Trucking is a cash flow business. It takes money to make money. There are so many expenditures to consider while keeping trucks on the road. There is truck maintenance, fuel costs, and new equipment among others. At CoreFund, we thought it might be nice to provide some money saving tips to help keep your business up and running.
New vs Old
Equipment is the biggest cost for truckers and trucking companies. There are many used trucks available for purchase that are in good condition and at a much lower cost than new trucks. New trucks come with better warranty’s but also at a much higher cost.
The range on commercial trucks is pretty large, and depends on the age, condition, model, and miles on the truck. In general, “almost new” models can run up to $100,000, while a 7-year old truck is often between $40,000 and $60,000. Trucks that are 10-15 years old can often be found in the $35,000 to $45,000 range. Getting a good interest rate is key to keeping your costs down and manageable. A good tactic to consider is to also pay more toward the principal when you can so you can pay it off sooner.
Maintain Your Truck
Regular truck maintenance is a great way to cut cost in the long run and save money. Most truck manufactures recommend a basic service every 15,000 miles. This includes all your preventative maintenance procedures: lube, oil, inspections, etc. This can often be done on your own, cutting additional costs.
More thorough inspections, such as oil and filter, air filter and fuel filter change, along with the standard lube requiring 2-3 hours of work will run around $200, plus any other repairs found. These are usually done every 30,000 miles and typically ensure the truck is DOT legal.
Premium inspections require around 24 hours of work, which can run upwards of $1,000. This is a very in-depth inspection that checks alignment, overhead run on engine and more. These are done about once a year.
Commercial trucks take between 24 and 44 quarts of oil. Shops buy oil in bulk, so having them do an oil change is often times half as much as doing it yourself.
Properly choosing and maintaining tires can significantly affect lower fleet fuel expenses and extend tire life.
- Develop a tire retreading program. Retreading existing radial ply tire casings can add an additional 120,000 miles per retread at about 35 percent of the cost of a new tire.
- Poor alignment wears out tires as much as it cuts fuel efficiency. Check alignment on a regularly scheduled basis.
- Check alignment under these special circumstances: if the truck has been towed; if unusual wear is noticed; and anytime tires are changed.
- Make certain all tires installed are properly balanced. This will help eliminate wear and cab vibrations.
- All tire valve stems should have a seal-type valve cap to protect tires from road dirt entering the stems and starting slow tire leaks.
- Remember both underinflation and overinflation of tires will increase tire wear and reduce fuel efficiency.
- Have drivers carry a pocket air pressure gauge to ensure proper tire inflation when they do their pre-trip inspection.
The way drivers handle their trucks has a major impact on fuel economy. It pays to encourage drivers to adopt the most efficient driving techniques.
- When starting a truck, don’t rev the engine. Let the engine warm up on its own.
- When warming up the engine, take about 10 minutes to reach adequate operating temperature. Warm-ups longer than 10 minutes, except in subzero temperatures, simply waste fuel.
- Run at the most fuel-efficient engine speeds.
- Avoid idling whenever possible. If you leave your truck, shut it off. Just one half hour of excessive idling before or after a 100-mile trip can reduce mpg by about one-third.
- Keep in mind an engine wears out twice as fast idling as under normal operation. One hour of unnecessary idling a day, over the course of a year, adds the equivalent of 26,000 road miles to an engine’s wear.
Well-trained drivers can reduce fuel consumption by applying a number of simple techniques including:
- Driving at the lowest engine speed possible.
- Using cruise control where appropriate.
- Braking and accelerating smoothly and gradually.
- Using progressive shifting techniques (upshift at the lowest rpm possible).
- Block shifting (for example, go from 2nd gear to 5th gear).
- Coasting wherever possible.
- Limiting unnecessary truck idling.
- Starting out in a gear that doesn’t require the use of the throttle when releasing the clutch.
- Limiting unnecessary shifting.
- Limiting the use of cab accessories to reduce parasitic energy losses.
Food can be expensive especially at gas stations and truck stops. It is a good idea to keep a refrigerator in your cab to help keep food costs at a minimum. Not only will this help you keep the cost down but will also allow you to make healthier food choices while on the road. I know that chocolate protein bar looks great for $2.99 but the banana at 10¢ is even better.
These are just some of the ways to help keep you costs down and cash in your business. To learn more about how CoreFund can help your trucking business with cash flow, Sign Up Today! or call l 800-405-5464
CoreFund Capital, LLC is a national provider of both recourse and non-recourse accounts receivable financing. Vertical markets include freight, staffing, manufacturing, apparel, and services sector businesses. CoreFund Capital offers east applications, 95% advances on receivables, free same day funding, Saturday funding’s, no minimum or long term agreements, customer credit checks, free invoice auditing, and extensive trucking finance experience. For more information, please visit www.corefundcapital.com or email email@example.com.