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Trucker Buddy International Connects Truckers to Kids Through Postcards

Nonprofit For Kids

Nonprofit For Kids

For grammar and middle school aged children, Trucker Buddy International offers a fun, real-life alternative to the typical textbook learning of geography, math, social studies, and more according to the New York Times.

A nonprofit benefitting American kids
Established in 1992, Trucker Buddy International links long-haul drivers to K-8 students in classrooms nationwide, where truckers educate and mentor children, sharing knowledge of the nation’s roads and cities, enhancing learning and forming lasting relationships.

Postcard pals
In what is essentially a pen-pal program, Trucker Buddy International connects students and truckers via postcard, email, or letter as decided by each classroom’s teacher. Some drivers even have blogs.

Bringing learning to life
“Teachers love the program because each postcard or email is an instant geography, math, history, social studies and reading lesson,” Mr. Schwartzenburg, Trucker Buddy’s executive director, explains. About 2,100 drivers, 2,300 teachers and nearly 60,000 students participate in the program throughout the continental U.S., Canada, and parts of Europe.

Challenging drivers and students alike
Going beyond pen and paper the program brings America to life through the eyes of truckers, from the wide varieties of landscapes and people to the aftermath of disasters like Oklahoma City and Katrina, connecting a variety of subjects. Trucker Buddy adds interest to learning abilities such as calculating distance, driving time, geography, and mapping routes, helps children understand the logistics and importance of transporting various goods across the country, and many other skills.

Forming lasting bonds
The program connects class after class of students with American truckers. Students write monthly, while truckers send weekly communications to students, who eagerly anticipate receiving correspondence. Over the course of many years, truckers develop a relationship with teachers as well, watching from promotion to retirement as careers progress.

Your trucking career doesn’t have to be lonely. Find out more about the latest programs and technology for staying connected, only on TruckerToTrucker.

More States Shift Road Repair Costs to Increased Trucking Taxation

Increased Trucking Taxation

Increased Trucking Taxation

Tennessee, ranked second only to Texas by CNBC in state road quality nationwide, is currently faced with the conundrum of growing road needs but declining fuel tax revenues. In an attempt to deal with the situation, the state is wrestling with a number of solutions for handling funding needs according to the Times Free Press. Among them: proposed taxes and fees   trucking industry, about 60 percent of which utilizes Tennessee’s north-south and east-west corridors, I-75 and I-40.

Increasing technology decreases fuel revenues
Tennessee isn’t alone. Improved gas mileage, electric cars, and natural gas vehicles are resulting in dwindling state funds from fuel purchases nationwide.

Fueled-up surcharges
Out of state trucking firms utilizing Tennessee roadways could see a weight-distance fee and fuel surcharge, expected to collectively add $140 million a year to Tennessee’s $1.8 billion transportation budget if legislation is passed. Tennessee-based firms would be able to deduct those fees from business taxes, as do firms in neighboring states.

Many states fund road repairs through trucking taxation
Surrounding states commonly collect these levies, including KY, NM, NY, and OR. The aim of Tennessee legislators is to continue providing superior highway infrastructure without overburdening state residents with taxes.

Gas and diesel fuel tax increases may also be on the horizon
Senator Ron Ramsey indicates multiple changes are necessary for a more comprehensive, long-term solution to generating transportation revenue. Gas and diesel taxes, not increased in 25 years in Tennessee, are being considered alongside trucking taxation. Fees on electric and natural gas powered vehicles, which utilize roads but are not contributing equally to funds, are being considered as well.

Will state lawmakers agree?
The future impact on the trucking industry is still unknown. The state legislative session begins January 13th, however it’s unclear whether lawmakers will come to an agreement. A variety of other issues may push the decision into 2016.

Get the latest in news in trucking now, only with TruckerToTrucker.

More Fuel Efficient Trucks on the Way, But Can You Afford One?

Truck Fuel Efficiency Is On The Rise

Truck Fuel Efficiency Is On The Rise

Everybody loves saving money on gasoline, especially independent truckers. More miles per gallon might just make or break your profit, but the long-term savings come at the cost of the initial investment. Are you ready to buy a new truck just yet?

New EPA rules already mandated higher MPG for pickups and semis a few years ago. By the spring of 2015, we’ll hear about the next round of standards that will apply to model year 2018 and later.

The desire for greater efficiency has to do with a lot more than going green. Here’s why truck manufacturers are being told to reduce fuel consumption:

  • Lower fuel costs should improve the bottom line for owner/operators and big businesses alike.
  • Reduced fuel costs should lower the price of goods, saving American consumers some money in the long run.
  • Lower fuel demand could reduce the American dependence on foreign oil.

Figuring the Costs and Savings of Efficient Trucks

But who pays for the fuel-efficiency technology when the first line new trucks hits the market? For the most part, truckers themselves foot the bill.

Consider this: the last round of standards kicked in for 2014 model year. The EPA admits that the average price increased by about $6,200. In return, the EPA tells truckers to expect long-term savings of $73,000. So, when you log thousands of miles per week, the savings really do add up. If you can afford a new truck with even slightly higher MPG, you will save money.

Hopefully, new technology and smart trucking regulations will limit the cost increases for future trucks. Right now, truckers have a few good options: 1) sell your old truck now and buy one that meets modern fuel standards, 2) stand pat, save a little extra money, and hope that prices are still fair in a few years.

Can you afford to buy a new truck now, or can you afford to wait?

Check Out the February Truck Technology Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee

Truck Exhibition

Truck Exhibition

If you’ve never been able to check out the Truck Technology Exhibition in Nashville, Tennessee, this year is a great year to make it an annual event! The Exhibition takes place from February 16-19, 2015, and it’s packed full of great events for you and some of the most valuable members of your fleet and team.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of hearing Donald Broughton speak, you’re in for a treat. He’ll be helping to kick off the event, and as a marketing strategist, he’ll have some crucial tools and information for you to use with your own fleet. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn a lot more about how you can improve the quality of your trucks, increase your bottom line, and handle various maintenance issues you face in your field.

Of course, no exhibition would be complete without exhibits. They’ll have plenty of tractors, trailers, technological exhibits, and experts in the trucking industry for you to see and talk to. If you’re interested in learning more about where the trucking industry is heading during the coming year and beyond, you won’t want to miss this event. It’s more than just a trade show, and you’ll come away with business-altering information that can help you improve and expand your fleet in more ways than you ever thought possible.

Each year, hundreds of fleet managers come away from this event with some terrific tools they can use, and it’s not too late for you to register. You’ll quickly want to become a member of TMC so that you can take advantage of all of the benefits membership has to offer you.

If you’re interested in attending, make your reservations right away. Don’t miss out on an exhibition that promises so many great things for the future.

If you want to keep up on everything going on in the trucking industry, be sure to check back often at www.truckertotrucker.com.

Are You Having Trouble Finding a Place to Park Your Semi Between Hauls? Some Cities Are Imposing Limits

Where To Park

Where To Park

It’s no secret that one of the challenges many truck drivers face is finding a place to park their semis between loads. Even when you’re loaded, you have to abide by the strict regulations that are set forth by the DOT, and when it’s time to park, you have to park. Breaking the rules or altering your logbook can cause fines for your company, as well as problems for your license.

Even so, some cities are starting to impose limits on where semis can park. An article in the Hermiston Herald talks about the limits the city of Stanfield, Oregon is putting into place, and you can bet that similar limits are soon to be in place all over the country.

According to the article, two roads in particular – Coe Avenue and Highway 395 – used to be available for truckers to park for any period of time. Going forward, trucks will be able to park on Coe Avenue, but only if there are no trailers hooked to them. Trucks can also park on Highway 395, but there will be a two-hour time limit enforced. Other parking sites are opening up in Stanfield, but each of them are going to require a truck parking permit.

Officials stated that the city is going to open a parking lot specifically for trucks, but the council has not decided whether or not to impose a fee to park in the lot. A fee would help to cover the cost of the lot, but it would place a greater burden on truck drivers who need to find a place to park in order to be within DOT regulations.

Have you run into problems with parking as a truck driver? If you have, we’d love to hear your stories. Leave us your comments and thoughts about parking lots, parking on city streets, and other parking issues.

Check back at www.truckertotrucker.com for more news just for truckers.