Trucking companies make up a crucial part of our ability to purchase and consume goods across the globe. In fact, most of our goods are shipped by a trucking company, making them not only a major part of the process but also the primary way we obtain our resources. Whether it’s a local trip or an extended haul across the country, semi-trucks and their drivers are committed to making deliveries on time and in person. This way, the economy, and the consumers, always have access to the supplies they need for their daily lives. But choosing to start a trucking company doesn’t automatically mean that you’re destined for success. It’s also important that you stay organized and run the business effectively by understanding how to make a successful trucking company.
Select the Ideal Market Niche
Though to the outside observer it might seem like transporting items is as simple as loading up a truck and setting out, the process involves several crucial considerations. One of these factors to consider is the type of inventory being hauled. Typically, a larger trucking company will be able to handle a wide variety of deliveries. However, smaller startup businesses will often need to be more selective with their cargo to ensure they have the resources to transport it properly. The type of cargo you choose can dictate everything from what equipment you’ll need to acquire to how long your hauls will be to even the rates you’ll charge. Therefore, you must think through which market you want to service and whether you can afford the tools required.
Charge the Right Rates
You’ll also need to take some time to consider what rates you’ll charge your clients for each haul. In order to make a profit without overcharging and losing business, be sure that you’re working to find the proper balance. This way, you’ll be in a good position to pull in revenue while maintaining a solid relationship with those purchasing your services. When calculating these prices, compare broker prices for similar hauls and get the average. Then add about 10 to 15 percent to get the price brokers competitively charge their clients. Make sure that you also solidify your rates before you begin calling shippers and making sales to ensure that you have the competitive advantage.
Keep Up With Equipment Maintenance
Another part of understanding how to make a successful trucking company is educating yourself on when your fleet needs maintenance. Your semi-trucks are your livelihood as well as your drivers’. As such, they must always be kept in good driving condition. This means getting into the habit of performing regular maintenance and checking on their condition. Inspections often involve checking each different component of the semi-truck and ensuring everything is functioning as it should be. During these inspections, you should be taking your time to carefully search for potential malfunctions and recording any current damages you find. Not only will this keep you informed on the status of each truck, but you’ll also be able to discern when a truck needs to be repaired or, ultimately, replaced.
Don’t Forget to Upgrade
Along with performing standard maintenance on your semis, you also need to know when to consider upgrading them. The right set of upgrades can be a game changer, as they can do everything from make your drivers more comfortable to increase the efficiency of your fleet. Some potential upgrades to consider include specialized side mirrors, brighter headlights, weather-resistant tires, and stronger engines. Over time, these features can make your trucks last longer, help them handle additional hauls, and increase your radius for business as a result. You can also upgrade more than just your trucks. In fact, frequent advancements in business managing software make it easier to organize shipments, accept new orders, and monitor the progress of deliveries from your smartphone. Be sure to remember, though, that while useful, some upgrades can also be very expensive. Only invest in them if your company budget allows for it.
Train and Retrain Employees
A successful trucking company also takes the time to train their employees to ensure they understand the process. This is especially the case for those working out of the office, such as the drivers and shipping loaders. Having an efficient and direct training process from the start minimizes the likelihood of employee confusion and helps each step of a haul progress smoothly. During these training procedures, it’s crucial that you cover topics such as basic semi-truck knowledge, signs a truck needs repairs, proper shipping protocol, and workplace safety regulations. Because industry standards are always changing, retraining is also important to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
Hire the Right People
Your drivers will rarely be in the office where you can keep an eye on them. You want to ensure that the individuals you hire are trustworthy enough for the job. Any late deliveries or damaged goods will cost you your revenue as well as jeopardize your relationship with the client. Therefore, the workers you bring on should be punctual, with solid driving skills. In addition, you want to make sure that your drivers are professional and will treat the client with respect upon delivering the cargo. After all, they represent your company, and the way they behave will reflect on you and your business. When hiring, make sure you also go through the proper channels. Background checks are a must for this industry, and a clean driving record is required to prove they can be trusted to drive your expensive semi-trucks.
For your trucking company to be a resounding success, you need to have semi-trucks that you can rely on—even in the most hazardous conditions. That’s why at Unitruck, it’s important to us that we supply you with the top-quality replacement parts to get your vehicles road-ready. From Kenworth headlights and mirrors to Freightliner M2 aftermarket parts, we go out of our way to ensure our stock is diverse enough to fulfill your needs. With this equipment in your arsenal, not only will your trucks make deliveries, they’ll be able to do so more safely.