As a business owner, fleet manager, owner-operator, or truck driver, you’re more than aware of how vital controlling truck expenses is. With truck fuel prices rising to the highest they’ve been in decades, you may feel the effects. Continue reading to learn how these added truck costs impact the trucking industry and where to find the most cost-effective truck refueling prices.
Almost everything you own passed through the supply chain at some point. Whether it’s the lumber used to build your home or the brand new toy you bought your child as a birthday gift, it likely got to you via truck. So as the cost of truck refueling rises, truck expenses do too.
Fluctuating diesel fuel and gas prices aren’t abnormal but typically don’t significantly impact shipping costs. However, the substantial rise in a gallon of diesel, up $2.11 on average over 2021, is hitting the bottom lines of trucking professionals hard. For average-sized tanker fuel tanks, the cost of truck refueling is getting well over $1,000 per stop.
When you factor in the number of miles fleets cover on a weekly basis, the cost per mile to ship has nearly eliminated profit margins. Companies are forced to pass on their additional truck expenses to consumers to stay in business and recoup those losses.
The COVID-19 pandemic has already had the trucking industry reeling over the last couple of years. Add to that the severe shortages of drivers, skyrocketing truck fuel prices, and the highest inflation we’ve seen in 40 years, and you can see what a problem this has become. With operating costs higher than most companies have ever experienced, they’re looking at every avenue they have to cut their trucking costs.
Fuel costs vary depending on your location, local taxes, and other factors. Because truck fuel prices greatly vary by state, let’s take a look at the early May average diesel prices regionally:
- East coast: Currently, the average cost is $4.09, up $1.31 from a year ago.
- Midwest: $3.98, more than $1.18 increase year over year.
- Rocky Mountains: The average price per gallon is $4.18, which is $1.17 more than the same time last year.
- West coast: The highest diesel prices in America are $5.09, up over $1.50 from the previous year.
Rather than trying to cut corners to reduce the effect truck refueling has on your business, there are steps you can take to drop your trucking expenses. If truck fuel prices are hurting your business, consider:
- Proper maintenance: The last thing you want right now is to have one of your trucks go down. Preventative maintenance plays an essential role in avoiding the trucking costs associated with repairs, replacements, and installations. Having certified technicians inspect your truck and provide timely services can keep your vehicle operating at peak performance. And that translates to truck fuel prices having less of an impact on your profits.
- Calculating your costs: Cost per mile is the most critical factor for trucking companies. When you know how much it costs to haul a product, you can better set your prices and the types of cargo you pull to maximize your profitability.
- Increasing fuel efficiency: One of the easiest ways to combat diesel and gas prices is by instructing your drivers to limit the amount of idling they do. You can also check tire pressure during truck refueling stops to ensure they’re at the optimal level. Keeping your RPMs in the sweet spot of 1250 to 1350 helps you make the most of your fuel supply.
- Maximizing cargo capacity: If you’re not already strategically loading cargo to fit the most products per run, you should immediately start doing so. More packed products mean fewer runs, which can turn wasted trucking costs into profits.
- Keeping it in high gear: The higher speeds you travel in low gear, the more fuel you’re burning. Remaining in the highest gear helps improve fuel efficiency, prolongs truck refueling stops, and saves you money.
- Installing aerodynamic accessories: Adding side fairings, deep angled bumpers, and trailer skirts improves your vehicle’s aerodynamics and lowers fuel consumption. While these add to your truck’s expenses, they have long-term benefits.
- Reviewing your routes: In your attempts to counteract high truck fuel prices, it’s important to look over your routes. Smart logistical decisions cut trucking costs by finding the shortest, safest, and most direct routes possible. Every mile you go out of your way on a delivery or pickup run is a wasted truck expense.
Though we can’t control truck fuel prices, we can ensure your vehicle is in impeccable condition and operating efficiently. Since 1985 we’ve maintained, repaired, replaced, and installed just about every piece of equipment on tankers and trucks imaginable. We keep a large inventory of parts made by the industry’s most trusted manufacturers, including Gardner Denver, Dixon Bayco, FitTite, and TITAN Fuel Tanks.
When you’re already paying too much for truck refueling, the last thing you want is downtime that prevents pickups and deliveries. Our certified technicians and R-Stamp welders can quickly address any issues with your truck or tank and get you back on the road as soon as possible. Reach out to White Tank & Truck Repair the next time you need work in the Missouri, Kansas, or Southern Illinois areas.