As an owner-operator you essentially become your own boss. While challenges may arise, there are many rewards as well. Making money is essential to surviving in the trucking industry. Therefore, we’ve compiled a few money-making tips for owner-operators to consider.
#1. Position yourself as a trucker you can depend on
Firstly, if you want to make the most money, it’s going to require more than just picking up and dropping off loads. Customers work with truck companies they can rely on. This means, as an owner operator you must establish a name for yourself as a company you can trust. Ways to do so is by maintaining positive relationships with customers and fleet managers. Additionally, making sure your loads are always delivered on time too. Building strong relationships is key to a thriving business. In doing so, you become the first call when freight needs to be hauled.
#2. Sign up for fuel cards and loyalty programs
Moreover, keeping your expenses down is another great way to make money. In order to increase your profits, you must save in other areas. Fuel cards and trucker discount programs are a great start. From fuel to tires and everything in between, there are many programs that offer discounts to trucker. Not to mention, some fuel programs even help you manage expenses.
#3. Avoid deadhead miles
Furthermore, it’s important not to deadhead! What does this mean? Simply put, driving with an empty trailer with no cargo. Driving without freight also means you’re wasting gas for no reason, and for no profit. Not to mention, the wear and tear to your truck. Whenever you are behind the wheel, make sure it’s for a reason. Apart from this, one way to avoid deadhead miles is to backhaul. Although backhauls typically pay less than a normal haul, sometimes a little pay is better than none, and it’s always better than empty miles.
#4. Use load boards
Without a doubt, using load boards is the perfect way to make more money. The online boards are filled with owner-operators, shippers, and brokers looking to haul cargo. Finding lucrative loads comes with time and research. Not to mention, securing higher rates on loads means more money. Nevertheless, load boards will help you make long-lasting connections, thus procuring future business.
#5. Learn how to repair your own truck
Lastly, as we all know, truck repairs are costly. By reducing you repair bills you can save a ton. In addition to costs, repair shops can also take a lot of time away from your day, limiting you from making money. While not every repair can be handled by an owner-operator, it is important to know which fixes can.