Monday, October 7, 2013

Serious Errors in Haulage Contracts You Need to Avoid

Haulage contracts are the bread and butter of every haulier, especially when it comes to major clients that seek to work with firms in the long term. This is why it is imperative that all documents, from brief one-time delivery contracts to long-term heavy haulage contracts, are written up flawlessly. Make sure to correct these common errors found in many ill formulated contracts out there:
No definition of terms and parties involved in the contract
There is a good reason why many formal contracts start out by defining the terms they use. Differentiating the pickup points from the destination points, the customer from the haulier, the transportation services offered from the transportation logistics needed to plan out the trip - all these things need to be clarified right at the very beginning to prevent anyone from misunderstanding any parts.
Ill-defined range of services subject to misinterpretation
Speaking of definition, you have to clearly outline the scope of your duties as the haulier in the haulage contracts. Make sure to define what you will be carrying and how you will carry it in order to make sure you are not overextending your services to areas not covered by the contract. Carrying heavy loads to the agreed upon warehouse is one thing, but handling return loads is an entirely different matter that needs to be clarified.
Using unnecessary adjectives and adverbs
Adjectives and adverbs may be very useful for marketing purposes, but they have no place in formal documents. The papers should contain quantifiable facts, not words that can be interpreted differently depending on the person reading them. If you must use adjectives, like "heavy" (in heavy loads), then you must define them in a measurable manner. In our previous example, you have to define the minimum and maximum weight limits to differentiate heavy from light loads.
Unfair charges and indemnity clauses
Always make competitive offers and be fair when it comes to your responsibilities should you fail to render the services outlined in your agreement. Clients will feel better knowing you will take measures when something unforeseen happens, so give them the assurance they need in the form of reimbursements should problems arise. And make sure to continually study the rates being offered by your competitors - you don't want to lose customers to other hauliers because they are making better offers than you.
Lack of negotiation and clarification
Remember that contracts are only set in stone once both parties agree to the terms involved. Everything is subject to change until that happens, so don't stonewall your clients when it comes to finalising the details. Present the document as is but listen well when they ask to modify a part. Make counteroffers or concessions as you see fit, but never rebuff them by saying you cannot change the terms.

How to Maximize Efficiency When Hauling Loads

Hauling heavy loads to and from destinations relies heavily on good logistical management. Being able to maximize efficiency - improving profits and cutting out unnecessary expenses - is key to the success of haulage firms around the world. These tips ought to help you do just that:
Keep track of all revenues and expenses
An up-to-date accounting log that reflects all money flowing into and out of your business is one of the most important things for your haulage business. An accurate log allows you not just to spot areas of your firm that bleed money but also allows you to make an educated guess as to how much money you can expect to earn (or lose) over a 12-month period. This will allow you to determine if it will be a good idea to finance more trucks to handle additional heavy haulage loads or whether you will need to minimize spending to better weather fluctuations in the market. All the efficiency tricks out there won't matter if you are not even aware of how money moves in your business.
Keep vehicle cargo as low as possible
Wind drag can be a significant petrol-eater, especially for large lorries carrying tons and tons. Stacking cargo too high increases this drag, which means that your vehicles will eat up more petrol as they make their rounds. The costs may not be dramatic at first glance but will definitely add up over time, which is why few hauliers regularly carry tall and wide loads that stick out of the vehicle frame. Only stack cargo up high when you have no other choice, but otherwise try to keep it as low as possible.
Plan low-traffic routes
This provides two distinct benefits. One, your transport vehicles will get to their destinations faster and two, you reduce the amount of time they spend idling in traffic. Lorries that drop off faster will allow you to plan out more haulage return cargo, which in turn will increase overall profits. Reducing idle time in traffic is also a major fuel saver as well. It takes a lot less energy to keep an already moving heavy truck going forward but a lot more to get it started once it stops dead in the middle of the road. This is also why it is more effective to instruct your drivers to maintain a measured driving pace instead of aggressively accelerating all the time.
Invest in a health programme for drivers
Why should you bother incentivizing your drivers to work out and maintain a healthy diet? Simple: they will be more reliable in the long run. The typical haulage driver's lifestyle makes him prone to fatigue, stress and even cardiovascular disease. You may not see immediate returns in your budget, but the last thing you want is to lose heavy cargo to road accidents or have your sick drivers keep messing up your carefully crafted schedules.

How To Shop For Used Auto Parts

Used car components are a good, pocket friendly alternative when your budget is limited. Additionally, it proves a worthwhile option if you're considering a replacement in the near future. While there is no harm in buying used auto parts, the question of concern is how to shop for them.
Given below are tips to buy used auto parts. Also learn the different places, online and local sources, where you can look for them.
Tip 1# Product specifications
Whether you opt for brand new or second-hand components, there are certain product specifications you have to take note of. This includes the vehicle make, model, the year of manufacture and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). An auto part that does not fit is no good. The Vehicle Identification Number is a very important requirement to find a best fit. We would also advise carrying the old part for comparison as you shop for the necessary items.
Tip 2# List the parts you need
Examine your vehicle to identify the specific part that needs replacement. If the part to be replaced is an electronic or mechanical one, such as an alternator, brake rotors or starters, we would advise against the use of second-hand components.
Tip 3# Head to the nearest junkyard sale
Junkyards are one of the most convenient sources for used auto parts. The local newspapers usually advertise the nearest junkyard sales. There are different ways to trade parts at a junkyard sale. Sellers exchange parts for money. The second method of dealing is exchange the defective component for an operational one. The dealers require you to maintain a deposit until you hand over the defective part. They repair and resell the defective part at a later date. At junkyard sales, you can procure substantial quality products at highly discounted prices. However, there are certain precautions you need to take when shopping at junkyard sales. Take care to ensure that the dealer does not pass inferior quality, poor condition auto parts.
Tip 4# Swap Meets
Vehicle owners can also give swap meets a try. Vendors at swap meets specialize in auto parts for specific makes and models. At swap meets you can guarantee you will get quality products. The other advantage of shopping here is greater price negotiation.
Tip 5# Online Websites
The online market for used auto parts is growing rapidly. Websites team up with vendors of second-hand parts. They list multiple products of the same model giving you a greater selection to choose from. It also enables a better price comparison. The internet is a good source to find components for vintage vehicles. The only drawback of purchasing auto parts online is they cannot be physically examined. Beware of duplicate products manufactured at local markets. They may be dirt cheap but are neither reliable nor durable.
Tip 6# Ask for a return policy
This becomes a necessity especially when you shop online. You may unconsciously order a wrong product or a wrong fit. Therefore, before placing the order, inquire if the dealer will exchange it for you should such a situation arise.

How to Ship a Car Through an Auto Transport Service

When we talk car shipment, the words "convenience" and "efficiency" immediately spring to mind. For these are the very forces driving the auto shipping industry today. It's ironic though, as automobiles themselves were created as a means of transport, yet at some point, they need to be physically transported without being driven, for a variety of reasons.
The car shipping industry has experienced massive growth since the conceiving of the internet. People purchase cars from anywhere in the world and have it conveniently and safely shipped to their homes.
Generally, there are some steps involved that are good to know when having your vehicle moved. Know that you're completely responsible for "readying-up" your car or vehicle for shipment. This will help ensure the shipment process from the company's end goes smoothly. You may also want to get a heads up on tips your vehicle shipping service may be able to provide. Car shipping really isn't a hassle at all, provided you've done your homework.
Your car insurance company might be willing to provide coverage while it's being moved. Go ahead and check with your insurance company to verify whether your car insurance carries over to the auto shipping company or not. Though it must be noted a handful of auto shipping companies insure vehicles during transport. However, items left in the car are not insured. Your home policy may cover those items; you can check with your home insurance agent. It is good practice to always ensure there are no valuable or personal items left in the car.
Companies usually offer several modes of shipment. This is governed by the time you have or the time you're willing to allow for the vehicle to be moved, how much you want to pay and the location etc. The common type of service typically involves door-to-door and terminal-to-terminal shipping and offers savings over other chosen channels or methods.
Most companies transport vehicles in an open carrier. You may have come across a few while driving down the highway. Vehicles transported this way are of course visible under the open sky; weather and other conditions might get them unusually dirty.
Many car owners are rather protective of their vehicles and they should be. Some companies are willing to use plastic wrap or heavy tarps to protect vehicles from weather and open air-related elements. You can always choose to opt for an enclosed one altogether, since you're not only getting protection from weather and road related elements, but there's also the benefit of added protection and safety.
Keep in mind when you're transporting a priceless exotic car, supercar, or even a classic one, extra care and experience are required on the shipping company's part. Only trust a company that has had a proven track record and history of safely and effectively moving really expensive and high-end cars.
Vehicle shipping companies are rarely able to provide an exact pick-up and delivery time. This is only normal, considering there may be unforeseen problems such as heavy traffic or breakdowns. Again, what you can do is be patient and make adequate preparation pre-shipping, to make sure your vehicle is delivered in a timely manner.

Questions Auto Dealers Should Answer

Car buying is not an easy task to do, especially if you are looking for a used car. Thus, there are certain questions, you as a used car buyer, should ask the dealer. And accordingly, there are certain questions auto dealers should answer.
Following are the main questions that the dealers are obliged to give answers to:
1. What is the history of the vehicle?
The used car dealer is obligated by the law to disclose all known facts about the vehicle's history. If the vehicle's odometer is rolled back or the vehicle is previously flooded or salvaged, then the dealer must inform the used car buyer about it, otherwise he/she may have to face the law for misrepresenting vehicle.
2. Can I get the VIN?
Knowing the VIN of the car will give you the chance to examine the car's history by yourself. You can enter the Vehicle Identification Number in such websites as, for example, Autocheck or CarFax and get all the needed information for just a little sum of money.
3. Who certified the vehicle?
Used cars that are sold at renowned dealerships usually undergo different vehicle certification programs. During these programs, certain car parts are being examined by skilled mechanics and if there happen to be some faults with the cars, those faults are fixed and the problematic parts are replaced. However, the bad news is that there is no set criteria for vehicle certifications and different manufacturers certify vehicles in a different way. The auto dealer though is required to disclose all known facts about the used car certification process to the potential buyers.
4. How long of a test drive can I have?
All of us know that a test drive is a necessary part in a car purchase. Test drives do not last long, but if you are dealing with a used vehicle, then it may be easier for you to persuade the dealer to let you take the car for a good while. The dealer may allow you to take the vehicle for a longer test drive provided that you do not put more than 100 miles on it. Also, make sure you bring the car back with a full tank in case you have taken it with a full tank.
5. Will you provide me with a warranty?
New vehicles come with original manufacturer warranties. Used vehicles that are sold at high-ranking auto dealerships also come with some kind of a warranty or a service contract. Thus, make sure that the dealer sells the vehicle with a warranty and not "as is."