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.

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

Compromise reached in US/Mexico cross-border trucking

U.S. President Barack Obama and Mexico President Felipe Calderon announced yesterday that they have come up with a solution that will “allow for the establishment of a reciprocal, phased-in program built on the highest safety standards that will authorize both Mexican and United States long-haul carriers to engage in cross-border operations under NAFTA.” Mexico will suspend 50% of its retaliatory tariffs when the new agreement is signed (60 day estimate) and the other 50% when the first Mexican carrier is granted operating authority under the program. President Calderon is wise to make sure we hold up our end of the bargain before taking down the tariffs. Negotiators from both sides are working on a draft agreement that the DOT will review with Congress and put out for public comment. It is unlikely that we will be seeing the benefits of this new compromise any time soon. While details are still being worked out, at least some components of the proposal are known. Mexican truckers will be required to operate with Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) that ensure compliance with U.S. hours of service regulations and to ensure that the trucks only haul freight to and from Mexico, not U.S. domestic freight.

Trucking Business
Compromise Border trucking

Under the agreement, Mexico would eventually lift tariffs it placed on dozens of U.S. products in response to the banning of its trucks from U.S. roads, AP said.Leaders from both countries will negotiate further details of the plan, which will be phased in, and the deal will require approval from the U.S. Congress before it takes effect, Bloomberg reported.American Trucking Associations is “pleased” that the leaders have come to an agreement, President Bill Graves said in a statement.“When properly implemented, NAFTA’s trucking provisions should evolve to allow for a more efficient, safe and secure environment for cross-border operations between the U.S. and Mexico,” Graves said.The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which has consistently opposed the plan, said in a statement it was “outraged” by the proposed agreement.“For all the president’s talk of helping small businesses survive, his administration is sure doing their best to destroy small trucking companies and the drivers they employ,” OOIDA said.


How to Improve the Truck’s Performance

The performance of any vehicle is very important to ensure its proper functioning and a longer life. The trucks are most of the times moving on the roads or on the highways. They require a lot of maintenance and the trucking companies keep a check on truck’s performance and the maintenance required by it. If the truck is in a good condition, it will require low repair costs and its functioning will also continue in a proper manner. The advancement of technology has launched many products in the market which can improve a truck’s performance.

Most of the trucking companies are opting for employing the services of these products as they can help in the efficiency of their vehicles. The word performance is linked with many parts of the truck like the mileage, fuel efficiency, condition of the tires and above all the working of the engines. There are truck driver jobs and the trucking companies also go for the drivers who can also handle the minor repairs in the truck. This will be especially helpful for the drivers if they are stuck on a highway or a place where there is no repairing shop.

The basic things which will make sure that the truck is performing in a proper way are its speed which is often referred as horse power of trucks. Different kinds of trucks have different speed capacity and horsepower depending on its size and capacity. Pick up truckers or flatbed trucks have a higher loading capacity compared to the medium sized trucks or normal truck carriers. The trucking companies often hire the flatbed drivers who can handle the high pick up power and speed.

Freight load boards are widely used for hiring any truck, however the shipper sees whether the truck is in a good condition and will be able to make an on time delivery of the loads. Torque is an essential component in the trucks which generates the pick up. It helps the truck to roll and also in the towing and picking up the materials. If the towing capacity in the trucks will not be in a proper place, it won’t be able to handle the weight of the loads available. The crux of the truck’s life lies in the proper functioning of the engine. If the air intake and exhaust facility in the engine is in the right way, it will surely improve the truck’s performance. There are many kits available in the market which can improve the efficiency of the engine by doing some modifications in it. A slight change in the programming of the trucks will improve the speed and torque of the trucks and it won’t harm the trucks as well.

There is a filter in the air intake of the trucks made of paper which may congest the air flow. The trucking companies can install the filter made of cotton or engineering foam which won’t obstruct the air flow. It is very easy to install these filters by replacing them with the older one. The rising fuel prices are also an issue of concern. The fuel addictive can be really helpful in this problem as it will reduce the fuel usage. These are some simple ways to improve the performance of the trucks.

Trucker News

New Law Framed for the Repair of the Vehicle for Truck Drivers

The Massachusetts federal law body has put forth the new law of Right to Repair Act which is brought into form in the present legislative year of 2011-12. The chief legislative representatives who have put this idea in form are Rep. Garrett Hadley (D-Hingham) and Senator John Hart. There are sixty other representatives who have come in support of this bill. The new repair act will put forward a wide array of choices for the consumers because previously the repair codes which were limited only for the dealers of new cars will now also be provided to retail stores.

The main reason behind bringing the bill back into the present shape is that the customers have an availability of better choice before them and they can take the services of the shops which they want to. There is no compulsion of sticking to a particular dealer. The trucking companies seem to have a double opinion on this act. It is good for those owner operator jobs who are bound to go to a big dealer. The data and codes will be bought by the individual shops and they will have to give the prior and correct information to the customers. It will be an additional benefit for the small retailers to expand their businesses and the customers may also go for a better deal.

More and more senators are coming in support of this bill and it is gaining a high approval among the legislative members. The economy is undoubtedly going through a tough phase and it is important for the government to understand the problems of the masses. Repairing a truck is often done by a trucker and it is important that he has a wide variety of choice where he can go for his truck repair which will add some extra pennies to his pocket. The technological advances have made a great improvement in the efficiency of the vehicles but the loads available demands, services and maintenance of the vehicles have also increased. This thought has also motivated the right to repair act to come in form.

The trucks and other motors have many options of safety and more and more researches are done to make the vehicle fuel efficient. This has also opened the doors for the dealers to take the advantage of the present situation. So it has become all the more necessary that the truckers have an access to all the repair shops and their choices are not limited. The guidelines and directions are meant to be given to the vehicle manufacturing companies that the repair access is not confined to the dealers of these companies and the repair rights are also scattered among the different individual repair shops and the motorists.

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It will also be useful for the truckers who are driving on the highway and have no choice to go for when the truck breaks up. They will not have to hunt for the dealers and simply repair at the shop which is easily accessible to them.

Owner Operators

Semi Truck Leasing: An Alternative to Owner Operator Jobs

There are bundle of truck drivers jobs available and the trucking companies are trying hard to lure the drivers to get into the trucking business. Looking at the profits in the business, many individuals seems to be dissuaded from the driver jobs and are looking at the option of owner operator jobs. The owner operator job will allow them to own their vehicles and work on the term and conditions they wish to. But the owner operated jobs have their own limitations. Owning a truck requires many formalities like the credit, balances and down payments may not be possible for the drivers who are new in the industry.

With the present perspective, the trucking companies have put forth the alternative of leasing trucks to the drivers who have a dream of owning the trucks. There are many feasible options available for the drivers like easy installments, low down payments and many other facilities pertaining to finances. From the point of view of carriers, it is good for the drivers who are challenged with the start up costs or stuck in some credit situation.

There are a number of truck driver jobs which have been switched on with the leasing of the carriers by the drivers. They can always make use of the trucking load boards to keep their truck moving. It is a short cut to the otherwise seeming difficult path of owning the carrier. Different trucking companies have their own terms and conditions but it is surely a benefit for the drivers. Even they help the driver to get the loads available to be hauled.

There is a lack of financial risks in the leasing operating jobs as compared to the owner operator jobs. The trucking companies don’t give fragile freights to the new drivers. If you have leased the carrier, there is an added advantage of carrying the materials you want to. But there are some questions raised on the leasing process by the trucking companies and many drivers have been cheated. The driver advocacy groups have been formulated to fight for the rights of the drivers who have been victimized in the name of leasing opportunities. Owner operated independent drivers association (OOIDA) has stood for the rights of many such drivers and law petitions have been filed in the court.

The issues which have been in the limelight and filed in the lawsuits are like violating the government rules in leasing papers, inability to return the amount kept as a security while leasing and in some serious cases fraud have also been seen. For most of the drivers, the leasing of trucks has much been like a nightmare and they have lost more rather then earning. The lease contracts are often prepared in such a complex manner that they are meant to benefit the carriers rather than the drivers.

But every coin has two facets and the decision cannot be taken only looking at one perspective. There are some drivers who are doing really well while taking up the leasing of the vehicles. There is no database or statistics available which can show the list of successful or unsuccessful drivers. It is totally the discretion of the drivers the way they want to choose.


Getting CDL License Tips and Tricks

To start your lucrative career as a truck driver, you need to first complete some of the legal formalities required to work for a trucking company as a truck driver.

The pre-requisite for aspiring truckers as required by the trucking companies are:

1. The truck driver should be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving.
2. The truck driver should be at least 18 years of age for intrastate driving.
3. The truck driver should have passed the DOT physical exam.
4. The truck driver should have cleared the drug test.
5. The truck driver should possess valid driving license from the state of residence.
6. The truck driver should possess the commercial truck driver license, CDL

CDL license is the passport to enter the trucking industry. It will permit you to haul available loads weighing over 26,000 lbs. You can get the CDL license after attending the training and clearing the CDL exam. Some professional companies would even pay for your CDL training.

After the weeks of attending CDL classes, there will be a CDL exam to judge what you have grasped from the training and to see if you are eligible to get the CDL now or not. The CDL test is conducted in two parts. The first part is the written or theory exam which will test the theoretical knowledge on three subjects: combination, airbrakes and general knowledge. You should have learnt the type of vehicles such as hazardous material vehicles, passenger vehicle, combination vehicles and the technical issues related to them.

This first part is pretty straight forward and the questions asked are direct from the manual. So regular study schedule with dedication is all you need for this. Studying your training manual well will not only help you clear the CDL exam but will help you incredibly in your truck driving job too. A quick tip: pay more attention to figures and number related information as they are the most asked questions.

The second part of the test is the practical test. It includes three tests: pre trip safety inspection, skills test and road test. All the knowledge you need to clear the CDL exam will be included in the training program. You will be receiving additional DVD’s which will make you familiar on how to take the test? What to inspect and say about it?

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Tips to take the pre-trip inspection test:

Remember to point out and describe all the safety related issues that you can see on the truck. There are some important key phrases that will make you score high in this test.

1. If you see any bolt, add to it all the bolts are properly tightened and there are no rust or metal shavings on them.
2. For any part you can see attached to the truck, do mention it is securely mounted,
3. If you some across any part which is holding some fluid, then make sure to comment it is not leaking.
4. Check wipers, lights, hazard lights, horn and comment that all are working properly.

If any thing is not clear do not hesitate to ask the examiner about it.

While in skills test the best tip is to drive slow. When you are slow you will have enough time to control the vehicle if anything goes wrong. For road test the best tip is to calm down. Make sure you have followed the basic steps like fastening the seat belt and adjusting the mirrors.

Hope you will find these quick and easy tips handy while appearing for your first CDL test.


Life in the Truck Driving School vs Life Driving the Big Rig

No matter how seriously you spent your time in the truck driving school classes and obtained your CDL license with true dedication, there is a world of difference in actual truck driving job on the road and the truck driving lessons you learnt in the school.

When you are on to the road for the first time there will be a mixed feeling of excitement and nervousness as you will not be aware of what is in store for you as a professional truck driver. The loads of information that has been piled on you at the time of the course will suddenly fall short in front of the real trucking knowledge which can only be gained by years of experience.

The training provided in the school follows a set standard and pattern for all trucking jobs. However the real trucking jobs are dependent on different traffic and driving regulations prevailing in different states. There are varied climate type, available loads type, terrains and traffic pattern which you have never come across in your trucking school. There are different trucking jobs available with different trucking companies who are ready to hire you as soon as you are out of the driving school. But this will be an important decision for you as you should find out which type of trucking job will suit you the best.

When you are ready to take your stroll on the road, with your first pre-trip inspection you may find all the seven thousand things which you learnt in your driving school is no longer applicable in this situation. May be you remember just the basics but you are simply not able to recall the rest. Don’t worry this happen to the finest of drivers in their initial days.

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The best learning time when you can gain the real road and trucking knowledge is when you will start off your career under a trainer for a month or two. He will be your companion in the few of your initial trucking assignments. These rides will be full of adventure and challenges. You will get accustomed to the trucking lifestyle at this point of time. This will be the time you can learn the most. So come up with as many questions as you can and clear all your doubts regarding loads, trucks, roads and driving practices. Pay attention to his driving styles, problem solving techniques, loads handling and dealing with freight brokers.

You might have not paid attention while in truck driving class as the main aim to study lessons at that time was to clear your CDL exam. The theory papers of the CDL exam consists of direct and easy questions from the manual. But to catch the relevant knowledge from your trainer at this time will lay the foundation stone of your successful trucking driving career ahead.

Trucker News

Truckers Experience Problems Tracking Information through GPS in Illinois

Illinois- Around the state of Illinois Truckers are facing problem to get correct and real time truck routing information. They are not able to get access to the GPS system whenever they require it. This error was reported by the task force given the task to examine the GPS responsible to provide routing information related to truck driver jobs.

The report submitted by the task force to the General Assembly and the State Governor consists of eight recommendations to improve the technology in the state.

The major cause of concern as highlighted in the report is submitted by the task force to the government official is, the State’s current database which holds the crucial data for truck routing is difficult to access by the commercial driver. This cirtical truck specific data is of high importance as it helps the trucker to keep their vehicles on the approved road networks and avoids the common causes of hazard. These GPS works majorly to provide easy access to safety measures for public.

Michael Zalewski Chairman Task Force said that they want the truck specific data to be available and more accessible. The regular updating in connection with the regulatory compliances will reduce major accidents, congestions and repair expenses. This will surely work for the benefit of Illinois citizens and trucking companies.

The main problem cause is there are many database storing the required information. This makes the task cumbersome and access difficult for the drivers. The problem will be resolved if all the information is collected in one universal database.

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The GPS task force recommendations are as follows:
• Merge different databases together to form one complete universal database.
• Local jurisdiction should devise easy reporting system which reports the designated networks for trucks.
• The database is to be made more accessible for the purpose of trucking companies.
• Providing GPS usage training to truck driver so they can derive only the information relevant for them.


Make your Semi-Truck more Efficient!!!

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