Simplex Group Houston, TX

Truck photo

The transportation industry is one of the most critical industries in the world, and it is also one of the most highly regulated. If you are a new trucking company in Houston, Texas, the rules and regulations of the industry can seem overwhelming. You want to concentrate on buying trucks, hiring drivers, attaining clients, and advertising your business. Fortunately, Simplex Group specializes in making sure Houston trucking companies are compliant from the beginning!

Who regulates the trucking industry?

The Department of Transportation oversees federal highway, rail, and air carrier projects and sets safety rules for all modes of transportation in the country. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency within the department that enforces DOT rules which apply to the trucking industry. 

The FMCSA has the authority to inspect trucks and impose fines when a truck does not pass an inspection. The agency can also take a driver’s license away if it believes the driver is a threat to public safety. Although the agency cannot change the law, it can update safety standards.

Which companies need to comply with FMCSA regulations?

If your company only operates within the Texas borders and does not have federal contracts, the FMCSA will not perform audits of your business or inspections of your vehicle. Vehicles that are subject to FMCSA standards fit into the following categories.

  • The vehicle is used to transport hazardous material and requires placards.
  • The weight of the vehicle is over 10,001 pounds fully loaded.
  • The vehicle is used for transporting more than eight people for profit or more than 15 people for no compensation.

What types of fleet compliance are there?

There are five categories of fleet compliance. Each of them requires plenty of paperwork and meticulous record-keeping. Our team of trained compliance professionals can manage each category of fleet compliance.

Hiring Drivers

Whenever you hire a person for any job, it is a good idea to check their references and do a background check on them. When you hire truck drivers, the law mandates that you confirm certain things.

You must have them fill out an FMCSA approved application. You are required to verify the information on that application and have them explain any employment gaps from the previous three years. 

An applicant must agree to have their driving records reviewed for the three years prior to their application. You must pull their motor vehicle records from any state where they have held a driver’s license. 

A person must pass a DOT physical before taking a job as a truck driver. If a driver is on a medication that is considered habit-forming, they will have to get a letter of permission from their doctor before they are allowed to drive.

A truck driver must have a high school diploma and must be over 21 to drive outside the state of Texas. Although drug tests are not required as a condition of employment, they will have to agree to random drug tests. 

We will handle employment verification and review motor vehicle records for you and will review them once a year as required by law. We will ensure your records are always up to date and ready for an audit.

Hours of Service Logs

You probably already know that the Teamsters Union has strict rules regarding the number of hours a driver can work. Even if your drivers are not in the union, they are only allowed to work a certain number of consecutive hours. 

A drowsy driver can easily be a dead driver if they do not pull over and get some rest. The FMCSA takes overworked drivers very seriously. 

When you run a trucking company, you must ensure that your drivers never operate a vehicle for over 11 consecutive hours. They can only start driving after being off duty for 10 hours.  Truck drivers carrying property may not drive after the 14th consecutive hour. 

Drivers record their hours on an Electronic Logging Device (ELD). The device allows you to know your driver’s hours down to the minute. 

You might think that you would not need anything but an ELD to record the time. However, you must still manage the data you receive on an ELD. You must file and record drivers’ hours of service for a potential audit.

Simplex Group can train your drivers to use the ELD and can audit your driver logs for you. Although ELDs record hours accurately, unscrupulous drivers have been known to falsify records, which is why we can monitor your logbook for falsified records. We can also help you create a disciplinary protocol for drivers who violate policy.

Vehicle Inspection

Drivers must inspect their vehicles at the beginning and the end of each trip. They must test the following equipment to make sure a vehicle is safe:

  • Tires and wheels
  • Brakes 
  • Steering 
  • Lights
  • Mirrors 
  • Windshield wipers 
  • Connection equipment
  • Safety systems

CSA Scores 

The FMCSA runs a compliance program, and every trucking company has a score based on roadside inspections. If you fail an inspection, you will get a certain number of points, but you will not get any points if you pass.

We will keep all of your records up to date and let you know well in advance when you need to re-qualify each driver. We are a licensed insurance provider and can provide our clients with insurance policies. You will never have to worry about failing an audit when you work with us. 

IFTA Compliance 

Truck drivers generate a lot of tax revenue as they move about the country, and communities rely on those tax revenues. It used to be that a driver had to get a fuel permit in each state. The International Fuel Tax Agreement states that drivers record the location of the gas station and how much fuel they purchased on their Electronic Logging Device.

A trucking company will report the purchases to their local IFTA office, and the device automatically records the purchases.

Other Services

Managing a trucking company involves more than just acquiring clients and staying compliant. You have to worry about paying taxes, acquiring all of the necessary permits you will need, and planning how to get from one place to another. 

Fortunately, we can help you with everything. When you hire us, we consider ourselves a part of your company. We know that we only succeed when you do.


The trucking industry is one of the most heavily taxed and regulated industries in the country. In addition to paying federal taxes, you will have to pay taxes in every state through which you travel. 

The International Fuel Tax Agreement was designed to simplify paying fuel taxes in various states. It is designed to make sure every state you drive through gets tax money to use their roads. You will have to make quarterly reports of gas purchases to the IFTA office in your state. You will have to record all of your travel and fuel purchases to be IFTA compliant. However, there are some states that are NOT under the IFTA mandate and if you travel through their highways, you’ll have to pay them directly. Our easy-to-use Electronic Logging Device will keep track of this for you. 

Trucking companies pay an estimated tax to the IRS every quarter. If they fail to make this payment on time, there will be penalties.

There are federal deductions that your company may be qualified for. Our tax preparers have years of experience in filing truck company taxes, and they can tell you the deductions you qualify for both federal and state taxes.

Permits and labels

Many truck drivers haul products that require a special permit in order to be transported from place to place. If a truck is over 8.5 feet, and the maximum height limit is 13.5 to 14.5 feet, it will be considered a wide or oversized load in most states, and you will need a special permit to drive it. If the truck weighs over 55,000 pounds, you will need a heavy use permit. 

 If you are transporting hazardous material, you will need placards to put on your truck and warn other drivers of the potentially dangerous cargo. You will also need special permits if you transport automobiles or alcohol; we can help you with anything.

All trucks will need Unified Carrier Registration. This is simply a method of verifying a trucking company’s insurance in the states where it operates. 

Simplex Group is staffed with a team of permit and licensing professionals who can work with you on all of your permitting and labeling requirements.

Tag Services

There are certain tags that a trucking company needs to have on its vehicles to operate legally. In addition to registering your vehicles with the Department of Transportation. We can also handle any title transfers that are necessary when you buy or sell new vehicles. 

Freight Planning

As a carrier, your goal is to save money and work efficiently. Simplex Group can make sure that each of your vehicles is loaded and routed for maximum profitability. We can advise you on how to make loads more profitable. We can also check your client credit to ensure you will always get the money you are promised.


Factoring occurs when a trucking company sells its unpaid load invoices to a freight factoring company. The factoring company will charge a small fee between 2%-4% from the overall amount of the invoice. Simplex Group has partnerted with OTR Solutions, one of the largest and most reliable factoring companies in the nation. Our program provides you with a dedicated team to manage all your back-office needs while offering very low factoring rates, no hidden fees, and no monthly minimums. We want to do everything we can to ensure the success of your trucking business. Offering you reasonable-priced factoring can help you with cash flow when you are getting started.

Fuel Card

When we join your team, you get all the benefits of using our fuel card. You will get our fuel discounts at 530 gas stations around the country. You will enjoy special promotions and have access to roadside assistance 24/7.

Running a trucking company is both stressful and rewarding. Letting Simplex Group handle your compliance will help to eliminate some of the stress and let you concentrate on getting your products to their destination.