Some fleets dodge their tax liabilities
Regarding the Obama Administration’s position on independent contractors, the federal government has dealt with this issue for more than a decade. The government basically allows independent contractors to own their tools and set the times they will perform the work contracted.
The only carriers that should take heed are ones that lease their trucks to companies such as Federal Express and pay drivers who do not own their trucks as owner-operators. Many small fleets treat their drivers as independent contractors when, in reality, the fleets are trying to avoid paying payroll taxes, workers compensation and other liabilities.
The big companies cannot afford to avoid paying such taxes and compensation. Instead, they let the little guy stick his neck out. Despite what some ill-advised accountants or lawyers may say, carriers who treat their employees as independent contractors are risking U.S. Department of Labor audits and fines.
Small fleets should contact a real labor lawyer and get the true story. It’s becoming painfully obvious that the federal government is pushing all carriers, whether big or small, to shape up or get out. Besides, if everyone plays by the same rules, rates would have to go up.
President, Red Rock Transfer, Salt Lake City
I realize my house is beginning to smell like a truck stop. Breezes from the Gulf gush through my open windows, but instead of the light, briny scent of salt, today they seem weighted by a heavier odor, reminding me of diesel.”
— Author Ellis Anderson of Bay St. Louis, Miss., blogging on Salon.com about the BP oil spill
What do you think of retread tires?
Palm Coast, Fla. | Shadd Trucking
Greensboro, Ala. | Leased to Fikes Truckline
West Point, Ga. | Steelman Transportation
Blacksburg, Va. | Boyd Bros. Transportation
Clanton, Ala. | USA Truck
Decatur, Ga. | Metropolitan Trucking
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Affected tractors are equipped with an automated Eaton UltraShift Plus or Eaton Advantage Transmission with right hand stalk shifter. In the affected trucks, the display on the instrument panel can indicate “N” when the shifter is set into “D” or “R,” causing the truck not to move.