Key Takeaways from the 2022 Transportation Event

Transportation Event

Henderson Brothers, Schnieder Downs, and Pion Law hosted our October transportation panel event. The event included two presentations and panel discussions. We concluded with a networking mixer and happy hour.  

Schneider Downs Presentations

Our event started with a Schneider Downs informational session on The Inflation Reduction Act, introducing new opportunities to receive tax credits and modifying existing program credits. Understanding the credits available and deciding to pursue them may require planning. Having a conversation with your tax professional now about the feasibility of pursuing these credits will impact your ability to execute.

Schneider Downs also shared some information and tools with attendees on exit & succession planning for trucking companies. Unfortunately, most business owners don’t end up in a favorable position when they are ready to sell due to a lack of planning. Only 20% of businesses for sale each year end up closing a deal, with less than a quarter of those transactions ending favorably for the seller. Several factors go into a successful exit strategy, but the biggest hurdle to a successful exit is the lack of a plan. Start your planning here. 

Panel Discussions: DOT Compliance – Technology Management – Driver Management

The panel event included transportation specialists from Pion Law, Henderson Brothers, and industry experts Kris Dworakowski from Beemac Trucking and Tony Cutuli of Pitt Ohio. For the first panel, we discussed compliance and technology in trucking. Next, we discussed DOT compliance scores, why they matter, how they’re used, and actions that may improve these scores both administratively and operationally. Insurance underwriters, claimant attorneys, and your customers are using this information to evaluate your business, so understanding this information and how to act on it will only become more relevant.

We also discussed the management of technology in trucking and some common pitfalls that negatively impact a business. The most common issue is the need for driver coaching with telematics solutions. Telematics data can help or hinder, and that determination is based on how or whether you use that data to coach your drivers. In the event of an incident, you can bet the claimant’s attorney will check. What story will be told in court will depend upon your level of engagement.  

The technology in trucking topic was a nice segway into driver management. Recruiting, onboarding, training, and retaining our drivers is where we spend most of our time as transportation leaders. We began by discussing what makes a qualified driver and the best practices for onboarding new drivers. Managing risk for your business starts with the hiring process, and unfortunately, too many trucking companies are taking what they can get instead of screening what’s available. Bad drivers negatively impact your compliance, culture, and pocketbook in more ways than one. So developing an onboarding process that builds out a complete driver qualification file and allows business owners to make a hiring decision based on historical performance is a must. 

Developing driver coaching, training, maintenance, and safety policies is necessary. But, more importantly, if you have spent the time to create these policies, you have to stick to them. Unfortunately, some businesses have policies in place that aren’t enforced. When companies do this, they put themselves in a compromised position by communicating their understanding of the rules, a process for enforcing them, and their disregard for public safety. Unenforced policies are losing formula in a courtroom and a recipe for nuclear judgments.  

If you would like to have a conversation with one of our professionals to discuss the intricacies of your trucking operation, please reach out directly to set up a call:

Schneider Downs: Tax Advisory Services

Matt Werner, Shareholder

George Adams, Shareholder

Henderson Brothers

Mak Kelly, Consultant

John Aliveto, Risk Control

Pion Law: Transportation Law & Compliance Services

Timothy Montgomery, Shareholder

Jordan Hettrich, Shareholder

Please note that the information contained in this posting is designed to provide general awareness in regard to the subject matter covered. It is not provided as legal, medical, or tax advice, nor is it intended to address all concerns in your workplace or for public health. No representation is made as to the sufficiency for your specific company’s needs. This post should be reviewed by your legal counsel or tax consultant before use.