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Question For Truck Drivers  
User currently offlineSleekjet From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 2045 posts, RR: 22
Posted (7 years 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2427 times:

I'm a Texas resident. What I wonder about is why nearly every trailer I see has a Maine license plate and the words "Token Trailer". Would I be correct in assuming it is cheaper to get a license plate there and that it can be done without the trailer even getting close to Maine?


II Cor. 4:17-18
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWestJetYQQ From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2987 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2390 times:

I think there are some states in which you must have a plate from said state on your truck regardless of where it's from. Are they all JUST Maine plates, or are there others on there with them?


Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2379 times:

Just like many companies incorporate themselves in Delaware or Nevada, many trucking companies will register their fleets in states were it is more advantageous to them financially. For example, UPS has registered quite a few trucks and trailers in Utah. Other states that are quite common for trucking/shipping firms to register vehicles and trailers in include Indiana and Iowa. And more than likely that truck or trailer will never even set foot in that state.

User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

For the most part, trailers are plated with temporary tags, and for some reason, most companies prefer to get the temp tags from Maine. While I'm not 100% sure why, it most likely has to do with the cost of the temporary tags, and possibly the time required to get the tags from point A to B. I'll check with our licencing department tomorrow, and see if I can get you some more info.


Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineN231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2344 times:

Quoting Sleekjet (Thread starter):

I think it has to do with saving costs. I notice on the Ohio turnpike, I-80/90 (I drive it alot), many of the trucks' trailers are registered in Maine or Oklahoma. However, the cab will have the address of the "operating company" on it, often from a variety of states.


User currently offlineAirfoilsguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 2330 times:

Probably the same reason most ships are registered in Panama. Less taxes

User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 2281 times:

I live in Ohio, and I can't recall ever seeing a Maine plate -- but I have seen a bunch of Texas plates...strange...

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 2):
For example, UPS has registered quite a few trucks and trailers in Utah.

They also have a lot registered in Indiana -- and their newer Indiana plates actually have the UPS logo on the license plate which is cool and creepy in its own right.

BTW -- what does "Apportioned" mean (as in "CAL APPORTIONED")

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 days ago) and read 2252 times:

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 6):
BTW -- what does "Apportioned"

Apportioned or proportioned plates identify the company's base of operations, and that they pay each jurisdiction it's fair share of fuel tax revenues, both at the pumps and on a calculated distance traveled and fuel purchased/consumed.

IE: Let's say fuel taxes in Indiana are 2 cents a gallon, but in Illinois they are 10 cents a gallon. Without the proportioning, everyone would fill up in Indiana (let's say, 200 gallons) before entering Illinois, and save 9 cents a gallon. If the trip was across I-80, you would be required to pay fuel taxes on the fuel used for 16 miles in Indiana, which is about 40 cents (5 cents a mile in fuel tax). Continuing across Illinois on I-80, you have 150 miles, but since you didn't buy fuel in Illinois, you paid no fuel tax, and therefore "avoided" paying Illinois their $7.50, but you over paid Indiana $9.60. What proportioning does, is it takes your over payment in this state ($9.40), and applies it to an under payment in another state ($7.50), and whatever is left over is given as a rebate. If there's not enough, you get a bill. This is done for each state or province you are licenced in under the SSRS (Single State Registration System) and IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement). These reports and payment transfers are done quarterly, and it can become a major PITA, as the reporting carrier has to keep accurate records of miles traveled in each jurisdiction, and fuel purchased. For a single owner operator, it's pretty simple. The company I drive for has over 1200 power units running 49 of the 50 states, all 10 provinces, and 2 of the 3 territories. You couldn't pay me enough to figure all this out 4 times a year.

Hope this helps.



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2197 times:

Registering a trailer in Maine, like it has been said above, allows for lower costs. I worked for a company that had no presence in Maine whatsoever, and was still able to register their trailers there. Years ago, I think Maine was the only state that allowed for permanant tags - tags that only have to have a payment made once, and a tag good for many years. Since states have been losing out on money, they have started their own permanant scheme. Virginia now allows for permanant tags on trailers, and a one time payment, but permanant tags on power units still require the yearly $$$$ fee.


Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 9, posted (7 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2191 times:

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 7):
Hope this helps.

Yes, it does greatly, thank you for answering! (It also explains what the "IFTA" sticker means)

Thanks!

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2187 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 8):
Registering a trailer in Maine, like it has been said above, allows for lower costs.

I know Alberta still has permanent trailer tags as well, but as the plates wear out, the replacement costs are quite high. We recently switched from Alberta tags to Manitoba tags, and when the registration period is up, it can be a headache getting the registration to all the trailers on time. I had to have my new trailer regs faxed to New York City, and due to some of my co-workers not doing a proper pre-trip, just last week I picked up a trailer that had been running for 7 weeks with expired registration. A simple call to get it faxed fixed the problem, but I for one would not like to get caught at a scale with expired regs. Tends to cost a few $$$, especially in Ontario, where the fines start at $375.00 for a burnt out light!



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 2129 times:

Quoting Don81603 (Reply 7):
You couldn't pay me enough to figure all this out 4 times a year.

 rotfl  I do IFTA returns for my company of 35 trucks. It sucks.

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 8):
think Maine was the only state that allowed for permanant tags

Not true, my friend. As a matter of fact, I believe ME semi tags are good for 20 years (granted, that's longer than the trailer will likely last.) Most states trailer tags are permanent. Wisconsin semi-trailers are a one time $50 plate. When the plate corrodes off the replacements are $2.

As for apportioned power unit registrations - it's basically a wash. It's a common misconception among folks that "those trucks with out of state plates aren't paying for the roads here." Don laid it out pretty well. Not only does the fuel tax get divvied up, but the actual registration fees as well.

The reason for the hgh number of Indiana truck registrations (especially large fleets) is that Indiana's DMV is easy to do business with. They have total internet access where units can be added and deleted with just a few mouse clicks. In most other states you have to fill out paper forms, fax them in, wait for a temporary, then the reg. plate comes, etc...


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2095 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 11):
Not true, my friend.

I guess that's why I prefaced it by saying years ago. I never really saw permanant tags until within the last 10 years.

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 11):
The reason for the hgh number of Indiana truck registrations

I like how IN will also imprint the company name on the plate. I wonder how much that deters plate theft.



Yay Pudding!
User currently offlineAsstChiefMark From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2083 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 11):
Wisconsin semi-trailers are a one time $50 plate.

I see a lot of Wisconsin plates around here. Big grin

Actually, I'm surprised by the number semi trailers with Ontario and Saskatchewan plates that are being pulled by American tractors.

BTW, how do apportioned plates work?


User currently offlineCheckraiser From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2066 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 13):
BTW, how do apportioned plates work?

Just like IFTA. The registration fees are pro-rated and sent to the respective states. Let's say for simplicity's sake that you own and register a truck in WI. You operate exactly 1/2 of your miles in WI and 1/2 in IL. WI's 80,000 Lb. plate fee is just shy of $2000/yr. Illinois's is closer to 3k. At the end of the registration cycle WI would keep half of their fee (about $1000) and IL would get the other half of that $1000. But IL charges more so you'd get a bill for the remaining $500 you owe the good people in the Land of Lincoln. It's the state that owns the plate that is responsible for collecting and distributing fees owed to other states.

If you turn the situation around - where an IL carrier is operating 1/2 here and 1/2 there they would actually get a refund, because the miles run here are cheaper.

A huge trucking company has operations all over the country, so they can base plate their trucks wherever they please. It boils down to preference at that point. Schneider bases in IL (most expensive truck registration in the country); they pay a lot for plates up front but will get a refund on virtually all of them. Others, like US Express will base in OK or TN where the up front plate cost is cheap; they will most likely have to pay in every year.

Exciting, isn't it?


User currently offlineGo3Team From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 3266 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2049 times:

Quoting Checkraiser (Reply 14):
Exciting, isn't it?

Not really. Being on my side of it, one of the most distracting things is recording state line mileage for tax purposes.

Despite the crazy amount of taxes/tolls that trucking companies have to deal with, I don't understand why someone would want to buy their own truck these days.



Yay Pudding!
User currently offline57AZ From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 2550 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (7 years 21 hours ago) and read 1996 times:

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 15):
Despite the crazy amount of taxes/tolls that trucking companies have to deal with, I don't understand why someone would want to buy their own truck these days.

Well, a lot of folks can't afford to buy their own truck these days, so they have to lease. A new tractor will cost well in excess of $100k before any applicable taxes. A neighbor of ours (whom I drove for for a year) runs a tour company with a fleet of at least 12 late model Van Hool 40 and 45 footers. Those coaches run anywhere from $100-200k for a USED 1990 model and newer. New coaches are in the $300k range. Here in AZ, the tags for the coaches are Permanent Apportioned.

I remember having "fun" doing the calculations for the runs we did daily in northern NM and southern CO. We had three coaches assigned to that job and each coach made at least one three trips across the line each day-sometimes more if there was an add on run to the flag stop at Cumbres, CO.



"When a man runs on railroads over half of his lifetime he is fit for nothing else-and at times he don't know that."
User currently offlineDon81603 From Canada, joined Jul 2005, 1185 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 1938 times:

Quoting AsstChiefMark (Reply 13):
Actually, I'm surprised by the number semi trailers with Ontario and Saskatchewan plates that are being pulled by American tractors.

There can be problems with this as well, since they are plated and registered in Canada, they can not be used for state to state operations. Once they cros from Canada to the US, they must be reloaded for Cnada or Mexico, and then transported across the border. For state to state operations, the trailer (and tractor for that matter) must be plated in the US, and the driver must also be a US citizen, or you run the risk of being nailed for interstating. The penalties for interstating are extremely harsh, as you are basically working as an illegal alien, and your truck, trailer and cargo will be impounded, and you will be deported, and invited never to return under any circumstances.

There is, however, a massive gray area here. According to the CBP (Customs and Border Protection), a Canadian driver can pick up and drop off in the US, providing the freight is ultimately destined for Canada. They see it as incidental to an international shipment, as they track the freight, not the equipment. The INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) sees it as a domestic move, as they track the equipment, not the freight. The result is this huge gray area, and creates many arguements between dispatchers and drivers. I myself have had more than a few heated phone calls over this, as I tend to side with the more stringent rulkes (INS) to make sure I don't get my butt tossed across the line.



Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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