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How To Manage Your Fleet Short Haul & Long Haul Operations?

Freight transportation or trucking service plays a vital role in the supply chain of a business. When you need to deliver goods or raw materials, a reliable trucking service is essential.

Whether it is a short-haul or a long haul, efficient trucking service will safely deliver your goods on time, without compromising on the quality of your merchandise.

Though long-haul trucking is frequently discussed and managed well in the transportation industry, the challenges faced by short-haul truckers are often overlooked. Fleet management software can help short-haul truckers overcome their challenges.


What is Short-Haul trucking?

  • Short-haul trucking refers to driving a commercial vehicle within a 150-mile radius in a day and returning to the home base or depot at the end of each shift.
  • For example, a food delivery truck delivers packages to many customers in a single day, all residing in the same local area.
  • Short-haul trucking is relatively a short-distance driving.


What is Long-Haul Trucking?

  • Long-haul or OTR (over the road) trucking refers to driving a commercial vehicle for 250 miles or more to make a single delivery.
  • For example, tractor-trailer units have to drive much farther, usually interstate or between cities.
  • Long haul trucking is relatively a long-distance driving.


Top 10 Differences Between Short-Haul and Long-Haul Trucking Services

Sr. No. Point of Difference Short Haul Trucking Long Haul Trucking
1 Distance Travelled Typically travel a distance within a 150-mile radius Typically cover a distance of 250 miles and above
2 Area Covered Local region Inter-city or inter-state
  Maintaining Trucking Fleet For short-haul services, businesses prefer to run their own trucking fleet. Due to high costs, compliance requirements, and liabilities associated with a long haul trucking service, most businesses outsource this function to third-party logistics.
3 Operating Costs

(Fuel expenses, insurance costs, repairs and maintenance, etc.)

Lesser than long-haul services Generally higher than short-haul services
4 Truck and  Equipment Costs The cost of a short-haul truck is lesser than a long-haul truck Equipment cost is lesser than long-haul services The cost of a long-haul truck is higher than a short-haul truck Equipment cost is generally higher than short-haul services
5 Compliance Costs (incurred for meeting interstate regulations) Not applicable Cost applicable
6 Truck Driver Experience and Expertise Requires skilled driving experience of navigating city roads with sharp and tricky turns, narrow laneways, and smaller streets. They need to master different driving skills like reversing/backing up. Requires experience of moving in a forward or reverse direction.
7 Loading/Unloading Usually, short-haul truckers make up to four stops in a day, loading and unloading packages at each location. Long-haul truckers spend more time traveling on big highways carrying loads for days before unloading. They may not even make one delivery per day.
8 Awareness about Interstate Regulations and Laws Not required for short-haul drivers Long-haul drivers should be aware of interstate regulations and laws if they cross state lines. For example, height clearance for bridges


9 Returning Home for Truckers Most short-haul truckers return home to their families at the end of their shift every night. Some long-haul truckers work throughout the week and return home on the weekends. Many others work for weeks or even months at a time, thereby spending more time away from home, family, and friends.
10 Compensation/Pay Scale and On-Road Expenses Short-haul truckers make lesser money than long-haul truckers. Their pay-scales are much lower than long-haul drivers. They have lesser on-the-road expenses, such as meals and showers. Long-haul truckers typically make much more money than short-haul truckers. Their pay-scales are much higher than short-haul drivers. They have more on-the-road expenses.


What are the Key Challenges in Short-Haul Trucking?

Short-haul truckers face unique difficulties that needs to be recognized by fleet managers. By doing so, the fleet managers can help overcome basic challenges that hamper the short-haul business. Some of the biggest challenges faced by short-haul truckers are:

  1. Lost Time due to Backing Up Vehicle’s Trailer: Short-haul truckers needs to steer their trucks into loading docks several times to complete multiple deliveries in a single day. Backing up, also called blind-siding, is a time-consuming and tedious process that requires cautious use of the vehicle’s mirrors, several stops and starts, and a spotter. This results in delivery delays and schedules going haywire.
  2. Re-routing: With frequent traffic blocks and road work in city streets and on highways, short-haul drivers need to take alternate routes many-a-times to ensure timely delivery. Therefore, while re-routing, fleet managers must ensure that drivers have access to the most updated and efficient routes.
  3. Demanding Schedules: With frequent pickups and deliveries, short-haul truckers have a relatively more demanding schedule to meet and often face delays. Therefore, short-haul drivers and fleet managers need to work together to overcome delays and ensure schedules are met.


How Best Fleet Management Software can Help Overcome Short-Haul Trucker Challenges?

Best fleet management software can help short-haul drivers deliver goods in time by:

  1. Minimizing Lost Time by blind-siding: With efficient routing, however, blind-siding need not throw off the timeline of a day’s deliveries – dispatchers can incorporate this time into their schedules to ensure jobs are still completed on time.
  2. Optimizing Re-Routing during Unexpected Occurrences: With a GPS fleet tracking system, fleet managers can save most optimal routes and send them to short-haul drivers to follow when re-routing need arises.


With two-way communication and live mapping features of a fleet management system, fleet managers can help their drivers get access to the best routing for their day-to-day work. 

So, does your business use an efficient software to handle every aspect of fleet management?

If you’re looking for the best software to optimize your short haul or long haul trucking service, then choose Fleetroot.

Fleetroot fleet management software helps businesses streamline their fleet operations effectively, monitor assets live and reduce operating costs.

Call +971 525234328 to learn more about our software and schedule a Free Personalized Demo today!


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