Reprinted from the Florida Transportation Builder Summer 2022 Magazine

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Written by Mike Van Sickel, COO

As the cost of everything rises, it is more important than ever to manage jobs more efficiently. When it comes to trucking, contractors often struggle to understand their true costs until a project is completed. As fuel prices rise and material costs increase, that will lead to project costs that quickly spiral out of control.

Whether you’re a contractor, broker or operator, you know that dump truck hauling requires an immense amount of logistical planning throughout each stage of the project. Between bid estimates, scheduling and dispatching haulers, communicating with team members and truck drivers, and reconciling costs and invoices, it’s easy to get lost in the paperwork – which can lead to costly delays that tally millions of dollars.

There have been a handful of technology solutions introduced to the market in recent years. Perhaps the time is now to evaluate a solution, but what should contractors be looking for in order to streamline their workflow and create efficiency?

Hauler reliability is key.

Finding haulers in this market is a challenge. Keeping up with the fluctuations in fuel costs is daunting. All these dynamics make reliable trucking seem like an elusive dream. First and foremost, you need to find the haulers that are willing to work. Benefits like digital tickets, timely job approvals and digital payment with options to get paid faster are increasingly drawing more haulers to choose where they work.

Everyone should be accountable.

Controlling costs should begin in the field. Having tools that help operational teams understand what it will take to safely complete a project in the most efficient way is another key component to managing trucking costs. How many drivers will it take? What’s the most efficient route? What are the daily trucking costs by project?

Tools such as interactive truck maps and load cycle analysis allow project leaders to learn vital information such as how many haulers have accepted a job, which trucks are experiencing issues or delays during a job and which trucks are moving most efficiently. When information like this is available in real time, project managers can make adjustments and positively impact a project’s bottom line.

Eliminate the administrative burden.

Paper tickets, manual reconciliation, and cutting multiple checks each week are becoming obsolete. Technology should provide automation that eliminates manual processes and functions like invoicing and payment should be seamless, digital and interactive.

Technology should work for you, not against you.

Beware the company that offers an off-the-shelf solution that is designed to be one size fits all. Every contractor and every project are unique, so there is no single right way to get the job done. The best technology solutions should account for how a business handles short-haul trucking now and seeks out ways they can be more efficient and cut waste. Then look for a technology tool that supports your goals with user-friendly software.

Your Partner for a Complete Trucking Solution

Iron Sheepdog is a powerful tool for dispatching and managing a fleet. With GPS tracking and analytics tools, it is easy to make trucking more efficient and cost effective.

Learn more about our complete trucking solution.