ExpressTruckTax
704.234.6005

ExpressTruckTax Blog

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Your 4th Quarter IFTA Report Is Due Today

0


Don’t hit the breaks, but tax season is here! Most likely IFTA is on your mind since you have to file an IFTA report four times a year. However, these deadlines can definitely sneak up on you, so here is your official reminder that your 4th quarter IFTA tax return is due by January 31st! Also, we don’t want IFTA to be in the back of your mind, so we're gonna tell you all about it to make you an IFTA pro!

All About IFTA


IFTA stands for the International Fuel Tax Agreement and it is the agreement between the 48 connected states of the USA, states of Mexico, and the Canadian provinces to report on the fuel used by motor carriers or large vehicles operating in more than one jurisdiction (state).

Under IFTA carriers file quarterly fuel tax reports to figure out precisely the net tax or refund due to redistribute taxes from collecting jurisdictions that are due.

If you were to find yourself operating in Hawaii, Alaska, or the Canadian territories then you wouldn’t have to worry about IFTA.

Qualifying vehicles for IFTA include vehicles that are designed to transport people or property that has three or more axles, has a gross weight of 26,000 pounds or is used in a combination registered gross vehicles of 26,00 pounds or more. Basically, it refers to big heavy vehicles that frequent the interstate systems.

Fun fact, recreational vehicles are actually not subject to IFTA.

Every year you’ll need to renew your IFTA decals and licenses by December 31st. You’ll receive two decals that should be clearly displayed under your window on your driver’s side door. If you file your IFTA reports quarterly then the permits will stay up to date. They also help prove that you have complied with IFTA.

Well heck, what if you don’t usually travel outside of your state? Do you still have to deal with all this IFTA stuff? A little bit. You can get temporary IFTA permits from that state’s DMV office. Each state has their own temporary IFTA regulations. 

Before IFTA was put into place each state had their own fuel tax system and their own tax permits. This made carriers that frequently traveled through different jurisdictions suffer a lot of headaches. Trust us, IFTA is a much easier way to handle fuel taxes!

Now when it comes to filing your IFTA report you need a record of a few different things:

- Your total miles include the taxable and nontaxable ones for all of your jurisdictions traveled.
- Your total gallons of fuel consumed per jurisdiction.
- Your total amount of fuel taxes paid per jurisdiction.
- And the current tax rate per jurisdiction.

Now don’t let all this information and record keeping intimidate you. ExpressTruckTax is here to help. 

Calculating IFTA With ExpressTruckTax


ExpressTruckTax as an accurate fuel tax calculator to help you quickly calculate your fuel tax per jurisdiction, as well as a quick entry screen for all of your odometer readings. You can quickly update this sheet as you go, or all at once depending on your preferred method.

Also, ExpressTruckTax makes it easy to maintain your trip sheets and fuel records, and will automatically calculate your IFTA return from your trips sheets. This way you won’t have the hassle of calculating these numbers yourself.

With ExpressTruckTax’s error diagnostic report your return will be scanned for errors, so you can be aware of any corrections that need to be made before your file your IFTA return. This will help you and your company avoid being audited.

Plus, we are here to help every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact the ExpressTruckTax support team via phone, email, or live chat with any questions that you may have!
Read More »

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Issues With Leasing

0


Do you hear that? It’s the call of the open road, with miles of freedom. It would just be great to be an owner operator right? With the ability to schedule your own dispatches, and to drive without little company policies to follow or a manager constantly watching you to make sure you don’t make mistakes? Well to do that you need your own truck to operate, and one way to do that is by leasing one.

A Little About Leasing


Leasing is basically another word for borrow because you’re using someone else’s equipment. Only instead of ‘borrowing’ the semi truck you’ll be paying to use it. In order to lease a truck, you’ll sit down in an office and agree to a contract with set monthly payments over a certain amount of time. The average lease lasts about three years, then you’ll be on your way, driving a truck that someone else owns.

Many truckers turn to leasing because it’s a quick option to jump in a truck when their credit isn’t in order to buy a truck or their finances aren’t in order, because leasing companies often don’t turn those with bad credit away, and don’t require a down payment.

It’s seen as a good way to start driving as an owner operator while you can get your finances together and credit score up to buy your own truck. However, there are some negatives with leasing to consider.

The Downsides of Leasing


When you lease a truck, it’s not your own. Now you may be comfortable with that, but you also might not be. Part of the call of the open road is the romance of being attached to your truck. Not to be mushy or anything but in the automotive industry people really love their vehicles. Will you be able to give your truck up at the end of the agreement?

Plus, when the truck isn’t yours you can’t modify it. Lease contracts will prevent you from installing lift kits, or the latest technology to make your life easier as a trucker.

If you think that leasing is your way to get into a brand new truck you’re wrong. Just like with buying a newer trucker, leasing a newer truck comes with higher monthly payments. Chances are that if you’re trying to start your business you’ll be in an older truck with a lower monthly payment at first.

Also, leasing isn’t a way to get out of higher monthly payments due to poor credit. Your monthly rates will still be higher when leasing if you have a bad credit score.

Speaking of monthly payments, did you know that leasing companies have protecting their vehicles from depreciation in their best interest? So, they want their trucks to be perfectly repairs and maintained. will add on a maintenance fee to your monthly payment. They’ll also add in the cost of insurance.

Don’t forget to watch out for lease contracts that have step up agreements, meaning that over time the amount you pay will increase.

If you buy a used truck you can use it for its trade in value to help you out with your down payment on a new truck. However, with leasing you have to give the truck back, leaving you with nothing to trade in.

Sure, you can lease to own, but generally, at the end of your leasing contract you’ll end up paying more for the truck than you would have if you would have simply bought the truck up front.

Is Leasing For You?


Sometimes leasing is the right option to help guys get their business started. As their business grows they can buy their own new or used truck or continue to lease. Speak with a financial advisor to figure out your best option for your current financial situation and business plan.

For more trucking trips visit ExpressTruckTax.com and please share your thoughts about leasing in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

6 Qualities To Adopt To Improve As An Owner Operator

0


In the trucking industry, many drivers dream of being an owner operator with the freedom of making their own decisions without the say of some company manager watching their every move, not to mention the bigger paychecks. However, owner operators don’t become successful overnight, and many of them fail. Check out these traits commonly found in successful owner operators to see if you have what it takes.

Successful Traits Of Owner Operators


1. Even though owner operators are independent, they are not afraid to ask for help. They go to financial advisors to figure out the best business plan and they go to accountants to help them with their taxes. In most cases, accountants know where and how to save you money or get you more money with your returns.

They ask other successful owner operators questions about the business, as well as gather all the new information they can. There’s always new information to learn from new magazine articles, blog posts, podcasts, and more.

2. Successful owner operators have a plan, and they stay focused on their business plan with long term and short term goals to make their business plan successful. They don’t just buy a truck and hop on down the road. They set goals for how much income they should get for the month and the year. Sometimes they try to make a certain amount of trips.

Goals are set on an individual basis, so set the ones that best fit your needs. Also, be decisive when you make these goals, to avoid wasting a lot of time procrastinating. Owner operators need the ability to quickly make decisions on a daily basis, so if you’re indecisive practice making choices without delay.

3. They’re committed. The owner operators who make it know that they’re playing the long game. Sometimes they won’t see success for years, but they don’t give up. Instead, they keep trying to build their careers.

You have to commit more time to your job, meaning you’ll drive weekends and you’ll have more overtime hours. Chances are you’ll miss one or two baseball games or the school play. If you like to be home more often then you might want to consider sticking to being a company driver.

Also, you have to commit to your clients and we mean really commit. In order to get more business by creating long lasting relationships, you need to regularly call your clients to check in with them and provide outstanding service by making pick ups and drop offs on time.

4. They have good attitudes. It’s impossible to make it as an owner operator without having a positive outlook on things. Don’t let problems get you down, and don’t start cursing everyone and everything. Instead, know that you’ll figure out a way to solve the issue and have a sense of humor about it.

Plus, be honest. Don’t give unrealistic expectations about what you can do or exaggerate about the difficulty of a route to try and entice people to give you sympathy or more money. Know your value to get an accurate figure for your worth.

5. The top owner operators are organized. They have all of their receipts, expenses, and bills accounted for and clearly listed. Plus, they have records of their mileage reports, fuel type, and fuel costs for the IFTA reports, 2290, and more.

You’ll be responsible for all your taxes and all of your paperwork. You’ll need to be able to find it at a moment’s notice, and it would be even better if you remember where all of your important documents are. If you want to make it as an owner operator then your days of having piles of paperwork in random places are a thing of the past.

Owner operators also look a lot better when they keep their trucks clean. Your truck is the tool that makes your business possible and can be seen as your office, so wash off the mud, salt spray, and bird poop to keep it looking all pretty and shiny. Also, keep the inside clean by throwing away trash at every truck stop, cleaning up stains, and taking the necessary measures to keep your cab smelling fresh.

6. Last but not least, successful owner operators are self-sufficient. A major part of being independent is being on your own. You have to hold yourself accountable and plan the best routes to save fuel and make a delivery on time. Only you will be responsible for filing your taxes on time.

You have to be realistic and manage your money well. Before splurging on something awesome like a new dirt bike, remember that sometimes the trucking business gets slow and you’ll need some extra savings set aside to cover all of your bills.

No one will be looking out for your health but you, so be responsible and choose a few healthy meal options, make sure you get enough sleep to drive safely, and get out to exercise by walking around truck stops when you can.

Are You Up To The Challenge?


Do you possess these six success traits that the leading owner operators have? If so it might be time to quit your day job to own and operate your own rig. As long as you have motivation, a good plan, and your finances are in order you can get on your way to becoming a successful owner operator.

For more trucking tips check out ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, January 20, 2017

How To Safely Navigate Your Semi Truck Through Winter Weather

0


Brace yourselves, winter isn't coming, it’s already here. There have already been some major snowstorms, even in surprising places, like South Carolina and Georgia. Icy, snowy, and wet conditions can make driving tricky, especially for truckers, but you can’t just stop driving until Spring arrives. Instead, you have to drive through some wintery conditions, so do it correctly, and know when to stop.

Fighting The Ice


Before embarking on a winter trip check the weather, if a major blizzard is going to blow through your route then give yourself a few extra days to make your delivery. Keeping your life and preventing accidents is more important than getting tons of skittles to Wal-Mart. However, we do understand the certain situations when a delivery of essential items needs to be made.

Pack a bag of emergency items. Include extra blankets, and warm clothes like a waterproof jacket, a warm hat, gloves, and boots, in case you have to get out of your cab and wait to be rescued. If you stay in your cab you’ll need those blankets to keep warm. An idle truck doesn’t fill the cab for heat for long. Also, be careful, your cab could filling with carbon monoxide, which is lethal.

Your emergency kit should also include food and water in case you get stranded. A flashlight and flares so you can see in the dark, and people can see you. A windshield scraper, jumper cables, chains or traction mats, and a bag or either salt or sand.

When you’re getting ready to leave and at every stop top off your gas and make sure your windshield fluid is topped off with all season fluid that won’t freeze. Also, make sure your truck has antifreeze and has been serviced for winter conditions. Your tires should be winter tires or all season tires to have deeper grooves for more traction and they should be full of air.

Make sure that your heaters and defrosters are all working properly, along with your window wipers, which you should have a really good pair to wipe thick snow and ice away.

Defrost your windows completely and wipe all the snow away for the best visibility. Then wipe any snow from your headlights, tail lights, and blinkers away, so you can see and people can see you. Also, don’t forget to wipe the snow off the top of your cab! 

While driving, slow the heck down. Don’t accelerate too quickly, don’t brake too hard, and don’t take turns too quickly. Keep a firm grip on the wheel, stay calm, and don’t make sudden jerky movements. Never use cruise control as it over spins the tires if you start to slip or slide.

Keep extra distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. If you can see their taillights as snow is falling then you’re too close. Keep an eye on everyone around you. If you’re whizzing past people creeping in the right line, slow down. They’re probably creeping for a good reason.

Watch out for black ice. When conditions are between 22 to 32 degrees, it’s actually the most dangerous because the snow and ice are very wet and slippery, and the road freezes in some places that can be hard to see.

Be careful when you approach bridges, as they freeze first and can be tricky. Plus, pay attention to all road signs, they’re pretty serious with winter conditions. If a curve should be taken at 35 mph don’t push it.

If you have thoughts creeping in the back of your mind, then it’s time to stop. No need to push it. Simply pull off at a rest stop, motel, or 24-hour restaurant and wait it out. In most cases snow plows have interstates and ramps cleared pretty quickly.

Should you start to slip and lose control do not slam on the brakes, especially if your trailer isn’t straight. Ease off the gas and gently glide to a stop while maintaining your steering.

Happy Trucking


Winter has arrived and we're expecting a lot of snow storms this year, even in the Southern states. Watch out Texans, and northern Floridians, snow could even hit your area, so be prepared with the tools necessary to make it through wintry conditions, be safe, and know when to stop.

For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax and please share your stories about driving through wintery conditions in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

4 Ways For Owner Operators To Improve Business

0
Maybe you want to be an owner operator for the obvious reasons like the freedom of owning your own rig and making your own transport decisions, or you’re currently an owner operator looking for ways to improve your business. Either way, it takes a patience and a few attitude adjustments and you’ll have to develop a few new habits in order to get the bigger paychecks to roll in. Luckily we have a little advice on how to make it big as an owner operator.

Successful Qualities In Owner Operators


1. Realize Your Value


Right out of the gate you have the realize that people will pay you for your value. You’ll earn as much as you’re worth, so it’s not good to get cocky and lazy. Assuming that your work is worth more than it is won’t get you anywhere. Instead, you have to put in the time and build quality relationships.

You will have to put in more hours. If you’re already working overtime, unfortunately, you may have to squeeze in even more hours on the road. Your weekend life may become a little nonexistent for a while in order to establish yourself. Also, keep in mind that more hours on the road, means more time away from home, so it’s best to be in a position where your pets and family understand why you’re around less.

With more freedom comes more responsibility. You have to make the calls, schedule dispatches, file all of the paperwork, and more. You also can’t assume that other people will fill out paperwork on time or correctly. Be sure to check in on them and go over their work. 

2. Be Practical With Income


The thrill of a bigger paycheck is extremely exciting. It gets you thinking about all the stuff you could buy, like a lift kit for your wrangler or maybe even the down payment for a pool in your backyard. However, you have to wait before spending money on yourself, because there are bumps in the road.

There will be months where business is slow, your truck will need work done, you could catch an illness that makes you unable to drive for a few days, and you could be apart of an accident. We can’t predict the future, but we do know that some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. So, make sure you have money set aside to cover emergencies.

When it comes to your truck a warranty can help, but they don’t usually cover everything. Take care of your truck. Keep it clean, take it for regular maintenance and tune-ups. Don’t push those oil changes off! Your truck is your expensive tool, it’s not a toy. It’s best to get the total value out of it so you don’t have to face the high costs of getting a new one. 

3. Market Yourself


People won’t magically come to you, you have to make yourself available, and you have to find them. Then build long-lasting relationships with them. Building a longterm relationship with a carrier will bring in more business on a regular basis. You don’t want to have to go hunting for more work every month.

However, not every carrier is the right carrier. Some cut corners and have bad practices. Research everything you can about your options as far as their rates, costs, customer records, safety records, internal relationships, and more.

Take advantage of the internet. Have a site for your business built and spread yourself all across social media and trucking boards. Create a LinkedIn profile and place ads on Craigslist that include your resume. Make it possible for anyone looking for an owner operator to find you. Also, establishing a web presence could lead you to lifelong networking opportunities to keep your business afloat for as long as you can keep on trucking.

Being an owner operator is expensive. Be sure to total in the costs of gas, meals, truck insurance, cargo insurance, tax fees, truck payments, and more. If you like getting breaks on a few of these expenses maybe you should stick to being a company driver.

4. Be Patient


Stay calm, and keep driving. It takes a long time to become a successful owner operator, we’re talking months to years. On average, an owner operator takes home about 40k during their first year, and that’s if they work extremely hard.

You need to slow down and be a planner. Make meetings with financial advisors to get a business plan together. Take the time to consider all the options when buying a truck, between new, used, or leasing.

Heck, take a step back to think about if you truly want to be an owner operator. Seek out other owner operators and ask them for advice on how to get started and what it really takes.

Do You Have What It Takes?


As long as your patient, realistic, ready to put in extra work, and make financially smart decisions you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful owner operator. For more trucking tips visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and be sure to comment on what it takes to be a successful owner operator in the comment section below.


Read More »

Friday, January 13, 2017

Have You Seriously Considered Leasing Your Truck?

0


Alright, so you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator or independent driver, that generally comes with getting your own truck. However, have you carefully considered all of your options from buying a brand new truck, buying a used truck, or maybe even leasing a truck?

The Benefits of Leasing


Sometimes leasing gives truck drivers a break because buying a trucks is just outright expensive. For a reliable truck, that's older and used the costs are about upwards of $40k. Plus, to get a loan for that bad boy then you need good credit, what happens if you’re rejected or if your credit causes you that have a higher monthly rate?

Well then, you can lease. Leasing provides smaller down payments, and generally provides you with lower monthly rates, even though some leasing companies have step up payments, which means after a period of time the monthly payments will go up. Also, along with lower monthly rates leasing your truck may provide you with more tax deductions.

However, don’t get discouraged, if you want to have your own truck one day, you can do it. Simply keep driving a company truck for a while and save up some money while cleaning up your credit or check out leasing options, some of which include leasing to own.

Leasing is basically agreeing to pay a company a fixed monthly rate in exchange for the ability to use their truck for a set amount of time. You are bound by a contract, that generally lasts about three years or so, which is much shorter than the commitment of buying a truck. At the end of the agreement, you can return the truck, lease it again, or work towards owning it. Returning the truck early or breaking the lease will come with fines and consequences.

When you lease a truck you can get the picture of what it would be like owning your own truck and the extra expenses that come along with it. For example, you’ll be responsible for the maintenance repairs big and small on your leased truck. Plus, all of the insurance that comes with it, like cargo insurance, health insurances, and more.

Luckily at the end of the lease agreement if you see that you actually don’t want to own your own truck and miss the financial comforts of driving a company truck you can simply return your truck. Leasing is much more flexible than owning a truck.

Technology is moving quickly these days. Every time you buy the latest, most innovative truck, something more advanced rolls out about an hour later. With a leased truck you can more quickly upgrade to more advanced and more fuel efficient trucks on a regular basis.

If you end up buying a truck and then realize it isn’t the correct career move for yourself, then you could lose out on a lot when you sell the truck due to the depreciation of its value.

However, you might enjoy the freedom that comes with leasing. It gives you more of an ability to quickly change companies if need be. Plus, you can choose a truck that’s best suited for your personal preferences.

Is Leasing Right For You?


If money is tight and you’re chomping at the bit to get started as an independent trucker leasing gives you a quick way out with a cheaper down payment and lower rate. It also comes with more freedom and flexibility to either return your truck to upgrade to a nicer one more often. 

However, you should speak with an accountant or financial advisor first to determine which move is best for your career plans and current financial situation.

For more trucking advice keep checking back with ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your thoughts and experiences with leasing a truck in the comment section below.
Read More »

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

We're Revealing 8 Secrets About Average Owner Operators

0


If you’re thinking about finally taking the leap to become an owner operator in most cases the risk is worth the reward, if done properly. However, if done improperly you could go under pretty quickly and build up a lot of debt. In order to see if the owner operator or independent trucker lifestyle is right for you, we’ve put together a list of common traits found in successful owner operators.

Secrets About The Average Owner Operator


1. Owner operators are financially smart. When the bigger paychecks finally start to roll in they don’t blow it all on a new pool table or jet ski. They set money aside until they can afford that cool stuff later in order to plan for accidents like major truck repairs or for when business is slow. Engine repairs or accidents can set you back quite a ways, so it’s best to be prepared.

2. They’re older guys. I guess some truckers just need to grow up a little first before making the transition to becoming an independent driver instead of a corporate jockey. The average age of truckers for both men and women is about 37 when they become owner operators and the average age of owner operators out there on the road right now is 55.

3. Most are patient and persistent creatures of habit. They’ve lived and driven around the same area for years, and realize that success doesn’t come overnight. You could spend years building your personal business before it really takes off.

Plus, they take care of their trucks with regular maintenance. By squeezing every penny possible out of their rig it will last longer and they won’t have to deal with the major expenses of getting a new one, so don’t skip out on those oil changes, tire rotations, tune-ups, and more.

4. The majority of owner operators are gone most of the time. They put in more hours and spend more nights away from home. More miles put on the road is simply a part of the job if you want to make it. To avoid putting stress on your family and relationships remember to call time or facetime them as much as possible. Hopefully, you won’t feel guilty about missing a few holidays or special occasions too.

5. Now this isn’t a plus, but it is a fact. Most owner operators are unhealthy. They’re obese, they’re smokers, and have issues like high blood pressure. In order to take your business further and have the energy to maintain it get a little healthier. Try to go for healthy snacks like a package of almonds or a heart healthy omelet for breakfast. Maybe see where you can fit in an extra walk around the truck stop or experiment with exercises you can do from your cab.

6. Owner operators tend to be experienced, drivers. They have some education like a high school degree and maybe a little college, but in most cases, they went to driving school and completed their courses. They were determined students who put at least 60 hours of driving training behind the wheel to learn how to drive like a boss. Plus, most owner operators don’t come from average desk jobs, they spend a few years out on the road trucking for companies first.

7. The average owner operator is a planner. They don’t spend down time twiddling their thumbs or checking facebook, they spend it planning their next move. When their freight is being unloaded they’re scheduling a new pick up. Also, they’re always thinking about who they need to call in order to build good relationships and gain repeat customers.

It’s important to check in with the people you regularly work with to show interest and keep spirits high. It’s also important to market yourself to new customers. Either from your office or your cab think about where to go and who to call next instead of going in blind.

8. They answer to almost no one. While owner operators still have to comply with DOT regulations and taxes like the 2290 and IFTA they don’t have managers constantly watching them to make sure they follow every little company policy. They only keep up with their own standards which do involve a high level of professionalism. The fact is they have a nice level of freedom on the open road.

Are You Ready To Become An Owner Operator?


The average owner operator is a hard working person who is financially smart. They’re planners and don’t mind putting in a little extra elbow grease. If you’re ready to take the leap make sure you have a good head on your shoulders for being your own boss and the persistence and patience to make your business successful.

More more trucking tips keep coming back to ExpressTruckTax.com and be sure to share your facts about the average owner operator in the comment section below.
Read More »

Friday, January 6, 2017

Do You Have Time To Be An Owner Operator?

0


The ultimate trucking dream is to, of course, become an owner operator. I mean heck, who wouldn’t want the freedom of planning their own hours and routes, without a supervisor breathing down their neck. The answer to that question is simple, it’s the guys that simply don’t have the time.

The Extra Hours Owner Operators Put In


When it comes down to it owner operators simply put more time in on the road. They drive farther routes and often end up racking up a lot of overtime. Sometimes they only sleep about six hours a night before returning to the pavement. Can you safely operate a truck on less sleep? If you like feeling well rested you might wanna stay on the company dime.

Plus, more hours on the road mean more hours away from home. Do you have a wife, girlfriend, kids, or even a pet back home that you don’t want to leave? Sometimes relationships become strained with extra hours spent away. If you want to be home with your loved ones, then, by all means, be with them.

If you have a demanding schedule, like custody of your kids every other weekend or a pool league that meets once a week then being an owner operator might make you miss these agreed upon activities. Not only will you have less time away from home, but you’ll have less time for personal activities like watching football games, working on your bike, or catching up on the latest action movies and video games.

Also, it takes awhile to even get started as an owner operator. The process isn’t for the impatient. You have to get a plan together and go to meetings with financial planners to see the proper way of starting your business. It involves a lot of waiting and talking. Then you have to try to get loans and depending on your credit, that could be tricky. You might have to set up a few meetings with different banks and wait to talk about your loan options.

Becoming an owner operator involves a lot of time before jumping in a truck and taking off down the road. In fact, it may take a long time to even find the perfect truck for you. With so many options to consider from new to used, buying or leasing, or leasing to own you need to consider what will work best for your financial situation in the beginning.

When you finally have the right truck you have to put in more time to maintain it. The goal is to give every single pennyworth out of it, because with no truck you have no business. You’ll have to go to the dealership for regular oil changes, check the oil filters, replace the belts, and more. You’re gonna have to keep your truck clean and smelling nice, as it’s basically going to be your office, so treat it as well as your first born son.

Then when you finally take the leap to becoming an owner operator it can take years to become established. You have to spend time on the phone to build long lasting relationships with shippers. You have to have a website to professionally represent yourself and take the time to build an online presence on social media.

You also have to get good at being an owner operator which takes practice. It takes a while to learn how to plan productive routes with pick ups and drop offs near each other so you aren’t hauling an empty trailer. You also have to learn how to be a good salesman to sell yourself, and it’s also good to learn how to save money here thereby becoming a fuel efficient driver or with budget planning for meals and supplies.

If You Have The Time Go For It


Why wait? The perfect time for getting your plan together to become an owner operator is right now! As long as you have the time to make the right plan, get the right rig, and can handle putting in a lot of extra hours you can enjoy the trucking freedom of being your own boss.

for more trucking tips be sure to visit ExpressTruckTax.com, and share your thoughts on be a time consuming owner operator in the comment section below. 
Read More »

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Rookie Mistakes New Owner Operators Need To Avoid

0


So, you’re thinking about becoming an owner operator and cutting ties with your dumb jerk of a manager for the freedom of the open road in your own truck? Well, at least you’re doing one thing right, by putting some actual thought into it. It’s a big step and can sink your finances pretty quickly if you make the wrong moves. Let us help you out by sharing some tips about rookie mistakes to avoid.

They Don’t Run The Numbers


New owner operators will crash and burn pretty quickly if they don’t consider the costs it will take to keep themselves afloat. While you’re barreling down the road in a company truck look at all of the miles and consider the cost of gas, the cost of food, maintenance costs, repairs, and more.

Plus, can you take on more monthly payments? Part of being an owner operator is owning your own rig, and they’re expensive. You’ll also have to get insurance for your rig, and for yourself, adding two more monthly bills.

Don’t forget that hours also add up. Can you handle the longer routes? Are you prepared for overtime? Will your family understand the increase in the amount of time that you're gone on the road? 

Rookies Don’t Save Money


Part of the pull of being an owner operator is having more money in your pocket, but you can’t just throw your hard earned money at a brand new bike or a fancy car. You need an emergency fund because accidents and surprises happen.

Business could get slow and you’ll need your emergency fund to pay the bills or your employees before they bail and your entire operation falls apart. Plus, we know you’ve seen your fair share of wrecks, what happens if your truck gets involved? Can you cover the major repair costs? Will your business sink if you’re without your truck for a month or more for repairs? 

New Guys Waste Down Time


New guys like to take breaks. They don’t take advantage of downtime to plan and prep for their next drop offs, pick ups or loads. When you’re hanging out at a dock during an unload it’s tempting to catch up on phone games like Clash of Clans or browse social media, but you could be cleaning or maintaining your truck.

Doing simple tasks during your down time will save you time during your days off. Clear out your fast food trash, attend to spills, and clean up sticky messes to keep your cab neat and clean. Put on your oil suit and go under the cab for a little maintenance. Plan out your next route, complete with food stops. It only takes a little less goofing off to be an efficient planner for your business. 

Tenderfoots Buy New Trucks


Now a big part of being an owner operator is choosing your truck. You get to pick it with all of its glory. New guys often go for a brand spanking new rig with all the bells and whistles. They don’t consider the big monthly payments and insurance costs that come with new trucks.

Starting off in a used truck helps you squirrel away a lot of money with cheaper down payments and cheaper monthly rates. Plus, if you discover that being an owner operator isn’t your thing then used trucks often have a better turn around rates for your wallet. When the time is right and your finances are in order you can upgrade to a brand new truck. 

They Skip Out on Regular Maintenance


Maybe your used rig isn’t the best, but it’s yours. You’ll love it as your firstborn. Why make unnecessary costs of upgrading to a new truck too soon? Get the most miles out of your truck by getting in the habit of doing routine maintenance. Get the tires rotated, get the oil changed, replace the bests and spark plugs so your rig can keep on trucking.

You’ll actually be surprised by how good you’ll feel by sticking to deadlines instead of taking the lazy day out and driving extra miles in between oil changes. 

Is It Time To Become An Owner Operator?


Are you ready to take the leap to advance your trucking career? Are you ready for your own truck on the road, without sticking to annoying company policies? Are you financially set to launch your new adventure? If so, then go for it! Just make sure you’ve thought the costs and risks through and have a solid plan.

If you have rookie mistakes to add to our list be sure to comment in the section below. Also, check back with ExpressTruckTax.com for more trucking tips.
Read More »

ExpressTruckTax Blog

E-file your HVUT Form 2290 with ExpressTruckTax.