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What Are Some of the Hidden Factors in Your Truck's Total Operating Cost?

KPMG recently estimated the average total cost of ownership (TCO) for operating a semi-truck at 41 to 59 cents per mile per truck for carriers. While some of the components are easier to break down, such as a semi-trucks fuel usage, drivers' salaries, and the annual fees and certifications semi-trucks need annually, it can be difficult to track down exactly where all of the costs are coming from. 

What are some of the components of the rising cost of truck operation?

  • Mandated devices and hardware. While a small portion of the total cost of operation, the newly mandated requirement of ELDs, or electronic logging devices, will hit most truck owners' budgets by December 18. Similar focuses on breaks for drivers, new safety equipment, and the rising cost of routine parts and hardware as technology increases are filtering into the price of semi-trucking. While some sources forecast that adding these safety devices and ELDs will result in lowered fines and insurance rates over time, right now carriers and owner-operators are facing the costs without the projected savings.
  • Employee shortages. There has been a driver shortage across the country, and that means experienced drivers with a CDL and a good driving history are more valuable than ever. Companies and government agencies are also creating programs and incentives to encourage more people to get CDLs in order to curb that shortage. The shortage of technicians is also making costs go up: technicians trained in traditional repairs and maintenance are less available, and there are even fewer technicians experienced with ELDs, new hybrid components, and semi-trucks parts that are increasingly becoming part of the Internet of Things. Both the scarcity of labor and the expense of replacement parts are going to add to a higher total operating cost.

Sometimes the costs of owning and operating trucks are nearly untraceable, and even when you have the numbers it's difficult to trace why expenses have changed year over year. Go to Michigan Truck Sales & Equipment for more information about changes in the industry and ideas about how to keep your trucking business under budget.

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