Operating and managing a trucking company can be one of the most lucrative businesses you can enter, but it’s not for the faint of heart.
While revenues can be high, expenses, including insurance, truck payments, equipment purchases, and fuel, can quickly drain any profit.
Earlier, we wrote about the traits of successful truckers, but what about successful trucking companies? How can a company carve out a living in this highly-competitive industry? Many people are very successful truckers, but they may not have what it takes to run a trucking business.
With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the traits that successful trucking companies share.
Traits of a Successful Trucking Company
Good trucking companies need quality equipment. You have to have reliable trucks, well-built trailers, updated safety equipment, quality communication tools, and plenty of maintenance devices to keep everything working properly. The availability of excellent equipment can make or break a trucking company.
Keep a Pulse on the Market
In order to maintain a thriving trucking company, you need to keep an eye on the market at all times. This constant observation can help you set the right rates, plan for the future, and make operational adjustments to your business plan. By having a pulse on the market through trade magazines, news sources, and industry connections, you can stay ready to make the right choice at all times.
Maintain an Organized Back Office
The size and scope of your back office will depend greatly on the size and scope of your trucking company, but one key will always remain: organization. Good trucking companies scrape out a profit by being efficient and organized. Plan your operation and understand every detail, from the cost of bolts to estimated delivery times.
Oriented Around Service and Customers
If a trucking company wants to stay in business for decades, maintaining good customer relations is critical. You have to know what customers like, what helps their business, and what drives them nuts. Loyal customers are often willing to pay a little more for excellent service from their trucking company.
Keep Operating Capital Available
At all times, your trucking company should have an emergency fund that covers at least three months of expenses. If work dries up or payments are delayed, you still need to pay for insurance, fuel, and other costs. Three months of expenses is a good target, but you may even go to six months or higher.
Fanatical About Safety
Trucking companies need to be efficient and frugal, but they never cut corners on safety. Depending on their size and needs, a company’s safety program may include regular training, in-house safety audits, a safety director, or an entire safety department. A safety-minded company is far more likely to last in the trucking industry.
Hire Slowly and Employ for the Long Haul
It pays to hire slowly. Many companies, trucking or otherwise, want to fill positions with a warm body as soon as possible, only to lose that person and be tossed into the hiring cycle all over again. A better strategy is to take your time, hold plenty of interviews, conduct thorough background checks, and hire only the right people to run your company. Employee turnover can kill a company, while employee retention can have your business running smoothly for years. It might seem like a hassle, but take your time with hiring.
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