Tamsyn

driver accessories

Useful Accessories For Semi-Truck Drivers

Useful Accessories For Semi-Truck Drivers
Almost all truckers rely on tools and accessories to make their on-the-road lifestyle comfortable, and efficient. The right semi-truck driver accessories can also help improve a trucker’s safety and the safety of other drivers.

We’ve rounded up a list of essential accessories every trucker needs to make their truck feel like a second home. Whether you’re a short or long-haul truck driver, our top picks will make your trips safer and more enjoyable.

Truck Driver Accessories Every Trucker Needs

Opinions on what truckers’ must-haves are may vary from one truck driver to the next because different truckers have different needs. All the same, some accessories stand out as necessary items to bring along for any trip.

Truck Driving Essentials

Over-the-road (OTR) truck drivers spend approximately 300 days every year on the road. Truck driving essentials keep them at ease behind the wheel so their workdays become more manageable and stress-free.

GPS

Trucker GPS systems have several tools truck drivers require to navigate different terrain. They’ll help you plan your truck routes and avoid hazards like narrow roads, low bridges, and other places challenging for a big rig to pass through.

seat cushion
image: Amazon

Comfortable Seat

Because truck drivers spend many hours seated while driving, a comfortable seat is a must-have to prevent several health issues. The best seats offer proper lumbar support to protect you from chronic back pain, spinal disc degeneration, muscle tension, ligament strains, etc.

A good seat cushion can also make your seat more comfortable. Here’s a quick guide on the best semi-truck seat cushion to help you find a comfortable seat cushion without a hassle.

Cell Phone Holder

A rigid cell phone holder helps put your phone in place so you can stay connected with your loved ones during your long hauls. It also prevents distracted driving – one of the top causes of trucking accidents in the U.S.

Smartphone Charger

A good charger keeps your cell phone on, which is crucial for emergencies. You should have at least two portable cell phone chargers.

Bluetooth Headset

This hands-free device allows you to use your phone safely when you need to. A high-quality headset has clear speakers and a good microphone with background noise cancellation.

Dash Cam

A dash cam can save you from various liability claims if a trucking accident occurs. It also works as a security device, preventing thieves from breaking into your cab.

emergency and safety essentials
Emergency and Safety Essentials

Emergency and safety essentials improve safety behind the wheel and help you handle unexpected events. Some of these include:

Anti-sleep Alarms

These gadgets are designed to detect signs of drowsiness or fatigue while driving and alert the driver to take necessary breaks or corrective actions to prevent accidents. They monitor eye movements, head position, or vehicle lane deviation to assess driver alertness and trigger an alarm if they detect fatigue.

Toolbox

A trucker’s toolbox has several hand tools they can use to perform basic repairs when the need arises. These hand tools may include screwdrivers, tie-down stripes, pliers, wrenches, a tire pressure gauge, a pocket knife, you name it.

Emergency Kit

Like a toolbox, an emergency kit has several items to help you deal with changing road conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. A few essential items in an emergency kit are an all-purpose first aid kit, a flashlight, batteries, jumper cables, emergency flares, and bottled water.

Cold weather equipment like tire chains and a snow shovel can also be helpful during harsh winter weather.

Polarized Safety Glasses

A good pair of polarized sunglasses is a safety and health-promoting item. It minimizes eye strain and promotes your visibility on the road. These sunglasses keep your eyes healthy by preventing permanent eye damage due to prolonged exposure to direct sunlight.

cab comfort essentials
image :Amazon

Cab Comfort Essentials

Comfort truck driver accessories make your space feel cozy, like a home away from home.

Roll-up memory foam mattress

A memory foam mattress ensures you get enough high-quality sleep. Enough sleep is essential for you to stay alert when driving. Add an electric blanket and memory foam pillow for a complete set of comfortable sleeping accessories.

Organizational Items

Items like seat organizers, storage containers, and hooks help long-haul truckers save space and keep their trucks in good order. As a result, trips become more efficient because everything the truck driver needs during their long haul is within reach.

Cleaning Supplies

Several cleaning supplies, like an all-purpose cleaner, handheld vacuum, paper towels, and disinfectant wipes, keep your cab fresh and comfortable.

Cooking and Food Essentials

Long-haul truck drivers are at a higher risk of getting lifestyle diseases such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and heart diseases because of their unhealthy eating habits. Most prefer purchasing quick meals and snacks on the go to save time and log in more hours.

Cooking and food essentials help truckers maintain a healthy lifestyle by preparing and enjoying nutritious hot meals at their convenience instead of buying truck-stop fast food.

cooking essentials

image Amazon

Slow Cooker

A slow cooker lets your food cook all day on the low. You’ll always have a hot dinner waiting at the end of a long day behind the wheel. Most truckers love this appliance because they don’t have to lose driving time to prepare meals.

Hot Plate

Another helpful cooking appliance for truck drivers is a hot plate. It doesn’t occupy too much space and often works well for preparing quick breakfast meals.

Mini-Fridge Or Coolers

A portable fridge or cooler keeps food items and snacks fresh throughout your trips. It helps you save money and time because you can purchase food ingredients in bulk and store them well. This prevents unnecessary stops, which eats into your working hours.

Final Thoughts

There are loads of products on the market today designed for truckers. Consider your needs, the size of your rig, and a product’s quality to find the best accessories for your cab. The goal is to get items that simplify your life on the road while promoting your health and safety.

Mission Financial Services is committed to helping you enjoy your trucking lifestyle and succeed in your business. That’s why we offer a range of vehicle financing options, including semi-truck repair loans, to help you keep your truck in tip-top shape and get the most out of it. Contact us to learn more about this.

money

Average Cost Of A Commercial Truck Accident

Average Cost Of A Commercial Truck Accident
If you’re a truck driver or own a truck driving company, then one of the biggest risks you face is truck accidents. Trucking accidents can be incredibly expensive to deal with, and they can involve many related costs.

So, how much should you expect to pay after a truck accident?

To understand this, you’ll need to understand all the different costs associated with truck accidents. Knowing this is also important for helping you choose the right auto insurance policy to cover these costs in the event of an accident. We’ll break this all down in the guide below.

How Much Does a Truck Accident Cost?

Determining the overall cost of a truck accident can be difficult, as there are so many costs involved.

However, as an average figure, a commercial truck accident that includes an injured person could have an average cost of $148,279. If the truck accident involves a fatality, then this cost can increase significantly to over $7 million.

Clearly, commercial truck accidents can be seriously expensive, which is why it’s crucial to be properly prepared for these potential costs. Having the right commercial truck insurance policy in place is a critical part of dealing with these accidents.

Even if you know how to avoid commercial truck accidents, there’s still the possibility of being involved in an accident that is not your fault.

the real cost of an accident

The REAL Cost of an Accident

A commercial truck accident can be incredibly expensive to deal with, mainly because accidents have so many costs involved with them.

Here are some of the major costs that a trucking company can expect after a semi-truck accident.

Direct Costs of an Accident

Direct costs can be broken down into two categories: third-party loss and first-party loss.

Vehicle Damage

  • Third-party loss: Costs associated with repairing or replacing vehicles belonging to parties not at fault in the accident. The at-fault party’s liability insurance typically covers this.
  • First-party loss: Costs for repairing or replacing the insured vehicle. Collision insurance covers this.

Cargo Damage

Damages to the cargo being transported, including the loss or destruction of goods. The liability insurance of the party responsible for the accident covers this.

Injury and Medical

  • Third-party loss: Medical bills, rehabilitation costs, and compensation for pain and suffering of anyone not at fault in the accident. This is covered by the liability insurance of the at-fault party.
  • First-party loss: Immediate and ongoing medical bills for the driver and passengers of the insured vehicle. Covered by personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage.

Towing Costs

Costs associated with towing the insured vehicle from the accident site to a repair facility. Optional towing and labor coverage typically cover this in an auto insurance policy, but it could also be an out-of-pocket expense.

cargo damage

Vehicle Storage

Any costs related to storing the damaged vehicle, especially if it needs to be held for an extended period during the claims process. Coverage for this might be included in the auto insurance policy or it could be an additional option.

Indirect Costs of an Accident

Truck accident cases also involve a long list of potential indirect costs.

While some indirect costs of a truck accident case are easy to identify and calculate, others can be more difficult to figure out. Here are a few common indirect costs that might be involved in a truck accident settlement.

Fines and Penalties

There could be fines or penalties after an accident, which add extra costs to dealing with the accident.

Loss of Revenue

Accidents can disrupt business operations, leading to revenue loss from downtime, delivery delays, and contract fulfillment challenges.

Accident Investigation

Conducting thorough investigations to determine accident causes can be expensive. This could be done by internal resources or external experts.

Company Image

Accidents can tarnish a company’s image, potentially resulting in the loss of customer trust, business partnerships, and market standing. This could result in a loss of future revenue.

Insurance Premium Costs

Accidents often lead to increased insurance premiums, as trucking companies hold a higher perceived risk for insurers.

Lost Time at Work

Employees involved in or affected by accidents may lose productive work hours on paperwork, investigations, and recovery.

Cost to Rehire or Retrain

You might need to replace or retrain employees impacted by an accident. This process can be time-consuming and expensive for a trucking company.

serious accidents leave permanent damage

Serious Truck Accident Injuries Can Leave Permanent Damage

Beyond the direct costs involved in a commercial truck crash, more serious truck accidents can result in permanent, serious injuries with lasting consequences. This can have an enormous long-term impact financially.

The impact of such incidents often extends beyond immediate medical concerns, affecting individuals’ long-term well-being and quality of life. These types of accidents with severe injuries generally involve major truck accident settlements and cases.

Settlements in these cases extend beyond covering the immediate damage of the trucking accident and are designed to cover the long-term costs that the trucking accident might have caused.

Having an experienced and trustworthy truck accident attorney on your side is essential if you ever experience an accident that leaves permanent damage. This will help you get an appropriate settlement to cover the entire impact of the accident.

Make sure you understand what truck accident attorneys operate in your area when setting up your business.

Final Thoughts

It’s important to note that the specific coverages and limits involved in covering these costs will vary based on insurance policies and the insurance company involved.

In some cases, the responsible party might be required to cover these costs out-of-pocket if they don’t have proper insurance coverage for the accident.

Of course, a major cost involved in dealing with a semi-truck accident is purchasing a new vehicle to replace the one damaged in the accident.

If you need to do this, then you’ll need to get the right commercial vehicle financing to help you purchase the new vehicle. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services to see just how easy truck financing can be.

truck driver log

How Long Can Semi Truck Drivers Drive

How Long Can Semi Truck Drivers Drive

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) limits how long semi-truck drivers can drive in the U.S. to minimize the number of trucking accidents caused by exhausted truckers.

Understanding these limits is crucial if you’re looking to start your career as a truck driver. Violating these laws comes with penalties that might end your career before it kicks off.

Here’s everything you need to know about the FMCSA’s hours of service regulations to help you get started on the right foot.

What Are the Hours of Service Rules?

Hours of service regulations are guidelines FMCSA puts in place to ensure commercial truck drivers are not overworked. They outline how long a semi-truck driver can:

  • Drive at a time without stopping to take a break
  • Be on duty – this includes participating in non-driving work
  • Be off duty before starting their next shift
  • Work within a given period

Since truck drivers don’t follow conventional office work hours, the hours of service rules are based on the total number of hours worked instead of specific daytime hours.

8-Hour Rule

Truck drivers can drive for eight consecutive hours before taking a mandatory 30-minute break to rest and recharge. It’s critical to note that any non-driving period or interruption of at least 30 minutes straight satisfies this rule. A break includes having lunch, resting in the sleeper berth, or on duty but not behind the wheel.

hours of service rules

11-Hour Rule

As a truck driver, you can only drive for 11 hours maximum within a 14-hour window. Once you reach 11 driving hours, you must spend a minimum of 10 consecutive hours off duty before you start another 11-hour shift.

Remember, you cannot drive for these 11 hours consecutively due to the 8-hour rule. You’d have to take a 30-minute break after traveling for 8 hours without a 30-minute-long interruption.

14-Hour Rule

The 14-hour rule specifies that truck drivers can only work a maximum of 14 hours per day or duty period. After 14 hours, the driver has to rest for ten consecutive hours, even if they haven’t exhausted their 11 hours of maximum driving time.

That means, if you want to maximize the 11 hours of driving time per shift, you’ll have to do it within 14 hours from the moment you start work. Starting your shift at 6 a.m. means you have until 8.00 p.m. (14 hours later) to end it.

Within this 14-hour window, you can only drive for 11 hours (following the 11-hour rule above). The remaining 3 hours are for performing other non-driving tasks like having meals, unloading the truck, fueling, handling repairs, etc.

60/70-Hour Limit

The 60/70-hour limit governs truck drivers’ weekly driving hours, calculated over a rolling schedule. Drivers can work up to 60 hours in seven consecutive days or 70 hours in eight days. Resetting requires 34 consecutive hours off duty.

It’s worth mentioning that all these regulations apply specifically to property-carrying truckers.

Passenger-carrying drivers, for instance, have a 10-hour driving limit and a 15-hour limit on their work day. Their resting period after every shift is less – 8 consecutive hours instead of 10.

Exceptions to hours of service regulations

Exceptions to Hours of Service Regulations

It is important to note that there are some exceptions to the hours of service regulations.
Sleeper Berth Provision
This provision lets you split the ten consecutive hours of rest you need after every 14-hour on-duty period into two periods, as long as:

One off-duty period lasts at least 2 hours
The other involves spending a minimum of 7 consecutive hours in your sleeper berth

All sleeper berth pairings should add up to the required 10-hour off-duty period for property-carrying truckers and 8 hours for passenger-carrying drivers.

Adverse Driving Conditions

FMCSA allows you to extend your daily driving time by 2 hours if you experience adverse driving conditions. But, you must still follow the 14-hour and 30-minute break HOS regulations.

These include any challenging road conditions you were unaware of before you started your journey. They may have led to slower driving, causing unexpected delays. Some examples of such conditions are bad weather, road construction, and heavy traffic due to an accident.

Short-Haul Exception

Under this exception, qualifying drivers can extend the 14-hour workday limit by 2 hours to 16 hours.

You are eligible for this exception if you only drive within a short 150-air mile radius from your typical workplace and often return to this place after every shift. Most times, such drivers are exempt from keeping their daily logs.

sleeper berth exception

What Are Daily Driver’s Logs?

Drivers’ logs are records about how semi-truck drivers spend their hours on the road. Truckers manually fill in how they spend their non-driving time, whereas electronic logs automatically capture their driving time. Doing this ensures all drivers comply with the required hours of service regulations.

A typical daily truck driver’s log contains four categories of info:

  • Driving information—time spent operating the truck behind the wheel
  • On duty (not driving)—time spent conducting non-driving duties, like loading and unloading the truck, carrying out inspections, etc.
  • Sleeper berth—hours spent resting inside the sleeper berth
  • Off duty—time spent away from all kinds of trucking work

Who Must Comply With These Regulations?

All drivers who drive commercial motor vehicles across state lines must comply with the HOS regulations set by FMCSA. A commercial motor vehicle refers to any truck or trailer that:

  • Weighs 10,001 pounds and above
  • Has a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) and gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more
  • Transports hazardous material in large quantities, requiring placards

Penalties for Breaking HOS Rules

A few penalties that kick in if you break the HOS rules include:

  • Being placed out-of-service until you get enough off-duty time to stay in compliance
  • FMCSA imposes a fine of $1,000 to $11,000, depending on how severe the violation was
  • State and local law enforcement agencies can also charge additional hefty fines
  • The safety ratings of trucking companies decrease after repeated violations
  • You, the trucking company you work for, or both may face criminal charges

Final Thoughts

Following the hours of service rules is critical for your safety and the safety of other road users. It also ensures you have a successful truck driving career on the right side of the law.

We’ve provided a general overview of legal driving hours for truckers, but state regulations may vary slightly. Always verify the specific requirements in your state to ensure compliance.

If you’re looking to launch your trucking career, check out our resources on the different jobs commercial truck drivers do and what to expect from the position to prepare yourself adequately.

We also offer various commercial vehicle loans and can help you purchase your first truck with ease if you want to start as an independent trucker. Reach out to us to learn more about this.

choosing a semi truck

Best Semi Truck For Owner-Operators

Best Semi Truck For Owner-Operators

Whether purchasing your first truck or upgrading to a newer model, buying a semi-truck is a significant investment that requires many considerations. As an owner-operator, your truck is the most essential piece of equipment that your entire business relies on. So, choosing the right truck is vital.

There are many types of semi-trucks out there, each catering to different trucking needs and preferences. The type you choose should be carefully selected based on the specifics of your trucking business.

In this guide, we’ll break down some of the most important things to remember to help you choose the right semi-truck as an owner-operator.

Choosing The Truck For New Owner Operators

As a semi-truck owner-operator, one of the most critical business decisions you need to make is choosing the right truck for your business. Unfortunately, there’s no single “best truck” for owner-operators.

Picking your semi-truck brand and model depends on your preferences and the type of work the truck will do. Of course, different trucks offer different benefits. These include improved fuel efficiency, greater power, increased comfort, and advanced features, like driver performance assist.

However, the vehicle you choose should depend on the type of work you do in the trucking industry and what kind of truck you prefer.

choosing the right semi-truck

Points To Consider When Buying A Semi Truck

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right semi-truck for your business needs. Here are a few important considerations to ensure you select a reliable semi-truck.

Budget Wisely

Determining a realistic budget is the all-important initial step in choosing a semi-truck. Consider not only the upfront cost but also ongoing expenses like maintenance, fuel efficiency, insurance, and potential repairs.

Once you have a budget, you can narrow down your list of semi-truck brands, models, and years.

Age of the Truck

Decide whether you prefer an older or newer truck.

Newer trucks generally offer updated technology, better fuel efficiency, and fewer maintenance issues. Older trucks might be cheaper initially but may require more frequent repairs.

Some drivers prefer older classic American semi-trucks as a personal choice, while others like the latest models from truck manufacturers. Of course, your budget will also dictate how old or new your chosen truck will be. Just keep in mind that financing older trucks can be more difficult.

Technical Requirements for Routes and Freight

Assess the technical specifications required for your trucking business.

Consider factors like engine power, axle configuration, load capacity, fuel efficiency, and adaptability to different road conditions. If you need to haul oversized loads or unique cargo (like a tanker), then make sure your truck aligns with these needs.

cab type

Cab Type – Day Cab or Sleeper

Determine whether you need a day cab for shorter routes or a truck with a sleeper compartment for long-haul trips. Sleeper cabs offer resting space and amenities for drivers during overnight stops.

Semi trucks with a sleeper cab are more expensive but they are necessary for long-haul trucking.

Transmission Preference

Decide between a manual transmission for more control or an automated manual transmission (AMT) for ease of use and potentially better fuel efficiency. This really just comes down to your personal preference for driving.

State Regulations on Vehicle Emissions

Understand the emission regulations in the states where you operate. Some areas have strict emission standards that might affect your choice of truck or require additional modifications.

Business Operator Strengths

Consider your strengths as a business operator.

Are you proficient in maintaining and repairing vehicles, or do you rely heavily on maintenance services? This can influence the type of truck that best suits your operation.

Truck Make Preference

Do you have a preferred truck manufacturer based on reputation, previous experience, or reliability? Choosing from the best semi-truck brands that you trust is always a good call.

Must-Haves

Identify any specific features or necessities that you need for your operations.

This might include advanced safety systems, comfort amenities, specific engine specifications, or warranty considerations.

long haul trucks

Best Trucks For Long-Haul

Choosing the right truck for long-haul operations should come down to the vehicle’s reliability, comfort, fuel efficiency, and performance.

While this can vary depending on specific preferences and needs, here are some of the most popular options for long-haul trucking.

Volvo VNL Series

These trucks have earned a reputation for their comfort, safety features, and fuel efficiency.  They offer various sleeper cab options and advanced technology for long-haul comfort.

Freightliner Cascadia

These trucks have gained recognition for their fuel efficiency and aerodynamic design. This truck provides a range of sleeper cab configurations and advanced driver-assistance systems.

Kenworth T680/T880

The durability and driver comfort of these Kenworth trucks are renowned.  They offer customizable options for sleeper cabs and fuel-efficient engines.

Peterbilt 579/587

The main focus of these trucks is on fuel efficiency and aerodynamics. They provide sleeper cab options and have a reputation for reliability.

Mack Anthem

People know the Mack Anthem for its ruggedness and advanced safety features. This truck offers various sleeper cab configurations for long-haul comfort.
International LT Series

These popular trucks focus on providing driver comfort and fuel efficiency. They include sleeper cab options and advanced technology for long-haul operations.

short haul trucks

Best For Short-Haul Trucking

For short-haul trucking, where frequent stops and local deliveries are common, versatility, maneuverability, and efficiency are crucial. Here are some of the most reliable semi-trucks for these types of operations.

Isuzu NPR Series

This type of truck is known for its compact size and maneuverability. It’s ideal for urban deliveries and smaller loads with good fuel efficiency.

Ford F-650/F-750

These trucks offer a range of configurations suitable for various short-haul tasks. They’re known for their reliability and versatility for local deliveries.

Hino 155/195 Series

These are compact and efficient trucks suitable for urban deliveries. They’re known for their maneuverability and reliability in city driving.

Freightliner M2 106

The Freightliner are versatile and customizable trucks for various short-haul applications. They offer good maneuverability and fuel efficiency for local deliveries.

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 4500/5500

These are solid and reliable trucks suitable for smaller-scale short-haul operations. They provide excellent versatility and ease of maneuverability for urban deliveries.

Ram 5500 Chassis Cab

These international trucks offer multiple configurations suitable for various short-haul tasks.
They’re known for their durability and capability for local deliveries.

Isuzu trucks

Best For Local Trucking

Local trucking involves frequent stops, city driving, and shorter distances. So, you’ll want trucks that offer maneuverability, durability, and efficiency in urban environments. Here are some of the most popular options.

Isuzu N-Series (NPR/NQR)

Known for compact size and maneuverability, these trucks are ideal for urban deliveries. They offer good fuel efficiency and durability for local routes.

Ford Transit

A versatile truck that’s available in various sizes suitable for local deliveries. These trucks provide excellent agility and efficiency for navigating city streets.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

This popular type of truck offers multiple body styles and configurations for local cargo transportation. It’s known for its comfort, efficiency, and maneuverability in urban settings.

Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana

Chevrolet Express are versatile vans suitable for various local delivery tasks. They’re durable and offer ample cargo space for urban deliveries.

Ram ProMaster

These smaller trucks offer customizable options for local cargo transportation. They’re known for their maneuverability and efficiency in city driving.

Nissan NV Series

The Nissan NV Series provides various configurations for local cargo transportation. They’re durable and reliable for urban delivery operations.

5 Best Semi-Truck Brands

A massive part of choosing the best semi-trucks comes down to the brand. Here are five of the most reputable and widely recognized semi-truck brands known for their quality, reliability, and performance in the industry.

Mack Trucks

Their durability and ruggedness have made Mack trucks renowned. They’re recognized for their robust construction and strength, making them popular choices for various hauling applications.

best semi trucks

Freightliner

Freightliner offers a wide range of trucks suitable for different operations. They’re known for their innovation, efficiency, and advanced technology in trucking.

Kenworth

These trucks generally focus on customization and driver comfort. Kenworth trucks are popular for their reliability, versatility, and personalized options.

Volvo Trucks

Volvo takes up a huge share of the truck market. Volvo semi-trucks are focused on safety, fuel efficiency, and advanced technology. Volvo trucks are known for their innovation in safety features and environmental sustainability.

Peterbilt

Peterbilt trucks offer a combination of performance and style. They’re recognized for their distinctive design, reliability, and customizable options.

Great Condition is a Priority .

Regardless of the make, model, or production year, it’s essential that the semi-truck you purchase is in great condition.

The overall quality, maintenance history, and current condition of your trucking equipment is more important than the specific brand or model you choose. Ensuring that your truck is in top-notch shape is crucial to its performance, reliability, and longevity, ultimately impacting the efficiency and success of your operations.

Regular maintenance, thorough inspections, and verifying the equipment’s condition before purchase are critical steps to ensure it meets the necessary standards for your business needs. A well-maintained vehicle will also help you avoid commercial truck accidents.

Final Thoughts

Whatever make or model of semi-truck you choose, make sure that you focus on finding a quality vehicle that has been well-maintained. Of course, the truck you choose should tick all of the right boxes for your business needs.

When purchasing a semi-truck, you’ll also need to make sure that you work with the right financing supplier. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial Services to discover just how easy semi-truck financing can be – even if you have poor credit or are looking for an older model of truck.

TRIAL

Do Semi Truck Accident Go Trial

Do Semi Truck Accident Go Trial
Knowing what unfolds after a truck accident is crucial for everyone involved. Though not common, there are situations where the truck driver may end up in court.

If the accident results in hefty medical bills or significant damage, resolving the matter can get complicated. In such cases, you might find it beneficial to have a truck accident lawyer if the situation goes to trial. These legal experts specialize in dealing with the complexities of truck accident cases, ensuring you have the right support for a fair resolution.

To get a handle on the entire process, check out this guide. It covers all the key aspects you should be aware of when dealing with the aftermath of truck accidents, providing valuable insights to navigate the legal landscape effectively.

How Often Do Semi-Truck Accident Cases Go To Trial?

Most semi-truck accident cases are settled before they reach trial. Settlements typically happen through negotiations between the parties involved – such as the trucking company, the insurance company, and the injured parties or their legal representatives.

However, some cases of truck accidents do proceed to trial if the parties involved cannot reach a settlement or if one or both parties cannot agree on fair compensation for the damages. The case goes to court in such instances, and a judge or jury decides the outcome.

Reasons Your Truck Accident Case May Go to Court

Here are some of the main reasons why cases around semi-truck accidents might proceed to court

Serious Injuries

Serious injuries from a truck accident can lead to significant medical expenses, long-term care needs, or permanent disabilities. In such cases, pursuing a trial may be necessary to obtain compensation that covers these substantial damages.

personal injury lawyer

Low Settlement Offer

Sometimes, the initial settlement offered by the insurance company or the at-fault party may be unreasonably low and insufficient to cover the full extent of damages. In some cases, the injured party may choose to go to court seeking a more significant compensation amount.

Disputed Liability and No Settlement Offer

When fault or liability for the accident is contested, and the responsible party refuses to offer a settlement or denies accountability, going to court may be necessary.

If there’s a disagreement about who was at fault or if the other party refuses to take responsibility, a trial might follow to allow a judge or jury to determine liability.

Factors to Consider in Your Semi-Truck Accident Case

All truck accidents are unique, and their cases differ. However, here are some of the most common considerations for trials involving commercial vehicle accidents.

Extent of Injuries

Assess the severity and extent of injuries suffered due to the accident. This includes immediate injuries, long-term consequences, and impact on your quality of life. Severe injuries often result in higher compensation.

Evidence at the Scene

Evaluate the evidence available from the accident scene, including photographs, witness statements, police reports, and any available video footage. Substantial evidence can significantly support your case, which is why it’s so crucial that truck drivers know what to do after a semi-truck accident.

 experienced truck accident attorneys

Liability and Fault

Determine who is at fault for the accident. Investigate if the driver, trucking company, maintenance team, or other entities hold responsibility. Clear liability strengthens your case.

Insurance Coverage

Understand the insurance coverage of the involved parties, including the trucking company’s insurance policy limits. This can affect the compensation you might receive.

Lost Income and Future Earnings

Calculate lost wages due to the accident and any potential impact on future earnings or employability. This includes considering both immediate and long-term financial losses.

Statute of Limitations

Be aware of the time limits within which you must take legal action. Failing to file within the statute of limitations can bar you from seeking compensation.

Legal Assistance

Seek guidance from experienced truck accident attorneys. The right truck accident lawyers can help navigate the complexities, protect your rights, and ensure fair compensation.

What Happens if My Semi-Truck Accident Claim Goes to Trial

If your semi-truck accident claim goes to trial, both parties present evidence, witnesses testify, and lawyers argue the case before a judge or jury.

The court evaluates the evidence, listens to testimonies, and tries to determine liability and appropriate compensation.

 reach a settlement

How Long Do Cases Take to Settle?

How long a case takes to settle can vary significantly depending on factors like the complexity of the case, the extent of injuries, the willingness of both parties to negotiate, and court schedules.

Some cases settle relatively quickly, within a few months. However, more complex cases might take a year or more to reach a settlement. Cases that proceed to trial can be extended by several months or even years.

Pros and Cons of Going to Trial

Pros

  • Potential for higher compensation
  • A trial offers a definitive legal resolution when there is a dispute
  • Going to trial ensures that your right to pursue legal action is maintained

Cons

  • Trials can be very time-consuming
  • Trials involve legal fees, court expenses, and expert witness fees, which can be expensive
  • Outcomes in trials are uncertain

Pros and Cons of Settling Out of Court

Pros

  • Time and cost savings
  • Settlements provide a degree of predictability
  • Parties have more control over the outcome and terms of the settlement agreement

Cons

  • Possibly lower compensation
  • Once settled, the case cannot be brought to trial

Final Thoughts

As a truck driver, you should always be prepared for worst-case scenarios. Having a good truck accident attorney available can make your life a lot easier – whether an accident case goes to trial or not.

If you find yourself in an accident and need to purchase a new vehicle, then getting the right financing is essential. Get in touch with us at Mission Financial to see how easy our semi-truck financing process is.

 

 

fleet

Guide To Commercial Vehicle Fleet Insurance

commercial vehicle fleet insurance

Purchasing commercial fleet insurance is the most efficient and convenient way to protect your business vehicles if your company heavily depends on commercial vehicles to operate.

Having multiple cars or heavy machinery on the road or job site increases your exposure to accidents and unpredictable events. Fleet insurance mitigates all the risks your business vehicles are exposed to in a way a standard commercial auto insurance policy doesn’t.

This guide contains everything you need to know about commercial fleet insurance policies to help you get the right coverage for your business vehicles. You’ll also find a few practical tips to reduce fleet insurance costs and save money, regardless of the number of fleet vehicles you have.

What is Fleet insurance?

A fleet insurance policy is a specialized insurance coverage for companies that require multiple vehicles for business purposes.

It covers your legal expenses and offers financial protection against bodily injury plus property damage after unforeseen incidents, the same way individually rated commercial vehicle insurance does. The only difference is the scope of coverage provided.

Instead of covering each business vehicle separately, commercial fleet auto insurance allows you to put all vehicles under one comprehensive policy. Doing this has several benefits administratively and cost-wise.

fleet insurance policy

Why Do You Need Insurance for a Fleet?

As a commercial fleet business owner, you need fleet insurance because of its many advantages, such as:

Adequate Financial Protection

A Commercial fleet auto insurance policy considers the heightened risks of managing a fleet and your unique business needs to ensure your company is well-protected. Without it, you might experience financial strain, preventing your business growth.

Easy To Manage

Purchasing one aggregate commercial auto insurance policy for all your company vehicles means less paperwork for your administrative staff. It’s easier to keep track of one commercial policy than to follow up on several separate policies for each vehicle. Managing claims and adjustments for many vehicles is also more straightforward with fleet insurance.

Cost-effective

Fleet insurance premiums are usually lower than the sum of the insurance premiums of several individual commercial policies. Plus, you only need to make one monthly or annual payment instead of working with multiple payment plans for each vehicle, which may include additional transaction fees.

Flexibility

Commercial fleet auto insurance covers more than one type of vehicle in a fleet. You can customize the insurance plan to cover any combination of commercial vehicles based on your business needs. For example, your fleet vehicle insurance policy may include two cars, four mini-vans, and ten semi-trucks.

Also, fleet auto insurance lets you:

  • Add or remove vehicles as your business scales.
  • Enjoy driver flexibility by insuring all your vehicles in a way that allows all employees to drive them – this is different from other auto insurance policies, like personal auto insurance, where you have to specify the drivers covered under the policy.

fleet vehicles

How Many Vehicles Are Needed For Fleet Insurance?

Most insurance companies place their fleet insurance coverage under two categories – small and large fleet commercial policies.

Trucking companies can decide what constitutes a small or large fleet for them. However, some insurance providers require a minimum of two commercial vehicles to qualify for small fleet insurance. In comparison, others require at least five motor vehicles.

As for large fleet insurance, you need at least 20 commercial vehicles to apply to some insurance companies and 30 cars to others.

Types of Fleet Insurance Coverage

Some essential commercial auto coverages offered by a fleet auto insurance policy include the following:

  • Comprehensive coverage – comprehensive coverage protects your vehicles from non-collision damages. These include damages due to theft, vandalism, bad weather, animal strikes, and other incidents not caused by vehicles crashing into each other.
  • Collision coverage – collision coverage pays for costly vehicle repairs or replacement after collisions.
  • Uninsured Motorist – uninsured motorist coverage covers physical damage and medical expenses if your covered fleet vehicles get involved in accidents where the at-fault driver lacks insurance.
  • Combined Single Limit Liability Coverage (CSL) – CSL provides two separate commercial vehicle insurance policies, i.e., bodily injury and property damage liability coverage, as one. Bodily injury liability coverage pays the medical bills of injured victims if your insured vehicle causes an accident, and property damage coverage offers compensation for any property damaged by the accident.

fleet insurance coverage

Factors That Influence The Cost of Fleet Insurance

Fleet insurance costs vary per insurer, but most of them consider the following factors to determine how much you’ll pay for coverage:

  • Policy Options – a company that purchases various coverage options will pay higher insurance premiums annually than another that gets one comprehensive bodily injury and physical damage coverage.
  • Industry risk – the business operations of some industries are riskier than others. Companies whose vehicles are constantly on the road are more likely to get involved in accidents and often pay more to insure their cars.
  • Type Of Vehicles – the type of vehicles in your fleet also affects your insurance cost. Small cars are generally less costly to insure than large trucks.
  • Age Of Vehicles – your fleet vehicles’ age also determines the total cost of your fleet insurance policy. Newer vehicles might cost you more to insure.
  • Condition Of Vehicles – insuring well-maintained vehicles is cheaper because they are safer to operate.
  • Value Of Vehicles – the value of your fleet vehicles also matters when insurers calculate your insurance rates. The higher the value, the higher your insurance premiums will be.
  • Intended Use/cargo type – commercial auto insurance for a fleet that hauls hazardous materials is more expensive than a similar auto policy for transporting non-hazardous goods.
  • Miles Driven – if your vehicles cover more miles, your insurance premiums will be higher because the chances of getting into accidents increase the longer a vehicle is on the road.
  • Driver Experience – fleet insurance costs less if your fleet drivers have more experience and their driving records are clean.
  • Medical Costs – medical payments also play a role in determining your insurance rates. If they increase, the amount required to pay for the treatment of those injured in an accident also increases. Some insurance companies pass these increased costs on to you by charging higher premiums.

Attain Excellent SAFER Scores

Information You Need For Fleet and Commercial Truck Insurance

Insurance companies require several documents before underwriting a commercial fleet auto insurance policy. Here’s a list of the documentation you’ll need to apply for fleet insurance successfully:

  • The insurance policy declarations page of your current commercial vehicle policy is essential. This document should contain all the information about your auto insurance policy – from what the policy covers to the amount of coverage, deductibles, and policy limits.
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of each commercial vehicle on your fleet and a summary of their safety features, if any.
  • Your commercial driver’s license numbers (CDLs) and their driving histories, including any infractions, citations, or violations
  • Your latest audited financial statements
  • Copies of your permanent lease and individual trip lease contracts
  • Copies of your International Fuel Tax Administration (IFTA) reports showing your vehicle mileage by state and the total mileage covered within a specified period.
  • Copies of your fleet maintenance programs and federal compliance reviews of your safety ratings

Ways to Reduce Fleet Insurance Costs

Here are a few things you can do to lower insurance costs and increase your profit margins:

Match Your Insurance Limits To The Degree Of Risk At Hand

Tailor your commercial auto insurance coverage to your specific business needs. You’ll only pay for the essential coverage you need, thus avoiding wasting money on excess coverage.

Attain Excellent SAFER Scores

Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) is FMCSA’s system containing safety-related profiles and data of motor carriers. Low surfer scores mean you have several traffic violations. With a low score, you’ll pay more to insure your vehicles adequately.

On the other hand, excellent SAFER scores mean your driving record is clean, and this helps you qualify for high-quality fleet insurance at cheaper rates.

Installing safety-related technologies

Increase Your Deductible.

Deductibles are a way of sharing FMCSA’s financial responsibility requirements for commercial vehicles with your insurance provider. It’s the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket to cover losses after an accident before your insurer chips in. A higher deductible equals a more affordable commercial vehicle insurance policy.

Pay Your Insurance Premiums In A Lump Sum.

Paying your premiums in lump sum helps you qualify for significant discounts in most insurance firms.
Insure All Or Several Vehicles With One Insurance Firm

Most insurers also offer discounts and other incentives if the size of your fleet is large. Ask how many commercial vehicles you need to qualify for available discounts.

Improve Your Drivers’ Operating Behaviors.

Conduct ongoing training for your fleet drivers to help them maintain safe driving habits. Consistent, safe driving habits reduce your premiums.

Install Safety-Related, Risk Management Technologies

Installing safety-related technologies, like dashboard cameras, Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), and GPS trackers, improve your vehicle’s safety while on the road and when not in use. Ensuring your vehicles are always safe increases your chances of purchasing comprehensive fleet insurance at low costs.

Final Thoughts

Fleet insurance is essential for companies with more than one business vehicle. It’s the key to securing the future of your business operation.

To purchase the right fleet insurance policy for your specific company, consider your fleet size, claims history, and the role of your vehicles in daily business use. Then shop around to identify the top 3 to 5 insurers who align with your needs and compare their insurance quotes before picking the most fitting commercial fleet insurer for your specific situation.

Check out our detailed guide about commercial truck insurance for small businesses to understand what to look for when evaluating your commercial auto coverage options. You can also visit our blog to stay updated on the latest news within the trucking industry.

 

Archives

Sign Me Up!

Stay up to date with the latest news in the commercial trucking industry.

Contact Us
close slider