2014 Trucking Guide – A Truck Driver’s Guide to Saving Money
As a truck driver, life can get pretty expensive, especially since their small daily costs can really add up. From eating everyday to maintaining their trucks, it is important to learn where to save and how to cut back, so drivers can put more money into their pockets.
By investing time and money when it comes to route maintenance, it can save drivers a lot of money in the long run. Parts, as well as preventable repairs, can be extremely pricey, especially when it comes to big rigs. Drivers should regularly check their lines and hoses. They also have to maintain regular oil changes.
Low tires can greatly reduce fuel efficiency, so drivers need to make sure that their tires are properly inflated, according to their manufacturer’s recommendations.
Supplying their own food can actually be a lot cheaper than eating in diners or restaurants. While the price may seem high at first, it might also be cost-effective to install a small refrigerator in their cab to keep cool. They can also use crock pots, steamers, or microwaves to prepare food. Not only is it more economical than eating in restaurants, but it is a lot healthier as well.
Another top money saver for drivers is being able to cook their own food. A small microwave will pay for itself in less than three weeks, and 21 trips to the restaurant. Same can be said for refrigerators. Water, sodas, fruits and veggies can be bought at a cheaper price at their neighborhood grocery store, than on the road. Drivers should get the opportunity to try out their favorite food as well. They can cook extra portions while at home, and bring them along when they hit the road.
They also need to find the cheapest gas stations near them. Truck stops that are located within just a few miles of each other can have big inconsistencies when it comes to fuel prices. Drivers may be able to save several cents per gallon, by travelling just a few minutes down the road.
They should also take advantage of customer loyalty programs. Many truck stop chains offer this as a way to reward loyal patrons. A customer loyalty or rewards program typically offers discounts on food, fuel, and services, the more customers shop with them.
A lot of these truck stops also charge upwards of $8 for showers. Drivers should refuel at truck stops that include free showers with a minimum fuel purchase.
Those who have truck driver jobs know that cellphones are a necessity, especially for long-haul drivers. But their monthly charges can get expensive. They should examine their cellphone bills to see where they can get cut down, or shop around to look for other carriers, and check if they can get similar service for less.
Idling is not only bad for the environment, but it can also put a dent in drivers’ wallets. Running the engine while it is stopped wastes fuel, so they should consider other alternatives to heat and cool their cabs, such as stopping at electrified truck stops, or installing a generator or an auxiliary power unit.