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No one likes to spend the holidays alone or at work, let alone on the road, far away from family and friends. Unfortunately, that’s the fate many truckers face. Although it may be hard, there are ways drivers can make the most of the mobile holidays.

Celebrating the Holidays on the Road

Be flexible

You’re not always in total control over your schedule, so plan accordingly. You don’t want to be in a position where you’ve over-scheduled the holiday activities, but aren’t able to attend due to work. Try to allow for some flexibility as to where and when the festivities will take place.

Use technology

In the age of social media, you don’t have to settle for a phone call. Current technology, such as Skype, Facebook, Hangouts and other means will make you feel like your sitting right at the dinner table. Moreover, streaming video, Snapchat and Instagram are great means to participate in the holiday celebrations.

Don’t let the calendar constrain you

The calendar may tell you Christmas is on December 25 and New Year’s Eve is December 31, but who wants to play by the rules anyway? Reschedule the holidays if you know you’re going to be on the road those days. The holidays are all about getting together with family and friends not about the dates. Just because you’re not home on a certain date doesn’t mean you have to skip the holiday altogether.

Bring the holidays with you

Play the best of Michael Bublé and Mariah Carey on your radio. Pack a candy cane in your lunch. Spray gingerbread air freshener in the cab. Do whatever you can to bring a little bit of holiday cheer to your truck. The cab of the truck will never be the same as spending the holidays as home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be made more enjoyable.

Find some company

It may feel like you’re all alone, but you’re not the only truck driver on the road. Try to park at one of the many truck stops that want to make drivers feel welcome during the holidays. Get out of your cab, wish happy holidays to the truck stop employees and share a meal or talk with a fellow driver.

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When you’re driving for long periods of time, it’s easy to let your cravings get the most of you. But, just because you need something to satisfy your sweet tooth doesn’t mean you need to loosen your belt.

Check out these sweet treats that are also healthier options than the usual soda and candy bar:

  • Whole grain cookies: go for fig bars or the like for a good, healthy cookie.
  • Dark chocolate: the darker, the better!
  • Organic fruit snacks: it’s possible and tasty, I promise!
  • Chocolate covered fruit and nuts: everything in moderation, of course.
  • Low sugar juice boxes: go for organic for a tasty, refreshing drink.
  • Naturally sweetened soda: make sure to choose one with less sugar and no artificial colors or flavors.

Along with healthy snacks like fruits, veggies, and nuts, reaching for these sweet treats will ensure your diet remains healthy and well-balanced even on the road.

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Safety belts are essential for maintaining safety on the road. Unfortunately, there are many myths out there about the usage of seat belts. Buckle up and remain safe by busting these safety belt myths.

Buckle up

  1. Wearing a safety belt is a personal decision that doesn’t affect anyone else
  2. Safety belts are uncomfortable and restrict movement
  3. It’s better to be thrown clear of the wreckage in the event of a crash
  4. A large truck will protect you. Safety belts are unnecessary
  5. Safety belts prevent your escape from a burning or submerged vehicle
  6. It takes too much time to fasten your safety belt 20 times a day
  7. Good truck drivers don’t need to wear safety belts
  8. A lap belt offers sufficient protection
  9. Safety belts aren’t necessary for low-speed driving

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Transflo’s newest product, the ELD, is now available for purchase at Love’s Truck Stop locations. The ELD is a engine-connection device that helps to record and organize workday activities. Independent drivers can register and manage logs easily and frequently. Love’s is hopping on board the electronic logging method by making the devices available and affordable.

Check out this article for more information!

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Trying to add more storage space to your truck? Check out this tutorial on how to build and install cabinets for your 18-wheeler!

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Being a trucker also means being prepared for the most unpredictable weather. By now, you’ve probably learned that it’s better to be safe than sorry. This winter, tackle the snow and ice upfront by making a winter car kit to keep in your truck at all times! Not only will the kit keep you safe in case of an emergency, but it will also let you drive with ease knowing that you beat the winter at its own game.

But a plastic tote and fill it with the following items:

  • booster cables
  • a flashlight
  • extra batteries
  • rope
  • a windshield scraper
  • battery powered radio
  • bottled water
  • non perishable snacks
  • matches
  • first aid kit
  • pocket knife
  • blankets
  • necessary medication

In addition to making this kit, make sure you winterize your diesel tank, and always keep it half full. In the event of a crash, make sure you stay in your vehicle–walking in a storm is very dangerous, and your vehicle makes a good shelter.

Stay safe and warm this winter!

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Now more than ever, women are taking on the trucking industry. Many women are realizing that trucking is the perfect career for those who do not want to spend money on more education, but want to earn a sizeable salary. In fact, drivers can earn up to $50,000 in their first year after receiving their CDL. Women who are retired are turning to trucking as a way to keep earning money after they’re finished with their professions. With the increase in female drivers, we are also seeing an increase in couples who drive as a team. Driving as a team allows husbands and wives to travel the country together while earning money at the same time–something very attractive to mothers with empty nests.

In the past, the trucking industry was very unappealing to women. The trucks were difficult to drive, truck stops were dangerous, and sexual harassment was a major concern. Manufacturers have solved some of these problems with the addition of power steering, adjustable seats, and safety features, making the trucks easier to drive. With the addition of separate-sex bathrooms, women no longer have to be as concerned about sexual harassment in truck stops.

Soon, it won’t be so rare to see women behind the wheel!

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Sleep apnea is a problem among truckers everywhere. With long hours on the road, sometimes sleeping is difficult. But, driving without much sleep is dangerous for you and those around you. Check out what you need to know about the requirements for sleep apnea testing.

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workbook-1205044_640Freight factoring is a very reliable and convenient method that transportation companies use to ensure there’s efficient working capital. Factoring refers to money that is advanced on accounts receivable (open invoices). The factoring company (factor) does this by paying the transportation companies for their invoices right away then collects payment from those freight bills from the respective customers or brokers at a small fee. Some of the benefits of using freight factoring companies are as outlined below.

Working capital is crucial for transportation companies to ensure smooth running of operations. It meets fuel payments, repair and maintenance of the company’s fleet, driver wages, insurance premium payments, purchase of new vehicles among other overhead costs. Freight factoring thus provides a flexible and convenient method to get the much needed working capital. Since, as compared to bank loans; it requires less documentation, it is fast to set up and obtain. This is because it mostly requires the customers’ credit worthiness rather than the trucking company’s credit worthiness. However, credit line is easily increased as per necessity unlike fixed bank loans. Fuel cards issued by reputable freight factoring companies are honored across the country for fuel as well as repairs.
Freight factoring companies collect details about available loads from shippers and assist transportation companies by availing the information on the website or by alerts. Thus, factors further business leads to transportation companies at basically no fee. Furthermore, truckers can go forward and take new loads and shipments due to the discovered steady cash flow. Transportation companies no longer have to worry about the collections.
Extensively, some few freight factoring companies assist truckers to obtain permits as well as maintain motor haulers licensing formalities as required by law. This includes permits from; the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. (FMSCA) as well as the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT), both of which are rather tedious to get. Freight factoring is therefore very beneficial to transportation companies.

Financial Tips

invoice-153413_640From what many experts say, it appears the clouds are lifting from over the economy. Banks are recording record profits, stocks are on the rise and the Dow is touching 10,000 again, however many small and mid-sized business owners on main street are not feeling the trickle down yet. It seems after being bailed out our largest corporate and banking friends have decided to hold onto their money and not share the wealth. This will change in time, but the question is when and is this recovery sustainable?

Furthermore, I believe you would agree business and consumer habits have changed. Small and mid-sized companies are adjusting to a lower gross revenue number and being forced to rebuild business models. Consumers are more focused on paying down debt than buying that new car, furniture, etc, and until they start spending again the economy will remain sluggish.

You might be thinking what does this have to do with Non Recourse Factoring? In America today, the largest corporations are demanding vendors to offer extended payment terms, and in almost all cases there is very little room for negotiation. As a result, small and mid-sized companies looking to expand by opening new corporate accounts and/or introducing new products will be expected to provide preferred credit terms. The fortune 1000 have figured out some time ago vendor financing has one huge advantage over traditional bank financing. Vendors do not charge interest for the use of the money, banks do.

Companies looking to expand in this fashion will soon understand on that day their business turns into a bank. This is a bitter sweet day; sales will go up however companies will find themselves lending their customers money to buy their products and/or services. The worst part is they will providing this money interest free. Studies show, the challenge small and mid-sized companies have when managing credit is experience because during periods of growth businesses are sales driven with credit decisions taking a back seat. Unfortunately, sometimes good companies do go south.

Understanding this is important, because even the largest companies do run into problems from time to time and find themselves financially challenged. Some will even go out of business. This is where understanding the difference between recourse factoring and non recourse factoring is extremely important. The difference is the similar to having insurance or not having insurance. When choosing a factoring company you will want to ask this question. Do you provide recourse or non recourse factoring?

Once a non recourse factoring company pays your business for an invoice, they own it. This means if your customer does not pay and/or goes out of business your company is not responsible. Put simply, the factor owns the invoice; your company keeps the advance unless fraud is involved.

When using a recourse factor, you, the customer are ultimately responsible to collect money from your customer. That means if a customer fails to pay or goes out of business the factor will sell the invoice and/or invoices back to your company. In summary recourse factors will provide funding, however you and your company are ultimately responsible for the long term credit worthiness of a customer.

How can they do this? Non recourse factoring companies insure the accounts receivable with a third party provider. Many business owners sleep much better at night knowing they have little to no risk navigating the customer credit mine field. This will be especially important as we come out of the recession due to the fact we don’t know how many good companies were negatively impacted by declining revenue and operational restructuring. Some of these companies may look good on the outside, however it will remain to be seen how well they will perform going forward. Business owners implementing non recourse factoring can grow their business with the peace of mind credit losses due to unforeseen circumstances will be limited. As they say, that’s priceless.

 

Financial Tips