5 tips for saving money on the road
Posted: May 6, 2022
You can make a great living as a trucker, but ask any driver out there and they’ll tell you that there are some hidden costs to this job you might not realize. Owner operators have to balance their income against truck payments, fuel and fees, maintenance costs and more. Company drivers don’t have to worry about some of these additional costs, but you’ll still find yourself spending money on food for the road, showers and laundry, to name a few. Saving money where you can means more money in your pocket. Here are five of CalArk’s favorite tips for saving money on the road:
1. Stick to a budget
One of the best ways to save money is to know exactly where it’s all going. Start by putting together a budget with your income and monthly expenses such as your average fuel costs, rent or mortgage, utilities, groceries and cell phone bill. If there’s anything left over, you can make a plan for saving, investing or spending however you’d like. Say, for instance, you’ve decided to set aside a certain amount of money in your budget for eating out every month. Knowing how much you’ve allotted will help you to not overspend. Putting together a budget will also help you see areas where you can cut back to save too.
2. Take advantage of truck stop rewards programs
Most major truck stop chains have some kind of rewards program that allows you to access special discounts and earn points when you spend to put toward free showers and other perks. This is a great way to save money because the cost of beverages and showers while you’re on the road can certainly add up over the year.
Flying J’s myRewards program, for instance, tracks points earned through fueling which can be redeemed on free showers, laundry and coffee. Drivers can earn points for TA-Petro’s UltraONE loyalty program by fueling, reserving parking and spending money on truck maintenance, repair and tires. Love’s also has a loyalty program that rewards drivers with free drinks and showers every time they fuel 50 gallons, plus lots of bonus offers.
3. Practice preventative truck maintenance
Just like checking in with your doctor regularly goes a long way to curb any health issues before they become major problems, practicing preventative maintenance on your truck is important to avoid more expensive repairs. This is one reason why it’s imperative to perform your pre- and post-trip truck inspections. Take the time to look over your whole truck for any issues. If something looks or sounds off when you’re on the road, it’s worth stopping to search for the cause. A breakdown will cost you money, not only because you have to pay for a repair, but also because you can’t work until your truck is ready to get back on the road.
4. Bring your own food
Having a meal plan and cooking your own food is one of the biggest ways you can save money. Eating out is not only the unhealthier option, but it will also run you significantly more cost-wise. To save money, some drivers cook their meals at home and simply reheat on the road while others may prep ahead of time and cook their meals in their cab.
5. Reduce your speed
Did you know that you can save some money simply by slowing down? You can improve your truck’s miles per gallon by just decreasing your speed by a couple miles per hour. It will also reduce the wear and tear on your truck’s tires and engine in the long run.
How do you like to save money on the road? Feel free to tag us in your favorite tips on social media.
At CalArk, we offer our drivers high-paying lanes and the ability to earn bonuses to increase their income every month. We’re here to support our company drivers and owner operators and help them build successful careers. If you’re interested in learning about the job opportunities at CalArk, give us a call today!