Trucker drivers can earn a solid salary. But the life of a trucker can also require fairly heavy expenses. Eating out often, staying in hotels, and repeatedly buying day-to-day items like toiletries and first-aid supplies can all add up quickly. On top of that, owner-operators have to pay for their own fuel and equipment.
While some expenses are simply unavoidable, you can reduce or avoid many of them with a little planning and preparation. Here are some money saving tips for truck drivers that will help you cut your costs and boost your bottom line.
Top Money Saving Tips For Truck Drivers
Not all of these tips will work for every driver. But these ideas should provide any truck driver with a solid foundation for beginning to save money while on the road. The key is to select the tips that will work for you and use them to develop your own strategies for financial management.
- Pack Your Own Food – This can save you huge. Today’s coolers are effective at keeping food and drinks fresh and cool for days, making it easy to pack multiple meals. Besides packing your main meals, you should also be sure to pack healthy snacks so you can avoid buying snacks while traveling.
- Bring a First Aid Kit – Odds are you won’t get injured on your trip. But stopping at a gas station to buy Band-Aids or hydrogen peroxide can be relatively expensive. Shell out once for a fully stocked first aid kit and you’ll not only be able to take care of any minor scrapes; you’ll also save money in the long run.
- Turn to Your Loved Ones – Whether you’re on a major long-distance haul or just driving through familiar territory, why not see if friends or family would be willing to let you stay with them for a night? You’ll get quality time with those you care about and avoid hotel expenses or another night in your truck’s cab.
- Go Free! – A big mistake some truckers make is to stop at locations that charge for rests or that require them to be customers to use the bathroom. Instead, take advantage of free stop options like government-funded rest areas.
- Plan Your Route – Today, there are dozens of smartphone apps that can help you plan your route so you can get to your destination more quickly and efficiently. If you’re an owner operator, these can help you cut your fuel costs.
- Avoid Tolls – While most truck driving companies reimburse for tolls, some don’t. Some of the trucker apps mentioned above can also help you avoid toll roads.
- Check Your Tire Pressure – Fuel costs are a major expense for all trucking and something as simple as checking your tire pressure can help you improve your fuel economy tremendously. It’s worth doing before every drive. This is crucial for owner operators because they buy their own diesel. But it’s equally important for company drivers since many trucking companies offer bonuses for fuel efficiency.
- Use Your Cruise! – Set your cruise control the minute you hit the open highway. Try to aim for around 60 mph, which is where the best fuel consumption rates usually occur.
- Maintain Your Vehicle – Regular vehicle maintenance can boost fuel economy and can also help avoid breakdowns or major expenses related to repairs. Obviously, this matters most for drivers who own their own trucks, but if any driver breaks down in the middle of their run, it’s going to cut into their earnings. Regularly checking oil, changing filters, and keeping fluids topped off are important activities for everyone’s bottom line.
Making Your Own Money Saving Tips
These are just some general tips that should be good starting points for all drivers as they try to save money. Hopefully they will help you reduce your costs while on the road.
Remember, though: Every driver spends differently. Figuring out how you can save money needs to be a personal process. So take a moment to look at your last few trips and try to identify where you incurred the biggest expenses. That will give you a few areas to look at more closely. With a little effort, you should be able to identify ways to save.
Have some money saving tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment.