ExpressIFTA Blog

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Valentines on the Road Guide For Truckers

Valentine's day is only a few days away, but it doesn’t have to get you down. As a trucker on the road, you might be missing your loved ones back at home, but that’s no reason not to celebrate the big day.

Cupid works in mysterious ways and will even help you spread the love right from your rig. Modern technology has made it easy to celebrate from long distances, so check out how to create a special day for your loved ones at home.

The Valentines on the Road Guide For Truckers 

Send a Gift

Just because you’re far away trucking doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to send a meaningful gift to your loved ones back at home. There are tons of flower delivery services that will deliver flowers and chocolate on time.

Like 1-800 Flowers, for example. Also, you don’t have to send stuff home, surprise your loved one by having their gift sent to their office, so they can be in the spotlight for the day. Sometimes for ladies, there’s nothing like being able to make co-workers jealous by receiving a thoughtful gift.

If your special one isn’t the type to enjoy the standard chocolate and flowers think outside the box with a surprise from Amazon Prime. They will make sure your present gets delivered by Valentine's day if you order it now. They have tools, video games, t-shirts, and everything you can imagine to send the perfect gift. They even have suggestions for under $10.

Plan a Date

Make time for your Valentine by scheduling a virtual date online. You can give them a call to tell them how much they mean to you or even use Skype or Facetime to see how their day is going.

Maybe you can call each other when you’re ready to have dinner or from a restaurant you’re both attending from separate locations. Sometimes setting aside time for a person can be more meaningful than a physical gift.

Plan a Surprise Future Date

You don’t have to only let your trucking loved ones know how much they mean to you when the calendar says to. Whenever you have a day off back at home use it to surprise your loved ones with a spontaneous Valentine's celebration.

You can have all the ingredients you need to cook a special dinner at home or a fun evening out planned. Just remember to have the cards and candy ready. Your spouse and kids will love this surprise.

Get Crafty

Use your skills to handcraft something from the heart. Hand paint a mug or make a card by hand telling your partner how much you appreciate them. By taking the time to make a meaningful gift you’ll be able to show that you really care. Plus, it’s always fun to make a card from your spouse’s pet.

Happy Valentines Day

Even though you’re on the road, cupid and modern technology can help you celebrate Valentine’s day with your loved ones. Don’t feel blue, make the time to show your family, spouse, friends, or anyone special in your life how much they mean to you!

Share your OTR Valentine's day tips in the comment section below and visit ExpressIFTA for more trucking blogs.

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

NATSO Connect 2018 Is The Don't Miss Trucking Event

Y’all, it’s the most wonderful time of the trucking year. It’s time to learn and educate yourself about what’s happening in the trucking industry during truck show season! From chrome to industry politics, these shows have it all!

If you can’t wait to join these trucking events then head out to NATSO Connect for their 2018 trucking conference in Nashville, Tennessee. If you haven’t traveled to Nashville, then it should definitely be on your trucking list. Check out what events NATSO Connect has in store for you.

NATSO Connect 2018 Is The Don't Miss Trucking Event

What is NATSO?

NATSO is the National Association of Truck Stop Owners and they are headquartered outside of Washington D.C. It’s their mission to advance the success of truckstop and travel plaza members by providing solutions to their challenges and by achieving the public policy goals of the truckstop and travel plaza industry.

They achieve this by advancing the industry’s interests by influencing government action and public opinion on matters such as highway commercialization, tolling, truck parking, environmental issues, and more.

Also, they provide access the knowledge resources to help members make informed business decisions.

How NATSO Connect Makes A Difference

One major way they spread knowledge is through NATSO Connect, which will be taking place from February 10th to February 13th in Nashville Tennessee at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center!

Hundreds of the best truckstop operators and industry partners come together as a huge, collaborative group that you can be included in! Everyone will share insights, the best practices to make ideas happen, discuss new innovative business ideas, and more.

There are a number of fun educational events you can attend. For example at 1 PM on February 10th, you can check out the Top Trends Disrupting the Truck Stop Industry.

This event will kick off the keynote speakers who will be discussing how in less than a decade heavy highway motor vehicles will consume 25% less diesel due to new federal regulations. Also, how 28% of retailers anticipate implementing robotics, cognitive computing and artificial intelligence (ai) within the next few years.

Then on February 11th at 12 PM you can check out Fleets Discuss the Autonomous and Electrical Truck Future. This keynote will take place on the show floor to discuss how quickly autonomous, connected, and electric trucks will arrive.

They will also discuss the possible effects they will have on the trucking and truck stop industries. Plus, while the speakers are discussing these topics and answering your questions you can actually make your own smores on an open fire. It will be a great time for a snack and a chat.

At 1:45 PM on February 13th you can end the conference at the Good To Great event. Keynote speakers will go over how to take your truck stop to the next level by being great at merchandising, truck stop branding layout, and truck stop food.

Enjoy NATSO Connect

Why not take this opportunity to not only see the awesome town of Nashville and to learn about the trucking industry. Truckstop and travel plaza businesses play a major role with the way truckers operate on a daily basis. It’s time to get involved at NASTO Connect 2018!

Please share what you’re excited about for NASTO Connect in the comment section below and visit ExpressIFTA for more trucking blogs!

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Winter Maintenance And Carry Checklist For Truckers

Uh oh, the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter! That means our roads are going to be snowy and icy for quite a bit more time. We hope you’ve been safe and warm out there so far, but know that a trucking emergency could happen at any time.

When you’re having to deal with winter weather you never know when an accident or breakdown could occur. Take the time to maintain your truck now to make sure it can handle what winter is about to throw at you.

Winter Maintenance And Carry Checklist For Truckers

The most important thing you want to do in winter is to stay dry and warm, so check on your cab heating system. Clean out your heater filters to get rid of any debris and check on your heater control knobs and motors.

While checking on your heaters, it’s good to take a look at your air systems as well. Be sure to check the filters and change them if needed. The filter cartridge should be changed according to your air dryers specifications, which tends to be every 1 to 3 years.

Also, it doesn’t help to be prepared with a portable heater or gas-powered heater if your truck loses power. Other good items to have include extra blankets and an extra set of warm, dry clothes.

Then you will want to check on your batteries and electrical systems. Take the time to disconnect each battery system and load test each battery. You will also want to make sure all connections are clean and tighten them if you need to.

While you’re doing that go ahead and make sure your belts are in good condition. They shouldn’t be torn, stretched, or frayed. You can also carry extra with you in your glove box along with extra spark plugs.

Carry an extra set of batteries for your important tools and devices, like your phone or your flashlight. You can also find a hand-crank radio for a cheap price. It’s always great to have to stay up to date in emergency situations, especially if you lose power.

Don’t neglect your truck's coolant system. You need enough antifreeze for cold weather protection. The hoses need to be in good shape to fight winter conditions. Make sure they aren't cracked, softening or getting hard.

Make sure that your windshield wipers are stronger and ready to take on ice and snow. Also, you need to be sure that your windshield and mirror heaters are working so they’ll defrost.

Always spray your tires down to remove chemical salts and spray they may have picked up from the road, as they can cause your tires to wear faster. Also, make sure the thread is in good condition and consider carrying a set of chains.

You will also want waterproof gear like a warm winter jacket, hat, and gloves. This way if you do have to make repairs, you won't get cold and wet while you’re outside. Always have an extra jacket and pair of warms socks too.

You never know when you’ll get stuck for a while so have bottles of water and non-perishable snacks on hand. Beef jerky, crackers, and canned food can be great to have when you can’t go anywhere for hours or maybe even a day or two.

Stay Safe And Warm

Winter will be here for a little while longer and February and March are notorious for being extremely cold and snowy. Make sure you and your truck are up for whatever this winter challenges you with.

Please add winter trucking tips in the comment section below and visit for more trucking blogs.

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Friday, February 2, 2018

My IFTA Return Is Late, Now What?

Great job truckers, we’re proud of you for meeting the 4th quarter IFTA deadline that was a few days ago on January 31. However, if you missed the deadline then you could find yourself in trouble with major penalties to face.

Now if you missed the deadline, you don’t have to panic yet. There’s actually still time to file, and you could get your return in before they notice it’s late. Take a breath to relax, then quickly and easily generate your IFTA report with ExpressIFTA.

My IFTA return is late, now what?

IFTA penalties

Just to stress the importance of filing IFTA as soon as you can, we will remind you about the IFTA penalties. The penalty for failing to meet the deadline is $50 or 10% of the tax you owe, depending on which amount is greater.

Then you will owe an additional fee of .4167% of the total tax you owe and this amount will accrue on a monthly basis until you pay the full amount due. On top of that, your base jurisdiction reserves the right to impose their own penalties and may even revoke your license.

Luckily, first-time offenders usually don’t have their licenses revoked, but missing the deadline may increase your chances of receiving an IFTA audit, and that comes with its own set of hassles.

So, What Do You Need To Do?

Get with ExpressIFTA, create your free account, and generate your IFTA report as soon as possible so you can quickly and easily complete your return with your base jurisdiction. Historically, IFTA has been complicated and reporting would take hours.

But that’s not the case with ExpressIFTA because their innovative features make it simple to instantly import all your information. Then their program will automatically calculate all of your IFTA calculations needed to complete your return, so you don’t have to waste time on complicated equations.

Don’t let the fact that your return is late get you in a rush. Be sure to take your time to avoid making simple mistakes. ExpressIFTA actually gives you the ability to file at your own pace and according to your own preferences.

For example, you can record your mileage records by odometer readings or distance traveled. Also, you can keep extremely detailed records for your business per trip with the trip sheet entries feature.

Also, you can import all of your information for the month with the quick entry screen or upload all of your information at once with the bulk upload feature. Simple use our downloadable template or your own excel file.

Plus, you have the option to directly pull your mileage records from your GPS and ExpressIFTA even accepts ELD data.

Before your IFTA report is generated our system will audit it to catch any basic mistakes. For example, we will catch if you reported traveling between two nonadjacent states, or if you purchased fuel in a state you didn’t travel in.

When it comes to IFTA, you aren’t alone. The live us-based ExpressIFTA support team is standing by to help. Contact us with any questions that you may have Monday - Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM EST at 704.234.6005. We also offer live chat and you can reach us via 24/7 email support at

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