How To Maintain A Successful Transportation Business

When you are thinking of starting a trucking business, you might have visions of fleets of vehicles moving your dreams all across the nation and beyond. That could happen when you have the right business plan, and a team of drivers that you can back up every mile of the way.

Starting a successful transportation business just needs planning and the management of compliance. You’ll also need protection from liabilities through commercial fleet insurance and other general commercial insurance protections.

Learn more about what you need to maintain a successful transportation business.

Business Plan

A business plan is an important part of a commercial trucking business, and it will need to be updated as your business changes if you don’t already have one. Regardless of the size of your business, you need to have a plan. That plan must include what kind of vehicles you will lease or own, what the loads of your vehicles will be, where your base of operations is, and who you are hiring to drive.

You will also need a detailed plan that spells out your compliance plan, and your insurance plan. You want to itemize the tariffs that you will be working with, and how your freight brokers and clients will be charged for them.

Permits and Insurance

The permits and registrations that you will need include your standard vehicle registrations and licenses. You need commercial fleet insurance that includes your liability insurance coverage for your fleet in the event that they are in an accident. Your state will have its own requirements specific to your registration and insurance needs.

In every state, you will need a United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number, a Motor Carrier (MC) number, and under federal law, every driver will need a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Other things that you need are an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) sticker for all of your vehicles and an International Registration Plan (IRP).

The costs and the logistics of procuring these compliance initiatives will need to be included in your business plan. Your clients will feel safer when you have these plans and protections in place.

Marketing

A marketing plan is a staple of every business, and you will need one too. You may not be large enough to have your own marketing department, but you still want to have some kind of marketing plan. Set a budget and make a plan for advertising to get new clients.

You will want to include digital marketing in the scope of your marketing plan. Establish and open communication and marketing channels online so that your potential clients can find what they are looking for.

Use multiple channels online and hire SEO experts to ensure that your voice, and your brand, is seen by as many people as possible. Direct mail marketing is also very effective, and when targeting the right companies with logistics needs, could be a successful step for you.

Hire The Best Drivers & Maintain Them

From the client’s perspective, a good trucking company is as good as the driver’s records and professionalism. Establish a protocol for best hiring practices, and maintain them. When you have good drivers, reward them. Give bonuses and gifts to drivers that maintain an accident-free record, or offer a bonus for drivers that stay after a certain number of years.

Little things like remembering birthdays and taking care of employees on the holidays are all things that make employees stay with a company. Have appreciation moments every month and appreciation milestones when you can to celebrate the people that are helping your company thrive.

Your clients will keep coming back to you when your employees make them feel safe.

Safety and Compliance

Safety and compliance issues are separate from ensuring you have commercial fleet insurance and are compliant at the state and federal level. In this case, safety and compliance here refers to workplace safety. You want to build and maintain a reputation for workplace safety, in an industry where accidents cause fatalities more than many other industries.

You need to stay on top of your filings and paperwork and maintain compliance records. Have a protocol for workplace accidents. You also want to have a protocol to prevent driver fatigue and drowsy driving, a problem that kills truckers every year.

Follow the U.S. Department of Transportation guidelines that your drivers must rest one-half hour for every eight hours on the road. They must also not drive more than 11 hours daily or 14 hours total. Drivers can work more than 70 hours a week if the option is available to them, but they must get 34 consecutive hours of rest before they go back on the road for weeks such as this.

Plan Your Trucking Business

Compliance and safety protocols, in addition to commercial fleet insurance, are all steps in the process of a sound business plan for a commercial trucking business. Take the time to get it done right and you will surely have a successful business.

 

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