Most people will agree, the truck driving industry is the heart of American commerce. Every year, truck drivers cover millions of miles delivering essential cargo to and from manufacturing facilities across the country. But with great responsibility comes a great deal of risk. From supply chain breakdowns and vehicle collisions to vehicle maintenance and repairs to theft and vandalism resulting in costly damages or complete cargo loss, most commercial trucking companies encounter some form of a setback in their daily operations. To protect their business and minimize losses, trucking companies often acquire commercial truck insurance. If your trucking company is enrolled in an insurance policy, read on to learn how you can lower your premiums.
Don’t Defer Truck Maintenance
One of your trucking company’s most significant assets is your trucks. They are the lifeline of your business. But like most machinery, trucks require regular maintenance to ensure they are operating at optimal performance. In the United States, your company must adhere to several state and federal regulations if you want to avoid hefty fines. Vehicle maintenance is suitable for your bottom line and a great way to solidify your reputation in the industry. Don’t wait until your trucks break down to perform maintenance. The condition of your trucks indeed impacts your commercial trucking insurance premiums. It is good practice to develop and implement a maintenance schedule for your fleet. This includes preventative and replacement maintenance. With preventative maintenance, you’ll want to regularly replace vehicle fluids, tires and inspect other vehicle parts that are prone to wear and tear.
On the other hand, repair maintenance includes returning your out-of-service trucks to the road or replacing over ten-year-old vehicles. The trucks that make up your fleet should have modern equipment regularly updated and installed. These include accident-avoidance technology geared towards commercial trucks.
Conduct Routine Inspections on Your Fleet
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation require trucking companies to record their inspections on Daily Vehicle Inspection Reports. This means that your company should already be conducting daily inspections, making it easier to implement this better business practice and save money on premiums. The truth of the matter is that when your company fails to perform and record these vehicle inspections correctly, not only will it result in fines, but it may lead to the loss of your active licensure. When a business is fined for non-compliance, it will often need to file a trucking insurance claim related to non-compliance and ultimately cause that business to pay higher premiums. It is crucial that you conduct daily inspections and properly file the necessary reports to fix vehicle issues before they break down and cause injury to personnel or other vehicles on the road.
Work to Minimize Fuel Expenses
It’s no secret in the trucking industry that fuel expenses represent one of the highest overhead costs for trucking companies. Learning to control your fuel cost will save you money and improve customer satisfaction. Fuel tracking systems are available on the market today. Many companies have also opted to use fuel cards instead of requiring drivers to hold onto paper receipts.
Another excellent method of controlling fuel expenses is focusing on route planning. Implementing fleet management software will maximize the efficiency of your routes, saving your company time and valuable resources. Your routes also have an impact on your commercial trucking insurance premiums. Several factors like inclement weather and the population density of the roads you travel increase the risk level. The more risk your route poses, the higher your premiums shoot up. To save money and even reduce fuel costs in the process, avoid large metropolitan areas or regions prone to bad weather.
Consider Implementing Vehicle Tracking Software
Route planning is an essential part of your trucking business. A great way of maximizing your planning is by investing in vehicle tracking technology. GPS and telematics utilize fleet management software that can collect route information in real-time. You can use that information to plan routes that save miles on your routes. Having access to your fleet’s route history makes it easier to compare and organize the most efficient routes that will help reduce overhead costs on other factors such as fuel. The less time you spend on the road, the lower your risk index dips.
Hire Drivers with Superior Performance History
If you want to save money on premiums, consider hiring drivers with impeccable driving records. When insurance companies evaluate your premiums, they assess risk, and there’s no better way of guaranteeing higher premiums than employing drivers with questionable driving records. This means your company should avoid drivers prone to accidents or who showcase numerous violations and traffic tickets on their driving records. These drivers tend to give a higher risk index to insurance providers, which will cause your premiums to skyrocket. It’s important to note that the opposite is also true. In a nutshell, insurance providers pay close attention to the history of your drivers, good or bad. Consider hiring drivers with few to no violations and accidents on their driving records. The ideal candidates would be those with no more than two minor violations in three years. Of course, some drivers are bound to make mistakes, but a repeat offender can cause your business to lose money. Besides, imagine dealing with the higher potential risk of a bad driver damaging one of your trucks in an accident.
Imagine the Benefits of Lower Premiums on Your Business
Operating a successful business requires a great deal of risk management. When your trucking company adopts better business practices, you reduce your cost and lower your risk index. And it doesn’t just save you money but also ensures customer satisfaction and strengthens your reputation within the trucking industry. Focus on efficiency. Invest in fleet management software. Hire safe drivers to lower your insurance premiums and maximize profits. Trucking companies are essential to American commerce, and many communities rely on truck deliveries to fuel their economy. That’s why at Brothers Insurance, we work for you, not the insurance companies. We customize insurance plans to fit your needs. Give Brother’s Insurance a call today at 516-246-5835 and see how we can help you.