Learn How to Save Money as an Owner-Operator
2022 has been a hard year in the trucking industry. With gas prices soaring and inflation continuing, many owner-operators struggle to stay afloat. The price increase is a significant flip from 2021, when “easy money” was available through stimulus checks and finding high-paying loads was easy.
As extra costs have been eating into owner-operators’ profit margins, relief may not seem in sight. A survey from FreightWaves Research found that 81.5% of owner-operators believe they will make less money in 2022. The rising fuel cost and the rate volatility were listed as their main concerns.
How to Save Money with Inflation as an Owner-Operator
Owner-operators may look at the inflation trend and wonder what they can do to save a few bucks before closing out the year. Below are some tips that you can take that can add up to big savings and help you be more successful when on the road.
Slow Down – Watch Your Speed
It is true that the slower you drive, the more you save on fuel. Going slower, even one or two miles under the speed limit, can dramatically impact fuel mileage. A small decrease in speed can add up to a larger saving by the end of the year. Also, a slower speed can help cut back the wear and tear on your truck, including the engine and tires. With gas prices continuing to rise – this is a great tip for those looking to save money on fuel.
Lease with a Carrier
As an owner-operator, you love your freedom and independence. You do not have to answer to anyone, and you get to choose the loads that best fit your lifestyle. So, joining with a carrier does not mean losing this freedom. Trucking companies such as Greatwide Truckload Management offer owner-operators the same freedom but add some benefits that could help you save money. For example – Greatwide offers a fuel discount program that could save owner-operators over $7,000 yearly on fuel expenses. Greatwide Truckload Management also has a PrePass program and discounts on tires.
Invest in an APU System
You may think that an APU system is expensive – but in the long run, this can save you significant amounts of money on fuel. Every hour a truck sits idling – this can cost about a gallon of fuel. In an average week, depending on the fuel cost, an owner-operator can spend $168+ in fuel just because of idling.
Spend Time Planning Your Route
As an owner-operator, you know that money only rolls if your wheels are rolling. It is a good idea to spend time planning your route so you have a good idea of where you are going along with any detours you may encounter. By planning your route, you can save time knowing where your exits are and the higher traffic areas. If you do not plan your routes before hitting the road, you can spend more money on fuel. Investing in a high-quality GPS can help if you are re-routed.
Perform Daily Inspections
The law requires that all truck divers conduct a pre-trip and post-trip inspection. Doing so can help ensure you and other drivers are safe. This can also save you money in the long run. Catching a small problem early on can help prevent it from turning into a more expensive fix. In today’s economy – no one can afford any downtime.
Stop Eating Out
Eating out when out on the road is convenient. Having a restaurant at nearly every truck stop makes it easy to grab a quick bite and hit the road. The problem is there may be more consequences than there are positives when eating out frequently. Not only is it not healthy for you – but it is more expensive than cooking and packing your own food. Several options are available for you to cook meals when out on the road. You can buy inexpensive cooking equipment, a mini fridge, a portable stove, a crockpot, and a microwave.
Use Reward Programs
Most truck stops have a reward program for drivers that entice them to stop and shop at their stores. These reward programs include fuel points, free food, showers, discounts, and more. Every little bit can help you save big throughout the year.
As owner-operators, you must make money and be successful. Some years may be better than others, and 2022 may be the not-so-great year for owner-operators. The good news is that the bad times do not last forever, and now it can pay to be frugal, even for a short period.
If you are looking for a great company to lease with – contact Greatwide Truckload Management today. Greatwide will provide you with the tools, systems, and discounts you need to be a successful owner-operator. Greatwide even offers excellent health insurance. Contact a Greatwide recruiter today by visiting https://www.owneroperatortrucking.com/apply-now/