ExpressIFTA Blog

Monday, February 29, 2016

3 IFTA Filing Secrets Every Trucker Should Know

Everyone likes a shortcut. I mean, if you had the option between being stuck in a traffic jam for a few hours or taking a few back roads between highways, what would you choose?

Yeah, thought so.

In the same vein, finding shortcuts for reporting your fuel taxes is crucial. Why? Because the last thing you want to do is get stuck with a stack of fuel receipts and no clue where to start on your deadline day.

Here are three ExpressIFTA filing secrets every truck driver should know.

Speed Up Filing with Spreadsheets

How can a spreadsheet speed up your filing? Simply stating it, you can list all of your information in an Excel spreadsheet have your information within ExpressIFTA in a few moments. Just start out by downloading the spreadsheet, filling it out, and selecting the “Express Upload” option. Maybe you already have your own spreadsheet where you maintain your records? Select “Smart Upload” and our tech team will convert your records into our system!



Get Moving with GPS Upload

Do you use a Fleetmatics GPS? Well, good news! You can upload your GPS data directly into ExpressIFTA! If your GPS platform is not available, simply email your GPS report to support@expressifta.com and our team will upload your records into the system. With GPS upload, you will see a preview of your mileage, and you simply have to select import to add it to your fuel report.



Calculate Your IFTA Taxes with the IFTA Calculator App

Want to stay ahead of the curve and plan your IFTA return before that deadline drops? You need to download this app, available for iPad and Android tablets. By calculating your taxes with this app, you won’t be surprised by your tax liability and you’ll know what you owe. Even better, you don’t have to log into anything with this app! You simply need to start importing your mileage and fuel receipt information, select your base jurisdiction, your IFTA quarter and fuel type, enter your miles and fuel purchased for each state traveled, and then hit calculate! Once you have your IFTA summary report, you just email it to yourself (or anyone else who may need it).



When you’re approaching an IFTA deadline, being prepared will make a huge difference. With ExpressIFTA, you know we’ll be here to help you in any way we can. If you have any questions, call us at (704) 234-6005 or shoot us an email.

What are your IFTA filing secrets? Share them in the comments!



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Friday, February 26, 2016

Rookie Trucker? 6 Tips for New Drivers

Everybody starts somewhere, even truckers. And we know there’s nothing worse than being stuck behind a rookie driver figuring out his way on a congested highway. Heck, you can probably spot them a mile away these days. But in all honesty, road warriors have to start somewhere. This blog goes out to our drivers who are still green behind the ears.

Once you’re out of a training rig, driving solo is both liberating and intimidating. So how can you hit the ground running? By following these 6 tips for new truck drivers!

Friendly Neighborhood Truck Driver

Be friendly with your dispatcher, even though that seems like an impossible task sometimes. But as a general rule, a little friendliness can take you far. Even if you find coworkers annoying, we suggest taking some deep breaths and staying cordial. I mean, if a shipper has to choose between two truckers, and one has an attitude problem—who do you think they’ll choose?

Automate Your Life

Make the most of your truck by automating your efforts. First off, go download RigMinders. Why? Well, with RigMinders you can set a list of reminders to keep you updated on upcoming deadlines. Maybe you want to go a bit further into it? Then check out TruckLogics—the premier cloud-based trucking management software. And if you’d rather just have someone else take care of these deadlines and fees for you, we say go check out Truck Services of North America.


Don’t Skip Leg Day

Staying healthy on the road is a must! Think about it, you’re sitting most of the day, hours on end. Do you know how that takes a toll on your health? It’s pretty dire. What’s the solution? Stay proactive! Plan out a fitness routine and eat healthy.

Safety First

Make sure your cab is safe! You should keep a first aid kit, an emergency kit, and anything else that protects your rig. Heck, maybe get yourself a dog! While you might be tempted to sleep in any old lot, we suggest these popular truck stops!

Set Goals for the Future

You should have goals as a driver. Common consensus among drivers is that running a few years of OTR is the fastest way to one of those sweet weekend off kinda gigs. This is where creating a plan becomes crucial. If you’re saving up for the next stage in life – like home owning, getting married, or having kids – set financial goals early on.


Stay Organized

Your truck is your home when you’re on the road. Don’t lose sight of this! A clean cab will make you feel happy, and you’ll present a better image. Does that matter though? Well, since trucking is a business on wheels, looking professional and portraying positivity is a good idea. So we suggest you put your all into making a home away from home inside of your rig.

And as a bonus tip, when you need to file your IFTA report, head to ExpressIFTA. With our helpful bilingual customer support team, reporting your fuel tax has never been easier. Have questions as a rookie? Call us at 704.234.6005 or reach them by email.

For our veteran drivers, what tips do you have for the rookies?


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Sleeper Cab Survival Tips

We know you’ve seen them at a rest area at least once or twice—those truckers that look like they’ve got a dump truck’s worth of garbage in their cab. Now, we’re not here to judge. But we like to think that a nice, clean rig will keep you happy and healthy on the road.

When you’re on a haul, your rig is your home away from home. So what does it take to survive the life on the road? First off, we suggest stocking up on healthy food, fitness equipment, and quality entertainment. We also looked into what seasoned truckers recommend, and we’re here to give you the scoop.


Make Your Bed

When it comes to trucker survival, sleep has to be one of the biggest issues around. This is why nice, quality bedding can make or break your OTR lifestyle. We know new drivers use a sleeping bag in their training rig, but once you’re in your own truck, you need to take a good look at your bed situation. Your most comfortable option would be a memory foam mattress, but they have a reputation of staying warm with your body heat. But don’t worry, there are cooling mattress wraps you can buy for your truck!

Go to the Light

Wait, we’re saying you need more lights for sleeping? Well, the lights are really for when you wake up. We know that sounds weird, but a couple low lights could make the difference when you need to get up in the middle of the night. Dim light would also help when you’re winding down after a long drive—they’re preferable to bright lights. If you struggle with a sleep condition, get a blackout curtain to make your night time experience better.

Sleeper Cab Cleanup

Instead of just relying on the built-in shelving in your truck, make use of these trucker cab hacks. While you might be inclined to cram all sorts of junk in your cab, organizing with plastic shelving and hanging organizers can turn a cramped rig into a home on wheels. You can also re-purpose other containers, like old cleaning supplies, to maximize storage. And speaking of cleaning supplies, Clorox wipes go a long way—same for baby wipes. If you run a flatbed, these wipes can help you clean up the truck and yourself before you reach a rest area. We’d also suggest busting out a hand-held vacuum to keep the truck nice and tidy.


Be Prepared for Anything

Safety is a big part of happy cab life. If you don’t already have one, check out this guide to first aid kits. But don’t stop there! Create a winter safety and emergency kit to prepare for any situation you might come across. Whether you’re stuck in a snow embankment or broken down in the desert—an emergency kit will help.

What else can you do on the road? Try out mobile trucking apps like RigMinders and TruckLogics. By staying on top of upcoming deadlines and streamlining your professional trucking profile, your rig can be your home and your business headquarters!

And the last thing you want to worry about when you’re out on the road is IFTA filing. If you have any questions about reporting your fuel taxes this IFTA quarter, contact us and let us know!

What are your sleeper cab survival tips?


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Friday, February 19, 2016

5 Best Truck Stops

We know you’ve crossed your share of state lines as an OTR trucker—I mean, this is an IFTA filing site, after all. But interstate transportation seems to be getting more and more tiresome. With the complications of ELDs, government interference, and robots taking our jobs, a trucker has a lot of thoughts on their mind these days. Which is why finding a great place to rest your rig is crucial.

So what are the most popular truck stops and travel centers out there? We know you’re familiar with quite a few, but here are 5 of the most popular truck stops around.

Iowa 80: The World’s Largest Truckstop

Located in Walcott, Iowa along Interstate 80, Iowa 80 is touted as the world’s largest truck stop. How big is it? Well, this rest stop’s land is 4 times larger than your average truck stop, receives 5,000 visitors daily, has parking for 900 trucks, and staffs 450 employees. There are also showers, restaurants, and even a movie theater! There’s a reason the Iowa 80 is known nation wide.

South of the Border

South of the Border is one of those well-known, intentionally campy destinations. Located in Hamer, South Carolina, just south of Rowland, North Carolina, this travel complex has restaurants, gas stations, and even a motel. Known for their Southwestern atmosphere, South of the Border comes with interesting amenities like a miniature golf course, a reptile zoo, and an observation tower topped with a sombrero shaped viewing deck.

Jubitz Travel Center

This is the world’s classiest truck stop, or at least they claim to be! Jubitz Travel Center is located in Portland, Oregon, and has a reputation for some of the best dining you can get on the road. With Jacuzzi hot tubs in some of the rooms and live music on the weekends, Jubitz is one of those places you want to spend your downtime in. Best of all, they have plenty of parking with 24 hour security, so you don’t have to worry for your safety!

Little America

Turns out Little America isn’t just another truck stop, it’s also designed as a getaway resort! There are a few Little America stops out there, but the Wyoming complex includes a hotel, eatery, fuel center, and a repair shop with a mechanic on call. This is the perfect place to chill out, grab a home-cooked burger, and kick your feet back while you recharge.

Dysart’s Truck Stop

Found in Bangor, Maine, Dysart’s Truck Stop boasts a small community atmosphere, and brings that experience to travelers of all kinds. This truck stop offers full service fueling, private showers, a restaurant, and free Wi-Fi! Dysart’s has become a favorite stop for travelers, truckers, and local patrons alike.

With so many truck stops throughout the country, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few! We know there are plenty of great truck stops that we missed out there.Then again, with the latest IFTA deadline come and gone, maybe you’re more worried about IFTA audits.

Either way, our customer service team is here to answer any of your questions. If you have any questions about your IFTA report, reach us by phone at 704.234.6005. We’re also available by live chat and email.

What’s your favorite truck stop? Let us know!


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Monday, February 15, 2016

IFTA Grace Period & IFTA Audits

We’re a few months into the new year, we’ve filed our IFTA returns, and now we’re back to the fun side of trucking. But are there loose ends after filing IFTA? And now that the IFTA deadline has passed, what’s next?

Well, if you’re worried about hitting the road without an IFTA sticker, don’t blow a gasket yet. On the other hand, some of you might have the joy of being chosen for an IFTA audit.

We have the inside scoop for you, Trucking Nation.

The IFTA Grace Period

First off, the grace period is NOT some kind of break on fuel tax reporting. You got that? Good. What is it? Well, here’s what the IFTA people have to say:

Carriers renewing their IFTA license and decals have a two-month grace period (January and February) to display the renewal IFTA license and decals. To operate in IFTA jurisdictions during this grace period, carriers must display either valid current or prior year IFTA license and decals from the jurisdiction in which they were operating or a valid single-trip permit from the IFTA jurisdiction in which they are operating.

If that jumble was too much for you, just know that in order to legally travel through IFTA states for the first few months of 2016, you need one of the following:

  1. A valid IFTA license for 2016 and two IFTA decals from a member jurisdiction
  2. A valid IFTA license for 2015 and two IFTA decals from a member jurisdiction (only if a renewal application has been filed) 
  3. A valid trip permit from a member jurisdiction (it must be from the member jurisdiction you are operating in)

If you haven't yet applied for this year’s IFTA license and decals, you have a third option ahead of you. Purchase temporary fuel permits from TSNAmerica! And if you want to know more, read this blog about temporary trip and fuel permits.

Now, we’ve heard there are some issues going on with peeling stickers in Alberta, but the IFTA overlords have deemed there’s not a big enough issue to make a change.

What is an IFTA Audit?

An IFTA audit is the evaluation and verification of mileage and fuel figures reported on your IFTA quarterly tax return. Basically, these audits occur to determine if you’ve maintained acceptable records, filed the correct application, and paid the correct registration fees and taxes as required. Don’t forget, ExpressIFTA keeps all your returns on file so that you can easily access them if an audit occurs.

How do these IFTA audits occur? First, you’ll be contacted by letter with the auditor’s name and contact information. Then, the auditor will contact you to inform you about the required documents and the context around the audit. After that, the auditor will open with a conference that confirms general data filed on return, internal control evaluation, and nature of operations. Finally, the auditor will examine the requested records and perform the audit.

You can survive an IFTA audit if you keep a clear head, organize your documents, and do your best to communicate and work with the auditor. Of course, if you’re tired of being unprepared for audits and getting hit with penalties, you can always seek out help from the helpful folk at TSNAmerica.

At the end of the day, IFTA has streamlined a lot of aspects of fuel reporting. But nobody wants to get in trouble for missing a sticker, and nobody wants to be audited. And don’t forget, your 1st Quarter IFTA deadline is just a few months away. Call us if you have any questions about your IFTA reporting at 704.234.6005, or simply shoot us an email.

Have you ever been on the receiving end of an IFTA audit? How’d it go? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments!


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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

5 Technologies That Will Change Trucking

Let’s face it, Trucking Nation. Technology will always be changing. Just a few years ago, you’d have to be a millionaire to even own a cell phone. Now, everybody owns a phone and it can do everything short of driving your rig for you.

On that note, engineers tell us we’re just a few years away from having the automated automobile apocalypse. But we know better than anybody else that there’s still a need for a good, seasoned driver and that ain’t changing anytime soon.

But what will be changing over the next few decades? A recently released study from the Department of Transportation (pdf link) breaks it down for us. Here are 5 technologies that will change trucking.

The Internet of Things

One of the newer technologies coming is the Internet of Things (IoT). This sounds strange, but it’s basically how appliances, devices, and goods will use the internet to communicate. How does this change trucking? By monitoring technology and adapting practices, companies will gather tons of data on the freight industry, including manned and autonomous driving. What would be the benefits for a driver? Well, you could have increased health monitoring, ranging from heart health to hazard detection.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

Unmana-what? Oh yeah, you know them as drones. There’s been a lot of talk about drones over the last few years, so how does this specifically affect trucking? Large companies like Amazon are already working on drone delivery programs, which if successful you can expect to spread throughout the transportation industry.

Infrastructure Management

Now this one doesn’t sound too bad! We’ve all been stuck on the highway at a snail’s pace thanks to road construction at least once. By combining the internet of things and automation, our roads and bridges can be maintained faster with automated infrastructure repair systems. Not only that, but long term data analysis of roads will allow for smarter routes and road improvements over time.

3D Printing

There are plenty of amazing things happening with 3D printing – we’ve seen cheaper prosthetics, plastic guns, and even human organs are said to be coming in the future. Like we said, amazing. But there is the question of reduced freight and the decreased need for transportation. How is that? Well, instead of hauling completed goods around the country, industries would simply need raw materials. Freight will still exist, but the need could be reduced. Now, there could be a silver lining. For the drivers who stay in the game, trucking routes will stay to a smaller region, since freight hubs might become decentralized and focused on replenishing the 3D printers.

Automated Vehicles

Alright, it’s the 800 lb elephant in the room. Everybody hears how this is gonna kill jobs – and we’re not saying it won’t. As automation increases, there will be new fields growing, like automated vehicle operation – think drone operators, but on the road. And until they master automated freight loading, emergency training, and vehicle maintenance, drivers will still be around. Even when automation becomes a reality, there will still be drivers in the seats monitoring the equipment. So we think we’ll still see drivers for a few more decades.

There’s no way around it, transportation technology is going to change. But for the moment, we’re still worrying about reckless four-wheelers and IFTA late filing penalties. If you have any issues filing, feel free to reach out to us for help.

What do you think the future holds for the trucking industry?



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Thursday, February 4, 2016

IFTA Late Filing Penalties

It’s happened to the best of us… you’re on the road, hauling loads, avoiding reckless four-wheelers, and dealing with dispatchers when it hits you. You missed a deadline! Great, now you’re gonna owe the government even more money.

Okay, let’s just accept it. You missed the IFTA Quarterly deadline, what do you do now? First, we’re gonna walk you through that. Afterward, consider a reminder service so you finish this year penalty free!

What are the IFTA Quarterly Penalties?

In most states you pay either a flat rate fee of $50 or 10% of the taxes due, whichever is greater. Now, the only state that is different is Nevada. In Nevada, you pay the $50 flat fee PLUS 10% of your taxes due. No thanks, Nevada!

What about underpayment of taxes due? Well, starting the month after you receive your original penalty for late filing, you will be be charged .4167% of the tax due every month until you pay it off. Once again, Nevada does things a bit different. If that’s your base jurisdiction, you are charged .4167% every month in addition to late fees. After your first underpayment, it’s a $100 fee, the second time is $500, the third is $1000, $1500 for the fourth time, $2000 for the fifth time, and every time after that is $2500.

Wait, What are the IFTA Return Dates Again?

Keep forgetting the IFTA quarterly deadlines? Well, the good thing about the return dates is they’re usually the same date every year. Unless the date falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, your return is due the last day of the month following the end of the quarter you’re filing for.

  • Q1 January - March: Due date of April 30 
  • Q2 April - June: Due date of July 31 
  • Q3 July - September: Due date of October 31 
  • Q4 October - December: Due date of January 31

What if I am Due a Refund?

Any refunds due are automatically calculated by ExpressIFTA, and listed on your return. We’ll show you the amount (either in parentheses or as a negative balance). Depending on your base jurisdiction, you’ll either receive the refund as a credit on your next return or you’ll receive a check in the mail.

Now sometimes, there are surcharges involved with IFTA returns. There are a lot of differences between surcharges depending on the state, so if you want more information on a state’s surcharge rate, contact the state in question directly.

We can’t blame you if you’re mad about these extra fees, but have no fear. There are ways to avoid future penalties! , you can keep up with important deadlines by checking out RigMinders. If you want a more robust trucking professional management system, take a look at TruckLogics. And if you want someone else to handle your paperwork, we suggest TSNAmerica.

And if you run into trouble late filing your IFTA return, contact us by email or give us a call at 704.234.6005.


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Monday, February 1, 2016

Looking for better IFTA filing? Meet TruckLogics

Today is the deadline, don’t forget!

You already filed your IFTA? Alright, take a deep breath, and let it out. Now that you’re done with that, let’s look to the future!


If you’re frustrated with rushed deadlines, filling out trip sheets, and tracking receipts, maybe it’s time you find a new strategy. It’s time to get organized, and there has to be a simple solution out there. We suggest TruckLogics, the only web-based management solution designed exclusively for transportation professionals.

Let’s Work Together

Don’t want to keep up with another account? You can log in to TruckLogics with your existing ExpressIFTA account, and all your business information will be automatically updated. That includes your business details and truck information! After that, you’re all set to get started.


What Are My Options?

TruckLogics is a hat that fits many heads, you could say. While they may seem like a fleet management software from first glance, they’re also the best management software for Owner-Operators, as well. With a tiered price point, you can find the best package that works for you and your drivers.


What Kind of Features Can I Expect from TruckLogics?

  • ProMiles: With TruckLogics, ProMiles calculates all your miles as you travel. ProMiles is the most accurate address-to-address routing available for transportation professionals. When you record your trip sheets, select ProMiles to automatically record the precise trip mileage. 
  • Summary Report: Based on your trip sheets, TruckLogics creates a fuel tax summary report. This gives you all the totals you need to fill out a quarterly IFTA report for your base jurisdiction. 
  • Record Management: Tired of keeping track of your IFTA records and fuel receipts? TruckLogics is your new home for record-keeping! Upload your fuel receipts into the TruckLogics app. You can also access, edit, and update your IFTA records from anywhere with TruckLogics! 
  • Email & Print: You can use your trip sheets to generate quarterly IFTA reports. Then it’s just a matter of completing your IFTA return! 
You don’t have to take our word, tour the features and benefits of TruckLogics here. Interested? With a 15 day free trial, you can jump right in and see if TruckLogics is right for you.


And since today is deadline day, reach our dedicated support team by phone at 704.234.6005, or email at support@expressifta.com. Try out TruckLogics and let us know what you think!


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