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It’s not what you make – it’s what you keep! Savvy trucking professionals know it’s not the gross revenues that make your business run, but what’s left after payroll, fuel, maintenance, taxes, insurance, and all the other expenses.

Let’s take a look at how to get a handle on “what’s left” – your profit. Many factors go into the profitability of a particular vehicle, including variable costs like repairs, fuel, tires, and maintenance, all of which increase when the truck is on the road, loaded or not. Fixed costs, such as insurance and loan or lease payments, continue whether or not the truck is used. Certain payroll costs for office staff and upper management are also fixed and ongoing and in the case of company drivers, those paychecks continue also.

The more miles that truck runs, the less per-mile cost for fixed expenses. Those fixed expenses are spread out among more miles and therefore they represent a smaller portion of that truck’s operating costs. To increase the profitability of each truck the company needs to either increase the number of miles driven or decrease the fixed expenses or both. These are not easy changes to make.

Motor carriers do have one variable that they can attempt to control and that is the high cost of empty trucks on a backhaul. It’s simple: The efficiency and productivity of each truck can be increased and profits will be higher when the owners can reduce the number of miles a truck is driven without a load, hence finding the right freight broker is crucial to sustainable profits.

Owner-operators and for-hire carriers can reduce those empty miles by working with a good dispatcher who will find return loads. That commission to the dispatcher can be a cost-effective way to increase profit over the long run.

They can also use free load board to match their equipment and location with available freight. Even if the rates are not as high for a return haul, driving loaded increases a truck’s profitability and driving empty lowers profit. When you’re looking to stay loaded for a higher percentage of your miles, visit FreeFreightSearch.com, the world’s largest completely free load board. At no cost to you, you can search for loads back home from wherever you are.

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