Quality Used Semi-Trucks
How Nickels Hero

How Nickels Can Add Up to Thousands

SelecTrucks has worked with thousands of owner-operators over the years, and a common struggle many of them face is making ends meet in their business. When they first come to us for guidance, we start by asking them questions like: what are they doing to trim costs, increase revenue, or lower the real cost of ownership? Then, we think about how their answers to these questions might reveal opportunities to enhance their bottom line. Driving alone isn’t always the reason they’re struggling; even great drivers miss out on chances to improve their business. A lot of times, drivers feel powerless in their situation and believe that progress just isn’t possible - we know this isn’t true. If an owner-operator hasn’t looked for new ways to increase revenue or decrease costs, we can offer help by sharing some ideas to help improve their bottom line.

We like to use the “Save 5, Make 5” theory, which suggests a driver take action in two specific directions. First, think about trimming costs by a nickel ($.05) per mile. Savings can come from lots of places, so it’s not hard to find several opportunities to cut costs. Think about the type of semi truck you purchase compared to your typical routes. If you drive mostly on highways, you want to select the most aerodynamic truck to reduce fuel costs. The difference between an aerodynamic truck and a classic truck is roughly one mile per gallon.

To show you just how positively choosing an efficient semi truck can impact your bottom line, let’s do some calculations. At 6.5 miles per gallon, with a fuel price of $3.509, your fuel cost is around $.539 per mile. At 7.5 miles per gallon, it falls to $.467 per mile. This comes to a difference of $.072 per mile. During a relatively normal driving year of 120,000 miles, your savings add up to $8,640.00. Choosing the correct semi truck can put thousands back into your pocket.

As we’ve seen, a lower fuel cost alone can save you well over a nickel per mile, but there are plenty of other ways to save. Selecting the right tires can also impact your bottom line. If you take the tire with the worst fuel mileage, and the tire with the best, there can be as much as a 10% difference in fuel efficiency. This change can save you thousands on the real cost of ownership. Paying attention to costs such as oil selection, maintenance practices, and insurance are even more ways to save. Those nickels per mile can be easy to collect.

The second direction the “Save 5, Make 5” theory takes you in is raising your revenue by five cents a mile. If you are leased to a carrier and have the option of choosing your loads or are operating on your own authority, it’s not difficult to raise your revenue by a nickel per mile. Paying attention to supply and demand, market forces, and deadhead miles can have you well on your way to increased revenue. Other things to consider are your customers’ perceived values and your negotiating skills. Knowing your value as an owner-operator is key to raising revenue.

What the “Save 5, Make 5” theory shows us is that even small improvements can have a large impact on your business. Whether it’s choosing an efficient semi truck, cutting insurance costs, or paying attention to the current market, there are many ways to enhance your bottom line. Once you make these small changes, you could see a $.10 improvement per mile. At 120,000 miles a year, that comes out to $12,000 of increased income.

No matter where the next nickel is coming from, SelecTrucks is here to support drivers in achieving their business goals. By offering a wide selection of used semi truck inventory, professional and financial guidance, and exceptional warranties designed to keep you moving, we’re here for you wherever the road leads. 

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