In this day and age of instant information it is amazing just how many guides there are. You can find one for almost anything. There are guides on dating and relationships, numerous guides for remodeling your house. You can even find guides on how to lose weight, without changing your habits.
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What are some of the problems with these guides? Well, it depends really. Most are well intentioned, but not all are realistic. Everyone knows the best pay to lose weight is through proper diet and exercise. However, not everyone knows the legal and other concerns when starting a do-it-yourself home repair.
The other issue with many of these guides is their overall length. How many times were you just seeking some simple advice? Or perhaps you were just researching for a good starting point? Instead of simple answers, you were stuck reading 39 chapters about the author and what makes them such an expert.
Obviously if you are going to read something, you want it from a knowledgeable source, people familiar with the industry and topic you are researching. With that in mind, I am not going to drag this out into some autobiography. No, instead let’s get to the point.
When you start-up a business the ultimate plan is to be successful. Duh!
Success can be measured in several ways. Having a great reputation is very important. Having a company well organized and able to handle all your clients’ needs, is also a way to measure your success. But, most people measure success in the overall profitability of your organization. Once you learn and manage to cut expenses that kill the profit of your organization, you are on the good path!
Now, I have written about numerous means to save on cost. I have written about ways to improve your operations. But what does all that mean really? What are some of the key factors that make your organization stand out from the competition?
Well here are some ideas that might help you, and your business.
Hauling is a simple term, but has a lot other meanings, even related to this industry. However, the basic concept is the transportation of products, goods, and/or merchandise from one location to another. Typically this is done through a contracted carrier service. Sounds basic enough don’t it?
Well, there is much more to it than just that. Besides the obvious transportation aspect, there are the logistics, warehousing, legal issues and related issues directly associated with getting an item from one location to another. Staffing, regulatory, insurance, and special equipment are among the many other considerations that one must be aware of before ever agreeing to transport anything.
Now that we know what hauling basically means, there are other factors to consider, factors such as you might ask?
Well you must know what you are going to be contracted to haul. You don’t want to show up to a pick up location with the wrong trailer, do you? You would be surprised at all the different classifications for trucks there are. Some are federally mandated while other varies within the industry or even at a company level. I will touch on the more common types.
Now of course there are other trailer types and classifications. But these represent the most of what you’ll see. Other common types include lowboys, Conestoga, car carriers, and livestock trailers to name a few. As you can see there are as many trailers for hauling freight as there are types of freight.
One other key factor is endorsements. Make sure your drivers are actually allowed to haul the freight. For example, just because your driver has a tanker trailer, doesn’t mean he/she is endorsed to transport hazardous liquids.
Most accidents can be avoided just by practicing safe driving habits. Drivers need to watch their speeds, be aware of road conditions, and know weather forecast. But, the most dangerous aspect of the road is the other drivers! No matter how safe your driver is or how great of a driver he/she is, nothing can compensate for other drivers.
When something happens it must be reported right away. Now every truck can be equipped with digital dash cameras, which can record the accidents. Tell your drivers to be honest but to not admit to any action, allow the insurance companies to handle everything.
As long as your drivers are adhering to company safety standards, helping in the overall safety rating by abiding the posted speed limits, and operating in accordance with Department of transportation (DOT) or other appropriate regulations, there is nothing to worry about.
Truck maintenance is essential for any fleet. There must be an active and observed schedule for everything from changing the oil to rotating the tires. Properly maintained vehicles will save your company in the long run.
However, in the event of an issue you have several options. The first is if at all possible have pre-contracted arrangements with nationwide service centers. The cost will be greatly reduced and will include onsite support, when possible. Now, if for some reason that is not possible always use a reputable service center. Get the pricing upfront before authorizing any work to be done.
And remember, just because your truck is down doesn’t mean the customer will understand. Always have a backup plan just in case. Be especially aware of timeframes, and what the cargo actually is. Meaning if the load is time sensitive or if it is frozen foods, whatever the case might be, you need to have another driver and/or trailer on-site as quickly as possible.
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