If you own or manage a transport company, even a tiny one, you already know about the many challenges of staying profitable from year to year. Anyone in a supervisory position in the transportation industry must make critical decisions every day. A few of the most common ones include choosing the right fleet management solution, screening new drivers, purchasing or leasing vehicles, which geographic regions to cover, and more. No two companies are identical, but there are several common hurdles owners and managers face in the course of a typical year. Here are details about the most frequent challenges they face and the decisions they must make.
Running a fleet is a complex job. It entails hundreds of small details, including the overarching need to monitor safety 24/7. It’s common knowledge that dash cams are an effective safety measure for fleets of all sizes and types. Fortunately, supervisors can get a head start by reviewing a fleet safety guide. It contains pertinent facts about how to construct a full-scale safety plan based on video connections between drivers and the home base. Complete safety programs like these are a cost-effective way to minimize accidents and false claims. Additionally, owners decide on a particular fleet management system based on value and many other factors.
Companies use thorough driver screening techniques to weed out candidates who have prior motor vehicle offenses, drug or alcohol problems, violent tendencies, and poor health. Making decisions about whom to hire is one of the most sensitive tasks for any hiring manager. Excellent operators are the foundation of a profitable transport company, which is why owners spend so much time and expend great effort to find people who are a perfect match for the job.
Deciding to lease or buy the vehicles used in a fleet is not a simple matter of price. In addition to long-term value, depreciation, reliability, safety features, driver comfort, and dozens of other factors, companies choose the makes, models, and sizes of their truck fleets carefully. One of the secrets large firms use is to work with a reputable dealer, preferably one who has extensive experience dealing with members of the transport industry. You want your drivers to safely drive commercial trucks or vehicles but that starts with the right purchasing model on your end.
One of the first decisions a fleet company’s owner makes is to choose the kind of cargo the firm’s trucks will carry. Some specialize in agricultural commodities, machinery, passenger vehicles, and other niches. Another approach is to accept virtually any category of cargo.
Deciding upon the size of your company’s territory can be one of the most critical of all early choices for a new transport business. In a way, the area you decide to service determines the number of potential customers you’ll have, how your advertising campaigns will be structured, the maximum profit during startup, and much more. It’s best to do enough research to determine a minimum and maximum geographic range and then use an average of those numbers during the first few months of operations. Eventually, managers who employ the averaging technique find their way and discover an appropriate territory size and stick with it for a few years. If all goes well and the company grows, consider adjusting your geographic coverage little by little.