Transportation Archives | Green Fleets

Route optimization is used to find out the most cost-effective routes. It helps in finding out the shortest possible routes. It also helps in planning the most optimal route by considering a few other factors. They include

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  • Number of turns
  • Road traffic
  • Nearest possible drivers
  • The load-carrying capacity of the vehicle
  • Road accidents
  • Schedule of the driver
  • Delivery time

All of this helps in efficiently delivering goods and services at the stops in the best possible manner.

It is tough for trucking organizations to plan delivery routes especially when they are operating on a large scale and managing numerous fleets. Finding the best route out of multiple routes present is a tedious task. You need to plan multiple routes for a single vehicle. This is an impossible task if done manually.

Human beings cannot make all the necessary calculations. If you still plan to do things manually you make compromises on a lot of factors. These include:

  • Efficiency: It is very tough to plan the route you are supposed to take manually. This hampers the efficiency of the whole process.
  • Accuracy: There are chances of manual errors while planning the routes.
  • Flexibility: It is very tough to make a driver available the last movement in case of the absence of another driver if everything is done manually.
  • Scalability: You need a lot of workforces to manage the smallest of trucking operations in case you are willing to do it manually.
  • Robustness: If route planning is done manually, it becomes extremely tough for the organization to find the replacement of the workforce in case they leave.

“Truck drivers are the only ones that know the best places to stop on the road.”-Carole Eastman

This can only be done with the help of modern-day technology. There are various routing software for trucks available, that help in route optimization. This enhances the experience of the customer and provides them with great satisfaction.

Video Credit – CARFAX

They tend to repeat their purchases. Apart from this, there are several other benefits associated with the optimization of routes using the software. They are:

  • Reduce fuel cost: The driver does not have to remember the paths as they are tracked using routing software. This reduces the chances of taking the wrong path. The shortest and best paths can be taken. This reduces the amount of fuel used in the vehicle.
  • Reduced repairs cost: The vehicle spends less time on the road. This reduces the amount of damage caused and ultimately reduces the cost of repair.
  • Reduced administrative cost: With the help of automation, the requirement of the workforce is reduced. This lowers the administrative cost.
  • Increased number of deliveries: With the help of route optimization software, the number of daily deliveries is increased. Drivers are systematically allocated work. This makes quick and more deliveries possible.
  • Increased drivers’ satisfaction: Route optimization makes it possible for the drivers to know the paths they are supposed to take. They need not remember these paths. It also helps in tracking the dangerous routes, these can be avoided. Accidents if any are also tracked. This ensures the safety of the drivers and ultimately increases their satisfaction.
  • Faster deliveries: With the help of routing software, the best paths can be tracked. This leads to faster deliveries
  • Reduced fuel tax: With the help of route optimization software the time spent by the vehicles on road is reduced. This reduces the amount of fuel spent and in turn reduces the fuel tax.

The route optimization software has become the need of the hour. Different organizations have different needs and accordingly need to pick the best routing software for themselves. This needs to be done with great care. Following are a few factors you must consider before selecting a route optimization software for your business:

  • Real-time traffic consideration: It is pivotal for businesses to select a routing software that plans the routes on a real-time basis considering the traffic present. This makes it possible to select the quickest route.
  • Accurate decoding: The route optimization software should be such that it can track the exact location where the deliveries are to be made.
  • Historical data inspection: The route optimization software should be able to record the historical data regarding the driver, customer, and time. This makes it possible to know the drivers’ efficiency, customers’ preference, and satisfaction. It also helps in knowing the time when the deliveries were made. Shortcoming if any can be rectified by proper measures using this historical data.
  • Order-vehicle constraints: The perfect route optimization software must provide recommendations regarding the type of vehicle to be used according to the nature of the goods or services that are to be transported.
  • Adaptation to change: Your business grows and increases the scale of its operations over tie. It also changes the way it operates and works according to the latest trends. It is important to choose the truck routing software that easily molds and works in the changed surroundings.
  • Report management: The routing software chosen must be able to integrate the reports of the entire business using a cloud-based format, on a real-time basis.

You should make sure to check the reviews and ratings of the route optimization software before purchasing it. The existing businesses using the software shall be consulted. Free trials must be asked for and accordingly, the best software must be chosen. It has become vital for businesses to undertake route optimization using present-day technology to stand firmly in front of their competitors. It enables it to grow and survive in the long run.

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For a trucking company, it is very important to know the operating cost for each trip. It is very crucial for the trucking company to break the threshold of operating costs for each and every trip. Otherwise it will be impossible for them to stay in the business. Therefore, calculating the cost per mile is the first step you have to take even before starting your trucking company. Once you have the cost per mile and the estimated revenue, then you can have a clear idea about how much profit you will make on a trip. This estimated profit is the real difference between a successful company and a failed one. You can calculate your cost per mile by following a few steps.

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The best truck drivers are patient, independent, determined, and hard working. They love adventure and like thinking quickly.  – Joanna Dunham

The first and the foremost part of calculating your cost per mile is to know the exact amount of mile you drove in a month. This total number of miles must include both paid and non-paid miles. In this way, you are able to get the total operating cost for the trip.

Most of the time trucking companies use an estimated number of total miles in a month to calculate the cost per mile. This number can be different for different companies, as not all the companies have the same kind of business volume. However, most of the companies claim to drive hundred thousand miles a year.

Calculate your fixed operating cost

Fixed operating costs are the expenses that don’t change from month to month. These expenses don’t change whether your truck is on the road or parked in the parking lot. Fixed expenses include the truck payments, truck and driver insurance, cellular plans, health insurance premium, licence plates and the various permits required to operate the trucks. As you can see, these expenses don’t change month by month. They remain the same for all the trucking companies. Some of the expenses are yearly based and some you have to pay monthly. Once you add all these fixed expenses, you have an idea of per mile fixed operating cost.

Calculate your variable cost

Variable expenses directly depend on the number of miles you drive every month. Therefore cost increases with the increase in the number of miles driven in the given month. Fuel is a variable expense as it is directly related to the number of miles. Fuel expense increases with the number of miles goes up in a month. 

Other variable expenses are food expenses, maintenance and tyres etc. You don’t have to spend every month on maintenance and tyres. Therefore this cost changes every month. Food expenses also vary all the time. Therefore to calculate cost per mile, you have to calculate the variable expenses every month very accurately with ifta fuel tax mileage calculator.

Total cost per mile

This is the final step to put everything together and find the total cost for the month. You have to put the total number of miles, fixed and the variable expenses of the month together and get the cumulative figure. This figure is our total cost of operation for the month. In this manner, you can simply divide this figure by the number of miles driven in the month to get the cost per mile. In this calculation, you will notice that your fixed expenses decrease as your number of miles increases. 

Calculate profit per mile

Once you have the total cost per mile, then it is easy to know your profit per mile. You already know the amount of revenue you generated in a month, you just need to divide this amount by the number of miles you drove in the month. This will give you the amount you make per mile. Now just subtract the cost per mile from the amount you made per mile, this will give you the profit per mile. In the trucking industry, profit is the most important thing. If you know how to calculate ifta tax accurately, then there is a great chance to be a successful trucking operator.

Video Credit – Bridgestone Commercial

How to maximize profit by calculating your cost per mile

Once you have completed all the calculations to determine the cost per mile and the profit per mile, now you can start going through the numbers and find the areas of improvement. As you have already noticed that your fixed expense tends to decrease with your number of miles increased. But at the same time your variable cost goes up with the miles.

You can cut the variable cost by saving on fuel with the help of truck management software. This software can guide the drivers better routes and reduce wastage time. You can also manage the stops more efficiently and deliver on time. All these steps help you control the variable costs to an extent. This will have a great effect on your saving. More you cut the variable cost while driving more miles, it has a significant impact on your net savings. This is all possible due to the calculations we did to determine the cost per mile. 

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As soon as the tax season arrives, the truck operators have to pay the heavy vehicle use tax or HVUT. So what is HVUT or heavy vehicle usage tax? Any operator who is operating a vehicle with a total weight of 55000 lbs or more has to file the heavy vehicle usage tax by filing the form 2290 of IRS. Gross weight includes the weight of your vehicle, body and the accessories. This doesn’t include the driver’s weight or the weight of any special accessories which you don’t use normally.

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Step by Step Guide to Pay Your HVUT

When you are ready to file your heavy vehicle usage tax, the paperwork can be very confusing and time consuming also. Therefore, you have to start as soon as possible, to avoid your form rejection and save yourself from the heavy penalties of the IRS. There are few steps and if you take them one by one, you will be able to file your heavy vehicle usage tax on time and properly.

This will save you from the last minute rush and also help you avoid unnecessary penalties that can occur with the late filing. 

“I’ve been on every interstate highway in the lower forty-eight states by now, and I never get tired of the view.” — Steve Earle

Collect the Right Information Correctly

To file your heavy vehicle usage tax you need to have some important information about your vehicle and highway use tax calculator.

EIN : First and foremost, you need your identification number to file the vehicle use tax. You must not file your HVUT without the social security number. That can lead you to the rejection of your IRS form. 

VIN : Now, you need the vehicle identification number of your vehicle with gross weight of 55000 lbs or more. This is a very unique number for each vehicle, so make sure you have noted down the right number.

Taxable Weight : Now, you need the total taxable weight of your vehicle to file the vehicle usage tax. 

You must collect this information very accurately, otherwise wrong information can lead to the rejection of the form.

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How to Calculate Your Tax?

  • Heavy vehicle usage tax depends on the number of vehicles you operate which are over and above 55000 lbs. To find the total taxable weight of your vehicle, you have to add the actual unloaded weight of your vehicle ready with all services, weight of the trailer equipped with all the services and the maximum load carried by the vehicle and its trailer. This will give you the total taxable weight of your vehicle.
  • There are some vehicles exempted from the tax, regardless of their weight. The vehicle that travels less than 5000 miles in a year, heavy agricultural vehicles travel less than 7500 miles in a year and some heavy machinery that are not used in a transportation industry. 
  • To calculate your tax per vehicle is very simple, any vehicle with gross weight less than 55000 lbs is exempted from the tax. 
  • The vehicle with gross weight between 55000 lbs to 75000 lbs has to pay $100 plus $22 per 1000 lbs over 55000 lbs.
  • Any vehicle with gross weight over 75000 lbs has to pay $550.

Keep Track of the Miles You Have Driven

Specially for you farm vehicles, you have to accurately record the actual miles spent on the highway and farm. Your miles used on farms are exempted from the tax list, therefore you have to be very accurate when noting down the miles of your farm vehicle. This will come handy in case of an audit. 

Partial Period Tax

The heavy highway tax period starts from July 1 and it ends on June 30. Therefore, if you have purchased a vehicle in the month of july, you have to pay the whole amount of tax applicable on the vehicle. But if you have purchased the vehicle in any other month, then you have to pay the partial period tax from that month to the June 30. 

Pay Your HVUT Tax by Filing Form 2290

Once you know the amount of tax you have to pay, then you can simply pay the tax by filing the form 2290 by mail or directly online through the IRS website. You can pay this amount by electronic fund withdrawal, electronic federal tax payment system or by check using the payment voucher. 

Keep Records of Your Vehicle

You have to keep all the records of your vehicle for for a minimum of three years from the date of your tax is actually paid. You have to keep the copies of your tax return and maintain the data of each registered vehicle. This data includes the complete summary of your vehicle, date of purchase, load weight, date of first time tax filed, date on which the vehicle was actually sold and for the farm vehicles the accurate mileage. 

Save Your Stamped Schedule 1

This particular stamp is the evidence of your payment of the HVUT. You have to save this for your future requirements. Without this you can’t renew your tags or  registration for IFTA.

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Fleet vehicles are owned by big businesses and companies. Vehicles like trucks, taxis, and vans come under this. An efficient fleet management system allows a company to keep a record of drivers and destinations. It helps a company to keep track of all vehicles and their maintenance costs. It provides help in vehicle insurance and proper licensing. The more efficient fleet management is, the more successful the company will be.

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Reasons to manage a fleet:

1. Provides business details: Managing a fleet makes it easy for a business to keep a record of all things which are important for a company. Information like employee documents, travel records, and total fuel consumed are kept recorded.

2. Helps in managing heavy vehicles: If a company’s fleet is well managed, then it can manage its heavy-duty vehicles efficiently. Company vehicles like vans, taxis, and trucks could be managed easily.

3. Makes room for fewer errors: If most of a company’s information is stored in databases, then it helps in causing no human errors. Various trucking maintenance software help in storing data from time to time after making a delivery.

4. No room for arguments or confusion: The good management of a system guarantees that there will be no clashes between the employees. As every worker knows his or her job, there will be no confusion and everyone will manage to do their work on time.

5. Helps in empowering the company. Good administration helps a company to work smoothly which in turn helps in increasing sales and earning profits.

How to ensure the smooth running of your fleet:

 1. Keeping all records: A company should ensure all types of records are kept in its databases. Various records ranging from employee details and products sold must be stored by the business.

 2. Checking timely maintenance: A company should ensure that all of its vehicles are in good condition. From time to time service of the vehicles must be done. Various fleet management softwares are available which provide timely reminders for the servicing and check-up of the vehicles.

3. Insuring the vehicles: It should also be taken care that all of a company’s vehicles are insured by a good insurance company. It must be ensured that all the premiums of the policies must be paid timely.

4. Maintaining good relationships with drivers: A fleet company should ensure that it keeps a track of all activities of the drivers and maintains good communication with them. This will ensure the drivers’ loyalty and they would put more effort into making deliveries on time.

5. Filing IFTA taxes on time: A business should take care to file its IFTA taxes on time. An IFTA form can be easily filled online and its payment can also be done online.

6. Using fleet management software: Many fleet management softwares are available online. They can be easily brought by a company. The truck repair software has both web or mobile apps which makes a driver’s job easier.

7. Using IFTA stickers: IFTA stickers are also provided to a company’s vehicles after proper registration. These help a vehicle to travel in any province and also show that full tax has been paid by a company.

8. Maintaining a proper license: A fleet company should make sure that it has renewed the licenses of all its vehicles, and if not then immediately it should renew the licenses after paying the penalties.

9. Filing an IFTA report timely: The company should also ensure that it files an IFTA tax report quarterly. This will help in effectively managing the business and drivers to travel easily.



Video Credit – Manuel Ochoa

Advantages of keeping the fleet running smoothly:

1. Helpful in creating intelligent vehicles: Combining the right technology will help the fleet companies in archiving fast and easy profits. Vehicles with fleet management software guide drivers and help them in timely delivery.

2. Improving cargo handling: Managing the fleet helps in handling the goods and products efficiently and makes a room for fewer breakages and less damage to the product. This in turn helps in increasing business.

 “There is no situation like the open road, and seeing things completely afresh.” — James Salter

3. Bettering trade and communication: Managing a fleet company with care helps in providing better service. It helps in providing customer input which further assists in improving a business.

4. Helpful in routing and mapping: Effectively managing a fleet provides timely information that helps in selecting the best road, routes, and streets for delivery. This helps in saving time which further assists in making timely delivery.

5. Helpful in reducing expenses: Managing a company efficiently helps reduce unnecessary expenses with a cause because of nonpayment of dues or missing vehicle maintenance dates.

6. Helpful in making future decisions: A well-organized fleet company can make its future decisions with precision. This assists in making decisions about a delivery, shuffling the duties of drivers, and replacing a driver with others in times of crisis.

7. Increasing the supply chain: the more organized a company the more it will deliver its products and services on time. Timely delivery grantees full payment and customer satisfaction.

There are many reasons to manage a fleet company but mostly all businesses and companies should do so to ensure their success. In this competitive world, the company which provides the best services to its customers and manages to satisfy them fully will be able to incense its business and reach its full potential.

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Managing a truck dispatch company can be a very complex affair. You have to manage load details, load type as well as is required to assign the right driver to the truck, generate invoices, and ensure driver trip settlement, etc. This can be very hectic if you decide to do it manually. There is a lot of software available in the market to do this particular job for you. You can keep track of all the trip-related details with trucking dispatch software. Trucking dispatch software is a single-step solution for most of the problems in the trucking business. Here are discussed a few of the benefits provided by the trucking dispatch software. Trucking dispatch software creates your full truck load (FTL) and less than truckload (LTL) dispatches in literally no time.

Read More There are so many things a trucking dispatch software can do for a trucking company. Below are highlighted a few of them.

Manage Dispatch

It can smartly add many small loads to a single load with multiple stops or a full load to a single transit. This is very helpful in dealing with multiple clients.

Managing Assignments

Trucking dispatch software can dispatch load in just a few minutes by entering the shipment details, pickup and drop off locations, date, time and finally assigning the driver to the truck. The assigned driver will receive the notification right away with the details of the assigned load and truck. Therefore, it removes the need to manually assign the dispatch.

“There is more credit and satisfaction in being a first-rate truck driver than a tenth-rate executive” –B.C. Forbes 

Route Management

Trucking dispatch software not only finds you the best available route but also helps you calculate the total distance covered and provides you the correct ETA. Route planners by the software can add stops to your trip for example where to refuel, rest, or pick up the additional load. This will reduce the wastage of time and saves a ton of fuel.

Real Time Tracking and Sending Feedback

Dispatch Trucking Software app keeps sending the last location of the truck to the base and provides the real-time data to share with the clients. Therefore, the customers know exactly where their load is and the estimated time of arrival of the delivery. This will help the base to track the diver whether he is following the required route or wasting time on a different one. Customers are the most happy ones with the continuous updates regarding their delivery.

Video Credit – ROADS sg

Manage Paperwork

Trucking dispatch software digitally assigned jobs, generate invoices, calculate the working hours of the drivers and printed bills of landings, etc. Therefore, it saves a lot of manual paperwork for the company. The trucking software compiles the trip sheet and generates a closing statement, hence speeding up the whole process. It also receives and sorts out the bill payments and trip expenses. So you don’t have to write any of these entries manually. Whenever you need it, the software can generate the desired statement for you.

Accessibility

The trucking dispatch software can help you make a customized URL for your company, where you can add different users for different sorts of work. Each of the users have accessibility to the specific work, related to their designation. It can create an account for each staff member. For example, a manager can have complete access while a driver can have only access to the dispatch oriented features.

Satisfied Customers

Without the trucking office software, trucking companies have to do everything manually, which is very time consuming and sometimes not accurate enough for ensuring the client’s satisfaction. You have to rely on the information provided by the drivers. But with the integration of trucking dispatch software in your company, everything becomes very easy. Now the clients can track their shipment and have exact ETA for their delivery of goods. A customer always cares about the whereabouts of their shipment. Therefore this software helps the company in a big way to provide the best services to their clients. As you can see there are tremendous benefits of a trucking dispatch software. That’s why most trucking companies try to use the latest software available in the market, just to keep them self ahead of the competition.

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