Profile For Rick S.

Rick S.'s Info

  • Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL

  • Driving Status:
    Company Driver In Training

  • Social Link:
    Rick S. On The Web

  • Joined Us:
    9 years, 9 months ago

Rick S.'s Bio

No Bio Information Was Filled Out. Must be a secret.

Page 1 of 115

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Posted:  1 day, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Yet another good, pretty understandable article from Let's Truck:

https://letstruck.com/blogs/kevins-kommentary/understanding-the-new-tax-laws-how-it-affects-owner-operators-drivers

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

A more understandable explanation for drivers from Freightwave. The link you put up was more for trucking companies than drivers.

https://www.freightwaves.com/news/2018/1/16/ending-the-confusion-over-per-diem

As it stands under the new tax code - per diem (apparently) IS TAX FREE now.

If you are looking to pocket MORE $$ and less taxes, then per diem is actually a GOOD THING, the more the better in fact.

Actually, the changes in tax code make companies that offer per-diem pay, more desirable than companies that don't.

Thanks Mark, for forcing me to poke around some more.

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 11 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Hey Mark - thanks for the link.

As I said initially - I haven't done any research on how the changes in tax code affected drivers and per diem.

What the article you linked to illustrates is, with the elimination of itemization, the worksheet for per-diem no longer applies - and per diem pay (for company drivers) is no longer put on the W-2 as miscellaneous income.

What it did mention (which I find weird), is that - if the per diem compensation exceeds the daily rate, it either has to be returned to the company or becomes income.

So I guess per-diem is now a better deal for company drivers, due to the elimination it being included as income and having to do a more complicated return to deduct it.

Sorry if anyone got confused by previous explanations - as I said, I hadn't really done much in depth research on the topic since the tax code changed.

Regards,

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 15 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

double-quotes-start.png

it will almost certainly lower your refund (if any )

double-quotes-end.png

A tax refund is the most misunderstood concept to most people. A Tax Refund is just that.........A REFUND! It means you over witheld during the course of the year, and the IRS is "refunding" YOUR MONEY! It is not FREE MONEY that the Government is handing out. Lord how I wish people understood that. I would rather write a $500.00 check to the US Treasury on April 15th than get a $3000.00 check in the mail.

smile.gif

Didn't want to get into the discussion of personal preference or ideology around taxes, withholding, etc.. The purpose of my comments, were to assess the potential ramifications of per-diem payments for drivers, under the new tax code.

It is YOUR MONEY that gets given to the government by your employer, so you don't have to write a check at tax time. If you "under-withhold", you can be subject to an additional penalty come tax-time.

Being that the standard calculations for withholding on form W-4, don't really allow for "fine tuning" your withholding - it is what it is. While many folks can afford to write a check for $500, many cannot.

Despite my disdain for our system of taxation (lived outside of it for 17 years until they caught up with me), now that I'm back in the system, I do what I can to minimize my exposure and pay as little as possible.

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Medical cannabis and CDL license

Like it or not - cannabis products will NEVER be OK federally for people in "Safety Sensitive Positions", (CDL, Pilots, Ship Captains).

For long term cannabis users, urines may be dirty for upwards of 60 days, hair 6 months at the least (or maybe longer, as the metabolites leech from fatty tissues).

Having a med card isn't going to grant you a pass on a DOT Medical, though there is no reason to disclose you've had one, nor should it show in a BG.

Posted:  1 day, 18 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Ok, I thought the company per diem was a pre-tax deduction when in fact it is a company reimbursement. https://schneiderjobs.com/blog/driver/truck-driver-per-diem-pay

Additional per diem considerations: Small impact to personal time off pay (usually less than $50 annually per personal time off week) Reduced social security, unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits (estimated $10/month social security impact for every year of per diem participation) Per diem portion is not eligible for 401(k) matches, but you can fund a higher savings percentage with the extra take-home pay provided through the per diem pay plan

A lot of variables to consider when deciding to take or not take the per diem.

Keep in mind - trucking companies didn't come up with per-diem to do DRIVERS a favor. It was to do THEMSELVES a favor by saving millions in matching funds on fed tax withholdings.

Look at it this way - .13 per mile in per diem pay X 3,000 miles a week X 1,000 drivers X 52 weeks a year - the company "saves" (pockets) $1.5 MILLION in matching funds they would otherwise have to pay into taxes. Despite the "perceived benefit" of drivers having a few more $$ in their paychecks week-to-week, the companies were seeing a big time addition to their bottom lines, without lifting a finger.

Back before the changes in tax code, you could deduct 80% of the $62 daily allowance for every full day away from home.

So if you were away 330 days per year - you could take a roughly $16.3K deduction. Which, (when balanced against the old $6K standard deduction) and all the other non-reimbursed deductions that were allowed, made for a sizable bite of your AGI/taxable income. Per-diem is for meals and other expenses when working away from home. Other expenses (gloves, etc.), all added up to a good reason to itemize previously.

Keep in mind also - for most companies, per diem is NOT OPTIONAL, it is mandatory. With todays tax code - it will almost certainly lower your refund (if any), because it still counts as INCOME (even though taxes are not withheld on that amount).

To visualize this, it might be helpful if one of our members could share with us, what a years worth of per diem pay was for them last year - that way folks can better understand the impact that per-diem pay will have on their taxable income situation. With tax day almost upon us - it'll also be interesting to see if anyone got "jammed up" on their tax bill, and whether their anticipated refund was less than they expected.

Rick

Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

Rick S

Dealing with health & personal stuff. I drop in to read here once in awhile, seems like everything is about the same.

Still would love to get out there with y'all one day, not sure it's ever gonna be in the cards for me though.

Thanks for asking.

Hey to everyone!!

Rick

Posted:  2 days, 10 hours ago

View Topic:

DEF is related to brake system

Posted:  2 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

double-quotes-start.png

I don't think the per diem pre tax treatment has an impact on FICA/Medicare benefits, it only impacts taxable income

double-quotes-end.png

Yes, It does. Per Diem lowers your taxable income. It can not be compared to a 401k. Completely different animal.

Haven't been here in awhile - but I still read occasionally (other personal & health stuff going on).

I haven't really researched the changes in the new tax code - as it relates to per-diem and other non-reimbursed expenses for drivers - BUT - keep in mind the misnomer of per-diem as "tax free money".

It is UNTAXED MONEY - but still counts as GROSS INCOME for tax purposes.

In years prior to the recent changes - you could do the per-diem calculation, based on "current rate X days on away from home", and 80% of the difference was a DEDUCTION when you itemized. Inotherwords - you get to take 100% of the per-diem already paid, and 80% of the difference in the daily rate.

While this results in less "taxable income" for the driver (with regards to withholding and FICA/Med deductions) it saves the company MILLIONS in matching funds.

I'm not going to get into the age-old argument of "lending the .gov your $$ interest free", or whether or not SS/Med is still gonna be there when we eventually get old enough to use it.

But please DO NOT LABOR UNDER THE ILLUSION THAT PER DIEM IS TAX FREE $$. It still counts towards gross income on your tax return (appears as miscellaneous income on your W2), and must be claimed as income on your 1040.

With the changes in the tax code, and how companies are dealing with withholding in '18 - there are reports of people actually owing $$ on their taxes, or getting refunds that are less than in previous years. Having a gross income that may be more than your withholding covers, because of the additional untaxed income of per-diem, may (or may not) result in owing $$ to the IRS.

ASK YOUR TAX PROFESSIONAL to get the facts on this. Don't assume the increase in standard deduction will be enough to cover the untaxed income of per-diem.

Anyways. Nice to see that the board is still here - good to see some of my old friends still contribute (I still talk to Patrick C every once in awhile), and I may get back on to post more often as time/health allows.

Waves and regards to all.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 6 months ago

View Topic:

Technical Advisor whereabouts

Sorry for the scare there guys.

Had a somewhat minor health issue to resolve. Then I got super-busy with my IT business projects (and other personal projects/obsessions).

For folks who know me a little better - I was suffering from pretty decent burnout/depression for quite awhile. Found the cause, worked it out (or in the process of working out). Getting better, my mind is working right (or right-er), and I'm no longer spending days (months), parked in my cave, in front of my computer or TV.

Funny thing is - a number of folks have my phone number & personal email contact info - kinda surprised my disappearance didn't cause a few phone calls to be made. The concern over my absence was brought to my attention by a long time lurker here

At any rate - I am OK. I was just advised to spend more time outside of my cave, moving around - and less time parked in front of my computer.

Life is about balance, and I'm trying to find mine - which will include my continued participation here in TT. For folks that have been here as long as I have (the few), I've been known to drop out of sight for extended periods of time, then jump back in.

As a "technical advisor", I'm aware that my participation was large contribution here, along with the other long-time members/mods. No disrepect was meant to the board for "getting promoted", then bugging out. The huge amount of time I spent on the board up until recently, was due to the fact that I had a lot of time on my hands. My time is being occupied by other things, so I've pulled back (or out, for the moment it appears). But I still love this place, and the industry (even if I can't get myself out there with y'all on the road).

Still working some stuff out here - so we'll see what the future brings.

Again - balance - I'm still trying to find some...

Regards to all...

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Question on random drug tests

"Random tests" - as required by DOT, "should be" urine, as HFT is still not a "DOT Accepted Method" of testing. The typical hair test, is a preemployment drug screen, although most companies do not test urine also as mandated. DOT kind of lets the companies slide on it.

Your typical random, comes a message on the QUALCOMM, because they know exactly where you are, they will give you the address to the nearest testing center, and you must go drop immediately, or it is considered a refusal.

If anyone works for a company, that does hair tests as random, and not "under suspicion" as random, it would be interesting to hear about it.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

3/4 and 1" drives are insane in price. I know from considering at one point using my permissions to test for my FAA A&P licensure. That and from being an Aircraft mechanic for 13 years. The Snap On truck used to make its rounds to each hangar once a week. I have priced tools. TQ Wrenches are insane. Especially once you get into the foot lbs ones. The 0-30 in lb dial indicating, the 40-200 in lb and the 150-750 in lb aren't really all that bad. A few hundred a piece.

Try the friggin digital torque wrenches. A buddy of mine down here is a snap on distributor, he is a very wealthy man.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

PLUS - if he got into heavy diesel mechanics - his SnapOn guy would own his firstborn (if he doesn't already). You think the 3/8th & 1/2 stuff is expensive - wait'll you get into the heavy stuff.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Thinking about getting out of mechanics and starting a new career in trucking. Any advice or suggestions?

With your auto tech background I'd think about truck mechanics - desperate need for those as well.

Some people just don't want to get dirty, work in a hot environment, etc.

My first real job at 16, was for a volkswagen shop. Loved the work, until they found out how old I was, and that insurance wouldn't cover me if I got hurt.

I've done it as an "extreme hobby" - mostly for my own cars and motorcycles. Do my "heavy work" at a friends shop - sweaty, dirty - don't genuinely know that I'd wanna put 40 hours a week in there (I can barely make it through an oil change before hitting the A/C).

His mechanical aptitude will serve him well in a trucking career - even if he never twists a wrench, bangs up his knuckles, or spends 20 minutes with a scrub brush and GoJo getting the embedded grease of his hands.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Terminated from CR England

That makes it a bit more clear, but it would still be nice to know the circumstances. For some info on what England's policy is on line five, you have to get approval from your DM, call logs BEFORE you start, log off duty personal conveyance(as in line 4 with a flag, not line 5) for long enough to make it stay on the ELD, then drive on line 3, and go back to and do off duty personal conveyance on line 4 again, then call logs again when you arrive. Then the same when you go back(which you ALWAYS do in accordance with the law, right? ;) ).

They try to avoid it whenever possible, and I generally don't bother. Logs is a business hours only department too, so if, let's say, you get all the approvals and start driving at 17:00 MST, you best hope you don't meet any bears that want to look at your logs as they won't be changing until Logs opens back up. I have done it before, even without asking permission first, and got a talking to not fired. So I think we're still missing something or she made a habit of doing it without permission.

Better off calling a CAB (or Uber). Better off hitchhiking.

That's a PITA policy. Might was well just not all Line 5 AT ALL.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Forced Retirement

On-Guard...should come with a bumper sticker; "I brake for overpasses".

I wish I could say you'll get completely used to it, tolerance is the best you can hope for. 98% of the time not bothersome...

You KILL ME!

boys-accident-clutch-brake-accelerator-accident-brake-brake-brake-desifun-20828738.png

(sorry Rainy)

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Med card questions

Thank you all for the help. I know why they gave me a 90 day card, he said i need to have my fam dr fill out some paperwork if i need a sleep study. Dot examiner said my neck was too big.

I was only curious to see which card to give at next interview wasnt sure if they each belong to that specific company.

Any light shed to the bad of a driveaway company?

Most "company physical" Med Examiners - are going by the (supposed) guidelines of: over 17" neck and/or over 35 BMI. This has never actually been made an FMCSA REGULATION - because it is VOODOO SCIENCE. As many people UNDER the guidelines HAVE OSA, as people OVER the guidelines DO NOT.

This would be one of those cases - where I would say, go to the DME that did your last card - and get a NEW ONE (unless the driveaway company makes you use one of their docs too).

if you were talking about BP or some other condition - that would be another issue. OTOH - if you ARE HUGE, then there IS A CHANCE that you actually do have OSA.

WORD OF WARNING THOUGH - the current DOT Med Long Form, asks if you have ever gotten LESS THAN A TWO YEAR CARD. Because these ARE UPLOADED, you will "legally" have to answer YES to this question. In the explanation - you can put that ME wanted a letter from your PCP, regarding OSA, before issuing a 1 or 2 year card.

To play it REALLY SAFE - I would get a letter from your family doctor, to the nature of - "patient in my opinion does not require OSA testing", answer the question HONESTLY, and present the letter to the DME.

Some DME's are PITA's about the BMI/Neck thing - most ARE NOT. Most company DME's (Swift/Prime/et al), will require a SLEEP STUDY (which the company will gladly pay for and deduct from your paycheck) and odds are the clinic the the company uses WILL DETERMINE that you have OSA - at which point the company will gladly pay for your CPAP machine (and deduct it from your pay).

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 7 months ago

View Topic:

Med card questions

I need some help im very new to trucking. I live in pa and I received my med card before i started school for 2 years. I got hired on with a company that made me get another med card this one is only 90 days. I did not stay with this company longer than a week, too unsafe practices from trainer. Now must i use my most current med card for my next job? Is it stored in a database? I have an interview tomorrow with a driveaway company and im not quite sure which med card to give them if they ask. Thanks for any help.

Typically - there is a MEDICAL REASON WHY a 90 day card is issued (versus a 1 or 2 year card).

YES - there are uploaded by the Medical Examiner to FMCSA's database (prevents DOCTOR SHOPPING).

The question I have is - WHY did you only get a 90 day card? You can go to your local Medical Examiner - BUT - if there was a condition that prevented you from getting a FULL 1/2 year card - and you DO NOT DISCLOSE IT to the next examiner, there's a good chance it will show up.

FAILURE TO DISCLOSE on a DOT Med Application, is a FEDERAL CRIME.

Before they computerized the records, folks would "doctor shop", until they found one that would give ANYONE that was breathing a card. Not so any more.

The MOST RECENT EXAM/CARD, is considered to be the "current one". Better hustle up and get a new one, and get it uploaded to your state DMV, before the current one EXPIRES.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

CDL Requirements - need help

F-250 7,000lbs Trailer 7,250lbs Load 8,750lbs

Total 23,000lbs

You describe "trailer & load". Is the load ON THE TRAILER - or split between the trailer and pickup?

Commercial: Class A: Combination vehicles, Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 26,000 lbs., towing trailer over 10,000 lbs. Class B: Single or Combination vehicles, GVWR over 26,000 lbs., towing trailer under 10,000 lbs. Class C: Vehicle under 26,000 lbs., transporting hazardous materials or carrying 16+ passengers.

Now - if you go by THE LAW - a Class C - doesn't allow you to tow a trailer. A Class B doesn't allow OVER 10K on the trailer.

If you normally tow UNDER 10K lbs COMMERCIALLY - and that is the KEY - if you are towing YOUR HOUSE/RV/TRAILER - NO CDL REQUIRED. If your BUSINESS is towing a mobile office trailer for BUSINESS PURPOSES, then "technically" - is IS A COMMERCIAL VEHICLE, and will require some class of CDL (B at the LEAST).

If you are towing OVER the GCWR of the truck (GVWR + Tow Capacity) you are OVERWEIGHT for that class (and could get an overweight ticket). If the GROSS WEIGHT of the truck, trailer and load exceeds weight classification of your CDL - then you are driving with the WRONG CLASS OF CDL.

The SAFEST BET - is to just get a Class A - which will keep you from EVER having an issue (at least with LICENSE CLASSIFICATION).

I have a buddy that transports motorcycles for a shop he works for down here (Harleys & Indians). 20' Trailer, name of the shop on the side of the truck. NO CDL in-hand.

He got pulled by a trooper in MD, doing Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. He let him slide THAT TIME - but told him if he ever saw him again, he'd better have DOT NUMBERS on the side of his truck, a CDL-A in his pocket, and a log book (or logging device after 12/19/17) in his truck. By the weight of his truck and on his trailer - HE IS A CLASS A RIG. His employer SWEARS they aren't - but that won't keep him from HANDCUFFS for numerous violations, if he's not in compliance and gets pulled.

You can get away with this WITHOUT the proper numbers and license classes 99 times - and that 100th time will leave teeth marks on your butt.

Sadly - you will have to test for a Class A - in a full tractor/trailer rig.

Rick

Posted:  1 year, 8 months ago

View Topic:

Air horn ettiquite

Remember - air horns are HIGHWAY HORNS - not really supposed to be using them in the city.

A quick "double toot", if you want to be nice, but not long enough to freak out other cars around you.

We're not choo-choo-trains.

Rick

Page 1 of 115

Next Page
Go To Page:    

Join Us!

We have an awesome set of tools that will help you understand the trucking industry and prepare for a great start to your trucking career. Not only that, but everything we offer here at TruckingTruth is 100% free - no strings attached! Sign up now and get instant access to our member's section:
High Road Training Program Logo
  • The High Road Training Program
  • The High Road Article Series
  • The Friendliest Trucker's Forum Ever!
  • Email Updates When New Articles Are Posted

Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

About Us

TruckingTruth was founded by Brett Aquila (that's me!), a 15 year truck driving veteran, in January 2007. After 15 years on the road I wanted to help people understand the trucking industry and everything that came with the career and lifestyle of an over the road trucker. We'll help you make the right choices and prepare for a great start to your trucking career.

Read More

Becoming A Truck Driver

Becoming A Truck Driver is a dream we've all pondered at some point in our lives. We've all wondered if the adventure and challenges of life on the open road would suit us better than the ordinary day to day lives we've always known. At TruckingTruth we'll help you decide if trucking is right for you and help you get your career off to a great start.

Learn More