Jason Banner

5 Ways Women in Trucking Can Avoid Breast Cancer

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! We celebrate this month by sharing information regarding the prevention of breast cancer to eradicate this dreadful disease that affects one in eight women. But could women in trucking face even greater risk? According to Dr. John McElligott, co-founder and volunteer medical advisor of the St. Christopher Truckers Relief Fund, women truck drivers “don’t have as much access to healthcare with their lives on the road,” which could jeopardize early detection of breast cancer.

While the breast cancer mortality rate has decreased by 40%, the fight continues. In this article, we will go over breast cancer and discuss the top five ways women truck drivers can avoid it.

What is Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast and has the potential to spread to other parts of the body. While breast cancer typically occurs entirely in women, men can also be diagnosed.

Breast cancer can start from different parts of the breast, including:

  • Lobules. These are the glands that produce breast milk.
  • Ducts. The small canals come from the lobules and are the most common place for breast cancer to start.
  • Nipples. A less common type of breast cancer, called Paget disease, can often start in the nipples.
  • Fat and connective tissues. These portions of the breast surround the lobules and ducts.
  • Blood vessels and lymph vessels. Angiosarcoma, a less common form of breast cancer, can start in the lining of the vessels.
  • Armpits and upper chest. Lumps can be found in these areas during self-exams.

In most cases, breast lumps are benign and non-cancerous (malignant). However, any detected lumps or changes in your breast need to be checked by a healthcare professional.

While there are certain unavoidable risk factors for getting breast cancer, including your gender, age, personal cancer history, family cancer history/genetics, and breast density, there are some factors that you can change to reduce your risk.

Avoidable risk factors include:

  • Body weight
  • Physical activity
  • Alcohol use
  • Smoking
  • Drug use
  • Exposure to hormones (IVF, HRT, birth control, etc.)
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Radiation exposure

Ultimately, the best way to reduce or eliminate your risk of breast cancer is to learn about your health, eliminate negative factors that are within your control, and know your screening options for early detection.

5 Ways Women Truck Drivers Can Avoid Breast Cancer

Simple lifestyle changes can decrease your risk of getting breast cancer, even for women who are considered high-risk. To lower your risk, you should:

  1. Limit alcohol consumption. The more alcohol you drink, the more you put yourself at risk of developing breast cancer. Based on research, the healthy limit for alcohol consumption is no more than one drink a day.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are at a healthy weight, put in the work to maintain it. There are simple ways you can achieve this goal while on the road, including maintaining a healthy sleep schedule. You can also reduce the number of calories you consume each day and incorporate physical activity into your daily routine.
  1. Incorporate more physical activity. To live in good health, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week. You should also incorporate strength training into your exercise routine at least twice a week.
  1. Eat a balanced diet. Eating a balanced diet on the road can be challenging, but it is possible. A healthy diet will not only reduce your risk of breast cancer, but it will reduce your risk for other types of cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Foods to incorporate into your diet include plant-based foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, extra-virgin olive oil, legumes, nuts, and fish.

5. Perform self-exams. The number one way to avoid breast cancer is through routine self-exams. Stay vigilant for changes in your breast, including new lumps or changes in your skin. You should also consult with your doctor on when to begin mammograms and other preventive measures and screenings.

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How Inventory Shifts are Impacting Purchase Decisions

When it comes to buying trucks and equipment, the majority of owner-operators prefer the used market, according to Overdrive’s Truck Purchase and Lease Survey. Out of all of the survey’s respondents, 56% of them reported buying used trucks, 32% bought new, and less than 10% leased their trucks or equipment.

However, while purchasing used trucks and equipment is preferred among owner-operators, finding said trucks and equipment at a fair price is more challenging than ever. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the delays in production, brought on by component shortages, many owner-operators are forced to consider other purchasing options.

Unfortunately, truck dealerships aren’t receiving much in the way of new inventory. In 2021, new trucks were being ordered, but they wouldn’t arrive until December. And, to top it off, fewer trade-ins are making their way onto the lots, thus pushing prices of used trucks through the roof. In 2021, used trucks retailed for the most they ever have in the modern era. For example, a used sleeper, with over 450,000 miles on it, sold for a little over $90,000. This price was approximately 85.5% higher than the previous year. And while some industry professionals anticipated a slow descent in used truck prices in 2022, others caved to the pressure of the market and sold off their fleets for substantial amounts of money.

Photo Credit: Overdrive

Are higher lending rates to come?

Industry experts also predict that new truck production will eventually catch up and balance out. Once trucks start rolling off of assembly lines, used-truck buyers will want to consider the potential financing impact new truck production could have on trade-ins with higher mileage than normal. 

Financing a used truck is already a challenge due to the higher risk lenders take since used trucks typically face engine problems. When the trade-ins that drivers clung onto in lieu of new inventory arrive at dealerships, they will arrive with higher mileage and a higher risk of performance issues. Thus, lenders will be even more hesitant when drivers request financing and likely raise lending rates.

For small fleets, experts believe it may be wise to consider extending the life of their trucks and equipment through maintenance rather than buying new or used. And for any owner-operators who are searching for a used truck in today’s market, they can also expect higher down payments. In fact, those just entering the industry should be prepared to put 25-35% down. Overdrive recently surveyed a group of drivers who recently bought a used truck to further prove the state of the market. They found that 38% of used-truck buyers paid in cash, and 57% of buyers financed with a bank loan or through a captive or specialty lender.

Is a lower interest rate possible?

Despite all of this, there are ways to acquire a lower interest rate on your loan. The main factors that lenders look at to calculate the monthly payment include your credit score, the model year of your truck, how much money you put down, the owner/driver’s business experience, and your resourcefulness. 

“I’d rather lend money to a guy with a 600 credit score whose father was an owner-operator, grandfather was an owner-operator, brother is a diesel mechanic, and maybe his credit score is down because of divorce,” Grivas said. “That’s a great risk compared to a guy with a 700 credit score who’s just getting started.” 

When buying a new truck, experienced owners and drivers can expect a single-digit interest rate. However, drivers financing a used truck will see interest rates ranging from 10-13% or higher.

How Mission Financial Services can help.

We understand that sometimes times are tough and we’re here to get you back on the road to financial independence. Whether you’re a first-time buyer, have limited driving experience, or have bad credit, we can help.

Mission offers direct lending for owner-operator purchases, lease purchase buy-outs, repair loans, and title loans for operating capital. And even better, we will perform a complete review of applications and get you an answer within four hours.

Our approvals are structured as simple interest contracts with limited terms that let you build equity in your loan quickly to avoid additional finance charges. Mission considers all applicants living in all states except Hawaii and Alaska. And we offer affordable loans and report to all major credit bureaus so you can start turning your credit around. Why wait?

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2022 Walcott Truckers Jamboree: Recap

Photo Credit: Iowa80truckstop

An Interview with Charles Smith, Mission Financial

Iowa 80 Truckstop, The World’s Largest Truckstop, recently celebrated America’s truck drivers at the 43rd Walcott Truckers Jamboree. Approximately 45,053 drivers attended the event, along with their beloved friends and families, members of the local community, and visitors from over 27 different states and two Canadian provinces.

The Walcott Truckers Jamboree has been a yearly celebration, rain or shine, since 1979. The three-day extravaganza offers tons of features, including over 175 exhibits, an antique truck display, Iowa-style cookouts, the Trucker Olympics, contests, live concerts, an epic firework show, and so much more. And attendees didn’t have to worry about admission or parking for the event, because both were FREE!

The most popular feature of the Jamboree was the Super Truck Beauty Contest. This year featured 92 registered contestants, and the winners were something to admire. Ranging from turn-of-the-century trucks to modern marvels, there was something for everyone to appreciate.

This year, Mission Financial Services’ very own Charles Smith had the opportunity to attend the Walcott Truckers Jamboree.

“This was my first year attending, and while I didn’t participate in any of the exhibits or events, I was able to explore potential prospects for the future,” Charles said when asked about his time at the trucker’s event.

Charles also noted that there weren’t any other financial companies in attendance, which presents a huge opportunity for the commercial lender. “Mission Financial will definitely be attending the 2023 Walcott Trucker Jamboree. I encourage people to stop by our booth next year so they can take advantage of the industry knowledge and financial offers we specialize in everyday,” he said.

The 2023 Walcott Trucker Jamboree is scheduled for July 13-15, 2023. Click here to see the schedule of events.

Stay tuned for more information about the Mission Financial booth and the 2023 Walcott Trucker Jamboree!

Photo Credit: Iowa80

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What Owner-Operators Need to Know About the Inflation Reduction Act

On Tuesday, August 16, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (Act) into law. The Act covers climate issues, taxes, healthcare, and other legislation in one bill, serving as a concise version of the Build Back Better bill.

What is the Inflation Reduction Act?

The main points of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 include:

  • 15% minimum corporate tax rate: Corporations that generate at least $1 billion in income will now have a 15% tax rate, and stock buybacks will have a 1% excise tax.
  • IRS investments: The IRS will receive $80 billion to hire new agents over the next ten years.
  • Prescription drug price reform: Medicare will now be able to negotiate the prices of particular prescription drugs, and in 2025 Medicare recipients will receive a $2,000 limit on annual out-of-pocket prescription costs.
  • ACA subsidy extension: The current medical insurance premiums under the ACA, which were set to expire January 1st, 2023, will now be extended through 2025.
  • Investments in energy security and climate change efforts: Households will receive tax credits to offset energy costs, the government will invest in clean energy production, and there will be tax credits for reducing carbon emissions.

On August 7, the Inflation Reduction Act went to the Senate and passed with 50 Democratic votes and zero Republican votes. Once it reached the House on August 12, bill 220-207 was passed.

Ultimately, small businesses and hardworking Americans will profit from this legislation through the investments in deficit reduction, increased manufacturing, lowered drug prices, and the push for corporations to give back to their community. But what does this bill mean for owner-operators within the transportation industry?

What Owner-Operators Need to Know

The Inflation Reduction Act will make significant changes to the United States environmental policies, health care policies, and tax codes. However, for owner-operators and other small trucking businesses, the Act’s extended changes to the ACA subsidies and IRS investments will likely be the most impactful.

The increased and extended ACA subsidies will allow owner-operators without employer-provided health insurance access to affordable health care coverage. Marc Ballard, who handles the NAIT’s various health care avenues, said, “We’re seeing about 90% of people who enroll can get a plan for $100 a month. Take, for example, a guy who may be 45 with a spouse and two kids, lives in Florida, and expenses a bunch of his income. … Let’s say his net adjusted income is $60,000. He grossed $200,000, but the reportable income is $60,000. He could literally be paying zero dollars for a health care plan.” Those making more money may face an increase in coverage costs by just a few hundred dollars a month.

And while the ACA subsidy changes won’t affect independent business people as much, it’s wise to use this extension period to shop for different health care plans. Freight rates are slowing due to the rise in fuel costs, and owner-operators’ incomes fluctuate as the pandemic period breaks down. So, now is the time to consider income projections and any potential family or personal status changes, which could unlock new health-expense savings.

The $80 billion investment in creating a larger Internal Revenue Service could also pose a threat to owner-operators with more frequent audits. The Associated Press did disclose that armed agents will not come knocking on owner-operators’ doors unless they are under criminal investigation for dealings in things such as contraband. Truck drivers must also be conscious of their increased chance of being audited. And while the IRS does have a backlog, the 87,000 incoming agents will quickly clear it, making time for them to look at newer returns. So, be sure to be extremely thorough when filing your taxes.

The Future is Green

The $369 billion investment in green energy will also notably change the trucking industry. In the next few years, trucking companies could receive tax incentives to purchase trucks that operate on alternative fuel sources, including electricity and biogas. Similar tax incentives will be made available for installing supportive infrastructure at trucking headquarters. The bill will also offer grant and loan programs to trucking businesses to encourage and fund their switch.

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Top 8 Ways to Celebrate Truck Driver Appreciation Week

Truck drivers have been essential to our nation since the end of the 19th Century. They work tirelessly to transport approximately 10 billion tons of freight every year safely, securely, and on time while also keeping our roads safe. We depend on these unsung heroes to fuel our economy, for without professional truck drivers, our tables, closets, and stores would be empty. 

Every year, we take an entire week to pay respect to and thank the country’s 3.6 million truck drivers for their hard work and dedication to one of our nation’s most demanding jobs. We call this week: National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

America observes National Truck Driver Appreciation Week during the second whole week in September. This year’s National Truck Driver Appreciation Week is from September 11th to the 17th, and we’ve compiled the top eight ways to celebrate.

8 Ways to Celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week

1. Take advantage of parts and service deals.

Many companies are offering access to exclusive discounts, including Convoy, through their National Account at Goodyear. You can receive discounts on new tires, retread services, 24/7 roadside assistance, and more. Other companies, including Love’s Travel Stops and Pilot Flying J, will also offer promotional deals during National Truck Driver Appreciation Week.

2. Host giveaways all week long.

If you’re a fleet owner and operator, you can celebrate your drivers by hosting daily giveaways for items like iPhones, CB radios, or other things that drivers could find helpful. Daily drawings will keep everyone excited throughout the week. But to build more enthusiasm, why not raffle off a grand prize at the end of the week? A special grand prize could be a weekend getaway for two or a high-value tech item! Now’s the time to be creative (and generous).

3. Give a thoughtful gift.

Are you a family or friend celebrating your favorite truck driver? Do so by giving them a thoughtful gift.

Top-notch gifts for truck drivers include:

  • A new truck mattress
  • A Sirius XM subscription
  • Audiobooks or an Audible account
  • A Bluetooth headset
  • A 12V cooler
  • Their very own merch (shirts, hats, cups, etc.)

Browse other thoughtful gift ideas here.

4. Treat yourself to some lunch.

Some favorite food spots offer discounts to truck drivers on National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, including:

Denny’s – Truck drivers can receive a 10% discount key tag that is good to use at any Denny’s travel center location.

Love’s Travel Stops – Drivers can get a free Hot to Go sandwich or a Fresh to Go salad with an oil change purchase at any Speedco or Love’s Truck Care. Love’s will also offer daily specials on fresh food, snacks, and drinks.

Pilot Flying J – Freight haulers can get daily discounts on food and drinks, like a free drink on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

5. Host a family and friends event.

Truck drivers spend long hours (sometimes even days) on the road and away from those they love. If you’re a fleet owner-operator, you could celebrate your drivers by throwing a family and friends event. This event could be as simple as a backyard barbeque or as fancy as a catered, sit-down dinner. You can incorporate raffle prizes, games, and other festivities into your event or hire vendors like traveling photo booths or local entertainers, giving everyone a chance to mingle and let loose. An appreciation event could also strengthen your relationship with your employees and their loved ones.

If schedules can’t align for an appreciation event, reward your drivers with experience vouchers they can share with their families, such as movie tickets, concerts, sporting events, etc. A gift certificate to a local restaurant would also make a perfect gift to show your appreciation.

6. Write a thank you letter.

Nothing says “I appreciate all you do” like a handwritten thank you card to your favorite driver. Whether you’re an owner-operator, a family member, a friend, or even a fellow driver, a simple card expressing gratitude and admiration goes a long way.

7. Give your favorite driver a radio shout out.

What could be cooler than telling your favorite truck driver how you feel? Maybe their favorite radio host giving them a personalized shoutout! Call one (or all) of your dearest driver’s favorite radio stations and request to give a shoutout. This could make a driver’s week or maybe their entire year.

8. Go beyond the week.

Above all else, the best way to show appreciation for truck drivers is to show your appreciation all year round. And using any of the options listed above are great ways to do just that. After all, I think we can all agree that our nation’s truck drivers deserve more than just a week of special treatment.

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A Trucker’s Guide to Assembly Bill 5

Regardless if you’re a California truck driver or not, you’ve probably heard about the recent employment legislation that could change the entire trucking industry. As of June 30, 2022, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5) is in effect and making sweeping changes throughout the transportation industry. Over the last few months, there has been an excessive amount of news and information surrounding the legislation and the impact it could potentially have. So, what’s the truth about AB5?

We’ve created a comprehensive guide to California’s Assembly Bill 5 that explains the bill and how it will affect truck drivers and the industry.

What is California’s AB5?

In September 2019, the California Governor, Gavin Newsom, signed Assembly Bill 5 into law to provide gig workers with more rights and benefits. Specifically, the law promises gig workers who classify as employees minimum wage with overtime pay, standard employee benefits, expense reimbursements, health insurance, adequate breaks, and other benefits that were not previously promised under California labor laws. So, how do employers determine who classifies as what?

The ruling of AB5 is based on a 2018 California Supreme Court ruling, known as Dynamex Operation West v. Superior Court. The legislation replaced the 11-prong Borello test with a 3-prong test and established that workers were classified as employees unless otherwise proven by the hiring company. The new 3-prong test, known as the ABC test, determines whether a person can be qualified as an independent contractor. 

For a worker to achieve this classification, the following three statements must be true:

  1. The worker is free from direct control or direction of the hiring entity when performing their duties.
  2. The tasks and services performed are outside the hiring entity’s usual business activities.
  3. The worker regularly performs independent services similarly performed for the hiring entity.

If a worker does not meet the three requirements, they must be classified or, in some cases, reclassified as an employee and receive the rights and benefits that come with that title. The problem with the new ABC test is that it has created rigorous standards for employers, and it’s challenging for workers to pass.

Pros and Cons of Assembly Bill 5

The main issue with AB5’s 3-prong test is that it has turned some independent contractors into employees. Specifically, item B poses the most risk to a worker’s livelihood because it states that a person performing any work similar to the company that hired them is presumed to be an employee. If a worker is classified as an employee, they must adhere to new standards that ultimately impact how they perform their job. For instance, while gig workers can choose when and when not to work, employees must abide by a set schedule.

However, the new legislation isn’t all bad. Pros and cons of AB5 include:


  • The legislation creates equal opportunities for gig workers and regular employees.
  • Qualifying as an employee entitles workers to benefits and other perks.


  • Being classified as an employee could cost workers their flexible schedule.
  • Reclassifying independent contractors as employees could increase prices for consumers.

And while AB5 does not guarantee that hiring entities will eliminate flexible scheduling, employers may exert more control once they begin incurring higher costs of paying employees versus contractors.

How will California’s AB5 impact the trucking industry?

The application of AB5 will undoubtedly impact motor carriers’ prices, routes, and services. On January 16, the District Court for the Southern District of California found AB5 preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) and urged its application. This ultimately left the independent contractor model unaffected—at the time. The state of California was also pushed to appeal the lower court’s injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (CTA). 

However, on April 28, 2021, the appeal was reversed after finding that implementing AB5 did not fully impact motor carriers’ prices, routes, or services. Therefore it did not fall under the FAAAA’s preemptive scope. So, the reversal cleared AB5 to take effect. But, on June 23, 2021, the 9th Circuit stayed the reversal’s effect, pending the resolution of the appeal to the United States Supreme Court.

Without comment or discussion, the Supreme Court decided not to review the case and left the 9th Circuit’s decision intact. AB5 was once again clear to take effect on motor carriers operating in the state of California. In the Supreme Court briefing, representatives from the State of California downplayed the impact AB5 would have on motor carriers and the trucking industry. 

Now, drivers operating in California are bracing themselves for the “highly impactful and disruptive” consequences of the bill. Many motor carriers and industry experts believe that additional legal challenges associated with AB5 and the ABC test are likely to occur. Still, for the time being, those operating in California will, unfortunately, have to carry the weight of AB5.

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