Best Practices, Finishing Touches, Operations, V6I4

How to Keep from Getting Rear-Ended by Your P&Ls

Being a shed hauler can be a great business opportunity to accomplish all your dreams and goals that you want out of life. Watching all the different personalities interacting on a large Facebook page—talking of successes, failures, challenges, and accomplishments—is exhilarating. 

But if you don’t watch your P&Ls (profits and losses), those dreams and conversations won’t keep you from getting rear-ended by them.

P&L in any business is vital. In the shed hauler’s world, it is imperative to know where you stand. Numbers can look really good for even a couple years, but if you don’t know the pitfalls that lie ahead, you can find yourself in a bad situation with you wondering what happened. 

Shed hauling has the ability to lull you into complacency. All it takes is six good months to give you a false “great” feeling. You think you’re cruising down the highway, but then comes December, January, February, and March. Or a major breakdown that you never saw coming. Or health issues. An accident. (Suddenly, you’ve been rear-ended! So how do you keep that from happening?)

Hustle is the name of the game. As long as one stays busy, he has the ability to make some serious income. Easier said than done. Very few haulers actually stay busy 50 weeks out of the year. 

For some, hauling is seasonal work. Others don’t have enough sales to support their work. More are driving too far to get the work. Most, sadly, don’t stay at the same place long enough to generate steady income. If you don’t keep track of how much you’re working, your losses will overtake the speed of your profits.

Here’s what happens: You don’t watch the costs, and they start adding up. Very few haulers understand their costs. Whether running brand new equipment, older equipment, or straight up junk, they don’t know. That’s asking for trouble—figure it out. 

What does that look like? How does one figure it out? Simple. You grab a pen and paper, and you write everything down. You add to it daily as needed.  Every penny. Every dollar. Write down how many miles you run every day. How much you made to run those miles.  Which miles were empty. Which were loaded. Profits and losses. 

By writing everything down, you’re ensuring your costs don’t sneak up on you. You’re keeping yourself aware.

So, what are the costs of hauling?

Cost of equipment. For a builder, salesperson, or RTO company, this is fairly simple. For a hauler, it can be astronomical. An average shed rig these days is easily over $100,000. 

Replacement costs.  Whether old or new, equipment has to have a replacement cost figured in. Many scenarios need to be considered.

Maintenance. Simply put, shed hauling equipment is expensive to run. Needs lots of maintenance.

Insurance and licensing. Don’t cut costs. Get good coverage. Yes, it’s ridiculous, but don’t settle for less here.

Fuel. One of the biggest costs. Pay with a card that gives you points. Stop buying from companies that charge for a card. There are plenty that don’t. (Note: this applies across the board, not just with fuel.) Learn where your best priced places are. If you run IFTA, get educated on where your actual cheapest fuel is, based on tax credits.

Driver pay. This should be the biggest cost. Whether you run the rig yourself or hire a driver, someone needs to be paid, and paid well.

There are many more things to add and consider, but this should get you started. And always keep adding. Keep learning. Keep growing your business. 

And work as hard at running your business as you do moving those sheds. Don’t get rear-ended.

Haul on.

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