We have all heard it time and time again, fuel expenses are at the top of the expense list for trucking companies. For many trucking owner-operators and small trucking company owners, it can also be the expense on your mind the most since you continually have to worry about how you will cover those fuel expenses for each load you haul. To ease that worry, we have put together a list of tips to help you cover your fuel expenses, including ways to save money and have the funds you need to haul your next load.
Fuel Advances – A fuel advance is an easy way to cover your fuel expenses that need to be paid in advance of receiving payment for hauling the load. A flexible financing partner, such as Tetra Capital, can advance funds for fuel even before you deliver the load, offering you the flexibility you need and never leaving you without the fuel you need.
With a fuel advance from Tetra Capital, all you need to do is pick up the load and scan or fax the needed documentation to Tetra Capital. We don’t require the originals. Then, we will confirm the pick-up of the load and provide you with the funds immediately.
Fuel Discounts – What’s better than lowering your fuel costs? The answer is simply nothing! There are a few fuel discount programs available to trucking companies that offer different benefits. When you partner with Tetra Capital for our freight factoring services, we will load your funds onto a fuel card within hours with no transaction fee. Plus, when you use the card at one of 900+ truck stops you can save up to $0.10 per gallon with no minimum fueling requirements. You will also receive the cash price even though you are using a card giving you even more savings.
In addition to the discounts you receive when using the fuel cards they provide valuable additional benefits. The benefits include fuel management tools, purchase controls and updated price comparisons to help you control fuel expenditures and manage your cost per mile.
Ensure Your Truck is Fuel Efficient – Another way to lower your fuel costs is to ensure your truck is fuel efficient, so you are maximizing your miles per gallon. There are a number of things you can do to ensure your truck is as fuel efficient as possible including maintaining optimal speeds, reducing idling time, ensuring your tires are properly inflated, planning around traffic and having your truck on a regular maintenance schedule. For more tips check out our blog post 8 Ways Trucking Companies Can Save on Fuel.
Manage Your Cash Flow – For many trucking companies managing and increasing your working capital can be a big challenge when you have no control over when you will get paid, and you have expenses such as fuel and maintenance to cover. However, when you can effectively do this, you will ensure you always have the funds you need to cover your fuel expenses for each load you haul. One easy way to manage your cash flow is to partner with a freight bill factoring company such as Tetra Capital. A factoring company will give you funds immediately for your freight bills, so you no longer have to wait to be paid. This will ensure you have the working capital you expect to have when you need it. Factoring your freight bills is as easy as delivering the load as you normally would, then submitting a copy of the paperwork to the factoring company; you then receive 65% to 95% of the face value of your unpaid freight bill within hours. The factoring company pays the balance, less a service fee, to you when your customer pays the invoice. While the factoring company waits to be paid, you have a large portion of your money to use as needed.
Credit Cards – Paying with a credit card at the pump may be one of the most obvious and easiest ways to pay for fuel. However, it can be the most expensive if you don’t have the funds to pay the bill every month. Not to mention that you will be paying higher fuel costs at many truck stops when you use a credit card instead of cash or a fuel card.
Not all of these tips will work for every trucking owner-operator or small trucking company owner, but I hope that you can take pieces of it to apply to your company to help in the frequent battle to cover your fuel expenses.