Partners in Business

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: 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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‘Who’s inefficient?’ Four wheels or 18?

So asks New Cumberland, Pa., resident and owner-operator Tom Bowers in a letter to the editor published in the Harrisburg, Pa., Patriot-News, in response to a letter from another area resident heaping the bulk of energy inefficiencies in the transportation arena on the back of the big rigs of the trucking industry. Bowers' argument for the comparable inefficiency of the auto industry, where fuel used per-pound moved is much higher than the same rate in  big-rig ...

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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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PIB TIP: PERFORM REGULAR PM. Preventive maintenance ensures your truck is running efficiently. Check your current miles per gallon at each fill, and if it falls off, determine the reason. Check often enough to catch low oil, a dirty air filter or an air compressor leak. Don’t use a higher-viscosity oil than you need. The Partners in Business program is produced by Overdrive and the consultants at ATBS, the nation’s largest owner-operator business services firm, ...

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Learning from a crash course

Such opportunities will increase as the economy struggles to get on its feet, and trucking already is ahead of the curve. It’s easy in the flush of good times to forget lessons so clearly illustrated during hardship. It’s best not to.

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PIB TIP: USE OF AERODYNAMICS SAVES MONEY. Use all-position tires on the rear, and make sure they’re the same tread as the steer tires. Match the sleeper package to the application: When you’re pulling a tank or flatbed, for example, a flat-top sleeper is the most aerodynamic option. Keep your gross vehicle weight as light as possible. Even if you make up for weight savings with heavy loads, you’ll improve the fuel economy per pound ...

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Still ‘dressed for success’ — Henry Albert’s opening salvo at GATS PIB

Overdrive 2007 Trucker of the Year, independent owner-operator Henry Albert (pictured, right, with our current Trucker of the Year, Mike Crawford), delivered an opening salvo at Overdrive’s Partners in Business seminar Friday, Aug. 27, at the Great American Trucking Show in an address that elucidated the effects of a very-small adjustment in his  business that, Albert said, led to “increased business, new customers” and big revenue, generally, for his Albert Transport business. But, perhaps most ...

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