6 Steps to Maximize Transport Profits (Jeff Lovelady Commentary)

by Jeff Lovelady  on Monday, Apr. 29, 2013 12:00 am  

Jeff Lovelady

Worried that you’ll lose drivers by doing that? Share some of those fuel savings with them. Bulkley Trucking of Sulphur Springs, Texas, gives drivers incentives to improve their mileage. The company’s driver of the year averaged 9.1 miles per gallon and was awarded a Ford F-150 pickup truck in response. Thanks in part to its fuel efficiencies, the company’s profits and fleet size are increasing.

Step five: Get better maintenance processes.

Don’t skimp on maintenance — at all. Little things can cause big problems. And review your use of shop personnel. This sometimes is a black hole where money goes in but nothing comes out. Accountability is the only way to stop the flow. Implement a repair order system, and if you already have one, make sure it is working as intended. Get shop reports weekly on equipment that needs to be repaired or is up for preventive maintenance, and have a person in management approve all repair and maintenance before it is performed. Check your production on your shifts, especially if you are running two of them. It could be that you need only one.

Step six: Get a second opinion.

CPAs who really know the trucking industry can do more than balance your books and file your tax returns. They can help you save on all kinds of expenses. They also can provide projections if you want to expand your business, cut back or trade equipment. If leasing or purchasing is a question, let your CPA help you figure out the best approach based on your current tax and cash flow situation. Work with your CPA to make sure you are presenting your financial statements to your creditors in the best possible light.

Jeff Lovelady is a senior partner and an expert analyst on accounting strategies specific to the trucking industry at Bell & Co. of North Little Rock.



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