Employing Spouse In Trucking (non Driving)

Topic 32244 | Page 1

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David D.'s Comment
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So I am a new O/O with 8 years of trucking and looking to grow while also buttoning things up with the business using my wife's help. We have two small children (under 4 yo) so she needs to stay at home while concentrating on payroll, permitting, and record keeping. The question being is what is the best way to employ her that maximizes our benefits? She would be leaving a decent paying hospital job with great benefits so this is a major decision for us but in todays climate she is needed at home. Anyone have recent experience working with a spouse in trucking and how do you utilize that position so that benefits are maximized? I understand that my CPA would be the best person to answer questions regarding pay and taxes but I'm more concerned about justifying that individual when it comes to being an extension of myself being; picking up parts, signing for equipment, etc. Any guidance or insight is appreciated whether it's a pro or a con about making this transition. Thanks in advance!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar
She would be leaving a decent paying hospital job with great benefits so this is a major decision for us but in todays climate she is needed at home.

Personally, I would think about that a lot more realistically. There is no way you're going to come out ahead by having her help you. That's my two cents.

Disclaimer... I'm not an Owner/Operator, nor do I pretend to know what it's like to be one. I do understand business and have decades of business ownership behind my statement.

You mentioned payroll. Does that mean you are running under your own authority? Are you planning to purchase more trucks and hire drivers? Are you sure you want to jump into this cut throat business so aggressively? Why not just lease onto a successful operation that can help you reduce expenses through their purchasing power? It sure seems a more prudent way to get started as an O/O to me.

We focus on helping newcomers to trucking make a good start. We have a few members who are O/Os and I hope they have some advice for you. I suggest you join OOIDA and seek some advice from them. They certainly know the ropes better than we would.

OOIDA:

Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

Who They Are

OOIDA is an international trade association representing the interests of independent owner-operators and professional drivers on all issues that affect truckers. The over 150,000 members of OOIDA are men and women in all 50 states and Canada who collectively own and/or operate more than 240,000 individual heavy-duty trucks and small truck fleets.

Their Mission

The mission of OOIDA is to serve owner-operators, small fleets and professional truckers; to work for a business climate where truckers are treated equally and fairly; to promote highway safety and responsibility among all highway users; and to promote a better business climate and efficiency for all truck operators.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Pay and benifts are up too what you decide. Just have to show it’s reasonable. Is she listed as a co-owner???

I have employed my GF, recently became fiancee. She is not listed as a co owner so I had to give her a power of attorney to deal with folks. She drives on occassion, since we got our own authority she has been too busy in the office to drive. It’s a ton of work. Then I throw her curves like pulling oversize on occassion.

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi David

First, what do you mean by growth? Are you trying to build a fleet or hire o/o's? You may want to ask your insurance how many additional trucks they will allow you to have per year. Most of them won't let you add more than one or two trucks and have strict rules.

I would say the most important question is financially justifying your wife in your company. If she already has a good paying job with benefits, she's going to bring more than that to your business. If you're losing her benefits i can tell you that the marketplace is very very expensive compared to the private sector because you have to pay for 100% of the premium.

You should ask your cpa, but i would think bringing her on as an employee would be the way to go.

George B.'s Comment
member avatar

W one truck is there enough work for her to leave her full time job?

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

I do plan on buying more trucks which is the major reason I'm wanting to make the transition with her. She has never been or ever will want to drive but she is definitely good at record keeping and such. Making her co owner is a good idea. I will have to look into that. No there isn't enough work to be considered full time with just one truck but plan on buying at least 2 more within the year. Leaves a buffer for her to learn the ropes at least a little before taking on other drivers. I am able to have as many trucks under my insurance as necessary but my main concern is healthcare. Already have looked into that and my broker has showed me stuff that doesn't seem half bad tbh. I planned on hiring a couple guys I trust and not leasing O/O.

Old School's Comment
member avatar
Any guidance or insight is appreciated

David, please don't take offense at what I'm about to say. It's not meant to be offensive. I certainly have no history with you and don't have anything to go by to justify my instincts, but it seems to me you've already made up your mind. Honestly, it seems you are looking for some O/Os to validate your choice and decision.

I'm curious how your wife feels about it. Is she on board?

David D.'s Comment
member avatar

Thats exactly what I'm doing. Looking to see if some more experienced guys than myself think wether it's a good idea, a bad idea, or ways that can help me make this a concrete plan despite how it goes. Different viewpoints are always a good thing even when its a conflicting or unalike viewpoint. Im not much of an internet person but isn't what this platform is for?

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Is your wife on board?

You're asking her to give up a good job for something speculative. There are a lot of failures in trucking. What is it that sets your company apart? What security can you offer her?

Sid V.'s Comment
member avatar

David, I'm curious what type of freight you run. You're talking about permits and a dedicated broker you use so I'm assuming it's some kind of specialized or heavy haul?

I will warn you that i have heard of nothing but negativity about the current market as a whole. The spot market has been in the toilet for the past 7 months and I've heard of nobody saying they're trying to expand anything right now.

But your an adult, you can make your own decisions, just be careful. If the broker is showing you good paying freight, tell him to show you the freight rates that's coming out at the receiver.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

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