The Most Important Part of US Cargo Control Isn’t a Product

How trade show season helps us help you better

How trade show season helps us help you better

Although the weather in many places doesn’t tell us so, trade show season is upon us. If you haven’t already, many of you will soon find yourself at an industry trade show, safety meeting, or annual meeting in the coming months. And because USCC serves the trucking & transportation, rigging & lifting, and moving industries, many members of our team have been on the road, in booths, and at industry events across the country.

Professional truck drivers enjoy the Iowa 80 Jamboree at The World’s Largest Truck Stop.

No matter what industry you’re a part of, trade shows are a way to discover businesses and resources in your industry and learn about the products or services they offer. It’s a chance to compare similar resources apples-to-apples and decide which provides the best value for your individual needs. And while part of this is likely product selection, price, freight time, and other logistical calculations don’t make the mistake of overlooking the most important and valuable aspect of trade shows and of good business—the people.

It’s About the People

In an age where just about every business has a website address, list of social media accounts, and handful of other digital tools to communicate and serve their customers with, it’s easy to get sucked into the screen and miss the big picture.

Don’t get me wrong, websites that make online ordering easy are a great thing. In general, technology gives us all a way to get information quickly, weight our options, and get jobs done more efficiently. Just don’t allow it to make you lose sight of the reason for the work that you do.

Volunteers use wire rope clips from USCC to construct a 100+ foot suspended footbridge over the Hockanum River in Vernon, Connecticut.

At the end of the day, the most important part of our business, and your business, is people. It’s about making people’s lives safer, easier, and more productive. We give people the tools to start their own business, continually grow one that’s been around for decades, or simply get a job done right.

Whether it’s hauling the White House Christmas tree across the country so thousands can enjoy its beauty or delivering fuel to a gas pump so people can drive to work. Constructing a high-rise apartment building so hundreds of people have a home, or building a suspended footbridge so a few people can escape to nature. Moving a family of six across the country for new opportunity, or moving your neighbor’s couch down some stairs to enjoy just for the big game. Your job, no matter what it entails on the surface, is about helping people.

Our job is about making it safe and easy for you to help. Because, when we do that, everyone benefits.

What’s important to you?

Trade shows allow us to catch up face-to-face with the people we regularly talk to over the phone or through email. They allow us to meet customers old and new, shake their hand, look them in their eyes, and listen to their individual wants and needs. Some have questions on shipping rates, some love our custom products, and others want us to explain differences between similar products. No computer could understand those individual needs as clearly as a human conversation can.

White Glove Movers rolling a heavy tool chest into their moving truck.

It’s easy to overlook real human connection in this digital age, but its importance will never change no matter what industry you’re in.

It’s why our founder, Tim, started and sticks by his promise of getting you “What you want, when you need it.” We understand the importance of building relationships with the people who keep these important industries moving forward. Every business and every person is unique. Without taking the time to truly understand your unique situation, we would be selling ourselves short.

It’s more than just doing business, it’s helping people be more and achieve more. It’s working with you individually to ensure your needs are met and your business can be successful. If we do that, you’re able to pass the same level of dedication on to your customers and the people you help every day by doing your job well.

USCC made in america
Production Manager, Jamie Farmer, gives direction to fellow USCC employees.

Tradeshows in March

Throughout March, our USCC team will be busy meeting people like you to better understand what they want and when they need it. We hope to see you and learn from you at one of these upcoming events.

Machinery Haulers Association Annual Meeting
March 8th – 9th | Las Vegas, NV

Minnesota Trucking Association Safety Meeting
March 19 | St. Paul, MN

American Moving & Storage Association Conference
March 24th – 26th | Houston, TX

2015 Tax Deductions for Truck Drivers

44341824-truck-driver-and-clipboardTax time is upon us again, so we’ve put together a quick guide of tax deductions for truck drivers in 2015. 

Please keep in mind this is not a full, comprehensive list, but a great starting point and a reminder to look into items you may not think are deductible.

Most tax deductions for truck drivers can be used by self-employed drivers, or drivers working for a company. However, some may only apply only to self-employed drivers. For reference, check out the Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions information from the IRS. If you are self-employed, check the Schedule C (Form 1040), Profit or Loss from Business information.

Also remember these deductions can only include those expenses that have not already been reimbursed.

Everyone’s employment and tax situations are unique. Consult a tax professional for specific questions or concerns about possible deductions. This blog post is not intended to provide specific tax advice.

  • Travel expenses. Food, lodging and other travel expenses are tax-deductible.You may be able to claim a standard daily allowance for transportation workers, which is $59 a day from January 1st through September 30th, and $63 a day from October 1st through December 31st. For more information, check out the 2015 version of IRS Publication 463.
  • Vehicle expenses. Many truck drivers gather a large number of receipts in this category throughout the year. Vehicle expenses include everything from fuel and parking expenses to road tolls and maintenance costs. License fees are also tax-deductible. Liability insurance premiums are also deductible.
  • Cleaning supplies. Deduct expenses for paper towels, window cleaner and other cleaning supplies need to maintain your truck.
  • Association fees. If you drive for a company that requires you to join a union or group, you can deduct the membership dues.
  • Medical exams and tests. DOT physicals, sleep apnea studies and drug tests can all be deducted from your taxes.
  • Personal care items. Don’t forget to deduct the cost of personal care items you purchase on the road that you would otherwise have at home: razors, pillows, tissues, hand sanitizers, first aid supplies, etc. You can also deduct expenses for showering and laundry facilities.
  • Clothing. If you’re required to wear a uniform, the cost is deductible, as is any cleaning to keep it fresh and wearable. This category also includes footwear and specialty items such as safety glasses, hard hat, steel toe boots, and other safety items.
  • Postage. If your position requires you to mail anything to your company, the cost of envelopes, stamps, boxes, labels, etc., can be included as a tax deduction.
  • Load securement. Items required to ensure a safe load are also deductible, including tie down straps, load chains and bars, bungee cords, tarp straps, and wide load flags and signs.
  • Truck cab essentials. Everyday items like an alarm clock, bedding, and curtains for the cab are generally deductible, as are extras storage bins, thermos and food storage items, and small appliances like a refrigerator and coffeemaker.
  • Tools. Don’t forget to include deductions for basic tools for the road: pliers, hammer, crowbar, flashlights, wrenches, duct and electrical tapes, and other essentials.
  • Fees. If you’re required to take classes or training to maintain your license, those fees are tax-deductible. Whether the training or class is mandatory to federal law, state law or just your employer, the fees are still tax-deductible. Other fees that are deductible include those for CDL licensing and similar expenses. Administrative fees including those for ATM and check reorders are also tax deductible.
  • Association Dues. Dues for associations such as Teamsters, Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) etc. can be listed a deductible expense.
  • Office supplies. Every day in-cab items like log books are deductible, but don’t forget to deduct the cost of items like a calculator, pens, and pencils and other traditional office supplies, as well as money paid to make copies or send faxes.
  • Connection costs.This category refers to internet and satellite access for your cell phone or Sirius/XM. You can deduct 50 percent of your access fees. The entire cost of your cell phone and laptop is deductible. In fact, the cost of deprecation on your PC can also be deducted if you are required to use it for work. However, the cost of a home telephone is NOT tax-deductible.
  • Business-related subscriptions. Fees for load board subscription is included in this category, as are industry-specific magazines about trucking, transportation, etc. Leisure and hobby magazines are not tax-deductible.