in reservation software that can help you organize and track your reservations. Look for software that can integrate with your site and will provide your customers with accurate quotes, assign staff and vehicles, and display trip routes, cancellations, baggage options, freight handling and accommodations. On your site, detail policies for pets, cancellations and reservations. Hire a dispatcher or receptionist to take calls.

Business Lifestyle

How to Transport a Truck

Whether purchasing a new truck, selling an old one or moving your truck with you, finding the best transportation for your investment is essential. The vehicle transportation industry is huge and filled with both very helpful, and not so helpful, professionals and advice. Between professional resources and the do-it-yourself options available, choosing the right option can be difficult and confusing. Fortunately, choosing the best option for your needs requires little more than some research and the proper documentation.


Research the companies. Before you commit to a professional, check the company’s reputation through the Better Business Bureau and through customer reviews via the Internet and phone. Contact the companies via phone to get answers to all your questions regarding delivery radius, costs and necessary documentation.

Select the method of transportation. Many transport services offer two types of delivery. The first being transportation via tractor-trailer, the second being a hotshot truck. Tractor-trailer transportation tends to be cheaper but can be difficult to arrange. Tractor-trailers carry 40-foot-long trailers and have limited turning capabilities. This makes navigating residential locations difficult, requiring parties to meet somewhere else, like an open parking lot. Hotshot trucks, which are pickup truck-style transports, provide faster delivery and easier pick ups, but are more costly as they only carry one or two trucks per load.

Prepare the truck for transport. Collect all your necessary documentation and save it in a folder or other safe place. Make sure the truck is clean of all your personal property and keep an extra set of keys available in case of emergency.

Transport the truck. Arrange to arrive at the agreed upon meeting place at least 30 minutes early. This will give you a time buffer in case of unforeseen circumstances or an early pick up. Give all the necessary paperwork to the transport driver.


How to spot flood-damaged trucks

Used truck experts say flood-damaged passenger vehicles are much more common on the market than flood-damaged trucks, but truck customers still should use caution.

Although shoppers should consider if the truck is for sale in an area that’s sustained flood damage, the truck could easily have been taken to another region to sell. Wherever you’re shopping, choosing a reputable used truck dealer is a good first step, say market experts.

One obvious thing to check is if the truck has a salvage title, says Dan Jeske, vice president of purchasing and wholesale for Kansas City-based Arrow Truck Sales. Still, truck owners do not always turn in a flood-damage claim to insurance, he added, in which case it would not have a salvage title. Also, not every state requires vehicle titles to indicate flood damage, says Brittany Senary, a spokeswoman for Progressive Casualty Insurance Co.

“At Progressive, we have very strict guidelines on flood vehicles,” Senary says. “If water reaches the dash, or engine, the vehicle is considered a total loss and we would not repair that vehicle.”

Some existing consumer services attempt to trace records of vehicles damaged in floods and accidents, or those reported as stolen, but focus primarily on passenger vehicles. “A new service being introduced at the Great American Trucking Show will concentrate on commercial trucks,” says James Vogel, general manager of RigDig. RigDig will be the only service for used vehicle customers that’s for over-the-road trucks only. More information will be available at during GATS, which opens Aug. 25.

As for on-site inspections, buyers should look for a waterline on the truck, much like what you would see in a house with flooded drywall. That might be “caked mud high on the vehicle where water may have been pooled for some time and a mildew smell from the interior,” says Frank Scafidi, a former OTR owner-operator who’s now public affairs director for the National Insurance Crime Bureau.


DOT carrier inspections

The U.S. Department of Transportation said that in the last two years, the Obama Administration has issued as many imminent hazard orders placing unsafe bus and truck companies out of service as in the previous 10 years combined.

As part of the administration’s effort to step up motorcoach safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has cracked down on unsafe carriers through surprise inspections, full compliance reviews, and enforcement actions.

Between 2000 and 2009, FMCSA issued a total of 14 imminent hazard orders placing unsafe carriers out of service. In just the last two years, FMCSA has already issued another 14 imminent hazard orders to take carriers that pose an immediate risk to passengers off the road. For example, last month the USDOT issued an imminent hazard order to a Michigan company found to be transporting passengers in luggage compartments, at great risk to passengers.

“From Day One, I have pledged to put public safety above all else, and we will continue to take action when we see carriers placing passengers at risk,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We have seen the tragic consequences of unsafe practices – whether it’s ignoring fatigue regulations, providing inadequate driver training, or failing to conduct the proper maintenance of a bus or motorcoach. We continue using all of the tools at our disposal to get unsafe carriers off the road and hope that Congress will act on our proposal to provide us with the necessary authority to expand our safety oversight.”

In just the past four months, FMCSA has issued eight out-of-service orders. FMCSA issued these orders immediately following safety investigations that found the carriers and/or the drivers to be in such substantial non-compliance with federal safety regulations as to pose an imminent hazard to public safety. The eight imminent hazard out-of-service orders in 2011 have been issued to seven interstate motorcoach companies: two each based in Georgia and Pennsylvania, and one each in Michigan, Mississippi and North Carolina. One order was issued to a Tennessee-based truck driver.

“Our safety investigators, inspectors and state partners will continue demanding that motor carriers and their drivers adhere to safety requirements,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “While most of the industry operates safely, I also look forward to working with Congress to add new tools to prevent unsafe companies and drivers from operating.”

Business Lifestyle Trucker News

Trucking adds 4,400 jobs

A lot of people in this country have been laid off because of job cuts and the lagging economy. A lot of the people who were affected have found it very hard to find work. Many have ended up in the unemployment lines, but a few have decided to be proactive and are considering a career change. Some of the proactive people are getting training from a truck driving school. Our focus here is to help those that attended a truck driving school find a great trucking job.

The surge in trucking employment didn’t just resume in June; apparently it never stopped. While last month’s job report from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics indicated for-hire trucking companies had added only 100 jobs in May, the latest BLS report released July 8 revised those numbers to a 3,000-job increase in May and pegged the growth in June over May at 4,400.

Since the end of December, payroll employment in trucking is up nearly 27,000, according to the preliminary BLS figures. Since trucking employment bottomed out in March 2010, the industry has added 55,500 jobs.

Job growth in the rest of the economy isn’t so healthy. Nonfarm payroll employment edged up by just 18,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate actually ticked higher by one-tenth of a percentage point to 9.2 percent, according to initial BLS estimates. Modest gains in private employment were offset by 39,000 jobs lost in federal and state governments.

Compared to June 2010, payroll employment in trucking is up 3.9 percent. Total employment in trucking in June was nearly 1.283 million – down 170,500, or 11.7 percent, from peak trucking employment in January 2007.

The BLS numbers reflect all payroll employment in for-hire trucking, but they don’t include trucking-related jobs in other industries, such as a truck driver for a private fleet. Nor do the numbers reflect the total amount of hiring since they only include new jobs, not replacements for existing positions.

Trucker News

FMCSA proposes intermodal defect report rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed to delete a requirement for drivers operating intermodal equipment to submit and intermodal equipment providers to retain driver-vehicle inspection reports when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any defects on the intermodal equipment used.

FMCSA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking responds to a joint petition for a rule from the Ocean Carrier Equipment Management Association and the Institute of International Container Lessors. FMCSA previously had extended until June 30, 2012, the compliance date of the requirement for drivers and motor carriers to prepare a no-defect DVIR while it considered the groups’ joint petition.

FMCSA said that all other requirements concerning drivers’ preparation of DVIRs to report damage, defects or deficiencies to intermodal equipment providers remain in effect, as well as for intermodal equipment providers to take action in addressing the safety issues identified by such reports.