The freight industry is one of the most productive in the current economy. The returns are great and there is hardly any downtime in the business since individuals and businesses alike constantly require transport of one thing or the other. Freight businesses play a huge role in developing the economy through job creation and connecting producers and consumers.
However, a freight business bears huge financial risks, which is why there are certain things that freight company owners need to do to ensure that they are maximising profits and cutting down on their expenditure.
There are quite a few barriers in place, despite it being a lucrative business. Successful freight company owners can attest to continually using certain tips and tricks to ensure that their trucks are constantly on the road, hence making them good money.
Read on for 8 ways that freight company owners can use to keep their trucks on the road.
1. Invoice Factoring
The freight business requires a constant flow of money since it is dependent on machinery. This is why invoice factoring is so important to anyone running a freight business.
Invoice factoring, also known as accounts receivable financing, is a form of funding for small-scale businesses by ensuring that there is a supply of money for any unforeseen circumstances. Invoice factoring also allows business owners access to money or capital that they can use to expand the business.
In the case of freight companies, it allows the business owners to buy a new truck if they are trying to expand, or fix a problem with the existing trucks that may slow down the business. Whether the issues are mechanical, or delayed payments by clients that might otherwise halt other business activities, invoice factoring will ensure that your trucks stay on the road.
2. Hiring Skilled Drivers
Many people have a driving license but not everyone has experience driving trucks, especially for long distances. As such, it is extremely vital that you as a freight company owner, hire drivers who have reasonable experience in the job and come with good references.
This can help save your company money as a professional and experienced driving team will mean a minimized risk of unnecessary accidents and ensure that trucks arrive at their intended destinations on time.
Skilled drivers are more likely to handle the trucks better, and possibly fix the small issues that may occur on the road than those who are unskilled. For instance, a skilled driver can identify a problem before it causes extensive damage to a truck while on the job.
Other than the truck, skilled drivers are more likely to offer better customer service in cases where the client has a problem or complaint. Clients tend to maintain business with companies because of good customer service.
Being able to maintain a client is very important to a successful business as you can get referrals from them, and good customer service contributes a great deal to achieving both of these goals.
3. Servicing the Trucks Regularly
Trucks are machines; hence, they require a lot of regular care and servicing. If you want to maximize profits, your trucks should go for servicing regularly. Like a lot of machines, the different systems in your truck both mechanical and computerized, are dependent on each other to work effectively.
You’ll be surprised that a small problem that almost seems insignificant can render the whole truck immobile. This is just one of the reasons why servicing them is important. Servicing will not only fix the existing problems, but helps uncover hidden issues thus reducing the chances of those issues coming up while the truck is on the move.
The company owners also need to ensure that they fix any mechanical problems early before they cripple the vehicles permanently. Servicing the trucks regularly also ensures that the drivers are able to arrive at their destinations without experiencing any technical difficulties along the way. This reduces the chances of breakdowns that leave the truck off the road ufor days on end, risking the goods in transit.
Sometimes, companies fail to succeed because they are not reliable when it comes to loading or unloading goods on time, causing most clients to take offense to such issues. Servicing the trucks ensures that the chances of any mechanical delays on the road are greatly low.
4. Rotating Your Tires
Not a lot of people do it, but any mechanic will tell you that it is just as important to rotate your tires as it is to change the oil.
Rotating your tires will help them wear out evenly and expand their lifespan. Tire rotation also helps with alignment, and it reduces the pressure on the truck’s suspension thus giving your truck drivers a smooth ride.
It is also wise to have spare tires on hand at all times during a job. Some road terrains are more brutal than others, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.
5. Conducting Regular Tests on the Drivers
Statistics show that more than 50% of road accidents happen because the driver was drinking and driving. Due to the heavy nature of trucks and the fact that they carry luggage, it is important for the driver to be of sound mind and good situational awareness to avoid accidents while on the job.
Freight company owners need to set the right measures that will ensure that drivers take tests before they go on trips. It is also vital to have rules in place that prohibit the employees from taking any form of non-medicinal drugs while at work that may bring about unnecessary problems on the road.
6. Ensuring the Safety of Drivers
Safety is a priority when it comes to truck drivers. An overworked driver is an unsafe driver. Because they travel constantly, it is advisable to have enough drivers so that they are all able to get enough rest.
Overworked drivers might cause accidents. They stand the risk of ending up in the hospital with fatigue, or worse, falling asleep on the wheel, resulting in potentially gruesome accidents which are obviously bad for business.
Additionally, your truck drivers might need to get the required vaccines especially if they travel across different regions with different weather conditions, making them prone to some diseases.
7. Assigning Duties
All successful companies have people responsible for different departments, not just in the case of drivers. It is highly unlikely that things will run smoothly if only one person is doing everything like bookkeeping, accounting, and all the different departments found within a company.
For this reason, freight company owners need to assign helpers to every driver. Part of the helper’s work involves loading and unloading goods and it is important for company owners to ensure there are people doing this work. This not only helps the driver, but it also helps when it comes to accountability. Overloading one person with all the work can reduce their productivity.
8. Having Trackers in the Vehicles
All freight company owners should ensure that they have trackers in the vehicles. Trackers provide insight into where the driver is at all times and also gives a client a level of assurity in knowing where their goods are while on transit under the freight company.
Many companies sign an agreement with the clients where they are responsible for the goods until delivery. This means that any inconvenience that happens to the goods, deliberate or not, the company has to compensate the client — a risk that can easily run a business down.
Tracking the vehicles and goods reduces certain risks as drivers can monitor routes that drivers take and also alerts owners in case of anything unusual. Tracking also helps determine the time the driver will reach their destination, the number of miles or kilometers they cover, and the amount of fuel they use in the trip.
Keep Your Trucks on the Road
As a freight company owner, you need to strive to keep your processes smooth and functional. By following the tips listed above, you’ll be able to scale your business to a level of success that many just dream of since most of these tips are easy to follow although they might require a bit of fine tuning of the policies you already have in place.
To achieve success, you need to take the time to ensure that as a company owner, you hire the right candidates for the job. A person is as good as the team that works behind him, and it is vital that the team behind you as a freight company owner shares in your goals and growth, as well.
Basically, keeping your trucks on the road requires a freight company to pay attention to the vehicles by servicing them and fixing any arising problems before they escalate, and ensuring your workers are well trained, experienced, and not overworked.
While doing this might cost the company money, it is hardly as much as the losses you risk incurring when your trucks are off the road as a result of accidents, lawsuits, or mechanical failures.