How to attract new drivers

An industry-wide driver shortage is underway for trucking professions. As the years go by, more and more trucking companies are falling short when it comes to employing young, female drivers. Over half of the jobs in the trucking industry are made up of drivers, which is why it is important for companies to take on a more diverse workforce. If you are seeking a new group of trucking employees, follow these few tips to make sure you are attracting the right people for the job.

Budget for more drivers. While it may seem obvious that a higher salary will attract more drivers, make sure you budget for the pay raise. It is true that you want to bring in a younger group of workers, but be sure to keep in mind how much it will cost to continue gaining new employees.

Implement more regular hours. Gone are the days where young drivers enjoyed sleeping and traveling on the road. Nowadays, truck drivers want to sleep in a bed and raise a family, which means the industry needs to change with the times. Try instilling more regular work hours in order to attract younger drivers.

Purchase high quality vehicles. One major way to bring in a more diverse workforce is to offer them higher quality vehicles than your competitors. Comfort and safety all play a part in the job appeal, and it is important to keep your employees happy and healthy.

Listen to your workers. Younger generations appreciate sympathetic and understanding leaders. It is important to listen to driver concerns with regards to safety, salary and overall wellbeing in order to keep your current professionals and attract new ones.

If you have questions about attracting new drivers, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance today.

Tips on Getting a Job as a Professional Driver

Any job is difficult to get if you are not prepared. As a truck driver in particular, you will find that planning for your new career will help you in many different ways. Before attempting to land a job as a professional driver, consider these tips regarding your career.

Consider the responsibilities. A life always on the road may seem carefree and laid back, but there are certain responsibilities that you must consider before embarking on your career. Time and salary are essential to big rig drivers, and will play a large role in the jobs you take and the ones that you decide not to.

Choose the type of trucking. There are several different types of truck driving careers out there. Before you jump into the world of big rigs, it is important to decide which kind of trucking is right for you. Some options to consider as a driver are: general/van freight, reefer, tanker, flatbed, liquid bulk, car hauler and ice road trucking. Each profession requires a different skill set and a different vehicle, so do your research before choosing your job.

Decide on a salary. It is important to be realistic when you set salary expectations as a truck driver. As a beginning driver, you may not reach your goal right away, so be sure to take into account time and experience as a factor. Different types of trucking also pay differently, so look into each one carefully before considering a truck driving career.

Set long term goals. Whether you are looking to make more money, want to travel to new places, or want to learn a specific skill set, it is important to set goals for yourself. As a big rig driver, you are likely to move between different companies frequently, so decide early on what you are looking for out of a driving job.

If you are struggling with finding a job as a truck driver, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC today.

Using Technology On the Road

Technology has made life much easier for everyone, including professional drivers. Whether it helps you get where you need to be on time or helps you pass the hours it takes to arrive, technology has revolutionized the big rig world.

Navigation. The first and most prominent pieces of technology for truck drivers are navigational systems. Gone are the days when big rig drivers pulled out maps at gas stations to figure out their route. Today, it is easy enough to just plug in the GPS on your phone and hit the road!

Organization. With loadboards and instant freight matching, you can connect shipments at the touch of a button. If you are an owner-operator, you can apply to haul loads via different freight apps that allow you to choose when, where and what you transport.

Entertainment. Say goodbye to listening to the same ten songs on the radio all day long. Truck drivers now have the ability to stream live music, download podcasts and listen to audiobooks. Try catching up on the latest news, learning a new language, or rocking out to your favorite tunes while on the road.

Safety. Finally, technology has certainly improved truck driver safety. With devices like back-up cameras, dash cams and LED flashlights, you are safer than ever before – both from accidents and from insurance issues.

If you would like to browse the different technology options you have as a truck driver, call Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC today.

Fuel Up! Making Smart Choices When Choosing Your Fuel

As an owner-operator, making smart choices when choosing your fuel is extremely important. Day or night, fueling up should constantly be on your radar. If you are a first-time or veteran owner-operator, keep these tips in mind the next time you make a pit stop.

Watch the drag. Improving your big rig’s aerodynamics is essential as a professional driver. Nearly half of your fuel is consumed from your truck’s constant need to reduce “drag”. Consider using side fairings on your rig as a physical drag barrier, therefore easing the stress on your truck and ultimately consuming less fuel.

Be aware of traffic. Turning on and off your truck can take a great deal of fuel. It is important to constantly check on traffic conditions so that you can avoid heavy-traffic areas. Even shifting gears can lower your fuel levels – try your best to keep at a constant, steady pace to avoid gas station stops.

Check fuel levels regularly. As an owner-operator, you should always be watching your fuel levels and making sure that you have enough to get you where you want to go. Don’t wait until the last minute to fuel up, because this will add unnecessary stress to your rig.

Fuel responsibly. Consider using a premium grade fuel instead of standard diesel when filling up. This may improve your mileage and save you trips to the gas station on the job. It also may be worth waking up a little earlier to fill up before your road trip, and pump at a low fuel level.

If you have questions about fueling up as an owner-operator, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC.

Truck Tires: What You Need to Know

Choosing tires for a big rig can be challenging, especially if you are a first-time driver. If you are an owner-operator who is considering new tires for your rig, browse the list below before you make your first big tire purchase.

Size. All tire sizes are expressed as metrics, ISO metrics or in inches. Do not let the specifics scare you away from purchasing proper tires. Instead, try asking for a conversion into inches, so you can evenly measure all widths and depths of the tire before buying. In a flotation sizing system, the numbers you will need to identify include height, width, radial and wheel diameter. Check out a tire conversion chart for more details.

Treadwear. Treadwear determines how durable your tires are, and projects a lifespan for each. It determines and reports whether or not a tire is going to last longer or shorter than the expected average. A larger number from baseline 100 means that it will last longer, and a smaller number means that it has faster treadwear, and will not last as long.

Traction. A tire’s traction has to do with the stopping distance it has in wet road conditions. This measurement is given a number (A, B or C) and can let you know how well your tires will hold up in harsh weather conditions. The stopping distance is based on a speed of 40mph.

Temperature. Once again, letters (A, B, and C) are used to determine what degree the tire will dissipate heat. While this grade can be useful for some big rigs, generally a driver can tweak the pressure, loading and operations of a grade-A tire and they will work just fine.

For more information on truck tires, or for any other questions, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC.

Vocational Financing

A vocational, or work truck typically has different work cycles and uses than an multipurpose big rig. With individual market segments, it can be difficult to settle on a financing option that is right for your specific job. Before choosing a financing option on your vocational vehicle, consider these options to get the job done.

Balloon options. If you plan on selling your vocational vehicle in the future, consider using a balloon payment option when financing your big rig. This will allow you free cash flow and more flexible choices when it comes to giving up your vehicle down the road.

Retail payments. This kind of financing allows for more seasonal payments on your vocational vehicle, as it takes into account the time of year that you are working the most. For example, if you are generally using your truck in the winter, payment plans can be put in place to ease your burden during the spring or summer.

Extended terms. If you are worried about getting locked into a finance plan for your vocational vehicle, consider working with your leasing and finance company to work out a plan that is right for you. These companies are often lenient when it comes to vocational vehicles.

Deferred payments. Unlike multifaceted big rigs, vocational vehicles serve one specific purpose. This means that any repairs or mendings need to be taken care of as soon as possible. If you cannot fix your rig in time to make your payments, consider a deferred payment option for those unexpected emergencies.

If you need help leasing or financing your vocational vehicle, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC today.

Purchasing tips for first time owner operators

As a first time owner operator, it is natural to have many questions about the type of big rig you should purchase to become your own boss. Before you decide on your first vehicle, take a look at the following tips to make your professional driving experience a whole lot easier.

Cost considerations. One of the most common mistakes that first time owner operators make is overspending on the initial big rig purchase. It is important to keep in mind that in addition to the cost of the truck itself, you will need to provide all the extra maintenance and upkeep. Keep these cost considerations in mind before hitting the road for the first time.

Needs over wants. While you may be hoping for a flashy paint job or extra driving accessories, remember that the most essential aspect of your big rig is overall quality. Make sure that you choose a truck that will last you for as long as possible. As you are the one paying for any damages, perhaps you should consider sturdiness and durability over appearance.

Used vehicles. Many professional owner operators choose to purchase a used vehicle for their first time. Buying a used truck can certainly cost a lot less than a brand new one, but be cautious. It may sound appealing to buy a cheaper big rig that has been previously owed, but make sure you inspect the vehicle carefully before deciding to make a purchase.

Crazy dimensions. Finally, try to choose a vehicle with standard specs for your first purchase. Do your research on the type, make and model of your truck before taking it home to make sure you are choosing wisely. It might be worth talking to experts about the size of your hood, bed and wheels before taking on a new truck yourself.

 

If you have questions or would like more information on big rig specs for owner operators, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC.

Truck Driver Shortage

With more deliveries in demand than ever before, professional truck drivers are incredibly valuable. Why then, are we seeing a sudden decline in big rig drivers in the past few decades? Check out these few reasons why truck drivers are becoming a rare commodity.

 

Lost appeal. While the appeals of being a big rig driver may have outweighed the challenges in the past, truckers are now facing difficulties on the road that turn potential drivers off of the trucking career path. Long hours, tough road conditions, lack of sleep and strained relationships can all be strenuous on a professional driver, and some have decided that the benefits do not outweigh the barriers.

 

Aging drivers. For so long, the US has depended on a pool of professional drivers who are now facing retirement. As this generation of big rig drivers prepared to leave the force, very few are stepping up to take on the responsibility. Whether this comes from lack of experience or lost job appeal, there is most certainly a gap in professional drivers that needs to be bridged.

 

Male majority. According to NPR, only 6% of professional truck drivers are women. If the professional job pool were to attract more women to truck driving, perhaps the truck driver shortage would not seem so detrimental.

 

Strict qualifications. Finally, the qualifications of a truck driver have become increasingly rigid over the years. Between the added licenses, the time and effort put into to each step of the hiring process, and the added expenses, fewer and fewer people are looking to become professional drivers. There are even more obstacles for owner operators, which includes the added expense of purchasing your own rig and taking care of all maintenance and repairs individually.

How to Make Good Money as a Big Rig Driver

Professional truck drivers are often promised higher salaries and better benefits than they actually receive. While the need for experienced big rig drivers continues to increase, many drivers are not satisfied with their livelihood. Follow these tips to ensure that you are getting the most out of your time as a driver.

 

Negotiate rates. Negotiating rates around mileage, not hours, can be a smart career move for big rig drivers. This will allow you to capitalize on the speed of your travel, rather than the time it takes you to get there. If you have some experience as a professional driver, it is in your best interest to discuss pay expectations with your employer.

 

Become an owner operator. A simple solution to salary woes is to become your own boss. Becoming an owner operator can allow you a multitude of financial freedoms. Keep in mind, however, that you will also be paying for the upkeep of your big rig, which can also be an expensive ordeal.

 

Explore unique driving professions. The best money is made doing unique or unprecedented jobs. If you are a professional driver, this could mean taking up ice trucking or driving in less desirable parts of the country. If you are looking for ways to increase your paycheck, it might be worth it to examine different driving options.

 

Gain experience. The most effective way to bump up your paycheck is to gain experience as a professional driver. With a few years of driving experience under your belt, you will more likely be able to call your own shots when it comes to negotiating your salary conditions. Keep trucking along, and the money is bound to come in.

 

If you have questions or want more information on making good money as a professional driver, contact Crossroads Leasing & Finance, LLC.

Dealership Services

If you are interested in buying or selling road equipment, keep these tips in mind before you begin making transactions.

Know your worth. When considering selling your equipment, it is important to understand how much the items you are selling are actually worth. You may miss great opportunities to sell if you are too arrogant with your prices, or you may undersell your equipment and end up with less than you could have made. Finding the proper pricing is essential to a successful transaction.

Research selling methods. Even if you have been a professional driver for many years, it may take a while to grasp the types of selling methods you should use with your equipment. Do your research before putting your items on the market. Try to hone in on your target audience and appeal to their interests.

Demonstrate value. When presenting your equipment, make sure it is in mint condition. Hose down, wipe down, shine or wax your driving equipment before you present it to your potential buyers. You never know the price buyers might agree to when the equipment is shiny and clean. Further, when taking pictures, make sure you put your best foot forward and show the items from all angles.

Don’t wait too long for payment. It can be easy to agree to an equipment transaction even when there is no end date in sight. Make sure you nail down the payment method and time frame before you make a deal.

Build trust. Selling equipment is all about making relationships for the future. Keep in touch with the people you are selling to so that you can reach out and make additional transactions when you need to. You never know, you could make a few great friends out of it!

Crossroads Equipment Lease and Finance has been helping dealers and manufacturers across the United States to sell and buy equipment for years. If you need help buying or selling your equipment, contact us today.