The job of a trucker is not among the easiest or more comfortable in the world. Truckers spend long hours from home, driving over endless roads across the length and breadth of the US or the continent of North America. It is a physically demanding and mentally taxing job.
The trucking system is the backbone of a country’s economy. If this system is not efficient, then the whole distribution network of every commodity would be in severe trouble. Industries depend on truckers for receiving raw materials and for delivery of the finished goods to the markets and ports. Households depend on truckers to deliver items of daily consumption to the departmental stores. Truckers perform the most critical function to keep the wheels of the economy moving.
Driving and maintaining such trucks are expensive propositions. So, truckers need to know how to save some money so that they can keep more of their hard-earned money with themselves.
Here are six money-saving tips for truckers that make sense:
Prepare and stick to a budget
A well-planned budget is the first and possibly the most important step to keep costs in check and save money. You need to sit down and carefully estimate how many dollars you would need to spend in a fixed period while on road. Admittedly, this is easier said than done. But this is critical.
Once you have made at least an approximate budget, make a note of every expense that you make outside it. Too much of such expenses might leave you short of cash to meet essential expenses, including possible loan repayment.
An example of an expense that derails budgets is food expenses. There are few ways to live cheaply while driving as a trucker. As a trucker, you might be tempted to grab some grub at the next truck stop. But you need to remember that truck stop food stores maintain a high margin on the stuff they sell. It might be worthwhile to cook and carry your own food.
Note down the expenses you make under every head and at the end of the week/month, calculate how much you spend under each head and how much of it has cheaper alternatives. That’s how you would proceed towards making and sticking to an accurate budget.
Make use of the reward points that you accumulate
You might have several trips to a big chain store during your trips across the length and breadth of the US. And all the purchases that you have made from there have added reward points to your kitty. That’s why it makes sense to try and stick to one particular chain store.
Don’t forget about these reward points. Once they accumulate up to a certain level, you can redeem them against different types of benefits. These might be:
- Free snacks or reduced-price meal offers
- Free showers
- Discounted gasoline at select gas stations, etc.
Availing these would help you to reduce the expenses on essential items.
Use free Wi-Fi wherever you can
The major expense that a trucker driver incurs on using our cell phones is on mobile data. Making calls or sending WhatsApp messages to friends and family doesn’t cost much. But if you have to send emails with documents or videos, then the phone will use a lot of data, necessitating more frequent recharges and stretching your budget.
To save yourself from this situation, use free Wi-Fi wherever you can find it. Most restaurants and truck stops would have it. So, save all that mailing and movie downloading activities until you reach such a zone. This way, you would save precious mobile data.
Try to avoid expensive repairs
While it’s undeniable that vehicle breakdowns don’t really come with advance notice, you can avoid large-scale repairing to an extent if you ensure regular maintenance and servicing of your truck.
Always try to keep your vehicle in the best shape possible. Do regular check-ups and get your truck serviced at fixed intervals. The moment you find something amiss, inspect, and try to fix the reason. Don’t ignore it as something minor. It might lead you to spend heavily on repairs later on.
Bonus Tips: If you are not sure of the reason for the problem, consult other divers that you come across on the roads or truck stops. Many of them are more experienced than you and can surely help you to detect the problem.
Stay compliant with the rules of the road
It’s very important for you as a trucker to follow the rules of the road laid down for you. Breaking them will mean that you are issued a ticket. And that, in turn, means attached fines. And getting tickets on a regular basis over a short duration might also lead to the cancellation of your Commercial Driver’s License.
Driving rules are stricter for truckers than other motorists. So, be aware of these rules and follow them to the fullest extent. Because these expenses are entirely avoidable.
Check the truck driving safety tips.
Make use of the cruise control mechanism
The cruise control mechanism makes your truck moving at a steady speed. This is a big gas-saver as speed fluctuations and over-speeding are the major causes of excess gas usage and consequent high bills for refueling.
Being on cruise control within the permitted speed limits also helps you to avoid speeding tickets – thus avoiding another unnecessary expenditure.