Developments in both online and offline buying platforms have had a direct correlation with increases in the shipping of products and services.
As a result, transportation service providers now need to optimize their time in more effective and intelligent ways. Shipments to small and midsized businesses have been growing due to more agile delivery options, and the trucks themselves are seeing more action than ever before.
With that in mind, here are four tips to keep your truck running smoothly:
1. Keep a regular maintenance schedule: As it goes with any vehicle, regular tune-ups are a necessity. The average wear and tear on a vehicle happens every couple thousand of miles, and for trucks that are delivering on a constant basis, a check-up is much needed. Most manufacturers call for an oil change every 5,000 to 7,000 miles, but depending on the year of the model, CBS News recommends going in more often than not – especially if the truck is driven frequently. Regular emission checks are also necessary and usually required by the state, so drivers may want to determine when their next test is.
2. Don’t be an offensive driver: Although there are deadlines to meet when delivering parcels, there’s no need to be an aggressive driver, especially when clients’ packages are in the back of the truck. Shippers are mainly responsible for any damages to the parcels, so they must be defensive drivers and take care of their vehicles. Aggressive driving is also hard on the car’s brakes, transmission and tires, and it affects gas mileage in a negative way, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
3. Maximize your loads: It doesn’t matter how long a trip is, drivers and TSPs need to optimize their loads each time a delivery is made. Companies cannot afford to make the most out of each load, especially during an economic recovery. A trailer needs to be full of products that will generate bottom line revenue. Additionally, companies can invest in equipment that will make the trucks more efficient as well. For example, the aerodynamics of a truck heavily influence its fuel efficiency, and at highway speeds, physics play a major role in things such as drag force – which most of the power semis generate is used to overcome. According to a recent study conducted by Transportation Canada, colder climates resulted in about 10 percent more fuel consumption for large freight trucks, so companies that invest in aerodynamic transportation technology will end up saving themselves quite a bit of money in the long-term.
4. Keep an eye out for engine malfunctions: This is especially important for older trucks since they’ve been running for such a long time. Certain aspects of the engine need to be under constant surveillance, CBS News suggests. For example, the belts and hoses are rubber parts that can be damaged by heat created under the hood, and over time, these parts undergo wear and tear. If they fail, they can lead to much larger, more expensive damages. The wheel alignment is another minor aspect that drivers may be wary of, as the slightest miscalibration can affect gas mileage and other functional aspects of the vehicle. Minor intricacies like this can greatly affect a truck’s performance, so driving the vehicle in a safe and smart manner will save TSPs handfuls of cash.