Before Year End:
What's on Your
Trucker To Do List?
don't make New Year's resolutions; we set
Before year end, evaluate your to-do
checklist for the
year -- things that you may have been putting off as a professional
driver -- and see if you can possibly do them.
Here is a suggested (although not
"before new year" list of tasks to
accomplish, separated by categories.
If we've missed one that's important to you,
please send us a tweet.
Before Year End Truck-
and Job-Related Tasks
Organize your paperwork,
including old bills of lading, load sheets, scale tickets, receipts and
This will help you when tax time comes around.
An expandable file works
for smaller amounts of paperwork. A file box
and file folders are ideal for organizing larger quantities of
paperwork for record
- Lubricate what needs
lubricating, including those irritating little squeaks.
- Take a refresher course
to sharpen your driving skills.
- If you have a cheap sleeper
berth mattress, use an inexpensive fabric shaver
to shave off
any pills (which can be felt through bed
- If you have a Smartphone,
search for trucking
apps to help you find the best fuel prices, best paying
loads, and money saving opportunities.
your truck outside (to
resistance and remove salt you may have picked up in snowy
- Clean your truck inside with
- A whisk broom or hand
cleaner can clean up dry
stuff like dust and dirt.
Kutter (used by itself
or diluted, whichever
your cleaning job calls for) can be used for specific cleaning jobs.
Before Year End Tasks
for Owner Operators
- Invest in appropriate
aerodynamic enhancements to help you get better truck
fuel economy. A couple
of ideas are wheel
covers and trailer side
- Evaluate how different software
or trucking services can save you time or money or both.
- Get truck maintenance and
repair jobs done or at least scheduled. Doing preventive
maintenance is a good idea, too.
- Investigate the claims of fuel
additives for substantiation.
Schedule tests on those that pass muster to see which ones give the
economy comparison for return
- Determine if installing an APU,
climate control device or in-truck electrification system is right
for your truck and trucking business in place of idling.
Before Year End
- Organize your digital files and
make back-ups of those that are critical.
- Update your last
testament. While you're at it, update your passwords
through your clothing (or
ask your home
support team) to:
- mend what can be
mended (like patching
- give away what you haven't
worn in a really long time and
- replace that which needs to
- Start or expand as necessary
your in-truck emergency
- If you carry a pet
with you, take him or her to your veterinarian for a check-up.
- Take an inventory of your
What would you eat if you were stuck somewhere for a few days because
of bad weather, a traffic jam out in the middle of nowhere, etc.? Stock
up on non-perishable foods if necessary.
out your meals as best you
can for up to a month and plan accordingly.
- Invest in a meal
device that will help you save money by letting you eat food
in your truck
instead of eating out in restaurants all the time.
Practices to Adopt
- Start an exercise
enough variety in it
so that you won't get bored and you'll be able to stick with it.
- Seriously work toward
eliminating addictions or vices. If you can quit
smoking "cold turkey," good
if you need so much of ___ (you fill in the blank). It could be a
particular type of sugary or fatty snack, carbonated drinks,
- If necessary, find an
accountability partner to help you through your tough times, especially
when meeting your previously set
Before Year End
- Evaluate your finances and see
if there are any tax
deductions you need to take.
- If you plan to make a donation
to a charitable organization, determine the criteria that are important
to you. (For example, the South Carolina Secretary of State compiles an
annual "Scrooges and Angels" list that
lets folks see how charities are spending donations.)
- Investigate ways that you can make
money by sharing money saving tips with other truckers right
from your truck.
- Start, add to or finish setting
aside your emergency
service and telecommunications plans. Are there other
products or services that will work just as well for less money?
- Evaluate your budget
- see if you have underspent
overspent in some areas;
- make adjustments as
- learn if your spending
helped you get closer to or achieve a dream
come true; and
financial goals for the
coming year that are in accordance with your priorities.
if the ways that you're investing
your money are even keeping up with
inflation. If they're not, consider different investment vehicles and
- Look at all of your bank
card statements for the last year to make sure all of the
charges are yours (and that you haven't been the victim of identity
- If one is available to you, get
your free annual credit
Year End Challenges for Truckers
We imagine right about now some collective groans, as if
truck drivers ask, "When do you think we, as truckers, are going to
take care of these tasks and still make a decent income?"
of the challenges that truckers face is
getting stuff done on the road or from the road. Some of the "before
year end" tasks can only be done in a particular place (like getting
truck repairs done at your company's terminal or taking your pet to
your hometown vet).
We recognize that some yearly goals can be achieved only
through consistent application all year long. We do not advocate the
year-end stampede approach to what should have been done all along.
benefit from viewing "The Time Management
Matrix" shown at right from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
by Stephen R.
What activities do you do, personally or as a driver, that are
important and which are
urgent? Perhaps making a personalized matrix will help you.
Can you take care of some of your Quadrant II
(Important, Not Urgent) tasks
- while you're waiting for your
truck to be
loaded or unloaded;
- while your truck is being
- while you're watching a movie
in your truck during your break; or
- at other times that may not be
ideal, but when you can
get at least part
of your task done that gets you closer to the
the full task?
Money saving tip:
Although we're not
like this, some people actually accomplish more under pressure or when
a deadline is approaching. If it works well for you, learn what
motivates you and gear accomplishing your tasks to that motivational
style -- preferably well before the deadline.
While most of the tasks on the list
above can be done any time of year, some are "before year
specific (like squeezing in any more tax deductible contributions so
you can put them on your income tax return for the current year).
While we have listed some tasks for you to
consider doing before the end of the year, you may have your own.
List your tasks, evaluate your schedule to see
where you can get at least part of your tasks done toward your larger
goals, and consider what will happen if you don't get some of the tasks
done by your deadline.
from Before Year End:
What's on Your Trucker To Do List? to our Budgeting page
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