The challenges of being a truck driver are many; irregular schedules, health concerns, and regulations are a few of the challenges you will face every-day to keep your trucking business running smoothly. These challenges can come across as distractions from important and essential elements that will successfully contribute to build a growing profitable business. Balancing all your responsibilities as a business owner, can be very difficult and uncomfortable. Also, they can constantly steer your attention away from relevant activities that will help you adopt a more strategic approach about your trucking company.
Therefore, we have put together the five key areas professional drivers should pay more attention to and that can be easily implemented in the short term while running their trucking business to increase their profitability:
Spending a lot of time on road also means that you will have to make your truck your second home. Using tools and appliances for personal purposes could result in additional bills related to energy consumption, which would increase your costs and expenses. Auxiliary Power Units (APUs) are a good alternative for this. They provide in-cab climate control and a power source for your appliances. Some are diesel powered and burn 0.25 gallons an hour, consuming about 450 gallons a year. The estimated savings at $3.00 per gallon average is $3,150 each year. In addition, other modern alternatives such as Idling Management and Battery Optimization Hardware will even help you save up to $6,000 in diesel per year.
Knowing your CPM is essential to increasing your revenue. Knowing your CPM will help you determine where you stand with your finances and help you find the equilibrium point between your priced lanes vs. target volumes to reach your desirable revenue goals. Most of the time, you will work with shippers or customers who will provide you with a target price for their lanes or load boards that will guide you based on market average prices per mile. However starting from within will help you build a better financial plan and define your competitive advantage in the market. Here is the formula to calculate your cost per mile:
Fixed Costs + Variable Costs / Total Miles = Cost Per Mile
Protecting yourself with positive mental & physical health, will reduce absences, ensuring that your workplace is more efficient and productive. Remember, many hours on the road, can also lead to health issues down the line. Additionally, remember that you are required to undergo a DOT physical by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). A DOT physical allows you to drive your commercial vehicle for two years. Some medical conditions, however, require an annual DOT physical, and more serious conditions can require quarterly physicals. Professional drivers and other industry professionals can benefit from Tailored Fitness Programs that provide useful tips and information about how to stay healthy while on the road.
Accept as many loads as possible, but never accept more than you can reasonably handle. Too many loads can potentially put you in a position that will harm your reputation in many ways. It is common for this to occur when you narrow down your delivery time windows for loads or routes you are not familiar with. It is also important not to underestimate the unpredictable nature of routes, waiting times, and accessibility to delivery facilities. In addition an overbooked schedule and heavy workload can also be very stressful and energy consuming. Driving your truck while exhausted increases the risk of potential issues to occur during working hours, even if only delivering locally; short routes can also add up.
As an owner-operator, you’re responsible for every aspect of your business, from managing receipts to focusing on your truck maintenance. Client prospecting and keeping your business relationships healthy can be a challenge. Taking care of your primary customers but partnering with a 3rd party logistics provider (such as freight forwarders, freight brokers, etc.) is a great way to leverage an available pool of loads to meet your weekly revenue goals. On the other hand it could also be better to partner with a digitally enabled 3rd party logistics provider. Besides loads a digitally enabled logistics provider can provide additional tools and benefits that will make your hauling loads process feel effortless.
Driving a truck is a great way to build a profitable business with incredible returns. Knowing your cost, controlling your expenses, living a healthy life on the road, and partnering with the right players will help you take your business to the next level.
Are you a Carrier located in Mexico or USA looking for a partner that will help you find more US-MX cross-border loads?, Camionix® is here to help.
Sign up to our Carrier Partner Program today and check our coverage.