CURTAINSIDE TRAILER BLOG

Is Driver Detention out of Control?

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 30, 2016 1:30:00 PM / by Pete Johnson posted in Time Is Money, Lost Money, Driver Detention

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How bad is the issue of driver detention? Let’s put it this way: Many drivers have far more colorful words to describe the system that forces them to be on the job without pay for hours on end and unable to move on to their next destination. When a driver arrives at a shipper or consignee at a scheduled time, but is forced to wait hours on end for dock personnel to load or unload the truck, those hours are counted as “On Duty.” However, since the driver is paid per-mile, he or she is not on the road earning money during that long wait. What’s worse, all On Duty hours, including those waiting to be loaded or unloaded, are included in the federal Hours Of Service calculation that limits the driver’s total time on the road. Once that total is reached, whether it was spent actually driving or parked at a loading dock somewhere, the driver has to get off the road until the reset elapses. When this happens, the driver is frequently unable to meet the next appointment on-schedule and loses that load—and the income that goes with it.

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4 Ways to Boost Your Trucking Company’s Reputation Online

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 20, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in The Importance of Social Media Promotion, Advertising, Marketing

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Can a trucking company afford not to carefully cultivate an online presence? No, not any more than any other business can today. There’s a notion that only trendy and “cool” enterprises are well-positioned to exploit the public relations and marketing opportunities offered by powerful online tools. It’s certainly not the case. While shipping freight may not be glamorous, it’s an industry that’s vital to the economy at large. Building an online reputation is also critical to creating a positive image for the company as well as making and maintaining contact with customers.

Here are some ways for trucking companies to stand out online:

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4 Things to Consider About Trucking Fleet Fuel Efficiency

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM / by Pete Johnson posted in Fleet Fuel, Fuel Efficiency

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Next to labor expenses, the cost of fuel to operate big rigs is the most daunting challenge to the bottom line of any trucking company. A typical 18-wheel truck gets just under 6 gallons-per-mile and most average over 110,000 miles every year. It’s not hard to see that improvements in that MPG figure, no matter how modest, can exert a meaningful impact on profits when extrapolated over typical annual mileage. A truck maintained and operated for maximum fuel efficiency is also often a vehicle with a longer expected service life and fewer repair issues during that lifespan.

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Trucking Industry Trends: 5 Critical Issues in Trucking Today

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 8, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Trucking Industry News, Trucking Industry Trends, Trucking Industry

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Does the trucking industry have “issues”? As a frequent early indicator of the state of the nation’s business and regulatory status quo, trends impacting the country at large often affect trucking first. From the course of the economy to government legislation to the advancing tide of technology, one way or another, this industry catches the leading edge of whatever’s coming up for the business environment overall. What’s up for the coming year, and what are the trucking industry trends? As 2017 appears on the horizon, here are five critical issues facing trucking and truckers:

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Fleet Managers, Is It the Right Time to Grow Your Fleet?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 29, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Fleet Managers, Grow Your Fleet

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In today’s freight market and regulatory climate, fleets of 25 trucks or less face increasing challenges to their very survival. Sometimes, the answer is to get larger. Expanding the size of a truck fleet opens doors to new markets and makes competing with the truly big fish—outfits with fleets of 200 or more—more doable while still retaining the agility to offer personalized service that many huge carriers don’t. Bigger isn’t always better, so when do you know it’s the right time to expand the fleet? Here are a few indicators that getting larger may be good timing:

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Flatbed Equipment: 4 Risk Factors to Consider

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 16, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Risk Factors of Flatbed Trailers, Flatbed Trailers, Flatbed

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Operating flatbed equipment poses risks to the drivers who have the tough, day-in, day-out job of hauling these loads. It’s an accepted fact in the profession that driving an old-school flatbed poses some of the most frequent and potentially dangerous hazards in the industry.

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Fuel Cards Versus Credit Cards: Which Is Best for Your Fleet?

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 9, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Fleet Fuel, Fuel Cards Versus Credit Cards, Managing Fleet Expenses

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Photo by Randy Heinitz

 

The cost of running a big rig for a year can be as high as $185,000. Fully 38 percent of that expenditure goes for fuel. Though fuel prices fluctuate, fuel still remains the largest daily expense a trucking company or independent owner-operator has to absorb to stay on the road. Certainly, every fleet manager’s aware of what drivers are paying for fuel in total. But, are they sure each individual fill-up is as low as it could be? Frequently, fleet managers aren’t aware of any less-expensive option. The driver paid the price on the pump. It is what it is.

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Cleaning the undercarriage of curtain trailers to remove salt and winter road grime

[fa icon="calendar'] Nov 2, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Remove Salt and Winter Road Grime, Cleaning the Undercarriage

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Photo by S&W Pressure Wash Inc.

 

Wear and tear incurred by a curtain side trailer  or a curtain van, on the road, are more than a matter of moving parts versus high mileage. Exposure to elements is another major factor. Out on the road, a trailer gets substantial contact with abrasives, corrosives and other substances that accumulate on the underside. After just two years on the road, trailers that were neglected—particularly in respect to undercarriage maintenance—may already show visible evidence of corrosion.

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Curtainside advertising: Does it work?

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 25, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Curtain Side Trailer, Curtain Side Advertising, Curtainside Advertising

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The success of truck and trailer advertising can be traced back to the 1920's, when box trucks plying the jammed streets of New York city began displaying large logos and ad messages to catch the eye of the passing public. It was quickly recognized as a viable alternative to both billboards and print advertising. For decades after, logos and ads on solid-wall trailers were hand-painted in a costly, labor-intensive process that had to be renewed often. Road grime, chips and dents took their toll, and artistic and advertising value faded fast.

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The differences between curtainsiders and sliding bows

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 19, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson posted in Curtain Side Trailer, Sliding Bows, Curtainsider

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Both curtainside and sliding bow (roll-top) trailers are designed to expand your freight options in a single adaptable trailer. Both open up the bed of a standard flatbed to new profit opportunities that extend far beyond the conventional flatbed’s potential. And, perhaps best of all, curtainsiders and sliding bow trailers eliminate the time-consuming, hazardous requirement to tarp large loads—a perk that also makes it easier to recruit and retain professional drivers in an era of high turnover.

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