FMCSA considers liability insurance increase

Get ready, trucking industry. Here we go again.

First came the Hours of Service rule, which exacerbated truckers’ work week that limited daily driving time to 11 hours, on-duty time to 14 hours, required a 30-minute rest break within the first eight hours and installed a 34-hour restart each week.

Then came the $75,000 broker bond, which increased the minimum broker bond from $10,000 to $75,000 for every freight broker and freight forwarder to maintain their status as a licensed broker/forwarder.

Follow that up with the new ELD mandate (which is currently in the comment period), which will require trucks to install an electronic logging device to measure driving time for HOS and other information.

And now? The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced it will begin moving forward to create a rule raising the minimum liability insurance requirement per truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced it will begin moving forward to create a rule raising the minimum liability insurance requirement per truck.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced it will begin moving forward to create a rule raising the minimum liability insurance requirement per truck.

Currently, truck drivers must carry a minimum of $750,000 liability insurance.  According to FMCSA, the liability minimum, which was set in 1985, has not kept pace with inflation or medical costs and does not “adequately cover catastrophic crashes” today.  Had insurance kept pace with the consumer price index, which measures inflation, the minimum required insurance would be $1.

62 million today.  However, had it kept pace with the medical consumer price index, which measures the increase annually in medical costs, the required

amount of liability insurance would be at $3.18 million today.

The news came last week in a FMCSA  report to Congress.  The study was a requirement of the MAP-21 highway funding act of 2012.

FMCSA has said, adjusting for inflation, that insurance premiums have dropped slightly on average in nominal terms. Today, the agency said, the current $750,000 insurance policy runs (on average) about $5,000 per year per truck.

Declining insurance rates, however, will likely not offset an increase in premiums should insurance requirements double or quadruple the current amount.  Such a dramatic increase to insurance premiums could well be a death knell to small businesses in the transportation industry.

According to Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association Executive Vice President Todd Spencer, just 1 percent of all crashes where trucks are involved exceed the $750,000 payout in damages.  While the FMCSA agrees with the 1 percent statistic, the Trucking Alliance said in a report last March that between 2005 and 2011, 42 percent of all settlements paid by its carrier members exceeded the minimum amount.

FMCSA says it has already formed a rule making team to determine a new minimum liability insurance level and considers it among its high priority rules.

The American Trucking Association, however, is questioning FMCSA’s study, saying it does not see a direct connection between liability insurance rates and safety.

Meanwhile, Spencer said he believes FMCSA is simply bowing to economic objectives for personal injury lawyers and big trucking companies. Both have been campaigning for higher insurance rates for some time.  He said attorneys will see a windfall from the insurance increases and big trucking companies will see the opportunity to drive up business costs and eliminate their small-business competitors who survive the increase to insurance rates.

Mexican truckers threatening blockade

Mexican truckers unhappy with inspections, fines and treatment by inspectors are threatening to protest at Arizona border crossings with a traffic blockade, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation, who is pressing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to take action to resolve the issues.

ADOT made the initial warnings last Wednesday, but nothing has happened yet, says Laura Douglas, spokesperson for the state agency.

Truckers out of Nogales, Sonora (Mexico), and Nogales, Ariz., have been pushing for better treatment, ADOT says, citing “high number of inspections, high level of fines and high number of trucks placed out of service” by federal inspectors. Read more here

 

This article can be found in full at www.ccjdigital.com

Release the Endorphins

Organizations struggle with finding the right team building and team maintaining formulas. Many companies believe that by emphasizing the team and teamwork through repetition of overused mantras (i.e. There is No I in Team) and the strategic posting of team-oriented inspirational posters, that a culture of teamwork will somehow evolve and be maintained.

While most members of an organization strive to be a contributing member of the successful team, without true engagement and addressing of personal goals/motivators, the true benefits of teamwork will remain elusive. While there are many diverse methods for building lasting engagement and the resulting culture of teamwork, encouraging a culture of creativity and innovation should rightfully be a priority.

But haven’t we already worked through many important principles of creativity to help our team be more creative and innovative?

I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to be part of and observe many different teams at many different levels. Some of these teams were sports oriented, others were at a project team level, while still others were at senior management and executive levels. At times many of these teams exhibited virtually every form of dysfunction known to man, including having the unfortunate happenstance of a physical fight requiring the immediate summoning of security. Certainly these teams were in name only and certainly didn’t foster a culture of engagement, creativity or innovation. We could spend a significant amount of time dissecting these dysfunctional teams and harping on what went wrong. But we won’t because, after all, negativity breeds negativity.

I would rather focus on those teams that truly fostered a spirit and culture of teamwork and engagement. Since these teams varied greatly in their makeup and express purpose of being, it’s necessary to identify and focus on a primary shared attribute: lack of personal seriousness.

Lack of personal seriousness is not to be confused with overall lack of seriousness. The people in these teams took their responsibilities very seriously and were determined to have a successful outcome. What they didn’t do was take themselves too seriously. In other words, they were able to laugh at themselves and laugh together as a team.

As children, our laughter was free-flowing. There were very few worries, few responsibilities and no risk to laughing out loud. Then we grew up with all of the increased responsibilities and the ensuing quest for the corner office. Our professional titles grew to outsized importance. We segregated personal fun from professional activities. Laughter was relegated to social events and banished from the conference rooms. We strived to become industrial and corporate legends with all of the implied and requisite seriousness. But with all that seriousness, we forgot that being good teammates and team leaders requires more than just professional competence; it requires us to be personable and relatable.

There is something to a relaxed, contagious social laughter that has a unique bonding effect. “Laugh and the world laughs with you” is more than just cliché; it truly is also a basis for team engagement. However, this doesn’t require us suddenly to be stand-up comedians or even necessarily to be the life of the party. It does require us to not be so caught up in our titles and ambitions and instead let our personal guards down. If we can take ourselves a bit lighter, we will be able to laugh at ourselves and more importantly laugh with our team.

But how does laughter and even team laughter relate to creativity and to building a culture of creativity and innovation?

When we laugh, the physical muscular exertions involved set in motion the sudden release of endorphins. Endorphins are the brain chemical directly related to us feeling good. When we feel good, we usually find ourselves in a more relaxed state than we were previously.

We’ve already discussed the creativity inducing benefits of being in a relaxed state when we turned out the lights. Anything that puts us in a more relaxed and more content state, serves the purpose of lulling our subconscious and the “stupid” filter. When we take ourselves too seriously, we are actually raising all sorts of mental barriers. We are on full alert for anything that could breach our self-created veneer of professionalism without personality. Unfortunately, among the barbarians thwarted at the moat are those fleeting creative notions and ideas.

However, once we lower the draw-bridge and allow ourselves to not be so serious, the active alert is ended. We are telling our brain that it’s OK to let things through. When we then engage with our team in this new lighter fashion, it’s also likely that laughter will ensue at some point. We will then be engaged, we will feel good and we stand a good chance of having a creative idea slip past the “stupid” barrier.

In my role directing the global logistics of Steel Warehouse, I look forward to my end-of-the-week managers meeting. While there was always some new news to be shared with everyone, its secondary purpose was to allow for venting and catching up personally. It usually wasn’t very long before we were all laughing and laughing heartily at something or another. When the laughter subsided, we would be able to look at the remaining pressing issues in a much lighter frame of mind.

We weren’t always successful at finding creative solutions during those meetings, but somehow over the weekend, new ideas would suddenly be offered. We were then able to spend the following week considering and trying out the new ideas. Sometimes these attempts proved good comedic fodder for the following week’s meetings.

While some might argue that it was the relaxing nature of the weekend, I would argue otherwise based on the lack of ideas prior to my meetings. After all, the weekends were there every week so why weren’t ideas flowing then? I firmly believe that the lighter meetings served as a brain primer to set the stage for creative ideas to more freely flow.

Key Takeaways:
1) We can be serious about our responsibilities without necessarily treating ourselves so seriously
2) Laughter is a key component to team engagement and team creativity

Written by Moe Glenner. You can view more articles at itmagazine.truckstop.com

8 Steps to Making a Financial Budget

1. Creating a budget generally requires three steps

Identify how you’re spending money now.
Evaluate your current spending and set goals that take into account your long-term financial objectives.
Track your spending to make sure it stays within those guidelines.

2. Use software to save grief

If you use a personal-finance program such as Quicken or Microsoft Money, the built-in budget-making tools can create your budget for you. Please see The Dubious Joy of Budgets  for the software.

3. Don’t drive yourself nuts

This has been seen multiple times, one or both spouses will become engrossed with the amount being spent, and it hurts the budget ends with more fights over money than help. Cut out the over-spending and focus on the positives of the spending.

4. Watch out for cash leakage

Dave Ramsey talks about ONLY dealing with cash. But if you find yourself going to the ATM and a few days later not knowing where the money went, there is a problem. Use an envelope system, this will help cut that down.

5. Don’t spend beyond your limits

Government figures show that many households with total income of $50,000 or less are spending more than they bring in. Credit card companies are making a great amount of money off of consumers. Cut your credit cards up or freeze them in a bowl. This will make you keep to a legitimate budget.

6. Luxuries of life, a wolf in sheep clothing

Unlimited this and that are now “necessities” or all the additional sports packages added with cable. These are not necessities, stay within your means and budget, take a good long look at what you’re using and a compromise can always be made.

7. Tithe or charitable giving

Aim to spend no more than 90 percent of your income. Tithe to your church or give something back to the community. This will give a sense of accomplishment, you will want to continue.

8. Count only the money you see consistently

When working on your monthly budget, only count those funds you see on a regular, monthly basis. End of the year bonuses, tax returns or possible side jobs can’t be considered. They are not regular and it only hurts your bank account.

Don’t be fooled by ‘legal’ marijuana

The states of Colorado and Washington took monumental steps in November, when voters in those two states voted to approve the recreational use of, and possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. Even though marijuana is still listed as an illegal drug by the federal government, the government has opted not to challenge the voters’ choice in either of those states.

Marijuana use still unacceptable

Marijuana is still listed as a Schedule 1 drug by the U.S. Department of Transportation, and its use is expressly prohibited for transportation workers, including truck and bus drivers. Nonresidents in Colorado and Washington will be allowed to purchase marijuana (up to an ounce in Washington and a quarter ounce in Colorado), but it remains illegal for truck and bus drivers to use marijuana within the state and it is also illegal to transport the marijuana across state lines.

Jim Swart, director of the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance for the US Department of Transportation, published a notice of compliance in both December 2012 and again in February 2013, stressing the use of marijuana remains unlawful for those in the transportation industry.

“It is important to note that marijuana remains a drug listed in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act,” Swart said in the notice. “It remains unacceptable for any safety-sensitive employee subject to drug testing under the Department of Transportation’s drug testing regulations to use marijuana.”

Therefore, Swart said, Medical Review Officers will not verify a drug test as negative based upon learning that an employee used “recreational” marijuana or “medical” marijuana, when states have passed either the recreational or medical marijuana initiatives.

“We want to make it perfectly clear that the state initiatives will have no bearing on the Department of Transportation’s regulated drug testing program,” Swart said. “The Department of Transportation’s Drug and Alcohol Testing Regulation … does not authorize the use of Schedule 1 drugs, including marijuana, for any reason.”

Federal statistics show that marijuana use among truck drivers remains relatively low. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has estimated a 0.6 percent marijuana usage rate among commercial drivers in 2011 (the latest statistics available), based on random tests.

Synthetic marijuana

The Drug Enforcement Administration announced in mid-January its intent to classify four versions of synthetic marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and regulate it under the Controlled Substances Act. That would mean any truck operators who use a version of synthetic marijuana and fail a drug test would be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

These synthetic cannabinoids have been classified as a Schedule 1 drug because they have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision and pose an imminent hazard to the public safety.

Synthetic cannabinoids were first created in the early 1980s for research purposes in the investigation of the cannabinoid system. Synthetic cannabinoids are a large family of compounds that are functionally (biologically) similar to delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main active ingredient in marijuana, according to the Federal Register. These are not organic and were created in a laboratory.

The initial appearance of synthetic cannabinoids, used in herbal incense products in the United States, was in 2008. Mixing the synthetic cannabinoids with plant material provides for it to be smoked most commonly. The synthetic cannabinoids are sold under hundreds of different brand names, but the most common names include Spice, K2, Blaze, Red X Dawn, Paradise, Demon, Black Magic, Spike, Mr. Nice Guy, Ninja, Zohai, Dream, Genie, Sence, Smoke, Skunk, Serenity, Yucatan, Fire and Crazy Clown.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Meanwhile, a rule that would implement a driver database showing the driver’s history of failed drug and alcohol tests, or those who refused to take the test, was approved Jan. 27 by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and is now published in the Federal Register as a Notice of Proposed rulemaking.

It is unclear when the final rule would come about, but following the comment period, it is possible the final rule could happen this year.

The proposed rule would require employers to report a positive test result or refusal, and employers will be able to query to data base, with the applicant’s permission. It will give carriers a way to make sure the prospective employee has completed the return-to-duty process and ensure carriers are doing the required testing. Employers would be required to make sure a driver applicant has been tested within the last three years and if they tested positive, return-to-duty action has been completed. Employers also must check to see if an applicant has refused to take a test. Employers must check the data base annually.

Employers would pay a nominal fee to use the system, although there would be no charge for drivers who seek their own information.

Drivers must give their consent for employers to see their records. A driver would be notified when the clearinghouse received a record, when a record has been modified or deleted and when the result has been released to an employer. Drivers would also be able to check the accuracy of the report and make updates if necessary. There would also be a dispute procedure and an appeals process.

 

Author: Larry Hurrle, IT Magazine Editor

The Dubious Joy of Budgets

The dreaded “B” word. Budget. Unfortunately, the word budget has gotten a bad rap — it isn’t a whipping tool husbands use to reel in their spouse’s spending, it is a PLAN.

Most people will avoid creating a financial budget and even fewer still stick to one. The myth behind budgets are “I don’t have time to work on a budget.” The fact is, you don’t have time NOT to work on a budget, unless you are someone who has plenty of funds and knows already where every penny goes.

For those of us that don’t have plenty cash floating around, we need this essential tool to help direct our funds in a purposeful direction.  Drawing up a budget is usually an intrusive process because you will see exactly how much money is spent on eating out or on useless gadgets.

A budget for most is pure drudgery enlivened by the reality of looking at your foolish spending habits in the face. This continues to spiral into discussions with your significant other on how to cut out the extensiveness of spending, when the truth of it all is people don’t do budgets so they don’t know how their money is being used at all.

Budgets are not for the home use only. If you’re a business owner or a stay at home wife while your husband is on the road, keeping the business finances in order is necessary. To keep everything organized helps your home or office run smoother, taxes are done quicker and you aren’t worried about paying bills and are able to focus on earning more money!

Budgeting and forecasting software is available for the home and office here are a few:
Quicken
Microsoft Office
QuickBooks
Peachtree

April Showers Bring….Taxes?

April is upon us. It is good that spring has come and weather begins to improve, for the most part. Still, April also signifies the deadline of tax season and millions of Americans are racing to beat the April 15 deadline to file. If you’re a truck driver, it makes getting your taxes done and filed even harder.

Here are some last minute tips you may find helpful for your tax filing:

  • Were you out of work in 2013?
    Remember that if you were out of work in 2013 and filed for unemployment compensation that the amount you received is fully taxable. You will still need to file a tax return. If you didn’t have enough withheld during the year, or if you did not make any payments, you may also owe an underpayment penalty.
  • Were you searching for a job during 2013?
    If you itemize your tax return, you may be able to deduct many expenses related to your job search, such as printing resumes, fees for employment and outplacement agencies, career seminar costs and business-related travel. Moving expenses that are relevant to your job search may also be deductible depending on distance and time spent.
  • Home improvement deductions
    There are many deductions for home improvements and some even qualify as tax credits. As a general rule, there are three areas in which home improvements might benefit you on your income tax:
  1. Improvements to your home for medical reasons are tax deductible.
  2. If you pay for the improvements with a home equity line of credit, the interest on the line of credit is tax deductible.
  3. Tax credits are available on the installation of new equipment, such as a new furnace, water heaters or fans that get their power from solar, wind, geothermal or fuel cell technology. These credits are available only on your main home in the United States.
  • Don’t cheat yourself out of credits and deductions
    One of the biggest mistakes taxpayers make is not claiming deductions and credits they deserve. Tax laws are very complicated, but there are several tax programs (if you file yourself) that can search for deductions and credits, or your tax professional should have a grasp on which credits and deductions you qualify. Millions of Americans are entitled to the Earned Income Tax credit, yet every year many of them do not claim it. According to the IRS, about 20 percent of taxpayers who qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit don’t claim it and it can mean several thousand dollars for low- to moderate-income families.

    Some other commonly overlook deductions for those who itemize include student loan interest paid, union dues, required uniforms and some work clothes, business gifts up to $25 per customer or client, fees for tax preparation, tools purchased for use on the job and penalties for closing a certificate of deposit before maturity.

  • Thinking of filing an extension?
    Filing a six-month extension for your filing deadline is simple. An online IRS Form 4868 is available and will open as a PDF, which will allow you to file for the extension. Remember, though, that even though you can file for an extension from the April 15 deadline, it does not give an extension on paying your taxes if you owe the IRS. On Form 4868, you will find a spot for you to include your tax payment. Many times this is a best estimate of what you will owe and you will need to send it with the extension. That will save you up to six months of penalties and interest.
  • What if I owe the IRS money?
    An electronic debit from your checking or savings can be authorized or you can pay by debit or credit card (but there is a fee for that). If you cannot pay the full amount, file your return and contact the IRS to find out payment options. You will still be subject to interest on the outstanding debt.
  • If you can’t pay, file anyway
    Too many people believe that if they cannot pay their taxes, that they should not file a return. Remember that if you do not file a return, the IRS will charge you much larger penalties than if you file and don’t pay.

    The penalty for not filing a return is 5 percent of the amount of tax due every month that you are late filing. If you file and do not pay, the penalty is much smaller: Just 0.5 percent of your outstanding tax bill for every month. By filing, you can save 90 percent on penalties even if you cannot pay. Don’t hold off on preparing your return if you don’t have the money to cover your tax.

Honoring Our Carriers

TruckDrivers

A carrier is defined as one that transports or conveys. One, such as a person, business, or organization, that deals in the transport of goods. In the early 1900s, carriers in this country, were transitioned from horse-drawn wagons to the more efficient use of motor-driven vehicles for moving freight from one place to another. When World War I broke out, these new trucks accelerated the transition. With the increased construction of paved roads, trucking began to achieve a significant foothold by 1930 and soon after became subject to government intervention.

In the 30 minutes prior to my daily webinars, I show videos of the “Good Old Days of Trucking.” I want to remind everyone that this transformation period we often refer to as the “good old days” came about with much blood, sweat, and tears having been shed by our trucking ancestors. A lot of hard work went into building our current highway system. Drivers were social at the truck stops and everyone was on the radio giving out the much needed road chatter as to where the bear was hiding.

During these formative years, truckers have developed a split personality in the public imagination. They’re either knights of the highway known to quickly lend a hand to a stranded motorist, or the big rig in the wrong lane holding up the four-wheeler traffic. Yet, this country wouldn’t survive long without truckers hauling everything that we eat, drink, wear, or use in some way. I also find it interesting that a lot of folks used to stop at truck stops to relax and eat. They just naturally thought they should. They figured any place a truck driver eats, the food had to be good.  This way of thinking is changing as truck stops have transitioned into fast food chains. Truck drivers are taking a second fiddle to the tourist at almost all truck stops.

The Trucking Industry has been challenged with an overwhelming amount of government regulation and rising costs. Yet, they have met the barriers head on with a great deal of zeal and success. Constant technological advances have improved operating efficiency of the entire trucking community. Today, trucks handle much more cargo than any other mode of transportation and without them the U.S. economy would grind to a halt. I take my hat off to the approximate 800,000 men and women keeping the country moving.

 

Author: Pat Dickard, ITS Corporate Trainer

Truck Drivers-Dealing with Solitude

The solitude a truck driver endures is one of the toughest challenges they face, especially early in their career. Most expect the obvious challenges a truck driver must learn to conquer, difficult backing situations, heavy traffic, terrible weather, tight schedules and erratic sleep patterns; but the solitude of being on the road can be the most difficult.

Truck drivers live in their own little universe filled with truck stops, rest areas, parking lots and loading docks. A driver is limited to a few hours a day to interact on the road with other drivers, waitresses, dock workers and mechanics. It is a universe where drivers spend 75 percent of their time confined to the truck, either in the sleeper berth or in the driver’s seat.

Technology is bridging the gap between the truck and home making the lonely road a little less lonely.  Smart phone and tablet driven apps like Facetime, Skype, email, Facebook and uDrove are becoming the lifeline for drivers while on the road. It is estimated that 70 percent of long haul truck drivers use some sort of smart phone or tablet while on the road. There has been a significant drop of the use of laptops in cab because of the increased technology in the smart phones and tablets. It is reported that nearly half of all drivers use their device to make that connection with friends and family while on the road. Many of these smartphone/tablet based technologies improve drivers’ quality of life by giving them anytime, anywhere access to information, business tools and streaming video and audio. Bottom line: These apps connect drivers with their family and friends making the profession more attractive.

Below are apps in the trucking industry, whether you are staying connected with friends and family or running your business .

ITS Broker allows you to use your Android or IOS portable device to access the largest load board in the industry to search for available trucks and post your freight. Using the same services available on your Internet Truckstop account, users are able to access information directly from mobile devices anytime, post available freight or check to see if trucks are available in a given location instantly. They also save additional time by using the Dial Direct function to contact the carrier without leaving the ITS Broker app.

 

ITS Trucker allows you to use your IOS or Android device to access the largest load board in the industry to search for freight and post your truck. Tired of inputting the same search every time? Now you have the ability to save your favorite search so with a click of a button, you can find freight faster. Use your device’s GPS to find loads nearest your location. Just input your equipment type and use the GPS feature, making your life more convenient.

 

Roadys. With Roady’s Mobile Directory you can now search the entire list of Roady’s Truck Stops and their amenity information, right on your portable device!

 

With Roady’s Mobile Directory you also have the ability to:

  • Check your Roady’s Rewards balance (up to three cards)
  • Find service centers
  • Find location amenities
  • Fuel prices
  • Add your favorite Roady’s locations to your “My Favorite Roady’s List”

Roady’s corporate offices are located in New Plymouth, Idaho, where the future looks bright, and is constantly measured by the success of our nearly 300 independently owned and operated locations across the country.

 

uDrove Pro is a business and compliance tool for the transportation industry. Using both a smartphone and an electronic onboard recorder, uDrove Pro replaces in-cab paperwork and delivers the data instantly to a web account, allowing you to manage your business faster, smarter and more cost effective.

With uDrove Pro you can easily track the following information electronically:

  • Driver logs/hours of service
  • IFTA miles and IRP reporting
  • Fuel and business expenses
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Load tracking
  • Proof of delivery documents

 

uDrove Prime is a business and compliance tool for the transportation industry. Using an mobile device, uDrove Prime replaces in-cab paperwork and delivers the data instantly to a web account, allowing you to manage your business faster, smarter and more cost effective.

With uDrove Prime you can easily and electronically track:

  • Driver logs/hours of service
  • IFTA miles and IRP reporting
  • Fuel and business expenses
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Load tracking
  • Proof of delivery documents

 

By Nick Reed

uDrove General Manager

7 Great Truck Driving Apps to Stay Entertained Away From Home

Mobile technology has definitely made life easier for truckers. Many apps are available for truckers to use, including apps for navigation, apps for booking loads and apps that make it easy to keep log books. Many drivers end up using apps to monitor traffic, weather and even gas prices. Here are a few mobile apps that you will want to have on hand for entertainment, and more, as you hit the road and take on your first trucking jobs.

Skype App

Skype
Communication is important when you are on the road. Communication is important for getting loads, getting messages from dispatchers and more. However, communication is also important for truckers when they are relaxing and trying to keep up with friends and family members. The Skype mobile app allows you to call other Skype users anywhere in the world. Video conferences can be held via Skype and with special plans or credits, you can even call to mobiles and landlines from Skype as well. When you want to kick back and enjoy seeing and talking to your family, Skype is the perfect app to keep you entertained and happy.

 

VoiceTextPro

Voice Text Pro
For entertainment and business alike, Voice Text Pro is another great mobile app to consider. Talking on the phone and texting while driving are highly frowned upon. The great thing about Voice Text Pro is that you can easily dictate messages to your phone and have the phone send those messages without taking your eyes off the road. This is a great way to communicate with friends and family members while driving, keeping you entertained without causing a dangerous situation.

 

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Netflix
Another of the great truck driving apps you will want to stay entertained on the road is Netflix. Staying entertained is an important part of being on the road. You need some down time after working hard each day. Netflix is an app that lets you watch movies and television shows from tablets, iPods or cell phones. You can find many great television shows and movies, making it easy to find something entertaining to watch.

 

fitness

My Fitness Pal
You get to eat a lot of great food while you are out on the road, and since you are sitting a lot, it can be tough to keep the weight out. Exercise can be a great way to entertain yourself while working on fitness and you probably learned the importance of staying fit and healthy when you were training. My Fitness Pal is an app that helps give you great exercise ideas and it also helps you to easily track what you eat. You can count calories and keep up with the amount of strength training and cardio you do regularly. You’ll have fun checking out all the great exercises the app has to offer and you will be better able to pay attention to exercise and diet, ensuring that you keep your body healthy while out on the road.

 

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Relax Melodies
When you a     re ready to relax, calm your mind and turn in for the day, Relax Melodies is a great app to have on hand. There is so much noise to deal with when you’re out on the road. However, this app can help you relax and drown out all the noise so you can drive off to sleep in peace.

 

audible_icon

Audible
So, you are working your first job. You may not have realized how boring you can get sitting in the truck by yourself for hours. Audible gives you the ability to have some entertainment while driving. This is an audiobook app that lets you download audio books so you can listen to great books while you are driving, adding some entertainment to your long day.

 

 

iHeartRadio
Music is a great way to entertain yourself while out on the road. The great thing about the iHeartRadio app is that you can easily take your favorite radio stations with you, no matter where you are driving. Find live radio stations you love or create a personalized station that plays only music that you enjoy.

 

While mobile apps can definitely help with the business side of trucking, you can also find excellent apps that will keep you entertained while you are on the road as well.

 

———

 

Neil McLeod is the owner of a forklift and truck driving school in Brisbane, Australia, that provides forklift and truck driving lessons in the range of light, medium and heavy rigid to heavy combination and multi combination vehicles. When he isn’t behind the wheel, he loves traveling the countryside to explore new places with his family.