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Archive for March, 2014


Founder of SBTC aims to raise truck driver wages and profits

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James Lamb- Owner/CEO of, President of AIPBA,  created Small Business in Transportation Coalition

James Lamb- Owner/CEO of, President of AIPBA, founder of The Small Business in Transportation Coalition

Since the latest March 13th News Release from FMCSA,  DOT Proposes Use of Electronic Logbooks to Improve Efficiency, Safety in Commercial Bus & Truck Industries;

The controversy has picked up once again for professional drivers.

Although the Latest HOS regulations will ideally be enforced through an ELD mandate, drivers believe ELD’s will add to stress which ultimately leads to greater driver fatigue, which is the exact opposite of the reducing driver fatigue goal through ELD enforcement.

A catch 22. Drivers also state that no one can tell them “when they are fatigued”, consequently dictating to them when to rest and more importantly, when not to rest.

Drivers have also openly admitted that the enforcement of ELD’s will also drastically reduce their wages.

The question then came up on LinkedIn and Facebook which candidly asked drivers:

1) Are drivers against ELD’s because they can no longer fudge their logbooks?

2) If drivers were paid for All their time, would EOBR’s be less of an issue/concern or still the same? Let’s “assume” the driver harassment issue is resolved when answering.  Owner Operators still have to deal with the Cost.

Social media has recently exposed reasons and circumstance which has not only added to driver stress levels, resulting in increased driver fatigue, but has also revealed that Driver Wages play heavily on the opposition of ELD’s.

Prior to MATS 2014 in Louisville, KY, James Lamb replied to professional drivers with this statement on both LinkedIn and Twitter, inviting them to attend his seminar at MATS to address Increased Driver Wages.

James P. Lamb “We will be launching a new paradigm designed to increase independent driver pay in the coming months. We are not ready to disclose the details but we will introduce the new brand at MATS during the AIPBA seminar. In time it will pull company driver pay up too. You’re gonna like this, truckers…”

Below are the promised results announced by Mr Lamb summarizing what happened during his Seminar at MATS, including the Power Point Presentation.

“AIPBA Encourages Small Brokers to Be More Transparent in their Dealings with Truckers, Presents “New Deal” to Truckers at MATS designed to raise driver pay and improve safety compliance.

AIPBA President James Lamb took a bold new step today at MATS toward transparency in broker-trucker relations, addressing numerous industry problems such as e-logs, driver harassment, driver pay, and ethics in transportation as he introduced the new Small Business in Transportation Coalition to truckers in attendance, which encourages the formation of new partnerships between truckers and brokers as members of the same small business supply chain team.

During the presentation, Lamb made the distinction between big brokers who attempt to score an average of 22.5% commission on brokered loads, while smaller brokers operating with integrity are typically in the 10-15% range. Along those lines, he referenced OOIDA Executive Director’s 2009 statement:

“The big broker should never be the first call you make. Small brokers should treat you better and work harder to develop a mutually profitable relationship.”

 Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).

“It’s time to stop acting like adversaries and start acting like partners… because we are in fact partners in business,” Lamb said.

Lamb stated that although the push toward transparency should be voluntary and left to market forces to embrace the new paradigm, he would be leading by example as general manger of a new brokerage called 12PL. He indicated more information would be released in the coming months explaining the new brand.”

James Lamb will be our guest on Truth About Trucking “Live” this Thursday April 3rd at 6PM ET as we will continue the discussion which will include more detailed goals of the
new outreach coalition  founded called the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC).
Its goal is to protect and promote the small truckers and brokers in the industry and follow a theme of teamwork and partnerships in business.


© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: AIPBA, ELD’s, hos, James Lamb, SBTC, small brokers, Small Business in Transportation Coalition, social media, truck driver wages, truck drivers, Trucking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Buying the right truck parts

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Truck Parts for commercial vehicles

Truck Parts for commercial vehicles


If you drive a commercial truck, there is a high probability that you will need to replace the parts on your truck for new ones. There are a variety of truck parts available on the market, however, what you need to know is that whether a brand is compatible with your truck.

Before buying a replacement part for your truck you need to consider that the part is from a reputable manufacturer. You would prefer a part to be produced from a reputable manufacturer; this can help to ensure that you will prevent the need for repairs.

Kinds of Truck Parts

Truck parts are divided into different categories each made to perform an entirely different function. Some of the spare parts that are common replacements for a truck are filters, mirrors, fifth wheels, wiper blades, lighting, cargo restraints, air conditioning and heating parts.

How to Know If You Need To Replace Any Truck Part

You never know when there is a need to replace a truck part. If you have trouble with the air conditioning of your truck, the first thing to do is to show it to a professional mechanic. However, if they advise that it needs to be replaced with a new air conditioning part, then you should choose a recommended manufacturer to ensure there is sufficient cooling in the truck. Some of the signs that could indicate that the air conditioning unit is faulty are:

  • An abnormal sound or vibration in the fans.
  • Low amount of air being provided through the vents.
  • Wet carpeting indicating that the air conditioner drain has been clogged.
  • A musty odor when you turn on the air conditioner.

Buying Reconditioned parts for Trucks

The choice to buy truck spare parts depends on a number of factors. For instance, if you have had a truck for a long time and require a spare part for it, then it may be preferable to obtain a reconditioned part, especially for commercial use. Looking for such parts is easy, and they are widely available. This is due to the fact that trucks on the whole are used for spare parts.

Finding the right reconditioned/ spare part does not need to be a chore, by doing some research huge savings can be made. While searching for them, you should take your truck details with you, i.e. your truck’s model, make, year, etc. This way, the scrap dealer will be able to help you with your search effectively. There are a variety of places online that sell reconditioned parts all over the world.

Buying New Truck Spare Parts

If you have purchased a new truck, buying parts is a necessity over the life of owning a truck. Parts such as filters, tires and brake pads are liable to wear and tear and would require replacement more frequently that other parts. When you buy a new spare part for your truck, do not forget to ask the manufacturer for a warranty.

This content was written by TruckParts4u they provide a complete catalogue of HGV, truck & trailer parts and cab accessories.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: reconditioned truck parts, replacement truck parts, Truck Parts, Trucking, TruckParts4u

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Universal Replacement Truck Parts

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Gardner Truck Parts

GardnerParts located in the town of Leyland in the North West of England an area with its roots in the commercial vehicle industry. GardnerParts is a trading division of Leyland Exports


With the passage of time, various truck parts can be exposed to wear and tear. For this reason, there comes a time when you need to replace them. Have a look at the following universal replacement parts your truck might need:

Shock Absorbers

Using trucks for excessive driving can result in the wear and tear of truck parts. Shock absorbers help absorb the resultant shock caused by driving over uneven or rough grounds. If the shock absorbers are good in shape, there are low chances of truck repairs. This indicates that you have to check your truck’s shock absorbers from time to time.

If the shock absorbers are no more useful for your truck, you need to replace them with new ones. While choosing a shock absorber, you must consider some important things. Pick a brand that has additional features to enhance the truck’s performance. Secondly, you can also go for air shocks if your truck carries heavy load regularly.


The durability of a truck’s wheels depends on the axles of a truck; the performance of wheels can be affected if the axle has some issues. As soon as you observe that your truck’s wheels are not up to the mark, you need to replace the axles of your truck. Axles will be placed near those wheels. A high-quality axle supplies power to a truck’s wheels. This enables them to go forward.


A truck’s battery is an important component of any vehicle. Truck drivers ensure it is able to perform well while driving. That is why it should be replaced as soon as it has got a serious problem. This is because a dead battery does not have any supply power to run the truck. Since a battery is the main universal replacement truck part, replacement batteries for trucks are easily available.

There are different types of trucks. Each type of truck can have a different battery. Therefore, it is important to know the type of truck battery before choosing a replacement battery for the same truck. Once you have purchased a replacement battery, make sure you change the truck battery when your truck has not been used for a long time.


If you are unable to drive your truck, one of the reasons behind this can be that its engine has stopped working. Similarly, this indicates that you should buy a new engine for your truck. However, before finalizing your purchase decision, you need to analyze your truck needs. If the truck is larger, then it will definitely require a replacement engine that is more powerful.

Both genuine as well as used engines are available in the market. If you had recently purchased a truck and its engine has a breakdown due to some reason, then you require a new engine for your truck.


Your truck will not look pleasing to you and others if its window is broken. Besides its functionality, a new replacement window can change the look of your truck for the better. There are many other concerns here as well. For instance, passengers and drivers will be exposed to UVA rays from the sun if the wrong types of truck windows and glasses are installed, or if they are not installed properly. This in turn can increase the risk of skin cancers.

This content was provided by GardnerParts they supply any part for any diesel engine manufactured by L Gardner and Sons Worldwide, and specialize in reconditioned transmission.


© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Gardner Parts, sponsored blog posts, Truck Parts.Trucking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

ELD Mandate-The controversy and affects of driver accountability

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Qualcomm EOBRThe discussion of EOBR’s (now labeled ELD’s or electronic logging devices) continues and many drivers are as angry and frustrated as ever.  As far back as I can remember I can not recall a topic creating more controversy or heated arguments.

The idea sounds logical and simple: place an electronic device on the truck which will increase safety by ensuring that drivers are compliant and accountable to the Hours of Service rule. This will make sure that drivers get the rest they need and roads will be safer. Makes sense, right?  For most who have never operated a CMV it does, and the thought of anyone being opposed to such a device to increase safety is unheard of to many. So what’s the problem?

Why then are drivers so opposed to ELD’s? Is it the principal of having your privacy invaded?  Will ELD’s actually cause an even greater safety risk and if so, how? Will ELD’s create more costs for many whose profits are already suffering?  Will they drastically decrease wages earned? And the most devious of all, “Will ELD’s prevent drivers from “cheating” on their logs?” Why would a driver want to DO THAT?

Recently a thread was started on LinkedIn asking a question by James Lamb of and AIPBA. The title of it alone pulled an emotional chord:

“Is opposition to the new electronic logging proposal grounded in truckers being upset this removes their ability to squirm out of HOS regs, fudge log books & falsify business records (commit fraud)?”

As most know, threads on LinkedIn usually do not receive the level of response that FaceBook receives, however, this thread received over 100 comments, many from drivers and company owners like myself. I personally voted “NO” on this poll and commented why (comment included safety and harassment).  As the thread began to evolve, many of the comments began to go in the direction of driver wages and increased safety risk.

I then posted this question on FaceBook:

If drivers were paid for All their time, would EOBR’s be less of an issue/concern or still the same? Let’s “assume” the driver harassment issue is resolved when answering.  Owner Operators still have to deal with the Cost.

The thread received over 300 responses and if I had to sum them up (you need to read them), I’d say this:  EOBR’s do affect driver wages and hold only the DRIVER accountable, not the other major players who are  involved in load logistics: shippers, receivers, dispatch, brokers, carriers.

An article by Jeff Clark best explains one aspect of this: The Mandate.”  Without a doubt driver wages, including paying drivers for all their time, came out ahead.
Jeff Head has been writing for years about the challenges drivers face in his book, “Running Legal Blues”  and in his very vocal social media threads.

Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting has been urging drivers, even volunteering his own time, in attempts to encourage them to be more vocal on the FMCSA website comment periods.

During this thread Mr James Lamb introduced this plan which provoked the interest of many (including myself): “We will be launching a new paradigm designed to increase independent driver pay in the coming months. We are not ready to disclose the details but we will introduce the new brand at MATS during the AIPBA seminar. In time it will pull company driver pay up too. You’re gonna like this, truckers…”

Another relevant point made is that by enforcing ELD’s, the actual safety of the driver is compromised, not taking many variables into account: lack of truck parking, weather, delays at docks and so-forth.

So is a valid question, “Is the present HOS rule ONLY affecting and creating accountability to the driver when enforcing ELD’s?”

There are so many facets to include when looking at what is included in the effects of ELD’s. Every segment of the industry has an affect on the other. Driver wages, cheap freight, HOS, ELD’s, lack of truck parking (and no, it’s not always because the driver has not planned his or her trip properly), forced dispatch, lack of detention time compensation, cdl training (yes, that plays a part too). You can even include CSA methodology in the mix.

Just as CSA methodology has been determined to be flawed (GAO report), so has the HOS rule been questioned when establishing driver/company compliance safety for all. The FMCSA study was four months late and lacked data.  Read more

Do we need an HOS rule? Absolutely.

If an ELD is going to increase safety by enforcing compliance and accountability, then the rule it is measured by must also ensure safety as priority….taking ALL variables into consideration and making ALL accountable.

Creating a one size fits all HOS rule that is FAIR and EFFECTIVE is challenging to say the least.

Question:  Why are drivers opposed to the ELD mandate and who are those supporting it, and why?

This Saturday at MATS will be a seminar by James Lamb, as part of an outreach coalition, Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) will introduce the idea of small business working together, increasing accountability, and ultimately increasing driver wages:

SAT. MAR. 29 11AM


© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: driver wages, ELD mandate, EOBR, FMCSA, hos, James Lamb, Jeff Head, Richard Wilson, truck driver safety

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

The Health Law and How it is affecting the Trucking Industry

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Discover the facts- Know your options and the best choice for you.

Discover the facts- Know your options and the best choice for you.

Join us March 20th at 6PM ET and be informed about one of the many choices the trucking industry faces: The Health Law and its affect on trucking.

The battle is over and the Health Law is indeed law. Now what? How will it affect those within the trucking industry?  Many are faced with this Question and will need to understand and make an informed decision prior to the very near March 31st deadline.

For one, there are many from every industry who have lost their policy because of the fact that it does not include required coverage stated by the health law.  Policy owners will have to either find new coverage on their own, whether it be through a state or federal marketplace, through an insurance agent, broker or a certified web broker, or take the penalty and decline coverage.

**A true certified web-broker can navigate drivers through the Health Law (Obamacare) maze and do it by providing a toll-free number they can use to speak to a licensed insurance agent.  800-459-0962.

One thing is for certain, unless considerable tax credits are applied to the premium ( “on exchange” only), your cost will most likely be higher. Tax credits result in reduced premiums and are calculated by determining Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).

 Health Insurance Information HOTLINE

Health Insurance Information HOTLINE

So what does this mean for the trucking industry?

Owner Operators, company truck drivers, and trucking companies (Employer mandate 2015- provide employee coverage) will all need to know their options.

Facts:  Many professional drivers have health issues often caused as a result of their high stress, irregular sleep patterns, and sedentary lifestyle. More often than not, drivers have gone without medical attention because they either could not afford health insurance, or they had too many pre-existing conditions to obtain coverage. Owner Operators are responsible for their own coverage and many company drivers are not offered health insurance or have declined coverage.

Many trucking companies, depending on the number of employees, will be required to offer health insurance (will rates be higher?) The Health Law has eliminated the decline of coverage for pre-existing illness. ALL are now approved for guaranteed coverage.

Individuals: But what about cost, is it affordable?  What other options do we all have besides state and federal marketplace? What happens if I refuse coverage?  How do Calculate my AGI to see if I’m eligible? What is the “On Exchange” and “Off Exchange” Can I still get a reduced premium even if I opt out of the “On Exchange?”  What happens if my Employer drops coverage or if it is too expensive, can I apply for “on exchange”? If I get insurance from my company is that on or off exchange?

Employers: What happens if I do not offer coverage to my employees? How many employees can I have before I am required to offer Health Insurance?  What will happen to those employees whose coverage is dropped by employer, where will they obtain coverage then? What is “defined contribution”?

1)      Owner Operators – O/O profits are dwindling, many to the point of making less than a company driver. Fuel Cost, cheap freight, increased regulations, EOBR’s, HOS, and the increased costs of trucks and maintenance have all contributed to it. When their AGI is calculated, 85% of screened drivers are eligible for significant premium reductions.

2)      Company drivers – who are not offered or who have previously declined insurance:  Company drivers have relatively low wages This allows them for significant tax credits. The fact is that because of their financial bracket, professional drivers meet the criteria for substantial Tax Credits/reduced premiums. Period.

3)      Trucking Companies – Again, depending on the number of employees, trucking companies will be mandated to provide/offer coverage to employees.  There are options regarding the health insurance mandate they should be aware of and understand.

One question that comes up most often is from those who would rather decline health coverage through the state or federal marketplace. Can they still get health insurance?

YES, they will be “off Exchange” and can also go through an agent, broker, certified web broker, or Insurance Company (Such as Blue Cross and Humana). They will pay full premium which may be many times more than the cost of a premium which offers eligible tax credits through the “on exchange”. They also have the option to totally decline health insurance and pay the IRS penalty which is small for the first year.

CDL Consultant can assist you with this option also.  Contact them at: 800-459-0962.

Tom Smith

Tom Smith, VP of Trucking Division of Pay Plans and Benefits and CDL Consultant

We will be addressing concerns of the Health Law as it affects those within the trucking industry on Thursday 3-20-14 at 6PM ET on Truth About Trucking “Live”.

Our guest will be Tom Smith, VP of Trucking Division of Pay Plans and Benefits and CDL Consultant. Many of you have already spoken with Tom and he will be available for further questions on the show. Do not miss one of the last opportunities to be informed before the March 31st deadline.

One thing is for certain, regardless how we all feel about the Health Law, it is our responsibility to make educated choices based on information from those who have experience providing insurance and also have the knowledge and experience of the trucking industry.

The bottom line:  What is the best choice for YOU?

Join us 6PM ET as we discuss The Health Law and its affect on Trucking.

Click the link to listen and join the online chat room. To listen from your phone or to be a part of the show call in at: 347-826-9170.

Related Post: Professional Truck Drivers benefit from Health Care Law

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: CDL Consultant, health insurance, Health Law, off exchange, on exchange, Pay Plans and Benefits, tax credits, TOm SMith, truck drivers, trucking companies, truth about trucking live

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Tony Justice performing at MATS 2014 for Latest Release CD Party

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Tony Justice MATS 2014 CD Party

Songwriter and Singer Tony Justice will perform at MATS 2014 Official CD Party for “Apple Pie Moonshine”


If you are going to to MATS this year in Louisville, KY March 27 -29, then one aspect of this Trucking Show you will not want to miss is singer/ songwriter Tony Justice on Saturday March 29th at 7:30 PM, as he performs at the infamous Papa John’s parking lot!

Everyone is anticipating songs from Tony’s latest CD “Apple Pie Moonshine”, which was released late December 2013 in all the major truck stops: Pilot Flying J, TA/Petro, Loves Travel, and Wilco Travel Plazas, and now quite a few independents also. Many are also anxiously looking forward to his songs from  his previous hit CD, “On the Road”.

Sales continue to sore for Tony Justice as anybody who loves either country music, trucking, or songs that relate to the heart and soul of all of us, can crank up and enjoy.

Tony Justice has been entertaining folks for some time now, our own personal introduction was at the 1st Annual Truck Driver Social Media Convention at the Gold Strike in Tunica, MS. We had heard about his talent and musical abilities, however the LIVE performance was electrifying.  During the convention, Tony was selling his latest CD of 2011, “On The Road”, with profits that evening going to charity.

Tony Justice-David Ayers

Tony Justice and David Ayers, displaying CD “On the Road” at the 2011 Truck Driver Social Media Convention

Tony continues to be find the time ( in between driving and music recording) to share his thoughts and conversations with his friends and fans on Social Media websites:
Facbook Tony Justice
Facebook group Team Justice
Twitter  @Tony Justice2013


Don’t miss this opportunity to meet and listen to Tony justice in the Papa John’s Parking Lot, where the party and socializing really happens at MATS!

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Apple Pie Moonshine, MATS, on the road, Papa John’s, tony justice, Trucking, trucking show

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

A checklist of Common Truck Problems

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Balman LTD- Truck Parts 0845 683 6871

Balman LTD-providers of high quality truck parts and tachographs.
0845 683 6871

In order to know if your truck parts are mechanically sound and to ensure your trucks’  safety on the roads, you should regularly check the condition and performance of the following truck parts:



Air Brakes

It is essential for your trip that your truck’s air brakes are working properly. In order to make sure you do not need to replace the air brakes, you can conduct inspection of your truck prior to the trip or after that. Pre-trip is not as important as post-trip inspection. Therefore, you must write it down in your daily log book. When you come back from a trip, do not forget to observe its performance.

Fan Clutch

You need to replace your truck parts if it has a faulty fan clutch. If a fan shroud is missing, it can affect the performance of a truck negatively. This is because the cooling effectiveness of the truck’s fan can be reduced. In this situation, it can overheat the engine especially in hot weather or when hauling large loads.

Ball Joints

Balls joints hold a truck’s wheel so that it does not fall or get separated from the truck. Since ball joints are smaller parts of a truck, it is difficult to know whether you need to replace your truck’s ball joints or not. However, you can easily do it if you have a lot of experience in automobile repair. Otherwise, the safest way is to call a reliable mechanic.

Water Pump

If you notice any wobble or seepage in the shaft, then you need to get it replaced. The performance of the pump is necessary because any damage to the pump can also lead to overheating of the engine. Also, check that your truck does not have the wrong pump installed, as this can also cause the overheating of the truck’s engine. This latter problem is more likely in older or second hand trucks where non-OEM replacement parts have been used.

Brake System

If the reservoir of air tanks is full, it needs to be drained in order to check the performance of the brake system. Therefore, you should ensure the collected water has been removed from the reservoir. The main reason of doing this is to check whether the brake system is performing well or not. After doing this, drive your truck on an empty road and check the performance of brakes.


Since a truck’s engine is the main component, its performance depends on different other parts. Similarly, thermostat also plays a vital role here. Check the thermostat to ensure your engine does not need any replacement. Make sure it is not overheated.


You can check if your radiator is performing well if it does not overheat. However, it is important to know to what extent the engine can heat up in order to avoid the radiator from overheating. There can be numerous consequences of overheating. For instance, if your truck’s engine has started overheating, the gasoline engine will begin to detonate. When the combination of pressure and heat will exceed, the engine will start losing power.

On the other hand, overheating also causes pre-ignition. As a result, hot spots can be developed in the combustion chamber. Since overheating can swell aluminium faster than iron, the head gasket can be blown. If the pressure is increased, then the radiator of your truck is more likely to be damaged. Furthermore, this can lead to replacing your truck part.


Tachographs are a small circle of paper that are inscribed with a line as a truck is being driven. When the truck is in motion a line will continue to be drawn until it stops and the line will stop being drawn, but the disk will continue to rotate.

The problems with analogue tachographs are that they can be tampered with. Truck drivers can block the pen from writing even when the truck is still in motion or mark a line manually to show that they have stopped when they havn’t.

The introduction of digital tachographs to replace analogue tachos was introduced in 2006 throughout the EU. This regulation stated that, from 1st May 2006 the fitment of digital tachographs is mandatory, for all new vehicles exceeding 3.5 tonne. This not only improved the accuracy of driver distance and time accuracy but also the safety of truck drivers in general.

This article was provided by Balman Ltd providers of high quality truck parts and tachographs.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

Technorati Tags: Balman LTD, tachographs, Truck Parts, trucker safety, Trucking

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

Professional Truck Drivers clearly benefit from Health Care Law

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CDL Consultant helping drivers understand their Health Insurance Options

CDL Consultant helping drivers understand their Health Insurance Options

America has now had a chance to see the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) in action over the last few months. There is no doubt, we are staring at mixed results, and strong emotions, and opinions.  We would like to review how it has affected those within the trucking industry and further introduce what we believe is the best possible portal and call center for our industry.

To start, the fact is that the lifestyle of the professional driver has contributed to poor health and a list of related health issues. The sedentary lifestyle combined with stress, irregular sleep patterns, lack of exercise, and poor food choices/options has led to illnesses such as: arthritis, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and cancer ( kidney, bladder, and lung).

Another fact is that many driver profits and earnings are low and although the need for health coverage should be a priority considering their heath risks, many times they are not. Many drivers who would want to purchase health coverage have been turned down for pre-exisitng conditions.
Owner Operators are high on this list of uninsured drivers as profits continually go down because of various causes such as high fuel prices, increased regulations, increased mandates on fuel efficiency and GHG emissions, and low paying freight.

The Health Law ( ACA) has caused much controversy among the country, however, there is no other group that we can see that  deserves to benefit from this law more than the professional driver. When we look at the heath risks combined with their wages ( which have not increased for 20 years) they will be among those who will certainly profit.

Initially,, the federally run portal that all individuals and insurance companies must traverse to complete a health application, was run aground. Although the federal site is now up and running, it seems as if everyone is taking a breath and seeing where it goes next. There are other call centers and websites designed to aid purchasers in health coverage, however, one issue we have observed is the lack of trucking industry knowledge that other call centers may have, specifically answering questions correctly and giving appropriate advice.
Truck Drivers, including Owner Operators, have a unique lifestyle and business design. This will dramatically affect the reduction in premiums that many times can be missed by a “general call center” who may not ask the right questions during screening, or in a worst case scenario, flat out give poor direction.

For these reasons, we are encouraging those within the trucking community to go to the CDL Consultant and Pay Plans and Benefits website. The staff at CDL Consultant understands the specific questions to ask for those within trucking in order to ensure maximum cost reductions allowed through premium tax credits.

They are committed to ensure that their callers receive the best possible advice and LOWEST possible premium available to them.  Prices are fixed by law, however, just like “taxes”, if you don’t KNOW all your allowable deductions, you will not receive maximum refund. The same is the case with maximum allowed tax credits/price reduction for health insurance.

**Premium Credits (discounts) are available to people based on their Adjusted Gross Income ( AGI). Most ALL of the drivers we have spoken with, had AGI’s that allow for premium credits

Let’s take a look at what the experience at CDL Consultant has thus far achieved for professional drivers. The data is based upon assisting approximately 1000 drivers since December the 15th

  • More than 85% of drivers who are not currently covered are eligible for a tax credits.
  • The average discounted premium received by single drivers is close to 47%.
  • The average discounted premium received by drivers plus spouses is close to 66%.
  • The average discounted premium received by drivers plus families is close to 79%.
  • The number of drivers receiving less than 20% discount or none at all is less than 15%.

 EXAMPLE: A driver with a family of 4 earning 40K annually AGI can obtain coverage for $226/month –  Gold plan with Blue Cross/Blue Shield (GA).
Normally (without tax credit/discount premium) that cost with the same plan would be $1511.00 

At the end of the day these reductions are clearly making coverage affordable for many drivers who simply could not obtain insurance in the past, either because of pre-existing illnesses, or, they just couldn’t afford it.

We have found that when drivers are fully educated they are inclined to enroll in coverage.  It’s important to speak to someone who is not only trained and knowledgeable regarding the New Health Laws, but also who understand the atypical challenges and circumstances of professional drivers.

Whether you love the new law or hate it, for many owner operators and uninsured company drivers, the passage of the Health Law presents a new opportunity to finally get health insurance without being scrutinized for having a medical condition.
Approximately 85% of owner operators (and most ALL uninsured Company drivers) will be eligible for tax credits based on their income.

Many out there would like to see this law fail, but the reality is it’s here to stay for a while and for many drivers, it’s the first time ever that major medical insurance will be available to them.

NOTE: People who are not offered coverage at work or who are not offered it through their spouse, have until March xx to enroll and receive premium subsidies.  You owe it to yourself and family to at least determine what Options you have.
You will be very glad you did!   Click on the link or make the toll free phone call 800-459-0962
Remember: The Deadline is March 31st  

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CDL Consultant- Affordable Trucker Health Insurance

CDL Consultant- Affordable Trucker Health Insurance





© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog

FMCSA Must Focus on Trucking Industry Reality

Posted by Comments Off on FMCSA Must Focus on Trucking Industry Reality

Ignoring the FMCSA

Ignoring the FMCSA

In the era of CSA, more regulations continue to be placed upon the professional truck driver. Safety groups and industry decision-makers continue to believe that in order to increase safety, additional regulations are needed.  It has become an industry which places regulations upon regulations.

Anne Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, has stated that “Zero truck deaths is the intended goal for the trucking industry accident rate”; an honorable goal, but an unrealistic one.

The manner in which the FMCSA and safety groups intend to reach such goals is apparently by enforcing more regulations upon drivers and the industry as a whole.

The FMCSA has a much bigger problem than they could ever imagine, or perhaps one they continue to ignore: how does the administration control the actions of individual dispatchers and others who have authority over the driver? This authority is directly related to the truck drivers’ ability to earn a living and to perform his or her job in a safe and professional manner.

The trucking industry is full of power-hungry dispatchers who enjoy holding this authority over their drivers, forcing them to continue operating the CMV under unsafe conditions and thumbing their noses at the FMCSA  and industry regulations.

The most recent evidence of this was shared by truck driver, Abe Attallah of K&B Transportation which went viral through his FaceBook Social Media page:

The professional driver who found himself in this all-too-often situation within the industry, was in his full rights to inform dispatch that continuing to drive would be unsafe. FMCSA Regulation § 392.3 clearly states:

“No driver shall operate a commercial motor vehicle, and a motor carrier shall not require or permit a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while the driver’s ability or alertness is so impaired, or so likely to become impaired, through fatigue, illness, or any other cause, as to make it unsafe for him/her to begin or continue to operate the commercial motor vehicle.”

Truck drivers have the full right and authority to determine when it is unsafe to drive, period. Once the dispatcher is informed by the driver, the conversation should be over. Clearly, this is still not the case as evident in the video and this is just one example from one motor carrier who employs dispatchers who use fear and intimidation to force drivers to continue to operate in an unsafe manner. Keep in mind, there are hundreds of thousands of motor carriers in the United States of which a large majority of these incidents go unreported.

This is the type of dispatcher who has no respect for the driver, the general public, the FMCSA or the professionalism of the vocation and should be terminated immediately. Heavy fines should be placed upon the motor carrier to assist in future prevention of such actions by dispatchers who use “Drill Instructor” tactics against professional CDL drivers.

The majority of our Nation’s truck drivers are grown men and women who through commitment and professionalism keep America moving and those who perceive themselves in some kind of higher authority should not invoke fear in a driver who is already dealing with fatigue. In addition, the sheer act of pulling the driver’s wife and family into the conversation is further sign of threat and intimidation by these so-called professionals.

Safety groups, as well as the FMCSA, should realize the bigger problem at hand. Adding more regulations upon regulations for the sake of trucking industry safety is not the answer and never will be as long as this type of behavior by dispatchers and managers continue to go ignored.

Drivers who continue to accept these actions with excuses such as: “That’s trucking” or “Just man-up” are also contributors to the problem and although many of these pretend to be driver advocates, are in actuality, puppets-on-a-string motor-mouths for those carriers who press forced dispatch.

This recent abuse of drivers are more the reason truck drivers need to become more involved in the regulatory process by attending MCSAC meetings and sharing their comments with the FMCSA. In addition, MCSAC members largely consist of law enforcement personnel, motor carrier officials and anti-truck driver safety groups; not a single current, experienced professional truck driver.

Although K&B Transportation met with the driver and apologized for the actions of the dispatcher and upper managers stated that this type of behavior would never take place again, one can only assume that it is all due to the fact that they got caught through the power of trucking social media and by a driver who understood his legal rights.

As a professional truck driver, should you ever find yourself in such a situation, utilize your legal and federal rights under the law to stop this type of abusive behavior. Contact regulatory expert, Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting and attorney Paul Taylor of the Truckers Justice Center.

The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, as well as the FMCSA, must place this type of abusive behavior on their list of up-coming meetings and finally face an industry reality.

© 2014, Allen Smith. All rights reserved.

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Category : Ask The Trucker | Blog