Saving money on a business fleet might seem impossible to many aspiring fleet managers, but there are a few things that you can do to trim down your expenses.
If you are just starting up and have to use some of your own capital, finding ways to effectively cut costs without sacrificing quality or productivity is vital. The following are five ways you can save money when building and managing your trucking fleet.
Delivering cargo to distant locales requires significant investment. It takes a lot of time for your drivers to reach far-away locations, which means paying them, paying for gas, and paying the opportunity costs for the business they could have been conducting closer to home. When you’re first starting out, customers will completely understand if your range is limited. As you get settled and get the logistics worked out, you can start increasing your service area gradually.
Remember to keep your customers in mind when deciding where to expand. If you’re near a large city with a dense customer base, it might make the most sense to deliver further out in that direction instead of an all-around “50 miles from our location” type of border. Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that your customers likely know they are working with a small business and will typically be willing to accommodate your need to grow at your own pace.
Green Your Fleet
Your fleet vehicles can quickly guzzle away your fuel budget if you’re not careful. While you may not be able to replace your 18-wheelers with hybrids anytime soon, there are several ways you can cut your fuel costs, reduce your CO2 emissions, and take back the power at the gas pump:
Those who are just starting off need to carefully monitor the amount of money spent on advertising. Sure, you will probably need to advertise to find your first jobs, but you do not need to do as much to find drivers. Try to use online classifieds instead of paying a newspaper or radio advertisement. You should also do your best to create positive word of mouth among drivers. Encourage drivers to share your business and openings with others to reduce fleet costs as much as possible.
Good as New
You might be tempted to get new trucks for your fleet. Showing clients impressive vehicles might seem like a good idea, but you need to remember how purchasing these vehicles will affect your bottom line. Those just starting off need to consider if the cost of purchasing new trucks is really going to help the business in the long run. Purchasing used trucks from respectable dealers like Arrow Truck Sales and similar businesses not only saves money, but it may open you up to purchasing more trucks than you would have otherwise been able to. In the end, those extra trucks mean more revenue you can use to upgrade your fleet later on.
Those who end up purchasing a few trucks in good condition might want to consider truck-sharing with other small fleets or companions. Renting out your trucks is a good way to supplement your business’ income. You do not have to rent them all out, but it’s a good idea for those looking to monetize their assets. Of course, you will want to write up a truck-sharing contract that you are comfortable with or maybe consider some of the new truck-sharing applications online. To ensure that your trucks are always safe and visible when in use by your truck-sharing partners, consider installing a GPS fleet management system for 24/7 visibility and real-time vehicle tracking.
These are just a few of the things you can do to save money as you start your business fleet. Happy hauling!