The trucking industry is critical to the US economy because it distributes commodities across the country and keeps the supply chain flowing. However, government agencies heavily control the business, with rules affecting everything from taxation to safety and environmental standards.
Understanding these regulations and how they affect the profession is critical for individuals aspiring to be truck drivers.
Taxes are one of the most important areas of regulation that trucking companies and drivers must negotiate. Trucking industry, like any other business, must pay taxes on their profits, as well as the trucks they possess. However, trucking businesses and drivers must additionally pay special taxes, such as the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax (HVUT).
The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is a tax that applies to commercial vehicles that operate in more than one state. It is determined by the number of miles driven in each state and the amount of fuel purchased. Trucking businesses are required to file quarterly IFTA forms and pay any state taxes owed.
This can add significant costs to running a trucking company, particularly for small businesses that may lack the expertise to negotiate the tax filing procedure.
The HVUT is a federal excise tax levied on cars weighing 55,000 pounds or more. It is computed depending on the vehicle’s weight and the number of kilometers it traveled on public roads. This levy, like the IFTA, can add significant costs to running a transportation company.
Truck drivers may also be eligible for tax breaks, including deductions for business expenses, such as gasoline, tires, and maintenance. If they utilize their house as a base of operations, such as a place to sleep or maintain their vehicles, they may also be entitled to deduct certain home office expenses. Truck driver tax deductions are a way for truck drivers to save money on their taxes, but before claiming any deductions, it’s necessary to contact a tax specialist.
Regulations for Safety
The trucking business prioritizes safety, and government laws play a significant role in maintaining the safety of truck drivers and other motorists on the road. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the government agency that is in charge of making sure that safety rules in the trucking industry are followed.
The hours-of-service rule is one of the most significant safety requirements for truck drivers. This law restricts the number of hours truck drivers can work each day and week. It is meant to keep truck drivers from getting too tired and make sure they get enough rest between shifts.
The obligation for regular vehicle maintenance is another key safety rule. To guarantee that their vehicles are safe to drive, trucking companies must keep them in good operating order and conduct frequent inspections.
Environmental Rules and Regulations
Trucking companies must also follow several rules about the environment, such as those about pollution and fuel efficiency. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets limits for how much pollution diesel engines can put out, and trucking industrymust make sure that their vehicles are better than these standards.
Environmental rules can add a lot to the cost of running a trucking company because companies must buy newer trucks and technologies that use less gas. Companies may need to buy new engines that meet the most recent emissions rules or invest in innovations, such as aerodynamic fairings to boost fuel economy.