Regardless of whether your trucking company is large or small, cash flow is inevitably a struggle at one point or another. No business owner anticipates these issues, but problems often arise, even for the most successful companies. Sometimes, these cash flow issues are not from lack of work, surprisingly. Many carriers will have huge months in terms of work but find themselves waiting on invoices to be paid.
Because of the contract nature of our industry, it is not uncommon to have to wait 30, 60, or 90 days to get paid on the work we do. This can cause serious problems with your company’s cash flow. There are always bills to be paid, employees to pay, and maintenance, repairs, and operating costs to consider. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that you can keep in mind to make sure that your company’s cash flow stays in the positive. These tips include:
- Make sure your contracts clearly state the terms of payment – Make sure to have clear and consistent payment terms stated in your contracts. Your customers should know what is expected of them and they should be aware of the timeline on which you expect to be paid for your services.
- Don’t sit on invoices – Make sure to send invoices immediately if you expect to be paid quickly. Many businesses struggle due to internal issues, not the client’s side.
- Offer multiple payment options – The more payment options you make available to your customers, the easier you make it on them to pay you. Maybe some clients are old-school and prefer to send in a check. This might mean that you will have to wait longer to get paid. More modern businesses may want to pay by ACH debit or by credit card, which would mean that you get paid much faster.
- Spread out your bills – While it may not be possible to space out all of your monthly bills, it might be helpful to your cash flow to pay different bills at the beginning, middle, and end of the month, rather than having to pay everything at the same time. Consider working with your creditors to set up payment dates that are well spaced out from one another.
- Consider invoice factoring -Are you looking to get paid immediately and not worry about cash flow issues any longer? You may want to consider turning to a freight factoring company to get paid immediately on invoices and letting them wait to collect from your customers. Many carriers swear by invoice factoring as a way to get rid of the headache of waiting for invoices to be paid.
By carefully planning your monthly budget, stating the payment terms on your contracts, and offering multiple payment options, you could avoid the inevitable cash flow problems that hinder so many of us in this industry.
Three people died in New York following a collision between two buses—one a tour bus carrying people visiting the city, the other a New York MTA owned bus that operated for people living in the city as part of its public transportation. The accident occurred in the early morning, and the two buses collided while one was attempting to make a ride turn on a busy street. The tour bus, after colliding with the MTA vehicle, hit a nearby KFC, starting a fire inside the building. The three people killed include the tour bus driver, a passenger on the MTA bus, and a pedestrian who was pinned by a bus and died at the scene. In addition to those, 16 people suffered injuries of various degrees. Five of those are in critical condition, and if or how long they’ll be able to survive is unknown.
An accident like this is obviously a terrible occurrence. As this Des Moines car accident website says, poor decision making by the drivers, can end or permanently alter people’s lives. Even those who aren’t killed or severely harmed by the crash may be suffering in other ways, such as minor injuries and the trauma associated with going through such a terrible event. Seeing that kind of destruction and damage to other human beings isn’t something that one forgets easily. Even those who were not directly involved in the crash may still be affected by it. One resident who lived in a nearby building witnessed the aftermath of the crash and described how horrifying it was.
For the people who have to deal with these situations on an everyday basis as part of their jobs, such as police and EMTs, that horror can be magnified. Dealing with trauma and stressful situations like that is not an easy thing to do regularly. Many studies have shown the problems that can be associated with professions such as these: significantly higher rates of alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse, rates of PTSD that rival those of professional soldiers, and much higher rates of family problems. Emergency services are some of the vital jobs in our society. They save lives, keep people safe, and help manage dangers of chaotic life in modern cities. But often, they don’t receive the help or attention they deserve. A study showed that 2.5% of new EMTs show signs of PTSD. But among those with seven or more years of experience, the rate is close to 15%. New initiatives have been formed to try to combat this, such as offering counseling services, managing workloads better, and campaigns to increase mental health awareness. But it’s difficult to tell how much of an effect they’re having.
Crashes like one in New York are at the end of what a paramedic might have to deal with. But smaller crashes can be just as horrific, and the slew of other situations they have to deal with can easily take a toll. The safety of our emergency service workers is a key issue and one we should all be aware of.
According to the Dallas Drilling & Geophysics Society, there are seven things a property owner should know about selling mineral rights:
- Know your Minerals. The term “mineral” can include oil, natural gas, coal, gold, copper, iron, metal ore, stone, gravel, sand and clay. Texas is best known for its oil and gas production and it has made a name for itself as the nation’s biggest producer of oil and natural gas. If you live in Texas, it is important that you know what other minerals may be under your surface besides oil and gas.
- Know What You Own. If your deed says “fee simple,” then this will mean that you have rights over whatever minerals you have on or underneath your property. However, if your deed states “less and except” or “subject to,” then you might not own everything.
- Know What You’re Selling. Make sure you understand what the contract specifies – a lease which could expire, or sell mineral rights Your contract will tell you whether you could either get a lump sum, or be paid as the minerals are extracted.
- Know Your Surface Rights. After making a sale, you still retain “surface rights.” This means that you still own the surface of the property; however, the right to minerals underneath now belongs to someone else. Under the law, surface rights are “subservient” to mineral rights, which means the mineral rights owner gets priority consideration.
- Know What to Watch For. There will definitely be a few unscrupulous companies out there. Thus, do not accept the first offer you get. Pay attention to fine print as well and make sure you consult with an attorney before signing contracts or cashing checks.
- Know What It’s Worth. It may be important to know the market value of mineral rights as this will help you determine how much your mineral rights should cost.
- Know Your Limits. How much you will receive from selling your mineral rights should not be your only consideration (unless you intend to live elsewhere after making a sale). It may also be important to know the impact of the extraction methods, like the noises you will have to put up with or the work ethics of the company you have done business with.
Selling mineral rights presents many advantages, some of which include:
1. Cash up front – this is advantageous, especially for landowners, who are financially in need, since selling mineral rights means securing a lump sum immediately. Some firms do offer an amount big enough to last for many, many years.
2. Taking advantage of the great demand – booms in oil, gas and other minerals have come and gone across the nation, so that what may be appraised with a very high value today may no longer be worth anything tomorrow.
3. Saving oneself from time-consuming concerns and significant tax increases – keeping track of one’s mineral or royalty earnings and the taxes these are associated with plus the need to keep division order files, depletion schedules, property tax records, etc., always requires much time and attention. Selling, however, may not only qualify the owner for tax savings advantages, but he or she can also use part of the proceeds from the sale to invest in less risky business opportunities
4. Saving the owner from the risk of a non-productive property – once the owner decides to sell, whether the property is productive, less productive than expected or not productive at all, is no longer his or her concern, but the buyer’s. Especially if the property is not really promising as it was deemed, selling, then, is a decision that will perfectly benefit the owner of mineral rights.
There are about 190 pedestrians hit by cars in the U.S., every day; from these, at least 12 are fatal or end in death some days following the accident. The National Safety Council says that majority of non-fatal accidents involving pedestrians take place in urban areas where there is always a high volume of cars and pedestrians. With concern to fatal accidents, however, the council states that these are more frequent in rural areas, where vehicles run at greater speed due to much lighter traffic. NSC further explains that the absence of shoulders (as pedestrian facilities), sidewalks, paths and street lights (for better visibility at nighttime) are major factors that increase the risk of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian safety ought to be everyone’s concern because being a pedestrian is one thing all people in the U.S. have in common. Other than walking, the meaning of pedestrian also applies to joggers or to anyone who is on foot and on the street, sidewalk, or walk path, and so forth.
The concerted efforts of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and car manufacturers have led to the research, design, manufacture and installation of the latest devices that will make the streets safer for all pedestrians. These devices, aptly called accident avoidance technologies, are designed to keep drivers from crashing into anything or anyone, especially pedestrians. The Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection with Full Auto Brake and the Forward Collision Warning System are just two of the latest accident avoidance devices that certain car manufacturers will start installing in their cars, making these regular features of their cars that go out into the market. While these devices may enable the full activation of a car’s brakes even without driver input, there are other devices that are designed to simply slow down the vehicle to reduce the force of impact, thus leaving still to the driver the need to bring the vehicle to a full stop. A car accident is, more often than not, due to the negligent or reckless behavior of an individual, making it a totally preventable incident. If one occurs, though, then the victim should think about seeking help from a highly qualified personal injury lawyer, who can help him/her understand his/her legal options and the chance of seeking compensation which the law allows him/her to receive. During the recent years, however, motor vehicles are no longer the only threats to pedestrian safety; motorcycles and bicycles are now threats too. This is partly due to the dramatic increase in the number of bicyclists in many U.S. states and cities.
Worse, however, is the behavior of some bicyclists who, like many drivers, ignore traffic laws, signs, crosswalks and signals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), there is not much data on bicyclist/pedestrian accidents except was gathered in one study (which used hospital coding data) which says that, every year, there are about 1,000 pedestrians who are hit by a cyclist and necessitate medical treatment in a hospital. Despite the much higher number of fatalities and injuries resulting from pedestrian and motor vehicle accidents, guarding against reckless and careless bicyclists, especially in parks and jogging/cycling lanes, where most of these types of accidents occur, is important. And though younger individuals usually do not suffer major harm when struck by a bicycle, it may be necessary to report or file a legal action against reckless bikers if only to make them realize that they are not the only ones using the pedestrian lanes who need to be safe.
Catastrophes have left many individuals dead and a lot more severely injured, forever changing the lives of the members of the family of the deceased. Catastrophes can happen anytime and anywhere, wreaking huge amounts in property damages and claiming many lives. Most often than not, catastrophes are results of human error or man’s negligent and careless behavior. The sinking of the Titanic, which took the lives of more than 1,500 passengers; the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989, which resulted to 10.8 million gallons of oil being spilled into the waters of Prince William Sound; the Piper Alpha Oil Rig fire in 1988 that claimed the lives of 167 workers and caused damages amounting to $3.4 billion – these and many more (such as fires, methane hydrate eruptions, and scaffoldings, tower cranes, roofs, stadiums or houses suddenly collapsing) are some of the most common catastrophic events that have marred the flow of time. More than damage to property, though, which can be replaced with proper funding, the most painful effect of catastrophes is wrongful death. Wrongful death is a legal claim made by the beneficiaries or survivors of a person who has died, against the liable party. This is claim for damages that includes loss of earnings that the deceased could have still been able to earn, medical expenses prior to death, and loss of consortium (removal of the benefits of a relationship, including sexual, because of the injuries or death caused by a negligent party). Wrongful death, however, occurs not only due to catastrophic events. In many occasions, these occur due to mistakes made by professionals, such as doctors, surgeons, dentists, and other health-care providers. Take, for instance, the case of a young girl, who was diagnosed as simply suffering from a bellyache; a few minutes later, her appendix ruptured, causing her extreme pain. Worse, though, was the case of a teenager who complained of fever and chills. He was given Tylenol and was sent home to rest, only to die a few hours later due to sepsis, an infection in the blood. Medical errors, which are preventable, claim as many as 98,000 lives in the US every year, as shown in the records of the Institute of Medicine, an American non-profit, non-governmental research organization. Medical errors are consequences of the negligence or carelessness of nurses, doctors and many other health-care professionals; these can occur through many different types, the most common of which, include wrong or delayed diagnosis, surgical mistakes and emergency room negligence. A study made by the Journal of the American Medical Association confirms the reality of errors in emergency rooms and that these cause almost half of all deaths due to medical malpractice. Some of the health problems most frequently misdiagnosed in ERs are aneurysm, pulmonary embolism, stroke and heart attack. A number of the reported reasons for ER errors that can lead to severe complications or death include poor communication between nurses and doctors, shortage of doctors, failure to communicate vital information regarding patient’s condition, lack of timely access to lab report, overworked and stressed nurses and staff, over-crowding and prolonged waiting time. Accidents or errors resulting to the death of someone can devastate the family of the victim. It will be more painful if the wrongful death of an innocent victim was due to a careless mistake made by another. The consequences to the loved ones or dependents of the victim are often both emotional and financial. It may be wise to contact a wrongful death lawyer if you lost someone in an accident or after hospitalization just to know if there is a legal action worth pursuing, to bring the liable party to justice.