There are few industries more relied upon by Americans than trucking. Without truckers, people would not be able to get the food, medicine, and goods that make their lives comfortable.
Running a trucking company in Los Angeles, California is an important but stressful job. You have to worry about getting things where they are going on time and making your customers happy. You also have to worry about acquiring new customers.
When you run a trucking company, you have an obligation to your customers, the public, and your drivers to make sure your vehicles are safe. The Department of Transportation imposes strict rules on trucking companies, violations of which can result in fines and other penalties.
DOT/FMCSA safety compliance is one of the most important duties of a trucking company owner or manager. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most time-consuming parts of the job. The compliance specialists at Simplex Group of Los Angeles can take care of all of your compliance requirements.
With a focus on new trucking organizations, our compliance specialists will ensure your paperwork is complete and your employees know what is expected of them.
The Department of Transportation oversees all companies in the business of transporting goods or people. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is an agency within the DOT responsible for enforcing trucking regulations. Trucking companies must comply with DOT rules to operate.
If your company operates certain types of vehicles, they must be registered with the FMCSA and get a DOT number. These vehicles include:
When a new trucking company registers with the FMCSA, it must use the Unified Registration System. New company status lasts for 18 months, and most of the paperwork a new company needs to fill out will be in this system.
A trucking company must have an Employer Identification Number from the IRS and needs insurance for all the vehicles in its fleet. The FMCSA has about five different forms that need to be filled out regarding insurance and financial responsibility.
If you intend to transport federally regulated commodities, you must get “operating authority” in addition to your DOT number. If you are granted operating authority, you will pay $300 and receive an MC (Motor Carrier) number.
There is quite a bit of paperwork involved in setting up a trucking company, and you also have to worry about hiring drivers and getting clients. Simplex can assist you with the process of registering your trucking company. After that, you need to insure your company so you can start operating. Luckily for you, we are also a retail trucking insurance agency that has a wide market, who knows, you might fit right in!
If you make a mistake filling out this paperwork, it might delay the opening of your business. The compliance professionals at Simplex Group will make sure that you open your doors right when you planned.
You can’t have a trucking company without drivers, and professional drivers must have a Class C license if they are going to operate a truck.
If your drivers are only traveling within the state of California, they can start working at 18 years of age, but if they are going to cross state lines, they must be at least 21 years of age. Drivers must also pass a DOT physical before you can hire them.
There are several things a trucking company must do before hiring a driver.
You must do employment history checks on all of your drivers. You will be required to get a 3-year driving history for each driver, which must include every state in which they were licensed to drive.
You will have to maintain contact information on all of your drivers, including their name, driver’s license number, and date of birth. This information must be up to date in case you get audited.
Simplex Group can take care of background checks for you and will make sure to maintain files of all the background checks that we perform.
The FMCSA is allowed to randomly test truck drivers for drugs if there is reasonable suspicion that they are under the influence. Trucking companies are required to perform random tests on their drivers each year.
We can assist you in getting drug tests for your employees and can communicate with the lab on your behalf. If a driver tests positive for drugs, we will follow the appropriate protocols for reprimanding them, re-testing them, and getting them back to work.
There are strict regulations on the number of hours that a trucker can work, and they are monitored with an Electronic Logging Device. Simplex Group will make sure that truck drivers adhere to the rules and properly record their work hours. We can provide training on how to use an ELD if necessary.
Every driver must inspect their truck before beginning a trip and upon completion of that trip. They must record their inspection on an electronic logging device, and every single inspection must be filed in case of an audit. A new trucking company is required to have a new entrant audit within its first 18 months of operations.
If a truck does not pass the driver’s inspection and needs repair, the repair must be documented as well. Simplex Group can ensure that inspection and repairs are recorded correctly.
Manufacturing and transportation are two of the biggest industries in California. The trucking industry is a big part of what makes the state work as well as it does. When you let Simplex Group handle your compliance, you will have time to run your business more effectively.
In addition to compliance, we offer many other services. We can help you with every aspect of setting up a trucking business.
A professional trucking company needs many different types of insurance to comply with the laws and be safe. In addition to the liability and cargo insurance required by the FMCSA, a company will need to have physical damage insurance for all its trucks and general insurance for its business. Our trained insurance agents can put together a policy that is right for you.
The trucking industry is highly regulated, and any new trucking company is bound to need several different permits to operate. Any interstate truck driving company will need a Unified Carrier Registration card.
The UCR Act mandates that any company involved in interstate travel must pay a registration fee every year If its vehicles cross state lines, weigh over 10,000 pounds, or transport hazardous material. It is a way of collecting multiple state fees in one easy payment.
The money you pay for this fee will be distributed to various states by the UCR office. The amount of money they will pay is based on the number of trucks in their fleet.
The International Fuel Tax Agreement is based on a similar concept. Each state that a driver drives through or buys gas in is entitled to a certain amount of fuel tax.
Drivers once needed a fuel permit in every state that they drove through. This was confusing and time-consuming. The IFTA allows you to make one payment to its office every quarter. The money will be distributed to the states that your drivers traveled through by the IFTA office.
Most individual states require special permits to drive on their highways. California and New Mexico have exceptionally stringent rules.
The number of permits you will need can be overwhelming. Our trained professionals know exactly which permits you will need and which you will not need. They will know precisely how the forms are supposed to be filled out.
Certain types of vehicles and hauls require certain kinds of tags. In addition to registering all of your vehicles and acquiring tags for each of them, you must also renew them on an annual basis. You must transfer titles of any vehicles you bought or sold to the new owner.
The International Registration Plan is an agreement between the U.S. and Canada that pays license fees based on the total miles your driver travels in all jurisdictions. You will register for this program at a local office in your state. The IRP office will issue you special tags.
Keeping up your fleet registered and getting the correct tags is very time-consuming. Simplex Group can free up your time so you can do the important work of running your business. We make sure that you have all the tags you need and that they are up to date.
Figuring out exactly what route to take when transporting goods from one place to another is one of a trucking company’s most important jobs. You can save millions of dollars a year if you plan your lanes well.
Our truck industry experts know all the best routes to take in the United States. We will get you from point A to point B as inexpensively and safely as possible. We will also check your customer’s credit so you never waste your time on unprofitable loads.
The trucking industry is one of the most heavily taxed industries in the country. You have to pay federal tax on your business, but you will also have to pay taxes for every state that you drive into. Some states have very complex tax laws.
Our trained team of tax experts can ensure that your taxes are paid on time and that you take advantage of every deduction available to you.
If you are like most small businesses or most new businesses, you have some financial difficulties from time to time. You may be waiting for the payout from a load or a big debt owed to you. If you wait until all of your client’s bills are paid, you may end up having late fees, and high-interest rates added to the bills that you owe.
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 partnered with OTR Capital, 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.
When you do business with a company that has been around as long as Simplex Group, you get to enjoy some extra perks. Our cards provide you with 24/7 roadside assistance as well as maintenance service. You will get discounts on gas at stations in 48 states. There are extra promotions all of the time.
Simplex Group wants to make sure your company gets off to a good start and stays on the straight and narrow. Give us a call today. We are committed to your success.