The difference between profit and loss can be razor-thin. The trucking industry is no exception. With the volatility of fuel prices, intense competition for loads, and the high cost of maintaining equipment, a trucking firm needs every advantage available to maximize their black ink and minimize their red.
If you’ve had the good fortune to see your trucking company grow, you have to be very careful about your expenses in order to make sure you don’t grow your way into bankruptcy. Here’s how to keep things financially sound during periods of growth.
Get Expert Help When Buying
As a trucking business grows, one of the first things it needs is more trucks. With the constant flow of trucks out of companies as replacements are delivered, there are plenty of used rigs on the market.
But how do you know which of those rigs you should buy? You’ve got plenty of other responsibilities without having to do a 50-point inspection on a used truck before you buy it, and you don’t have the money to justify rolling up to a dealership to pick out a brand new setup.
It’s managers and owners like you that Charter Trucks serves the best. They know that you need qualified help in selecting used trucks, trailers, and equipment. They work to maintain an efficient website where you can quickly narrow down the prospects, and then they follow through with good advice on which pieces are the best fit for what you are doing. With rapid delivery at the end of the deal, there’s no substitute for an experienced truck broker.
Manage Routes Carefully
Fuel, tires, and wear on the rigs are major expenses for a trucking company. You need to do everything you can to minimize the impact of those factors. Road problems can be responsible for a lot of overage in these areas with slowdowns, bad surface conditions, and detours.
Today, there is no reason to miss out on road information. Construction delays, traffic issues, and detours are readily available online or with apps like Waze.
Make sure your drivers are following these helpful suggestions. Even if they’ve made the run from Des Moines to Duluth 20 times, they need to investigate the route before they hit the road. Time idling in traffic is time lost toward the delivery deadline, along with fuel burned needlessly. Detours or construction can add time and damage to the run.
So be sure that while your drivers are looking out for their own savings that they use every available tool to find the most efficient route for the delivery.
Keep Strict Policies
When things are growing fast and you’re bringing in new drivers, the temptation can be strong to accept someone who has a few more blemishes on the driving record than your existing staff. You’re needing people, this person is ready to go, and a few little accidents or speeding tickets aren’t the end of the world, right?
But those things do add up when it comes time to insure your drivers, even if they never have another incident. Even $50 a month will add up over the full length of a driver’s tenure, and soon you’re wishing you’d held out a few more days to get someone better qualified.
That’s to say nothing of the result if your new driver does have an accident. The costs can be massive, with truck damage, liability claims, worker’s comp expenses, damaged cargo, and missed load opportunities.
If you want drivers with a clean driving record, you must stick to your guns to save money. It’s that simple.
Trucking is an industry with lots of vulnerability to outside forces. You can’t control OPEC or the other companies out there vying for your work, so you have to do everything possible to control the factors that are within your hands. Controlling expenses is key. Watch the nickels and you’ll save the dollars.