Trucking is the single most common means of transporting merchandise in North America and as the demand for products increases, more truck drivers will be needed. To earn a living and be able to support yourself and family members as an owner-operator in the trucking business, you’ll be required to manage your costs and expenses.
One thing that doesn’t have to be difficult is saving money. Many professional truck drivers spend a lot of time away from home base. This can mean that they don’t have much choice when it comes to buying things they really need when away from home. Follow these simple money-saving tips for truckers if you’re trying to lower your trucking expenses and keep more of your hard-earned cash in your bank account.
Plan your budget
Creating a trucking budget is your biggest asset when it comes to saving money on the road. Budgeting is the most effective tool for managing money in business as well as in all aspects of your life. As an owner-operator, it will give you a roadmap on where your money is being spent and how it is allocated. It is the difference between operating with a profit or a loss. Before you can cut expenses, you must understand where your money is going.
First, realize there are two types of costs. They are “fixed” and “variable” and all your expenses should be dived up into these two categories when you budget. Determining these different classifications will help you learn what can be done to decrease costs and increase income. For example, you may be able to spend less on food, but you can’t change the price of permits.
Take advantage of gas stations
Gas stations are a haven of resources for truckers. Lower your trucking expenses by taking advantage of everything they have to offer. Take a shower, fill up your water bottle, indulge in an inexpensive cup of joe. If they have a lounge, connect to their free WIFI and give your family a call. Check your emails and revisit your trucking budget.
Avoid buying supplies when on the roads
Take the time to be organized and plan what you need to carry with you on the road in order to avoid having to buy supplies when on the road. There’s always a big markup on goods in a truck stop.
Limit spending on food
Buying and preparing your own meals is the number one way to save money as a truck driver. Eating at fast food chains and restaurants may seem like a necessary evil when driving cross country, but they aren’t. Truckers can easily save money on the road by investing in ways to make their own meals. According to AOL Finance the average cost per meal if you make it yourself is significantly lower at $1.50 to $3. Invest in a trucking-specific microwave, crockpot or refrigerator and watch the savings add up.
Avoid breakdowns and expensive repairs
It’s no secret that truck breakdowns are expensive. Reducing the costs of those breakdowns is a priority for most fleet managers. A good place to start is by looking at hidden breakdown costs, the number of breakdowns/unscheduled service events and the cost of breakdowns.
You want to be saving money on the road, not breaking down on the side of it. If you run across an issue you don’t know how to repair, just ask another trucker. They’ve most likely experienced it and know a quick fix. Worst case scenario, consult YouTube. It might not be as reliable as another driver, but it will keep your truck running until you can get it back to the shop.
Factor your invoices
Last but not least. If you find yourself in a position where you need money for expenses but don’t get paid until you drop off your load, consider factoring your freight bills. By doing it with Summar, you’ll get paid in as little as 24 hours and won’t have to take out a loan. The money you receive from factoring can cover expenses, such as meals, and anything else you encounter on your trucking journey. Our factoring programs offer fuel cards as well, which is a cost-effective way to fill up your tank.
All you need to do is choose Summar as your factoring company, give us a call or fill out our form and watch the money be deposited into your account. We can help you get started.