Truck Maintenance


On-time deliveries are key to driving a successful business. Customers and shippers alike are counting on shipments to be moved and delivered on time and intact. But there are factors out of everyone’s control, and that can cause delays in deliveries. Traffic, accidents up ahead, and weather are just a few things that can prevent you from doing your job.

With all of these uncontrollable circumstances, you can take responsibility for the one factor you can control: your truck. The last thing you need is for your truck to be out of service, damaged, or in dire need of repair, so be sure to take it in for some TLC and maintenance. That way, you can keep your hauls moving and secure more loads (hopefully through the Cargomatic app!) The following answers the “why and when” you should get your truck maintained in a nutshell. 

Why – as in: Why Does Truck Maintenance Matter?

Short trips are engine killers, (ahem, short-haul) and if you can’t avoid them, be sure to prepare for them. Trucks get maintained for many obvious reasons such as:

  1. Meeting DOT Regulations
    You won’t be able to drive your truck until every noted Out-Of-Service (OOS) Violation is fixed.
  2. Avoiding Costly Repairs
    Having routine systematic maintenance will make your costs predictable and is cheaper than emergency roadside service or emergency repairs which can eat away your profits and impact your bottom line.
  3. Increasing the Lifespan of the Truck
    By maintaining your truck, you increase uptime, lower your operating cost, lower your cost per mile and make your business more profitable.
  4. Safety
    The most important reason for having a truck maintained is safety. Safety for the drivers, the shipments and the road-sharing traffic.
Maintenance of Trucks - Costly Repairs

When – Like, When and How Often Should a Truck be Maintained?

This answer varies but there are a few different things to keep in mind. You can do periodic maintenance checks based on:

  • The type of truck you have (different makes and models)
  • Oil viscosity
  • Age of the vehicle
  • Time of year
  • Operating environment

Of course, there’s always mileage to consider when deciding when the best time is to bring your truck in to get serviced.

Maintenance of Trucks - Mileage

On average, the suggested range to receive basic service is every 10,000 – 20,000 miles. Basic servicing covers a quick inspection of your truck to ensure lights and brakes are working properly as well as getting your oil and lubricants refilled. Refer to the owner’s manual to get your intervals.

For a more thorough inspection (like the preventative maintenance check), the suggested mile usage for that would be every 30,000 miles. The maintenance check would include critical components such as:

  • Oil and lube change
  • Oil, air and fuel filter change
  • Fixing any repairs needed to ensure that the truck is up to DOT standards
  • Brake inspection
  • Proper tire inflation
  • Alignment and steering inspection
  • Lighting and electrical inspection

Conclusion

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires at least one Period Maintenance Inspection in a 12-month period*. Don’t do the bare minimum! Safety first, go get your truck serviced. Otherwise, what’s the point? Ensure that your truck is safe, legal and ready for the challenge of driving on the roads.

Planning it out will help you stay prepared and reduce the risk of surprise repairs, and ultimately make the truck last longer! In doing so, that will make you more reliable to your customers and repeat business.

Once you’re done getting the truck serviced, you’re ready to get back on the road. Don’t forget to have that full truckload. Check out Cargomatic’s Marketplace to see what’s on your route and fill that well-maintained truck up! Download our app at the Google Play Store or the App Store and check out our website for more information.

*Disclaimer: For state specifics, please refer to your local DMV, state troopers, highway patrol, regulatory body, etc.

Hot Shot Freight Is A Hot Opportunity

You might think of a hot shot as an important person but in the trucking world, hotshot freight creates hot opportunities for the drivers able and willing to do it. Hotshot freight refers to hauling freight for a shipper in need of expedited delivery —  the load is posted today and needs to be hauled today.

This type of freight-hauling need makes hotshot truck drivers sort of the minutemen of trucking — ready to go on short notice to ensure the customer’s service or operation is not disrupted. Shippers with time-sensitive freight face a lot of challenges in getting it moved quickly. They have to post the load, choose a carrier, negotiate or agree to pricing and ensure the load gets moved on schedule. Cargomatic’s Marketplace is built exactly for this situation. As soon as a shipper posts the load on our Marketplace, our network of truck drivers is notified via our free mobile app that a load in their area needs to be hauled. In most cases, the load is accepted by a vetted, trustworthy trucker within 15 minutes!

Our Marketplace is great for shippers as they know quickly that their load is in good hands and they can track every step of the job’s progress through Cargomatic’s web app. Shippers often expect to pay a premium for same day deliveries, but with Cargomatic you get “normal LTL rates” for same day service. But what is the upside for the trucker? Convenient, local work that pays a fair rate.

Even though those hot loads are often unpredictable as a shipper, same day service is the norm for the drivers on the Cargomatic Marketplace. Whether they use Cargomatic to find all of their work or if they have a regular load that doesn’t need hauled immediately, drivers know Cargomatic is the place to go to find same day, local freight that keeps the money coming in.

If you’re a shipper who needs to move freight locally and wants to enjoy normal rates for same-day shipping, visit Cargomatic.com to learn more. If you’re a driver interested in local freight to haul, download the free Cargomatic app now. You’ll get notifications of jobs in your area and get paid within days of completing the job. For more information about how Cargomatic can help with local freight, connect with us today.

How to Address Local LTL Shipping Challenges

How to Address Local LTL Shipping Challenges

In our last post, we discussed several challenges associated with local LTL shipping. Some of these include rates, capacity, quality and time. While it’s good to identify issues, it’s even more important to know how to address them.

Many times, shippers will work with brokers or use load boards to combat these LTL challenges. These are good options, but shippers may find quicker and more comprehensive support (and very competitive rates) from Cargomatic’s Local Freight Marketplace. We understand the challenges of local trucking and LTL shipping because that is what we do. We have created an entire platform to help you ship your local freight as easily, efficiently and cost effectively as possible. We are your local freight connection.

Rates can vary across the board in this industry, but our pricing is both fair and transparent. At Cargomatic, we’ve already done the job to find and vet trustworthy drivers for you. You can trust that when you choose a driver through our marketplace, you’ll be working with a professional, quality trucker to deliver your shipment. This reliability, paired with our competitive pricing, will help you get the most out of our local LTL shipping services.

Aside from the rates and quality of service, two other challenges we discussed in our last post are time and capacity. It can often take LTL shipments longer to arrive at their destinations as “traditional” LTL carriers strive to fill their trucks. Cargomatic’s large network of truckers helps you cast a wider net when searching for a reliable truck driver to haul your shipment. This helps you find the untapped capacity in your area and also helps those local truckers make the most of their available capacity – a rare win/win for both sides of the equation.  Each of your shipments includes our just-in-time delivery (with same day 2-hour pickup and drop-off windows), GPS tracking and real-time status updates. You’ll never be left wondering where your shipment is in the delivery chain, and you won’t be stuck tracking down your shipment yourself via phone or email.

At Cargomatic, we also handle all the billing, settlements and ”back office stuff” to make shipping as easy as possible for everyone involved. Instead of going through different billing systems every time you go through a different carrier, you’ll be able to streamline your billing process by letting us handle it for you. You can trust that our paperless billing process will take care of your needs accurately and in real-time. For more information about what Cargomatic can do for your business, contact us at 866-513-2343.

The Challenges of Local LTL Shipping

Challenges in Local LTL shipping

When it comes to moving freight, Less Than Truckload (LTL) shipping is a great option for long hauls and often the only option for local shipments. For long hauls, shippers can often save money by only paying for the truck space they use while truckers and carriers can maximize earning potential by filling the entire truck with shipments from many shippers, but this often comes with the cost of time. For local LTL shipping, the challenges are many. Following is a list of some of the more common issues you’ll find in local LTL shipping:

Rates

Rates can vary quite a bit when you’re looking for local LTL shipping, but it’s important to remember that you often get what you pay for. Choosing the cheaper option to save some money may end up costing you more in time, money and headache later on. Do your research to find someone reliable and trustworthy that can haul your freight at a competitive rate.

Capacity

Just because you have freight to ship doesn’t mean you’ll always have access to a truck that can move it whenever and wherever you need it. Space is a recurring issue as many traditional LTL carriers strive to always operate at full capacity. Additionally, not all carriers provide local LTL shipping, so you have to find someone who offers the service or you may have to utilize a third-party provider to help connect you with the right carrier.

Quality

Not all carriers are created equal. As a shipper, you want a carrier who will be professional and can ensure on-time delivery. It can be a challenge to find quality carriers and vetting carriers and drivers properly takes time, money and persistence. Always be sure the carriers you work with have the proper authority, licenses and insurance as well as a solid history of safe operations.

Time

It can often take LTL shipments longer than you’d like to arrive at their destinations because the carriers work to fill the trucks to capacity by aggregating freight from many shippers. This often leads to manual monitoring of your shipment via emails and phone calls so you can track where your shipments are in the process.

Insurance

Even when you’re shipping a smaller amount of freight with LTL shipping, insurance should be a priority. Trucking companies carry a variety of insurance policies, and some may not fully cover your freight in all situations.  Always be sure your shipment is covered.

When it comes to local LTL shipping, what other challenges have you faced? In our next blog post, we’ll be going over ways you can overcome these challenges to help you utilize local capacity as successfully as possible. If you’re interested in learning how Cargomatic can help you, connect with us!