Profile For Buckaroo B.

Buckaroo B.'s Info

  • Location:
    TX

  • Driving Status:
    In CDL School

  • Social Link:

  • Joined Us:
    1 month, 1 week ago

Buckaroo B.'s Bio

Returning to trucking after a 22 year hiatus.

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Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Moving while out of hours?

Examples of Appropriate Uses of a CMV While Off-duty for Personal Conveyance per FMCSA

Time spent traveling to a nearby, reasonable, safe location to obtain required rest after loading or unloading. The time driving under personal conveyance must allow the driver adequate time to obtain the required rest in accordance with minimum off-duty periods under 49 CFR 395.3(a)(1) (property-carrying vehicles) before returning to on-duty driving, and the resting location must be the first such location reasonably available.

Posted:  4 weeks ago

View Topic:

Carrying a Weapon in a CMV

When I drove in the 90's I carried a handgun for a couple of years as an O/O. I quit carrying after getting loaded to visit our neighbor to the north. Going from WI to Nova Scotia did not afford me the opportunity to secure my weapon before leaving the country. I made the trip and had to get creative. After that experience I decided to leave the gun at home. I've been in some sketchy areas at night picking up loads and swapping trailers in unsecured lots ( S. Chicago and South Central LA) but never had any issues. Situational awareness and getting in/out fast is how I handled it.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

I'm going to need to do some calculating but as mentioned earlier each company driver has their own unique financial circumstances. For me I don't have to worry about state income taxes. With the standard deduction doubling to $12K for me, single, I will probably do what I did the last 6-7 years and increase up my 401K contribution substantially to reduce my gross income since this won't impact FICA, Medicare and other benefits in the long run. When companies came up with this per diem scheme I'm sure they consulted with the best tax attorneys and actuaries they could find. Call me cynical but those consultants were working in the companies' best interest, not the drivers.

Posted:  1 month 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.

Per Diem Pay For Truck Drivers

Schneider National Per Diem Pay Explanation

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.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

Social Security (FICA) and Medicare are calculated from your gross pay and are taken off the top before 401K or any other pre-tax considerations are made. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plan-faqs-regarding-contributions-are-retirement-plan-contributions-subject-to-withholding-for-fica-medicare-or-federal-income-tax

My last job was a salary position and my pay only changed in April when we received a small raise. I looked at FICA and Medicare deductions on pay stubs after I made a large change in my 401K contribution (pre tax) during the middle of the year and the amount taken out of my check for FICA/Medicare did not change despite the fact my 401K contribution changed by 10%.

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

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Federal taxes and Per Diem 2019

See also:

What Is Per Diem Pay For Truck Drivers

Per Diem Pay For Truckers

I was looking through the per diem threads and most are a year or more old. Now that drivers have been through a tax season with the changes made to the Federal tax code in 2017, I was wondering what trends, takeaways, lessons learned etc. drivers have. Because the changes had drastically different ramifications for O/Os vs. company drivers. Please start replies with O/O or Company Driver. As a future company driver I want to start planning now. Is the pre-tax per diem pay/reimbursement scheme mandatory at companies? Can you opt out? Is the standard $12K Federal tax deduction for singles and $24K for married covering personal road expenses? Any other tax planning advice welcome.

Posted:  1 month ago

View Topic:

Truck blown over in Amarillo

I was looking at the US flag in the background when the trailer started lifting. Trailer had to be empty or had minimal weight in it. Hope the driver is OK as well as the co-driver if they were a team operation.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What trucker gps is better? My qualcomm keeps getting me into trouble...

I was looking for info on the truck specific GPS units with traffic, weather and logging capabilities. RM, Garmin and TomTom. Thanks for the idea about manual waypoints and the HD planner.

Harley Davidson has an online ride planner that you can use plan a ride and download it as a GPX file to a card. If you add waypoints along the route, you can force the GPS to follow your designated route. I used it riding Route 66 to stay on the "old alignment" as much as possible.

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What trucker gps is better? My qualcomm keeps getting me into trouble...

Hope it's OK to revive this thread but I was wondering if those using GPS units have any updates on the units they are using, problems they are having, etc. From reading through all the posts I agree getting lured in by a GPS unit is tempting but can get you into a bad situation quickly. Before there was mapping GPS units (20+ years ago) I kept my wire-bound laminated Rand McNally atlas close by and used the QC text directions for the last few miles to the shipper/consignee. I had a file folder with city specific maps and my favorite was the Chicago map with the red, yellow and green dots on intersections indicating which bridges were below 13'-6", at 13'-6" and over 13'-6" respectively. However, I am interested in the GPS units primarily to get real-time traffic information, weather and logging capabilities. I have a standard auto Garmin unit that I use for long car trips but it is no substitute for trip planning. I recently used Google Maps' off-line feature on my iPhone that lets you download a geographical area for 30 days. It worked really well for the rural part of West Texas (Big Bend) I was in without cell coverage or data access. I used CoPilot on a laptop 10 years ago driving with family in a 43" motorhome. With the USB antenna cable, and the power cable and trying to keep in propped on the console it was more trouble than it was worth. Might be better now if it was on a tablet with built in GPS capabilities. Even with directions via QC and dispatch, the information doesn't apply to all rigs. I followed directions from dispatch once that sent me to a customer and the directions were good EXCEPT, I was pulling a double-drop flat and there was a raised railroad crossing! The company usually sent flats and step decks there, not double drops. Luckily a driver spotted me and warned me via CB before I got to the tracks. There is no way the trailer would have made it over the tracks with 6-8" of ground clearance and I would have stopped traffic for miles on that 2 lane road. Thanks in advance for any equipment updates and suggestions!

Posted:  1 month, 1 week ago

View Topic:

What did you do before becoming a truck driver?

Automotive parts and service at a repair center and car dealerships from high school and into college. Last two years of college and for 5 years after graduation I was a print journalist. When the newspaper business started tanking in the early 90's I picked up a CDL and drove OTR for 4 years; 1 year in a team operation pulling 53' vans and 3 years as an O/O for a specialized carrier pulling various flatbed configurations. Left OTR for love and went back to auto parts management. Next, I worked for a small aerospace manufacturing company as production manager and later operations manager. After the big economic meltdown in 2009, I went to work for an aerospace defense contractor as a production supervisor in advanced composites. I worked as production supervisor for a few other companies and burned out being an adult babysitter. Currently gearing up to go back to OTR, hopefully flatbed. I have followed trucking from afar over the years. A lot has changed and a lot has remained the same. I had Qualcomm in my trucks in old days but used paper logs. The Internet was in its infancy and mobile phones were expensive and all minutes cost money- peak and off peak rates and the roaming charges would bankrupt you. The mobile phones in those days were analog voice only phones and I had the Motorola brick phone:) I never thought Class 8 tractors would move to automatic transmissions. Times change and so have transmissions. All the double clutching and RPM matching for slip shifting wasted:) But, it seems like the trucks are much better equipped with creature comforts than before. APUs were something you dreamed of and now they are coming as standard equipment as are real refrigerators, not crappy thermoelectric coolers using the Peltier effect. Some of my best life stories came from my days driving OTR. The places I went and the weather conditions I encountered. Driving team was the most interesting. The time on I-80 in Wyoming in a blizzard was a memorable one. I was sleeping in the bunk and suddenly I was being tossed around. Then there was daylight and cold air coming in the sleeper birth from an unusual place- the corner of the roof. When I opened the privacy curtain all was revealed. The trailer had come around and kissed the sleeper and we were in 4 feet of snow in the median. Two hours later, a tow truck, some duct tape and cardboard and we were on our way! Hauling 6K lbs of empty plastic bottles in 53' van across Wyoming on snow and ice covered roads in the dead of winter was not ideal and the 30+ MPH cross wind had its way with my co-driver. Lesson learned at his expense:) Then there was the visit to the Grapevine runaway truck ramp on I-5 in CA. 60MPH to 0 in 150 yards at 78K lbs GVW. Lesson learned: recap tires and poor trailer maintenance are a bad combination. I'm looking forward to returning to OTR driving. A little older and a lot wiser!

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