Some Tips to earn Money as a Trucking Owner-Operator
The job comes with a lot of responsibilities and below are some tips on how to save and earn more money being a trucking owner-operator.
1. Position yourself as a dependable and trustworthy trucker
Setting up a name for yourself as a responsible owner-operator includes making sure loads are always delivered on time and maintaining positive relationships with the customers and fleet managers. When you build solid relationships, you become the first call a manager makes when they have freight that needs hauling. It takes time and effort to position yourself as a reliable owner-operator but eventually this means constant work and additional financial resources.
2. Sign up fuel cards and loyalty programs
If you’re an owner-operator or company truck driver, you’re the one out on the road and the one fueling the truck. It means you’re in control of the fuel purchases and saving money on fuel should be a high priority for you and your trucking company.
There are alternatives that offer discounts on everything your truck needs from fuel to tires and parts. Some fuel programs can track your fuel spending and include fuel management tools and purchase controls to help you manage fuel and other expenses.
3. Avoid deadhead miles
The more often you haul cargo, the more you generally will earn. It’s a simple concept. In order to maximize profit, it’s important for a trucker to stay loaded and avoid driving back empty. With the national average diesel prices forecasted driving empty can become a costly issue for owner operators. Deadhead might be the last resort if there are no loads nearby.
Trucking deadhead can be extremely dangerous for truck drivers as well. Trucks with an empty trailer weigh half as much as full ones. This can be problematic if a trucker is driving through an area with especially high winds. Not only can an empty trailer sway around and be difficult to control, it can flip open, causing serious injury. So always check the weather reports before heading out to pick up a load with an empty trailer.
4. Utilize load boards and connections
Truckloads is a free load board connecting carriers with shippers. It features unlimited premium loads, customized search options and carriers can call brokers right from the app. Additionally, owner operators can search for over two million monthly loads nearby or based on deadhead. Carriers can also view the rate, days to pay and even view a brokers credit score
Finding the right loads that will create profit for your trucking company comes with time and research. Getting higher rates on loads means more money collected. In order to maximize your earnings as an owner-operator, you must minimalize downtime. Using the services of load boards will help you make long-lasting connections and build a rapport.
5. Learn how to repair your own truck in order to save money
When a repair is needed, this means your truck will be out of commission for some time. To avoid truck repairs, you must properly maintain it. This is done by changing the oil when needed, inspecting the radiator, checking fuel vents, inspecting the brakes, and greasing all moving parts.
If you are an owner-operator, reducing your repair bills will keep more money in your pockets. Repair shops can take hours to fix even the smallest repairs. Like many things, one of the east ways to learn how to repair your own freight truck is to follow video tutorials.
They give you the opportunity to visually follow along with someone doing the same work as you. Not every fix can be maintained by an owner-operator themselves so it is still important to know when to involve someone more skilled.
6. Restrict spending on food
Buying and preparing your own meals is the number one way to save money as a truck driver.
Eating at fast food chains and restaurants may seem like a necessary evil when driving cross country, but they aren’t. Truckers can easily save money on the road by investing in ways to make their own meals. According to some statistics the average cost per meal if you make it yourself is significantly lower at $1.50 to $3. Invest in a trucking-specific microwave or refrigerator and watch the savings add up.