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.

Read more articles on driver lifestyles, tips and trick on our trucking load board blog page.

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.


34 Hours Rest Period for Truck Drivers – A New Challenge to Trucking Industry

The life of a truck driver is always set on the wheels of the truck. It seems to be an unending journey for them. It is not an easy job to drive a truck continuously without any pauses and breaks. The various researches done on the truck drivers recently show that the side effects of driving for a long time are clearly visible in the living style and behavioral traits of truckers. There is abundance of driver employment for different drivers like flatbed drivers, reefer drivers, dry cargo van drivers and more, but the drivers seem to resist taking up the life of a trucker. There are many trucking companies which have a demand for many drivers. There is a need of a lot of patience and endurance before going for the job of a truck driver.

The increasing cases of the accidents of the truck drivers have raised a hue and cry and forced the people to look for an alternative. Besides the accidents, the health problems of the truckers are also raising issues of concerns among the researchers and the scientists. Recent study of a Washington University makes it evident that insomnia is quite a common problem in the truck drivers who go for longer destinations and get a very little time to rest.

The researchers of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) has proposed a 34 hour rest period for the truck drivers but the trucking industry doesn’t seem to agree with this study and is opposing it in every possible way. The owner operator jobs are also available and the owner operators are also being hired by the trucking companies. The freight and the logistics companies have a lot of work. If the 34 hour rest period is brought into shape, it will definitely pose new challenges before the trucking companies.

The global breakdown in 2008 led many companies to do job cuts and it badly affected the number of drivers in the trucking business. The load boards work was also not untouched by it. But the conditions have become better and there are ample of loads available. But the shortage of drivers is an issue of concern. If the 34 hours rest period is put into form, there will be more need of truck driver jobs. There is already a huge gap in the demand and supply chain and it will create imbalance in the chain management system. Many of the drivers are on the verge of retirement and the increasing number of load boards and freight companies have put the trucking companies in a tensed situation. An old study which was conducted by the national highway traffic safety administration showed that it will be difficult for the young drivers to adapt driving conditions.

There will be a need of around 1 million truck driver jobs in the coming 15 years. The trucking industry needs to take adequate steps to ensure the safety and health issues of the drivers. It will be able to attract the applicants only when it provides all the facilities to the truckers. There is a common problem of fatigue and tiredness seen in the truckers. If the trucker is driving flat bed truck or carrying petroleum or some other explosive product, he needs to be very careful. A minor mistake can cause huge loss and even cost life of people. The interests of the truckers cannot be discarded.

Trucker News

A new scope for Canadian-American Border

Leaders of the two nations, the US President Mr. Barack Obama and the Canadian Prime Minister Mr. Stephen Harper conducted a meeting last week. The main issue was the long-term co-operation relating to the borders. The negotiations lead to signing a pact Friday calling dealing with the increased trade and security tie ups between the U.S. and Canada. This will facilitate quicker and hassle free transport between the countries and a good source of business generation for the trucking companies of both the countries.
The cross-border relations regarding the trade between the two nations were in turmoil since the 9/11 terrorists attack in the U.S. The meeting was focused to “intend to pursue a perimeter approach to security”. The loads available and people should be allowed to travel with more flexibility making the transport much easier for them.

The joint declaration stated that they will work to develop an integrated security policy which will ensure that the cargo and other goods undergo compatible screening tests, before they move out of the Canadian and U.S. ports. This will enhance the quick crossings at either port enabling the subsequent crossings much more fast.

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The leaders directed to create a Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) between the United States and Canada which will be formed by combining the foreign affairs officials and senior trade regulatory from both the countries.

The other aspect they looked towards jointly is an approach to increase and modify the available infrastructure at major public ports at the point of entry. The target is 10 major public ports.
The pact is welcomed by the Canadian Trucking Alliance. CTA expressed, this will help recreate the cross border relations which were much strained in the last decade after the terrorists attack. There is at least one truck crossing the U.S. – Canada border in every three seconds. Thus the pact will have a direct impact on truck driver employment.

We were looking towards this border agreement to be initiated by the government of both the countries from a long time. David Bradley CTA president said this agreement is the start point to achieve a more stable trade and security measures. This will help achieve more reliable risk-management and yield profits in trading programs between the countries.

It might take some time to finalize the things and start the real action; however a work group will be formed to work across the borders and look after the proceedings in this matter. The same will be reported to Obama and Harper by this work group.


Time to Review the Challenges Faced by the Country’s Transportation

We have included this crucial article on our load board blog page as the nation’s transport system is the lifeline for the complete trucking industry, thousands of trucking companies and millions of owner operators and truck drivers who earn their bread through driving big rigs, using the transportation system every day of their lives.
The much heated debate revolving around the Transportation bill has raised many campaigns nation wide. They want the all the facts that the transportation industry and the road networks of the US are facing to be reported to the leaders. The infrastructure and road networks of the 20th century are a much cause of concern for the economic growth leading to the 21st century. Below are listed the facts and figure of the US transportation that is hampering overall economic growth of the country and off-course the individual as well.

Costs and losses incurred due to incompetent Transportation system:
If the transportation system is not perfect then both the individual as well as the economy gets a setback. The loss is in terms of time consumed, accidents and fuel wasted. The improper transportation costs $78 billion to the nation’s expenses annually. $230 billion are lost over annual crashes owing to poor road networks. The loads available as freight tonnage are always increasing with the multifaceted growth; therefore it is a high time to increase the transport capacity too. The congestion on the roads is already costing $200 billion annually and it would cost 14% of the annual GDP by 2050.

The Gap in Transportation Used and Investment made over it:
As per the Transportation Research Board, there is $50 billion gap in the maintenance, capital and operations funds that require for the US highway maintenance. For the improvisation of the existing system the gap is even more around $100 billion. According to the Road Information Program one third of the US roads need immediate to light maintenance. American Society of Civil Engineers has rated the U.S. transit system D+ rating. The funds for transit system are declining as people seeking public transport facilities has increased to a great level. The federal and GDP share that the government was spending earlier has shown decrease from 11.2 percent in 1960 to just 3.5 % currently.

Benefits form the Transport Infrastructure Developments:
For every dollar invested in the Highway maintenance and infrastructure generates large number of employment opportunities, the main one being the truck driver’s employment. The increased GDP percentage is generated with each dollar invested on federal highways in a very short time.
Other than growth and benefits the improved highways are very essential to decrease the number of crashes that are taking place. The loss of life each year is around 42,000, out of which 15,000 lives are lost due to bad road conditions and other road related safety hazards.
Thus, we see there are alarming facts related to the current transportation system which would pose threat to the country’s growth both in short and long term. Already there are many campaigns running to ring the bell so that some effective measures are taken well in time.


How Can a CDL Driver Clear the Negative Charges off the DAC report?

As we have seen in the earlier blog posted on our load board, a DAC report is the one which contains all the driving history of a driver. It includes drug/alcohol tests, criminal reports, MVR records, accidents and other incidents related to the driving with the earlier carrier companies the driver has worked for. The DAC report has gained its importance as major percentage of the carrier companies ask for this report before hiring any commercial driver.
If the report has inaccurate or false information that goes negative on your driving part then it should be rectified immediately as the negative charges might affect your driving career for years to come. The serious criminal convictions should be expunged from the court records, only then the convictions will be erased from the DAC report.

You can seek legal service in this regard. One such company is They give affordable and reliable service with a high success rate

Check out the steps below if you are seeking a legal advice:
Take the copy of the original conviction judgment, analyze and figure out the situation in when you were convicted and that is there any scope of that the case can be expunged. You do a thorough research by referring to the FindLaw websites to learn about the statutes and procedures of expunging any specific case.

After you find out that you qualify for the conviction to be expunged, the next step is to get an attorney or prepare the documents required for the petition yourself.

Now you need to file a petition with the court where your conviction has been recorded. The next step will be simple if your state does automatic expunging in case you qualify the statutes. In other states where this facility is not working. You will be called for a hearing in front of the judge after you have filed a petition. Its then solely on the judge’s discretion to grant you the petition and give you a clean chit or deny it.

After the legal procedure is over, you need to get you DAC report to ensure that the charge has been removed from the DAC report as well. HireRight is the company where you can get your free annual DAC report.

The information about your truck driving job is placed on the DAC report by the carrier companies you have previously worked with or by the companies whose orientation programs you have attended in the past. Thus, if you watch out for some key areas you will not get strangled in the negative conviction at the first place.

1. Whenever you are planning to leave a carrier company, give at least two weeks resignation notice. In such cases the company cannot charge you negatively against available loads abundance or quit under dispatch cases. These negative points prove very harmful when you seek new truck driver employment.

2. Attend the orientation program and give the pre-employment drug screening test only to the employer you are certain you will work with. If you unnecessarily attend an orientation program of a carrier company and leave the orientation program in between, the company can report this to DAC. Thus you can easily avoid such conditions and keep your DAC report clean by selective approach.
3. For small incidents and accidents try not to report them and pay off the damage yourself. This will help keep your DAC and insurance report clean.

4. Never say no to random drug test. Give the test and make sure to take the document which shows you have undergone the test. Add the paper to your trucking records.

I hope this article will be helpful to you to know how to expunge your DAC report and to avoid the negative convictions beforehand.


What is the Importance of a DAC Report to Truck Drivers in the Industry?

This article will be really helpful to truck drivers who are looking for a job change. Whenever you would move to a new trucking company for work, the company will ask you for your DAC report. Let us see what is this so called DAC report is?
The DAC report is a record and summary of the truckers past work related activities pertaining to the trucking industry. The report is shared among the trucking companies so that they all get benefited in due course of time. Usually a DAC employment report contains accident history, any traffic violations and types of violations, why the truck driver wants to change the job or in case if he is fired, what is the reason? It also reports the type of driving done, the types of trailers hauled, is he a reefer driver, flatbed driver or dry van driver? It throws a light on the types loads available dispatched by the drivers. Therefore, the potential employer can come to know the drivers work habits, the companies worked for, training and orientation programs attended.
The DAC report can also be used to verify driving license number, criminal reports, social security number and work pay. All these reports play an important role for the trucking companies in pre hiring process to decide whether the trucker is qualified for the job or not.
To maintain the clarity in reports the reports are regulated by Fair Credit Reporting Act. According to this act each driver is eligible to acquire a free copy of this report each year. This will help them know the information that has been collected against their driving.
Earlier the report was distributed by USIS, but this procedure is now handled by a company called HireRight. A consumer report request from can be filled and send to the company in order to get your free report copy or the request can be sent online on the HireRight website. The request for the report can be submitted online but the report is not delivered in the digital form. It takes 15 days for the hard copy of the report to be delivered to you through US mail delivery system. If in case you find the there are incorrect charges on the report you can file a dispute with the dispute section of the website.
With the growing popularity of the DAC reports, nearly 90% of the commercial long hauls trucking companies are utilizing these reports to play safe while hiring new driver onboard. Since, the DAC report is a very crucial document for your truck driving career, you should read carefully the report and make sure to file any dispute for the wrong charges. The HireRight will look into the matter and make sure that inappropriate charges are removed from your report.
Keep checking our load board blog page for more trucking article. We will see in the next article, how to avoid negative DAC reports and what you should do in the case if the report stands negative for you.


Trucking Industry – Going Green!!

In all fields of business and life, everybody these days is concerned about the environment and saving our planet by adopting greener ways of doing things. Going green is a tough job in almost all spheres and it is even tougher in the case of trucking industry. This is because diesel fueling is the lifeline of the trucking industry and every truck runs on the road delivering goods world over with the billions of gallons of diesel consumption. However, many carrier and trucking companies have come up with greener solutions to manage the increasing carbon emissions causing environmental hazards.
The heavy duty 18 wheeler truck manufactured are highly competent these days. Their efficiency has improved manifolds, thus attaining more loads available being delivered with lesser fuel being consumed. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is setting up standards to make this move more successful and to ensure that there is a governing body to keep a check on the trucking activities that are harmful for the environment. Trucking industry is the backbone of US economy therefore more planned and smaller operational changes would be largely beneficial.
Some of the ways that will help control the carbon emissions are:
Slow Down: Speed Reduction is the most simple and effective way. If the speed limit is set to 65 mph, then the fuel mileage can be improved as well as fuel can be saved. This move can save up to 27 percent of fuel as against with the speed limit of 75 mph and the carbon emission around 31.5 million tons could be reduced.
Engine Maintenance: The long hail drivers who use their trucks to sleep through the nights and resting hours can make use of the Truck auxiliary units or truck stop electrification systems to heat or cool their trucks. This way they will save the diesel consumption which they otherwise used while idling the truck.
Driving Behavior: A little change in the driving habits of a driver can save up to 5-10% of the fuel consumed. Soft and timely shifting of gears, avoiding sudden break and sharp starts proves helpful in this regard. These steps make truck driver jobs more responsible towards nature.
Accessories and Equipments: Low viscosity lubricants can be used to reduce friction and thus use lesser fuel energy. Monitoring tire pressure regularly is yet another efficient step towards fuel-economy. Many companies who can afford a little expenditure have installed aerodynamic panels on their trailers and have replaced the old polluting engines with new more environment friendly engines.
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Many trucking companies have joined the move already and others plan to do so very soon. EPA’s SmartWay Transport Partnership is also becoming hugely popular among the transportation industry. This is a joint initiative by EPA and Freight Industry experts to combat the environmental risks associated with trucking jobs. SmartWay assists companies in measuring the carbon emission by their fleets and to track the steps to achieve long term results.