Most of us on the road love the work. We like life on the road. The adventure of driving is as fulfilling as it is profitable. There are some things that being a trucker endures, like sitting in traffic or waiting for the shipping crew to do their job. But overall, it’s a great job. We have freedoms and opportunities that people sitting behind a desk never have.🚛
As we move from truck driver for a company to owner-operator with a trucking authority, we discover there are a lot of unexpected tasks that we have to manage. Yeah, we may get more money in our pockets, but IFTA and IRP and quarterly business taxes are now our responsibility.
You know what they say: With great power comes great responsibility. 🕷️🕸️ (Yeah, we’re quoting Spiderman.)
The power of organization transforms ours lives.
Whether you’re leased on to a trucking company or you’re on your own with your trucking authority, being organized isn’t an option. There’s only so much space in a cab so we only bring what we need. Piles of papers and bags of trash are hard enough to live with, much less what might happen when a trucker has to brake fast.
It’s easy to say “I’ll get organized later.” When does “later” come along? Probably at a crisis. 😟
Building a trucking business begins with organization.
Sure, delivering loads can be done without creating a system to track the freight. But getting paid without a plan to collect the expenses (like tolls or lumpers) may mean that the invoice the trucker sends out doesn’t cover all the costs of a delivery. 😨
Nobody can afford to pay to deliver freight for free, much less at a loss.
You can build a great trucking business. You just need the tools. 🔨
Your tools make a huge difference that will transform your trucking business. It’s like using a boot instead of a hammer. A boot might do the job to drive a nail, but it’ll take longer and might ruin your boot. 🥾 The right tool finishes the job quickly and well.
TruckingOffice PRO trucking software is the right tool. When you use it, your business will grow.
How does TruckingOffice PRO do that?
By having a tool at your fingertips that gives you information to make the best decisions for your trucking business.
- Single data entry to reduces time to fix errors.
- Move data from dispatch to invoice seamlessly.
- Track expenses and mileage per load.
Instead of frustration resulting from lack of knowledge, a complete trucking software can transform your trucking busines from barely making it to successful and profitable. You’ll manage the details from the loads to the overview of your company effortlessly with TruckingOffice PRO trucking software.
For example, Invoices. 💵
2. Invoicing: Creation and Tracking
In the 21st century, billing is online. 📧 That’s not to say there isn’t someone out there who is still using paper and snail mail. We just don’t know who they are.
If you want to be paid, you have to send an invoice. It must include your charges for delivery, including tolls, lumpers, and any other extra charges that the shipper should pay. The BOL should be attached. Your method of payment should be obvious.
That doesn’t sound too hard, does it? So why don’t invoices get paid?
- The shipper doesn’t have the right information on the invoice.
- The receiver’s address is wrong.
- The BOL isn’t attached.
- The invoice is sent to the wrong email. 😩
Back in the day, when this was all handled with envelopes and stamps, this pushed an invoice into months past due. 📫
In the 21st century, these problems can be resolved in minutes, not weeks. 📨
That matters, doesn’t it?
When you have a
- system for collecting invoice data✅
- method to add billable expenses ✅
- consistent invoicing practice ✅
then there’s more money in your pocket. Your invoices will get paid promptly.
And those that don’t?
It can be easy to miss an unpaid invoice.
Sadly, some shippers don’t pay in a timely fashion. They cut corners by slow-paying their invoices. Those outstanding bills cost you money. When they don’t pay, you may not have the funds to buy fuel for the next load, which means you resort to factoring. That’s less money in your pocket now and in the future. 😖
You want to know who these shippers are so
- you don’t haul for them again.
- they will get regular reminders of the past-due bills.
- you’ll know when to turn them over to collections.
With a trucking software that separates the dispatch from invoices, losing an invoice is way too easy. When you have to transfer a load from the dispatch software to the billing software (such as QuickBooks), then details can get lost. Entire invoices could be forgotten.
The power of a complete trucking software like TruckingOffice avoids this problem for you. By linking a load from dispatch through routing to invoicing, loads and your bills don’t go missing. The unpaid invoice gets your attention so you can follow up and get it paid.
To build a great trucking business, it’s about getting paid for the service you provide your customers. 😊
3. Load Details
You want to provide good service to your customers. That makes them call you when they need freight hauled instead of going to a broker. (That means more money for you, right?)
Being a careful trucker with a great reputation gets you the best loads. Working with a customer directly or with a broker, you want to do a good job.
Providing the shipping solution for your customers demonstrates your value to your shippers.
The best way to provide that level of service is to take care of the details from the start. ⚠️
Start at the Dispatch, End at the Invoice
Trucking business looks so simple. Get a load, deliver a load.🛣️
Yeah, it’s not that simple. The details are critical and failure can cost you.
That’s why TruckingOffice PRO reuses the data that you enter at the time of the dispatch. Instead of paper and envelopes, this system doesn’t depend on printouts that can fall into mud puddles. By making everything available online from the moment of dispatch, those critical details are always available. Even updates and changes are entered in one place but show up in all the right places. 📱
Take away the worry of losing critical load data and what have you got? A better trucking experience for your customers and a better trucking business for you.
And that’s what we want. To show up in the right place on time. Even across the country.
4. Miles by state
If there’s one piece of data you need as an owner-operator, it’s that miles per state number. It shows up again and again in the transportation business. 🔢
The International Fuel Tax Agreement simplifies the fuel tax problem for truckers. Instead of computing fuel tax per state or province, a trucker can track miles per state and get a single payment to IFTA. Back in the day, it might take a day off the road to compute a single truck’s fuel taxes due. Even today, some truckers keep a spreadsheet per state and look up the tax rates every three months. ⛽
The exact same numbers are used for the International Registration Plan. IRP is how a trucker pays per state or jurisdiction for the miles they’ve driven on the highways in those states. Now we don’t need a wall of license plates for every state. The Apportioned Plates reduce the work that has to be done. IRP takes the miles per state for six months (instead of every three months for IFTA) and figures out the money due. They collect it to send it out for you. 📨
Sometimes, a driver is paid by miles. TruckingOffice PRO tracks the miles of a load and produces a report that shows how much a truck driver should be paid. 🚛
While miles per state are used by IFTA and IRP, there are several systems in your vehicle that need maintenance based on miles, not on time. Tires, for example. By checking tires daily, you will avoid some problems, but tires have to be replaced regularly. By keeping track of your miles, you can prepare for that expense and have the money set aside.
Having a plan for future expenses removes the crisis-mode reactions when trouble comes along. 😮
Tires aren’t the only part in a truck that mileage matters. Drivers and their mileage matter too.
5. Driver Management and Trucking Software
When you hire a driver, a new dimension of trucking business management opens up.
Having your trucking authority gives you the opportunity to expand your trucking business. Hiring a trucker to drive your truck makes you a manager, so you need a way to manage that person’s hours, paychecks and records.
In an industry that has seen close to 100% turnover of drivers in past years, it’s important to remember that people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses. You want to be the boss that a driver wants to drive for. That means paying on time and treating them fairly.
Trucking business software helps manage your drivers fairly and well so you can keep those valuable employees.
When you hire a driver, you are responsible to have certain information, including drug reports and their current CDL. Some trucking software packages don’t include that data, but TruckingOffice PRO allows you to store the drivers license expiration date, medical card renewal date, hire date, and termination date (if applicable) in order for our system to remind you when those are coming up for renewal or need updated.
Being a Good Boss
You know what kind of boss you wanted to drive for. Be that kind of boss. Recognize that sometimes situations get out of control and the driver has to do what the driver has to do. Treating people with respect, with grace, and with kindness will go a long way to retaining an employee. 😄
TruckingOffice ELD with TruckingOffice PRO trucking management software helps you be that great boss. The ELD app allows for quick contact with your driver, gives them the ability to notify you upon delivery, and keeps track of miles accurately. When ELD works with trucking software, you get the power to run your business with the drivers you want to keep. 👍🏽
Whether it’s you or a driver on the road, track your expenses!
6. Expense Tracking
It’s the little details that can make or break a trucking business. Being organized is critical, but more than that, you have to track your expenses. It’s not just about taxes, but hey, it is about taxes and how to keep that amount down.
Certain expenses are tax-deductible. Certain expenses are charged to the shipper. Other expenses, well, we gotta eat. But without tracking these expenses, we can’t deduct them.
You can’t track your expenses In trucking software that only manages dispatches. This is an accounting issue, so maybe you send it off to the bookkeeper or the accountant. But there’s power in expense tracking beyond the taxes.
Expenses show you where you can improve your trucking business.
Trucking Business Management
When you know your expenses, you know the bones of your business.
- How much did you pay for maintenance last year? Maybe it’s time to think about a special fund for repairs – or to think about replacing the vehicle altogether.
- How much money did you pay for help to run your business? Do you need an accountant and a bookkeeper? With TruckingOffice PRO, you may find you don’t need either, because TruckingOffice PRO handles your accounting as well as your billing.
When we say expenses are key, we mean expenses in the past point to the future. Particularly with your rig.
7. Maintenance Planning
Ask 10 truckers what the thing they worry about the most and all 10 will say vehicle maintenance. An on-the-road emergency repair can blow a trucker and their trucking business permanently off the road. And a failed DOT or FMSCA audit of repair records can do the same thing – kick you off the road.
Keeping Your Rig on the Road With Trucking Software?
Yes, trucking software can keep you on the road with a good maintenance scheduler. ⏲️ By using TruckingOffice PRO’s maintenance scheduling, you can get notifications when you’ve got upcoming work. By using a scheduler, you can make arrangements for the work to be done by the techs you want. Got a favorite mechanic who knows your equipment? 💪 You’ll know in plenty of time when you need to get into the garage for that oil change or transmission check.
8. Maintenance Tracking
Those DOT audits require proof of work done to keep your rig safe. You want to have that ready in case of an audit – but do you want to have to scrounge around shoeboxes of records and worry about missing receipts for the work? You do not. When you use TruckingOffice PRO, you’ve got everything you need in the Quarterly Maintenance Report. No scrounging necessary, or worry about that audit. We gotcha covered.
Do you have a trucking software that tracks your vehicle maintenance? It’s an obvious connection, to keep your trucking dispatch, invoices and maintenance records all in one place. All of them work together!
Don’t Worry About the Audit
Since your truck maintenance is tax-deductible, it makes sense to keep it with your expense records. 📃 When that work is done has to show up when you’re asked for it in an audit. Instead of keeping it in a spreadsheet (or worse, a doc file) wouldn’t it be simplest to have a report of all trucking maintenance expenses that would prove work that had been done and when? Of course, it would.
With complete documentation from TruckingOffice PRO, you never have to worry about an audit.
9. IFTA and IRP Reports
We mentioned IFTA and IRP above, but let’s take a moment to remember how much time a report that covers 3 or 6 months of data might take if you had to do it by hand. 🤕
Let’s not go there. You’ve got much better things to do with your time.
The real benefits of TruckingOffice PRO trucking software
Either of these reports would take hours by hand. 🕰️ ✏️ And some people do exactly that, when they use an IFTA prep software or and IRP online calculator. They have to enter. Every. Single. Number. Again.
Say you’ve got 4 loads every week that take you out of state. Do you know how many numbers you’re going to be RE-ENTERING into that IFTA prep program? Or worse, 6 months for the IRP?
You know exactly what that’s like. And you know what it’s like when one number gets transposed.
That’s the best part of TruckingOffice PRO. All those numbers? You enter them one time and the software does all the work. 👩🏽💻 You press a button on your computer or on your cell phone and you have the answers immediately. In seconds, you know the amount of the taxes owed without a single extra step of work on your part. TruckingOffice PRO makes IFTA and IRP
And accurate. You don’t want to underpay (and face penalties and fines.) You don’t want to overpay (and take money out of your pocket that they’re not going to pay interest on when they pay it back.)
It’s about accuracy. TruckingOffice trucking software updates the tax rates every quarter, so you know that those numbers are correct. Can you imagine googling for a tax rate and getting the wrong one? What a mess that would be!
10. Trucker Statistics from Trucking Software
When a trucking company owner relies on an accountant to manage their books, it might look easier. Simpler. But there’s a problem. They’re missing the golden opportunity to take their trucking business to the next level.
Per Mile: Accounting software vs. trucking software
In most businesses, the markers that indicate success are in dollars. Now, we’re not saying that profit is a bad thing. Not at all! We LIKE profits. But measuring everything in dollars is only part of the story of a trucking business.
We need to know data by mile.
Sure, it’s fine to know that a load brought in four-figures of profit. But try to compare a load of 40,000 lbs. across the great plains with a load through the mountains. The expenses per load for fuel alone will be at opposite ends of the scale. ⚖️
A much better metric for truckers and owner-operator trucking businesses is “per mile.” When we know what a load costs per mile, or the revenue we net per mile, or the settlement paid to a driver per mile, we have a much better idea of what our profit is.
Why is that important?
If you have a choice between 2 loads, how do you decide which one is better? Maybe you can guess. You’re an experienced trucker, you probably have a sense of what’s better for you. But if you have an actual number based on your data, not estimates from some trucking association or a guess from what you think you spent last time… If you have a real number, you’ll know which trip is better for you to take.
That’s GOLDEN. That’s the golden number. 🪙 Maybe you face deadheading back home and you could pick up a load that gets you closer to home? Wouldn’t it make that decision easier if you knew that the money was worth the detour?
Sure it would. That’s why trucking software must calculate “per mile” numbers. That’s how you know your value. When you know your value, you don’t fret about not taking a load that will cost you more in the long run. That relief makes owning a trucking business so much easier!
TruckingOffice PRO Trucking Software
You love the freedom to be your own boss. 👊🏽 You enjoy the road and the challenges in the trucking industry. Are the intricacies of running a business are new to you? Or do you want to make your trucking business run smoother and make more profit?
Then TruckingOffice PRO is the tool you need to build your trucking business success. You’ll have
- ☝🏽more time for what’s important
- ☝🏽more profit
- ☝🏽better insight in your business
when you use TruckingOffice PRO. That’s why we’re going to give you a 💯🆓free trial to the entire program for you to try out. You’ll discover pretty quickly after you’ve used the easy dispatch entry and then the invoicing system why you need TruckingOffice PRO trucking software for your trucking business!. Sign up for the free trial today!