Thursday, August 11, 2016

Digital Settlement Sheets Are Here for Towables!

Here at Synergy RV Transport we are committed to the success of our drivers. Which is why, we make sure to listen to all of your feedback and implement tangible changes that will make your experience of working with us better.

Many of you said that you would like for your Contractor Settlement Sheets to be automated to your email for ease of use, lack of paper and better organization for your business. I am glad to announce that effective Thursday August 11th, 2016 that request will be in full force for all truck Owner/Operators (motorized should be on this system before October 2016). What does that mean for you…..

1. Immediate notification at the time your load is settled, The second you are settled out on a load, you will receive your settlement sheet in your email, knowing exactly where every penny is.

2. You no longer need to call to verify that your pay sheet was received by Synergy. With immediate email notification you will know as soon as your money hits your Comdata card.

3. No more paper Settlement copies in your driver box. Less paperwork for you to worry about filing, losing and or keeping track of while you are out on the road making it happen

4. Easier tracking of all your pay sheets in one central location, your email. All of your settlements sheets will be automatically stored in your email box, there when you need them!

Let’s face it, you took the initiative to start your own business and follow your dream, which probably means you have a passion for what you do. But, there are a lot of aspects of running a business that nobody enjoys and that is all the paper. This is Synergy’s “first step” in helping take tasks like these away from the enjoyment of business ownership for you and make your Synergy experience a great one!

Need an email address? You can get one for free and check it with a smart phone or with the computers out in the driver lounge! You can choose whatever provider you want, but a few places you can set up a free account are:

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Blitz - 2016

With the CVSA International Road Check scheduled for June 7-9, we need to look at how ready we are for it!

The annual International Road Check, more commonly known as "The Blitz," is a 72-hour period of very thorough enforcement. In this three day event, we can expect 70,000 to 80,000 very strict Level 1 inspections with about a quarter of the inspections resulting in  a 20% to 25% out of service rate.

This year's inspection will focus on tires, so, in addition to a full Level 1 inspection, drivers should be prepared for a thorough look at their tires. Top tire related violations include:

  • Worn Tires
  • Leaking Tires
  • Tires with insufficient tread
  • Under inflated tire
  • Tire load limit exceeded
Each of these violations can be an out-of-service, which means you have to pay someone to fix the problem before you can leave the scales!

How do you avoid these violations?

Worn and Leaking Tires

Make certain that your tires are in good shape and properly inflated. If there are any audible leaks caused by holes, bent rims, or lost beads, these must be fixed before driving! Its a simple matter of safety.

Insufficient Tread Depth

Federal rules indicate minimum tread depths that must be present on both your steer (front) axle tires and your rear (drive) axle tires. If your tread is not thick enough to meet these requirements, you can count on an out of service until you fix the problem (and I imagine ordering tires delivered to the weigh station isn't exactly cheap). Let's be clear; minimum tread depth isn't always enough for road conditions, but you can easily measure your tires using a tire depth gauge or 26¢.

Under Inflated Tires

Tires can lose up to 3% of their air pressure every month! Make it a habit to regularly and often check your air pressure to ensure it is within operable limits. Properly inflated tires save you money by saving fuel, tread life, and tickets.

Tire Weight Rating

Tires all have a load range (the most common for a light truck tire is "Load Range E"), but when the DOT determines whether or not you are overloaded, load range is nearly useless. They actually compare the loaded weight the axles to the actual weight ratings of the tires. While the load range is often easy to spot, actual load ratings can be very difficult to find. Be certain you are operating your truck on tires that properly support the weight of the truck and the load.

Other Factors

Just because they will be looking at tires doesn't mean that they won't be looking at log books, med certs., and everything else. Remember that the best way to pass an inspection is to be prepared and polite whenever dealing with law enforcement.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The New and Improved Towable Load Board!

It is finally here! The NEW and IMPROVED Towable Load Board! There are several new features that you will find helpful to you as you run.

Current active drivers can access the load board from Synergy's Driver Page at


We have several guidelines for using the online load board to help keep things fair for all drivers and keep dispatch running efficiently: 

1.  Our system tracks driver and truck expirations, if you allow something to expire in our system it will automatically bar you from access to the loads table.  If this occurs and you provide us with documentation that satisfies your expiration the load board may not be available to you until a system update that evening.  Please make sure not to give us your documentation at the last minute!

2    2. We are providing this as a tool for our drivers to choose their own destination and units.  This not only saves us time but also helps you maximize your available hours and allows you to go where you would like.  If used correctly this is a win/win for both us as a company and you as a driver.  However, this is only possible if this tool is used correctly.  There are several behaviors that we will not tolerate.

3. Once you have found a load you are interested in you will need to contact a dispatcher to be assigned to that unit, you are unable to self-dispatch on our system.  Once both you and the dispatcher have agreed on a time that the unit will be picked up we fully expect you to take this unit.  If you would happen to find a better trailer on the board after you have committed and been dispatched on one we will not be switching them.

      4. We fully expect you to pick the unit up when you have committed to picking the unit up.  We do understand at times due to weather or other circumstances you may not be able to make it in when you thought.  However, if you are consistently committing to loads and times that you are not living up to you will be permanently banned from use of the load board.  In addition, if the unit is still here after the agreed upon time, we may, without notice, dispatch that unit to another driver.

      5. You must have a valid email address on file with the company. This implies that you will receive notifications from the company from time to time. 

Logging In:

Log in at the load board by using your first initial and last name from the user name with no spaces, and the last 4 digits of your Social Security ID number as the password.

Driver Expirations:

Once you are logged in, you will have access to three pages, The Driver Expiration page, the Equipment Expiration page, and The load board itself.

The Driver Expiration page helps you track when driver specific items will be expiring. This will allow you to properly plan for these expirations so that you can avoid being locked down because of them.

Equipment Expirations:

Under the Equipment Expiration tab, you can view when truck specific items will expire. Again, you can  properly plan for these expirations so that you can avoid being locked down because of them.

Load Board:

The driver load board is now even more robust than before! Note that on the load board screen is a listing of soon-coming expirations for you. Below that is a sortable listing of all open loads. You can sort these by clicking on the column heading (in blue). Sortable columns include:

  • Shipping destination
  • Destination State
  • Commodity (5th Wheel, Travel Trailer, or other)
  • Length of Trailer
  • Priority (Hot or Not)
  • Miles
  • Rate
  • Yard Location
If you find a load you want, simply call dispatch to tell them the Serial # of the load you are interested in! As before, if you are in lock for an expiration or other reason, your access to the load board will be automatically cancelled. 

We are very excited about the new load board, and think this powerful tool will help you be a happier and more profitable driver!

If you have difficulty accessing or using the load board, please contact us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

New Transport Plates are in!

New Indiana Transport Plates are in for 2016! Please see Teresa DURING REGULAR BUSINESS HOURS to exchange your plates out as soon as convenient! Please don't wait until the last minute and make it difficult to keep running.

The process is simple; please just bring your old plates and registration in during regular business hours sometime before the end of September, and Teresa or Laurie will get a new set issued to you. If you do not have your new plates before the end of September, you will, unfortunately, be placed in lock until you can make it in to bring your old plates.

Thanks for helping make this a smooth process. Drive safe!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Make More Money Running As A Team!

At other companies, transport drivers of the motorized and towable variety each suffer from a few issues. For the pickup truck owner/operator, it is the case of deadheading all the way back home or to the terminal more often as not. For the motorized driver, it is how to get home after a delivery.

At Synergy, by trying to team our drivers, both of these drivers stand to make more money! Here's how...

Lets look at Mary Motorized taking a box truck and Pete Pickup pulling a triple axle trailer to Denver....

Goshen, IN to Denver, CO - Running Separately
Mary Motorized Pete Pickup
Pay 1109 miles $942.65 Pay  1109 Miles $1,474.97
Costs Fuel $225.07 Costs Fuel Out $266.16
  Trip Home $215.50   Fuel Back $210.71
        Wear & Tear $221.80
Net Pay Run Profit $502.08 Net Pay Run Profit $776.30
Now, let's team these two up and see how much more they can make...
Goshen, IN to Denver, CO - Running Together
Mary Motorized Pete Pickup
Pay 1109 miles $942.65 Pay  1109 Miles $1,474.97
Costs Fuel $225.07 Costs Fuel Out $266.16
  Trip Home $105.36   Fuel Back $105.35
        Wear & Tear $221.80
Net Pay Run Profit $612.22 Net Pay Run Profit $881.66
 With Mary helping pay the fuel costs coming home for a ride with Pete, rather than riding the Greyhound, she earns over $110 more! And Pete, with a person coming home and splitting costs, makes an additional $115! By working together, the Synergistic effect kicks in, and these drivers combined earn over $225
If you are interested in making far more money by teaming with another driver, talk to your dispatcher about teaming up! If you're an owner/operator, and know someone who might make a good driver for us, let recruiting know, and we will get to work signing on your teammate!

Note that truck expenses listed above are estimated and can vary depending on the truck and how the driver operates and maintains it.


Monday, July 27, 2015

Why we no longer care about the Minnesota Transporter Plate

"Effective immediately per Minnesota DOT, we no longer need to run Minnesota transporter plates.  Any vehicles and trailers with a combined GVW under 26,000 need to have our Indiana Transporter Plate on..." 

Transporters know the old story....Indiana Transport Plates are good in every United State and Canadian Province, except one: Minnesota. For years, Minnesota did not recognize Indiana Transport Plates (and, as one may suspect, Indiana decided not tor recognize Minnesota Transporter plates). This agreement, or lack thereof, is called "reciprocity." Reciprocity, basically, is an agreement between two bodies that if one recognized the other's laws, then that recognition will be returned. 

So for years, Minnesota Transporter plates have not been reciprocal with any other state or province. This could actually result in fines for people using Minnesota Transporter plates outside Minnesota. 

On July 22, 2015, Minnesota's Department of Public Safety issued a statement, recognizing a change in Minnesota Statute. 

During the 2015 legislative session the Minnesota legislature amended the drive-away in-transit law (also known as the transporter or DRW plate).  Effective July 1, 2015 the Minnesota DRW plate will be issued only to Minnesota-based transporters and the restriction that the plate be used only within the state of Minnesota has been removed.To assist out of state transporters driving through Minnesota, there are reciprocity agreements between Minnesota and 14 states and one Canadian province. Under the terms of these reciprocity agreements, an out of state transporter may travel on Minnesota roads using their home-based DRW plate. 

This means that te Minnesota plate is no longer required to be used in Minnesota for Synergy RV Transport. It also means that Synergy drivers CAN NO LONGER USE Minnesota plates.  

Minnesota Revisor Of Statutes 2015
Letter from Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety Subject: Minnesota Drive Away In-transit transporter licenses

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Supporting Documents

Hello Everyone,

We have been struggling to get everybody to turn in at least one supporting document for each log that shows driving. FMCSR 395.8(k)(1) states ”Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver for a period of six months from the date of receipt.” At this time we are only asking for one supporting document a day, we’ll worry about all supporting documents later. We need to get on board with complying with this regulation.

Starting August first any logs that show drive time that do not have a supporting document of some type shall not be processed. It will be returned to the driver through the files in in the driver room and if the driver has logs missing that are more than thirteen days old the driver will be locked until the logs are turned in satisfactorily.

Tom Gibson
Synergy RV Transport
574-537-1860 x 119

Notice how the supporting document, an ATM receipt, shows that the driver was in Goshen at 3:21 PM Eastern time, just like his log says.

FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8 : "(k) Retention of driver's record of duty status. (1) Each motor carrier shall maintain records of duty status and all supporting documents for each driver it employs for a period of six months from the date of receipt."

75 Federal Register 32984, June 10, 2010 : According to DOT enforcement personnel, "Supporting documents are the records of the motor carrier which are maintained in the ordinary course of business and used by the motor carrier to verify the information recorded on the driver’s record of duty status. Examples are:
  • bills of lading,
  • carrier pros,
  • freight bills,
  • dispatch records,
  • electronic mobile communication/tracking records,
  • gate record receipts,
  • weight/scale tickets,
  • fuel receipts,
  • fuel billing statements,
  • toll receipts,
  • toll billing statements,
  • port of entry receipts,
  • cash advance receipts,
  • delivery receipts,
  • lumper receipts,
  • interchange and inspection reports,
  • lessor settlement sheets,
  • over/short and damage reports,
  • agricultural inspection reports,
  • driver and vehicle examination reports,
  • crash reports,
  • telephone billing statements,
  • credit card receipts,
  • border crossing reports,
  • custom declarations,
  • traffic citations,
  • overweight/oversize permits
  • traffic citations. Supporting documents may include other documents which the motor carrier maintains and can be used to verify information on the driver’s records of duty status."

FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8(k)(1);
FMCSR 49 CFR 395.8 Guidance Question 10
75 Federal Register 32984, June 10, 2010