How To Improve Your Trucking Business Profit Margins Part 1

Your trucking business profit margins often depend on a speedy, efficient, and cost-effective fleet to help you succeed. When supply chain delays or a national trucker shortage slows things down, how can businesses maintain profits — much less increase them?

Trucking Business Profit Margins

Trucking business profit margins are indeed delicate, but several steps can combat revenue instability. With more profit in your pocket, you’ll have the resources to expand further, growing your business even more! If you’re wondering how to make a more significant profit in your trucking business, consider the following tips for increasing trucking profits.

Find a Way to Cut Fuel Costs

One of the costliest expenditures facing trucking companies is gas. You may be wasting money if you’re paying full price for gas. There are plenty of ways trucking companies can save significant money on gas expenses. Your trucking business profit margins can depend on some simple steps. The easiest way to do this is to use fuel cards. Fuel cards allow companies to take advantage of discounts and other benefits to reward loyalty. These cards — also called fleet cards or business gas cards — can save a trucking company thousands of dollars every year if used to their full potential. Companies should look for a card that offers rewards such as cashback and fuel discounts.

Minimize Driver Time Spent Idling

Another primary source of waste — and cause of costs going up — is excessive driver time spent idling. When truck drivers allow their engine to idle for extended periods, it burns through gas far more quickly than most truckers realize. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, idling may be costing you half a gallon of gas per hour. This figure varies depending on the truck’s size, make, and model, but truckers must avoid idle time whenever possible. Contrary to popular belief, starting an engine typically does not use more fuel than idling. Save money by turning off your truck.

Always Plan the Most Efficient Routes

The Global Positioning System has revolutionized truck routing and allowed companies to plan the most efficient routes easily. You can even plan hands-free using a device loaded with routing software. Too many drivers deviate from the directions provided by these devices, though, and increase costs substantially in the process. Look for a routing application that helps you drive fewer miles to reach your destination, and most importantly, be sure that you follow its directions. In some cases, you may even be able to use your Electronic Logging Device (ELD) to optimize your route plan.

Invest in Fuel-Efficient Tires and Accessories

Tires can affect trucking business profit margins. Additionally, some drivers don’t realize that the tires and accessories on their trucks play a significant role in their fuel efficiency. Indeed, some types of tires specifically optimize the fuel efficiency of a truck. These tires typically also feature low resistance to rolling, which uses less energy while you are driving. It has no impact on the performance or speed of the truck, but it massively reduces the fuel usage required to operate the truck. In addition to choosing fuel-efficient tires, drivers should always perform regular maintenance on tires by ensuring that they inflate them properly. If drivers underinflate their tires, your fuel economy will likely suffer. Thus, it will reduce up to 10% in some cases.

Drive-In a Way That Saves Gas

Tires aren’t the only factor that can affect fuel economy. The way that you drive can have a significant impact, too. Most ELD systems track truckers’ driving habits, including habits such as the following:

  • Speeding
  • Sudden braking
  • Use of cruise control
  • Variations in speed
  • Excessive idling

These actions can contribute to the average fuel economy a driver achieves. Speeding, for example, will have an immediate detrimental impact on your gas mileage — as will sudden stops, inconsistent speed, and long periods spent idling. Cruise control can improve fuel efficiency. Truckers can review data collected by their ELD to understand better what driving behaviors contribute to ideal gas mileage.

Recognize the Most Expensive Liabilities

Many trucking companies overlook liabilities as a source of expenses, which can be a significant mistake. There are many disadvantages associated with trucking, and it’s the responsibility of every carrier to anticipate and mitigate these risks. Do this by investing in truck insurance. Truck insurance allows companies to invest in protection against the most common dangers that drivers encounter on the road. It helps with transporting cargo safely. Without the proper insurance, a single incident could wreak havoc.

Improve the Aerodynamics of Your Fleet

One overlooked strategy for improving profit margins is enhancing the aerodynamics of your truck. Some research suggests that installing accessories to reduce drag can save hundreds of gallons of gas per year. It is an impressive figure, and it illustrates just how vital aerodynamics are when it comes to a truck’s fuel economy. Accessories such as underbody side skirts can provide this effect. Invest in performance-improving alterations that can reduce drag, improve aerodynamic performance, and give your company’s profit margin the boost it needs.

About Western Truck Insurance Services

Western Truck Insurance Services is a commercial truck insurance agency with roots dating back to 1954. We have evolved into a highly respected, professionally managed, truck and transportation insurance brokerage. The hallmark of our organization is our desire to provide unparalleled service. We go way beyond what you expect to receive from an insurance brokerage. Equipped with state of the art automation, Western Truck Insurance can provide you with lightning fast truck insurance quotes, customer service, Insurance certificates, and coverage changes. Contact us today at (800) 937-8785 to learn more!