diesel tank on a truck

Lowering Fuel Expenses For Your Trucking Business

In order for your trucking business to succeed, your profits must exceed your expenses. As trucking company owners, you may have observed that fuel expenses are volatile. It is a goal of every trucking company to control or lower their fuel expenses. But how does one do it? What can you do to help lower the fuel expenses and therefore improve your trucking business?

There are many factors that could affect your fuel expenses. In order to help lower it down, let us break down the factors into various categories then look at what can be done to lower the expenses. 

Driving Behavior

One of the most influential factors when it comes to fuel consumption and expenses is driver behavior. One way to help lessen the expenses on fuel is to reduce idle time and top-end speed. 

Drivers could be more inspired to do this if you give them incentives or rewards for best practices. Sometimes, you also need to educate the drivers by providing training or seminars. In that way, it would be easier for them to figure out what to do. 

All About The Equipment

Did you know that the fuel expenses are also affected by the equipment and equipment parts that you use? One of the things that could help your trucks efficiently is to use low viscosity engine oils. This will help reduce the internal drag so your engine won’t be using that much fuel too.

Equipment maintenance is also a key to keeping your fuel expenses low. Well-maintained trucks are more efficient and that means that less fuel will be wasted. 

You should also take a look at the trailing equipment. Lift axles installed on trailers help lessen rolling resistance. Additionally, there is also aerodynamic equipment that could be added like side skirts, trailer wigs, wheel covers, and gap reducers. 

There are also some trucks that are more efficient in fuel consumption than others. These ones should be chosen because they could help you save on costs in the long run. There are also some parts that could be replaced to make the trucks more efficient like alternators

Fuel Purchasing

Another way to lessen expenses in fuel is to buy fuel wholesale. You can also negotiate discounts or find buying programs that will help you save on fuel purchases. Just make sure that even the fuel is still of high quality even if you are buying it at a discount price.

Company’s Culture

In order to save on fuel, you need all employees to be on board with this goal. To succeed, it would be best to educate the drivers as well as non-drivers about fuel economy and its importance to sustaining your business.

Although you could educate and instruct employees about fuel efficiency, there is no guarantee that they would do it. You can improve the chances of your employees helping you save on fuel costs by giving them incentives. 

Measure And Improve

You need to know how to measure your progress. Being able to accurately measure it is key to making sure that your efforts are all worth it. In order to correctly measure, you may use key performance indicators. These will measure and compare fuel economy and fuel expense. 

Today, the electric systems that are fitted in the trucks can readily give us actual readings and data about the gas mileage. However, improvement in gas mileage shouldn’t be the only focus. 

There are some practices that could save on fuel mileage but could also increase the cost of maintenance and repairs. An example is attaching aero bumpers. These will help direct the air up and avoid swirling underneath. However, due to the very low position, they are also prone to damage. That could cost more in the repairs or replacements. To really be successful in lowering the expenses in fuel, you shouldn’t also be spending more on other areas.  

Red diesel truck moving by a road with some freight

Why Are Diesel Trucks So Awesome?

Is your car powered by diesel? Do you have trucks that run on diesel instead of gasoline? Diesel trucks are great as an all-around vehicle for hauling heavy loads. We simply love diesel trucks. They are awesome! But what exactly makes diesel trucks so awesome? Let’s discuss each one of them below.

Efficient

Compared to engines that are powered by gasoline, diesel engines are far more efficient. They are twice as efficient as gasoline-powered vehicles. That’s why most trucks are powered by diesel. They are more cost-effective, especially when used by transport, logistics, or hauling businesses.

Clean Diesel

Due to the more stringent standards when it comes to protecting the environment, diesel today is much cleaner than they were back then. Various versions of clean diesel are available. They already have very low sulfur so they burn cleaner. 

Additionally, biodiesel is also available. The great thing about diesel engines is that they require minimal modification to use biodiesel. Most of them can readily run on high-quality biodiesel blends. 

Great At High Altitudes

Do you live or service places with higher altitudes? Diesel engines work well in those areas too. Gasoline-powered engines usually need a specific ratio of air and fuel to run properly. 

However, in higher altitudes, there are fewer air molecules per cubic foot. That is what you call thinner air.  In such scenarios, the car compensates by lessening fuel to keep the ratio. This can decrease the performance of vehicles with gasoline engines.

As for trucks with diesel engines, the turbochargers provide more air in the combustion chambers. That makes the diesel trucks perform better especially when it comes to higher altitudes.

Less Flammable

As compared to gasoline, diesel is safer to store and handle. Diesel is a more stable liquid than gasoline even in outdoor temperatures. Gasoline is more likely to have vapors that are flammable. That’s why it would ignite much faster even before the fire reaches the liquid portion of the gasoline.

No Spark Plugs Needed

Spark plugs are only used by gasoline-powered engines. The spark plug ignites the mixture of gasoline and air, which the piston compresses. 

On the other hand, diesel engines don’t require a spark plug. Heat, which is already present in the internal combustion chamber is what starts the reaction. 

Great For Moderate Speeds

You don’t really need your trucks running too fast. In fact, it would be better and safer for them to run at moderate speeds. Most trucks run at moderate speeds so that they can be better controlled. 

For peak power, most recommend keeping the engine at 2000 rpm. Moderate speeds are perfect for huge trucks. That’s why diesel engines are also a great match with them.

preventive maintenance for trucks

Preventive Maintenance For Trucking Businesses

Whether you are starting small with your trucking business or opening a big one, preventive maintenance programs should be on the top of your to-do list. You can market all you want, give discounts and promos to gain loads of clients but you also have to make sure that your trucks can handle the load. 

Did you purchase brand new trucks for your business? Or did you get used ones to save some cash on the start-up expenses? Either way, all those trucks need a preventive maintenance program to keep them in their best shape for longer.

Additionally, it’s a requirement that you check, repair and maintain your vehicles plus the equipment used. Make sure that the maintenance procedures get done and documented properly so you won’t get in trouble and your trucks will last. We’ll tell you how to get that done below.

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is something that isn’t only applicable to trucks for trucking businesses. It is also needed by most of the machines to make sure that they are functioning at their peak performance. That helps maintain safety, quality and efficiency of the machines.

Preventive maintenance doesn’t always mean doing complicated procedures. Most preventive maintenance procedures are simple and small. Examples of those include cleaning, checking of fluid levels, oiling and simple inspections done by the naked eye. Additionally, it may also involve replacing parts that are prone to wear and tear due to use. Such parts would include air filter, tires, brake linings, and others.

The main purpose of having a preventive maintenance program is to help save on cost in the long run. When parts are properly cared for, they are less likely to get damaged. Apart from that, replacing parts that tend to wear down before they are completely worn down prevents serious issues that are likely to be more costly. Additionally, this also helps keep the safety of the truck driver plus all others who are near the truck. 

Steps To Creating A Preventive Maintenance Program

It may seem that creating a preventive maintenance program is costly and complicated to implement. It could, by getting organized and following these steps, can help you make it simpler and easier to do. 

Step 1: Make An Inventory Of Your Fleet

The very first thing you need to do is to note each of the vehicles that you have in your fleet. Even if the trucks are the same models, they may still require different maintenance procedures. That’s because they may be used differently. The roads they travel and the conditions they go through may not be identical. 

The maintenance program for each of the trucks will depend on a variety of factors including the miles they covered, the fuel systems they use, the weather conditions they go through and the type of truck they are. It can seem complicated at first but having a list will make things a whole lot simpler. 

Plus, you also need to have proper and accurate maintenance records for each of the vehicles. The records are required to be kept for at least a year as long as the vehicle is still in use. If the vehicle is decommissioned, you still need to keep the records for at least 6 months. 

Step 2: Schedule The Maintenance Of Each Vehicle

Use your least to help you plan when each vehicle should be due for maintenance procedures. As we’ve mentioned, the maintenance procedure will depend on various factors. That is also true for the schedule of the maintenance procedures. 

You can base the schedule with the vehicle’s engine hours, mileage, and fuel levels. Sometimes, you can also have preventive maintenance ahead of schedule. This could be done when the truck is already near the service station. In that way, you can better use the downtime between the trips and be more productive. 

Step 3: Train Your Drivers

Your drivers should be trained not only to drive well but also to inspect the trucks they drive. They are the first ones to notice whether their trucks aren’t performing well or if it seems that something is wrong with them. 

Train them to do pre-trip inspections. You can even create a checklist for them so they won’t forget any part. Divide the checklist into categories to make it easier for everyone to do the inspection. Inspection should fall on categories such as the brakes, tires, fluids, and electrical.

Step 4: Document And Keep The Record

The checklist you provide for your drivers is a great way to start the documentation process of preventive maintenance. Keep the checklist together with the other records of repairs, replacements and checks done on each vehicle. 

Although paper documentation is an option, digitally saving them on the computer makes the records more organized and less likely to get lost, stolen or damaged. Additionally, digitally saving them on the computer also makes it much easier to search for the records in case you need to. 

truck safety

Defensive Driving For Truck Drivers

Truck drivers have a huge responsibility in their hands. They control big and powerful vehicles to transport goods. They are an important part of the logistic system. With such huge and powerful vehicles, there can also be disastrous consequences when they meet accidents on the road. Truck drivers should be extra careful not only for their own safety but for the safety of other people on the road as well. 

However, even if truck drivers follow the traffic rules, there can be other car owners or pedestrians that aren’t just careful. There are times when truck drivers really aren’t to blame when they get involved in road accidents. One way to help lessen the risk of truck drivers meeting accidents on the road is to practice defensive driving. 

What Is Defensive Driving?

Defensive driving is a way of driving that isn’t only advisable for truck drivers but also for other drivers as well. It is driving while being on high alert and on the lookout for potential hazards or changes in road conditions because truck drivers shouldn’t only be careful when there is a hurricane. With this type of driving, the driver can better make decisions due to the anticipated dangerous situations. With this, truck drivers can lessen the chances of getting involved in accidents.

When truck drivers practice defensive driving, they do not only increase their safety while on the road. They also help lessen potential expenses by fleet managers due to repairs or claim payouts. 

Defensive Driving Strategies

Truck drivers may already be practicing defensive driving without knowing that it is defensive driving. However, to make it more clearer and to give you better ideas on how to do it, here are a few strategies that truck drivers could practice.

Know Your Blind Spots

Even smaller cars have blind spots. With larger vehicles, there is also a blind spot and most of the time, accidents are due to drivers not seeing a car because it is in their blind spot. Knowing the blind spot area should be the first step. Next is to encourage your drivers to look over their shoulder or out the window in case they change lanes. This helps them see what’s in their blind spot. 

Maintain Your Distance

One way to prevent a rear or a forward collision is to keep your distance from the car in front or behind you. It is recommended to have at least a 3- or 4-second distance when you’re traveling at about 40 mph. For every 10mph of additional speed, add another second to your distance from the car in front of you. Also, add more seconds when dangerous conditions are present. These would include strong winds, rain, or icy roads. 

Use Your Signal Lights

Even if you are driving at non-peak hours,make it a habit to use your signal lights. Signal lights will help prevent collision because drivers will know where you are headed. Even if no one sees your signal light when you change lanes, you should still use them.

Maintain Your Cool

Road rage is dangerous and can increase the risk of road accidents. When you meet angry drivers on the road, it is best to keep your cool. Avoid tailgating them and keep your distance or increase your distance so you can better calm yourself. It is best to avoid such instances than regret it later on. 

Avoid Distractions

When driving, your focus should be on driving and on the road. It is best not to eat, smoke, drink, or use your phone while driving. If you are hungry, go to a stop and eat there. Fleet managers should give their truck drivers ample time to travel from one point to another plus additional time for breaks. Even with tandem driving, the drivers still need some time to eat, rest, and stretch. 

trucking IoT

Impact Of IoT On The Trucking Industry

In order to remain competitive in the trucking industry, you should seriously think of using the available technologies for efficiency. Figure out which of your trucks are loaded, how long it takes for them to be loaded and unloaded, exactly where your trucks are, and the most efficient route to take.

These are just some of the aspects you need to know on a daily basis to efficiently run the tracking business. All these things and so much more information can be easily accessible to you through the help of IoT or the Internet of Things. 

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truck driver retirement

Retiring As A Truck Driver

Being a truck driver is a great profession. It’s like I get paid to travel for a living, and there’s alot of follow truckers I meet every day that feel the same way.

While it’s not for everyone, some people even choose to be a truck driver as a second career after retiring from their first careers.

At some point there will come a time when your days as a truck driver are up. While I’ve got a few more years behind the wheel, many long haulers are asking themselves at what age to retire and what do I need to be ready to make the switch.

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diesel fuel

Effect Of Diesel Quality To A Trucking Business

The trucking business is constantly evolving to keep up with the times. However, one of the things that many business owners or fleet manager neglect is the fuel that keeps the trucking business running.

It is rare for people to talk about the diesel fuel they use for their trucks because of the many different aspects involved in the industry. Most of the time, people think that diesel is just diesel.

However, a change of mindset should be made. Diesel isn’t just diesel. There are different considerations that trucking business owners and fleet managers should also take note of. It is time to look closer at the diesel fuel formulation and consider the diesel fuel supplier because these can have a great impact on your trucking business.

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trucking business

Starting Small With Your Trucking Business

Many people aim to be able to build a thriving business for their own. If a trucking business is on your mind, then you should be prepared to take the leap and get into the trucking industry. Starting your own trucking business now is a great idea because the trucking industry is getting better and better. The demand for products and for moving freight is high, even in this digital world.

It’s true that there are other larger trucking companies that have an impressive fleet of trucks in the thousands. However, smaller trucking companies also make up a huge percentage of the trucking industry. Most of these small trucking companies only have a handful of trucks for their service. There is certainly room for more trucking companies such as the one you are going to start.

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gps for trucks

Benefits Of Using GPS Trackers On Trucks

In my 15 years in the business I am continually amazed at the pace in change of the trucking and transport industry.  While some of the change can be attributed to legislation, most

As technology continues to develop, the trucking industry also tries to cope. Today we have several technological tools and equipment that generally improves the trucking industry. One of them is the use of GPS or Global Positioning System.

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