Running a profitable trucking company is possible, but it takes a lot of hard work. In addition to maintaining your vehicle assets and taking care of your employees, you’ve got plenty of logistics to work out for routes, acquiring clients, and streamlining operations. All of these factors come with expenses, and if you’re not careful you’ll overspend.
When you have a multitude of expenses, it’s important to save money so you don’t accidentally overspend when it’s not necessary. Following these tips will help you achieve such.
1. Buy Your Semi-Trucks Used From Canada
Commercial semi-trucks are expensive and will likely be your biggest expense. Although you can buy new trucks, that’s not necessary. You can find plenty of used trucks for sale that are still relatively new and in great shape that will provide long-term value to your company.
You can buy used trucks from plenty of sources, but it makes the most sense to import your trucks from Canada. When you buy used semi-trucks from Canada, you’ll actually save around 30% because the exchange rate is in your favor. And when you use a broker to obtain your semi-trucks, you won’t have to handle any of the technical details.
Even though you’ll save around 30%, you’ll also need to pay around 4.5% of each truck’s purchase price for additional expenses like export fees and drop fees. However, in the end you’ll still get significant savings.
2. Start Using Fuel Cards
If you haven’t started using fuel cards to get diesel fuel, you’re missing out on big savings. Sure, you can go the speed limit, avoid traffic, and use various driving techniques to save on fuel. However, fuel cards will save you the most money.
There are a variety of fuel card programs to explore, and they all come with different fees and benefits, so it’s worth looking into each option. For example, Fleet One Edge Card will save you an average of $0.15 per gallon and provides discounted tires. Additionally, you can save on repairs, hotels, and wireless internet plans.
Another option is the Comdata fuel card, which will give your truck drivers the cash price at all Pilot Flying J locations. You’ll also get a 65% discount on tires, which is significant considering the cost of semi-truck tires.
The monthly fees vary by card, as do the perks and savings, so be sure to research all of your options to determine which fuel card is right for you.
3. Perform Miscellaneous Tasks
There are several miscellaneous tasks that will save you money. For example:
· Have drivers regularly check tire pressure. Tire pressure makes a huge difference in fuel economy. Just losing 10 psi can bring fuel economy down, from 0.5% to 1%.
· Have a 25-inch trailer gap. If your trucks have a 45-inch trailer gap, changing that to 25 inches can increase fuel economy by up to 2%.
· Reduce the weight of your components. Lightweight aluminum and metal alloys weigh less and if you can drop your weight by 10%, you can decrease fuel usage by 5-10%. Whenever possible, get trailers, cabs, brakes, and other components made with lightweight materials.
· Have your drivers use fuel cost apps. Using a fuel cost app to track the price of diesel will help them find the best place to stop to fill up. Two popular apps are Fuelbook and GasBuddy.
· Reinforce driving the speed limit. Encouraging your drivers to go the speed limit and avoid speeding will reduce fuel consumption. For instance, in most states, the highway speed limit tends to be 65 mph, but in some states, like Nevada, it’s 80 mph. In general, semi-trucks use 27% less fuel driving at 65 mph compared to 75 mph. If you’re not placing impossible deadlines on your drivers, they shouldn’t feel the need to speed.
These are just some examples of small ways you can save money. Although each method will save only a small amount of money, your savings will add up quickly over time, especially when you have multiple trucks in your fleet.
Save Money, Keep More Revenue
Are you looking for new ways to save money? Perhaps you’ve been able to save some money, but you’re still looking for more. If so, these tips will help you save money in your commercial trucking business. The more money you save, the more revenue you get to keep.