ATBS

Pulse

Let us know what changes you like and dislike, and what we can do to improve.

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Play Your Cards Right

If used wisely, credit and debit cards are great tools. Know the benefits and pitfalls of both to help your business run more smoothly.

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Buy Right

Slash your costs by knowing when and where to purchase fuel. And make sure you’re getting the most value from a fuel card and a fuel surcharge.

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PIB TIP: YOUR IFTA ACCOUNT. You must get your own International Fuel Tax Agreement account to do your own fuel tax reporting, whether you do it yourself or through a third party. You do not have to have your own operating authority to get an IFTA account, but independent owner-operators must have such an account in their base plate state and be responsible for quarterly reporting. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive ...

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PIB TIP: PASS UP COSTLY FUEL STOPS. Owner-operators are well advised to pass up network fuel stops that are too costly, too far off route, sell inferior fuel, are dangerous or poorly maintained, or are perceived as a profit center for the carrier at owner-operators' expense. If you have concerns about a stop on the fleet network, respectfully bring them to the fleet’s attention. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the ...

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PIB TIP: GET WITH THE PROGRAM. Owner-operators can save an average of 6 cents per gallon when they are able to participate in major carriers’ discount fuel networks. If your fleet has a fuel-optimizer program, use it. An optimizer program helps an owner-operator plan a trip, based on fuel prices and locations in the carrier’s fuel network. Fees for using such networks have become rare, thanks to competition for drivers. The Partners in Business program ...

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PIB TIP: ASSESSING FUEL TAX. Each state gets its share of taxes based on the number of miles truck drivers run in a state, according to the International Fuel Tax Agreement. If you run 100 miles in Missouri and your truck gets 5.9 mpg, for example, you pay tax on 16.9 gallons of fuel used in Missouri. The state then bills your home state, which bills you. If you buy more fuel in Missouri than ...

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PIB TIP: FINDING THE CHEAPEST FUEL. The real cost of fuel is the pump price minus the taxes. There are ways to save money on both the fuel you buy and the fuel taxes you pay. Learn what your carrier’s fuel tax policy is, and find out which states have the best diesel prices. Daily fuel prices by lane and fuel tax listing are on eTrucker.com and in motor carrier atlases such as Rand McNally’s. The Partners ...

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PIB TIP: CUT OUT-OF-ROUTE MILES. If you’re like many owner-operators, with 6 percent to 10 percent of your miles out of route lost to detours, side trips and just human error, you could possible cut them 3 percent. Doing so would save 3 percent on fuel, as well as on other variable costs such as tires and maintenance. Rethinking your route, minimizing side trips and getting better directions will pay off in savings. The Partners ...

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The twist in year-end tax planning

If Congress doesn’t extend the tax cuts, in effect raising taxes for 2011, it will make more sense to defer expenses into 2011 and accelerate income into 2010.

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