Large fleets benefit from fuel discounts for years. Now small fleets and owner-operators can begin to reap these same benefits. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Fuel, discounts on repairs among the benefits now available to all
In case you’ve been sitting on a dock for weeks waiting for unloading (and given detention issues these days, it’s possible), there was a recent wave of industry news that could finally turn the tide in favor of the small trucking business. and owner-operator.
Rates remain high and capacity limited; used truck prices hold up with the promise of more units entering the market over the next 18 months, potentially preventing prices from rising; and the remuneration of drivers is finally on the rise. And then there are the tax cuts which should help. All in all, this is a good time to get involved in trucking and the small fleets and owner-operators are taking advantage.
To help even more, a series of announcements from companies that have introduced driver-focused benefits that were not previously available to small fleets and truckers.
Driver Focused Benefits
Large fleets have enjoyed discounts for years, giving them an advantage over small fleets and owner-operators through economies of scale. The latest technology is always cheaper to buy if you have 5,000 trucks; fuel is cheaper; and volume discounts on parts and repair services further reduce costs.
This is starting to change as several companies have introduced programs aimed at small operators – who make up over 90% of the industry in recent weeks.
ONE20 announced several programs for drivers at the Mid-America Trucking Show. Start with a new fuel rebate program that will offer ONE20 members (membership is free) discounts of up to 55 cents per gallon at select locations. Many of the discounts will be closer to 20 cents a gallon, but they will be available at some 2,000 retail outlets across the country, including major truck stop chains.
All ONE20 members are eligible for the ONE20 Fuel program, which has two components. There will be a prepaid option with no credit check, as well as an option to convert to credit after approval. Members can register on www.one20.com/benefits/fuel.
ONE20 is also launching a Driver Health Program that offers unlimited consultations with doctors through MDLive. This telemedicine program costs only $ 9.95 per month. While it does not cover critical illness like a typical insurance program, it can offer drivers the opportunity to combat more serious illness by seeing a doctor early on when symptoms can be managed. The hope is that the program will give drivers the chance to avoid more expensive clinic or emergency room visits.
Uber has also implemented a fuel rebate program through its Uber Freight Plus Card. Uber Freight Plus participants receive up to 20 cents per gallon off the retail price of fuel through the use of the Uber Freight fuel card Powered by Comdata. The discount is available on TA / Petro travel stops at national scale. A smaller reduction of 15 cents is available at Roady – a collection of independent truck stops in California, Texas and Illinois.
The fuel card also provides access to maintenance discounts and 30% off Goodyear tires, for an average reduction of $ 130 per tire. In addition, card members can also enjoy discounts on new and used spare parts and trucks through Navistar. Truck maintenance costs will have a 20-50% discount applied to all Navistar parts, including its all-brand parts line. The exact discount amount varies depending on fleet size and maintenance needs.
If you’re in the market for a new or used truck, the Uber Freight Plus card has its benefits as well. Navistar is offering up to $ 16,000 in customer value on the purchase of a new truck (value depends on specifications) and up to $ 4,000 in rebate on the purchase of a used truck. The New Truck Rebate applies only to international models, but the Used Truck Rebate can be applied to any make as long as the vehicle is purchased through the Navistar network.
Convoy is known for its app, which has been refined with new features, including a automatic detention payment program. A driver under a convoy load who is detained for more than 2 hours at a shipper or receiver can now apply for detention compensation through the app. If approved, Convoy will pay the driver $ 40 per hour in detention compensation whether or not the sender pays for detention.
The company also introduced two charge finder options, Request a Charge and Suggested Refills. Suggested reloads provide loads available for ground transportation opportunities whenever a driver books a load. Request a load allows drivers to put where they will be and when they will be empty and the Convoy app will seek to match loads in that area.
Convoy also announced a partnership with Goodyear to offer Convoy members up to 40% off Goodyear products and services, as well as access to road service from Goodyear Fleet Headquarters whenever they are under. a load of Convoy. Tire discounts range from 20% to 40% and are valid on all Goodyear, Goodyear Marathon and Dunlop tires and retreads at any of over 2,300 Goodyear locations.
With driver wages and fares rising, more and more owner-operators and small fleets are in a somewhat better financial situation today. With some of these new discounts and perks starting to reach these operators, times could improve even more.