A friend gave me a business improvement book a few years ago. It explained that most of us that work for ourselves were successful up to a point, because we are good at doing the work. But, if you are like me, we get busier and busier, until we have too much work.
What do we do now? Well, we need to stand back a little, take a deep breath, and look at our business from outside. We need to climb out of our work environment, and work on our business.
Many of us bought a used truck, found some work, and worked and worked, until we hit that point where our bodies were at their maximum. We bought another truck and hired on a driver. Then another, and more drivers. But we’re still driving ourselves, and chasing work, fixing problems, and tearing our hair out. And our profits simply aren’t good enough.
We need to work on our business.
Which customers are most profitable and which aren’t? We should concentrate on the most profitable ones. Industry experts say that 20 per cent of our customers are profitable, and that most of us spend 80 per cent of our time working for the low profit customers. We need to change this.
Is our profit level good enough? Are we making enough out of the work that we have? We are most probably chasing our tails. Costs are climbing to the moon. Everything is getting more expensive. Are we allowing for these increased costs?
Can we increase our rates? In today’s competitive world, increasing rates is difficult and often impossible. Our only choice is to reduce and control costs.
Costs come in two styles: Actual direct costs, like fuel, rego, tolls, wages and tyres; and indirect costs like downtime and break downs.
Direct costs must be controlled. Get a fuel card with a discount. Fit aerodynamic aids to reduce fuel use. Learn to be an economical driver and get your drivers trained too. Monitor their fuel economy and reward them for saving you money. Tyres last longer if you match the tyre pressures to the load, as recommended by all major tyre manufacturers. Running one pressure is costing you $10,000 to $30,000 per year, while killing your driver, your truck and your reliability. Contact AIR CTI for more information on optimising tyre pressures.
Indirect costs are harder to fix, but much higher in value. For instance, not having a tyre monitoring system means, sooner or later, a tyre is going to blow. If a steer tyre blows, your rig has a high chance of going bush, wrecking your truck and business. Best case scenario, you only lost two or three hours waiting for a new tyre to arrive. Your time is valuable. You’ve just lost $1,000 at least (tyre cost and lost time).
A tyre pressure maintenance system is a great improvement for your trailers. Maintenance systems automatically add air to maintain one set pressure. A warning light warns the driver so that he can fix the problem (at the next town or at the workshop), but this eliminates almost all blow outs, keeping the truck moving. This saves a lot of time, changing a loss into further profits. A great step forward, but these systems only do one pressure. When running light or empty, the tyres are severely over inflated, increasing tyre wear and braking distance, and the risk of jack knifes. And maintenance systems only work on trailer axles.
A total tyre pressure management system, like AIR CTI, automatically keeps tyres inflated, warns the driver if a problem exists and makes it easy to adjust tyre pressures to match the load, adding at least 30 per cent more tyre life, while almost eliminating blow outs and roadside tyre problems. Matching the tyre pressures to the load on the tyre reduces drive train loads, extending the life of the entire drive train; reduces vibration, extending the life of drivers, suspension, springs, axles, wheel bearings, and even suspension seats. In fact, your entire truck will last at least 40 per cent longer.
The time saved from the reduced tyre changes, the reduced maintenance and the reduced breakdowns adds up to many thousands of dollars per year.
Your truck and trailer’s working life is increased by at least 40 per cent. This means your investment lasts many more years, reducing your prime costs.
By working on your business, measuring and keeping track of costs, using top quality oils, fitting auto greasers, and using modern tyre management, your costs drop significantly, both direct costs and downtime costs.
Managing your business will add hundreds of thousands of dollars for every truck you run. Keeping overall life costs down is essential for any successful business.
AIR CTI manufactures the best Tyre Pressure Management System. But the core of this business is keeping costs down over the long run and helping our clients to save money, operate safer and make more money. Contact us with any questions or needs relating to trucking.
Our staff have been in the transport industry for a lot of years. We constantly research, test and develop money saving products and systems. It is part of our DNA. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.