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Thread: Trucking software

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    Default Trucking software

    We have had a number of people who have shown an interest in obtaining software to run their trucking business. I thought this would be a good way to share experiences and compare different software programs geared to the driver, owner operator and small fleet owner. Some software can cost a little over $100, while others can run into the thousands of dollars.

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    I will start by sharing some of my personal experiences. I have owned Trucknpro by Foglinesoftware www.trucknpro.com, Easy Trucking www.easytrucking.com owned by Omni, and tried Truckers Helper www.truckershelper.com. Each has it's pro's and con's. Trucker's Helper has several versions from company driver to mid sized fleets. I like the ability to set up workers and contractors where they can be paid hourly, by mileage, or percentage. They also have the capability of having a driver qualification's file. It is a bit cumbersome to work with for some people. I like the program, but it could be a little easier to use. Easy trucking is designed primarily for the company driver or owner operator who only has a truck or two. There are two versions. The only difference is the number of trucks that you can put into the program. The smaller version will allow up to 5 trucks. The drawback is that if you have any turnover it counts like a new truck and the only way to continue using it is to either pay an additional fee to upgrade to the larger version or delete one of your drivers. That can be a bit awkward when it comes to your accounting. The program will do invoicing, maintenance and aging of receivables.

    I started using Trucknpro after buying the Easy Trucking program. They have made significant changes since I first started using the program. In fact, I spoke with them earlier this week and was told that they are about to come out with their 2013 trucknpro version. I was also told that there have been some problems with their web server this week for those using bluetooth. I was told that a landline or cable internet was not having the same problem. They told me that it should be repaired shortly. I forgot to ask about the upgrades, but there are a couple of different versions and some specifically designed for Landstar BCO's and Conway drivers and owner operators. You can use the same software in Canada as in the U.S. since he has a conversion chart in the program.

    I had a problem accessing my database of contacts from an old version to the new when my old laptop crashed. Personally, I think that the Trucknpro is the easiest to use out of all the one's that I mentioned. Customer service is good with them. Easy Trucking probably has the worst, from what I have experienced, as well as what others have mentioned. I don't know anything about the customer service at Trucker's Helper. I would expect that it would be fairly good.

    Whether you use an industry specific software program or some other type of accounting software, it is important to keep current records. One good aspect of all the programs is that they can give you your cost of running specific loads and your profit per mile as quickly as you put it into the system. You know immediately your break even point. If you plan on buying a truck, it can give you real information if you put in all expenses and revenues as you drive a company truck. Of course, you need to put the information into the program for it to give you the information you need. Reports can be generated to give to your accountant or for you to do your taxes. With Trucknpro, you can customize it for your specific needs. I st mine up to separate what I spend on oil changes, tires and other expenses. It helps me to know where my money is going. Each of the software programs that I listed offer either an online demo or trial version that you can download and try out for a short time.

    I hope others will share their experiences with whatever software you have been using. I know some use Quickbooks Pro and others use a spreadsheet. I am glad to answer any questions about any of the software that I have used. I also keep some records on a spreadsheet.

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    MichiganDriver is offline Senior Board Member
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    Good idea Gman. I don't have anything to contribute except to say I'll be watching this thread.

    Edit: What do you use a spreadsheet for?
    Last edited by MichiganDriver; 12-09-2012 at 07:54 AM.

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    i personally use quickbooks and i love it. BUT then again, i only have one truck/trailer and me as a driver.

    funny i was thinking today of doing a spreadsheet for my IFTA. today i was also thinking about when i add more trucks and trying to figure a system out. once i get home i'll look but as far as keeping track of expensies.. my mom has a small scanner that she uses for my dad. put recipts in the scanner and it puts it in the right catigory and adds up how much you've used and what not.

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    MichiganDriver, I use a spreadsheet to do my IFTA. Since I can now file electronically online in my state, I don't necessarily have to use the spreadsheet. Trucknpro will do the state mileage and gallon totals, so I can just print off a report and input the data into the state website. I sometimes use a spreadsheet to so some quick calculations for taxes. I also use a spreadsheet to do payroll.

    With the Trucknpro I really don't need to do much with a spreadsheet when it comes to seeing what I am doing in the business. The new software also has the capability to scan in receipts so that you can go paperless, if you so desire. I don't know if any of the other software packages offer that option.

    Firebird, I have known some people who have used Quickbooks Pro to run their trucking business. The main thing is to have current data at any given time. There are some features that I like about having trucking specific software that may not be available on standard generic accounting or bookkeeping programs. I like features such as keeping maintenance records where you can know exactly where my money is going, such as for tires, pm's, etc., I can print out a report at any time to see where the money is being spent. There is also a calender that you can use to remind yourself about maintenance, etc.,

    I have a templet that I designed to do my billing, but the software will do invoicing. I forget to use it sometimes. I have been using my templet for quite a few years. The invoicing was not on the original version that I received. I am glad that your mom can help with your bookkeeping. It helps having someone to take care of that for you. Firebird, can you print out your clients or load information. For instance, I can print out all of my brokers and shippers. I can also print out all of my vendors. I keep my laptop with a copy of the software with me when I am on the road. If I am looking for a load, I have my list of brokers that I can call, providing that I am in an area where I have a contact. I have almost 300 contacts from all over the country. I keep notes about each of them with things like their freight lanes, payment information and type of freight and rates.

    Easy Trucking has some of the features of Trucknpro. It will do invoicing and all the other information that I need. But, I find the Trucknpro is much more user friendly. Using a spreadsheet can do the basics of what I want, but it is also not as easy to get what I want. I like putting the load information into the program then seeing how I did on the load.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firebird_1252 View Post
    i personally use quickbooks and i love it. BUT then again, i only have one truck/trailer and me as a driver.

    funny i was thinking today of doing a spreadsheet for my IFTA. today i was also thinking about when i add more trucks and trying to figure a system out. once i get home i'll look but as far as keeping track of expensies.. my mom has a small scanner that she uses for my dad. put recipts in the scanner and it puts it in the right catigory and adds up how much you've used and what not.
    I use trip envelopes for each load. It helps to keep all receipts, bol, etc., together. At one time, I used a trip sheet. It worked fine other than keeping receipts together. You need a common way to keep records, especially when you have other drivers. You can use a spreadsheet to do your payroll. Truckers Helper can do payroll, invoicing, etc., Trucknpro will do everything with multiple trucks other than payroll. I think that I can change the program enough to do payroll, at least on a 1099. I am not sure exactly how I would set it up to do a W2. It is not a problem with a spreadsheet once it is set up. I put the load number, gross pay to the truck, driver pay, miles driven, etc., I paid on percentage, but the same format could be used with mileage pay. The problem could come in with the withholding taxes if you use trucking software, unless it has payroll built into the program. Will the quickbooks allow you to print out maintenance reports or separate expenses, such as tires, etc? Can you do payroll with Quickbooks or will you need to do something different? The trucking software will tell you your expenses and profit by the mile immediately upon putting the information into the computer. Can you do that with Quickbooks or will it only give the figures in dollars and cents?

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    firebird_1252 is offline Senior Board Member
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    i THINK you can do a report with how much you use in maintnace.. i need to ask my accountant this jan about that. however, i do know that quickbooks does have payroll. they also have it where you can set it up for a W2. you can even do direct deposit though them. another feture i like a loton quickbooks which i think i'll use as a sales pitch to customers is that they can pay with a creditcard. quickbooks will not do the profit by the mile though. however, there is diffrent charts (that i'm not using right now),that once you put in all your expenses, linked to your bank accounts it will tell you if you are profiting or not.

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    The Trucknpro people were talking about having some sort of way to import data from their program into Quickbooks. That would probably make it easier to work with an outside accountant. I like that you can interface with your bank and take credit cards. I don't know how much value that would be for me, but if some have customers or brokers who pay with a credit card, it would be a good feature. Most of the trucking programs are strictly for doing the books and tracking revenue and expenses along with maintenance. Some do have the broker list that you can track for finding more business. I don't know if you can do that with Quickbooks.

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    firebird_1252 is offline Senior Board Member
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    see that would be great if you could import the data.

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    I just downloaded the newest version of Trucknpro. It is a little different than previous versions. I am still learning about the differences and features. I decided to go back and key in loads that I have run for the first quarter. This version is designed for the single truck owner. They will be introducing a fleet version before long. This software allows you to scan in receipts, etc., and get rid of paper in your business. Personally, I still prefer a hard copy of paperwork, but more people are going paperless. This version also has a driver qualifications section where you can scan a driver's CDL, social security and medical cards. You can also put in the expiration date so that you can have a heads up prior to any paperwork expiring. I am mainly keying in the loads so that I can see how it does with my IFTA. That has to be filed before the end of April.

    Another feature allows you to more easily put in LTL loads. I know some who do LTL freight and I have done a fair amount of it in the past. It does make it easier to keep everything on the trip together. Back when I was doing more LTL's, this feature would have come in handy. The great part of this software is that you can use all or part of the features. There is a training video you can download from the website which can help. I downloaded it, but have not had time to check it out.

    Since they just came out with the program, I don't know how many readers or members have actually purchased or tried the new program. If you have tried the new program, perhaps you could post your thoughts on the new version and whether you like it better or less than some of the previous versions. They do have several different versions with at least a couple specifically designed for Landstar and Conway. The new program is called Trucknpro Elite.

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    I used Truckbytes and it's pretty good. I didn't use it for accounting, but only for tracking loads and trips and accounts receivables. I also used it to compile the data for fuel taxes. The owner of the company was a trucker for many years and is real helpful.

    TruckBytes: Free Software for Truckers & Affordable IFTA Fuel Tax Services

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    I noticed that some of the software developers are putting everything in the clouds rather than allowing you to buy the software and install it on your own computer. I just don't trust anyone with my personal data. I know it is possible for some to hack into my system, but willingly storing everything somewhere out of my office or computer is more risky than I am comfortable. Besides, most of those who require you to put your information in the clouds will also require you pay a monthly fee forever. When you purchase the software and install it on your system, you only pay the fee one time.

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    I just downloaded a new program that was recently made available for owner operators with a single truck. It is published by Trucknpro and has some interesting features. I have not really started to actually use the new program, but I am making some changes and I would like to see how this might work with the new venture. One feature that I really like is the routing. You can put in your start, stops and final and the program will plot your route. You can then print it off making it easy to follow rather than referring to a map. I suppose a lot of people are using GPS, but this helps to know where you are going. Personally, I like looking at a map so that I can get a good overview of my route. I don't get that so easily with a GPS. I am still exploring the new program. I may stick with the last program I got from them, Biz Manager program. I can add as many trucks to the Biz Manager program. The owner operator program is limited to a single truck operation. But, most owner operators only have a single truck, anyway. I was wondering if anyone else has downloaded the program and how you like it? I am still checking out the features, but if anyone else has tried it I would like to know if there are features you may like or not like about the program compared to other programs.

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    I would certainly like an update on this thread. I am looking to buy my first truck at the end of the year or by this time next year at latest.
    How has it worked out with Trucknpro and exporting to Quickbooks?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ckrobin View Post
    I would certainly like an update on this thread. I am looking to buy my first truck at the end of the year or by this time next year at latest.
    How has it worked out with Trucknpro and exporting to Quickbooks?


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    I don't use Quickbooks and have not heard anything from Trucknpro as to whether they are able to export files to Quickbooks. I know that was something on their list but don't know if it is now available. You might give them a call or send them an email. I think you can go to their website and ask. I believe their phone number is also on the website. They are good about getting back with those with questions. I would like to know, as well. There are a number of ways to keep your books. I find the Trucknpro programs works best for me. I like the way the program is set up. I have used paper, spreadsheet and other software. I have also used general bookkeeping or accounting software. This is already set up for trucking. One thing I like is that I can print out a report on each load or for any period of time and see how well I am doing at any given time. If you are in business, it is critical to know where you stand at any given time. Just because you have a lot of cash flow doesn't necessarily mean that you are making a profit. Whether you decide to purchase the Trucknpro trucking software, another type of software or spreadsheet, it is important to stay on top of your receivables. I like to break out some of my maintenance costs, such as tires. I can do that with this program. If you lease to a carrier, you may not need some of the program features, such as the IFTA reports. Your carrier usually does that for you. But, if you run your own authority, it helps to keep things organized. If I have kept up my books, I can go to the reports, print out an IFTA report and then go to the state website and transfer my miles and gallons from the report and I am done. When I used a spreadsheet, it took longer to do my IFTA.

    If you have been driving for a while, you have probably had to fill out a blank bill of lading. I keep a stack of them in my truck. With the newer versions of their software, you can fill out a bill of lading on your computer and the print it off in your truck. I don't know if it is available with Quickbooks, but the last couple of Trucknpro programs will allow you to scan in your fuel receipts, bill of ladings, toll receipts, etc., It can help if you ever get audited and lose a receipt. All you need to do is print out a receipt. Had I done that myself, I could have saved several hundred dollars last year. I went through an audit and some of the fuel receipts were not in the envelopes. I had the invoice numbers, gallons, etc., but they would only accept a copy of the actual receipt. If I had scanned them into my program, all I would have needed to do is print out the receipt. More and more companies are going paperless. Personally, I prefer paper. But the program does allow you to go paperless, if you wish.

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    Lot of great stuff, here GMAN. My only recommendation is to consider the entire technology picture. Accounting and operation software, maintenance, safety, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by safefleetsolutions View Post
    Lot of great stuff, here GMAN. My only recommendation is to consider the entire technology picture. Accounting and operation software, maintenance, safety, etc.


    The trucknpro programs have a feature that will track maintenance on equipment. It will also allow you to use a driver's file to put in safety violations, etc., Their current program is more suited to independents, small fleets an owner operators. It will also work for the company driver who wants to keep track of their expenses on the road. More and more companies are moving toward paperless records. I am still not completely comfortable with paperless without having a hard copy. Trucknpro programs will enable you to scan in all of your records into the program and then print out a hard copy at will. I still have file cabinets filled with records that date back decades.

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    How do trucknpro programs work across an entire organization? I mean from the driver to the front office?

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    The trucknpro programs that I have used concentrate primarily on the drivers and owner operators. I have not had the need to use it for office personnel, although you could probably use it for that sort of thing. Previous versions have been designed primarily for drivers, owner operators and small fleets. I just received notification that they have now released their fleet version of the last independent driver program. I have not had an opportunity to check it out, yet. I am still experiencing some computer or internet issues. I hope to get everything caught up by the first of the year. It is important to know how well you are doing in any business. I am glad that the foglinesoftware people (trucknpro) have not gone to putting everything in the "cloud." I have never liked having to put my sensitive data at some remote site that I cannot control. If anyone has had an opportunity to check out this new fleet version from foglinesoftware, I would love to know how you like it. If there are other trucking software programs that you may be using, those would also be appreciated. One failing of most owner operators and company drivers is that they hate paperwork. With the owner operators, many don't know if they are profitable or not. I have been talking to a number of lease operators for the last several months. Nearly all of them don't know if they are making money or losing their shirts. Business is very fluid. Things change constantly and those who are successful keep a handle on how well they are doing. If you don't have accurate information available to you, then you cannot make corrections to your business to insure your profitability. Owner operators and lease operators often have difficulty making the transition from being a company driver to running a business. When you own the truck you are a businessman or woman. The truck is only a tool that you use to make your business work. You are a businessman who happens to drive a truck. Some still think of themselves as just drivers. Whether you use a spreadsheet, accounting or bookkeeping programs or one of the trucking software programs, you must have access to your financial data. It does take a little of your time to put in the data, but it is worth it to know where you stand. Even if you use a CPA or bookkeeping service for your taxes, you still need current information so that you can make informed business decisions.

 




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