Truck Drivers – both long haul or short haul – are an essential part of the lifeblood of any western nation.
Whether it be our food, fuel, building materials, furniture, motor vehicles or any other general parcel – they all need to be trucked around our country and within our cities.
Trucking is not for the faint-hearted, with professional drivers often spending up to 300 days per year on the road. And when things go wrong and bad accidents occur it is always a tragedy for all concerned.
Our farms and other small business depend on the trucking industry. And most truck drivers, themselves, are small business owners who are trying to earn a living and feed, house and clothe their family.
As accountants and financial advisers, we have spent more than 25 years helping family owned trucking businesses. The following are some helpful suggestions gleaned from more than 25 years of dealing with these hard working small business owners.
1. Regular Maintenance: Your truck is most valuable physical asset and it has to be safe and in good working condition. Don’t skip on maintenance – get it done regularly and by competent professionals.
2. Look After Your Health: Take your mandated breaks while driving and try to find time for stretching, light exercise and good sleep. Wherever possible, eat healthy food.
3. Recharge On Your Days Off: Many of us like to wind down with a few drinks. But resting, spending time with family/friends and exercising can be just as important to getting you back on the road in the best possible physical shape.
4. Outsource Non-Core Work: Closely related to making the most of your days off, is not getting bogged down in your invoicing, general accounting, truck maintenance or anything else that is keeping you away from recharging your batteries. No small business has an endless bucket of money, but there are many cost effective systems that an experienced business accountant can help you put in place to manage these non-core activities.
5. Plan Your Cashflow: A professional and qualified business accountant is not just there to calculate your BAS and annual tax return. They can help you analyse your cashflows and plan for tax, maintenance, capital upgrades and paying yourself a proper wage plus superannuation. Make sure you have these conversations.
6. Get the Right Insurances In Place: Get professional advice on protecting your assets and also protecting yourself and your family. No one enjoys paying insurance premiums – until something goes wrong.
If you are a truck driver and want to have a chat about your business set-up, contact the experienced small business team at Affinitas Accounting on 07 3359 5244 or