Challenges are a fact of life. It’s up to you to overcome them or let yourself be held back by them, and it’s no different in the world of trucking companies. In fact, the ability to overcome these challenges is what makes or breaks a business owner. So if you decide to enter the trucking industry, it’s a good idea to start thinking about how you’re going to tackle the following:
- Bad road
There are some really bad roads out there, especially in the US. Truck drivers are forced to deal with them on a daily basis, so finding a truck that is well-equipped and ready to handle them is of crucial importance. Even if a bad road doesn’t foil your plans, it can still slow you down to a significant extent. In the worst case scenario, it could also lead to an accident or at least contribute to it, so you can imagine how stressful these are to deal with.
Trucking company owners have so much stress dealing with them. Since they may incur losses because of it all, it’s completely understandable. The very nature of them can drive you crazy, not to mention the havoc a truck accident can have on the environment, especially if the truck was carrying dangerous liquids or anything flammable.
It’s no secret that trucks are expensive, and if you add the maintenance costs to the equation, the numbers can quickly reach mind-numbing heights. If you thought that adding truck accessories was a financial burden, think again – it’s nothing compared to maintenance costs. For trucking business owners who are just starting out, this is one of the toughest challenges to solve, since maintenance costs are imminent.
Skimping out on them is no good; just think about what would happen if a truck breaks down in the middle of the road. Not only will the driver have a problematic situation on his shoulders, you’re also pretty much guaranteed to not being able to make the delivery in time. Apart from all these expenses, you’re also going to have to shell out the dough to make the often-costly repairs, which is certainly not a pleasant scenario to ever find yourself in.
- Fuel costs
Fuel is expensive and finding reliable fuel companies can prove to be a daunting task. To make it even trickier, fuel costs are far from predictable, and even a small jump in costs could completely mess up your equation. All in all, you simply cannot expect the fuel costs to stay the same as they were during the previous year. Since this is such a pressing matter for so many trucking companies, finding a way to deal with it is an essential part of success.
On the bright side, it can definitely be solved. One way to do it is with the help of fuel cards – these were designed to help the trucking business owners decrease the company’s costs, so don’t forget to use them when making arrangements with the fuel companies.
- Reliable business partners
Finding reliable partners is one of the most pressing challenges in this line of business. Those who decide to enter the business are often forced to sign some very specific agreements – unfortunately, these do not seem to be mutually beneficial all the time.
When deciding who to work with and which offers to pass up on, each and every business owner has a unique plan in mind. Some follow a strict procedure, while others trust their gut feeling. But in the end, you’re going to need to place your faith in someone, so a bit of luck is always a factor.
- Progress tracking
As if everything else wasn’t enough, here’s another challenge all aspiring trucking business owners need to deal with at some point – how to keep track of the progress and manage the drivers. If you don’t take care of this, how are you going to know whether your operations were successful or not and determine the reasons for potential delays?
Therefore, finding a solution is mandatory. You need to develop some kind of a system for progress tracking. You could even step it up a notch and reward the drivers who are able to complete specific milestones as efficiently as possible. But no matter what you do, getting a handle on things is an essential thing to have under control.
- Finding the right spare parts
Finding genuine spare parts for the fleet is another pressing challenge for the trucking business owners. Comparatively speaking, however, it may be one of the easiest ones to solve, since there are so many reliable spare part providers you can choose to work with. In other words, the challenge might simply boil down to you being able to find the right one for your needs.
In some cases, it’s feasible to purchase spare parts online. That way, doing price comparisons and picking the best deal gets significantly easier. You can even compare prices between two different manufacturers. It is often the case that a certain manufacturer produces better specific parts (like tires to name one example), so furthering your knowledge of the market will surely help you snatch a better deal.
- Driver professionalism
You’d be surprised to know that driver professionalism is quite a widespread problem in the trucking industry. There may be plenty of drivers to pick from, but when it comes to professionalism and good work ethics, they are few and far between.
Why is this a problem? For starters, the less experienced ones may not even know the Government regulations such as PHMSA. Some of them may not have even been taking the truck driving lessons, which means that they’re unfamiliar with the local rules.
Still, you should not let that discourage you from hiring younger drivers. As luck would have it, they are often ready and motivated to learn from the senior crew, and later on, pass on the knowledge to the next generation of drivers.
These 7 challenges are quite tricky to overcome, but if you want to enter the trucking industry, developing some kind of plan on how you’re going to solve them is essential to your success. But with enough motivation and perseverance, there is no reason not to remain optimistic.