Recent News

Transportation

Business 40 construction set to begin next month, congestion expected

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Delays will soon be coming to Business 40. At the end of October 2017, you will see large equipment arriving, pavement being ripped up and lane closures as the first leg of the Business 40 improvement project gets underway.

“The long-term idea of having improvements of Business 40 is wonderful, but the interim plan about what to do in the meantime is the million dollar question,” said Tara Bohley, who lived in the Ardmore area of Winston-Salem for 15 years.

The Business 40 Improvement Project will affect interchanges, bridges and the highway itself. The first segment of the project, which will get underway in coming weeks, will rebuild the Peters Creek Parkway interchange, including a new seven-lane bridge, new interchange loops and an improved roadway from First Street up to Fourth Street. During construction, Peters Creek Parkway will remain open, with workers constructing the west side first, while maintaining traffic on the east and vice-versa. The Fourth Street Bridge will also be replaced and closed to traffic.

The Department of Transportation says 23,000 people use the stretch of Peters Creek Parkway south of Business 40 every day.

“Of course, if you live in the area, I think it’s gonna be a cluster,” said William Richardson, who frequents the area for work. “It’s gonna be a little chaotic.”

The major delays will take place about a year from now, in fall of 2018, when the second segment gets underway. At this point, portions of Business 40 will officially be shut down. This segment, which is labeled Segment C, will encompass Business 40 from east of Church Street to Cherry Street.

“Business 40 needs to be redone,” Bohley said. “It’s very dangerous.”

Work on the third segment, Segment B, will begin in fall of 2019, and include the stretch from Marshall Street to before the Peters Creek interchange. Both Segments B and C are expected to take a year to complete, with an overall completion date for the project set for summer of 2020.

“All of the people from the Clemmons, Lewisville area that are going toward Kernersville, that are going through Winston-Salem, but yet take regular Business 40 instead of the old 40, all of that traffic is just going to be coming through here,” Bohley said. “It really needs to be planned well in order for the traffic flow to not just make the city really just come to a standstill.”

The DOT says approximately 76,000 people use Business 40 daily.

During the closures, detours will be directed toward roads such as Silas Creek Parkway, Stratford Road and Country Club Road. Additional delays on these roads, and others, are also expected.

“It’s going to take twice as long to get anywhere,” Bohley said.

DOT officials say they are still working to determine approximate delays motorists will encounter.

The DOT adds that they are working to prepare an incident management plan to quickly and efficiently clear accidents.

“Hopefully it’ll pay off in the long run with the work that they’re doing,” Richardson added.

Additional updates on the project will be posted to business40nc.com.

View Original Article Here

ELD

Last Attempt to Halt ELD Mandate Withdrawn

Rep. Brian Babin’s amendment to the funding bill that would halt the implementation of the ELD mandate has been withdrawn.

This leaves the path to implementation completely clear.  With just over 100 days left, now is the time to begin your path to compliance.  Don’t wait any longer, it could lead to a last second scramble that interferes with operations. It takes time to get ELD technology set up in a vehicle.

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Searching for the perfect ELD; Provisio Circle, Ltd. has partnered with Keep Truckin.  Their simple, easy to use solutions is a cost effective way for you to maintain compliance.

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ELD Mandate- Inspectors Won’t Enforce OOS until April 2018

With the ELD deadline fast approaching, many companies are searching for the perfect ELD…

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Many companies worry about the consequences of not being 100% compliant by the deadline.  New information came out on Monday by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Inspectors will, at their discretion, begin issuing citations for non-compliance with the electronic logging device mandate on the compliance date of December 18, 2017.  However, the 10 hour (or 8 hour for passenger carrying vehicles) Out of Service order associated with non-compliance will begin April 1, 2018 according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

CVSA, which is made up of enforcement officials and meant to provide uniformity in enforcement of trucking and bus regulations, says it has notified FMCSA of its plan to begin citation enforcement Dec. 18 and out-of-service enforcement in April.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed CVSA’s enforcement plans. FMCSA also confirmed that the delay in out-of-service enforcement does not affect the the date by which truckers must adopt an automatic onboard recording device (AOBRD — a form of electronic logging system with more limited functionality than an ELD) if they want to extend their ELD compliance to December 2019.

“After Dec. 18, 2017, if you don’t have an AOBRD or ELD the violation will be cited, and a driver could be fined, but they won’t be put out of service. Companies that continually violate the rule could be subject to federal investigation as well,” says FMCSA spokesperson Duane DeBruyne.

The slight delay in the enforcement of the out-of-service criteria “will provide the motor carrier industry, shippers and roadside enforcement community with time to adjust to the new requirement before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations,” CVSA said in its announcement. This strategy is in line with how CVSA has handled enforcement of other major trucking regulations, the group said.

Inspectors and roadside officers will begin documenting ELD violations on the Dec. 18 deadline, and citations will be issued to drivers “at the jurisdiction’s discretion,” CVSA says.

Violations related to ELDs will, in a way, be considered hours of service violations for purposes of the out of service criteria. Various ELD-related violations will ultimately come with the out-of-service equivalent of not having a logbook, having false logs and not maintaining previous seven days of duty status. For instance, a driver or carrier not using a logging device that fits with federal requirements will be “considered to have no record of duty status,” according to updated out-of-service criteria issued by CVSA earlier this year.

The Monday announcement confirms what two FMCSA representatives hinted at last week in a special ELD seminar held at the Great American Trucking Show.

Asked by an audience member about rumors of “soft enforcement” of the ELD mandate December deadline during the Thursday, Aug. 24, session, FMCSA representatives would say only that officers “may or may not” take enforcement action against drivers not utilizing ELDs. CVSA’s slight delay in the out of service criteria related to ELDs answers the trucker’s question, in part, delaying the perhaps most severe enforcement action that could be brought.

Reports have indicated CVSA’s approach will be “phased-in” enforcement, but the CVSA noted it will begin enforcement of the ELD mandate on the Dec. 18 compliance date.

Source: James Jaillet, Overdrive Magazine

See original article here.

 

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FMCSA new guidance says ELD exempt only if “engine” is older than model year 2000

On July 12, 2017, the FMCSA answered a question regarding the ELD rule.

Q – If the vehicle registration for a commercial motor vehicle reflects a model year of 2000 or newer, but the connections and motor vehicle components (such as the engine) are older than model year 2000, is the vehicle exempt from the ELD rule?

A – Yes. When a vehicle is registered, the model year should follow the criteria established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). There may be instances where the model year reflected on the vehicle registration is not the same as the engine model year, most commonly when a vehicle is rebuilt using a “glider kit.” In this circumstance, an inspector/investigator should use the model year on the engine to determine if the driver is exempt from the ELD requirements. If the engine model year is older than 2000, the driver is not subject to the ELD rule. In instances in which the engine model year is 2000 or newer, and the vehicle registration reflects a model year older than 2000, the driver is subject to the ELD rule. While the driver is not required to possess documentation that confirms the vehicle engine model year. 49 CFR Part 379 Appendix A, requires motor carriers to maintain all documentation on motor and engine changes at the principle [sic] place of business. If a determination cannot be made at the roadside, Law Enforcement should refer the case for further investigation.

This guidance deviates from FMCSA’s previous guidance, which emphasized the model year as determined by the VIN on a truck’s chassis.

If you are looking for an affordable, easy to use ELD solution check out Keep Truckin.

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Small Businesses – Hiring Contracted Helpers vs. Employees

 

Most small business owners have a number of projects they want to undertake. There are times that you can’t commit to them because the day-to-day tasks don’t leave you time for much more than paperwork. If you’re facing a situation like this, you’re not alone. No matter how many tools you have at your disposal, the fact is that back-office work will leave you drained and stressed, ruining your capabilities to focus on more productive tasks.

The question is: do you hire an employee or do you hire a contracted small business helper?

Hiring an employee is an expense and task on its own.  You may have to change your business structure, allow for more overhead expense such as – payroll, payroll tax, benefits, etc.  You also have to search for the right candidate, determine their trustworthiness, and train them.  All of these things will cost your business time and money.

Help sought from a contracted small business helper is becoming increasingly popular. From bookkeeping, database management, event planning and internet marketing to website design and development, small business assistants can expertly accomplish a wide range of tasks. Ultimately, you’ll be able to save more time to devote to those innovative and important tasks that you were holding back till now.

There are many reasons to consider hiring a contracted small business helper.

#1. Reduce Labor Costs: The best part about contracting a small business assistant is that it saves you money instead of stretching your budget. Since a small business helper is not a full time employee, you won’t need to worry about payroll taxes, sick leave, vacation pay, health insurance etc.

#2. Work without an Actual Office: You don’t need to have an actual office or find a place to put a contracted assistant. Many work from their own place, with their own computer and internet connection. If you’re starting a new business or run a home-based business, hiring small business helpers is the best decision you can make to easily grow.

#3. No Employee Training Required: Companies spend thousands of dollars every year on employee training. When you work with a small business helper, you can easily save on it. There are already trained contracted small business assistants, quite well-versed with latest technology and tools, waiting to work for you. Depending on the type or nature of tasks you want to outsource, you can hire either generalists or specialists.

#4. Get Superior Service: Small business assistants take their business quite seriously. They understand that the only way to survive in the industry is to provide clients with high quality work consistently. They work for you in a way that you don’t just hire them over and over again but also recommend their names to your friends and peers.

#5. Pay Only for Hours Worked: Fulltime employees in a company hardly work eight hours a day. But they’re entitled to get a full salary at the end of every month, paid even for coffee breaks, toilet visits and time spent on personal calls. Small business helpers are different. If you outsource a task to a small business assistant on an hourly basis, you’ll pay only for the hours they work. It adds more value to your investment.

#6. Assign a Wide Range of Tasks: Many small business owners seem a little confused as to what a small business helper can do for them. A small business assistant can create content (written and visual) for your business. They can take care of your company’s AR/AP. They can handle your email marketing campaigns. They can design websites and blogs. They can run errands. For a complete list of what a Provisio Circle is capable of doing please visit our Small Business Helper services page.

#7. Ease Pressure on In-House Staff: If you already have an in-house team of professionals and the work pressure is mounting on them, working with a small business assistant could fix the issue pretty quickly. What’s more, releasing the extra burden will also increase your employees’ productivity and you can expect them to deliver better work quality.

Working with a small business helper can be the answer if you’re not in a position to hire fulltime employees. It will help you save both time and money. You won’t need to work late nights or at the weekends to finish work projects on time. You won’t need to stress yourself over those day-to-day tasks that you dislike doing. You’ll really enjoy the freedom.

If you haven’t contracted a small business assistant yet you should start to consider one.

If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Us.

Provisio Circle has Professional Liability insurance as an extra added protection for our clients.

 

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Excise Fuel Tax Refunds for Off Road Use

When you purchase un-dyed motor fuel you are paying federal and state excise tax.  The tax on this fuel is meant for vehicles and equipment used on roads and highways.  If you use this fuel to power vehicles and equipment used off-road you may qualify for a Federal and/or State refund or credit. The vehicle and equipment used off-road must not be registered or required to be registered for highway use under the laws of any state or foreign country.

In most states and for the federal government, the taxes collected are placed into a special fund designated for highway and road construction and maintenance. The federal trust fund is primarily devoted to the interstate highway system and related infrastructure maintenance and improvement. Each state administers its own highway trust fund.

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Federal Refunds

To claim a credit for the federal tax, taxpayers file with their tax return Form 4136, Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels. If the expense for purchasing the fuel (including the tax) is deducted as a business expense, the credit or refund must be included in gross income by the taxpayer. Taxpayers with at least $750 in credit or refund due in a quarter or any number of quarters within a year may file for a refund with Schedule 1 of Form 8849, Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes.

In order to claim this Federal refund or credit, your company must keep accurate fuel records – regardless if you buy in bulk or by the gallon.

State Refunds

The state taxes per gallon of motor fuel vary from 8 cents in Alaska to 37.5 cents in Washington. For diesel fuel, the state tax rates vary from 8 cents in Alaska to 39.6 cents in Connecticut. Each state has its own forms and rules for applying for a state motor fuel tax refund. For example, in North Carolina, a taxpayer must keep track of fuel purchased for approved uses and report the number of gallons used on the appropriate tax form, such as Form GAS 1201, Motor Fuel Claim for Refund Tax-Paid Motor Fuel Used Off-Highway. The taxpayer must also report the type of equipment using the fuel, type of fuel used in each vehicle and fuel tank capacity. For farms, the taxpayer also must report the number of acres farmed.  Many of these forms can be submitted online. (Source: MARC I. LEBOW)

As with Federal refunds, in order to claim state refunds, your company must keep accurate fuel records – regardless if you buy in bulk or by the gallon.

Example

Faith Underground operates gasoline powered drills, generators and other equipment along with diesel-powered directional boring machines, fusing machines, and vac-trons on their job sites in North Carolina.  During 2016, Faith Underground purchased and used in the equipment 8,000 gallons of gasoline for which excise taxes were included and 9,000 gallons of un-dyed diesel. On its 2016 federal income tax return, Faith Underground claims the following federal credit or refund for off-highway business use:

Fuel Gallons Credit per gallon Amount
Gasoline 8,000 $0.183 $1,464
Diesel 9,000 $0.243 $2,187
Total federal refund/credit $3,651

Faith Underground also calculates a North Carolina state refund.

Fuel Gallons Credit per gallon Amount
Gasoline 8,000 $0.18 $1,440
Diesel 9,000 $0.18 $1,620
Total Texas state refund $3,060

Total federal and state refund/credit                            $6,711

Faith Underground reports the refund or credit in gross income on its federal income tax return. Applying a marginal corporate income tax rate of 35% makes the after-tax value of the refund or credit $4,363, less any similar effect on their corporation franchise tax liability.

If you aren’t taking advantage of this refund or credit let us help you! Provisio Circle will audit your fuel purchases to see if you are eligible to claim a Federal and/or State refund or credit.  Many of these credits can be backdated up to three or four years.  Potentially earning you thousands of dollars in refunds or credits.

Our team will gather the data, complete the proper forms, submit the claims, and keep supporting records.

Learn more about our Services or Contact Us for more information.