Even with a global pandemic and other issues taking a toll on our collective way of life in 2020, there’s still a need to get things from one place to another. While this is certainly good news for the trucking industry there are still concerns about rising and falling rates. Certainly not a new dilemma, such issues often trigger a blame game that’s not good for anyone. Ultimately, you’ll be better off personally and professionally if you slow down and focus on what you can control.

Realize What’s ‘Typical’ for This Industry

When it comes to brokers, there will be “bad apples,” but this is true with any industry. Owner-operators, on the other hand, maybe inclined to accept low-ball offers because they don’t fully understand their cost numbers or fully realize just what a broker does. More often than not, most people working within the trucking industry simply want to make a decent living and support their families. So, take a deep breath and slow down before you default to placing blame. In the end, realize it’s not fair to generalize – and it’s not productive, either.

Step Back and Evaluate Difficult Situations

If faced with a difficult situation, take a moment to focus on yourself to figure out what you can do about it. For example, if you’re an owner-operator dealing with a financial squeeze, take stock of your operating costs. By knowing your numbers, you’ll be able to make reasonable cuts or cutbacks with expenses. Taking this step can also give you more confidence with how you work with brokers so you’re not accepting offers that aren’t good for your bottom line.

Slow Down to Boost Fuel Savings

The “slow down, you’re moving too fast” advice has many practical applications for the trucking industry in addition to getting past the blame game. This advice also applies to how you approach efforts to rein in expenses. A good starting point is fuel consumption. This is when it can literally make perfect sense to slow down.

When rates are good and freight is abundant, it’s common to make the most of every mile. This can absolutely be good for business if you’re able to squeeze in another load or two by doing this. But with fuel rates so low at the moment, it’s not as profitable to do so. With a situation like this, it makes more sense to slow down and consume less fuel. This tactic could even lessen your burden with accounting paperwork for tax purposes, so there’s that, too.

Another important way to slow down is to eliminate stress with your business model whenever possible. Yes, we’re living in uncertain times, but by finding a healthy balance with work and family, cutting expenses whenever possible, knowing when to literally slow down, being more aware of where you stand financially, and letting go of what you can’t control, you’ll be in a better position to appreciate what’s good about the trucking industry – and life in general.