Tools I Use To Manage Our Trucking Companies
Managing a trucking company can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to staying organized and keeping track of various aspects of the business. In this article, I will share some of the tools that I use to simplify and streamline the management of my trucking companies. These tools have been valuable in helping me stay organized, manage loads, track expenses, handle accounting and invoicing, and more. Let's dive in and explore these tools in detail.
Transportation Management System (TMS)
A transportation management system (TMS) is a crucial tool for managing loads, expenses, payment reports, and other operational aspects of a trucking company. There are numerous TMS options available, such as Ascent TMS, Trucking Office, and Excel. While these pre-built systems can be useful, I prefer to customize and build a TMS that precisely fits my company's needs.
I use an amazing cloud-based software called Airtable to create my custom TMS. Airtable allows me to build a system tailored to my specific requirements. Within Airtable, I have various workspaces, including loads, expenses, audits, cash flow, family reports, partner reports, payroll, and more. Each workspace contains relevant data and information essential for managing different aspects of my trucking companies. The interconnectedness of Airtable's system makes it easy for me to access and manage relevant data whenever needed.
Invoicing and Accounting
For accounting and invoicing needs, I utilize QuickBooks, a popular and user-friendly software widely used in the industry. QuickBooks enables me to easily enter income and expense data, generate financial reports such as cash flow reports and balance sheets, and efficiently handle invoicing requirements. It has been a reliable tool for managing the financial aspects of my trucking companies.
Filing and Document Management
Being highly organized when it comes to managing documents and files is crucial for smooth operations. I use Dropbox as a cloud-based storage platform to store all my business-related documents securely. With Dropbox, I can access these files from anywhere with an internet connection, even without my computer. This enables me to quickly locate and retrieve any required documents, avoiding delays or complications, such as when a broker requests a copy of the bill of lading for a load delivered a long time ago.
Payroll management can be complex, especially when dealing with employee taxes and compliance requirements. I rely on the services of ADP, a trusted payroll system provider. ADP ensures accurate calculation of taxes for both employees and employers, reducing the burden of payroll-related tasks. It is essential to choose a reputable payroll company and be diligent in ensuring that all payroll-related taxes are paid on time to avoid penalties and legal issues.
Within Airtable, I have also created custom payroll reports to provide my team members with transparent information about income, taxes, and reimbursements. This helps them understand their earnings and deductions more clearly.
Accurate mileage tracking is crucial for various purposes, including calculating fuel taxes for IFTA (International Fuel Tax Agreement) reporting. We are fortunate to have KeepTruckin as our electronic logging device (ELD) provider, as it efficiently tracks and logs all necessary mileage data. KeepTruckin's software allows us to monitor the truck's location in real-time and provides useful features for mileage tracking, making it easier to generate IFTA reports based on specific quarters and jurisdictions.
Tracking fuel purchases is another essential aspect of managing a trucking company, especially for IFTA reporting. We utilize the Fleet One fuel card by RTS, which not only offers fuel discounts but also provides a comprehensive management system. With the fuel card, we can plan routes, find fuel stations with the best prices along the way, and access reports that help streamline the fuel tax reporting process. This integrated system saves time and ensures accurate fuel tracking for IFTA purposes.
Staying on top of deadlines, permit renewals, registration renewals, and other essential tasks is crucial for running a successful trucking company. I rely on an app called Todoist to keep track of all my reminders and tasks. Todoist allows me to input reminders, set deadlines, and receive alerts and notifications, ensuring that no critical tasks or filings are overlooked. It acts as a personal assistant, helping me stay organized and preventing important matters from slipping through the cracks.
These are just a few of the tools I use to manage my trucking companies effectively. Each tool serves a specific purpose and helps simplify various aspects of trucking operations. By leveraging technology and utilizing these tools, I have witnessed significant improvements in organization, efficiency, and overall business management.
Keywords: TMS, Airtable, QuickBooks, Dropbox, ADP, KeepTruckin, Fleet One fuel card, Todoist
Q: What is a TMS? A: A Transportation Management System (TMS) is a software tool designed to help manage loads, track expenses, handle payment reports, and streamline operations in the transportation industry.
Q: Why choose Airtable for building a custom TMS? A: Airtable provides a cloud-based platform that allows customization and flexibility in creating a TMS tailored to specific business needs. It offers easy data organization, interconnectedness, and accessibility from anywhere.
Q: How does QuickBooks help with invoicing and accounting? A: QuickBooks is a widely used accounting software that simplifies income and expense tracking, generates financial reports, helps with invoicing, and aids in overall financial management.
Q: Why is accurate mileage tracking important for trucking companies? A: Accurate mileage tracking is essential for various purposes, such as calculating fuel taxes for IFTA reporting and monitoring truck usage and operational costs.
Q: How can a fuel card and management system benefit a trucking company? A: Fuel cards, coupled with management systems like Fleet One by RTS, help plan routes, find fuel stations with competitive prices, and generate reports for efficient fuel tracking and IFTA compliance.
Q: How can reminders and task management tools like Todoist help trucking companies? A: Reminders and task management tools assist in staying organized, meeting deadlines, and ensuring critical tasks and filings are not overlooked, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity.