The Well-Rested Road Warrior: A Truck Driver’s Guide to Getting Enough Sleep

A TRUCK DRIVER’S GUIDE TO GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
A TRUCK DRIVER’S GUIDE TO GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
A TRUCK DRIVER’S GUIDE TO GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP

Discover the ultimate guide for truck drivers to conquer sleep deprivation. Unearth the science behind optimal rest, ingenious tips for transforming your cab into a sleep haven, and expert strategies for taming your internal clock. Join the ranks of well-rested road warriors and experience the difference a good night’s sleep can make in your driving journey! 

On the vast highways that stretch endlessly before us, a dedicated group of modern-day adventurers embarks on a vital mission—the fearless truck drivers, the true lifeline of our nation’s economy. These road warriors brave long hours and unpredictable challenges to keep goods flowing across the country. However, amidst the demanding schedules and arduous miles, a crucial aspect often falls by the wayside: sleep. 

Welcome to “The Well-Rested Road Warrior: A Truck Driver’s Guide to Getting Enough Sleep.” In this blog, we cut straight to the chase, providing practical solutions and essential tips to help truck drivers achieve better sleep. We understand the significance of well-rested drivers and their impact on road safety and personal well-being. 

Unique Challenges for Truck Drivers 

The nature of trucking and its impact on sleep patterns 

Truck driving is not just a job; it’s a lifestyle that often involves irregular schedules and long hours on the road. Drivers may face ever-changing sleep patterns due to shifts extending well into the night or starting early in the morning. Adapting to these irregular sleep patterns can be challenging and may lead to sleep deprivation and fatigue. 

Dealing with long hours, tight deadlines, and demanding schedules 

Truck drivers are constantly pressured to meet tight delivery deadlines and cover long distances. As a result, they might sacrifice sleep to keep up with demanding schedules. Extended periods of wakefulness can impair their ability to stay alert and attentive while driving, leading to an increased risk of accidents. 

Common misconceptions about sleep on the road 

Truck drivers often face misconceptions and myths about sleep while on the road. Some may believe that short naps are sufficient to combat fatigue or that coffee and energy drinks can effectively substitute for proper rest. However, these practices only provide temporary relief and do not address the underlying sleep deprivation that can seriously affect their health and safety. 

Understanding these unique challenges allows us to develop effective strategies and support systems to help truck drivers prioritize their sleep and well-being. By addressing these issues head-on, we can promote safer driving practices and ensure that our road warriors can tackle their journeys with the sharpness and focus required to navigate our highways responsibly. 

How to Get Enough Sleep as a Truck Driver 

Getting enough sleep as a truck driver is crucial for your safety, well-being, and overall performance on the road. However, the demanding nature of the job and irregular schedules can make it challenging to prioritize rest. To help you achieve better sleep and stay sharp behind the wheel, here are some essential tips: 

Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine 

A regular sleep schedule helps regulate your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm. Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day trains your body to anticipate sleep, improving sleep quality and making it easier to fall asleep. 

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment 

Your truck cab becomes your home away from home. Investing in a comfortable mattress and quality bedding ensures a cozy and inviting sleep space. Using blackout curtains and noise-canceling earplugs helps block out external disturbances, creating a more peaceful environment for rest. 

Limit Stimulants and Heavy Meals 

Caffeine and nicotine are stimulants that can disrupt sleep by increasing alertness. Avoiding them close to bedtime gives your body time to wind down. Heavy or spicy meals can cause discomfort and indigestion, leading to difficulty falling asleep or waking up at night. 

Strategically Plan Naps 

Short naps can provide a quick energy boost and improve alertness during breaks. However, long naps may lead to sleep inertia, leaving you groggy and less attentive upon waking. Strategic naps help you recharge without interfering with your regular nighttime sleep. 

Prioritize Physical Activity 

Regular exercise has multiple benefits, including promoting better sleep. Physical activity helps reduce stress and tension, making relaxing and falling asleep easier when you hit the bunk. 

Manage Stress and Anxiety 

Long hours on the road can be mentally taxing. Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing or mindfulness meditation helps lower stress levels, which, in turn, contributes to more restful sleep. 

Limit Screen Time Before Bed 

The blue light emitted by electronic devices, such as smartphones and tablets, can suppress the sleep hormone melatonin, disrupting your sleep-wake cycle. Avoiding screens before bedtime allows your body to wind down naturally for better sleep. 

Utilize Natural Light 

Exposure to natural light during the day helps regulate your internal clock. Spending time outdoors during breaks exposes you to daylight, reinforcing your body’s natural sleep-wake rhythm. 

Stay Hydrated 

Proper hydration is essential, but minimizing fluid intake closer to bedtime can prevent waking up during the night to use the restroom, reducing sleep disruptions. 

Conclusion  

Embrace a consistent sleep routine and create a comfortable rest space to reclaim your well-deserved rest. Prioritize your well-being by managing stress, limiting stimulants, and engaging in physical activity. 

Remember, the path to better sleep lies in your hands. Empower yourself with the knowledge and tools this guide shares to make positive changes that will enhance your safety and overall health and performance. 

5 Useful Tips For New Truckers Starting In 2022

Useful Tips For New Truckers

New to the trucking life? Here are some useful tips that will come in handy when you’re on the job.

If you’re new to trucking, or undertaking training to be certified as a qualified commercial motor vehicle driver, then this read is for you.

Truck driving is a relatively easy job.

However, it’s a lot of hard work and sacrifice. You will be required to spend time away from your loved ones for a long time. Some loading assignments require you to stay on the road for weeks.

The job requires your 100% focus and attention, all day, for most days of the year (excluding paid time off and holidays).

But of course, the job also comes with its perks. The pay is really good, and you can eventually gain enough experience to start your own trucking business. Alternatively, you will be recommended by contractors and companies in accordance with your performance, giving you a long and fruitful career.

While every job comes with its own pros and cons, the cons of this job should be considered carefully.

The following tips will help you find the answers you’re looking for, as you navigate through this new chapter of your life as a new truck driver.

1. Your training is not customary. It’s useful in real life

It’s important to pay attention in your CDL training. The methods and mechanisms you learn in your training will be useful in real-life situations. Even the troubleshooting and vehicle fix workshops are necessary to help you get familiar with the vehicle and the job.

2. Be prepared to drive for 10-11 hours a day

From a layman’s perspective, truck driving might seem like a dream. The long drives across picturesque landscapes, traveling from one state to another, and exploring different kinds of local cuisine may all seem appealing.

But here’s what you need to remember.

Driving alone for 10-11 hours a day will tire you out. It even gets boring after the first few trips because you’re on your own in the middle of nowhere with nothing to support you but your truck.

A study even shows that truck drivers are more prone to stress and anxiety due to a variety of reasons, including work and the distance away from home and family.

3. Be flexible & patient

You will be required to travel interstate and even across borders for some loading orders. The IRP trip permits are testimony to that.  You have to be open to driving for days, and you’ll need to budget your trips accordingly.

You will have to stay at remote motels, or no motels at all (if you can’t find parking for your truck), and just function with a few essential items for an entire trip.

A typical day for a truck driver looks something like this.

  • Waking up + freshening up
  • Coordinating with the back-office staff to get details of the load assignment
  • Inspecting the vehicle
  • Driving
  •  Grabbing a quick breakfast at a nearby travel center (that has parking available for heavy trucks)
  • Driving for a few hours until lunchtime
  • Lunch at a travel center + re-fueling + quick repairs
  • Driving for a few more hours until the shipment is delivered (before the deadline)
  • Unloading
  • Confirming the load details with the back office coordinator
  • Dinner

This was a single-day trip. If the loading is to be shipped to a far-off location, then just include a lot more driving for days, and uncomfortable sleep in the schedule.

And let’s not forget how all of this has an impact on your physical and mental health.

4. Pay/salary will get better with experience

You’re not going to be at the top of the pay scale right off the bat. It takes time and experience to understand the gravity of the job and the responsibilities.

It’s the same for any job in the world.

And once you gain enough expertise, you will be paid well.

Truck driving is a promising career with good pay and a variety of benefits. So, if you’re patient and consistent, and learn the job well, you will be rewarded in the long term.

5. Regulatory compliance is very important

Getting the CDL training and license is not enough. You need IFTA fuel permits, IRP trip permits, credentials, and other paperwork as you pass through each state.

Each state has its regulatory obligations. And you need to familiarize yourself with these mandates and comply.

Speaking of regulatory obligations.

If you’re an owner-operator who’s new to the trucking industry, you will need more than just highway compliance to stay in the good books.

You will also need to comply with the IRS.

When you drive a heavy vehicle that weighs 55,000 pounds or more (be it for agricultural or commercial purposes), your vehicle will be taxed by the IRS.

Every self-employed truck driver and trucking business needs to file a 2290 HVUT form to report the vehicle information.

The weight of your vehicle, month of first use, and mileage utility information will be considered to tax your trucking business.

With EZ2290, you can easily manage your HVUT filings and stay compliant.

EZ2290 is trusted by 10,000+ trucking businesses in the U.S. because it enables: 

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Other Useful Posts From Ez2290 Blog:

Top 5 Best Truck Stops In The Midwest

Best Truck Stops In The Midwest

Driving around the Midwest? You’ll want to stop by these truck stops loved by truck drivers like you.

Being packed in a driver’s cabin for 10-11 hours a day is no fun.

Research shows that truck drivers are super stressed.

And if you’re constantly driving and have no time to de-stress and relax, it is only going to become problematic.

The medical advisory suggests that truck drivers need to take a break and enjoy some downtime in order to cope with work stress and function healthily.

Be it for relaxing or just to take some time off the road, a quick halt at a nearby travel stop or truck stop is a good idea.

You will get an opportunity to get out of the driver’s seat, taste some good food, get your truck fixed (long drives do wear off your vehicles), and calm down.

This read will specifically discuss some trucker-vouched truck stops for when you pass through the Midwest states.

And if you happen to come across one of these truck stops, do hit the brakes and enjoy some downtime.

So, let’s get to it.

Clearwater Travel Plaza

Location: Clearwater, Minnesota

This truck stop features private showers, fuel stations, repair centers, and ample parking. But it’s best known for its mouth-watering, home-style meals. Many truck drivers rave about the restaurant for its wide range of comfort foods and polite staff.

It also has a quick truck wash center to clean your truck while you finish your meal.

If you’re looking for a comfortable, home-like halt while on the highway, this is your best choice.  

Iowa 80

Location: Walcott, Iowa

Also known as the largest truck center in the WORLD, Iowa 80 in Walcott features a lounge area, laundry service, on-site repair centers, private showers, a convenience store, and a variety of fast-food restaurants. This massive truck stop also has a video game room if you want to de-stress and have fun!

There’s enough parking to accommodate over 20 trucks.

Give this truck stop a visit, even if you’ve tried every other truck stop in the Midwest. Truck drivers who visited this truck stop say that they will come back again just for the experience.

Hixton Travel Plaza

Location: Hixton, Wisconsin

This truck center features a home-style restaurant that serves a breakfast menu 24×7. This travel center provides a separate set of services exclusively for truck drivers, including but not limited to:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Trailer drop pads
  • High-speed diesel pumps
  • Fax
  • ATM
  • Free air
  • Ample parking
  • Photocopy services

Drop by this truck stop to run some errands while you fill up on some delicious home-style food.

Etna Oasis Truck Stop

Location: Ottawa, IL

Looking for something low-key and want to try out something new? Check out this truck stop in Ottawa, Illinois.

This not-so-famous truck stop is truckers’ favorite. From fuel stations to a home-style restaurant that serves large portions at reasonable prices, to a convenience store that packs all the essentials you need, this truck stop has everything a truck driver needs.

It’s open 24×7 and provides ample parking.

Love’s Travel Stop

Location: Tipton, Indiana

This truck stop features an auto fuel area and a convenience store that’s always stocked up. Truckers who visited this stop rave about the clean and well-maintained lounges and bathrooms. With CAT scales and repair centers, this truck stop has everything a truck driver needs when passing through Indiana.

Best for a quick halt when you pass through Indiana to the other side.

If you happen to be an owner-operator/truck driver for your trucking business, then you just know how stressful it is to manage your regulatory work while driving for 10-11 hours a day.

As it is, your work requires you to pay full attention 24×7.

And preparing and filing your returns on time adds to the stress because of the regulatory specifications and obligations.

2290 filing is relatively easy, but it can be bothersome if you have a lot on your plate and very less time.

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Truck Driver Essentials: 19 Must-Have Items For Truck Drivers On The Road 2022

Truck Driver Essentials

Here are 19 essentials you’ve got to carry with you in the truck if you’re on the road in 2022.

On the outside, a truck driver’s life seems like a dream. You can travel for weeks, explore new landscapes, drive around, and try out a variety of foods at different restaurants along the way.

It looks great. And it is true.

Drivers do get a slice of the travel life.

But there are also a few downsides to this.

  • You’re driving for the purpose of work, with loads to deliver within deadlines. And that may not be as much fun.
  • You’re driving for nearly 10-11 hours a day, which impacts your physical health.
  • You’re mostly by yourself, which may seem great initially, but gets boring pretty quickly.

Despite the drawbacks, truck drivers enjoy their work, given the pay and the benefits.

And if you’re one, you already know how awesome your job is.

Being on the road for that long, away from your loved ones and the comforts of the home, can be tough.

It’s always wise to be prepared for emergencies because you’re driving through remote locations, thousands of miles away from home, all by yourself.

In the worst-case scenario, you have to be prepared to help yourself and alert others about your situation.

We have put together a few truck driver essentials to help make your life easy and help you pack everything you will need,

Make your travel less stressful and be prepared should you be in an emergency.

Truck Driver Essentials

This list of truck driver essentials does not only include safety and emergency items, but also some self-care essentials to help you de-stress, relax, and maintain your personal hygiene.

So, let’s get to it.

1. Permits, licenses, and regulatory paperwork

This goes without saying.

It’s important to always carry paperwork relevant to your vehicle or truck.

Always carry your CD licenses, IRP trip permits, IFTA credentials and regulatory paperwork, and other DOT documents.

This will help you prevent any delays with the authorities when passing through different states and international borders.

Do not forget to include your load order paperwork in this.

2. Extra set of clean clothes

This usually depends on the number of days or hours it takes for you to reach the destination. But regardless of the number of days, it’s always smart to carry an extra set of clean clothes (including inner wear). On the odd chance of a delay, spillage, or an emergency, you don’t have to continue to wear the same old clothes for days.

3. Shower flip-flops

This is a no-brainer. Always carry your shower flip-flops when you’re assigned a long trip. When you stop by a motel or when you stop at a travel center or truck stop for a quick shower, these will come in handy.

4. Sunglasses

If you’re driving through the day, it can get uncomfortable as soon as the clock hits 11. The sunlight directly hits the windshield and the light will have an impact on your eyes. Your eyes will strain, and it will slowly transcend into an unexplained headache.

You cannot afford to take your eyes off the road even for a second. Your job requires your complete focus and attention. So, it’s important to shield your eyes (and vision) with a nice pair of shades to protect them from the light.

5. Sunscreen

Truck drivers are exposed to sunlight almost every day.  The sun eventually cracks through your skin and damages the cells. But that’s not the worst thing.

The ultraviolet radiation from the sun can even lead to skin cancer. And that’s something you shouldn’t ignore. Applying a small amount of sunscreen before you head out can actually save your skin from sun damage, and UV radiation, and help prevent skin cancer.

What’s even better is that SPF is known for its youth retention qualities. So, you’re actually getting younger as you apply sunscreen and drive all day.

Check out this post to see how drastically sun and UV light impacts a truck driver’s skin.

6. Phone charger

We all use smartphones. And even if you use an old-style cell phone, it will run out of battery at some point. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with just 1% battery life. Always carry your phone charger and pack an extra cable (just in case).

7. Phone holder

A portable phone holder that sticks to your windshield or your dashboard is a life-saver, especially when you’re navigating through tricky locations. It’s also a convenient, hands-free tool to attend calls while driving.

8. Personal hygiene supplies

When you want to stop by at a truck stop or a motel, it’s worth taking care of yourself, so you feel comfortable when you’re back on the road.

Pack these things in addition to other supplies as needed.

  • Toothbrush + paste
  • Shaving kit
  • Trimmer
  • Safety trimming scissors
  • Shampoo + conditioner
  • Hairdryer
  • Soap
  • Moisturizer
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Hand towels
  • Body towels

Pack all these items in a vanity bag, so you can just carry this and a pair of clothes when you stop by somewhere for a shower and rest.

9. Fluorescent decals & gear

Fluorescent decals are adhesive and usually last a while. However, if you’re traveling through different weather conditions and temperatures, they may wear off. Carry extra decals and stick them to your vehicle, so other drivers can identify your truck (during the night). It’s a safety mandate, and you’ve got to have it.

Also carry heavy-duty jackets with fluorescent stickers, so when you stop to check your tires or something else on your truck, traffic drivers can see you. This is great for preventing accidents.

10. Flashlight

Be it for troubleshooting your vehicle during the dark hours or to signal someone to come find you, flashlights are a must. Just make sure that you carry extra batteries for your flashlight, so it actually does the job when you need it.

11. Tire pressure gauge

Check if the pressure in your tires is enough or deficit with a tire pressure gauge. It’s a must-have for all truck drivers, regardless of how far you’re going. Always conduct this check before you key your truck.

12. First-aid kit

Injuries can happen anytime, and it’s best to be prepared with a ready-to-use first-aid kit.

 Here’s what you need to have in your first-aid kid.

  • Pain killers
  • An Epi-Pen (if you have a health condition that requires you to use one)
  • Sterile cotton
  • Bandage
  • Surgical spirit
  • Safety scissors
  • Gloves
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer
  • Antibacterial cream
  • Medication as prescribed by your doctor (carry the prescription with you).

13. SOS/Emergency kit

Emergency or SOS kits come in handy when you’re stranded somewhere or when you’re running short of supplies while on the road.

Usually, this is an additional kit to your original kit that can be used to prepare yourself for unprecedented situations.

 You can create a personalized emergency kit, considering your trips and the weather conditions (to where you’re headed).

 However, a generic, emergency kit includes the following.

  • Battery/Power bank
  • Extra batteries
  • Non-perishable food/snacks
  • Water bottle
  •  Lighter
  • Blanket
  • Extra charger for your phone/tablet
  • Shoes
  • Extra pair of socks
  • Extra clothes & inner wear
  • Towel
  • Safety flares
  • Cash

14. Road cones and flares

If you’re loading or unloading equipment or shipments from the truck, it’s important to put out traffic cones so that you create a buffer zone.

Emergency flares or safety flares help you find help when you’re stranded or when you’re in an emergency. The flare is typically an SOS signal and alerts anyone around to slow down and offer help.

15. Extra water and non-perishable foods

There are plenty of truck stops and travel centers around to help truck drivers like you find delicious food. However, sometimes, you can miss a truck stop or find no parking.

In such a case, non-perishable foods help suffice your hunger cravings.

While fresh food is a go-to choice, non-perishable stuff lasts longer, and you can eat it whenever you feel like taking a bite. Pack some cookies, chips, granola bars, instant ramen cups, and other foods as you see fit. Also carry cola, fruit juice, or other soft drinks you like to sip on.

However, don’t overeat or drink too much because bathrooms are harder to find on the highways.

16.  Sleep kit

Doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping in your truck or at a motel or just pitching out a camp somewhere, it’s always important to carry a sleep kit that consists of a sleeping bag, pillows, blankets, and comforter.

If you’re allergic to certain fabrics usually found at motels, just stick to your kit to avoid further aggravating your allergies and infections.

17. Gloves

Be it a hot afternoon during summer or a snowy night during winter, you will need gloves to protect your hands from the extreme temperature. The steering wheel will change temperatures when the elements are extreme, so be sure to pack your gloves. And pack layered socks to protect your feet during the cold winters.

You will also need heavy-duty gloves to troubleshoot your truck or fix something instantly before you can contact a truck service center.

18.  Hard toe (waterproof) boots

When you step down to load or unload, you will need strong boots to support your activity. If it’s snowing or raining, you will need water-resistant boots to do your job without interruptions.

These types of boots last longer and support your body weight when you’re lifting heavy shipment boxes.

19.  Music player/audiobooks

Driving for long hours can get boring very quickly.

Subscribe to a music streaming service or an audiobook service and start listening to some great music and stories. This can be very relaxing and entertaining.

While music is more stimulating and boosts your mood instantly, stories engage you and keep you hooked.

You can even listen to podcasts based on your interests and mood.

Doesn’t matter if the service is free or paid, as long as you’re having a good time.

BONUS Essential: If you’re an owner-operator truck driver, and manage everything by yourself, you must be worried about your IRS HVUT filings.

Every trucking company or owner is required to file a Form 2290 with the IRS to report specific vehicle information and pay the HVUT tax due.

While you’re at it, use an IRS-authorized eFile provider like EZ2290, which is exclusively designed to serve trucking businesses like yours.

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  • Online options to pay your HVUT with convenience
  • Priority 2290 tax support

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5 Tips To Earn More As An Owner-Operator For Trucking Business

Tips To Make More Money As An Owner-Operator

Here are 5 money-making tips that truck owners swear by that you can use to turn your owner-operator trucking business into a money-making machine.

Did you know that an average truck driver makes around $50,000 a year? 

Did you also know that truck drivers can make even more money if they plan their work and trucking time strategically? 

It’s true. 

If you’re an owner-operator for your trucking business, then it’s possible that you’re looking for ways to increase your income. 

So, how do you plan on increasing your income? 

Well, the tips that we’re about to discuss, aim to help you earn more, and look at things from a fresh perspective. 

So, let’s get started.

5 Useful Tips For Owner-Operator Truck Drivers Who Want To Earn More

Here are 5 money-making tips for owner-0perator truck drivers.

Be the first to take the best load 

Being a truck driver is not easy. And if you’re one, you already know it. The job is more than just picking up and dropping off the load. It’s about the initiative.

Most companies are looking for someone (anyone) who is available for the right load at the right time to safely transport the goods. Reach out to the best load assignments first and get on board. 

The demand around holidays is usually higher than on regular business days. 

Take advantage of the demand and make it your opportunity. Most short-notice loads are priced better than others, especially when the turnaround time for the shipping company is limited. 

There are certain tools available online, which help you choose the best load based on distance, load weight, and time. This helps you calculate your profit over cost and even save some time.

Build reliable relationships with your brokers 

Being a truck driver that everyone “recommends” comes with some effort. 

You have to be “visible” to your brokers, and build a healthy and friendly relationship with your brokers so that they think of you as soon as an order comes in. 

Just do your job within the required timeframe, and you’re already your broker’s favorite. 

Committing to your job shows that you’re a reliable professional that companies and brokers can trust. 

So, you being good at your job will serve you well. 

What’s even better is that it helps build a good profile, boosts reputation, while helping you financially. 

That’s a win-win.

Connect with your fellow truck drivers. You’ll need someone to take your load in your absence. Being an owner-operator is not easy. You will have other responsibilities that will need your time and attention. 

Similarly, you could take the initiative to help out another truck driver who’s packed in between two loads.  You’re an owner-operator. So, who’s going to stop you from taking some extra load and getting paid for it? 

Socializing and building good relationships with your connections is an added advantage.

Plan your routes in advance 

If you’re not signed up with an online load planning app, that’s okay. You can still manually figure out the best route for your destination. 

You will need the following information.

  • Start point and the destination
  • Distance or miles 
  • Fuel costs 
  • Availability of fuel stations on the route 
  • Cheap gas stations for quick breaks 
  • Restaurants for a quick bite 
  • Availability of motels (depending on the distance)

Doing this will help you estimate your fuel costs and check if the load order will give you a profit.

Pay attention to deadhead miles 

This is both a profit check-point and loss-prevention technique. 

Deadhead miles eat away your hard work, drink up your fuel, and wear down your vehicle. 

Deadheading is basically when a truck driver drives a truck with no load. So, you’re just driving solo on an empty truck, which is costing you money. 

When planning the best routes, look for brokers at the drop location where someone is willing to assign some load for your vehicle.

You can also talk to your broker and ask them to assign orders that need loading from both points of the transit cycle. 

This way, you’re making money or at least covering the costs of fuel as you make your way back to the original dispatch facility.

Reduce fuel consumption to save costs 

Fuel consumption is a given in any assignment.

You can’t ignore it. 

However, when the cost of fuel consumption is concerning, it’s time to evaluate the factors that are leading to the rise in fuel consumption. 

Look for reasons that have contributed to a sudden jump in fuel consumption

  • Check if it’s the distance or your vehicle that’s demanding more fuel. 
  • Repair your vehicle as soon as you notice something abnormal 
  • Analyze the months in which the fuel consumption was less but profits were more. Drive home those strategies or routes to save costs on fuel. 
  • Choose an alternative, cheaper fuel option.
  • Switch to an electric vehicle that doesn’t rely on fuel.
  • Take routes that don’t need your truck to stop every few minutes. 

Making a profit doesn’t have to be stressful and “hard”. You just need to work smart. Look for repetitive routes, distances, locations, and other repetitive actions you’re taking which can help optimize your business. 

At the end of the day, you’re making someone’s life very easy by transporting the heavy loads on time while putting your body through an awful lot for hours together. 

So, don’t hesitate to ask the brokers or the companies to pay you better, especially when the going gets hard. 

Being an owner-operator for a trucking business is difficult. 

We get it. 

But do you know what else is difficult? The pressure from the IRS when you don’t comply with the truck tax filings. 

So, we want to offer you something that will make your truck tax compliance journey a tad bit easier. 

EZ2290’s eFile solutions aim to bridge the gap between the IRS and the trucking businesses 

You can prepare your 2290 forms, validate the data, and eFile 2290 forms to the IRS before the deadline – all on your phone – within a few minutes!

What’s even better is that EZ2290 enables you to file 2290 VIN Corrections and re-files for rejected returns for FREE.

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7 Things To Consider Before Becoming A Commercial Truck Driver

Things To Consider Before Becoming A Commercial Truck Driver

Considering becoming a truck driver? Then here are 7 more things you should consider before you choose commercial truck driving as a long-term career option.

Options. 

We all love them.

There are so many things to choose from. 

But when it comes to choosing a profession like ‘commercial truck driver’ as your full-time career, it’s important to base your decision on practical circumstances and knowledge. 

You can make this decision by weighing the pros and cons.

Your passion to become a truck driver for a commercial fleet company is a good start. 

But passion, too, needs direction and consistency. 

So, ask yourself the following question. 

How prepared are you for this role? 

If you’re under the assumption that truck drivers are mostly driving around, crossing states, unloading orders, and enjoying the scenic view, you’re not wrong

Truck drivers do get to do all that. 

But there’s more to this job than just driving. 

Just like any other job, truck driving tests your driving skills, people skills, time management skills, and other skills. 

But how? 

By the end of this read, you’ll find answers to this question.

Let’s look at commercial truck driving with a logical sense.

The Job Pays Well

Just wanted to start off this read with a positive note. Yes. Truck driving pays well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay of an average truck driver in the U.S. is around $48,000 in 2021. 

The more experience you add to your profile, the higher the pay. The highest-paid truck drivers were only 10%, yet they were paid $72,700. 

Of course, this kind of pay comes after you’ve completed regulatory training and tests. But after that, the pay basically takes care of you in the long term.

And to be realistic, not every truck driver is promised a 48K pay range in a year. Some truck drivers get paid less than $30,000 a year. That’s pretty decent if you’re just starting out and if you have no prior experience. 

It’s essential to note that truck driving is all about how well you manage your time and hone your skills as you’re on the job. The more you train and the more alert you are when you drive, the more trucking companies will rely on you for commercial transportation, improving your pay within years. 

This just shows how professional and mindful you have to be on your job, all day, every day, in order to get paid that much.

The Trucking Industry Is Booming 

The trucking industry is here to stay. Be it manufacturing, retail, construction, or any other industry. 

They all depend on commercial transportation on some level. 

In fact, statistics show that the U.S. trucking industry’s revenue in 2021 is valued at $732 Billion

When the world was sinking in revenues during the peak of the Covid-19 global pandemic in 2020, the trucking industry in the U.S. was making record revenue at $791.7 Billion.

The current employment growth rate is at 6% annually with an average of 200,000+ jobs being projected every year, over the next decade. 

So, it’s safe to say that commercial truck driving jobs are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

If you plan on becoming a truck driver, you’re looking for a job that pays you well and secures your future. 

That’s a win-win.

Timing Is Everything

When we say truck driving tests your patience, we really mean it. 

You’re looking at starting your job at, say, 7 AM, and reaching the location destination by 1 PM. Most trucking companies are pretty strict about these deadlines and require the loads to reach the destination by pre-determined timelines. 

Now, this doesn’t seem so bad!

Well, when you consider other factors, which are interconnected with this one, you’ll see how this may not be so easy.

Keep reading.

All That Driving Has An Impact On Your Health 

When you’re a commercial truck driver, your dispatcher will connect with you to make sure that you’re taking the best route to reach the destination on time. 

You can’t stop for breaks longer than 5-10 minutes because longer halts prolong your timeline, making you miss the intended deadline. 

You have to weather through annoying traffic in order to get to highways. 

And then there are nature calls, which require you to hit the brakes in the middle of nowhere. 

Most importantly, you’ll be constantly driving for long hours, which will have an impact on your cognitive functions. 

You can’t drink too much water because it will lead to frequent halts. And if you don’t drink enough water, you’ll be dehydrated. 

The constant vibration for prolonged hours takes a toll on your muscle health and neuro health. 

And if you’re not big on fitness, just a one-way trip could easily tire you out – and this is not a good thing for a truck driver. 

But then, you did not sign up for this job for one day. 

You will have to do this every day. 
So, you will have to get better at handling your health and time while managing your job.

Hygiene Concerns 

You’re driving inside a small space for long hours. Your body will naturally sweat through the day, and you will have very little time and means to take care of your body. 

Most drivers prefer taking the next load instead of jumping in for a quick shower at the trucking facilities (because more loads and trips mean bonus pay). 

This, combined with minimal availability of public toilets, could impact your hygiene and eventually, your health. 

This is especially bad during winters when most public spaces are closed down or blocked due to heavy snowfall.

Elements & Traffic Are A “Normal” Part Of Your Job 

We all drive through the elements. But this is not the same as driving a truck that is loaded. 

Accelerating, decelerating, controlling the speed, and braking through damped roads can be especially complex for truck drivers. 

It’s even difficult when there’s an unprecedented downpour or early snowfall.

And the traffic maneuvering is different from a truck driver’s perspective. You can never be too close to “regular” vehicles on the highways, and you always have to maintain a safe distance from other trucks. 

Driving a truck won’t be the same as driving with a companion. You won’t have friends or family to accompany you on your long journeys. 

Technically, every day is a long road trip but with a deadline. 

The best policy when on the road is to avoid accidents at all costs. 

Compliance Is Your No.1 Priority 

Getting a valid trucking driver’s license, registering the truck, maintaining all the necessary paperwork, and taking the training necessary to qualify for the job. These are all a part of the regulatory compliance protocol. 

You cannot drive a truck that weighs 55,000 pounds or more (plus loading weight) and maze it through the national highway without prior experience or training. 

That’s just a very bad accident waiting to happen. 

So, it’s important to comply and carry all the paperwork, certificates, license, registration, and other permits with you at all times. The fact that you have all these permits and licenses is testimony to your professionalism, training, and expertise. 

And if you’re a self-employed truck driver, it’s essential you prepare and file your 2290 returns online to pay your HVUT tax and get Schedule 1 (also known as “proof of payment”). 

You have to take a few quick minutes out of your busy schedule to pay your HVUT taxes and eFile 2290 forms to the IRS. 

With EZ2290, you can do all this on the go in just a few quick steps.

Follow this guide to file and pay your HVUT taxes before the deadline.

Go paperless for your next 2290 filings with EZ2290. 

Get Started Now & eFile Form 2290 For 2022-2023 Tax Period

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