Ways to Save Money as an Owner-Operator
Updated: Mar 28
Reduce your average speed.
Simply decreasing your speed can reduce your truck’s aerodynamic drag and cut back on fuel consumption.
While it may not always be possible to travel at the sweet spot (for most trucks) of 55 to 60 MPH, keep in mind that decreasing your speed by just a couple miles per hour can increase your MPG tremendously. And with the rising prices of fuel, who doesn’t want to decrease their costs while at the pump?
Lease-on with a company that offers fuel discounts.
Leasing on with a carrier may be one of the top ways to cut back on your fuel costs. This is because many carriers, like L&J, offer great discounts on fuel.
For example, owner-operators who do business with L&J can take advantage of discounted fuel rates that are competitive with fleet discounts at major truck stop chains. We are seeing discounts has high as .75 per gallon at TA and .18 per gallon at Pilot.
Use cruise control on straight stretches, if safe for conditions.
Whenever safe and possible, consider using cruise control while driving on flat, straight highways. Keeping your truck at a constant speed can reduce the number of hard brakes and excessive accelerations you make.
Using cruise control while driving in the right conditions can help reduce your fuel consumption.
Use your APU or engine-off climate control system
Here’s why: idling for one hour uses about one gallon of fuel. If you keep your truck idling for the average night’s sleep – eight hours – that is eight wasted gallons of fuel a day or about 56 gallons a week. If a gallon of fuel is about five dollars, that’s $280 per week spent on idling.
Take the time to trip plan.
Taking time to trip plan could save you time and wasted money in the future.
Having your route planned out ahead of time can prevent wrong turns and missed exits, which lead to unnecessary time spent driving and wasted fuel.
Before you start your day, tip plan to determine the best route to take, prevent getting stuck in traffic and avoid driving excessive miles. While you’re at it, invest in a high-quality GPS.