Tuesday, 17 September 2019

Trucking Business: How to Hire and Pay Independent Contractors

Owner-operator trucking businesses often expand and hire contractors.
So, you might’ve read one of our previous blogs about starting a trucking company, and decided to take the leap.

Congrats! Now, your owner-operator trucking business is expanding.

As your business grows, so will your team.

How do you hire contractors, and how do you pay them?

Here’s everything you need to know about hiring great contractors for your business and utilizing a self service payroll system to pay them.

Growing Your Trucking Business

Hiring Contractors

Owner-operator trucking is a great place to start, but as you expand your trucking business, you may need to have drivers working for you.

This means recruiting contractors. Where can you bring them in from?

First, determine how many drivers you need and what your budget is. Remember, growth takes time. Hiring multiple drivers is a process that may have to happen over a long period of time.

Once you’ve made a plan, check out CDL certification schools and target their students. Also, consider setting up a booth at local job fairs.

If you’re looking for other employees, such as secretaries or office managers, you may want to check out certain online job boards.

Completing Paperwork

Once you have your contractors, the paperwork starts.

Luckily, now that almost everything is online, the paperwork doesn’t have to be physical, literal paperwork. It can be done electronically.

As the word contractor implies, you’ll need to set up contracts with your new employees.

Once the employee has signed their contract, you’ll need a W-9 for each contractor.

The IRS Form W-9 is used to confirm a new contractor’s taxpayer identification number, and to request taxpayer information.

You can have your contractors complete and e-sign this form for free with TaxBandits

Paying Contractors

Of course, don’t forget that you have to pay your contractors!

Paying contractors and keeping track of payroll is simple with the help of a self service payroll system. Again, take advantage of payroll online!

Keeping your business online payroll electronic will save you plenty of headaches.

Trucking businesses utilize employee self service portal to pay their contractors.Check out PayWow, a payroll online service catered to small businesses. Your trucking business is growing, and outsourcing business online payroll is your best friend.

Simply manage your employee self service portal online and you’ll be paying contractors on time with no issues.

Tracking payroll online has never been easier. Let the payroll experts at PayWow lead you to success.

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Tuesday, 10 September 2019

How To Focus On Your Trucking Business After the 2290 Due Date

Now that the 2290 due date has passed, truck drivers can turn their focus back to their trucking business.
Congrats! You’ve survived the 2290 due date. You officially don’t need to worry about IRS Form 2290 again until next year.

…Unless you haven’t filed.

If you missed the 2290 due date, you’ll want to file ASAP to avoid increased penalties and interest. File online with the industry’s leading provider, ExpressTruckTax.

You’ll be done in minutes. It’s the place to go for filing amendments as well.

But enough of that. If you filed before the 2290 due date, I’m sure you’re tired of all the tax talk. Let’s focus on how to grow your trucking business and climb to the top of the owner-operator trucking world.

Growing Your Trucking Business

Track Everything

One of the most important parts of running a trucking business is tracking everything.

You’ll need to do this to keep records for tax purposes, and to determine where your trucking business is gaining or losing money.

Finding profitable loads is critical to increasing profit, as well as curbing money spent on other things, like for instance, penalties from missing the previously mentioned 2290 due date.

Stop throwing money away and stay on top of driver logs, expenses, and taxes.

The best way to do this is through the use of a trucking business management program or trucking company software program, which we’ll talk about later.

Focus on Time Management

A big part of owning a business is knowing when to release the reins through outsourcing.

Let others take ownership of certain daily processes so that you can focus on other critical elements of your trucking business.

Again, this can be directly related to choosing a trucking business management program.

You’ll want a system that allows multiple-user access.

Find a Trucking Business Management Program

The best solution for accomplishing the first two points is to find a trucking company software program that can do them for you.

Whether you’re an independent owner-operator, leased operator, or fleet manager, you need a trucking company software program that can log your information and keep a record for you.

TruckLogics is your go-to solution for trucking business management.

Independent owner-operators can manage their entire business from one place, and pay less than $10 a month to do so. They can manage dispatches, track income & expenses, schedule maintenance, send invoices, and more.

Leased operators can streamline their recordkeeping by tracking income, running profit & loss reports, and recording maintenance & trip details.
Owner-operators, fleet owners, and other truck drivers can use a trucking business management program to increase growth.
Lastly, fleet owners can access even more features in the fleet management app like TruckZone, which maintains fleet details to make them organized and accessible. 

They can also set automatic reminders for upcoming vehicle maintenance.

At the core of it all, a trucking business will not profit if it doesn’t have a clear picture of what elements or factors are contributing to success and what aren’t.

Stay on top of it all and track your company’s profit. Never worry about forgetting to budget for upcoming maintenance, or not having the correct paperwork and trip sheets when needed.

TruckLogics will take care of it for you.

Give it a test drive for 15 days for free!

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Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Backhaul vs Deadhead: What's The Tipping Point?

This blog was written by Peggy Dorf, author for DAT.

When you can’t find a high-paying load, would you accept a low rate to avoid driving empty?

I asked that question in a quick poll on the Rate Per Mile Masters group for truckers on Facebook, and the vote was overwhelming: No way. Almost 400 respondents said they’d rather deadhead, compared to 23 who would take the low rate and 14 who might do it if it worked with their schedule.

Brokers take note: That’s more than 9 out of 10 independent truckers who refuse to haul anything they consider to be "cheap freight."

This was not a scientific survey, but it’s still revealing. Many truckers will choose to deadhead rather than waste time searching for a low-paying load.

DAT load boards provide the largest and most trusted digital marketplace for truckload freight.

B***haul is a bad word

Rates are often out of balance on a lane pair, so the load in one direction pays a lot more than the return trip. Often, a trucker will end up with a decent average rate for the roundtrip. But when the truck is stuck in a dead-end market like Miami or Salt Lake City, there will be more competition for a relatively small number of outbound loads.

On lanes that head into one of those dead-end markets, it can be hard to find a load to get you home, and when you do, the rates are usually very low. Those lower-paying lanes are called the “backhaul,” which is a dirty word to many truckers: B***haul. OOIDA doesn’t even let me say it on the radio. I kid you not. Bleep.

On some lanes, the headhaul direction is always the same: Los Angeles to Phoenix pays more than Phoenix to L.A., and Philadelphia to Boston pays better than Boston to Philly -- that is if you can even find a load out of Boston. That price difference means that the destination market has more consumers than producers. Phoenix doesn’t generate a lot of freight compared to L.A., and Boston doesn’t generate a lot of freight, period.

On a few lanes, the headhaul direction changes in peak seasons. For example, in many years Miami to Atlanta becomes a headhaul for reefer loads during a few glorious weeks in the spring. Truckers monitor the load-to-truck ratios on DAT Hot Market Maps to assess these seasonal shifts.
Subscribe to DAT Trendlines to get free weekly reports on national spot market rates.

Take the backhaul with you

Rate Per Mile Masters founder Chad Boblett, of Boblett Brothers in Lexington, KY, makes every effort to “take the backhaul with me” when accepting a load into one of those quiet markets. Boblett explains that he needs to be paid enough on the headhaul to compensate for deadheading out.

Another Rater Per Mile Masters member agreed: “I will always make enough going into a dead zone to come out empty,” he wrote. “I’d never take a cheap load, no matter what the lane!”

His main objective was to avoid “wasting hours loading and unloading, and burning more fuel on cheap freight.” But he and other truckers also wanted to set an example for freight brokers by refusing to haul at a low rate.

“If the rate keeps getting turned down, the rate goes up,” said another small carrier. “If you keep hauling it for $1.00 [per mile] then it keeps the rate on that lane at $1.00.”

Time is money

Other carriers consider that a low-priced haul may sometimes be worthwhile. “I keep in mind that time equals money,” said Sammy Lloyd, of Lloyd Trucking in Chattanooga, TN, an independent motor carrier. “Rolling at $1.50 per mile today is more profitable than $2.00 per mile tomorrow.”

Lloyd recommends researching market trends and scheduling loads in advance: “Pre-booking my next load helps me cut down on wasted time, and time management is very important in this business,” Lloyd said. “With good planning during my week, I find that I can make room for an additional load by week's end.”

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Today is the Last Day to File Your HVUT 2290 Without Penalty

Truck drivers must file HVUT 2290 heavy highway use tax by the deadline to avoid HVUT penalties.
Lucky you!

You have extra time to file your Heavy Vehicle Use Tax this year.

You’re cutting it close though…

Today is the absolute last day to file Form 2290 Heavy Highway Tax.

Here’s what you’ll need to file HVUT 2290 on time and avoid IRS penalties

It’s Not Too Late! File HVUT 2290 Before the Deadline

Heavy Vehicle Use Tax

HVUT, or Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, is a tax amount paid for heavy vehicle use on public highways to cover the damage done by heavy vehicles to public roads.

You’ll need to pay HVUT if your vehicle has a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more and is driven on public highways.

You can claim an exemption or suspension for 2290 heavy highway tax if your vehicle:

-  Was used 5,000 highway miles or less during the tax period
-  Is an agricultural vehicle and was used 7,500 miles or less during the tax period
-  Was stolen or destroyed during the tax period
-  Was sold during the tax period 

HVUT Form 2290

HVUT Form 2290 must be filed with your heavy use tax payment by September 3, 2019.

Usually, the deadline is August 31st, but this year that date falls on a Saturday.

This deadline applies if the vehicle was first used during July. It also applies whether you are paying the HVUT tax or reporting the suspension of heavy use tax.

It’s important to file HVUT Form 2290 and pay your Heavy Highway Use Tax by the deadline to avoid IRS penalties and interest.

File Road Tax 2290 Fast!

Filing and paying your Road Tax 2290 may seem like a daunting task, but it won’t be if you file online.

With an online IRS-authorized e-file provider like ExpressTruckTax, filing HVUT Form 2290 takes minutes.
Trucker driving in the sunset trying to file HVUT Form 2290 by the end of the day.Simply sign up for a free ExpressTruckTax account, click “start new return”, and enter vehicle information.

Then, use our HVUT 2290 Calculator to determine your heavy use tax amount, undergo a free instant error check, pay your heavy highway tax, and transmit your HVUT Form 2290 to the IRS.

It’s simple, and it’s quick. Plus, as soon as you’re finished filing HVUT Form 2290 and paying your heavy highway use tax, you’ll receive your Schedule 1 within minutes.

Get started now!

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Thursday, 29 August 2019

When Trucks Stop, America Stops: The Life of the American Trucker

Festive American truck pays tribute to the major role American truckers play in the trucking industry.
It’s no secret that American truck drivers are the backbone of this country.

But what does it take to be a part of the trucking industry?

We spoke to our neighbor, Rock Hill, South Carolina resident Kennith Farrell, owner of KF Trucking to get an inside view at the life of a truck driver in our country.

The Life of a Truck Driver

The Our American Truckers Series

We started the “Our American Truckers” YouTube series to bring attention to the lives of American drivers and hopefully increase appreciation for what they do.

Our first episode featured Billy Cagle, a Wadesboro, NC truck driver for the entertainment industry.

He talked a bit about how he got into the trucking industry, and what his experience means to him.

This week, we spoke to Kennith Farrell, owner of KF Trucking right here in Rock Hill, South Carolina, to get his take on the industry.

The American Trucker

Farrell spoke about how the trucking industry has changed over the years, and the increasing demand on American truck drivers.

“In America, without trucks,” he says, “we don’t have a country.”

He’s right. The trucking industry is responsible for employing 10 million people in the US, and transporting over 70% of total domestic tonnage shipped.

“I got into it… I actually drove when I was 18 years old. I worked for a company called King Provision with my uncle delivering to Burger Kings,” he remembers.

He didn’t think it’d be his career, until his brother suggested that they invest in their own truck.

Starting a trucking company is a huge step, and that’s where we come in.

Supporting the Trucking Industry

At TruckLogics, we work tirelessly to support truck drivers and trucking businesses in every way that we can.

We understand that being a member of the trucking industry is critical to US economic success, and we also know it’s a tough industry to be in.

If you’re a trucking business owner like Farrell, we can help.

We offer a cohesive business management solution for your trucking business.

Whether you’re an independent owner-operator, full fleet manager, or just starting a trucking company, we have the tools you need to succeed in the trucking industry.

On top of that, you’ll always speak with a real, US-based team of people ready to help you when you need it.

Take advantage of our free 15 day trial today.

While you’re here… Do you still need to file IRS Form 2290?

Check out our sister product ExpressTruckTax, the industry’s leading IRS-authorized e-file solution. They’ll have you done with filing in minutes.

The deadline is September 3rd, 2019. Avoid IRS penalties - Get started now!

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Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Watch Out! The 2290 Due Date is Almost Here

Truckers hurry to file Form 2290 and pay their HVUT 2290 before the 2290 due date.
By now you probably know that the 2290 deadline is coming up.

Have you filed your Form 2290?

If not, take advantage of this quick HVUT 2290 rundown. 

In just a few minutes, you’ll have everything you need to file your heavy use tax before the 2290 filing deadline.

What the 2290 Deadline Means to You

The 2290 Filing Deadline

This year, the Form 2290 due date is September 3rd, 2019.

The usual August 31st due date falls on a weekend, and the next business day is Labor Day. This pushes the 2290 filing deadline back to Tuesday, September 3rd. 

Filing before the 2290 due date is critical for avoiding IRS penalties. If you’re thinking “they can’t be that bad”, think again.

2290 Filing Penalties

The late filing penalty for Form 2290 is 4.5% of the total HVUT 2290 tax amount you owe, with an additional 0.54% interest each additional month.

However, filing Form 2290 but failing to pay your heavy use tax amount only leads to a penalty of 0.5% of your total HVUT 2290 tax amount with additional interest of 0.54% each month.

If you can’t afford to pay your heavy use tax amount, file Form 2290 anyway.

The 2290 filing deadline is no joke, and the IRS takes it seriously.

You should too. If you don’t file before the 2290 tax due date, you won’t have an updated 2290 Schedule 1, which is necessary for truck operation.

The Quickest Way to File IRS 2290

Considering that we are just 5 business days away from the 2290 deadline, the most important thing right now is filing quickly and accurately.

Filing Form 2290 fast will ensure that the IRS approves it by the 2290 filing deadline. Plus, if it is rejected for any reason, you’ll have time to make corrections.

Accurate filing will save you time by keeping you from having to make Form 2290 corrections.
Truck drivers must hurry to file Form 2290 before the 2290 deadline in order to receive an updated 2290 Schedule 1.The 2290 tax due date is non-negotiable, but who you choose to file Form 2290 with is.

Choose the industry leading IRS-authorized e-file provider to file and pay HVUT 2290 quickly and easily. 

You’ll receive an instant error check to help you avoid delays and free VIN corrections if needed.

Best of all, you’ll get a copy of your 2290 Schedule 1 within minutes of filing your heavy use tax.

Whew, that was a quick rundown - just about as quick as our Form 2290 filing system is.

Taxes shouldn’t be that difficult. Don’t stop your life for some paperwork. File on the go with ExpressTruckTax, and get it over with.

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Monday, 26 August 2019

How to Grow Your Business Without Adding Debt

This is a guest blog post by Rachel Donaghy, Senior Director of Account Management at eCapital.com. eCapital is building a brighter future for the transportation industry - a future where freight companies get paid at the click of a button, document exchange becomes data exchange, complexity disappears into the background and drivers have the freedom to focus on delivering the next load.

Establishing a new trucking business? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to start out in debt! When growing your business, there are several approaches you can take that don’t involve taking out a loan or putting essential business expenses on a high-interest credit card.

Some new business owners continue working full-time to maintain a steady income while working on their new venture part-time. Others start off small by working out of their home while they raise the capital to expand their business. However, another route will allow you to focus 100% of your time on growing your trucking business without working two jobs or starting off in debt. What is it? Glad you asked.

You can actually avoid business loans altogether by funding your growth through factoring. Factoring isn’t the same thing as a loan. You’re simply getting paid quicker (sometimes in as little as 24 hours) for the work you’ve already completed, minus a small fee - and you won’t owe lenders money after the job is done. Invoice factoring is the best and fastest way to grow your business without going into debt.

Many new companies simultaneously experience high demand for their services along with the need for additional financing—especially in the transportation industry. Demand can be good and yet, with high start-up and operational costs, creative solutions to fund growth may be needed.

Access to adequate financing for the purchase or leasing of expensive trucks and trailers is essential. So, how do you fund progress intelligently? Let’s look at the smartest way to grow your business and attract customers without starting off in the hole: factoring.

Invoice Factoring

Invoice factoring turns your unpaid invoices into cash by selling invoices to a factoring company. The factoring company then pays the majority of the amount due to you (generally around 95%), minus a small fee and cash reserve. You are then free to focus on operations and other responsibilities because the factoring company assumes all of your accounts receivable duties.

Factoring doesn’t impact your credit rating or take long to get approved, unlike traditional financing options such as credit cards or bank loans. If you don’t have time to wait months for a bank loan, a factoring company can get you funds right away. You can get set up with a factor and get funded within a matter of days, not weeks or months.

Factoring can be a good option for improving your business’s cash flow. Here are some more benefits to working with a factoring service:

Fast cash.

Fast cash is one of the biggest selling points of factoring. Invoices are paid within 24 hours by the factor. Traditional methods can take up to 90 days. If you're waiting for payment on an invoice for an extended period of time, you could lose out on work and possibly damage relationships with clients, vendors, and employees by not being able to pay them on time.

Having cash in hand quicker means you can make the necessary purchases to continue conducting business or pay staff. Many trucking companies factor invoices so they can buy fuel or complete necessary repairs to get back on the road right away. In this industry, where work is sporadic, factoring is necessary to keep the business going and growing.

Both a short-term and long-term solution.

Factoring can be a great way to fund your trucking operation during the off-season when business is slow, when you've hit a rough patch, or even when your business is growing rapidly. Factoring works as a solid long-term solution you can use year-round to ensure steady cash flow. 

Simple sign-up process.

In many cases, a traditional business loan is still the best way to get an injection of capital, but it takes time and requires a lot of paperwork. Factoring is fairly straightforward, and many companies will put cash in your hand within a couple of days of applying.  

Great for new businesses.

Without an established credit history, new trucking businesses may struggle to find a traditional lender that will offer them a line of credit. Furthermore, your business may not have a strong enough profit margin to attract a lender. Many factoring companies, on the other hand, work with startups and small businesses so they can grow. 

Your rate goes down as the number of invoices goes up.

Factoring scales with your business, which means you get access to more funds as you gain more customers or clients. So, the more you factor, the more money you get to quickly put back into your business.

Factoring is the smartest way to grow your business without going into debt. The majority of new businesses fail because of cash flow problems and insurmountable debt. When you factor your invoices, you’ll take control of your money instead of allowing money to control you, giving your business room to grow so you can keep your trucks on the road. 

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