CCJ Daily Dispatch, Aug. 4: OOIDA calls for HVUT suspension as part of virus relief

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Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020:

Owner-operator group petitions Congress for 1-year HVUT suspension
With the American Truck Dealers group and a bevy of other industry stakeholders urging a suspension of the federal excise tax on heavy trucks to offer relief for a variety of businesses from manufacturers and dealers to trucking companies and owner-operators, a new letter to congressional leadership from the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has urged lawmakers to consider what might amount to a “much more immediate and equitable” source of relief for all trucking business owners. OOIDA proposed a suspension of the Heavy Vehicle Use Tax, most commonly $550 annually for a Class 8 over-the-road truck, for one year.

“While some trucking operations have been able to qualify for pandemic assistance” through SBA-led loan programs, wrote OOIDA President & CEO Todd Spencer, “many others have not been able to for one reason or another. Suspending the HVUT would bypass the complications of these programs and provide a simple way to make sure that all truckers get relief.”

Senate and House of Representatives leaders continue to debate various items that could make up yet another relief/stimulus package, following the House’s passage of a May package worth about $3 trillion. The legislative bodies have disagreed on some provisions, such as the extension of pandemic unemployment assistance benefits, which expired after Friday, July 31.

Kenworth offering extended diagnostics subscription on new medium-duty trucks
Kenworth TruckTech+ Remote Diagnostics is now offering an extended subscription coverage option for new Kenworth medium-duty conventional models equipped with Paccar PX-7 and PX-9 engines.

Truck buyers will receive the free two-year bas subscription upon purchase of new Kenworth medium-duty conventional trucks. They can then also order an extended subscription from their dealer to cover from six months up to 36 months after the initial two years ends.

The extended subscriptions can also be purchased later by contacting a Kenworth dealer.

Next10 acquires two Idaho-based carriers
Two Idaho-based trucking companies, Ultimate Logistics and Ultimate Innovations, have been acquired by Next10, doing business as Ultimate Holdings Corporation, a lease-to-own trucking company. Both companies will be wholly owned subsidiaries of UHC.

As part of the purchase, UHC acquired approximately 80 newer model tractors and approximately 85 newer model 53-foot reefer trailers. The two companies had a combined gross revenue of more than $17.5 million for 2019. The management teams of the two acquired companies will remain in place, UHC says.

By acquiring the two companies, UHC now has “The Ultimate Program,” which has more than 75 drivers working to become owner-operators. In the program, individuals lease with UHC to be able to purchase a newer model truck with no money down.