Hauling Challenges That Cost Time and Money on the Jobsite

Identifying how each aspect of fleet management works together is the key.
By Bart Ronan
August 4, 2021

Most construction companies, fleet owners, brokers and material producers that own or manage a fleet of dump trucks want to be more efficient. Still, there is no tried and true blueprint for building long-lasting solutions—making it especially difficult to develop a plan.

Since every company operates differently, the best way to develop a unique plan is by addressing existing challenges. Having open (consequence-free) discussions with dispatchers, foremen, office managers and drivers is key to identifying the areas the company is already excelling in and the areas that need the most improvement—these latter areas can be fixed more often than not by implementing simple best practices and even further improved by technology adoption.


Dispatchers spend their days fielding calls from material producers, drivers, the jobsite foreman and project managers. While dispatchers are resourceful problem solvers, there are ways businesses can better support their efforts by focusing on centralizing dispatching and increasing scheduling efficiency. Some of the ways to overcome dispatching challenges include:

  • Managing all schedules in one clear view, which allows dispatchers to become more efficient and have greater confidence; and
  • Staggering the arrival times of dump trucks, which means more time for the crew to prepare and fewer lines.


Lack of visibility is one of the most significant “blind spots” jeopardizing project budgets and timelines, but there are things that can be implemented today to help combat communication challenges.
Cut down on confusion by promoting consistent communication. Everyone from the foreman to drivers to dispatchers and the back office will benefit. Establish clearly defined roles and keep the environment positive and collaborative. The power of technology can improve these efforts further with the following methods.

  • Real-time tracking: The quickest way to reduce confusion and build trust between the jobsite, haulers and dispatch is to make sure everyone is accountable.
  • Early intervention: Technology provides the tools to reach out and intervene when something is going off the rails or someone is off course.


“We use the dump trucks we own as much as possible, but I can’t tell you exactly how many hours each truck is used on a given day.”

If that sounds familiar, contractors need to address asset utilization. While this term is used when it comes to fleets, many team members will not fully understand the word—or its impact. So start with education to ensure the team understands what asset utilization is and how it will affect overall profitability.

Definitions include the following.

  • Deployment: The time a dump truck or piece of equipment is on-site and expected to work as a percentage of the total ownership period.
  • Availability: The time a dump truck or piece of equipment is on-site and works as a percentage of a machine’s time is on-site.
  • Utilization: The time a dump truck or piece of equipment works on-site as a percentage of the time the machine is on-site and can work.

Even an additional hour of use per day can have a significant impact on the bottom line. Digital tools can further amplify this in the following ways.

  • Reducing the grunt work: Getting a baseline asset utilization ratio (the total revenue earned for every dollar of assets a company owns) is difficult, especially if doing it all manually. Technology can help track and report on current utilization.
  • Leveraging data to align the team: Technology helps contractors stay on track toward meeting business goals with easy reporting and analysis rather than manual tracking.


More state DOTs are issuing digital or eTicketing guidelines and will continue to innovate this process post-COVID-19. As states investigate eTicketing, forward-thinking companies have opportunities to help shape how eTicketing will be structured by partnering with local associations and DOTs.

Construction companies committed to building best practices and leveraging technology will be positioned for ongoing success because they can:

  • Access all load slips as work finishes throughout the day, eliminating the need for collecting and batching paper tickets at the end of the day;
  • Download load slips, thus eliminating paperwork on-site, which can get lost or damaged; and
  • Catch invalid or missing data from the field instantly.


Rounding timesheets to the nearest quarter hour may not seem like an issue on the surface, but multiply that by hundreds of employees and thousands of hours of work. On average, 728 hours annually are wasted by manually processing hired-hauling invoices.

Focusing on accuracy can quickly help improve an organization’s logistics. For example, digital tools provide a clear and precise schedule with hired haulers and help establish a culture of on-time paperwork.

  • Digital punch in/out clocks—accurate to the minute—are automatically aggregated and exported into weekly invoices. No more rounding up.
  • Easy dispute management with all the data you need to be stored digitally, including historical and timestamped route information.

Unfortunately, these problem areas cannot be addressed in a vacuum. Instead, identifying how each aspect of fleet management works together is the key to unlocking the benefits of updated processes and understanding how to incorporate logistics technology. The results of taking an honest look at fleet management practices speak for themselves. On average, those who leverage technology to improve their efficiency see more than 1,000 hours and $160,000 saved per year.

by Bart Ronan
Bart Ronan is the CEO of Trux, a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution designed to help material producers, trucking companies, and contractors streamline truck scheduling, driver communication, and back-office processes. Before joining Trux, Bart served as Senior Director of Finance for Fuze.

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