The Trucking Numbers Game – July 2016

Is trucking just like everything else in life – all about the numbers?  Which numbers matter and which ones don’t?  What numbers should be used to analyze this industry, which numbers don’t apply to the industry?  What numbers make it right for others and what numbers make it right for you?  Tracking your numbers will help you make intelligent, educated business decisions and also enable you to speak intelligently with others in the industry.  You can count on that tracking your numbers will make you a better business person – and your bottom line number should look brighter.

There are a “number” of things to consider when working in the Trucking Industry.  These include:

How many numbers will I save by shutting my truck off when it is parked anywhere.  How do I compute the number of dollars I waste per day letting my truck idle; what is that number per month; what is that number for the year?  What if that figure was in my wallet?  What is the number attached to the miles per gallon for my truck?  How can I better control this number?

What are the number of limitations I put on the loads I will run?  I won’t run Canada, I don’t do Hazmat, I only want to run Monday through Friday?  I want to limit the number of days that I work.  What is the number of days each month I need to work before I begin to make profit – this is usually a fixed number – meaning if I run the first 18 days I will begin to a positive profit number on the 19th day.   Help me with this calculation.

What is the tally I need to have in my business account as padding to ensure I run can my business comfortably – without reverting to negative numbers?  The same is true of personal accounts – perhaps what is the number of months of household expenses I need to have banked to succeed in Expediting?  After solving this equation you may be surprised that your original computation was just a fraction of what is actually needed.

Ah, so many numbers.  If only you were a magician and could forecast that “magical number”.

Vehicle operational statistics. What is the number or cost per mile to operate per mile?  What is the target rate (a number) to be paid per mile?  What is your contracted rate per mile or am you paid percentage per load?  Both are a number.   Is it all about the revenue number or the miles number each week?  Does number of miles per week matter in expediting?  What is the number I need to put away each month towards unexpected expenses like a breakdown.  What is the amount I need to put away to pay taxes?  Should I buy a used truck at a lower number or a new truck at a higher number?  What is the number associated with my truck payment?  Knowing the answers to each of these is crucial to your business.

Numbers associated with the Expedite industry.  What is the number of trucking companies I should try to run for with my cargo van?  What is the US DOT number of the carrier you are leased onto?  What is your truck number?  How many total trucks are on the roads in our country?  How many trucks actually work within the Expedite Industry per se as we know it – is it just a small fraction of the total trucks?

In service and dispatch calculations with your carrier. What is the phone number for dispatch?  What number am I for dispatch out in this city?  What is the number of days I am without a load because my Carrier did not get me a load?  What is the number of days my Carrier did not get a load because I was not available?   What is the number of loads I have turned down in a week, month or year?  How many load turndowns I am allowed before being placed out of service?  How much is deducted from my settlement check each week for fixed carrier expenses like Occupational Accident Insurance, Qualcomm or similar fees?  A multitude of scenarios.

To sum it up – there are plenty of statistics, denominators, computations, estimates, values, calculations, counts, proportions, digits, and forecasts behind the numbers in Trucking.  These numbers can be expressed as integers, decimals, fractions, whole numbers, and some are even prime numbers.  The only thing for sure is that your numbers will be different than the next person’s numbers.

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.

Till the next blog, Thank you Transportation Professionals for all you do!. Please be safe!

©John Mueller, CDS, CDT, COSS