Traveling long distances and being on the road can mean a lot of expenses for you, even if the average base salary of truck drivers in the United States is $70,754 annually. In this article, our Driver Recruitment Agency shares with you the five ways truck drivers save money on the road. Keep reading and discover.
Best Five Ways Truck Drivers Save Money on the Road
The following are the essential tips our recruitment agency for truck drivers recommend so that you can cut your expenses and save money in the long haul.
1. Stay Healthy
Obesity is one of the industry's most challenging issues truck drivers face. 86% of about 3.2 million truck drivers in the US are obese, based on a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, as cited in a report by the New York Times.
One truck driver tip to prevent this from happening and save money on the road is to stay healthy. It is because staying healthy on the road will save you a considerable amount of money in the short term in prescriptions and medical bills and the long term as a truck driver.
How many hours do truckers drive a day? A truck driver has an 11-hour driving limit based on the strict service hours mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Being behind the wheels for long hours can be detrimental to your health. So here are a few driver health tips.
Exercise and add regular physical activities to your day. Check out this Tiktok video for exercises that can be done while over the road. They are trucking-specific exercises that don’t need much equipment.
Don’t skip breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day regardless of your occupation. Individuals who eat breakfast regularly and consume foods such as whole grain, fruits, vegetables, and milk early in the morning are generally healthier than their counterparts.
It is one of the tips for truck drivers to remember. Breakfast gives you the energy to get through your day because it increases blood sugar and keeps you from hunger before lunchtime. Truck drivers take long trips. So it pays off to eat a healthy breakfast to save money.
A few breakfast ideas for truck drivers are fresh fruits, oatmeal, and protein bars. Eat a heavy breakfast and then eat smaller food portions throughout the day to keep you satisfied and avoid hunger while saving you money and staying healthy.
For snack ideas and money-saving tips for truck drivers, you can snack on healthy food to cut down on meal portions. A few suggestions are hard-boiled eggs, hummus, mixed nuts, dried fruits, string cheese, yogurt, and dark chocolate.
Whether you’re a local, regional or dedicated truck driver, drink lots of water to stay hydrated and alert on the road. Drink at least eight glasses of water daily, ensuring your body remains hydrated and functioning to its optimal condition.
Another tip for drivers to stay healthy on the road is to limit caffeine intake. While it may keep you alert and awake, too much of it is unhealthy. So avoid drinking more than two cups of coffee.
You’ll save more money on the road while staying healthy if you avoid soda in your diet. Bottled beverages contain a lot of sugar and dehydrate the body. Drink water instead.
Drivers, who don’t get adequate sleep and drive commercial vehicles like tractor trailers, tow trucks, and buses, are more likely to drive drowsy, according to the CDC.
Get at least seven hours of sleep. It’s the best way to prevent drowsy driving. So prioritize sleeping seven or eight hours nightly.
Due to the long truck driver driving hours, see that you rest every two hours if possible. This also helps prevent restlessness while driving. In addition, you might want to stretch your legs for basic exercises, touch your toes, do small jumping jacks, or roll out your neck to improve blood flow.
Staying healthy while on the road is a great way to save money as a truck driver.
2. Limit Food Spending
Another tip on how to save money in the trucking business is to limit your food spending. Of course, the number one way to do this is to prepare meals.
If you do, you’ll save between $5 and $7 average cost of the fast food chain and restaurant meals. So while it may seem like eating out is necessary and unavoidable due to driving long hours and sometimes cross country, it's not.
How to save money on food as a truck driver? First, save money on the road by making your meals to save between $1.50 and $3.00 per meal. In addition, you might want to invest in a trucker-friendly appliance, like a microwave oven or a refrigerator, to cut expenses as a truck driver
Prepare easy meals at home. As you know, fast food and restaurant meals can take up a considerable chunk of your budget, and they're not healthy. It'll also be easier to control your driving expenses if you don't frequently eat at truck stops, restaurants, and fast food.
Preparing your food can also avoid food poisoning and food-borne illnesses while on the road. It's also a time saver to bring your food and drink supply. Finally, it's convenient because you have food within reach when you're stuck somewhere and hungry.
3. Save on Fuel
In our experience in truck driver recruiting and talking to many truck drivers regularly, fuel is another costly variable expense on the road (and what can determine fleet owner profit).
Truck drivers in the Pacific and Western States pay the highest gas prices in the USA – California, Hawaii, Alaska, Nevada, and Oregon. However, there can be cost differences within a city or state depending on certain factors, such as the area's access to the oil refineries and pipelines based on the same source.
Fortunately, there are ways to save money for a truck on fuel.
· Did you know that a semi-truck can suffer from about a one percent MPG drop for every 10psi that one tire is underinflated? Monitor your tire pressure. Check that your tires are inflated to the ideal Psi before hitting the road to save money and keep your tires longer.
· Cut the engine if you’re going to be stopped for a couple of minutes to save fuel. Some states like California have idling laws – idling for at least five minutes could get you a fine.
· Save on fuel by staying on high gears. Avoid your engine from working harder than it should. Minimize the use of gas pedals and brakes by incrementally speeding up and slowing down.
· Control speed because it burns fuel quicker to run with speeds of at least 55 mph. Practice lowering your speed while increasing your following distance to avoid speeding up and slowing down more often.
· Slow down earlier when approaching hills and collect much momentum. Then, once you reach the apex, you can coast downhill easily and without your foot on the gas pedal.
· Do not overfill to avoid wasteful overflow when the fuel tank is beyond its capacity.
· Create as little resistance. Keep your cargo load even and low. If you cannot make the cargo load even, put the higher cargo near the trailer's front area to limit the drag.
· Use driver feedback devices to improve fuel economy and save fuel money. Lastly, you’ll save more money if you practice sensible driving because it can keep you and other people safe and prevent costly tickets.
You might also like: Technology Helping Trucking Companies To Increase Driver Retention
4. Create a budget and stick to it
One of the tips our driver recruitment firm shares with truck drivers to save money on the road is to create a (sustainable) budget they can stick with. This will help you become more aware of ways to save money.
Start by writing out a weekly or monthly budget, one of the truck driver money saving tips to remember. What do you plan to spend on – bills, food, etc.? Add a section for any unplanned expenses, and then in its opposite, you can write a fixed amount to help you avoid overspending.
Using a truck driver app for budgeting is also suitable for managing and tracking your expenses. It can track bills, categorize transactions, and send alerts when overspending. Nevertheless, it can help you track expenses while on the road.
A truck driver's budget and daily expense log are essential tips for saving money. This will help you be aware of your spending habits, whether good or bad, and know where your money is going. You might be surprised!
Here are a couple more budgeting tips for you -
Understand your benefits and pay package. Maximize your income by knowing how to take full advantage of your benefits as a truck driver and understanding everything about your payment package. If you’re a new driver, your friendly truck driver recruiting services, like Rig on Wheels, will be able to discuss it.
Make a budget and be able to document your income and expenses. Common expenses of a truck driver include –
· ATM fees
· Rent or mortgage
· Cell phone plan payment
· Car payment
· Medical costs
You can start allocating your budget once you have a clear picture of your spending. For example, limit your food spending and track it weekly. Then, if you notice overspending on certain aspects, you can make needed adjustments by cutting down here and there, especially on nonessential items, such as rarely used subscriptions.
5. Use Wi-Fi
The internet has changed the truck driver experience through the years, being on the road for long hours but with few social interactions.
It has also changed the entire trucking industry and made a lot of improvements in areas like communication, road and weather conditions, and compliance updates related to the industry.
Lastly, use Wi-Fi, one of the truck driver tips and tricks to save money on the road. As you may know, data usage can be expensive, especially when traveling cross-country and long distances.
Even if some drivers opt for unlimited data, more drivers still use data plans, which charge usage fees when they go beyond the limit.
To save money as a truck driver, maximize WIFI use whenever you can. Use places where free wireless internet is offered. It shouldn't be a problem because it's available in almost every establishment. But don't be afraid to ask. Use wireless internet access as much as possible to avoid paying extra on internet data using your phone plan.
You might also like: 10 Steps to Finding the Ideal Truck Driver.
Where to find free Wi-Fi
· Truck stops commonly use wireless internet, whether in a remote or high-traffic area. They allow truck drivers to access the internet at almost every stop, helping them communicate with family aside from saving money on the road.
· Mobile devices also allow truck drivers to access the internet. Some companies hiring CDL drivers provide mobile devices, while others use their phones or devices. Some trucks may also be equipped with a Mi-Fi router that allows at least two drivers to access the internet while on the road for an additional cost through the mobile phone carrier.
· Public Wi-Fi also lets you connect online for free. It can be available at a public venue, like a coffee shop. Thus, you don't need to find a nearby truck stop to access the internet.
· Some trucking companies may provide direct satellites. This direct satellite offers drivers a company-funded wireless internet connection, whose service amount is an agreement between the trucking company and the internet provider. Drivers can access this service for free.
There you have the top five ways truck drivers save money on the road. Do you think we forgot something else? Feel free to let us know. Finally, share this article on social media and spread the word to help other truck drivers today!
Contact us today!
If you work in the trucking industry and want to share your experience, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about Rig on Wheels Broker and Recruitment Services.
Email questions to email@example.com
Do you like our content? Want to get it weekly?
Rig On Wheels Social Media Platforms.