When you manage your own trucking company, you’re expected to handle all hauls with complete efficiency; and that’s on top of taking care of a long list of other crucial responsibilities necessary for your company’s survival. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, owners/operators have had their hands full as many companies rely on them to fulfill orders and accomplish essential hauls. But even as the workload increases, everything must continue to run smoothly. Experienced truckers know that requires superior management skills.
In this article, we’ll go over the top five responsibilities an owner/operator must handle on a day-to-day basis and how to manage them properly.
A recent survey found 78% of clients have canceled business transactions due to poor customer service quality; no clients equals no revenue. When managing your own trucking company, it’s essential to prioritize your clients in order to develop and maintain consistent, positive relationships. Once you arrange and schedule your hauls, you should communicate the details with clients and keep them in the know in the event of any changes. This demonstrates excellent communication skills and work ethic—two things absolutely necessary in order to create a steady workflow and a stable, profitable company.
Nearly 1 in 15 people work in what is considered one of the nation’s unhealthiest industries: the trucking industry. In 2019, a study from Business Insider found 7 out of 10 truck drivers were categorized as obese and about 17% were considered morbidly obese. When you’re sick and not on the road, your company loses revenue and crucial business opportunities. Try incorporating these lifestyle changes to combat any health problems and keep on trucking:
- When you’re done for the day, take some time to exercise.
- Develop and maintain a healthy sleep schedule.
- Cook our pickup healthy meals for yourself; skip the drive-thru.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Give up smoking for good.
On average, the trucking industry rakes in $255.5 billion in revenue each year—but everything comes at a cost, and running your carrier authority is no exception. As a manager, it’s your job to track and manage your company’s expenses using organized and detailed records. In doing so, your company will have a greater chance of surviving, as you’ll be able to track whether your company is gaining or losing money. If you find you’re entering a potential deficit, you need to readjust how you operate and fund the major expenses (e.g. fuel, food/drink, insurance, and rigs) by developing a budget. Of course, there will be unforeseen expenses, so plan ahead by creating an emergency fund. Over time, you’ll learn how much you spend per month and how to lower costs and operate more efficiently.
It’s crucial to properly manage fuel usage and its expense. On average, truck drivers will log between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per week and more than 100,000 miles per year; this translates to around 53.9 billion gallons of fuel annually. Pair those numbers with the fluctuating diesel prices, and you’ve got a serious expense on your hands. However, there are ways to manage your fuel usage and minimize the cost, such as monitoring your rig’s tire pressure, minimizing idling, moderating your braking, and managing cruise RPM. Not sure if these things are helping you reduce fuel consumption? Try tracking your fleet’s fuel expenses before and after applying these changes, and see how much you save.
When you own and manage a trucking company, you are responsible for calculating and paying your taxes correctly each quarter, plus filing several tax forms and schedules, such as W-9, 11099-NEC, and Form 1040. If your taxes are not tracked or paid correctly, your business could be in jeopardy. To avoid any missteps, keep a profit and loss statement each quarter, set aside 25 to 30% of your weekly net income, and pay your quarterly taxes on time to avoid penalty charges.
Ready to start your career as an American truck driver? Want to learn more about what it takes to succeed as an owner/operator? Check out our latest post, 5 Things Owner/Operators Should Do to Achieve Success.