Werner Enterprises brought in 7 percent less money during the fourth quarter, when the economy was spiraling down the toilet, yet its net income went up 20 percent from a year ago. It accomplished this by reducing the size of its fleet and taking other cost-cutting measures, the company reported this week. Declining fuel prices helped, too.
Just because you’re not a mega-fleet doesn’t mean you can’t get the same results in a downturn. You have to spend a lot of money to earn a dollar, but a dollar cut from costs goes straight to the bottom line, as our friends at owner-operator financial services provider ATBS often point out.
If you’re a one-truck show, you might not have much overhead to trim. But don’t overlook cost-cutting opportunities in professional and personal areas, such as trying to eat out less.
Diesel’s at the top of the wasted spending list for many owner-operators. It’s a lot cheaper than it was last summer, but it still eats up thousands of dollars. If you’re not doing all the well-publicized things to conserve fuel (driving slower on the highway, maintaining tire pressure, refraining from idling, starting and stopping slower, spec’ing area equipment), give them a try.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.