On the Road to Savings

Fleet managers are looking to reduce costs any way they can. Industry experts offer advice on how to minimize transportation costs and increase efficiency.


There is a critical balance between profitability, safety and customer service, so it is important to choose a transportation partner that will help you get the best payload possible, keep your product safe and offer excellent customer service.

One way to guarantee better profits is to choose a company that has both specialized equipment and high safety standards while continually working with you to ensure that your transportation needs are growing along with your company.

The federal highway system allows a truck traveling on the roads a maximum weight of 80,000 pounds no matter what product is being transported. Therefore, if you can develop a lighter truck and trailer, a larger payload can be delivered to the end user.

It has always been a best practice of Ruan for its engineers to work directly with manufacturers and customers to develop specialized equipment. More than 10 years ago, when Ruan began working with Michael Foods, based in Minnetonka, MN, our engineers immediately began working with manufacturers to develop a lighter truck and trailer. Michael Foods is one of the country’s largest shippers and consumers of eggs. In Iowa and Nebraska, Michael Foods ships more than 30 loads of liquid eggs per day. Each liquid load is equal to approximately 480,000 eggs.

Ruan designed a lightweight day cab tractor that weighs less than 14,500 pounds with a driver and full of fuel. The trailer was de- signed with all lightweight components and built to be shell full at 6,300 gallons.

Ten to 15 years ago, 45,000-47,000 pounds of product was considered to be a good-sized shipment. Today, Ruan trucks, properly designed, haul approximately 54,000 pounds of product. For example, if a shipment costs $500 to move, 45,000 pounds would cost a company $111 per hundredweight (CWT). When you increase the weight to 54,000 pounds, you decrease your CWT to $92, which is a 20 percent freight savings. —Mike Mefford, vice president, sales, Ruan Trans­portation Management Systems, Des Moines, IA.

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