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5 Tips for Maintaining Success as a Commercial Trucking Business with 40+ Trucks 

Kim Diggs

June 21, 2024

In March of 2013, our clients Jelena (pictured) and Milenko Kacavenda started their trucking business, Lupus Superior LLC, with just two trucks.

Mili, who at the time had multiple years of experience driving a commercial truck in Serbia, drove one of their two trucks when they first started the business.

Since then, the business has grown considerably thanks to a lot of hard work, experience and relationship building. Today, the company’s operations have grown to 50 trucks and 115 trailers. 

In this blog, Jelena shares their keys to success as fleet owners. 

1. Stay Involved in the Day-to-Day Operations  

When asked what’s the number one reason for the success of their company, Jelena cited her and her husband’s involvement in the company’s day-to-day operations as the difference-maker.  

“There will always be some kind of struggle in business, but to me the key is being involved as an owner,” Jelena shared. “Be present and involved in the operations of your company. Even if your company is successful, don’t ever distance yourself from what you have built.  [B]eing at the office every single day really makes a difference when it comes to drivers feeling like they’re part of the family because we know them by name, and we know who they are. They’re not just a number. They see us. It makes a huge difference for them and makes them stick around.” 

Jelena shared that she has an open-door policy with drivers, encouraging them to come talk to her at any time, whether it’s to drop off paperwork or just chat about how things are going.  

2. Invest in your future  

When Jelena and Mili first started their business, they could only afford to purchase two used commercial trucks with their savings. Unfortunately, shortly after purchasing the two used trucks, both broke down.  

Once the two had more money to invest in new equipment, Jelena and Mili decided the use of new equipment would be their bridge to  long-term success. They believe this decision has differentiated them in the market, especially when it comes to being an attractive landing place for drivers. 

“After encountering numerous maintenance issues, we decided we wanted to go the route of having new equipment for prevention and safety of our drivers and our company,” Jelena explained. “We take pride in providing good, clean trucks and good equipment. That has helped us attract drivers and has become part of our driver recruitment strategy.” 

Today, the company’s entire fleet is four years old or newer.  

Another business decision they made was utilizing their factoring partner for insurance, as well. By consolidating the number of partners they use for vital financial solutions, they are able to streamline their operations even more, a tall order for a fleet with 40+ trucks.  

3. Make Driver Orientation a Priority 

Jelena is the CFO for the business, while her husband Mili is the CEO of the company. In addition to managing the finances of the business, Jelena is also responsible for the driver recruitment for the fleet. She has created a customized driver orientation program for the company that she says has ultimately helped the company retain high-quality company drivers.  

“I’m doing recruiting myself and hiring drivers, and I’m enjoying it so much,” Jelena shared. “I meet every driver, and I like that I know all of our drivers now, especially in this market. Now we have an orientation that takes an hour and a half, and we go through everything. It took some time to build our orientation, but I love it, and our drivers love it. I’m very upfront with drivers about our expectations. I see the difference in that our drivers are sticking around. They are more likely after orientation to come into my office to check in about how things are going, too. It’s just very positive, good energy.” 

4. Learn from Difficult Experiences 

According to Jelena, experience taught her and Mili a lot as they built their trucking fleet. When they first started their company, they were without commercial credit, which made getting started difficult. Jelena was a Spanish teacher before entering the trucking industry, which meant she also had to learn the business from the ground up. 

“It was a hard beginning, to be honest,” said Jelena. “I remember us walking down Irving Boulevard, this industrial area where commercial trucks and trailers are sold, and nobody would approve us for a trailer because we didn’t have any commercial credit. We made the decision at that time to invest in the equipment and operations of our company to ensure top quality. We learned that quality brings growth, and success and that hard work and consistency pays off. We always think back to our beginnings and how hard that was. It’s great to think back to how we got here and to be humble about those struggles and to never forget them.” 

5. Consider Diversifying Your Services 

Two years ago, the company added crossdocking and warehousing to the list of services that it provides to customers. With warehousing space available on site at their headquarters, shippers and brokers can use the warehouse space as a distribution hub to increase on-time deliveries, reduce their storage costs and increase efficiency.  

“… Our cross-dock services started blooming, and that’s where a lot of our business comes from now,” Jelena said. “It’s helping us survive these tough times in the trucking industry.” 

As part of its cross-dock services, the company can also accommodate a variety of loading configurations, as well as restacking, repackaging and redelivery services.  

For a 40+ truck business with several services offered, streamlining operations is a major key to efficiency. Milli and Jelena choose Triumph for their insurance and factoring needs. To discover which services we provide that fit your needs, visit our site.