Becoming an Owner Operator adds many new responsibilities to your professional truck driving career. Be business smart with the Len Dubois Trucking Best Business Practices. Today we will be looking at your fuel economy and how you keep more of your hard earned money in your pocket.

Owner Operators & Fuel Prices

owner_operatorsEven with the price of diesel dropping over the past several months, fuel is still an owner operators’ number one expense. As an owner operator, you work hard for your money, so why let it go to waste by blowing it out of the stacks?

There are numerous things you can do to help get a better result from your fuel economy. The trick is knowing what affects your fuel economy and how the development of good habits, and a watchful eye, can help save you thousands of dollars a year.

Watch Your Speed

Slowing down will increase your miles per gallon significantly. There is a common belief among truck drivers that the faster they drive, the more miles they travel; therefore the more money they make, or in the case of the owner operator the quicker they get to unload the sooner they get to reload. This is a myth. Driving at faster speeds does not guarantee that you will do any more miles than the next guy, get anywhere faster or ensure that you run more miles in a year. What it does do though, is significantly drop your fuel economy and cause you to spend thousands of dollars more on fuel each year. Check out our article, Successful Owner Operators Know Speed Kills… Your Profit, for more information on the connection between speed and fuel economy.

Limit Your Idle Time

Did you know that idling can burn up to 1 gallon of fuel per hour? Remember, not that long ago, fuel prices were $4.50 a gallon, even at today’s lower fuel prices you can save thousands simply by turning off the truck whenever possible. Equipping your tractor unit with an Anti-Idle Device is another cost effective method to save you big money in the long run. Idling your truck just an hour a day, at today’s fuel prices, adds up to $1000.00 per year. Realistically, if you don’t have an Anti-Idle Device, you’re probably idling your truck closer to 8 hours a day and looking at upwards of $8000.00 going straight out the stack. Idling also causes additional wear and tear on your tractor unit and therefore you’re paying more in maintenance costs as well.

Follow a Regular Preventative Maintenance Schedule

When done on a regular basis, a preventative maintenance schedule will, not only, save you money on maintenance costs; preventative maintenance will lower your fuel costs. Simply checking your tires, filters, cooling system and clutch and keeping up with oil changes will help you improve your mile per gallon.

Trucking is a tough business. Owner operators need to operate as a business in order to make money. Scheduling preventative maintenance will keep your truck moving and running as efficiently as possible.