Designed by two over-the-road truckers, Hammerlane software includes the Prophesy Mileage and Routing program, DeLorme Street Atlas USA, as well as comprehensive program for the one-truck owner-operator (fleet version also available). The program tracks revenue and expenses, state mileage by trip and by quarter, customers, brokers, companies, vendors, and personal contacts, records detailed maintenance and warranty information (including reminders), shows profit and loss estimates by trip, month, quarter, and year, and contains a 70-hour logbook recap feature. For ease of use, a single entry is automatically entered into all screens and reports where it is needed. For example, a fuel purchase entry goes into the trip report, state fuel mileage report, and the expense report. The cost of the complete one-truck owner-operator program is $699 ($649 for OOIDA members). The small-fleet version, which handles up to 50 trucks, sells for $2000 ($1750 for OOIDA members). Hammerlane also offers a complete laptop computer setup, including a top-of-the-line laptop computer, printer, batteries, 12-volt and AC adapters, and briefcase, loaded with Windows 98 and the Hammerlane software program. For more information, call 1-800-772-2716 or visit their website at www.hammerlane.com.
Q: I've heard of a program called Juno that claims to offer free e-mail.
A: Is this for real?
It's for real. Juno is an Internet service that provides free basic e-mail services. You select your own e-mail address (for instance, email@example.com), and are able to send mail to and receive mail from anyone in the world with an e-mail address.
With approximately 1,000 local telephone numbers at your disposal, the program can be used from anywhere in the U.S. or Puerto Rico. If you were hauling a load from Illinois to California, for example, you could access your e-mail from every state in between. In most urban and suburban areas there is a local access number, which means you won't be charged for a long distance phone call.
Many people are skeptical about the claims of "free e-mail." But the makers of Juno say that their advertising revenue allows them to live up to the claim. There is no start-up fee or monthly fee. You do not have to purchase any goods or services. The only charge you may encounter would be the shipping cost for the installation disk (around nine dollars), provided you can't download it from the Internet or don't know anyone who can give you their installation disk (Juno's website says they are "delighted when our members pass copies of our software along").
To use Juno, your PC must have Microsoft Windows, and at least a 9600-baud modem. Because Juno has its own network, you do not need Internet access for the program to work.
Juno's features include a spell check function, customized folders for storing your e-mail, and an address book that can automatically save the addresses of everyone who sends you mail.
But perhaps the best feature is the fact that you only spend a matter of seconds actually tying up your phone line with an internet connection. You write and read your e-mail offline. When you're ready to check your mailbox, the program will dial its network, send all composed mail, receive all sent mail, and end the connection. If you only have one phone line, you are able to read and write your e-mail without having to spend more than a few seconds connected to the system.
The service also weeds out most junk mail, or "spam." Because Juno claims they do not give e-mail addresses to outside sources, the only advertising e-mail you'll receive is from them. They send three or four pieces a week.
Juno also offers other services that allow you to download file attachments to e-mail, and to access the World Wide Web. These services carry a monthly fee. But for the individual who simply wants a free e-mail address to communicate with people around the world, the basic program fits the bill.
To see a sample copy of Juno or download the program from the Internet, check out their website:www.juno.com.
Profit Per Mile
From Omni Communications, Profit Per Mile features income and expense reports, invoicing, maintenance reports, address book, log book calculator, and the ability to generate a comprehensive list of reports sorted by truck, customer, etc. Add Omni's Fuel Manager program to track fuel purchases and fuel taxes owed, and plan your fuel purchases to minimize taxes. And within the next few months, Omni will release updated versions of both programs, incorporating many new features requested and suggested by Omni's customers.
The owner-operator version of either program handles up to five trucks, and the fleet version handles six trucks and over. Profit Per Mile's owner-operator version sells for $98, the fleet version for $298. Fuel Manager's owner-operator version sells for $95, the fleet version for $295. For more information, call 1-800-459-OMNI, or drop by their website at www.800-459-omni.com.
Edonna Products and Services offers the Profit Tracker program that tracks fixed and variable expenses, revenue, maintenance scheduling, pick ups and deliveries, fuel stops, fuel purchases, state mileages (loaded, empty, and toll), and customers. It calculates fixed, variable, and total costs per mile, revenue per mile and per day, total fixed and variable expenses, total miles, and profit and loss in dollars and per mile. The single truck version of Profit Tracker is $100, and the multi-truck version is $200. A network version is also available.
Edonna Products also offers other programs, including Dispatching Plus, Pallet Tracker, and a complete line of PC*Milerr programs. PC*Milerr point-to-point routing and mileage software is available from Edonna for $1950. PC*Fuel Taxr software is designed to automate all aspects of fuel and mileage tax tracking, calculation, and reporting. The program calculates taxes owed as well as refunds and credits and sells for $1490. The price includes one year of quarterly updates.
A new, more comprehensive version of Profit Tracker will be available by the end of the year. For more information, keep an eye on Edonna's website at www.edonna.com, or call 1-800-846-1802.
Truck Books(Version 2)
From Howard and Barry at PBS Tax & Bookkeeping Service, Truck Books (Version 2) is a Windows-based, easy to use, income and expense program for the one truck owner-operator. Truck Books generates monthly and year-to-date profit and loss statements and provides organized information for your tax professional. A Windows 95-based version of Truck Books will be available soon. The updated version will handle records for an unlimited number of trucks, allow the user to customize a chart of accounts, and reportedly will be easier to use. Truck Books sells for $69. For more information, call 1-800-697-5153 or check out Howard and Barry's website atwww.pbstax.com.
The Trucker's Helper
Land Line columnist and computer-programmer-turned-trucker John Ewing is constantly expanding and upgrading his software line. The Trucker's Helper offers a wide range of programs - for the single employed driver or the one-truck owner-operator, all the way up to a comprehensive package for a fleet of 100 trucks. Available features include tracking of income and expenses, mileage tracking and fuel tax reports (The Trucker's Helper interfaces with Rand McNally's Milemaker program), dispatching, invoicing, pick up and delivery records, maintenance records, customer information, driver records, log check, settlements, trailer tracking, and more. A payroll function will soon be available, as well as a network version. Version 4, for Windows 95/98 operating systems is available now.
An owner-operator version of the Trucker's Helper that will handle up to ten trucks sells for $189 (OOIDA members receive a 25 percent discount). For more information, check www.trkrhelp.com, or call 1-888-875-7435.
Truckin' Buddy IIv2
Applied Arts Software markets a number of trucking-specific software programs. Truckin' BuddyTM provides one click access to bill and payment screens from revenue screens, customizable bills and statements; a driver wage function (for both single and team drivers) that calculates earnings by per mile, percentage, and a choice of other means; tracks settlements, generates traffic lane reports, and calculates tariffs. The program records multi-state registrations, load information, maintenance information, revenue, expenses, and performs many other functions. The owner-operator version of the program sells for $129, or $389 for the fleet version.
Fuel Tax Buddy tracks fuel purchases, generates fuel use analysis, tracks weight-distance reporting, fuel tax reporting, and tax audit reporting. The program sells for $89 (owner-operator version) or $255 for the fleet version. Check out Applied Arts' website at www.truckbuddy.com for information about their newest program, Log BuddyTM and other Applied Arts programs. Or call 1-800-570-2787.