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, 10 months ago

Rick S.'s Bio

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Posted:  20 hours, 49 minutes ago

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Moving while out of hours?

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They changed the personal conveyance law so that you CAN use it empty or loaded. Your company may have its own rules so obviously as them. I linked the faq and they answered it under #6.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/personal-conveyance-frequently-asked-questions-0

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I stand corrected. Drop off the grid for a year, and they change up things on me.

6 - May a driver use personal conveyance when they run out of available (driving/on-duty) hours?

No, except for the one exception described in the guidance where a driver who runs out of hours while at a shipper’s or receiver’s facility may drive from that facility to a nearby, safe location to park, provided that the driver allows adequate time to obtain rest in accordance with daily minimum off-duty periods under the Hours of Service rules before beginning to drive. Personal conveyance is those times where a driver is operating solely for a non-business purpose and cannot be used to extend the duty day.

Rick

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See what happens when you take a hiatus from trucking. EVERYTHING changes on you. If you would of stayed gone a few more months, you would of come back to me no longer being at Wolding.

Yeah - but you and I still talk on the phone once in awhile too.

Rick

Posted:  21 hours, 6 minutes ago

View Topic:

Moving while out of hours?

They changed the personal conveyance law so that you CAN use it empty or loaded. Your company may have its own rules so obviously as them. I linked the faq and they answered it under #6.

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/personal-conveyance-frequently-asked-questions-0

I stand corrected. Drop off the grid for a year, and they change up things on me.

6 - May a driver use personal conveyance when they run out of available (driving/on-duty) hours?

No, except for the one exception described in the guidance where a driver who runs out of hours while at a shipper’s or receiver’s facility may drive from that facility to a nearby, safe location to park, provided that the driver allows adequate time to obtain rest in accordance with daily minimum off-duty periods under the Hours of Service rules before beginning to drive. Personal conveyance is those times where a driver is operating solely for a non-business purpose and cannot be used to extend the duty day.

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 14 hours ago

View Topic:

Moving while out of hours?

Check with your logs department. By law you can.

What Scott said. Move to a safe area, contact your log department.

Keep in mind - EVEN IF your company allows "personal conveyance" driving (AKA: Line 5), you cannot drive on Line 5 with a load on.

Rick

Posted:  1 day, 14 hours ago

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Axle weight question

Keep in mind - steer weights are the LESSER NUMBER of Axle versus Tire capacity.

You should have a sticker/plate on the drivers door sill that gives you the axle weight.

Even if your TIRES are 6,500 each (13K) if your AXLE is at 12K, you cannot be OVER 12K on your front axle.

Rick

Posted:  2 days, 17 hours ago

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Per diem during new driver training?

There's no more "itemizing" for company/employee drivers. With the new tax code, things work a little different.

You will likely not get per-diem pay during, depending on how the company pays during the training period.

Your recruiter may not know the answer to the question, and it's probably something that's low in the list of priorities to worry about during training.

Rick

Posted:  2 days, 20 hours ago

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35-year trucker Joe Bartlette got a seatbelt ticket — until this video got it thrown out!

I need the mods to weigh in on this now. When I was in CDL School I specifically remember them telling us that the seatbelts are orange so the DOT can see you are wearing it.

I thought Maybe that was an Iowa thing but TMC had one of their training centers right around the corner from my CDL School.

NOT a FMSCA/DOT requirement to have hi-viz seatbelts. IS to be using them. As much as it is to keep you from going through the windshield in an accident - it also keeps you in your seat and in control of the truck in case an event (bump, hard turn, whatever) might bounce you off the seat.

A lot of companies order them, so they can make sure company policy is being followed, but it also helps with LEO being able to see you utilizing them.

Rick

Posted:  2 days, 21 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

For 2018 I owe $1800 in Federal and $2k in State, and I claimed 2 for each Federal & State all year long, always have. My first year ever living in a state w/ State Income Tax, and hopefully my last.

I look forward to filing next year since I'll have all of 2019 as a Driver (Prior to, I was a corp employee), and getting 7 days/week per diem since the truck is my home, and seeing how this per diem + claiming 2 (single) + no more state income tax (now a resident of South Dakota)

The per-diem thing works a little different, now that it's not an itemized deduction. "Technically", under the prior tax code, you had to have a home (and take home time) - as per-diem was compensation to cover expenses when AWAY FROM HOME on business (meaning you were required to have a home to be AWAY FROM). Under the previous tax code - folks that tried to take 365 days per-diem GOT CAUGHT, as too high a number threw a "red flag" on your itemized deductions.

Companies pay per-diem based on MILEAGE PAY - so you're not getting a "day rate" (which is what per-diem is calculated at, tax-wise). They may yet switch to a day rate, as it gives them the opportunity to save more in "matching taxes". Which also means with a mileage-rate per-diem, you don't get $$ when you're on a reset, or not moving for whatever reason (weather/days off/etc.).

All balances out in the end either way.

Personally - I'd rather get a couple of $$ back come tax time - than be pressed to come up with $2-4K on April 15th. The withholding rates changed last year - so folks that were taking 2 or more (and breaking even in previous years) ended up coming out of pocket this year.

Rick

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

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Question about working for my father...

Ditto what everyone else said. Go drive for a big company and get your CDL there, for a number of reasons.

One of which (from an O/O standpoint) is that your dad won't be able to put you on his O/O insurance (if he's operating with his own DOT #'s and not leased onto anyone else) until you have a years experience.

I looked at going O/O out of the gate a number of years ago, and one of the biggest issues was not being able to get insured (aside from the insanity of making a near $200K capital investment just to get rolling).

Rick

Posted:  4 days, 16 hours ago

View Topic:

Leave of absence

I feel your pain.

Just finished a 2 hour exam over at a cataract surgeon. Getting old suks. My eyes are more dilated than 3 hits of LSD at a Grateful Dead show.

Had lasik 16 years ago.

My left eye is at 20/30, right at 20/20 - I've got to renew my DOT card in the next 2 weeks, but my doc is pretty cool. Getting a letter from my eye doc to give him, that shows my latest results in case I go borderline at my exam.

As far as depth perception goes - I'd be apt to go with everyone elses suggestion. If yo are not having depth perception issues with anything other than backing - it's probably NOT you eyes.

I wouldn't clue your company to an issue - until you discover IT REALLY IS ONE.

Rick

Posted:  6 days, 12 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:  6 days, 12 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:  6 days, 13 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:  6 days, 17 hours ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

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it will almost certainly lower your refund (if any )

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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.

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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:  6 days, 17 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:  6 days, 19 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:  1 week 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:  1 week ago

View Topic:

DEF is related to brake system

Posted:  1 week ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

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

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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

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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

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