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2024 Spring


Spring Into Action: A Guide to Seasonal Success in Transportation

With the arrival of spring the household goods sector of transportation will ramp up.  You will see a higher volume of industrial moves.  Weather will improve allowing more job sites to get underway. Weather will possibly create emergency situations; all generating more work for you.  You can prepare yourself for success by insuring you have the right equipment.  Having chains, binders, straps and ratchets will make you versatile enough to haul almost anything.  Fraud and theft has been high and some customers may require you to use a tracking app.  Keeping up on your truck’s maintenance will keep you out on the road and not in the shop.  

Tour season is nearing.  You can better prepare yourself for success if you understand the unique challenges and specific needs of entertainment transportation.  Projects can range from 10 days to 10 months.  Many tours have California and/or Canadian venues.  Having a tractor that is compliant presents better opportunities for you.  We can assist you with the process to expedite your passport if that is an issue.  Canadian road ways can be confusing, you must ensure your GPS service works in Canada. If you travel with an animal get their vaccines updated and have them in the truck.  There is downtime on tour and having items or activities such as a tablet, books or a game system is helpful.  It’s not glamorous on tour.  Portable toilets, hygiene wipes, travel meals and seasonal clothing are all good to keep on hand.  Schedules can require nighttime driving and early morning arrivals.  Try to find a routine that helps you stay healthy.  

There will be times in between tours that you will need to work.  Having the previously noted equipment will aid in keeping you moving.

We have been taking steps to bring new clients in and solidify relationships with existing customers.  We have been sitting down with touring, van line and industrial clients alike to let them know you are exceptional and why they should be working with R&R Express.



On the Road to Savings: The Story of Our Fuel Tax Initiative

On April 1, 2001 R&R Express Power Only began business in Elkhart, IN. Before opening and in our planning sessions for the new venture, we decided that we would have no Security Deposits, Bond Accounts, or charge-backs for Quarterly Fuel Taxes for drivers. Our Mission Statement said, “At R&R Express Power Only, we have two customers: Shippers and Owner Operators.” This is still our Mission Statement today. Staying out of the Owner Operator’s pocket with superfluous charges and fees was primary in supporting our Owner Operators take-home pay. Even though we still calculate and file the Quarterly Fuel Taxes, we continue our efforts in staying true to our word.

After several years in business, and as our fleet continued to grow, we reached a point where the filed Quarterly Fuel Tax expense reached $30,000 to $40,000 per quarter. This, of course, would mean upwards of $150,000 per year in taxes which we could not afford. We felt it was a waste of money paying these outrageous amounts for Fuel Taxes. The Elkhart Office was notified by the Pittsburgh Corporate Office either Fuel Taxes were brought under control or we would have to change our policy and begin charging back each driver’s portion of Quarterly Fuel Tax.

Wanting to keep our word to Owner Operators, the Elkhart Power Only Office asked for the opportunity to work with our fleet and bring the cost of the Fuel Taxes down. We began to calculate how to offset these obscene taxes, and reduce the quarterly expense. We determined smart fuel purchasing held our answer and began to have conversations with Owner Operators about fuel purchases. The Owner Operators answered the call and began purchasing 16 gallons of fuel for every 100 miles traveled in a state, which now has become a stamp on every load! By working as a team Owner Operators and the Elkhart Power Only Office were able to bring down Quarterly Fuel Tax costs to around $350 per truck per quarter, significant savings! As a result, we have been able to uphold our Mission Statement, staying true to our word to stay out of an Owner Operators pocket.

Please continue these smart fuel purchases so we can continue to pass those benefits and savings along to where it counts, the pocket book!!!


Charting the Course: A Perspective on Transportation Trends

As we transition from 2023 into 2024 all eyes are on the transportation market. While business was soft last year, we already see some bright spots for 2024. Beginning in January we have been visiting new and current clients to have conversations about their logistics needs and challenges for 2024. These clients have all expressed their appreciation for R&R’s services and the professionalism of our drivers. They have also stated they expect their business to grow and will need increased coverage. We discovered that with one of these customers we were only taking about 3% of their available freight  and we plan to increase capacity with them in 2024.

Expanding our view to the overall market right now it is hard to get excited for 2024. Freight volumes and rates are still down and everyone is still pinching pennies. As we move into the second quarter of the year experts believe we will see the beginning of a shift in transportation. Driver availability is expected to decrease while shipment levels hold steady. This simply means stay the course, hold on, and keep moving forward as it will get better.

While navigating the challenges of this landscape, it is important to listen to customer needs and position ourselves to meet them!

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