Men and women who drive their own trucks are owner-operators. Those who drive trucks for fleets are often employed drivers. What’s the difference? When it comes to the trucking IFTA, quite a lot. That’s why TruckingOffice PRO is so valuable to owner-operators.
The owner-operator is a person who owns their own rig and trucking company. As an independent contractor, sometimes with their own trucking authority, sometimes leased onto a transportation company, owner-operators often have the best of both worlds: the freedom to take loads or decline them, their own routing, billing, and profits. Then again, they also have to assume all the risks of being a small business owner: insurance, taxes, on-the-road breakdowns, losses.
Which doesn’t discourage some truckers. The freedom of the road and the pleasure of owning their own business is worth the risks. Some owner-operators even want to grow their businesses into fleets.
Drivers for a transportation company might own their own rigs, but might drive a truck owned by the company that hires them. That guarantees certain benefits, such as a regular paycheck (with the taxes already taken out), employment benefits such as retirement plans or health insurance. They don’t rely on brokers to get loads. They are assigned by the trucking company that pays their paycheck.
Many owner-operators start out as drivers. We recommend it. Getting a year or two under your belt to understand the job and the life of a trucker is smart. Then, when you’re ready, you already know what you want to do, what type of trailer you want to buy, and where you want to go.
Trucking IFTA FIling
We can’t say absolutely that all independent owner-operators manage their own trucking IFTA filing. Some owner-operators are glad to work for a logistics company that takes care of the IFTA filing for them. Others prefer to pay IFTA for themselves. Depends on the company.
IFTA must be paid. If you’re an owner-operator and the company you haul for doesn’t pay it, you’re responsible to track your miles per state, the fuel you purchased and where, and then to submit a payment every quarter. Even if you’re not handling the invoicing for the loads you haul, if your contracted company isn’t taking care of the trucking IFTA filing for you, you must do it.
(So if you’re looking at a contract with a transportation company, be sure to read the find print regarding IFTA. Failure to file is costly and can keep you off the road.)
TruckingOffice PRO IFTA Reports
Even if you’re leased-on, using TruckingOffice PRO for your IFTA filing makes sense. The report doesn’t cost you anything. The numbers are all computed by the dispatch and routing features of TruckingOffice PRO. No extra data entry is needed. The report shows up in seconds, whenever you want to see it. It’s accurate because TruckingOffice keeps the tax rates updated. It’s precise because even if you forget to write down the miles per state, TruckingOffice PRO is tracking it for you.
Forgetting to file IFTA is expensive with fines and penalties, and may get you kicked off the road. You don’t want to miss that quarterly deadline.
Smart Owner-Operators Use TruckingOffice PRO
Regardless of your agreement with the company for the trucking IFTA filing, using trucking management software is smart.
- Tracking your expenses – reimbursed or not. When you know where you’re spending money, you’ll know where you can save. Maybe you don’t know how much you’re spending to “get by” without considering that the big expense might save you money or time in the long run.
- Tracking your maintenance. DOT inspections and FMCSA audits are concerned with your truck maintenance. Every owner-operator must keep records about the maintenance of their rig. Instead of being reliant on an unorganized shoebox, use TruckingOffice PRO to keep you organized, to know when you need to schedule replacements or repairs, or to track warranties on the work that was done on your rig.
- Tracking your business. In a tough economy, you might be tempted to go off the road for any number of reasons. Or you may see that investing in new equipment is worth the money. That knowledge comes from software that is based on trucking and accounting, not just accounting.
TruckingOffice PRO is made for you.
We make running your trucking business easy for you. So give us a try and sign up for your free trial of our complete software package now. You can even do last quarter’s IFTA on us right now for free! We want you to know how you’ll grow when you use our software package.