This article will describe some high-level areas to more efficiently use limited resources – time, dollars and people within the Dump Truck Industry. There are two distinct management areas for the dump truck business. They are: getting work/quoting jobs and operating the fleet at the lowest cost to generate profit margins.
Current technology has addressed both issues. Quoting can be both time consuming and difficult to keep track of. Certain software is now available that enables you to enter data once and carry it through into all orders for the job with limited data entry. This enables the operation to create orders from jobs and carry it through into operations, dispatch etc. as well as invoicing to maintain proper levels of cash flow. The software handles multiple domicile fleet locations which will optimize fleet resources based on all orders being picked up and delivered within a specific time frame. The software will then properly map where fleet is so scheduling which assets for which jobs will be optimized. This will permit a fleet to accomplish more revenue work with the same # of assets (drivers and trucks) thus creating margin. The back office features of the software provide the business owner with the time savings, thus providing the ability to not have to add staff and keep administrative costs to a minimum. The software will also permit operations to find backhaul work for the fleet if it works within timetables of orders and jobs. This will obviously increase revenue for the operation and fundamentally create more opportunity for profit margins to be generated. The software and current technology also permit GPS tracking and telematics to help with data creation on fuel efficiency, driver behavior, and analytics to provide insight on how to improve route selection, driver habits, etc. all leading to improving fuel economy, safety, and overall more efficient Dump Truck operations. Measuring fuel and driver operating data are the two large cost areas that have the potential to streamline costs and improve margins. Fuel efficiency and streamlining costs are a function of:
- Driver behavior – speeding, idling time, hard breaking and route choice (miles vs. time), etc.
- Truck specs: aerodynamics, tire pressure monitoring and type of transmissions.
- Reduce dead miles or non-revenue generating miles.
The more these areas are addressed the better the operation and the ability to create a safe, profitable company which lends itself for drivers to enjoy better pay, benefits and equipment which ultimately provides the opportunity for controlled profitable growth of the operation .
The final operating factor to manage is maintenance of the equipment. By being able to track operating data and fleet use on a daily or weekly basis, scheduling downtime for maintenance leads to better fleet optimization, so as not negatively impact daily operations where revenue would be impacted. Keeping equipment in proper repair improves up-time and improves driver attitudes and morale. One of the largest factor’s drivers will communicate why they switched companies has to do with equipment constantly breaking down and in poor operating condition. A robust and comprehensive preventative maintenance schedule will address all those issues while maintaining the ability to service customers and performs jobs.
This type of software and technology is needed in an industry that up till now has been one that has been an underserved market by software/technology that looks to improve logistics and operational efficiency.