5 Tips To Save Money While On The Road, Over the road truck driving pays good money, there’s no doubt about that. With that being said, there are many opportunities for you to spend that good pay, some things you need and some things you want. But either way, you will have to learn how to manage your money well so you don’t waste it. There is nothing like being 2-3 days from payday with nothing but lint in your pocket and zeros in your bank account. Here are 5 tips to save money while on the road.
- Buy as most of your supplies from places like Walmart and
Truck stops have most of what you will need but they are very expensive. For example, the windshield wipers and fluid at truck stops costs almost double than what you would pay at Walmart. A gallon of water is 3 or 4 times more than what you get at Walmart. Tools such as flashlight, padlocks, gloves and safety vests are cheaper there too. And those items you can have sent to your door if you get them from Amazon.
This is a no brainer. Truck stop food is expensive and lets be honest, we tend to get the bad stuff because they don’t really have much healthy food apart from salads. Get you a fridge, microwave, and an air fryer or slow cooker. Buy your food from Walmart or a grocery store and you will save a lot of money.
- Gadgets for your truck
For truckers it can be very tempting to get a whole bunch of fancy electronics and gadgets for your truck. Many of these look so cool and have lots of flashy features that you will be feel like you can’t do your job without them. Some of these you will need and should buy. Many of these gadgets that you will want you don’t need because you won’t use them nearly as much as you think. A good test to determine if you should buy them is to really think about how often in the past you have had the need for such things. Once you do that you will have a better idea if you should buy them or not, choose wisely.
Some owner operator truck drivers are responsible for paying for their own tolls. Tolls for tractor trailers are expensive. For example truckers driving over the George Washington Bridge in New York city is over $120! This is each time your cross the bridge! So if you have a load delivering in New Jersey and have to cross the GW and then have a load coming back delivering in Richmond, Virginia you will spend $240 in tolls just for crossing that one bridge. Then you have all the other tolls along the I95 corridor in the northeast. This is why I don’t drive in the northeast anymore because as an owner operator I now pay my own tolls. So when possible, to save money you should look for alternate routes around tolls. It may be more miles and take longer but the money saved could offset the extra fuel cost and extra time spent. Fun fact: The George Washington Bridge is the most crossed bridge in the world. On average 276,000 vehicles cross the GW every day.
This is another one for the owner operator truckers out there; mainly the new ones as the seasoned owner operators already know this. Next to your truck payment, the biggest expense for an owner operator trucker is fuel. To some truck drivers fuel is the biggest expense depending on what their truck payment is or if they don’t have a truck payment at all. With that being said, how fast you choose to drive determines how much fuel you use. So driving lower speeds burns less fuel which means a tank will last longer. This means you save money as you don’t have to put fuel in your tank as much.
Here is an example, the numbers are not balls on accurate but they are close enough. I drive pretty fast, 65-75 in most cases. In the Midwest I drive mostly 70-75. My truck averages 7.3 miles per gallon. So I get 730 miles per 100 gallons. If I drove mostly 60-70 miles per hour my truck would average more miles per gallon, lets say 7.8. That would be 780 miles per 100 gallons, a 50 gallon difference from my 730. Now, lets say you use 100 gallons every 2 days. In 30 days that is 1,500 gallons. You will get 11,700 miles in that 30 days from 1,500 gallons. I would get 10,950 miles in the same 30 days. You will get an extra 750 miles per 1,500 gallons than I do. That is basically 100 gallons of fuel you are saving compared to me. At the time I am writing this article I got fuel today for $3.05 per gallon. So over the course of 30 days you will have spent $305 less than I spent in that same amount of time. Managing your driving speed directly impacts your fuel costs. Driving lower speeds will save you money on average.
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