As an owner-operator, to be successful, you must watch your expenses. This is especially true in today’s economy with inflation. From truck payments to insurance and fuel, an owner-operator is responsible for several expenses. These expenses add up quickly and begin cutting your revenue or take-home money.
There are several ways you can practice saving on expenses. Some of these may be more tedious than others – but overall, reducing your expenses can increase your profits. Below are some suggestions to save money as an owner-operator- and some you can even begin doing today!
Reducing Expenses as an Owner-Operator
As a new owner-operator – you will want to reduce as many expenses as possible. You are responsible for keeping your data compliant with the trucking regulations. You can use this data to your advantage and help reduce expenses. Below are some ways you can reduce costs as an owner-operator.
Maintenance and Repair
With inflation – the cost of roadside repair has increased. You can save on these expenses by using vehicle diagnostic data to help pre-plan truck repairs. If you have a Motive ELD, you can use this to look for any fault codes. Then you can make a better-informed decision on whether to repair the issue or plan for future maintenance. However, fixing the issue when it is noticed can help reduce costly repairs.
Reducing your speed can reduce the truck’s aerodynamic drag and help reduce fuel consumption. Sometimes it is not always possible to travel at the perfect speed of 55-60 MPH; keep in mind that decreasing your speed just by a couple of MPH increases your MPG. Who doesn’t want to reduce fuel costs with the increasing fuel prices? Also, cutting back on your speed and help lower wear and tear on your engine and tires.
Use Cruise Control
Consider using cruise control whenever you can when traveling on straight, flat highways. Keeping your truck at a steady speed can help reduce the times you have to break hard and excess speed-ups. Using cruise control at the right speed can also help reduce fuel consumption.
Invest in an APU
It can be costly to invest in an APU or a climate control system upfront – but cutting back on any truck idling can help save on fuel. This is because if your truck idles for one hour – it uses about one gallon of fuel. If you keep your truck idling overnight for the average night’s sleep –eight hours – that is eight gallons of fuel wasted each day – which turns into 56 gallons a week. Before fuel prices increased – if fuel was $3 a gallon, you are looking at about $168 per week spent just idling.
Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspections
If you do not do pre-trip inspections before hitting the road or post-trip inspections once you have stopped can lead to more money being spent on maintenance and repairs. Small repairs can be caught quickly before turning into bigger problems if inspections are done. Not only as an owner-operator are you responsible for the maintenance costs and repairs, but you could lose out on bringing in revenue because your truck is in the shop.
Avoid Constant Eating Out
As a truck driver, it is easy to stop for a quick bite to eat at a fast-food restaurant or a truck stop. However, there are other ways to avoid the heavy expenses of eating out.
Invest in Cooking Equipment
If you notice you are eating out for most of your meals because of convivence – now is the time to cook in your truck. Several low-cost cooking equipment available can make cooking on the road easy. You can purchase a mini fridge to help keep your food colder and purchase a microwave, portable stove, crockpot, and Instant Pot for those home-cooked meals on the road.
If cooking in your truck is not feasible – you may consider meal prepping at home and bringing it with you. Having pre-made breakfasts, lunches, and dinners can help prevent stopping at fast food restaurants while taking a break. All you need is a mini fridge or electric cooler to keep your meals cold and a microwave if you pack food that needs to be heated up.
Shop at Grocery Stores
When getting food, instead of stopping at McDonalds – consider shopping at a grocery store. When purchasing groceries at a truck stop, this may feel more convenient, but typically the prices are higher. Instead, plan to stop at a grocery store and grab some snacks for your route. Do not forget to make a list before going to the store to help prevent overspending on food that you do not need.
Rewards and Points Programs
Many major truck stops offer rewards programs to truck drivers and owner-operators. Typically, these rewards do not require effort from you other than fueling your truck or buying a product in the store. You can earn rewards and points at these truck stops to get discounts on gas or free food, showers, and beverages.
Lease with NonForced Dispatch
Does becoming an owner-operator seem like a career you are interested in? Are you already an experienced owner-operator looking to make the switch and lease on with a company? Or are you a company driver looking to be in control of your own business and be your boss? If you answered yes to any of these questions, contact NonForced Dispatch today! Get the most out of your trucking business when you lease with us! Contact a recruiter today.