Letters to the editor

| December 12, 2008

TRUCKER TURNED ACCOUNTANT KNOWS BUSINESS HARDSHIPS
As a former trucking company owner and a Certified Public Accountant, I would like to comment on two articles in the December edition. I particularly was interested in the cover story, “Out of Business,” since I recently closed my company of four trucks and six trailers because of time commitment and stress. I had conscientious drivers, which I believe to be the key to success, but there were issues with each broker, each load, flat tires story, “Out of Business,” since I recently closed my company of four trucks and six trailers because of time commitment and stress. I had conscientious drivers, which I believe to be the key to success, but there were issues with each broker, each load, flat tires at 2 a.m., Level 1 inspections finding only minor issues on holidays and weekends. I tried to hire an operations manager/dispatcher, but she failed twice to show up for an interview. Plus, my CPA practice has to be managed. It simply became too much, especially after having to cancel a family vacation to Europe.

Regarding tax deductions mentioned in Dollars & Sense, those filling out Form 1098 can include mortgage interest prepayments only if interest accrues by Jan. 15 of the following year. Further, if you typically have 12 mortgage payments due in a year, you cannot deduct a 13th payment.

The in-cab heater/ generator/auxiliary HVAC is a great idea. However, because the useful life of such a unit is greater than one year, it must be capitalized and depreciated.

Also, charitable deductions typically are not included on Schedule C unless the business is making the deduction for business purposes as opposed to charitable purposes.

I help owner-operators with tax advice and planning. I will be posting instructions on my website, www.buhrow.com, so they can get their own authority without paying an additional $500 to $750 for something they can do themselves.
GREGORY BUHROW
Dallas


HIGHWAY DID, IN FACT, SURVIVE HURRICANE
In “Rougher than a Corncob” [December 2006], I read that Louisiana Highway 27 along the coast was gone after Hurricane Rita. That is not true. The shoulder of the road in most places was washed away or broken, but the two-lane highway was intact. I am a pilot and had to look at that highway for several months as I flew along it.
THOMAS MORGAN
Lafayette, La.


HIGHWAY WATCH WORKS FOR TRUCKERS
Recent comments by Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association officials about the Highway Watch program require a rebuttal. The most glaring example is from OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig: “Terrorists aren’t going to go to school and get a CDL and a hazmat endorsement. They’re going to knock some trucker over the head and steal his truck.”

In fact, late last year, Mohammed Yousuf Mullawala, an Indian resident of Pakistani descent, was arrested in Rhode Island after a Highway Watch-trained driver reported Mullawala’s suspicious behavior at a truck training school.

Apparently Mullawala wanted a hazmat endorsement but wasn’t interested in learning how to drive the truck. Investigation showed that Mullawala had phoned other suspicious people.

We’re aware of similar incidents in other parts of the nation, but there have yet to be any reported situations where a driver was knocked over the head by a suspected terrorist. Terrorist groups are not about to ruin their plans by handling an attack in such a ham-handed manner. They take months or years to plan their attacks, and they leave nothing to chance.

OOIDA officials also claim that drivers will not support Highway Watch’s hot line, instead opting to call 911. In fact, the hot line is one of the biggest selling points for drivers. Many truckers complain that 911 calls are not taken seriously. The hot line gives drivers a place where their reports will be given the proper credit and will be addressed immediately.
BILL JACOBS
Vice President, Highway Watch
Alexandria, Va.


TAKE UNHEALTHY FOUR-WHEELERS OFF ROAD, TOO
Your “Shift into Shape” column [Viewpoint, December 2006] states that 75 percent of driver deaths are due to weight, high blood pressure or heart disease. So let us take their CDLs away. But let us also take away the licenses of four-wheelers with the same conditions. This way only the healthy will drive. Given that 60 percent of all people in the United States are overweight, we will not have crowded highways.

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