Starting a trucking business is a promising venture, but it comes with challenges. Challenges in terms of operational, financial, and regulatory aspects will come toe to toe.
However, that shouldn’t stop you from launching your aspiring trucking business in the first place. If you know the challenges and how to handle them, it’ll open a door of opportunities.
With sheer dedication, time, and effort, it’s possible to overcome those challenges successfully. And once you’re confident enough to tackle the adversaries, your trucking business will prove to be a lucrative enterprise.
So, if you’re planning to step into this adventurous 18-wheeler business, here’s a list of seven trucking business challenges and how to overcome them.
1. Finance Is a Big Headache for Truckers
Like any small to medium business, the trucking business also entails a significant amount of starting costs. But your concern wouldn’t stop at that.
Once you’re up and away with your dream trucking venture, more operational and regulatory costs will start sticking to your business. Then your biggest challenge will be controlling those costs while preventing your business from leaking money.
Thankfully, there are professionals like Trucker CFO and others who can take care of this vital aspect of your trucking business.
Consulting professionals like one of them should manage your costs, handle your taxes, and keep your books clean in the operation.
2. Safety Is an Eternal Concern
The safety issue covers a range of matters, including drivers’ health, financial loss, bad reputation, or even cancellation of a business license.
In fact, the trucking industry has been going through safety issues ever since its inception decades ago.
Modern urbanization and advanced technology might’ve improved the situation, still, it remains one of the biggest challenges in the trucking business.
In fact, more than a hundred and sixty thousand truck accidents take place each year. So, safety is naturally a top concern and a big challenge in your trucking business.
Notable safety concerns in the trucking business include:
- Rash weather: The advancement in technology hasn’t been able to hold nature back from storming any day, any moment. Hence, the strongest preparation could sometimes be not enough in transportation.
- Driver’s bad health: A healthy driver is a key contributory factor in the trucking business’s success. However, if he’s overworked, fatigue, insomnia, highway hypnosis, etc., may affect his health; hence, deteriorating his driving skills.
- Distractions while driving: Today, truck drivers are used to navigating their way through GPS. That’s why sometimes their eyes may be on the cell phone instead of the road.
Other distractions may include portable TVs, rash driving by other vehicles, snacking, health issues, etc.
To overcome this challenge, examine your driver’s license, experience, and expertise in driving on tricky roads while respecting road signs.
Also, avoid overworking your drivers to ensure their good health and focus. You may also consider developing a guide for young drivers who are prone to rash driving and accidents.
3. Decayed Roads Can Downgrade Your Trucks
One of the oldest challenges in the trucking business you’ll unmistakably face is decayed roads and other infrastructures. Trucking requires you to transport goods across the states and cities, and you never know how each highway, road, or track will behave.
Except for the larger metro city areas, bridges and tunnels have declined in the rural areas. This is where your costly trucks start to give in. And it’s something totally out of your hands.
The only way to handle this situation is by minimizing the damage to the trucks while driving. Instruct your drivers to drive cautiously through the dented roads, tunnels, etc.
Moreover, advise them to watch weather reports to plan their routes to avoid hurdles like rain, ice, fog, etc. Tell them to use their headlights and flashers properly to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
4. Meeting Deadlines Is Hectic
The trucking business is largely about commitment. If you fail to meet the delivery deadlines of your clients, you’re highly likely to opt out of their good books.
Not only that, the trucking business also fuels the larger economy of the country. Hence, you’re becoming a vital part of the huge national trading affairs as well.
However, meeting such commitments becomes challenging when the drivers run into heavy traffic, decayed roads, distractions, accidents, and whatnot.
The only way to avoid such disasters is to plan ahead. You may keep your drives available so they can plan in advance of their scheduled delivery time.
Also, you have to manage schedules with your clients in a manner that your drivers aren’t forced to speed up or conduct rash driving to reach their destinations in time.
5. That Parking Ticket Is Always on the Card
The trucking industry may do a great service to the national economy, but it doesn’t spare them parking tickets. In 2019, the famous delivery company UPS alone had to pay twenty-three million dollars in parking violation penalties!
However, depending on the intricacies of each city’s road communication system, the parking fines may vary for the trucking businesses. Still, even a tenth of the largest parking fine on record can gradually decay your business.
Consequently, your profits will reduce, and your trucks will fail to make deliveries on time.
Hence, you have to make sure your truck drivers are well-educated on parking to avoid a huge number of tickets.
6. Maintenance Is a Key Factor
When it comes to maintaining your trucks, both you and your drivers are supposed to shoulder the responsibility. Proper maintenance of the truck is crucial before and after each delivery.
A lot of trucking businesses have gone down due to a lack of maintenance. No matter how expensive or state-of-the-art a truck you purchase, its sturdiness will wane with time.
Only proper maintenance can help your trucks run smoothly. Some compulsory maintenance tasks to overcome this trucking challenge are:
- Checking brake system (before and after each trip)
- Changing oil and lube regularly
- Checking proper tire inflation (before and after each trip)
- Changing filters of the oil, lube, and fuel (at least each month)
- Inspecting lighting
- Inspecting steering and alignment
Apart from the above, you mustn’t delay any emergency repairs of your trucks to avoid unwanted events like accidents or fatal injuries. Remember, maintenance is one of the best preventive ways to improve logistics operations.
7. Distance and Loneliness Will Creep in
It’s inevitable, but it will surely happen. Trucking involves taking goods from one corner of the state to another.
So, it’s natural that you’ll have to stay away from your family and loved ones for a long time if you’re one of the drivers in your trucking business.
As a result, you’ll start feeling that disturbing solitariness. Things might get depressing at times. Still, you must carry out your duties.
To fight loneliness, you may mingle with fellow truck drivers who take the same routes every day and cross your path. Socializing with them in your free time may cheer you up for your next consignment.
So, that’s a wrap for the top seven trucking business challenges. Now you know what challenges you must huddle through to make your trucking venture a success.
The key things to take away from here are solving safety issues, meeting deadlines, ensuring proper maintenance, and robust finance.
Besides, you must abide by the state regulations to earn goodwill for your trucking business. Furthermore, don’t skip proper health and socializing aspects to keep your drivers in good shape to fulfill their duties.