Protecting your trucks and trailers is probably one of the biggest priorities to someone with a trucking business, and it should be. Considering all of the money, time, and energy you have invested in getting your company off the ground, this is absolutely not surprising. What is surprising, however, is that many trucking business owners do not use GPS tracking systems on their trucks or, almost worse, do not maintain the equipment tracking devices that they have implemented. Both of these can lead to problems that can be avoided.
GPS is a wonderful tool that is used by most people in our society today. Whether it is to get directions to a new location or just to see exactly where they are, people have almost come to depend on GPS. While it is a wonderful tool for those situations, if you are a trucking business owner, GPS tracking equipment is almost a necessity. It can help you track your shipments from the moment the truck leaves your warehouse until it arrives at its location, giving you the confidence that things were delivered on time. What may be the most useful purpose of GPS to a trucking company, however, is the fact that you can track your equipment should it happen to be stolen or go missing.
A Great Tool
Installing a GPS tracking system in all of your equipment is truly the best way to make sure that nothing ever goes missing. More accurately, it is the best way to ensure that if something DOES go missing, you will not have a hard time finding it. If you have a GPS tracking system installed in your equipment that goes missing, once you call the authorities to report the loss, you can also lead them straight to the criminals who decided to steal from you.
Things happen all the time and, unfortunately, no business is immune to the possibility that their most expensive equipment will be stolen at some point. When you are running a trucking business or any business, all of your equipment is expensive, so security is absolutely essential. GPS tracking systems can be exactly the solution to these problems. While it may not be able to fight off any thieves, GPS tracking systems can help you recover your loss and make sure that those that committed the crime will be behind bars. You need to protect your investment and GPS is the way to do it.
The quickest way to check on a potential employee’s driving record is the quickest way to do almost anything these days. Open up your laptop, turn it on, pull up your favorite search engine (be it Google, Yahoo, Bing, Safari or what have you)… And look up your state’s DMV records online. There you have it. It may cost a small fee but is well worth the effort… Which by the way is minimal.
But My Employees Don’t Drive For My Company
So you’re thinking that you don’t need to check their driving record why? Listen, you can tell an awful lot about a person by their driving record whether you actually have them driving a company vehicle, running an errand in their own vehicle, or not driving at all as far as work is concerned. Human beings can be thoughtful, sweet, generous, courteous, and some of the most agreeable people on earth… Right up until they get behind the wheel of an automobile. Something happens to the human psyche behind the wheel of a car, truck or other vehicle. We metamorphosis is into some crazy, impatient, rude creature. It happens to the best of us, so don’t bother denying it. Road rage is one of the major causes of stress related anxiety in humans.
So What Will That Driving Record Tell You Exactly As a Potential Employer?
Take a look at the driving record to see what type of individual you’re dealing with. Whereas everyone makes mistakes, more than one DUI on a driving record may point to a potential alcoholic and you don’t need an alcoholic as an employee. Fender bender’s aren’t a big deal, right? Wrong. This could mean that the person is completely and totally oblivious to their surroundings and is possibly even distracted behind the wheel. Someone who can’t concentrate on the task at hand when doing something as hugely responsible as driving isn’t going to be able to concentrate on their work either.
And, what about speeding tickets? Everybody gets speeding tickets right? But, an overabundance of them might lead you to believe that this person has a blatant disregard for laws and rules. If this person cannot be a team player and play by the rules, they are probably not the kind of person you need on your staff. Yes, there is a time for bending the rules but certainly not as a new employee.
If you are a heavy smoker and drive a truck, you likely light up in your truck during pretty much any trip you take, even if it is to the local grocery store. Unfortunately, when you smoke in your vehicle, the leftover smoke continues to soak into anything that is can find its way into. This leaves your truck smelling like an old ashtray and sometimes no matter how much you have your semi cleaned and detailed, you can’t get rid of that smell. Not to mention, when you are smoking in your truck with passengers on board, you are subjecting them to the second hand smoke, that has been proven to be even more harmful than first hand smoke. If you want to keep your truck smelling nice and keep from exposing your passengers to poisonous smoke, switch to an electronic cigarette.
No Reason Not To
Electronic cigarettes are wonderful for plenty of reasons, even if it is just to keep you from smoking a cigarette as you go from one place to another. They are light and easy to carry and use, the nicotine level of the “e-juice” that is vaporized can be adjusted to your tastes, you can use it in a crowd of non-smokers without hearing complaints or exposing them to your habit, and the amount of money you will save on a weekly basis is almost justification enough by itself to switch to an e cigarette. If you still think you have a reason not to switch, you are just making excuses.
Leave Your Truck Smelling Better
For the most part, many of the e-juices are almost scentless. However, depending on your choice of e-juice, you may have a bit of a scent. The scents that you choose to fill your truck with, though, can be much more pleasant. For instance, you can get e-juices in almost any candy or fruit flavor. If that isn’t something you are interested in, there are plenty of other choices out there for you, and you are certain to find one that works.
If you want to make sure your truck doesn’t smell like an ashtray and want to stop exposing your passengers to the poison in cigarettes, an e cigarette is the way to go. This is how we smoke in the future and it is time you got on board and joined the 21st Century.
Businesses come in many shapes and sizes. A sole proprietor, with an individual working for themselves, to a larger corporation, with fancy manager offices, meeting rooms and employee cubicles. Trucking companies also can have small distribution centers, to larger hubs with several managers overseeing the daily operation and flow of the trucks and material. Each individual truck becomes home and office to the trucker, traveling the highways and byways of America. And since, often times the trucks will travel several hundred miles without a stop, it becomes important for the driver to know where everything is located, that might be needed. By the same token, trash and debris collects, resulting in disorganization of the “home-office”.
It doesn’t take a lot for debris to build up and just enough will give enough disorganization, resulting in a lack of effective use of time on the road. Whether you are just organizing or you are wanting to give the inside and out a good scrubbing, a few useful cleaning supplies for home or office will benefit every over the road trucker.
It’s easy when you are busy just to toss things aside, whether it’s trash or some other item, and not give it another thought, until you need it. Then of course, you have trouble finding it. Like any disorganized desktop, with mounds of papers collecting, and drawers that seem to have no real usable organization, the truck for the over the road trucker also needs to have some semblance of utility, other than driving from point A to point B. It is important to establish where you will keep important papers, in the event you need them.
Whether you need to wash the outside of dirt and road grime, or give the interior a good detailing, set aside time for regular cleaning. When setting a cleaning schedule, it has to be performed obviously, during down time from the road. Minor cleanings can happen, when stopping for fuel. Otherwise depending on the driving schedule, a weekly cleaning of the outside and perhaps a monthly detailing of the interior will help to prevent a build up of dirt and grime. If you are not able to do this in house, there are cleaning services that specialize in cleaning semi-trucks. For some companies contracting out the cleaning is a little more cost effective, since you don’t need to invest in a lot of equipment and cleaning supplies.
While new trucks come with a hefty price tag, used trucks can still be a tougher sell. Many people that purchase trucks put them through the rails and, many times, by the time the truck is being turned in to be resold, it will have plenty of miles and lots of wear and tear. If you sell used trucks on your lot, you likely need all the help you can get.
Finding What You Need
Finding the right software to help you move your used truck inventory is going to take you a bit of research. In order to determine exactly what you need, consider what will help you make that sale. For instance, you will want to know the up to the minute value of the truck you are selling, so you will want your software to include this feature. If you are looking at ways to build a reputation as a dealer who cares, try using client relationship management software that can optimize all aspects of your customer support system. If you have a reputation for being an informed sales person who cares about customer support, you are much more likely to sell your inventory.
Think Outside the Box
Just because you are a dealership, it doesn’t mean that you need to limit your options to dealership software. Rather, utilize other software programs that can provide you with demographic information that could help determine where in your area you should advertise more. Perhaps there is an area a little further than your immediate town, that may need trucks for their ranch and they would never know about your dealership, without the right advertising. Look at maps to determine where people may go off road, for example, and advertise in that area.
With the right software, even the worst sales person can move your used truck inventory. All they need to know are the facts and the lowest they can go with their negotiations and the right buyers. If you want your trucks to start selling like four wheel pancakes, now is the time to look at new software.
While truck driving is a very profitable endeavor, owning and operating a successful trucking company comes with quite a few major expenses. From insuring your drivers to buying a fleet of trucks, you can expect to spend at least a million dollars, just to get your company off the ground. Considering the debt that is incurred just at start up, many trucking companies run into trouble within the first year they begin. Minor financial troubles are easy enough to handle without having to shut down your business.
As the bills stack up, it is easy to become overwhelmed. When you panic, however, you make mistakes and this can only make things worse. For instance, some owners even resort to online, high interest lenders and try Go AAGP, for example. Trying to fix debt by creating more is never beneficial. But, a short term quick loan may help keep you afloat, until the hard times take a turn for the better and the business prospers again. Companies fall into debt and dig themselves out all the time. The companies that are able to pull themselves out of the hole are usually the companies whose owners were able to sit down and think things through logically rather than base any hasty decisions on high emotions. Once you have made the decision to make this business work, it is time to make a plan.
Making a Plan
Now that you have calmly gone through your bills and know what you owe to whom, it is time to start fixing the problem. Your plan should be based on how you got into your troubles in the first place, the best way to solve that problem, and the quickest way to fix your problem in the meanwhile. Trucking companies do have an advantage in the marketplace and are highly sought after. Perhaps raising your rates may help tremendously. You may have to resort to letting someone go and possibly even liquidating some inventory, if the issue is an emergency.
You know what it takes to run your business and everyone falls into a financial hole every now and then. If you were determined enough to start a business, you should be even more determined to make sure it survives.
Smoking, like any addiction, is difficult to stop. If it were easy, there would not be all the gimmicks and programs geared toward getting you to quit. There is everything from simply deciding that you will quit cold turkey, to gradually tapering off the number of cigarettes you smoke, to the more drastic “Clockwork Orange” treatment of being strapped to a chair, with your eyes forced open to watch horrific images, while Ludwig Van Beethoven blares all around you. Maybe some treatments might seem like the “Clockwork Orange” treatment to everyone, because they are so drastic and harsh. Point is, if smoking were easy to quit, more people would be successfully quitting.
Methods to Try
Techniques you can try, such as tracking your progress on a calendar, give you a visual reminder of what your progress has been and can be helpful, if you are determined to quit. Tell people you are quitting, don’t keep it a secret. That way when you are around others and have the urge to light up, you always have someone to remind you.
There are all kinds of vitamins and supplements that have also been successfully used, Online Canadian Pharmacy can help. If you decide to quite cold turkey, get rid of everything in your house relating to smoking – cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters, matchbooks with cigarette advertising, smoker’s gum, smoker’s toothpaste, etc.
Keep mint flavored candies on hand and readily available. The mint flavor from peppermint and wintergreen not only helps to freshen the mouth, but will also lessen the taste cravings to have a cigarette.
Methods Not to Try
Switching to low tar and nicotine cigarettes is not a good method of quitting smoking. It’s about the same as if you are trying to go onto a diet and instead of buying regular potato chips, you buy the low calorie chips. The tendency is to eat more of these chips, since they are low calorie and all you end up doing is gaining more weight. The same happens with low tar and nicotine cigarettes. Instead of smoking less, it’s been found people smoke more.
Smokeless tobacco is another bad idea. You are just trading the type of poisons you put into your body. Switching to cigars or pipes tobacco is also not an alternative. These also carry their own inherent drawbacks and risks. Plus YOU’RE STILL SMOKING!
Just remember, whenever you are trying to kick any type of habit, take it one day at a time and find a method that works for you.
Many times, getting a loan is the easiest way to get a trucking business started. Projections indicate that the starting costs for a trucking business could potentially total around $10,000 to $50,000. The potential annual profit, from this type of investment, is somewhere around $50,000. Many times, the necessary costs are closely related to the preparation and planning that goes into setting up the establishment beforehand.
Knowing Where to Start-off in Trucking
Many owner-operators decide to find transportation accounts and subcontract drivers to use their own equipment, to service the accounts. Other owner-operators decide to lease or use their own equipment to service their own accounts or subcontract, for a trucking company. It’s important for aspiring owners to expect this industry to be very competitive and have increasing costs related to fuel, insurance and maintenance. This business also requires long hours, to drive in a decent profit as well.
Getting Ahead with Trucking
It’s important to formulate a sound business plan for owner-operators that are seriously interested, in starting a trucking business. Consulting a lawyer or accountant is a step in the right direction, when first getting started. It’s important for to understand all of the federal and state forms, permits and licenses that are specifically related to the trucking business as well. It’s also important to be aware of the requirements that will be specific to the type of trucking business you are running. It’s also important to be familiar with the specific state departments that deal with trucking and transportation, for the region in which the business operates.
It’s important to conduct the appropriate due diligence and account for all the primary business expenses and business related costs, for developing the business in the initial phase. Many people are never able to start a trucking business, because they aren’t able to come up with the initial start-up costs. Owners need to consider legal, marketing and administrative expenses, when it’s time to calculate the initial costs to start a trucking company. Many trucking enterprises need to get special licensing and insurance for commercial trucking, from the US department of Transportation and other federal departments.
It used to be that there were two kinds of insurance: cheap, crummy insurance or pricey, great insurance. These days as long, as you do your homework and assure yourself that the company is truly reputable and dependable, you no longer have to assume, that just because you’ve received reasonable and affordable auto insurance rates ,that the insurance itself will be less desirable than that pricier insurance policy.
Why Is This?
When insurance companies like Progressive and Geico came out, just as an example, the bigger, more expensive insurance companies had a rude awakening. Again, just as an example, these two insurance companies were concentrating on trying to keep insurance affordable, for not only your average guy on the street, but for professionals such as truckers and other commercial vehicles. Truckers spend a lot of time on the road and are frequently required to drive in less than desirable conditions. All those long hours and those tricky road conditions are bound to lead to even a minor accident, somewhere along the line. If you’re a trucker and you’re looking for affordable insurance, these kinds of quotes are at your fingertips, through the use of your laptop or 1-800 numbers. You can simply dial them up from your smartphone and receive a quote any time. Some of these 1-800 numbers are even available 24/7.
Don’t Be Shy about Asking for Discounts and Deals
Just as with your two personal vehicles, your insurance company may offer you a two-car discount. There are deals to be found, on commercial insurance and insurance for truckers as well. If you’re already locked into an insurance policy, but it’s just about time to make a decision whether to renew or get your insurance somewhere else, don’t wait until the last minute to start shopping around. The sooner you start that little hunting expedition, the more money you are likely to save, because you won’t be forced into a snap decision. Anti-theft devices are a great way to save on insurance costs. Also, some companies are going green and you can realize a significant discount, by removing the paper from your life and dealing with your insurance company strictly through emails. Other companies offer discounts to veterans or families with veterans in them.
And of course, it never hurts to have good credit. Having good credit can save you money, in a lot of places and automobile insurance is no exception. And, in addition to your credit record, your driving record can save you money on automobile insurance as well. This is no mystery, because good drivers should be able to save money on insurance, simply because they are safer drivers. They are less of a risk. So keep those eyes on the road and your driving record clean, if you really want to save money on car insurance, whether you’re trucker or otherwise.
Even though the money can be great, let’s face it: being on the road can be a lonely business. However there are some fun ways to feel like you’re not so far apart from your loved ones, even when you are. One of the best ways to do this is collecting gifts from the towns you visit. To make sure you buy things they’ll like, as well as bring them closer to your experiences on the road, here’s how to shop for local gifts.
A trinket from each town
It can be easy flying through each town thinking only about your mileage and time and not much else. However, if you’ve been feeling guilty about being on the road, or if your loved ones are finally complaining about it, one of the best things you can do is purchase something from every town you visit. Not only will it be good for you to get out and move your legs, it gets your mind thinking creatively, thinking about gifts that represents the city you’re in (and thinking about gifts your loved ones will like). It can be challenging, so be prepared, but it is also fun. And when you’re looking for new products in the gift shops, look for handmade items, anything that represents the region (and wasn’t made in China).
Brings you closer
It should go without saying that collecting trinkets from each visit to a town is a great way to bring yourself closer to those you love. As you collect, make a little note about where you purchased it and what you were thinking when you did. And when you do have the opportunity to come home, show your gifts in chronological order.
There’s always ways to become closer with those you love, even if you’re not in the same state.