Logistics is critical for most companies, but creating a logistics division in-house can be expensive. It demands costly personnel, equipment, and facilities investments. An alternative solution is to contract these services to a third-party logistics provider.
An outsourced logistics company can either be a non-asset-based provider or an asset-based provider. Asset-based providers own the trucks and other transportation equipment to move goods from one location to another. Non-asset-based providers, do not own any transportation assets but instead rely on relationships with carriers to provide these services.
Those areas can be profitable ventures for entrepreneurs with experience in the field. If you are thinking about starting your own fleet business, there are a few things you need to know. Here’s an overview of what it takes to earn a living off trucks.
Purchasing a truck is a significant investment. It’s essential to do your research and buy the correct type of truck for your needs. You will also need to factor in the maintenance cost and any repairs.
When you’re ready to purchase a fleet, there are a few options are available. You can buy new trucks, used trucks, or lease trucks. Purchasing new trucks is the most expensive option but gives you the latest vehicles with the latest features. Used trucks are less costly but may require more maintenance. Leasing trucks is a middle ground between buying and renting.
If you decide to lease trucks, you’ll need to find a reliable leasing company. Make sure to read the fine print and understand the terms of your lease agreement. It will also be necessary to check the conditions of the vehicles you plan to lease to ensure you can provide reliable services to your customers.
Driver Recruitment and Training
Once you have your fleet, you’ll need to find drivers. If you’re not hiring experienced drivers, you’ll need to provide training. The program includes teaching them how to operate the truck, load and unload cargo, and follow traffic laws.
You’ll also need to conduct background checks and drug tests on all potential drivers. You want to ensure your drivers are safe and reliable, making it necessary to create a training program. The strategy will allow you to ensure that every driver you have under your employment fits company standards. In the end, you also have to help truck drivers attain the necessary licenses to qualify them for safe commercial driving.
Licensing and Insurance
You will need several licenses and permits to run a fleet business, including a commercial driver’s license, a DOT number, and a business license. You’ll also need to get insurance for your trucks.
Fleet businesses can get insurance through a variety of providers. Make sure to compare rates and find a policy that fits your needs. You must ensure your trucks for liability, property damage, and cargo.
You’ll also need to have workers’ compensation insurance. It covers injuries or illnesses that occur while employees are working. It is necessary by law in most states.
You may also consider additional coverage options, such as comprehensive and collision insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your trucks caused by events such as theft or vandalism. Collision insurance speaks for itself, paying for vehicle damages sustained from a highway collision.
You can get these licenses and insurance coverages by contacting your local DMV. They can tell you what you need and how to apply for them.
Maintaining Your Fleet
Once you have your fleet up and running, you’ll need to perform regular maintenance. The list includes checking the oil, tires, brakes, and other truck parts. You should also keep track of each truck’s mileage and repair history.
Buying replacement parts will also be critical, especially when you own your trucks. You can secure hard-to-find supplies early to ensure you can make immediate changes when part of your fleet breaks down. You do not have to worry about potential delays that make your fleet business miss the agreed-upon SLAs. Diesel parts are the most vital components to secure. Fortunately, you can purchase them online.
If you don’t have the time or resources to maintain your fleet, you can hire a third-party company to do it for you. Just make sure to do your research and find a reputable company.
Your drivers will need a plan from point A to point B. The steps include:
- Figuring out the best route.
- Factoring in traffic.
- Ensuring the driver has enough time to rest.
You also must optimize everything to improve costs, service, and efficiency. Companies like Go3G combine more in a comprehensive suite of transportation software with cloud architecture, an expansive carrier network, planning-driven automation, and more than a decade of experience.
You’ll also need to consider the type of cargo you’re transporting. Some load requires special permits or handling. You’ll need to ensure your drivers know these requirements and have the proper documentation. Tracking will also be critical to the task.
It’s essential to track your fleet for safety, security, and efficiency. You can track your fleet using GPS tracking devices like CameraMatics vehicle camera system. These devices can be installed on each truck and provide real-time data on the truck’s location.
You can also use tracking devices to monitor driver behavior. It includes speeding, harsh braking, and idling. By tracking this data, you can improve driver safety and efficiency.
Starting a fleet business is a significant investment. However, it can be a profitable venture if you’re willing to work. Just do your research and understand all the requirements before getting started.