One of the sneakiest expenses of trucking involves items you can’t live without. Food, showers, tools and laundry services are just a few of your added costs over the road. If you want to reduce your operating cost, drill into these ancillary costs by saving money as a trucker. Here are some tips, focusing on your most essential ancillary cost, your food.
Eating On the Go
Truck drivers are typically limited to eating in truck stops, fast food joints and in their cabs. The most expensive option is at sit-down restaurants in truck stops including truck stop buffets. You can easily spend $15 per meal at a truck stop restaurant, multiplying that by three per day and then by seven for a week. Add snacks at truck stops, and you are spending about $50 per day, which is $350 a week—just on food.
Fast food restaurants are somewhat cheaper, but these processed meals are heavy in sodium, saturated fats and calories. To save money and help your health, you need to limit these meals and opt for eating in your truck:
- Buy water to drink, and buy it in bulk at Walmart or bulk food markets, i.e. Costco or Sam’s Club. For a case of Costco’s 48 bottles of water you’ll spend about $4, compared to $1.50 per bottle at a truck stop. That’s a massive savings.
- Sandwich fixings, such as peanut butter, cheese slices, deli meats and condiments, are cheap and easy to go with for a quick meal.
- Choose items that are shelf stable so they don’t spoil quickly, such as meat jerky, packets of instant oatmeal, canned tuna, fruit packed in juice, canned soups, crackers, granola bars, roasted nuts and dried fruits.
By eating at least two daily meals in your cab, you are cutting your food costs by two-thirds. Instead of $350 a week on eating out, you’re looking at $150 a week including dinner out each night and foodstuffs bought at markets and grocery stores. Over the course of a year, that’s more than $10,000 in reduced expenses—just on food alone.
Another less considered savings here is the time spent at truck stop diners and fast food places. Whenever you sit down for a meal, you are cutting into your trucking time. Two meals a day is two fewer daylight hours on the road. Over time those hours are going to impact the number of miles you drive, and therefore your bottom line come payday. Food is only one area where you can save money. Your operating expenses, ranging from personal hygiene to trucking costs, can easily be reduced with a little though to the process.
Cut Back on Class 8 OTR Trucking Costs
If you are serious about making more money with trucking, your first move should be from regional trucking jobs to Class 8 OTR trucking. Over the road trucking makes far more money than regional day routes thanks to increased mileage and higher rates. As an industry leader in Class 8 truck financing we’re ready to help you save more with your independent fleet operations. Contact our leasing experts today to find out about our money saving commercial truck financing options.