Courtesy of DVL Express
“Don’t go through life, grow through life.” — Eric Butterworth
Over 3,140 trucking companies went out of business last year. Typically, around 85% to 90% of startup trucking companies fail. It’s not always easy to run a company, but it’s especially difficult in the competitive transportation industry. For those that want to be counted among America’s fastest-growing Inc. 5000 companies, or that are just looking for some best practices, following these key steps is a great start.
1. Grow your people.
A growth mindset is the No. 1 aspect that sets people and leaders apart.
How are company drivers developing? One company, DVL Express, implemented a specific program in which company drivers can expand to become lease-operators, owner-operators, flatbed drivers or really anything else they desire. DVL Express maps out clear steps for making more money and spends a lot of time training in every facet of trucking.
The fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A consistently ranks first in restaurant surveys, and the CEO says it’s because they invest more than other companies in training and career advancement.
2. Keep the right people.
Part of retention in the industry is giving performance incentives.
“We want to show our drivers that they are valuable,” noted Tanya Grieshnikova, human resources manager for DVL Express. “That’s why we do things like offer a Best Driver & Most Miles bonus every month. We also give the opportunity to increase earnings by up to $.8 cents per mile, which has proven to be a huge benefit to our drivers.”
Since the average truck driver spends most of their days alone in a cab, it’s important to make sure that they have a “home base” that’s modern and equipped for refreshment. DVL Express built a weight room, a massage room, a lounge area and a hotel for rejuvenation.
“I just asked myself what I would want from a trucking company, and I tried to do exactly that,” said Alex Dovgal, owner of DVL Express.
3. Make it mean something.
In the last year and a half, trucking/logistics proved to be an essential part of keeping the economy running. Since trucking is already meaningful, it’s easy to make it become more.
Come up with ways to make every mile driven really count by donating a portion to projects like planting trees or cleaning up the ocean. DVL Express is currently building an orphanage/school, and their drivers know that every mile driven means another brick laid for a child in need. What does your name mean?
4. Utilize the right technology.
A study done by Supply Chain Quarterly found that 98% of 3PL companies and 93% of shippers believe data-driven decision making is essential to supply chain activities.
There is software out there today, like collision-mitigation technology, that uses radar and sensors to monitor and minimize risks on the road. Interstate trucks also use an electronic logging device (ELD) like the ones made by Samsara, which can help with productivity in the long run.
DVL Express is currently in the final processes for creating its own exclusive software for drivers. The app will help with trailer tracking and seamless communication, and it even has a unique aspect for interacting with other drivers by participating in fun challenges and other activities to increase driver connections.
5. Run a good back office.
Trucking is about more than just driving and delivering loads. There are other components like accounting, safety and dispatch, and some companies even have fleet and truck repair departments.
There’s a lot to think about as an owner. From dispatching the right routes to compliance and safety protocols, doing the little things well can go a long way. Try to leverage the expertise of each of these departments to train drivers and set up a system of excellence throughout the entire organization. The performance of the business is at stake here.
Overall, everybody needs to answer the “why” of the business first.
DVL Express decided in the very beginning that its why statement is, “We exist to change the way the world views the trucking industry.” More trucking companies are needed that want to leave a good and lasting legacy behind.
For those who want to be a part of a trucking company that is doing things the right way, click here to find out more about DVL Express.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.