Lawmakers look at attract more truck drivers with tax credit

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Updated Apr 14, 2022

Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, April 12, 2022:

Lawmakers look to establish tax credit for truckers

A new bill introduced recently in the U.S. House of Representatives would, if passed and signed into law, establish a $7,500 tax credit over the next two years for certain Class A commercial driver’s license holders.

The bipartisan legislation, introduced by Reps. Mike Gallagher (R-Wisconsin) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Virginia), is dubbed the Strengthening Supply Chains Through Truck Driver Incentives Act.

The bill would create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 for truck drivers holding a valid Class A CDL who drive at least 1,900 hours in the year. It would also create a two-year refundable tax credit of up to $10,000 for new truck drivers or individuals enrolled in a registered trucking apprenticeship.

New truck drivers who did not drive a commercial truck in the previous year or drove for fewer than 1,420 hours in the current year may receive a proportion of the credit if they drove at least an average of 40 hours a week upon starting to drive.

To be eligible for the credit, the adjusted gross income of eligible drivers cannot exceed $90,000 ($135,000 in the case of a joint tax return and $112,500 for heads of household).

“Our legislation takes a commonsense step towards addressing our chronic driver shortage,” Spanberger said. “By creating a refundable tax credit for the men and women who keep our goods flowing, we would encourage more young people to hop in the driver’s seat, reduce headaches for trucking businesses, and make sure experienced drivers are rewarded for their hard work.”

The American Trucking Associations endorsed the legislation, and ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said it “would attract even more drivers into the field by providing substantial tax credits to reduce their federal tax liabilities.

“This bipartisan bill would make a meaningful difference in the lives of new truckers, further elevating the profession as one of the few available in today’s job market that provides a stable career path to the middle class without the costly burden of a four-year college degree,” Spear added.

The legislation faces an uphill battle to become law, as it will have to be passed by the full U.S. House and then the Senate before landing on President Joe Biden’s desk for a signature.

Small number of Western Star tractors, electric Mack trucks recalled

Two recalls announced recently by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration include a small number of Western Star 4900 tractors and Mack LR Electric trucks.

The Western Star recall includes approximately 13 model year 2023 Western Star 4900 trucks in which the inversion valve air lines could have been installed incorrectly, potentially reducing braking performance.

Dealers will inspect and repair the air lines for free. Owners may contact Daimler Trucks North America customer service at 1-800-547-0712 with recall number FL-924. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-205.

Mack Trucks is recalling approximately 33 model year 2023 Mack LR Electric trucks due to an issue with the power steering. The recall states that during certain driving maneuvers, the power steering system may lose pressure, causing a loss of power steering assist.

The company has not yet established a remedy for the issue. Owners can contact Mack's customer service at 1-800-866-1177 with recall number SC0434. NHTSA’s recall number is 22V-204.