In hotshot trucking, life on the road can be expensive. Food and gas as well as your lodging costs can eat your paycheck very fast. These money saving tips can help you save as much of your hard earned money as possible.
1. Prepare a budget and stick to it
This seems very basic but it’s on top of the list for a reason. Having a budget is important to give you an overall picture of how much you can spend without breaking the bank and still living comfortably on the road. Sticking to your budget can help you avoid overspending on food, supplies and other unnecessary expenses.
If you want to start budgeting now, there are trucker’s apps that can help you prepare a budget and track your expenses on a daily basis. Or, if you prefer the traditional way, you could use a worksheet or notebook where you can log your daily spending. At the end of the day, you can then compute your total expenses and the remaining balance of your budget.
2. Make a checklist of what you need
Truck stops charge a big markup on goods, so it’s best to avoid buying from them. To do this, prepare a checklist of the things that you need for your trip and buy them from a local supplier.
You could check this article to give you an idea of hotshot trucking essentials to bring.
3. Avoid expensive repairs on the road
Truck or trailer breakdowns in the middle of your trip can be costly, not to mention causing delays on your delivery. That is, if you are lucky to find someone who can fix the issues quickly and reliably.
To avoid delays and expensive repairs while on the road, take time to check your vehicle and trailer before your trip. Make sure they are in tip-top shape before you hit the road.
4. Bring food from home
Most truck stops have national fast food outlets which are usually more expensive and with a limited healthy menu. You could greatly reduce your travel costs if you bring food from home. It is a good idea to pack light meals, sandwiches, a loaf of bread, nuts, fruits, vegetables and other healthy options that you can easily consume without much preparations. Pack as much water as well to keep you hydrated. If you have no time to prepare food at home, you could also grab ready-made meals from your local grocery store before hitting the road.
Bringing your food supplies does not just save you money but they also serve a good purpose if you are stuck on a long traffic or you are waiting to load or unload and hunger strikes. Moreover, it will save you time going to a restaurant at a truck stop and waiting for your food to arrive.
5. Take advantage of rewards programs
Many of the big chain truck stops have rewards programs which generally let you sign up for free. Independent truck stops may also have their own rewards programs and it will not hurt if you inquire about them the next time you stop in.
Rewards programs can help you save on beverages, meals and even allow you to have free parking or free shower among others.
You can check our hotshot truckers guide for more information on truck stops rewards program.
6. Take advantage of WIFI
Many truckers now use smartphones to communicate. While text and calls aren’t pricey, the use of cellular data can be expensive. This is where WIFI connectivity can save you on data costs. WiFi is commonly available at most truck stops and restaurants. Don’t forget to ask for the password.
With WIFI, you can video call your family or check your loadboard for backhauls and reduce your empty miles.
7. Get a good navigation system
Navigation systems will help you find shorter routes and avoid traffic to maximize your fuel efficiency. Some navigation systems are available for free, but in most cases, the paid ones have better features.
8. Try gas station coffee
Coffees at cafes and popular coffee shops are getting mighty expensive. Fortunately, many gas stations across the US are now serving gourmet coffees at cheaper prices, saving you a few bucks each time.
Saving money while on the road does not have to be difficult. With our money-saving tips, you can easily lower your trucking expenses and put more of those savings to your bank account.