Lower costs more pay

It is important to recognize that the pay rates in the trucking industry may not be as high as they should be. However, many drivers are unaware that their performance on the job can directly impact the amount of pay they receive. Every action we take as drivers that leads to unnecessary expenses for the company ultimately reduces the potential for pay rate increases.

One of the largest costs for trucking companies is fuel. Therefore, it is crucial to avoid idling whenever possible. In Canada, idling overnight can cost approximately $80.00 per truck, considering the current fuel prices. If we extrapolate this cost over a year for a fleet of 100 trucks, it amounts to a staggering $24,000,000. Yes, you read that right, $24 million is wasted on fuel just from idling overnight. This doesn’t even account for other fuel-wasting driving habits. Excessive idling also reduces the resale or trade-in value of the vehicles by increasing the engine hours.

The second highest cost for trucking companies is tiring. It is essential to check tire condition daily and maintain proper inflation. This not only reduces fuel consumption but also significantly minimizes the risk of tire failure. Accidents, particularly backing accidents, are another substantial cost for trucking companies. However, they are also the easiest type of accident to avoid. By being mindful of our surroundings and taking precautionary measures, we can prevent these accidents and save companies from unnecessary expenses.

Poor driving decisions also result in significant financial losses for companies. Whether it is fined for traveling on non-truck routes or damaging weight-reduced bridges or equipment, these actions directly impact the company’s bottom line, which, in turn, affects the possibility of pay increases. Taking care of the truck’s interior is equally important. This improves its resale value, reducing the replacement cost when the time comes for a new truck.

Performing a thorough pre-trip inspection and addressing any issues, no matter how minor, before hitting the road is far less expensive than having these problems discovered at a truck inspection station. When inspectors find issues, it negatively impacts your carrier’s profile, which is accessible to current and potential customers. Excessive negative reports could lead a current customer to switch carriers or cause potential customers to choose a carrier with a better track record. Moreover, having issues discovered by a scale inspector that render you out of service could result in missed appointments, potentially costing the carrier a freight contract and reducing the funds available for potential pay raises. Getting repairs done at a truck stop is far more cost-effective than requiring a service truck to come to a scale for repairs.

By being conscious of these factors and making proactive choices on the road, we can help minimize unnecessary expenses for trucking companies, thereby creating a healthier financial environment for potential pay raises.

Don Taylor has been a professional driver since March 1985.  In 1994 he made the jump to driving tractor trailers, and has accumulated over 3.5 million miles, including over 4 years of driving turnpike doubles in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.  He is currently hauling flat decks across North America.