With everything else that seems so important to be mentioned, I’ve not touched bases with the importance of a equipping in none of my articles so far. So, here I am deducting this article to one of the very few places that you can call home these days- the trucking office. All joking aside, many of us are spending endless hours in trucking office these days, so mind as well make it look like home .Right?
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Lately, with the economy being so bad in our great country and the trucking business facing so many challenges, it’s a fight for survival, one will say. We are constantly looking for a ways to save and reduce the overall costs in the business and find effective ways that will keep us running on the trek.
In the past I have covered many topics hoping to save you money or to give you some tips on everything from truck tires to mirrors, even truck lights and horns…Today I thought I would bring it a bit closer to home, the actual trucking office.
Most people think of starting a trucking business with a dream of what they wish to offer. But the truth is has much more to it than that. Before you can have customers you need a business and before you can have a business you need a trucking office.
So, here are some tips on what a good trucking office should have. No, it might not be possible to have all of these. It is also possible that you’ll add other things. Keep in mind this is just a general guide for what a successful trucking office may need.
Location. Location. Location! I know you have heard that before. But this is very important. Your trucking office should be a location that is not only easy for your customers to find you, but is easy for your drivers to get there.
Of course the cost of rent and space availability are also deciding factors.
When it comes to finding a good location this is actually more important than being central. Sure you will shop around and find some really nice trucking office locations, with plenty of space, but there will be one problem. It isn’t easy to get to the main highway(s).
If your trucks have problems getting in and out that will cause you more hassle than it’s worth.
This goes along with space. Sure you want your trucking office to be nice and comfortable. But what you really need is plenty of parking for the trucks and trailers. Depending on your fleet and the freight your handle, you may need several acres. Van/box trailers, flatbed trailers, reefers, and such take a lot of space, so plan accordingly.
And don’t forget about your employees, visitors and customers, they need to park as well.
So you found a great location, at a good price. It has good access to the main roads and plenty of parking for all who need it. Make sure the physical trucking office space is going to fit your needs and has space for potential growth.
The best option is one with separate offices for the various departments, of course if you can afford one like that right on the beginning.
This is vital for any trucking office. Many of your staff can have shared space. It is very common for offices (and personnel) to perform double duty, especially for smaller or newer business.
But your dispatcher really needs his/her own operations area. Dealing with all that they have to deal with on a daily bases, like freight finder procedures and their implementation in the company for finding a good loads, are not as easy as one will thought.
If possible, separate temperature control because of the additional equipment.
Even in smaller operations the trucking office needs administrative staff. They need an office space away from the drivers and operations. They handle a lot of sales, accounting and employee issues that don’t need to be shared with everyone, especially customers.
They will need cabinets that are lockable, to secure sensitive proprietary information when they are in a hard copy example.
If at all possible, having a reception space separate from all the other activities is best. Not all trucking offices are designed with such a space. It is good to keep visitors, deliveries, potential customers, and even job applicants away the action.
Your receptionist should be well versed on how to handle visitors properly.
If you going to have your reception area separate from the main operations, then you need to have somewhere for them to wait. Every trucking office needs some kind of waiting room or customer lounge. This way they are comfortable as they wait.
Of course you don’t want them too comfortable to wait too long.
Just like you want your customers separate from the rest of the operations; you should do the same with the drivers. Your trucking office is going to have a lot going on from customers, to legal issue matters and the drivers don’t need to be around all of that.
Drivers have a right to know what is going on, they just don’t need to be in the way.
Many medium and larger trucking offices have separate training and/or meeting rooms. These are great for many reasons. The obvious is when you have new truck driver hires or when regulations change and you need to brief your staff. They are also great for pitching to new clients.
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