Archive for the ‘Industry News’ Category

April 16th, 2015

Since 1999, more than 170 law enforcement officers have been killed — and thousands have been injured — as a result of being on the side of the road doing their job and being struck by a distracted driver. 

In January of 2015, Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers Nicholas Dees and Keith Burch were working at a collision scene on I-40 when a motorist struck them. Trooper Dees died at the scene while Trooper Burch was seriously injured. The motorist — who admitted he was updating his social media at the time of the incident – is facing first-degree manslaughter charges.

On March 12, Highway Patrol Trooper Gary Sanders was conducting a routine traffic stop when a vehicle struck the back of his cruiser, pushing it into the vehicle he had pulled over. Trooper Sanders was critically injured in the incident, and is slowly recovering.

You get the picture. According to FBI statistics, officers being struck and killed by distracted drivers is a major cause of law enforcement deaths. So much so that today, all 50 states have some form of a “Move Over” law in effect.

The “Move Over” laws are simple: when you see flashing lights on the side of the road, you are required to slow down. If it’s safe, you need to move over to another lane away from police, fire crews, paramedics and tow truck drivers. These laws really should be common sense. If you see anybody on the side of the road – law enforcement, construction workers, or simply a car broken down – “Move Over” and give them some space.

According to Mason Dixon Polling and Research, sponsored by the National Safety Commission, 71 percent of Americans have not heard of “Move Over” laws. As truck drivers, you are the professionals. If you make the move into another lane to give law enforcement officers space to do their jobs, other motorists will follow.

We learned in our Smith System Training to:

  1. Aim high in steering.
  2. Get the big picture.
  3. Keep your eyes moving.
  4. Leave yourself an out.
  5. Make sure they see you.

If you follow these five keys of safety, you’re looking farther down the road. You’ll be prepared and have the time to change lanes or adjust your speed if needed. It’s also important to remember that others behind you may not be able to see what is coming up on the side of the road, so make your move to the next lane as early as you can, and make sure you signal your intentions. If you have to slow down, using your four-ways may be a good idea.

Use your expertise to talk to your friends and family members about this as well.

 

Remember; “Move Over,” it’s the law!

 

 

 

 

April 7th, 2015

We have all heard the stories and seen the campaigns – texting while driving is dangerous, and can even be lethal. But, what else is defined as a distraction while driving? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are three main types of distraction on the road:

  • Visual distractions that occupy your eyes
  • Manual distractions that occupy your hands
  • Cognitive distractions that occupy your mind

The CDC estimates that each day, more than 9 people are killed as a result of distracted driving in the United States – not to mention the hundreds of injuries and thousands of dollars in damages that are accrued. The purpose of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to bring these statistics to the attention of everyone who shares our nation’s roads in the hopes of creating safer conditions for drivers everywhere.

Some of our Drivers of the Month recently gave us some tips for staying safe on the road, whether you’re a member of the motoring public or behind the wheel of a tractor-trailer.

Butterworth James #015

 

Stay focused and remember the five keys of safety.

James Butterworth

 

 

 

Korn Mick #14

Pay attention to the traffic, surroundings, and road conditions and keep your eyes moving.

Mick Korn

 

 

 

 

Lynch & Turns #023

 

Take your time. Don’t act like you know everything, because you learn something new every day. Don’t take any risks.

Terri Lynch & Amey Turns

 

 

 

Martin Shaun

 

Don’t be too confident. Take every day like a student and drive with caution.

Shaun Martin

 

 

 

Dorman Mike #035

 

Set aside one cent for every safe mile driven, and if nothing happens, you will have $10,000 when you reach 1 million miles!

     – Mike Dorman

 

 

 

How do you stay safe and avoid distractions on the road? Share your tips with us on Facebook, and don’t forget to spread the word about Distracted Driving Awareness Month to your fellow drivers!

 

 

February 25th, 2015

Remember when you did not want to raise your hand in school because you didn’t want your classmates to know you weren’t confident in your answer? Many of us find ourselves in a similar situation when it comes to our taxes. Tax laws can be vague and confusing, especially for business owners like our independent contractors (ICs). If you’re having trouble grasping your taxes this season, you are not alone. You have the assistance of Con-way Truckload behind you.

It’s important for ICs to understand tax liability issues, deductions, tax credits and strategies. As a courtesy to our ICs, Con-way Truckload partners with ATBS, a trusted tax and accounting firm. We work with them to provide helpful information, tips, advice and strategies to reduce your tax liability. Recently, we hosted a call for ICs with representatives from ATBS on hand to address many frequently asked tax questions. The call has been developed into a podcast that can be found at the following link:

http://true2blue.com/podcast/february-2015-independent-contractor-tax-services/

Here are some key tips from our special IC Your Voice is Heard podcast:

 

TIP #1: QUARTERLY TAX PAYMENTS

As a self-employed owner-operator, you are required to file quarterly and make tax payments that include Federal income tax, state income tax and self-employment tax. It is recommended that you set aside 25-28 percent of your weekly net income toward these taxes.

There are two methods to estimate your quarterly taxes: the first is the Safe Harbor method. Simply divide your prior year’s tax liability by four to calculate your quarterly tax estimate. However, if your income fluctuates from year to year or quarter to quarter, calculate your actual quarterly income and pay based on that amount. Be sure to pay each quarter to avoid penalties.

 

TIP #2: TAKE ADVANTAGE OF EVERY LEGAL DEDUCTION AND CREDIT AVAILABLE

A downloadable list of over 100 tax-deductible items can be found at here. These include any expense incurred in the normal course of business, fuel, maintenance and insurance costs, and vehicle depreciation, lease and interest costs.

Remember, tax deductions are only allowed if documentation can be provided to support any claims on your return. Don’t throw away any receipts, cancelled checks, logbooks or any other valid proofs of payment. A rule of thumb is to hang onto these documents for at least three years.

 

TIP #3: TAX CREDITS & BUSINESS STRUCTURE

You may qualify for several tax credits that can contribute significantly to lowering your liability. Often overlooked tax credits include the American Opportunity Credit, the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child-care and Dependent Tax Credit. Setting up the appropriate business structure can result in significant savings as well. It is recommended that independent owner-operators set up a Limited Liability Company (LLC) and file taxes as an S Corp.

 

TIP #4: THE IMPACT OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA)

Important changes in tax regulation could have a profound effect on your business. For instance, there is a premium tax credit for health insurance purchased on a federal exchange but a potential liability for not carrying health insurance in 2014. There are also updated regulations pertaining to the purchase of health coverage outside of the open enrollment period, fees for not having coverage and new forms related to your federal tax return.

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In summary, reducing your liability and paying less in taxes begins and ends with your willingness to do the necessary research. It’s a matter of good planning, organization and record keeping.

Helping you lower your tax liability, strengthen your business and meet your professional goals is just one way Con-way Truckload supports our IC drivers.

To learn more about what we offer, visit www.True2Blue.com, and to share your tax questions or tips, join the conversation on www.facebook.com/conwaytruckload.