What’s the most important thing in any business?

There’s one way to succeed and one way to fail. The way to succeed is to know your numbers. The way to fail — is not to know your numbers. So it all comes down to a numbers game. You need to know all the costs of operating your hotshot trucking business.

How much does it cost you to run your truck? If you don’t know your numbers, you have nothing to go off of. There’s no basis. Without your numbers, you have nothing because you don’t even know what to charge. Of course, you could charge what everybody else charges but what if your expenses are way more than everybody else’s? You may need to charge a little more. But if you don’t know exactly what’s going on in your business, it’s impossible to know if you’re on to something or not.

Fuel Cost Is Not the Whole Story

A big way to even start is fuel. If you spend three dollars a gallon, and you get ten miles per gallon, your fuel cost is 30 cents a mile, right off the bat. Then, of course, you have insurance, daily maintenance, etc. But 30 cents is the bare minimum to operate. So if you think your operating cost is 40, 45, 47 cents a mile, you’re most likely missing something. But when you put in all your operating costs, fixed costs, variable costs, fuel, etc., you may discover that it’s closer to $1.00 a mile or more. So if you’re running all your miles at 80 cents a mile, you’re losing money on every trip.

So you have to know where to start. And the only way to start is at your numbers. So if you don’t know your numbers, you’ve got nothing. You’re just running blind. You’ve got to have your numbers.

But what if you don’t know what miles to base it off of? Start around 10,000 miles a month. That’s 120,000 miles a year. The average hotshotter or trucker does 10,000 miles on the low end. Obviously, if you do more miles, it’s going to cost you less. But you can only do so many miles legally. You can’t plan on getting 60 miles an hour as an average mile per hour. You know, some speed limits are only 30; some are 25. The most is 70.

The Bottom Line

So you gotta know your numbers — that’s where to start. You have to make a spreadsheet and calculate your numbers. It all comes down to the numbers. Trucking is a numbers game. So make sure you know your numbers at all times.