3 Common Problems Concerning Back Loads
Posted: Jun 25, 2014
Getting enough back loads to keep routes profitable is a constant challenge, especially on the less popular ones. But as if that’s not challenging enough, many haulage companies also have to grapple with other problems that only up the ante. The following are three of the most annoying ones, but we also offer the solution to solving them with grace.
Transporting Fragile Items
Often, in the desire to schedule in as many back loads during a return trip as possible, drivers are so open to suggestions - even weird things or something that may put other things in the cargo hold at risk of destruction or contamination. One such risky request is the transportation fragile items; this can mean anything that can be easily broken, has a tendency to leak, or anything that could sustain damage easily. Drivers cannot just accept the load and resolve to hold it with one hand while they're driving - it would just be putting everything else in jeopardy. The proactive solution is, clearly, to always be prepared for such fragile items. Drivers should keep something on board that can serve as protection, such as blankets, Styrofoam blocks or anything to hold the item in place and protect it from vibration. In the worst-case scenario, the job should not be accepted if the risk is too high.
Getting lost happens, especially with a new driver on an established route, or a veteran driver on an unknown route. In the desire to take on back loads, some drivers may be tempted to accept pick-up requests that deviate from established courses – the thinking is that as it’s only a mile or so away, why not slip in in for a bit of extra cash? However, it must be borne in mind that getting lost can also be costly; haulers operate by the clock, and every minute counts because every mile burns fuel, and the larger your truck is, the more fuel you burn. Drivers of old relied on maps, but doing so while driving through traffic makes for a primary candidate for a road accident. The solution is for companies, or individual drivers to equip vehicles with global positioning system (GPS) devices. They are now fairly inexpensive and, in fact, even the most ordinary smartphones have them.
As if managing back loads is not enough, getting them in amounts sufficient not only to break even, but also to make a profit can be difficult, too. Drivers cannot just go around knocking on random doors and asking people if they have something they need delivered, specifically to that place where they come from! But as we’ve said, there’s always a solution. Often, as in this case, it's a modern one - the Internet. There are exchange websites that facilitate transactions between haulers and potential customers, serving as a middleman. Thousands of members make it possible for any customer that needs a load delivered to find the right hauler for them.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the world's largest neutral trading hub for same day haulage jobs and back loads in the express freight exchange industry. Over 2,500 transport exchange businesses are networked together through their website, trading jobs and capacity in a safe 'wholesale' environment.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.