With the price of petrol being as high as it is and the low mileage of Lorries, one might wonder why haulage companies don’t use small regular vans for at least part of their business. Why do haulage companies go to the expense of buying Lorries for jobs that could be handled by vans?
the price of petrol being as high as it is and the low mileage of Lorries, one
might wonder why haulage companies don’t use small regular vans for at least
part of their business. Why do haulage companies go to the expense of buying
Lorries for jobs that could be handled by vans?
Basically, there are two answers: expediency and efficiency. In many cases a
van could make deliveries but when there are a dozen deliveries due in a short
period of time north of a company’s base of operation the logistics can become
complicated. If a van has the space for two deliveries then 6 vans must be
dispatched or one lorry. Six vans mean six drivers will be required; so in
terms of employment costs one lorry is cheaper than six vans. But that doesn’t
mean the overall costs would be lower.
Using the above scenario of a dozen deliveries, what if the deliveries are all
in the same direction but hundreds of miles apart? Hauling companies try to
avoid “deadheading,” a term used to identify returning without a load. The fuel
used in hauling a load is figured into the price charged to the customer
however the fuel used returning to the base of operations is not. Road haulage
on the return trip is necessary to defray costs. But just because the out-going
load will fit into a van doesn’t mean available loads for the return trip will
fit. Now in addition to extra drivers the road haulage
company would have to pay for empty vans returning.
would always have to be handled by Lorries. Some abnormal loads would be too
big to fit in a van, others might be small enough but too heavy for the van’s
suspension. Some extra wide loads aren’t hauled inside the lorry’s trailer, but
instead are pulled by the cab; vans wouldn’t have the power to pull these sorts
of loads. Some loads are so heavy that they can only be hauled at night when
traffic is less, because of weight so immense that local authorities will only
allow the lorry to cross a bridge that is otherwise devoid of traffic.
By having vehicles capable of hauling a variety of loads the haulage company is
in a better position to keep their drivers busy and the vehicles moving. In the
haulage business money is only made when the wheels are turning. Because of
insurance and lorry payments, lack of freight to haul doesn’t just prevent a
company from making money; it causes companies to lose money. Heavy
is the only way to haul abnormal size loads and extra heavy loads plus they
have the load capacity to do the work of many vans.