Just like any business, carriers always have their eye on higher profits. But with so many conflicting priorities, it’s difficult to know which areas will have the greatest impact on your bottom line. To help you improve fleet management and boost your revenue, we’ve put together a few expert tips on the topic. Read on for three pointers to help you control costs and run a more profitable fleet business.
1. Set Smart Goals
On the quest for greater profitability, it’s easy for fleets to lose sight of who they are. Before you go chasing more green, take a step back and ask yourself: What kind of fleet are you? What kind of fleet do you want to be? To answer these questions, look at your rate per mile or velocity.
Some fleets are heavy velocity fleets that try to run as many miles as they can, whereas others may only haul higher-priced freight. Where do you fall within this spectrum? Are you trying to drive up velocity, or are you more focused on achieving a greater rate per mile? What’s your number-one goal?
Running 5,000 miles per truck might be great for one fleet. However, if the rate per mile is only $2, that may not be ideal for another carrier. There are many ways to measure success, and comparing yourself to other fleets isn’t the most strategic approach. Determine what kind of fleet you want to be, set smart goals, and then focus on the areas that matter most.
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2. Boost Efficiency & Control Costs
Running a safe, profitable transportation business isn’t easy. Fleet owners and operators have a lot to think about, including costs.
One way to boost profitability and control costs is to look closer at your utilization numbers. Is your fleet effectively utilizing the 11-hour drive time or 14-hour work clock consistently? Rather than just focusing on the miles you ran, look at what percentage of your HOS clock you’re utilizing week to week.
Is there too much or too little time between loads? Are drivers rushing to their next destination or sitting idle for extended periods? Seeing the bigger picture can help you:
1. Tighten up your overall fleet management.
2. Move up or push back appointments as needed.
3. Prevent your drivers from being rushed or delayed.
Finally, fleets must ensure that every driver is working as efficiently as they can. Transflo can help your drivers save time, navigate routes with ease, bypass weigh stations, and more easily fuel and weigh their trucks. If your drivers save five minutes every time they pick up the Transflo Mobile+ truck driver app, that quickly adds up to a whole lot of extra money in their pockets and yours.
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3. Focus on Preventative Fleet Maintenance
Fleet maintenance is a major expense, and keeping a lid on this cost is one easy way to boost your overall fleet profitability.
Fleets often service their trucks based on a time-bound window—every 30,000 miles, for example—but this maintenance model doesn’t consider the lifespan of each individual part. What if you replace your battery bank every 100,000 miles on your trucks but some of those batteries are still working? Or your batteries could be failing every 80,000 miles, and you may be replacing them too late. If you know what the issue is, it’s easier and more cost-effective to fix it.
Data-driven preventative maintenance extends beyond battery life alone. For example, your telematics solution could notify you that you’re experiencing an issue with a $500 component in one of your trucks. If you replace that part right away, you can keep your truck moving and avoid damaging any other parts. By contrast, if you wait to service that truck at the next maintenance window, you could risk blowing a $50,000 engine. Gone are the days of waiting for a breakdown to replace parts and switching out good parts too soon. With the right software for fleet management, you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with. To help you predict when maintenance is needed, Transflo integrates with OEMs. If there’s an issue with one of your parts, you will receive an alert directly through your OEM or through the Transflo portal—so you can address the issue before it becomes a costly disruption.
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The Final Word
Driving greater fleet profitability doesn’t have to be complicated. To control costs and run a more profitable fleet, set smart goals, tighten up utilization, adopt the right technology, and focus on preventative maintenance. For more expert tips on maximizing fleet profits, request the Carrier’s Complete Guide to Fleet Profitability below.
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