It is hard to believe that it is summertime again. For many trucking companies the summertime is when your year is made and higher rates can be found. There are many additional considerations that come along with this time of year for trucking companies. We have come up with a few tips to help keep you safe and ensure you can take advantage of the good weather and make money.
- Look for fuel savings – With the warmer months come higher fuel prices. There are many things you can do to your truck and ways you can drive to help save on fuel. You can get more on that in our previous blog post 8 Ways Trucking Companies Can Save on Fuel. Additionally, fuel cards can save you up to $.10 per gallon and get you the cash price even when you pay with a credit card. Some good news on fuel cards is that some freight factoring companies will even fund them at no cost to you.
- Be aware of the increase in drivers on the road – Between families hitting the road for vacations and people joyriding in cars and on motorcycles there always seems to be more people on the road when the weather is nice. This can mean more congestion and traffic for truck drivers. Make sure to stay extra vigilant so you don’t get sidelined due to an accident.
- Be prepared for the increase in road construction – Not only will there be more cars on the road but there is always an increase in roadwork when the weather is nice. Always make sure to look out for construction signs and other indicators that roadwork is up ahead. There are also several apps available such as Waze and Beat the Traffic® that will alert you of traffic and road conditions on your route.
- Keep an eye out for weather changes – We all know that the weather during the summer months can be unpredictable. It can be nice one minute and the next minute a big thunderstorm is headed your way. In addition to the unpredictability is the severity of the storms. During the spring and fall you tend to see lighter and less active storms whereas during the summer months the storms can include downpours, hail and even tornados. To ensure your safety make sure to be vigilant about keeping an eye on the weather. There are also several apps that can help you track the weather on your route such as one from the Weather Channel, Intellicast HD and Storm Shield.
- Check your brakes – Your trucks breaks are key to your safety, if they don’t work and your truck can’t stop in time that can affect your life and others. It is always important to check your brakes regularly; however, during the summer months the heat can cause damaging effects to the braking system on your truck. The hot temperatures can cause the brakes on your truck to fade or lose friction because the brake components are unable to absorb any additional heat.
- Minimize “down time” – Since summertime can make or break your year and provide the highest rates minimizing the time you are off the road is key. This includes making sure you are getting your truck fully serviced at regular intervals and checking common problem areas along the way such as batteries, tires, brakes and more. Additionally, working with a professional and reliable dispatcher or load planner can help you ensure you have good loads to haul when and where you need them.