The trucking industry is considered one of the backbones of the economy because it’s mainly how commercial goods are transported on land. This includes raw materials, finished products, and fresh produce that all need to be delivered to their destinations before they can be released for public consumption.
It’s safe to say that the demand for trucking businesses will never run out because these services are essential to the logistics of other industries. That’s why choosing to run a trucking business will always be a smart move. To improve your business’s bottom line, here are five industry best practices that you can use:
Buy the Right Equipment
Having the right kind of equipment can make or break your success in this business. This applies to all the equipment you may need to carry out your day-to-day operations, including the trucks, the machines that can lift your heavy cargo, and other pieces of equipment that you’ll need for the job.
Depending on the market you want to cater to, you may need to purchase heavy-haul trucks for your business. The trucks you buy must be reliable and durable, especially because they are the focal points of your business. Don’t be tempted to skimp on your equipment because doing so may cost you more in the long run.
While there’s nothing wrong with buying used equipment, you must make sure to review all the maintenance histories because frequent maintenance can increase your operational costs and cause losses due to downtime. So have your equipment inspected by professionals regularly.
Hire and Maintain Good Drivers
It’s impossible to run a successful trucking business without good drivers. That’s why you have to find good drivers and work hard to maintain their loyalty to the company. Being an employer who merely provides what is written in the contract is expected, but making sure their employees stay is a whole different ball game.
Nowadays, it’s no longer enough to provide the bare minimum and expect that your employees will settle for less than what they deserve. You need to show them that you care about their well-being by giving them employee benefits, such as insurance coverage, bonuses, or even flexible schedules.
Partner with Fuel Merchants
Since trucking companies are among the many businesses that use up a lot of fuel every day, you can control your spending by using fuel cards. This is one of the best ways to save large sums of money because many merchants offer discounts and prepayment options to official cardholders.
Aside from saving money, fuel cards can also help you keep track of your overall spending on fuel because the cards can be loaded before being handed over to your drivers. This way, you won’t have to deal with potential problems that may arise from using the money for other activities besides its intended purpose.
Optimize Truck Routes
Disorganized truck routes are not only time-consuming, but they also unnecessarily consume a lot of fuel. By optimizing your truck routes and pre-planning your drivers’ destinations, you can easily eliminate these two problems that waste your money. This way, you’ll be hitting two birds with one stone.
When optimizing your truck routes, consider the different factors that may affect the travel time. This can include speed limits, traffic congestion, rush hours, or traffic signals, as these can help you select the most fuel and time-efficient routes for your drivers.
Keep Track of Your Cash Flow
Ultimately, you are in business to generate a profit, and you can’t do that if you’re not keeping track of your financial movements. Aside from creating a regularly updated spreadsheet to track your cash flow, you’ll also need to ensure that you have enough cash on hand for emergencies like maintenance, repairs, or injuries.
Having a contingency fund can also give you enough breathing room so that you won’t have to worry about paying your employees’ salaries or affording your daily operational costs if your customers’ final payments take a while before arriving. Create a feasible financial plan to ensure that you won’t be operating on a deficit before you can even start seeing returns.
No business is ever free of risks, but that’s what makes it even more worthwhile. Being an entrepreneur is exciting because not being able to foresee what will happen in the future keeps you on your toes and urges you to do your best. It can also motivate you to continuously improve in all aspects, which can then do wonders for your bottom line.