The trucking business has become one of the most profitable occupations in the United States and is an essential service that keeps America running. Trucking has outlasted economic crises, pandemics, changing technology, and environmental regulations. In other words, trucking isn’t going anywhere and those carriers who are ready to work hard, work smart, and be highly efficient, will continue to reap big rewards.
Our goal is to give you, carriers and owner-operators, a few tips to help maximize your profits and grow your business. We know you are ready to work smart (you're reading this article after all), so let's get more out of your hard work!
Maintain your fleet
Our first tip for saving money and avoiding unexpected costs is one of the most obvious. Having routine checkups and maintenance performed by professionals can significantly reduce the risk of breakdowns on the road that cause unprofitable downtime.
While there will be some cost associated with the maintenance, think about how much worse it will be when a truck breaks down on the job while the vehicle is far away from home base. You would be in a position to have to use an auto shop available close by that may end up charging a ridiculous price. Regular checkups with a mechanic you trust will save you money in the long run and extend the life of your vehicles.
Save on fuel
In these difficult economic times, fuel consumption can break your business, especially when fuel prices are at a record high.
Reduce fuel costs by:
• Driving carefully and at a speed that uses minimal fuel consumption
• Avoid running the vehicle when loading cargo or processing paperwork
• Utilizing more gas-efficient routes if possible (Google Maps is your friend)
• Opting to use gas credit cards for fuel purchases
• Utilizing truck stop or gas rewards programs
Here are rewards programs we recommend:
- TA-Petro’s UltraONE Loyalty Program: Earn points when fueling, and redeem the points on truck maintenance and tires.
- Love’s My Love Rewards: Earn points when fueling, spend them on store food, and at Speedco and Love’s Truck Care. Receive members-only store specials too.
- Pilot Flying J Preferred Customer Rewards: Save 3 cents for every gallon of fuel purchased and earn points on in-store purchases.
- Shell Fuel Rewards Program: Save 5 cents per gallon when filling up at participating Shell stations.
- Exxon Mobil Rewards+: Receive 3 cents in points per gallon on fuel purchases.
Train your team
Carriers understand that their drivers are the biggest asset to their business. Hiring professional truck drivers and offering them routine driving and vehicle maintenance training will encourage drivers to follow traffic rules. Occasionally, offering rewards for good performance will encourage best road safety practices and avoid penalties, fines, or accidents. You'll also have the added benefit of higher employee retention rates.
Embrace Remote Work
Since March 2020, the push to build a more remote fleet has accelerated. According to Forbes, remote work is here to stay and will increase into 2023, with 25% of all professional jobs on track to be all remote by the end of 2022.
Fleet managers should embrace the future and save on operation costs by building a remote infrastructure where they can seamlessly communicate with drivers and maintain maximum visibility with fleet operations. A good working relationship is essential and doesn’t have to take a hit as long as the right tools for communication are used to stay in touch with your fleet. Utilize video calling, check-in sessions, and communication apps, such as Whatsapp, to stay connected with your fleet.
Grow your Fleet
More is more! As long as your cost-per-mile is less than your rate-per-mile, the more miles your company drives, the more money it will make. Also, consider that having a more extensive fleet means that money will still be coming in, even if one or two of your trucks get sidelined. Some banks will even offer you better bank rates for larger fleet sizes.
If you have to turn down work, it can be time for expansion. Purchasing new trucks can lower overhead costs like fuel and maintenance while attracting drivers. Furthermore, additions to your fleet like specialized trailers can help fleets take on different loads, such as refrigerated or oversized shipments.
Hard Work, Safety, and Customer Service Pay Off for Carriers
Overall, the formula to making good money is to work hard, drive safely, provide excellent customer service, and control your operating costs. However, we challenge you to look for opportunities in your business to reduce operating costs. Read more about how companies are investing in electric vehicles to help save money in the long run here.