More from: ratchets

Treating Trucking Supplies as Capital Investments

Owner-operators and independent contractors driving leased equipment are considered under federal law to be self-employed business owners. As such, they are required to keep track of all of their business-related expenses for the purposes of filing accurate reports and tax filings according to federal and state schedules. Unfortunately, some independent truck drivers do not treat what they do as a business. This is a mistake. We can illustrate just why this is by talking about the supplies needed to be a trucker. Those supplies should be treated as capital investments.

 

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Capital investments, sometimes known as capital expenditures, are defined in the business world as investments in equipment or supplies critical to maintaining or improving the useful life of existing assets. In terms of a flatbed trucker who owns his/her own trailer, the trailer itself would be an existing asset. Installing new tires on that trailer in order to improve its performance and comply with the law would be considered a capital investment.

As our illustration demonstrates, capital investments are almost always made in relation to equipment or supplies. The trucker’s tarps, straps, winches, ratchets, cargo control and so on are all supplies necessary to improve the performance of the flatbed trailer. They are also supplies that are required to do the job of a flatbed trucker. Therefore, they are assets that are obtained through the process of capital investment.

Why Make the Distinction?

Making money in any business requires some degree of discipline to control both income and expenditures. This is why successful companies work with annual budgets prepared by looking at history and future expectations. The company without a budget, regardless of its size and scope, is one at a high risk of failure. This is the whole point of treating your purchase of trucking supplies as capital investments.

When you think of buying supplies as a capital investment, you can start looking at future expenditures in relation to your overall budget. Let’s say your gross income – before taxes and business expenses – is $120,000 annually. Some of that will eventually become the net income you put in your bank account as an ’employee’ of your company. The rest of it will be spent on things such as fuel, truck maintenance, and trucking supplies.

The idea is to work with a budget that projects how much you will spend in the coming year based on historical performance and your expectations of the kind of work you will be taking in the next 12 months. Treating your purchase of trucking supplies as capital investments allows you to plug a number into that budget. Let us use truck tarps as an example.

Let’s assume you replace your flatbed truck tarps every 18 months on average. Most of your tarps are already a year old, so you know they will be replaced sometime during the current budget year. Take the average price you pay for each tarp, multiply it by the number of tarps to be replaced, and enter that number into your budget. That number becomes a capital investment that is essential to keeping your business going.

You might be wondering how all of this helps with the business of running a truck as an owner-operator. Simply put, it forces you to acknowledge at least an estimate of how much will be spent on trucking supplies. This is motivation to set that money aside so that you have it when the time comes. Also it keeps you on the path of owning and operating a successful business that wouldn’t get into cash flow problems. As you estimate your income versus your expenses, it gives you a realistic picture of your business’ short and long term requirements.


Good Insurance: As Important as Winch Straps

Mytee Products focuses on providing truck tarps, cargo protection supplies, tires, and other equipment to professional truck drivers. In light of what we sell, we don’t talk much about the other needs our customers might have. We want to change that with this blog post. Why? Because we recently added a new inventory of auto hauling supplies.

Delving into the auto hauling market has exposed us to some interesting information about this little talked about industry. For example, the winch straps and ratchets we sell are essential tools for auto haulers and brokers. But good insurance is just as important.

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The insurance that protects a car hauler is the only defense against liability claims. Like standard car insurance, business liability coverage for auto haulers and brokers offers various levels of protection and deductibles. The stronger the coverage, the less likely a hauler is to suffer a significant financial loss in the event of a liability claim.

Take Insurance Seriously

The best advice we can give car haulers and brokers is to take insurance seriously. When you shop with us for winch straps, ratchets, and other auto hauling supplies, you will undoubtedly take a good look at the quality of our products. You should do the same with your liability insurance.

How important is good insurance? Consider the following hypothetical scenario:

An auto carrier acting as a broker agrees to move a car from Miami to Houston. That carrier gives the actual contract to a local auto hauler that has been a trusted partner for years. The car is loaded and off it goes. The next day, the contractor calls to say there’s been an accident. It’s not a total loss, but the client’s car has been damaged pretty significantly. Who pays for that damage?

The contractor may insist he should not have to pay because he did everything he was supposed to do. He secured the tires with web straps; he anchored the car at four corners with axle straps; he made sure the load was centered and balanced. Making matters worse, his insurance company insists that the claim is the broker’s responsibility because the client entered a binding agreement with him, not the contractor.

In these kinds of scenarios, clients are left at the mercy of insurance companies who try to figure things out. As a car hauler or broker, you don’t want your customers to have to go through an arduous ordeal to settle a claim. It’s just bad for business. A good insurance policy from a reputable carrier will cover legitimate losses so that your customers do not suffer.

Protect Yourself and Your Business

At the end of the day, your liability insurance is every bit as important as your equipment. A good, sturdy trailer makes it possible for you to haul a client’s car safely without any worries about damage or wear and tear. A good supply of auto hauling straps and ratchets keep the car properly secured to your trailer for the entire journey. Everything is tied together with a solid insurance policy that protects you and your business in the unlikely event something goes wrong.

Our introduction into the car hauling industry has been very informative to date. We look forward to learning more about it as we seek to increase our inventory of auto hauling supplies. In the meantime, we invite you to browse the Mytee inventory for all of your cargo control and trucking needs. If we don’t have it, contact us anyway. We might still be able to get what you need for whatever your hauling.


Important Safety Tips for Auto Hauling

Economic indicators suggest that the remainder of 2016 could be relatively strong for the auto hauling sector. The biggest beneficiaries of the strong market will not be new car carriers; they will be smaller companies hauling used cars for wholesalers and individual car owners moving out of state. This suggests that new businesses could emerge in the sector.

If you are new to auto hauling, you may lack the necessary experience to have a competitive edge at the early stages of your operation. However consistently learning tricks about cargo control and ensuring cargo safely delivered will help grow your business. At the forefront of everything you do should be one word: safety. The safety of your customers’ vehicles and your workers comes before anything else. In light of that, we have put together a collection of safety tips compiled from various experts in the industry.

tirestraps

Know Your Equipment

Before you ever haul your first car, you need to be familiar with all of your equipment. That includes trailers, auto hauling straps, trailer winches, ratchets, slider winches, ratcheting winches and anything others you might use on the job. Familiarize yourself with their operation as well as how to spot signs of wear and tear. You might even take some time to practice loading and unloading your own vehicle before you contract with a customer.

Always Be Better Prepared

When you do start taking jobs, remember that preparation is everything. Be sure you have the right straps and ratchets before heading to a customer’s location. Once you get there, clear the trailer bed so that your straps and ratchets are not in the way as you load. If you are using detachable ramps, be absolutely sure they are correctly positioned and locked in place before you start the load.

Always Level Your Trailer

An important part of preparation is making sure your auto trailer and the vehicle you plan to move are both on a level surface. Working on surfaces that are not level increases the risk of accidents significantly. Should conditions make it impossible to achieve a level state, chock the trailer tires prior to loading.

Just the Car, Please

Small companies that haul individual cars may find themselves in a position in which a client wants to fill the car with household goods before loading. It would pay to protect yourself from possibly libelous situations by insisting that you will be hauling the car itself. There is no point in accepting the increased liability that comes with extra cargo.

Also keep in mind that the towing capacity of your trailer is based on the weight of empty vehicles you might carry on it. Webbing straps and ratchets don’t add much weight, but household goods do. Make sure to inform customers of this situation so they realize your sense of responsibility.You won’t have a way of knowing whether the weight of your load is safe if you allow customers to pack their cars with household goods.

Follow Common Securing Procedures

There are different ways to secure vehicles to trailers depending on the kinds of straps and ratchets you are using. Be sure to research your equipment thoroughly so that you know how to use it following common security procedures that are used industry-wide. If you do not know what you’re doing, don’t guess. There are plenty of online resources complete with instructions and diagrams that can help you figure out the best cargo securing practices.

An independent car hauling business can be a very lucrative business for the enterprising individual willing to give it a go. Here at Mytee, we have a range of equipment and supplies designed to make your job easier. From straps to winches to ratchets, we are growing our inventory of auto hauling supplies for professionals and hobbyists alike.

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