What comes to mind when you hear about challenges facing the trucking industry? Truth be told, there are plenty of them but let’s discuss the most vital ones here.
For the trucking industry, as for every business regardless of its size and nature, the two most significant challenges remain the same—reducing costs and increasing profits.
Depending on the industry they work in, business owners and managers tackle these challenges differently. However, when it comes to trucking entrepreneurs and fleet managers, it’s a completely different ball game for them.
Ask any trucking entrepreneur or manager about the industry and the answer will undoubtedly be the same - trucking is not for the faint hearted. Only a trucker or fleet manager knows what it takes to manage a trucking business.
It involves looking after operations, managing office staff, drivers, fleet safety, maintenance, compliance, administrative work, not to mention erratic fuel prices, volatile markets, demanding customers, technological disruptions, the list goes on.
This is where technology can come to the rescue. An efficient and smart transportation management software (TMS) can help trucking companies manage all these tasks with ease. TMS has helped countless trucking companies in handling complex fleet operations.
The one-window, Al and cloud-based TMS such as LoadStop provides trucking companies with valuable data to improve and simplify complex trucking operations. It also automates the entire fleet operations, helping fleet managers reduce many manual and administrative tasks and increase fleet efficiency and profitability.
In this blog post, we will discuss the top 4 challenges for the trucking industry.
Top 4 Challenges for Trucking Industry in Fleet Management
Here are some of the most common challenges for the trucking industry that trucking entrepreneurs and fleet managers face while managing fleet operations.
One of the most common challenges for the trucking industry in efficient fleet management is maintaining driver safety. Keeping drivers safe on the road is the utmost responsibility of the fleet managers for effective fleet management.
Reportedly, drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents. Despite truck owners and fleet managers spending millions on the latest technology and providing driver training sessions to help resolve this issue, some things still tend to spiral out of their control.
For example, even when the drivers are not responsible for the accident, the incident will still negatively affect the company.
Because of the accidents, the trucking company can face huge expenses such as property damage, insurance increases, reduced productivity, workers comp claims, and lawsuits.
Once the trucking company can overcome the challenge of driver safety, it can see a lot of improvement in the health of the operation’s bottom line.
Fuel Price Instability
Another major challenge for the trucking industry in fleet management is battling fuel price instability. Every fleet manager dreads the thought of controlling fuel costs. No matter how much they try to avoid it, they know they just can’t. They have to deal with this issue.
Attempting to predict and reduce fuel costs when they rapidly change every other day is a never-ending battle for fleet managers. Under such circumstances where the fuel prices remain highly volatile, how can trucking companies possibly overcome this challenge?
The answer is simple. Trucking companies need to use smart fuel management strategies to manage and monitor vehicle and driver performance.
With the help of effective strategies, fleet managers can keep track of driver performance, idle time, and monitor route planning to help reduce fuel costs.
It is also crucial to provide proper training to the drivers. They should know how to increase fuel efficiency by improving their driving practices. Fleet managers can also provide incentives to them, such as mile-per-gallon challenges.
A threshold limit can also be set so drivers know how much fuel they can consume. At the same time, fleet managers should provide regular feedback to drivers to understand and improve their performance.
Increased Operational Costs
Reducing operational costs is another significant challenge for trucking companies. It becomes rather challenging for fleet managers to develop and implement strategies to reduce operational costs.
Sometimes, it becomes difficult to manage and control unexpected expenses such as fleet maintenance. One of the best ways to handle such costs is providing adequate maintenance to all vehicles so they can be road-ready.
Besides that, fleet managers can also reduce operating expenses with efficient route planning and right- sizing the fleet.
Meeting Compliance Requirements
One of the most crucial challenges for the trucking industry includes meeting compliance requirements. Undoubtedly, meeting compliance requirements for the trucking companies is a complicated task as the truck owners and fleet managers find it extremely difficult to remember every detail of the regulations.
However, the majority of DOT rules and regulations fall under two categories—fleet compliance and driver compliance.
Below, we have presented a simple checklist of the general compliance guidelines that every fleet manager should know.
FMCSA compliance guidelines:
- Keep recent copies of FMCSA rules at all times.
- Track driver HOS using powerful ELD integrations
- Carry out pre-employment process and drug testing of drivers and record the results
- Maintain a record of driver safety history as well as driver qualifications
- Keep a record of accidents that occur on the road
- Ensure that each vehicle displays a DOT inspection number
- Conduct and keep a record of regular vehicle maintenance checks
- Inspect vehicles before and after each road trip and record the results
Besides that, fleet managers need to be prepared for a DOT audit. In most situations, the efficient DOT audit requires information regarding drivers, vehicles, alcohol and drug testing, revenue, and other important information.
Maintaining and keeping accurate and organized records will help fleet managers gain the information and respond to the audit on time.
An Efficient TMS such as LoadStop can help truck owners and fleet managers maintain trucking compliance and avoid unnecessary fines or penalties. With ELD integration, LoadStop can provide accurate, readily available information at any time to the fleet managers.
About the Author: Sara Naveed
Sara Naveed is a creative and digital content writer who uses her creative skills to develop and edit professional web content. Being a writer has always been her dream. She earnestly hopes people appreciate her writing—an asset she deeply covets. Using her 8+ years of working experience, she writes for trucking industry experts who are always looking for better technological solutions to their problems.