7 Tips to Make More Money as an Owner-Operator

With gas prices rising, everyone is feeling the pinch right now, especially truckers. You’re watching expenses increase and wondering, how can I make more money as an owner-operator? Whether you have one truck or a fleet, we have some ways to help you put more money in your pocket.

Position Yourself as the Trucker to Call

Trucking is extremely competitive, so you need to position yourself as the person people want to turn to for important loads. Dependability is always your first step to being an on-demand driver – get your loads to their destination safely and on time. However, as a businessperson, you know, it takes a little more than just that. Some things to help you rise to the top of your class include,

  • Obtaining tools to help you find and book good contracts
  • Building relationships with your fellow truckers
  • Building relationships with dock crew and customers at your pick-up and drop-off locations

Plan Routes in Advance

The best-laid plans help you avoid delays on the road and maximize your time behind the wheel. Know your route before you ever hit the road. Know your stops, know your route and potential delays, and map out potential alternates in case something unexpected occurs on the road. This will help you keep your schedule (making you the Trucker to Call) and manage your on-the-road expenses.

7 Tips to Make More Money as an Owner-Operator

Schedule Backhauls

If you’re behind the wheel, you should be making money. An empty return trip is just an expense. One way to avoid this is to schedule backhauls – loads you take on your trip home after your original haul. While backhauls can mean less pay on your return trip, they beat fueling an empty truck.

Invest in Your Mechanical Skills

If a penny saved is a penny earned, you have the potential to make thousands with your own hands. Learning basic repair and maintenance for your truck can save you a lot of money between jobs. It can also save you time, as you can perform basic repairs and changes yourself instead of waiting for a shop that can do the work.

Get a Credit Card with Cash Back or Fuel Incentives

Credit cards often get a bad rap, but if you know how to use your credit card to your advantage, it can be one of the most powerful items in your wallet. ZDNet offers some tips to help you manage your credit card wisely. Here are how their tips can apply to you as an owner-operator.

  1. Shop around and don’t settle for gas station credit cards. While gas station credit cards are tempting, they’re only useful if that station is in the area you’re driving through, and the prices are reasonable. Instead, shop around for a major credit card that offers a strong cashback or, better, a good fuel-incentive program.
  2. Make sure your card has NO annual fees.
  3. Pay your balance in full, on time each month. Only use your fuel-incentive card for fuel and pay it in full each month. This will ensure you get full advantage of your rewards without paying interest on a balance.
  4. Keep up with your incentives and points. With some programs, points, and cash back you earn may expire if you don’t cash it in, so check your statement each month and know how to use your rewards, whether for cash back on your statement or money off at the pump.
  5. Contact your bank once or twice a year to ensure your rate stays low. While your goal is to always pay off your card in full each month, always prepare for the unexpected. *IF* something happens that you can’t pay off the balance in full one month – sudden illness for example – then you want to ensure you have the lowest interest rate possible on your card (another reason to avoid gas station credit cards) to make it easier to pay off the balance later and minimize the additional expense.

7 Tips to Make More Money as an Owner-Operator

Take Advantage of Loyalty Programs

Many regional and national gas station chains offer loyalty programs that are free to join. Shop around for the best ones on your routes so that you’re saving money with each stop. Remember that the savings you get from a gas station’s loyalty program will be in addition to any cashback incentives you have for your credit card, which can really add up the savings for you.

Sign Up as a REY Logistics Owner-Operator

REY Logistics’ Owner-Operator program can help you with almost everything on this list. We offer an incredible fuel discount program, 24/7 personal dispatcher, and more. If you’re ready to move your trucking business to the next level, apply today.


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