As a truck driver you are responsible for the ongoing success of the American economy. Without trucks, the United States would grind to a halt as trucks transport every single product we need to facilitate our daily lives. While you might think that because of this a truck driver must make the big bucks, but that’s not always the case.
Depending on the company you work for, whether you own or lease a truck, or whether you operate a day cab or sleeper rig, you will find that the pay rates vary wildly. While some drivers are raking in handsome pay checks, others are struggling to pay the bills. What is the difference between these drivers? After all, they do the same thing for a living, so why the big difference in pay? Let’s look at three methods you can utilize as a driver to boost your annual income and begin living the dream that attracted you to the industry in the first place.
Earn Extra Cash Through Fuel Economy
Whether you are a company driver, or a lease/owner operator, fuel economy is a great way to boost your income. As a lease or owner operator, you can boost the amount of cash you take home from each load, by simply increasing the economy of your truck. As a company truck driver, most carriers will offer you a bonus for meeting certain criteria relating to fuel economy.
The top ways to increase the fuel economy of your truck are simply to slow down a little bit and reduce idle time. By decreasing your cruising speed to 60 mph or less, you will notice an increase in the mileage your truck gets from a tank of fuel. This allows your rig to operate in the “green zone” where your engine and transmission work together at the best rate of efficiency. While this will lengthen your drive time a little, it will not alter it as much as you think. In fact, if you decrease your speed by 5 mph, over an 11 hour span, you will only lose 55 miles or so.
Reducing the amount of time your truck spends idling is another key to boosting your take. Buy a bunk heater, or a generator for your truck to operate your appliances and heat. This will use less fuel that idling your truck through the night on your breaks.
Keep The Driver’s Side Door Closed
Perhaps the biggest mistake that new truck drivers make when they get their own rig is giving in to the desire to experience everything the trucking world has to offer their first week on the road. Each truck stop has a selection of chrome that must be seen, and each town has something to attract attention. These distractions can be the biggest contributors to reduced profit for a truck driver.
The key to bringing home the big bucks as a driver is to remember that you’re on the road to make a living. You can experience the thrills of life on the road after you have made your pay check. Keep your driver’s side door closed, and your right foot on the throttle pedal, and you’ll see your earnings climb.
Forget The Chrome & Pocket The Cash
One of the best parts of being a truck driver is the ability to customize your rig. Even most companies will allow a driver to modify the truck to some extent to make it more personalized. After all, you will spend 95 percent of your year inside the cab of the truck, so why shouldn’t it be attractive and comfortable to you?
If you want to keep more of your pay check, then ditch the chrome shops. While it is fun to customize a rig and make it shine with “bling,” it is equally satisfying to know you make enough to live comfortably on. By choosing not to buy the extras for your rig, you can increase the amount of cash you take home each week. Keeping your rig clean is expensive enough, with the cost of a decent truck wash ranging upwards of fifty bucks. Don’t waste your money making your company truck sparkle, when you could be using that cash to fatten your wallet.
Pocket The Big Bucks
Every one of us want to make bigger pay checks. We all have hopes and dreams that we are working toward. By taking simple steps like the ones listed above, you can reach your goals more quickly and make the big bucks you were promised when you first started. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a brand new recruit, this information will help you develop habits that will boost your pay and better your financial situation.