Overdrive Extra

Dollars and Sense: A little-known sales venue

They're still not widely used by owner-operators, but auctions offer some advantages over traditional means of trading equipment.

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Dollars and Sense: Clearing up fuel taxes

Because owners of Class 8 vehicles have to reconcile the amount of fuel burned in a state with the amount of fuel purchased in that state, the state tax owed could be more or less than the tax paid at the pump.

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Dollars and Sense: Expect more pain before any gain

I predict some pickup in freight and rates in this fourth quarter, but the real upward climb will not begin until the second quarter of 2010.

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Manufacturing numbers strong for August

Lots of good news for trucking in today’s report from the Institute for Supply Management. Economic activity in manufacturing expanded in August, following 18 consecutive months of contraction, according to the nation’s supply executives polled for the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The August numbers also show the overall economy grew for the fourth consecutive month. “The year-and-a-half decline in manufacturing output has come to an end, as 11 of 18 manufacturing industries are reporting growth when ...

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Dollars & Sense – September 2009

Many economic indicators show the economy may have hit bottom during the summer. Most analysts seem to agree. However, history shows that ...

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Manufacturing numbers strong for August

Lots of good news for trucking in today’s report from the Institute for Supply Management. Economic activity in manufacturing expanded in August, following 18 consecutive months of contraction, according to the nation's supply executives polled for the latest Manufacturing ISM Report on Business. The August numbers also show the overall economy grew for the fourth consecutive month. "The year-and-a-half decline in manufacturing output has come to an end, as 11 of 18 manufacturing industries are reporting growth when ...

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Small-business lending bounces back

Borrowing money isn’t the best thing for an owner-operator to do in a down economy like this. But if you must – or plan to do so as soon as the recovery becomes more evident – it’s good to know how the market is changing. Small-business lending was dead in the water last year as the credit market collapsed, but CNNMoney.com reports that it’s “managed to heal itself” without help from the federal stimulus funding. “Figuring out ...

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Building a rainy day fund

In recent months I’ve covered steps to help you survive the downturn in the economy: • Set clear written goals. • Focus on the bottom line. • Eliminate or minimize debt. Focusing on the bottom line requires looking at your profit and loss statement, and it’s time to do that again for the next step: Build cash reserves. Part of reaching the bottom line goal is to examine each line item on your P&L statement and work to lower ...

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Factories busier in July

Industrial production increased by a half-percent in July, the Federal Reserve announced today. While housing and other indicators with relevance to truck freight have shown twitches of life in recent months, this marked the first monthly increase in this measurement since December 2007 (not counting a hurricane-related rebound in October 2008). The manufacturing component of the index rose 1.0 percent in July. This was mostly due to a tax-revived auto industry, which saw vehicle assemblies jump ...

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Small business still hurting

 If you’ve caught the business news in recent days, you know there have been some positive signs. Home prices and sales, employment and other indicators are looking better, possibly meaning a bottoming out of the downturn. But when it comes to small business and credit, it’s still a mess, reports CNNMoney.com: “Bank lending is down, credit card interest rates are up, and the country's largest small business lender, CIT Group ... is hanging by a thread.” ...

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