Slip them seats

Birmingham, AL. Duff Swain pulls no punches when he talks about why trucking needs to change the way it thinks about its business tactics, simply because such changes represent an opportunity to increase profitability in a time of escalating operating costs

Birmingham, AL. Duff Swain pulls no punches when he talks about why trucking needs to change the way it thinks about its business tactics, simply because such changes represent an opportunity to increase profitability in a time of escalating operating costs.

“It’s all about asset utilization – the more time your trucks and trailers are spent moving freight, the more money you make,” Swain, president of Columbus, OH-based consulting firm Trincon Group, told FleetOwner here at McLeod Software’s 15th annual user conference.

“Look at slip-seating drivers – most fleets don’t want to do it and their drivers don’t want to do it,” Swain said. “But keeping that truck rolling on two continuous shifts can really increase profits. One fleet that slip-seats makes 2% profit on the first shift but 18% profit on the second. That’s why you want to consider it.”

Swain notes that getting drivers to buy into slip-seating is hard as most are used to being assigned their own truck. Yet convincing drivers could be easy with the right incentives, Swain said.

“Take a senior driver and make him the ‘captain’ of the truck and then give him a percentage of the miles driven by the second driver,” he said. “Then show them that they could make the same amount of money working four days as opposed to five days by slip-seating. That should get their attention quickly.”

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