What’s on your mind?

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Periodically we ask Commercial Carrier Journal readers to participate in surveys regarding key trucking and fleet management issues such as fuel costs, productivity and the management of equipment and drivers. The confidential responses help further our understanding of your concerns – and how you are addressing them.

It’s always interesting to see what your peers think about issues and how they perceive common problems. So I thought I would share some highlights from a survey CCJ conducted last month:

  • The top three strategies for saving money on fuel are reducing idling time, negotiating volume purchasing prices and searching for the best retail price.
  • Equipment spec’ing decisions to save fuel stress aerodynamics above all, but other popular fuel-saving measures include fuel-saving tire treads, tire inflation systems, automated and automatic transmissions, auxiliary power units and even lighter-weight components.
  • Top strategies implemented to improve productivity due to hours-of-service changes have been enhanced communications and dispatch systems, higher detention and stop charges, and increased trailer drop-and-hook operations.
  • More than 69 percent of respondents surveyed expect to add power units during 2007.
  • Half say their number of truck or tractor fleets grew during 2006, while 43 percent say the number remained the same.
  • Nearly 47 percent expect driver availability to be their greatest constraint on growth in 2007.
  • More than half report that their annual driver turnover rate – excluding those fired – is less than 25 percent, while 23 percent say their turnover rate is between 25 percent and 49 percent.
  • The top two methods cited for improving driver retention are higher pay and more home time.
  • Nearly 40 percent of operations that use owner-operators say their independent contractor turnover is about the same as their company driver turnover, and a third report that contractor turnover is lower.

Peering over the shoulder of fellow fleet owners can shed light on common problems – and, more importantly, working solutions.