In the trucking industry, like most areas of small and large companies, it’s all about the bottom line. Have you wondered if you’re driving for a full-pockets finish, or leaving your dollars littered behind your rig? As a continuation of last week’s blog on money-saving tips for truckers, let’s examine a few ways you can make sure that your truck itself is as frugal as you are.
Experienced truck drivers know that some of the biggest, and most expensive parts of any trip are those unforeseen maintenance and repair necessities. Replacing tires, batteries, belts, and more can really add up – not to mention the time and miles you’ll lose waiting on fixes. The good news is that there’s plenty of ways to mitigate the risk of having these pesky troubles put a hole in your paycheck.
1. Check Your Tires
Sure, you’ve heard it a thousand times, but our friends over at SpeedCo recently provided some insight into just how much under-inflated tires can cost. According to them, running tires just 10% below their recommended level can cut 0.5% out of your gas mileage. Even more, the extra stress on your rubber can cost up to 10% of the tread life off of your tires. The faster you drive, the more damage is done! When your job requires constant burning of fuel, these losses can add up. And we all know replacing a tire isn’t the cheapest or most entertaining activity – and you have 18 to worry about. So be sure to stay on top of regular tire checks.
2. Watch Your Fluids
Again, every good driver knows to keep an eye on important fluids. But don’t just trust your gauges, nothing beats a regular “eye-balling” to make sure you’re not edging towards a catastrophic breakdown. If you own your own truck, such problems can be major setbacks. And for those driving for a company, how would you like to explain your situation, and your negligence behind it, to your boss? No way. Keep watch on your various coolants, oil, and transmission fluids and keep on trucking!
3. Put Technology To Work
Here’s a non-maintenance related tip. Take a moment to browse around for helpful trucking applications for your smartphone or other mobile device. All sorts of helpful – and free – apps are available to truck drivers. Some will identify the best rates on fuel; others monitor road conditions in real time in order to advise you on the most timesaving and cost-effective routes ahead. Some apps even allow you to communicate with other drivers and people in need of trucking services so that you can pick up extra loads and reduce wasted, “empty trips.”
4. Know Your Value
One thing every professional driver should keep in mind is his or her professional value. In case you haven’t heard, there’s a truck driver shortage across the country and many companies are responding with better benefits and higher pay to retain top talent. Keep this in mind and stay abreast of what folks like you are being paid in and out of your current company, and keep in mind that benefit packages like 401(k)’s and healthcare coverage will go a long way towards saving you money. Know your value, and make sure you’re seeing it in your paycheck. (P.S. Smith Transport will take care of you! Take a look).
So there’s our brief list of some of our favorite tips for saving money both on your truck, and in your career on the road. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading and will keep up with other tips, news, and insights from Smith Transport. If you’re looking to upgrade your career, give us a call at 866.265.3718 or apply online. We would love to hear from you. Until then, happy trucking!