Quick Transport Solutions Inc.

Keys To Protecting High-Value Cargo For Shippers, Fleets and Receivers

When you are tasked with moving high-value cargo like artwork, high-priced electronics, or other expensive freight, it’s important that you know how to properly secure it. The fact is we live in an age where shippers, fleets and receivers must all be on guard against criminal elements who want nothing more than to make off with that valuable cargo.

Whether Red Zone thefts are on the rise or fall, proper diligence is always necessary. Whether you are a shipper dealing with false driver credential scams or a truck driver just trying to stay safe at a dark and less-used truck stop, there’s plenty to consider where cargo security is concerned.

At Greater Risk

While high-value goods have always required extra security, several factors are contributing to a recent rise in theft trends. As the world’s appetite for expensive luxury goods increases, the need for greater security measures also goes up.

Longer supply chains also add additional points of risk. Furthermore, crime organizations have become very sophisticated in deciphering routes and routines.  Certainly, every market brings with it specific risks, as well as varying business practices. It’s important that fleet security managers can navigate these waters.

Increasingly at risk are high-value electronics shipments. In many cases manufacturers simply can’t keep the point of origin close enough to the intended recipient. So what should you be watching out for?

Bad Guy Tactics

One of the ways cargo thieves are getting smart is through the use of technology. As rapid technological advancement changes our lives, so too is it changing how the bad guys do their dirty work.

Such technological strategies include GPS jamming. In this scenario, a thief will drive alongside a truck and use a device that blocks the vehicle’s GPS signal. They can then hijack the truck and load the cargo onto a second vehicle.

And yet, fleets aren’t sitting on their hands. Modern motor carriers enable countermeasures such as RF beacons and jamming detectors.

Good Guy Tactics

First, shippers must make sure they are assessing the security needs using a risk measure. After all, you can’t assign an escort to every shipment worth more than $1 million. There are other tactics both shippers and motor carriers can employ to increase the safety of their loads.

One quick and simple method is through the use of speed, and we aren’t talking about breaking the speed limit. We’re talking about shippers using expedited services and motor carriers finding direct routes. All parties involved want to decrease touch points and dwell time as much as they can.

Predictive modeling is one such way industry insiders can get a better view of the overall security situation. In the age of big data and interconnectivity, it isn’t hard to find nuggets of useful information concerning your cargo.

Also consider that heightened supply chain visibility increases the chances that the receiver actually receives those luxury items. Software also allows carriers to easily communicate with all parties involved. Better communication makes it easier to uncover deviations in the normal routine, all of which could signal a problem.

Final Steps for Secure Cargo

Beyond ensuring high visibility, you’ll want to ensure you are consistently assessing the processes and procedures your company has in place. How protected are your point-of-origin facilities? Is the entire network covered?

Another important consideration is to ensure goods are properly prepared and loaded for transit. The onus of responsibility falls on both carrier and shipper. All too often the term, “it fell of the truck” can be heard. Utilize things like shrink-wrapping, banding or strapping to keep high-value items safe during transit.

Also consider two-driver teams, geo-location technology and special procedures for what truck drivers should do when they are hauling valuable items. Even GPS-embedded cargo is becoming a oft-utilized method.

Whatever you do, remember that keeping high-value cargo safe is easier said than done. With the right policies and committed players, it’s possible for your organization to get it right.

Truck Drivers – How To Use The Right Trailer For The Job

We recently took a dive into a topic that is gaining more traction as mobile technologies and the wireless world continue to integrate themselves into our reality: Mobile Maintenance Trucks.

As fleets continue to try and find ways to streamline operations and cut costs, mobile maintenance solutions are increasingly becoming more mainstream. Cutting costs on the fleet side is a lot easier when you can bring the fleet technician to you, as opposed to bringing your truck to the fleet technician.

Maintenance Matters

The fact is a properly equipped truck is the key to mobile maintenance. Whether you are hiring a third party to conduct your mobile maintenance needs or running a mobile maintenance truck of your own, the truck must have the right equipment. Still, this is only part of the equation.

The other part of the equation surrounds the fleet technician you have operating the mobile maintenance truck, or the person your third-party partner is using. In the end, you want to make sure the person operating the vehicle has the right skills for the job.

Consider that one of the primary focuses of mobile maintenance is conducting DOT inspections, and you realize why this is such an important skillset for any mobile maintenance fleet technician.

A Focus on Soft Skills

Outside of knowing the intricacies of a DOT audit and what to look for before the inspector finds it, a mobile maintenance fleet technician has to have really good soft skills. They have to be a good communicator and be able to effectively interact with others.

Considering mobile maintenance technicians work solo, they also need to be effective self-starters. Working by yourself isn’t easy if you aren’t good at motivating yourself.

Finally, a mobile maintenance technician needs to know how to prioritize. When you have several calls coming in, knowing which take precedence is a huge matter of importance.

Other Considerations

Mobile maintenance fleet technicians must also understand the importance of environmental impacts. Is he or she cleaning up after themselves on the job? Safety aspects of mobile maintenance includes monitoring environmental controls.

There are other innovations that many may overlook. The first of these lies in electronic inspections with pictures. Electronic work orders with imagery allow the home office to get visual imagery and better inspection data.

Also, does your fleet mobile maintenance technician or mobile maintenance partner understand VMRS codes for complaint, cause, repair and future correction?

Real-Time Communication

Mobile fleet maintenance solutions should allow you to track how long an appointment took, whether they showed up when they were supposed to and whether or not you are given updates throughout the process.

Mobile maintenance trucks should always be equipped with a laptop to foster better communication. This also allows technicians to type up work orders on the fly. These work orders can be transmitted back to the home office or to the shipper or receiver as needed.

A major consideration if you are using an outside provider is to ensure they are properly insured. Make sure the truck is scheduled to come out during certain days of the week to avoid extra busy times.

Matters of Outsourcing

For a fleet who does hire an outside provider, it’s important that you get a good idea of how they operate. When the mobile maintenance truck arrives, have a look in the back to see if it is clean and organized or messy and unkempt.

Always check a provider’s rating and reputation. You want to make sure you are working with someone who has the adequate equipment and meets all applicable environmental and OSHA regulations.

In the end, bringing your equipment back to the shop adds time and money, which could put you in a pinch when times are tight. Mobile maintenance solutions rectify that problem, just make sure you are doing it right.

Fleet Management – How To Master Total Cost Of Ownership Through Accessories

Trying to figure out how to get the most out of your fleet? The fact is you can minimize your total cost of ownership without impacting safety, performance or appearance.

From permits to licensing and truck driver education, managing a fleet of trucks is no easy job. Routine maintenance can be hard enough, let alone everything else an enterprising fleet manager needs to do. Still, with the right truck accessories, it isn’t difficult to fully optimize your operation.

Costs and Value

When you are considering the total cost of ownership for your equipment, the key formula is to keep costs in check while still getting the best value out of whatever equipment you are using. When a fleet makes a purchasing decision, it does so based on the total cost of the vehicle weighed against fuel and maintenance costs.

To further manage cost against value, purchase managers need to spec their equipment properly, and this is about more than just picking the right OEM, it’s also about durable components that add both safety and value.

With the right selection of options a fleet can both save fuel and decrease maintenance costs. With the wrong selection, however, there results can be nothing short of catastrophic. Let’s dig deeper into what you need to keep an eye out for.

Why Appearance Matters

When it comes to outfitting your vehicles, exterior accessories matter. Whether you are talking about mud flaps or truck fenders, motor carriers need to ensure these items are there not just for aesthetic reasons, but to improve safety and performance as well.

Still, that doesn’t mean appearance doesn’t matter. You want to make sure prospective customers see clean, polished and current equipment, otherwise they may look elsewhere for their freight movement needs. The fact is the better a vehicle looks, the better a potential customer’s overall impression will be of your business, and the more likely they will be to sign on.

From the paint job to how shiny the wheels are, the condition of your equipment is a direct reflection of your brand in others’ eyes. Do you want that perception to be one of great service and quality or one of shoddy work and a lack of focus?

Keeping CSA in Mind

Did you know that the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program includes vehicle maintenance as a scoring factor? The Behavioral Analysis Safety Improvement (BASICs) scores are intended to provide fleets with a base level evaluation regarding performance, but many fleet managers don’t consider maintenance.

If they knew that as much as 80% of CSA violations are in the truck maintenance category, they would pay more attention to things like accessories. Better mud flaps and tougher fenders do a better job at keeping the truck in tip-top shape and good working order.

By properly accessorizing your fleet vehicles, you may end up with less CSA citations, which means more time and money in your pocket and on your divers’ time clocks. Well maintained trucks also carry a positive image of their owners, thus increasing the cache of your operation.

A Matter of Choice

There are a lot of different truck accessories out there doing a number of different jobs. From vortex generators to aerodynamic flaps, there are a number of different applications being met by new and advanced versions of truck accessories.

In the end, it’s important that your fleet managers take a look at the applications your trucks will be being used in. Only then will you be able to make the right decision on accessories.

Practice careful consideration and shop correctly, and the right truck accessories can both accelerate your reputation, safety and truck driver happiness.

Truck Driver: Why Filing Your Taxes Is More Important Than Ever

The fact is this: One of the most common mistakes a trucker can make is not filing their taxes. Sure, you’ve spent a long time on the road and you’ve finally gotten home and the last thing you want to think about is your taxes, but it’s important to remember that filing on time is more important than ever.

Consider that many states will arbitrarily step in and garnish wages if you haven’t filed and it’s not hard to see where not filing your taxes can be a serious problem. Many times, especially as an owner-operator, you can take advantage of specific tax breaks not available to you otherwise. Do you really want to leave that money on the table?

Penalties Compound

As you avoid filing your taxes, consider that penalties can weigh heavily on your business. Penalty interest can more than double or triple what you owe, which can be a serious problem whether your business is big or small.

When you owe the IRS money, they won’t rest in coming after you for it. When you’re operating at margins already squeezed to the edges, the last thing you need is a huge tax bill crippling your bottom line and cash flow.

If you wind up owing one year, you could see a small amount compound into a big amount before you have a chance to address it, especially if you are looking at multi-year filing lapses.

Consider the Refund

Do you really want to leave money sitting on the table? Consider that most fleet drivers wind up getting refunds since their per diem payments count against their expenses.

While truckers aren’t required to declare their per diems, they are allowed to itemize deductions against them. When you add up small deductions, they can mean big tax savings across the board.

If you aren’t saving small receipts and keeping a log of your expenses, then not doing your taxes, you are missing out on a huge refund, and turning money in your pocket into money owed to the IRS.

When every dollar you put down for a deduction comes back in approximately 20 cents on your refund, it isn’t hard to see how important these savings are. From expenses like batteries and air fresheners, there’s a lot of savings to be wrenched from your taxes through proper accounting.

Moving Into Another Tax Bracket

Proper itemizing can also move you into a lower tax bracket. If you can shave anywhere from $15,000 on up off your tax bill due to itemized deductions, you may go from 40 percent owed to 22 percent.

When you do the math, everything you spend your money on can be counted as job expenses. When you save your receipts, and keep track of said expenses, you are moving yourself into a far lower tax bracket.

But this is why it is so important to keep track of this information and properly log everything that you are doing while on the road. Considering many fleets are using E-logs, you can utilize this data to prove that you were on the road during a certain day.

Still, since most log information is deleted after six months, it becomes important to ensure you are keeping a full accounting of your activities so as not to miss out on potential tax savings.

In the end, remember that you won’t be able to maximize your tax savings if you aren’t even filing them to begin with. Make sure to stay on top of filing dates and hire an accountant if you have to and you’re sure to end up with more money in your pocket come tax time.

The Keys To Utilizing The Right Mobile Maintenance Option For Trucking Companies

We recently took a dive into a topic that is gaining more traction as mobile technologies and the wireless world continue to integrate themselves into our reality: Mobile Maintenance Trucks.

As fleets continue to try and find ways to streamline operations and cut costs, mobile maintenance solutions are increasingly becoming more mainstream. Cutting costs on the fleet side is a lot easier when you can bring the fleet technician to you, as opposed to bringing your truck to the fleet technician.

Maintenance Matters

The fact is a properly equipped truck is the key to mobile maintenance. Whether you are hiring a third party to conduct your mobile maintenance needs or running a mobile maintenance truck of your own, the truck must have the right equipment. Still, this is only part of the equation.

The other part of the equation surrounds the fleet technician you have operating the mobile maintenance truck, or the person your third-party partner is using. In the end, you want to make sure the person operating the vehicle has the right skills for the job.

Consider that one of the primary focuses of mobile maintenance is conducting DOT inspections, and you realize why this is such an important skillset for any mobile maintenance fleet technician.

A Focus on Soft Skills

Outside of knowing the intricacies of a DOT audit and what to look for before the inspector finds it, a mobile maintenance fleet technician has to have really good soft skills. They have to be a good communicator and be able to effectively interact with others.

Considering mobile maintenance technicians work solo, they also need to be effective self-starters. Working by yourself isn’t easy if you aren’t good at motivating yourself.

Finally, a mobile maintenance technician needs to know how to prioritize. When you have several calls coming in, knowing which take precedence is a huge matter of importance.

Other Considerations

Mobile maintenance fleet technicians must also understand the importance of environmental impacts. Is he or she cleaning up after themselves on the job? Safety aspects of mobile maintenance includes monitoring environmental controls.

There are other innovations that many may overlook. The first of these lies in electronic inspections with pictures. Electronic work orders with imagery allow the home office to get visual imagery and better inspection data.

Also, does your fleet mobile maintenance technician or mobile maintenance partner understand VMRS codes for complaint, cause, repair and future correction?

Real-Time Communication

Mobile fleet maintenance solutions should allow you to track how long an appointment took, whether they showed up when they were supposed to and whether or not you are given updates throughout the process.

Mobile maintenance trucks should always be equipped with a laptop to foster better communication. This also allows technicians to type up work orders on the fly. These work orders can be transmitted back to the home office or to the shipper or receiver as needed.

A major consideration if you are using an outside provider is to ensure they are properly insured. Make sure the truck is scheduled to come out during certain days of the week to avoid extra busy times.

Matters of Outsourcing

For a fleet who does hire an outside provider, it’s important that you get a good idea of how they operate. When the mobile maintenance truck arrives, have a look in the back to see if it is clean and organized or messy and unkempt.

Always check a provider’s rating and reputation. You want to make sure you are working with someone who has the adequate equipment and meets all applicable environmental and OSHA regulations.

In the end, bringing your equipment back to the shop adds time and money, which could put you in a pinch when times are tight. Mobile maintenance solutions rectify that problem, just make sure you are doing it right.

About QuickTSI

QuickTSI is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to run your transportation and freight logistics business. Our website allows you to post load or find trucks, post trucks or find loads, look up carrier profiles, view trucking companies, find truck driving jobs, and DOT medical examniers.

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11501 Dublin Blvd. Suite 200
Dublin, CA 94568

510-887-9300
510-284-7280

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PO Box 3686
Hayward, CA 94544-3686

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