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Chicago is a beautiful city with much to see and do. Its delicious food and world-famous theater scene make it a popular place to live, visit, and do business. The city streets and highways are packed with cars and trucks, so it is important to comply with the rules of the road when you are in this bustling city. If you are a truck driver, you need to comply with the rules set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If you do not, you may end up facing heavy fines.
Simplex Group can assist you with all of your trucking compliance needs. We are a unique business that handles trucking compliance, business registration, insurance, factoring, and even trip planning. We bring over 20 years of experience to the table and are committed to the success of your trucking business.
We will help you with all of the steps you need to take to be fully compliant. Once you pass your new entrant audit, we will make sure that you remain fully compliant for as long as you are in business. When you hire us, we consider ourselves your partner. The success of your business is as important to us as it is to you.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is an agency within the Department of Transportation that sets the standards for safety in the trucking industry. You have to adhere to the FMCSA’s regulations to operate an interstate trucking business within the United States. If you do not follow these rules, the FMCSA can fine you or even shut you down. There are a few steps we will take to make sure you are registered with the FMCSA.
When you open a trucking company in Illinois that operates vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more, you must obtain a number from the United States Department of Transportation. You must also have this number if you are going to operate trucks that carry hazardous waste material. To get this number, you must first choose what kind of business entity you want to register yourself as. You can choose from a Limited Liability Corporation, Partnership, or Corporation.
Once you have chosen, we will register you with the Illinois Secretary of State. You will be issued an Illinois Business Tax Number from the Illinois Department of Revenue.
Once you have an IBT, we can apply for your DOT number using the International Registration System. We will fill out a free application that lists your driver’s licensure information and the license plate and VINs of all of your trucks. We will also need to list the ownership and financing information of your trucks on the application. It only takes a few seconds to get a DOT number after an application has been submitted.
You may also need a Motor Carrier Permit which lets you carry regulated property across state lines. Regulated products are anything that is treated with additives.
You will need an agent of the process which is just a person who can accept legal paperwork for a company. You will need a Unified Carrier Registration number so you can drive from state to state without being fined.
We offer a full authorization package that includes:
You will need quite a bit of insurance to operate a trucking business in the state of Illinois. You will also need several policies to cover everything that can go wrong in a trucking business. We can put together a comprehensive insurance package that will include the following:
You must keep an electronic file of every driver who works for you. When a driver first applies to a trucking company, the trucking company is obligated to call all of the businesses the driver has listed on their resume to verify employment. They must pull the driving record of the applicant in every state they have lived in for the last ten years and establish that the driver only has one currently active driver’s license and that it is not suspended.
All truckers who drive their vehicles across state lines must be over 21 and pass a special physical that is administered by an FMCSA-approved doctor. They must submit to a drug test as well.
You must keep a driver’s pre-screen information in an electronic file for the entire time that they work for you, and for three years after that. Many different forms will go into a driver’s file throughout their employment.
There are a wide variety of different forms to be stored on any driver, and theys all have different required storage times. For example, a positive drug test will be stored for five years, but a negative drug test must be stored for one year. Driver’s hours of service are stored for six months but repair records are stored for a year and a half. It can be quite confusing,
With many years of experience in data storage, Simplex Group will ensure your driver’s records are kept for the required amount of time and are always up to date.
The FMCSA takes the recording of a driver’s hours very seriously. A driver must record their hours using an Electronic Logging Device. They must record the time they devoted to each activity on this device, such as the hours they spent inspecting their vehicle, driving it, and gassing up.
A driver must not operate a vehicle for over eleven consecutive hours because an exhausted driver is a dangerous driver. They must have at least ten consecutive hours off duty and also sleep in the berth for at least seven hours if they spend a night in the truck.
You must keep electronic records of these hours for six months or face heavy fines. If a driver is caught driving over eleven hours, the FMCSA might shut your company down. You want to make sure this does not happen. That is why we will keep a strict record of every hour each driver works.
A truck driver must inspect their vehicle before they leave on every trip and when they finish the trip. You must keep a record of these inspections on file. You must also record any repairs made to your vehicle. We will make sure these records are properly stored.
When a trucking company first opens its doors, it will often struggle to pay its bills. Clients will have several months to pay you and the companies to which you owe money want to be paid now.
Every business needs a good tax preparer to get all of the deductions to which it is entitled. Trucking taxes are complex. Our tax preparers are committed to keeping your taxes paid up to date and getting you as many deductions as possible.
Figuring out a strategy for loading your trucks is not as easy as it sounds. You must maximize the space in your truck while staying compliant with safety regulations. You must also take your route into consideration so that it does not take you forever to unload. Our freight planners have years of experience and will make sure you make as much money as possible on every run.
Truck drivers are required to have permits to travel on the highways and to pay taxes on fuel. Certain states require extra permits just to travel on their roads. We know just what permits you need and we will make sure that you are always up to date.
We offer a fuel card that can save you money no matter where you are in the country. Your drivers work hard and they deserve a discount on fuel and food when they are traveling a long way.
When you trust Simplex Group to handle your compliance, passing your new entrant audit will be easy, so you can concentrate on running your business. Call us today.