If you work in the trucking industry, you want to make sure that you are smart with your finances. As with any business, you will want to keep your costs down, take on as much work as you can, and find ways to maximize your profits. So, how can you go about doing this? It is not always easy as a truck driver, especially when your costs can be high. This post will offer a few financial tips for truck drivers that will hopefully prove to be useful and help you to earn more money and keep your costs down.
Stick to a Budget
As with any business, it is always a good idea to create a budget for your trucking operation. Having a budget in place will limit your spending and help you to take control, which should help you to keep your costs down and maximize your income. It can be very easy to spend as a truck driver when you are spending so long by yourself and on the road, so you want to make sure that you have a firm amount in mind that you are happy to spend.
Make Food at Home
While you should treat yourself to a nice hot meal from time to time, you will find that it is very easy to waste money on food and drink at gas stations, fast food restaurants, and other places that you pass on the road. Instead, making food at home can save you a fortune over a year and could also help you to maintain a healthier diet. Additionally, bring a reusable water bottle along with you that you can fill up as you go. If you are someone that has multiple cups of coffee a day, then investing in your own coffee maker for your truck could allow you to make savings in the long term.
Use Route Planning Software
You always want to pick the most direct routes as a truck driver and the best way to do this is to use route planning software. This will be beneficial financially because you can maximize the amount of work that you do each day, as well as keep your fuel costs down. On top of this, route planning software can take the stress out of planning your routes and should help you to make deliveries on time and keep your customers happy.
Use Load Boards to Find Work
In terms of maximizing the amount of work that you complete (and money earned), you will find that load boards are a great way to find continuous shipping work. You can browse thousands of loads and choose the jobs that best suit your needs, which should also help to prevent empty-leg trips (a waste of time and money).
Keep Your Truck in Good Condition
You do not want to encounter any problems with your truck as this can result in missed deliveries, time off, and expensive repairs. Therefore, you should carry out basic maintenance tasks and get any small issues looked at before they become major problems. Having a reliable garage to take the truck to for servicing and repairs is also important.
Lower Your Insurance Costs
You want to have the right level of cover in place for your vehicle, but you will find that there are always ways that you can bring these costs down. Paying the year as a lump sum will help you to make savings and you might find that shopping around and comparing different policies will help you to make further savings.
Take Advantage of Reward Programs
You will find that many large chains, stops, and places that you will pass on the roads will have reward programs to take advantage of, which could help you to make big savings over the year. Therefore, you should always sign up for these and try to use the same places, so that you can benefit from things like free showers, money off your food, and reduced fuel costs, as a few examples.
Keep Up to Date with Accounting
As with any business, you need to always maintain accurate books and do your taxes properly. This means that you should keep hold of all your receipts and use accounting software to keep everything up to date at all times, which will also make completing your tax return much easier. Alternatively, you could outsource this to an accountant, if you’d prefer.
Hopefully, the financial advice in this post will prove to be useful for any truck driver and help you to maximize your income and keep your costs down. It can be hard as a truck driver when you spend so much time on the road and away from home but making a few positive changes could help you to make a lot more money.