An OTR Trip Planning Strategy for More Profitable Driving

In the trucking industry, how much money you make is directly tied to how you use your time.

Customers want on-time pick-up and delivery, while the government limits your hours of service and requires ELD tracking to verify compliance.

Clearly, just cranking the engine and stepping on the accelerator isn’t going to cut it. To satisfy customers, regulators and your bottom line, you’ve got to plan ahead.

Let’s take a look at why proactive trip planning is essential for success in the trucking industry, along with a few helpful hints.

Gain a Competitive Edge with Hours of Service Utilization

The federal ELD mandate means drivers must be more careful about meeting hours of service rules.

While the mandate doesn’t actually change HOS limits, it relies on electronic logging devices (ELDs) to verify compliance, instead of paper logs which are subject to forgetting or “fudging” the numbers.

Understanding the FMCSA Safe Haven Law for Truck Drivers

Safety is a top priority for all truck drivers. But those transporting dangerous cargo bear an extra responsibility to protect themselves and everyone else.

Because hazardous materials pose a special set of risks, hazmat drivers must keep the cargo secure at all times while in transit, including when the truck is parked.

Let’s go over some of the dangers associated with hazardous cargo and the federal Safe Haven rules designed for parking hazmat trucks.

Spend Less Time Loading and Unloading Trucks with Power Fleet

As every truck driver is well aware, you’re only making money when your truck is moving.

But many carriers lose precious time and money each year waiting for shippers to load and unload cargo. This has a negative effect, both on the industry and the broader economy.

  • An audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that the trucking industry loses between $1.1 and $1.3 billion each year to loading/unloading delays.
  • For-hire carriers lose anywhere from $250 million to $302 million in annual revenue.
  • Individual drivers lose about 3-3.6% of annual pay, which translates into thousands of dollars less to spend in the consumer economy.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the problems caused by loading delays and how drop-hook opportunities and power fleet trucking could help you spend less time waiting around and more time earning revenue.

Don’t Let the Cost of Diesel Fuel Take a Bite out of Your Trucking Profits

If you’re looking to reduce the cost of doing business in the trucking industry, controlling fuel costs is one of the best ways to get there.

The trucking industry burns through an estimated 38 billion gallons of diesel annually, and fuel can account for as much as 39% of your operating expenses.

From driving safely to taking advantage of savings opportunities, there are many ways to boost efficiency and reduce how much you spend on diesel. It’s good for the economy, the environment and most importantly for you, your bottom line.

How To Get Your Own Trucking Authority & Become An Owner Operator

Semi truck at sunset

If you’ve been working as a company or lease driver for the past few years, you may have decided it’s time to realize your dream of owning your own trucking business as an owner-operator.

There are many steps to check-off your to-do list on the way to making that dream a reality.

One of those steps you’ll be hearing a lot about is something called “getting your authority.” But what does this mean and why is it important?

Tips for Commercial Trucking Liability Insurance for New Drivers

Orange traffic cones

If you are an owner-operator or small carrier, insuring and qualifying new drivers on your trucking liability insurance policy is many times an inhibitor to growth.

The bottom line is that insurance for new drivers is both hard to find and expensive:

  • Hard to find because most policies start with a 2-year experience requirement — and many small carriers struggle to hire replacement and growth drivers with the needed experience.
  • Expensive because those who will write a policy consider new drivers to be a bigger risk. In fact, a policy for new drivers may cost 2-3 times what you’d pay for experienced drivers.

The population of qualified drivers with 2 or more years of experience is overplowed ground — the good ones have found a home while the bad ones bounce from carrier to carrier leaving a wake of cost and frustration.

So how can you tap into the new driver market while maintaining proper commercial truck liability insurance at an affordable rate?

How Can You Manage The Cost Of Semi Truck Insurance?

Open road in the mountains

Proper commercial vehicle insurance is both legally required and essential for managing the risks that come with being an owner operator or small carrier.

But it can also bring a lot of headaches. Ever-rising semi truck insurance costs create barriers to entry for obtaining new authorities and can inhibit the growth of your business.

The fact is, you must present proof of insurance before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will issue your motor carrier, freight forwarder or broker authority.

Failure to maintain proof of insurance can have a number of other negative consequences:

  • State and federal fines
  • Intrusive government inspections
  • Loss of your commercial drivers license
  • Criminal charges in the event of a traffic accident

To help you sort through all of this, let’s take a look at the insurance required to participate in Prime Inc.’s power fleet program, along with some ways to manage your insurance costs.

How Will You Adapt to the New ELD Mandate?

Two men using electronic logs for trucking

Starting on December 18, 2017, trucking companies and their drivers are now required to use electronic logging devices to record hours of service (HOS), in compliance with a new Federal rule. This rule is often referred to as the ELD mandate.

The ELD mandate is intended to improve accuracy in reporting driving time, location and other key metrics.

For carriers and owner operators already using e-logs, compliance will be fairly simple. But for the many carriers who still rely on traditional paper logs, the transition will be more difficult.

Keep reading to learn more about the challenges posed by the ELD mandate and the opportunity to gain a competitive advantage while implementing e-logs in compliance with this new regulation.