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Saving Money: A No-Brainer for Dave Meeker Auto

Posted by Stuart Wood

    Tue, May 26, 2015

Dave Meeker Auto is a 23 strong fleet of auto haulers based in Purcell, Oklahoma. For over 20 years, they have been transporting vehicles across the United States for manufacturers, dealers, and auction houses.

To keep business processes running smoothly, President Kevin Andrews has never shied away from employing technology to streamline operations. However, even though they are a relatively tech-friendly company, it never occurred to them that the paper logs their drivers used were an aspect of the business they could improve.

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Different State, Different Inspection

Posted by Heather Wilson

    Wed, Aug 13, 2014

Have you ever been pulled over by a DOT inspector or a state police officer and been given a citation for something you didn't think you deserved a ticket for? Ever looked at that ticket and thought "I do this same thing every day. No other inspector has given me a ticket for it."

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Make Smartphones work in your fleet!

Posted by Kathleen Beckham

    Fri, Dec 27, 2013

These days we use our mobile devices for everything. They can easily transform into calculators, music players, photo albums... you name it and there is probably an app for that.

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So rule changes make headlines again...

Posted by Kathleen Beckham

    Tue, Oct 01, 2013

You've had to live with the new HOS rules for 3 months, and from what we have heard here at BigRoad, those 3 months haven't been easy. And sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but higher fines are in the cards with the rule changes made by the FMCSA.

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Proud American? Sure but what does it cost?

Posted by Kathleen Beckham

    Thu, Sep 05, 2013

So what does your American citizenship mean to you? If you weren't American, what would you be? Is giving up your citizenship worth it? These are some of the questions Americans are asking themselves lately when planning for their financial future. Many "are looking down the road at how their investments such as retirement funds will be taxed," and how they can get the most out of their financial decisions. Check out this CNN article.

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Jeff Bryan Transport on electronic logs, and respecting drivers

Posted by Kelly Frey

    Thu, May 30, 2013

I like this article published in Truck News by James Menzies as it provides a good perspective on electronic logs, technology and driver respect, as well as the competitive opportunities for small fleet operators vs large carriers.  Well worth reading.  
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15 Must-Know Tips When Considering Becoming A Leased Owner Operator

Posted by Ed Godfrey

    Wed, Apr 10, 2013

The two most important things to consider when becoming a leased owner-operator are the company you lease to, and the maintenance of your truck. Without either of these in place, you won’t be able to operate a successful business.

You obviously enjoy driving or you wouldn’t consider making the transition from company driver to owner operator, and you already know what the industry has to offer. But when leaving a company, you’re also going to leave some of the benefits they provide; health insurance, retirement plans, investment opportunities, a steady paycheck. You’ll also lose the hand-holding when you need help and the dispatched loads when you need freight. When you’re on your own, you won’t have that.

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The 5 Most Overlooked Tax Deductions for Owner Operators

Posted by Kelly Frey

    Fri, Apr 05, 2013

New year - new taxes. That’s what many drivers are thinking after the latest round of tax increases.  
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Click Mouse, Make Money - Owner Operators and Load Boards

Posted by Kelly Frey

    Mon, Mar 11, 2013

A good article about how flatbed drivers Ed and Salena look for loads and enjoy the freedom of being Owner Operators. I always appreciate Salena's blog with her perspective on the trucking industry.  In this article Salena discusses how they find loads using a loadboard and the freedom this provides in terms of making their own load choices.

Original Article Salena Lettera Daily Rant Blog 

Most of you know we are owner-operators and pull a flatbed trailer. Our freight ranges from building materials, to containers, to military equipment, to aircraft parts to honeybees. We'll haul just about anything they can put on a flatbed if the price is right.

And although finding freight isn't hard, it is a little bit of an art. Knowing where the freight is, knowing how much time is involved loading, knowing if it's going to a good area, deciding whether deadheading (driving empty to pick up) is going to be worth it. These are all learned. Ed is a master at this - you can throw a load and a rate at him and he'll know immediately if it's worth doing. Me? I'm not as quick with the figuring, but I'm pretty good now too.

We have a few agents who will call us outright, if we're in the area, to offer us a load before they post it. They know us, they've worked with us before, and they know we deliver - no pun intended. Most of the time though, we find our loads on the board. "The Board" is the load board where the company we're leased to posts their loads. If you enlarge the photo below (click to enlarge), you'll see a real example of freight that's available to us.

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7 ways to cut your fleet insurance costs - protect your CSA scores

Posted by Kelly Frey

    Sun, Feb 17, 2013

After a truck payment, insurance is often the biggest fixed cost for owner-operators. Whether you’re leased or running under your own authority, there’s plenty you can do to reduce costs when updating existing policies or shopping for new ones, while also protecting your fleets CSA scores.  

Mind the deductible.You can raise your policy’s deductible to lower the premium, but independents should weigh their risk in an accident with multiple claims. For example, separate $2,500 deductibles on a tractor, a trailer and cargo easily could come into play at once, yielding a $7,500 bill. Leased operators should know if their carrier holds them responsible for a certain amount of carrier liability or cargo deductibles in a loss.

Keep credit history clean. Credit reports often are pulled by underwriters to determine owner-operator insurance rates. Pay your bills on time, and follow other practices to maintain a high credit score.

Include aftermarket items in stated value. When you determine fair market value during policy updates, use online and dealer resources to help determine aftermarket add-ons’ real effect on your rig’s resale value. Also, enhancements that would lower the insuror’s exposure, like deer catchers and anti-theft devices, can bring rate discounts.

Account for safety. Don’t be shy about communicating a strong safety record during any rate quote or policy update.

Use technology to protect your CSA scores and improve Safety. Affordable electronic log apps like smartphone based BigRoad is a good first step toward proactively managing your driver logs, CSA scores and reducing your compliance liability

Compare rates. As with anything you buy, it’s wise to compare rates periodically. Before changing insurors, see if your current one offers a discount for staying with the company.

Update business information. Type of freight, miles driven and area of haul are factors that affect the accuracy of your rates.

 

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