Preparing for the Sideswipes to Your Trucking Business

Murray Pratt Blog, Business Insights Leave a Comment

You are rounding the curve and you realize that the two vehicles are too close together – the crosswinds on the highway are causing increased instability of the trucks and the trailer loads. A sideswipe occurs sending one of the vehicles into the ditch. A daunting and scary scenario, and one that is unfortunately a hazard of the job for an industry moving 70% of the nation’s freight using a busy highway system.

Typically, a professional truck driver anticipates these situations taking precautionary measures, seeing the patterns on the highway, knowing when to pass and when not to pass another a large vehicle. Further, he can anticipate those civilian drivers who don’t drive for a living and can make accommodations for that.

So how prepared is your trucking business for a side swipe to your business?

What happens to you if situations arise where you

<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· Find that your biggest customer – representing 80% of your business – has given you notice that they are moving their business to another carrier.
<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· You have a group of drivers that quit to start their own business.
<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· The ICC or DOT shows up to conduct an audit, and you have nothing but a desk full of paper and receipts from expenditures on your vehicles.
<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· Your biggest customer defaults on their payments.
<span “font-family:symbol;mso-fareast-font-family:symbol;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” symbol”=””>· Your key Administrator leaves all stressed out because she just can’t keep up with all the paperwork and complexity of your growing business, and now you have to do all the accounting.

It’s those situations where the ‘urgent’ takes over the ‘important’ in your business.

For a small trucking company, this is the little ‘knaw,’ those words unspoken – even to yourself – that leaves you wondering what you would do if a significant event occurred in the life of your business.

Because of this, it is important to have a foundation – a platform in place from which to respond. Even better, a system that lets you anticipate a side swipe, just like a professional truck driver.

Good trucking software helps you respond better in these situations. While it’s not some silver bullet that can fix all of your issues, it does give you an information system – a database – that can be leveraged in any given situation. Better yet, it gives you the ability to be pro-active.

For instance, in the scenarios above…

Good trucking software can give you the reports so you know exactly how big, how much volume you are driving with one key customer. It can help you determine that you need to go and find some more customers so that no customer represents any more than 25 -30% of your business.

It provides you with a database of carriers, owner- operators and other drivers that you can reach out to you need to find some new or additional resources.

It gives you a repository for recording all the maintenance that you have done on your equipment and alerts you on any lapsed driver certifications, licensing and insurance.

It alerts you to collection issues with particular customers and prevents you from extending further credit or alerts you to make a collection call.

It gives you an application that automates the routine paperwork and administration associated with running a trucking business…….taking aware some of the more stressful activities off of your staff.

Sideswipes will always occur on the road and in the business, and with a solid trucking software application in place that properly maintains your business hygiene you can anticipate and build in the necessary resiliency to keep your business moving forward down the highway…out of the ditch!

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