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Driver pay is based on miles. The more you run, the more you make. It’s that simple. Unfortunately the trucking industry operates in highs and lows, its driving force, the health of the economy. There are two old saying that all truck drivers should embrace, ‘Make hay while the sun shines,’ and ‘Save it for a rainy day.’
Make Hay While the Sun Shines
Take the miles during busy times because it won’t last forever. If you’ve been in the industry long enough you know to expect load volumes to start increasing around this time of year as we approach the holiday season. You also know that things slow down in January and take awhile to build back up.
Seasoned drivers will sacrifice home time to make more money now, while it’s busy, knowing that they will have more than enough home time in January and February. It is quite possible to see miles increase 10 to 20 percent over the next four months, depending on how hard you work. This can have a significant impact on your income.
Save it for a Rainy Day
It’s not time to go wild though and buy all of those extra things you’ve been wanting. It’s time to save some. Remember the slow times are ahead and you should expect a decrease in miles come January. If you’re not prepared for this it can lead to some pretty rough times.
It’s all about Cash Flow
Start putting aside money you’ve earned by taking extra miles to be prepared for slow times. It doesn’t have to be a lot, we’re not talking about an emergency fund where you’re financially prepared to support yourself for months without work; we’re talking about cash flow and having enough money set aside to cover low pay periods.
Prepare yourself by setting aside enough money to get you through two to three months of a 10 to 15 percent decrease in miles. When you think about it’s an easy number to achieve. Doing this gives you a cushion and allows you to maintain your current standard of living during slow times.