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Being successful in the trucking industry requires thinking beyond rate-per-mile. There are a number of other factors that come into play when trying to run a profitable operation. Operational costs and missed opportunities can quickly eat into your earning potential if you’re not careful. And, as former truckers, we understand just how high the stakes are when you’re running an independent trucking business.

Keep reading to learn eight ways you can increase your long-term profits by reducing your operating costs and maximizing efficiency.‍

1. Keep your trucks in top condition

Sure, this seems obvious, but keeping your truck or fleet in good working condition is one of the easiest ways to maximize your profits. Regular maintenance and repairs can help ensure that your trucks are running efficiently and don’t cause any unnecessary delays.

Preventative maintenance and routine inspections by drivers can also help to avoid costly repairs down the road. Utilizing an inspection checklist can identify minor problems before they become big ones, keeping your trucks on the road and out of the shop.‍

2. Maximize your insurance coverage

Insurance costs per truck can vary widely, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your needs at the best price. Getting the best coverage doesn’t mean just shopping for the cheapest provider.

Ideally, you need coverage that will protect your assets and cargo, without breaking the bank. Driver behavior also plays a part in the rates you pay. Safe driving, maintaining a clean driving record, and paying premiums on time can all help reduce your insurance premiums.

3. Reduce empty miles

Empty miles are a massive drag on profitability, so it’s essential to find ways to avoid them. Planning your loads carefully to avoid traveling to weak markets will ensure you’re making as much money as possible on every trip. SmartHop can help truckers develop long-term load planning strategies and take the guesswork out of planning. Our technology pinpoints hot markets and routes your trucks in a way that will maximize long-term profitability, rather than focusing only on rate-per-mile.

4. Take advantage of technology

Technology can be a trucker’s best friend when it comes to reducing costs and maximizing profits. There are a number of helpful apps and tools out there that can help you find the best rates, avoid traffic jams, and more. Telematics systems can also help you track your truck’s location, fuel efficiency, and driving behavior, which can help you improve your operations.‍

5. Stay up to date on regulations

Trucking is a highly regulated industry, so it’s important to stay up to date on the latest rules and regulations to avoid hefty fines. Violating any of these rules or regulations can have a significant impact on your business. Taking advantage of tax incentives and other government programs can also help reduce your overall costs.

6. Join a trucking organization

Joining a trucking organization can be a great way to network with other truckers, learn from their experience, and find out all you need to know to make a trucking business profitable. These organizations can also be a great source of information on the latest industry trends.

7. Watch your fuel costs

Fuel is one of the most significant expenses for trucking companies, so it’s important to keep track of your fuel spending and find ways to reduce it. Utilizing fuel card programs, optimized routing technology, and careful trip planning to avoid backtracking are just a few simple ways to optimize fuel costs. SmartFuel, our fuel card program, is accepted at most fuel stations and 45,000 service locations so you can easily refuel while saving per gallon.

8. Plan for the long term

Having a long-term plan is the best strategy if you want to be successful in the trucking industry. This includes setting goals and understanding your operating costs, maintenance costs, and other variable costs. Long-term planning allows you to focus on the core competencies of your business, avoid unnecessary expenses, and make decisions based on what’s best for your wider goals, rather than what’s best in the short term.

We hope these tips are helpful in saving your trucking company both time and money. At SmartHop, we work hard to provide the best solutions that help truckers earn more, stress less, and take control. We know that the best way to succeed in this industry is by planning for the long term and utilizing technology and resources to optimize your business. If you’re looking for ways to increase your profit potential, sign up for a one-week free trial to see if SmartHop is right for you.

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