We’ve been focusing some of our blog posts on goals and goal setting.
- SMART goal setting
- SCHEMES to figure out your action plan
- Measurements to determine where your strengths and weaknesses are
- Handling the Challenges of emergencies
- Staying Motivated on your trucking business goals
- Understand Your Numbers and make them work for you
- Set Benchmarks to determine your progress
This multi-part series will continue to help truckers reach their dream of success as owner-operators.
I have a buddy who still drives for me. Every weekend he’s home, he’d be managing a lot of the general maintenance a truck requires. He will change his own oil, set his own timing belt, check his brakes. He hauled four or five loads a week.
And he always used to get on me about doing my own work.
When my kids were little and I was home, I wasn’t going to be working on my truck, no matter what it cost me. But I was doing double the number of loads he hauled and by the time my weekend was here, I wasn’t going to spend it working.
Was he more successful than I was? I don’t think so.
…Is the Trucking Team Off the Road
Investing in a trucking team at home to help you manage your trucking business makes a lot of sense.
Don’t spend time on doing tasks you do poorly and take too long.
I didn’t become a trucker to be a backyard mechanic.
Can’t keep up with the changes in the field that directly impact your bottom line
IFTA. IRP. Invoices. Past-due notices. What would catch me are those changes in the laws regarding filings or accounting methods. How was I supposed to keep up with those, too?
Creates a network that will provide more loads at better pay.
Working with good brokers got me into a network that brought me jobs instead of me going to find them.
Invest in Yourself with a Trucking Team
It took me a long time to learn this lesson. When you invest in a great trucking team that can help you manage, you’re really investing in yourself. You’re freeing yourself from tasks that take you away from your primary source of income: driving a truck.
Who should be on your trucking team? You need three specific people.
A Mechanic Who Knows Your Trucks
As a trucker, is there anything more frustrating than a breakdown on the road? I take that back. There is one thing more frustrating. A breakdown on the road that regular maintenance could have prevented – that’s more frustrating. It’s worse because it’s something you could have avoided.
The DOT is out on the roads, looking for truckers who don’t maintain their vehicles. As much as we hate that, let’s face the facts: too many of us don’t and it hurts and kills people when we don’t. The government programs work to make the roads safer. Those DOT inspections are not going away. I made sure that those inspections didn’t pull me off the road by keeping my rig in the best possible condition. My mechanic always has a list of the DOT inspection points and he uses it on any rigs he works on.
An Accountant with Financing Skills
If I’m promoting TruckingOffice, why am I saying that an accountant is necessary?
To keep you on the road, instead of in front of desk.
There are accountants who specialize in trucking accounting. They understand the IFTA, the IRP, the HVUT and a dozen other things about accounting that the average accountant doesn’t know a thing about. But let me tell you a secret: they’re using TruckingOffice too. We have accountants who take care of their clients’ billing, taxes, and expenses with TruckingOffice! If you’re using TruckingOffice trucking management software, your accountant may be able to import your data into his QuickBooks program for your taxes. That will save you money in hourly fees.
Dispatchers with Networks
When I bought my first rig, I stayed with that company as an owner-operator for a while. But I found I could get jobs from other brokers when my dispatcher didn’t have anything for me.
Want to know a secret about load boards? There are a lot of shippers out there telling the brokers not to put their loads on the boards. Those shippers don’t want just any trucker handling their freight. These customers want truckers who will provide the best in service and reliability. They don’t believe that just any trucker will do – they want the best.
Brokers get dozens or hundreds of emails every day with loads that they can’t post on a board. But if they know your reputation, like you, and trust you to not ruin their good name – they’ll give you those loads.
Invest in the Best
It may take you some time to find the best people to put on your trucking team. But once you find them, you’ll see a huge change in your business. Your team builds your success.