Trending Topics About Trucking Services

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Do you plan on venturing into the trucking service industry? Stories about self-employed, financially free truck owner-operators who successfully replaced their nine-to-five jobs seem inspirational, but the process isn’t as easy as beginners might think.

As with any venture, intense research and proper education play key roles in the success of one’s trucking career. Haphazardly starting your own trucking service business won’t yield favorable results. In worse cases, you could end up losing your initial overhead investment.

If you’re ready to get started, keep reading. We’ve listed trendy, relevant topics regarding the trucking service industry every aspiring trucker and operator should know:

1. The COVID-19 Pandemic’s and the Trucking Industry

The recent COVID-19 pandemic forced multiple small and large trucking companies to stop operations, leaving thousands of truckers unemployed. Some common challenges and issues truckers faced include:

  • New Safety Protocols: Operators cannot forgo enforcing safety protocols. Not only are these legally mandated, but ignoring safety guidelines will put their employees at risk of contracting the deadly COVID-19 virus.
  • Strict Road Restrictions: Truckers had to delay state-to-state hauling trips to comply with the tight travel restrictions and road bans.
  • Decreased Movement of Goods: With the COVID-19 pandemic shut down nearly 100,000 brick-and-mortar establishments, which ultimately led to a decrease in demand for delivery and logistics.

2. eCommerce Orders and Demand for Trucking Services

The need for trucking and logistics solutions among physical establishments has decreased significantly over the past year. Fortunately, experts believe that the trucking service industry still has a chance of turning things around thanks to the boom of eCommerce shops. In fact, the eCommerce market value peaked at $4.28 trillion in 2020.

For truckers to capitalize on this market boom, we strongly advise shifting to eCommerce parcel pickup and delivery services. This tip especially applies to those who solely cater to brick-and-mortar shops.

3. Integration of Technology into Daily Operations

Trucking businesses have access to advanced technological resources that can help streamline daily operations. Some of the most popular solutions include:

  • GPS Chips: GPS chips can greatly benefit fleet operators who manage dozens of tractor-trailers day in and day out.
  • SCMS Programs: Supply chain management software (SCMS) programs offer all-in-one business solutions to minimize the need for truckers to communicate with their product suppliers.
  • IoT Network of Devices: Install Internet of Things (IoT) network devices onto your vehicles to automate daily checkups and maintenance. Most systems detect the basics, such as tire pressure, wheel alignment, and load stability, among others.

4. Women in the Trucking Industry

Despite society’s progress in taking down gender roles and stereotypes, many still have the preconceived notion that women don’t belong in the trucking industry. After all, mainstream media portrays truckers as big, burly, macho men.

Yes, the trucking service job market has primarily consisted of males for the past decade. However, recent developments have made it possible for various trucking companies to diversify their qualifications and open job opportunities to women. Statistics even show that 6.6% of all truck drivers in the country today are women.

There are multiple reasons why women are taking a more active role in the trucking industry, such as:

  • High Unemployment Rates: Limiting job opportunities to male and female applicants because of outdated gender stereotypes will only increase unemployment rates.
  • Lack of Truck Drivers: The American Trucking Associations (ATA) state that the trucking industry lacks around 60,000 truckers.
  • Equal Pay: Surprisingly, the male-dominated truck industry has a progressive stance on the gender pay gap issue. Reports indicate that female and male truckers have the same pay rate.

5. Average Earnings of Trucking Service Providers

Is it really possible to make six digits annually by providing trucking services? Yes! Statistics show that an individual truck owner-operator makes a median salary of around $190,000 per year.

If you want to boost your earnings, find a way to take on more hauling jobs daily. Some strategies to do so include:

Hiring Employees

Business expansion comes with an increase and roles and responsibilities, which means owner-operators might have trouble juggling their daily tasks. To resolve this issue, start delegating tasks. Look for people who can oversee your fleet, perform standard truck maintenance, and manage your drivers.

Investing in More Trucks

A single owner-operator can only take on so much work. Consider investing in more tractor-trailers and hiring multiple drivers if you want more hauling and delivery orders.

Automating Basic Operations

Explore software and hardware programs. Automating daily operations is the key to streamlining and simplifying business operations.

Aggressive Marketing

You need to start marketing your services more aggressively if you want to gain more clients. Create a solid online presence, establish yourself as a reputable thought leader in the truck service industry, reach out to qualified prospects, and strive to increase brand awareness.

6. Gas Prices and Tractor-Trailer Fuel Consumption

Fuel efficiency can lead to significantly larger profits, especially for those with multiple units going on long-distance hauling trips daily. If you don’t record your daily gas consumption, change your system because you might be losing money.

Statistics show that the average tractor-trailer has a median fuel consumption of six miles per gallon. Truckers and operators can get more miles and improve efficiency by:

  • Planning Trips: Start planning your trips ahead of time. If possible, avoid routes with unfinished roads, steep uphill paths, and heavy traffic.
  • Balancing Cargo Load: Truckers tend to go above the maximum payload to haul more goods per trip. This practice may do more harm than good. Apart from the possible long-term damages to your truck, overloading forces the engine to consume significantly more gas.
  • Utilizing Loyalty Points: Ask your go-to gas station if they have a loyalty program. Some gas stations offer points and rebates, which you can use to purchase gas. For truckers who need to load up daily, these could add to quite a lot.
  • Researching Gas Station Prices: Do intense research to identify which gas stations have the best fuel prices.

7. Truck Insurance Coverage

Commercial truck insurance policies have varying coverages. There are no one-size-fits-all plans, so it’s best to customize your policy based on your business’s specific needs and demands. Standard insurance coverages include:

  • Medical fees
  • Motor-truck cargo
  • Non-trucking liability
  • Physical damage
  • Primary liability
  • Trailer interchange
  • Truckers general liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorists
  • Medical fees
  • Motor-truck cargo
  • Non-trucking liability
  • Physical damage
  • Primary liability
  • Trailer interchange
  • Truckers general liability
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorists

8. Securing Safe Parking for Tractor-Trailers

Almost every trucker faces some form of tractor-trailer parking shortage. Statistics show that nearly 75% of truck drivers in America have trouble securing a safe, sustainable, long-term parking spot. The problem worsens for those who own large fleets.

Contrary to popular belief, there are enough parking spaces in the country for millions of more tractor-trailers. Aspiring truckers should not worry about running out of land. Some reasons why finding a good place to park your fleet remains a challenge include the following:

Ill-Equipped Parking Spaces

The country has an abundance of parking spaces, but most do not have the structural integrity or capacity to hold multiple tractor-trailers. Plus, some of these spaces have poorly built roads. Driving your truck over unfinished asphalt may lead to severe long-term damages to your tires, wheel alignment, and under chassis.

Inaccessible Roads

Tractor-trailers have restricted road access. Many local laws and legislation prohibit large trucks from taking specific routes, limiting the areas they can go to freely. Plus, the large frame and cargo of a tractor-trailer make it challenging to maneuver on tight roads.

Lack of Safety

Truckers face a plethora of risks, from road accidents to cargo theft. These issues and complications prevent them from driving into seemingly risky, unpopulated areas with high crime rates.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to protect your truck driver, truck, and cargo during hauling trips and deliveries.

First, get truck insurance. Make sure your policy provides coverage for the specific risks your business faces. Second, train your truckers on road safety. Give your truckers a briefing on what they can do to minimize the risk of accidents and theft. Third, invest in CCTV cameras. Set these cameras all around your parking compound for 24/7 monitoring.

9. Tractor-Trailers Do Not Cause Traffic

Too many motorists blame traffic on trailer trucks. Every day, multiple fleets of trucks go to the same warehouses, take the same routes, make the same deliveries, and even come from the same company. As a result, tractor-trailers end up clogging certain roads.

However, they are not the leading cause of road congestion. Tractor-trailers only make up about 4% of the total traffic in the country. Plus, private vehicles can take the alternative routes tractor-trailers have restricted access to if they want to avoid driving alongside large fleets of trucks.

These are just some of the most crucial topics about trucking services. Overall, aspiring truckers and operators should stay up-to-date on the latest trends, news, and developments in the industry. Diligent research will give you an edge over competitors.

Also, make sure you have the patience and tenacity to spend long hours every day running your new business. Yes, it’s possible to make six figures providing trucking services. However, aspiring truckers, fleet owners, and owner-operators will only achieve the same success if they put in the necessary work.

Do you feel that the trucking community should watch out for these upcoming trends in the trucking service industry? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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