Hotshot truckers make their money on the mile. The national average is between $1.75 and $2.50. The national trucker drives anywhere between 2,000 and 3,000 miles per week. Independent truckers make their money by charging for the mile. Here are five questions to ask yourself before determining your price per mile.
1.) Where are you traveling?
If you are traveling a long distance, you will have to spend money on fuel. If it is close by, you probably won’t make much money, but you will not be putting as many miles on your truck and trailer.
You also have to think about servicing your truck and trailer. The more miles you drive, the more often you have to service your vehicle. This will be a factor in deciding your mileage charge.
2.) What are your fixed costs?
Fixed costs are expenses that your company spends whether you are hauling a load or not. Fixed costs include expenses like insurance, payments, licenses, permits, and any other services.
The price of your monthly payment for your new gooseneck trailer is going to cost the same if you are out driving hundreds of miles, or if your trailer is parked in your driveway. The same goes for your insurance and permits.
Always keep track of your fixed costs that way you know how much you are spending, and if you are making enough money to cover the mandatory expenses.
3.) What are the variable costs?
Variable costs are money that you spend when you are operating trucks. These costs include fuel, maintenance, repairs, meals, lodging, and any other expenses you face on the road. Variable costs can range greatly from one load to the next.
Say you live in South Carolina and you are going to deliver just across the state line in Georgia. You are not putting a ton of miles on your truck so you will not have to spend money on fuel. If you live in South Carolina and you are traveling halfway across the country that could cause you to spend more money on fuel and possibly food and lodging. More miles on your truck, the sooner you will have to get it serviced.
It is important to calculate monthly costs to track how much you are spending, but also to make you sure you are charging your client’s enough so you can make a profit.
4.) What are the roads like?
This may seem like a silly question to ask yourself, but if you could help you figure up mileage. If you are traveling from Nashville to Indianapolis, you drive mostly on I-65 the whole way. If you have to haul a load downtown in an urban city, you are driving on city streets at a slower pace. This decreases the number of miles that a driver can complete.
This is also true of weather conditions. If you are willing to haul a load in inclement weather like snow, it is justifiable to charge more money. Inclement weather is harder on your vehicle, and it is more time-consuming.
5.) How many miles are you going to be deadheading?
Deadheading is when someone in the commercial trucking industry is operating, but they are not making any money. It goes without saying that hotshot truckers want to avoid deadheading as much as possible.
Figure up how many miles you are going to have to deadhead to pick up load can help determine your mileage. How much money do you need to make to make up for the miles you deadheaded.
How do you determine your price per mile? Let us know in the comments below.