Do you often wonder how even in those months of satisfactory revenue, your profit margin doesn’t match up to your expectations? Do you know why that is? Because your trucking expenses are exceeding the ideal limits for you to be able to make desired profit.
In any business, to maximize profit, one needs to manage their business expenses smartly. Because even the smallest expenses make a huge impact on your overall profit. When you are a self-employed trucker, the responsibilities to look after all the big and small trucking expenses fall on your shoulders.
From fuel, insurance to food budgeting and the maintenance of your truck, there are so many aspects you need to be prepared for in order to lower trucking expenses. This can often get overwhelming. That’s where foresightedness and advance budget planning comes into play.
There are many significant ways you can reduce your trucking expenses in advance to avoid extra expenditures due to delays and lack of prior planning. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the short and long-run owner operator expenses and how to reduce them and increase the overall profitability of their trucking business.
1. Fuel Expenses: The Simplest Ways to Minimize Your Fuel Costs
Fuel needs differ from vehicle to vehicle depending on many factors like age, size, aerodynamic design, and fuel efficiency. It might not be possible to apply the same formula of saving fuel through RPM. But there are many simple ways that are in your control and can be used for all kinds of trucks to save a significant monthly cost on fuel. Such as:
Find the ideal tire pressure for your truck to divide its weight evenly.
II. Monitor your idle time, best to turn off the ignition when it’s longer
III. Check the spark plugs regularly
IV. Use cruise control whenever you are driving on smooth highways
V. Maintain a constant speed to avoid hard brakes and abrupt accelerations whenever possible
VI. Calculate your cost per mile to estimate how much you are spending monthly
VII. Minimize your usage of air-conditioning, do not forget to turn it off when not needed
VIII. Consider roof fairing for better aerodynamics of your vehicle
IX. Use fuel cards to avail substantial discounts on fuel rates
Fuel cards offer huge discounts on fuel rates. Hence you can reduce a good amount of our owner operator expenses. With fuel cards, you also get relaxation on transaction fees. If a fuel card offers a discount of 50 cents per gallon, you save $15,000 per year. That is at 10k gallons per month. There are many other benefits and offers that you get additionally. Like discounted rates for certain repair services.
2. Maintenance Cost: Save Big On Trucking Expenses By Doing Small Check-Ins
Your relationship with your truck is a two-way street. If you will take care of your truck’s health, it will take care of business. Precaution is always better than cure but it’s even more advisable in trucking. The rules are the same as for your own physical health.
Always Do a Pre-Trip and Post-Trip Inspection:
Like small ailments, if not treated timely causes serious diseases, small issues in your truck if not fixed on time can lead to costly maintenance. You will not only end up spending a lot of money on maintenance, your business can suffer hugely if your truck is parked at the repairs. Here are some of the safety tips for truckers for a safe and happy ride.
Do the Budgeting in Advance:
Every truck has some routine maintenance depending on its age and miles. Keeping aside a certain amount in advance for these types of trucking expenses avoids unorganized payments. You also don’t have to reach out for your credit card each time. It further saves cost on credit interest.
Do Not Postpone These Regular Checkups:
It’s always more expensive to spend on repairs than the replacement of faulty parts after timely inspection. Keeping an eye on the suspension system, brake pads, drive and timing belts and hoses can help you save owner operator expenses significantly.
Manage Your Toll Expenses, Licenses, and More:
Do not forget to renew your permits and important licenses on time. Set reminders as time flies. While you might be under the impression that there is still a lot of time before expiration, it would already be late. Late fees and delayed payments generally cost a lot more than updated documents.
3. Food Costs: Invest in Advance Meals Preps Healthy Groceries
You will be surprised to know that food is where most of your money goes after the maintenance and fuel expenses. But you shouldn’t be because just as fuel is your truck’s food, food is your fuel and keeps you running. So, just like you need to do budgeting and preparations for other trucking expenses, you need to do the same for your food cost.
Buy These Cost-Saving Accessories to Reduce Your Trucking Expenses:
Your truck is like your home as you spend most of your time here. So, why not equip yourself with the necessary accessories that make your life easier on the road? A mini fridge, crock-pot, flat and portable cook-top, and microwave are some of the heavy-duty accessories that you must have in your truck to help you prepare meals in advance and store your food to avoid wastage.
Avoid Huge Wastage With Meal Preps and Groceries:
Meal preps and storing healthy grocery items come very handy when you are continuously driving. You can get many different meal prep ideas online. With these preps, you can get a healthy and fresh meal by just throwing in a few things together quickly.
4. Replace Old Load Booking and Navigation Methods with Digital Apps
Find Top-Paying Loads Digitally:
These days, there are many tech-based all-in-one platforms where owner operators can find the best loads available in their current location. With the help of competent tech tools, you can also manage the whole life cycle of delivering a load.
Use an Automated Trip Optimizer to Minimize Empty Miles:
When you find a great load to haul, you might ignore the cost you will eventually end up wasting on deadhead miles on your way back. You can avoid this wastage by using an automated trip scheduler. A trip scheduler tells you about the backhauls available on your route to plan a round trip before setting off on your journey.
Use Trucking GPS Navigation to Avoid Delays:
You can waste a huge amount of money on long routes if you are not using a good truck GPS app. Truck GPS apps help you choose the most optimized routes avoiding traffic and unpredictable road conditions. Thus, you save not only driving costs but also precious time.
TruckBook is one such app that has an integrated load board. Here you can find thousands of active loads every day. It also helps you manage all your trips easily. Here, you can also plan a round trip every time with backhauls recommended by the automated trip scheduler.
By using one of these easy-to-use apps, created especially for owner operators, you can save trucking expenses you would otherwise spend on individual brokers or load boards.
Running your own trucking business where you are the driver too is hard enough even without the stress of managing your trucking expenses. An unplanned budget for the above-mentioned important aspects can make the matter worse. It’s best advised to adopt a keen eye when it comes to all the outlets your money is going to. Even the smallest of precautions and preparations can help you save trucking expenses in the long run.
We hope the above-mentioned data points will help you manage your trucking expenses in an organized and fruitful manner. We are relentlessly working on the lives of owner operators easier and more rewarding with constant industry research. For more useful tips on making your trucking business more profitable, watch out for our latest and upcoming blogs.