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Business Essentials

Truck owner running costs and expenses

When starting a business it’s the expenses that seem to get new owners flustered. How many of them are there? When do I have to pay them? How do I get control of them?

If you plan on becoming an owner driver, you’re in luck! Here are a majority of common expenses and truck finance rates you will need to consider when going into business as a truck owner driver, so you can be well informed of the obvious and potentially unforeseen costs of running your truck.

Starting that business can be extremely difficult and fraught with danger when the numbers being used to justify your profitability are ‘pie in the sky’ figures.  You need to be clear on what the fixed and variable costs are associated with your type of transport business.

Fixed costs

Fixed costs are expenses and rates you incur whether you’re driving your truck or not. The costs you will need to start ticking off the list are:

  • Equipment and truck finance
  • Small business insurance premiums
  • License fees
  • Permit fees
  • Accountant costs
  • Mobile phone payments

There’s not much that can be done to minimise your fixed costs. Apart from lowering the interest rate on your truck loan or attempting to increase the number of kilometres you drive to lower your overall cost-per-mile, acquiring the best value truck insurance is the best way to make the most of the fixed costs you pay. 

Variable costs

Variable costs are the expenses and rates you pay when you drive your truck. The amount you end up spending related directly to the amount of time you spend behind the wheel.

  • Fuel
  • Maintenance
  • Tires
  • Lodging
  • Food
  • Tolls

Contrary to fixed truck expenses and rates, there are lots of things an owner operator can do to reduce variable costs. For example, you can begin to focus your efforts on:

1. Increasing fuel mileage (economic driving habits, tire rolling resistance)

2. Decreasing maintenance costs (better preventive maintenance, better quality parts)

3. Preparing your own food on the road

4. Planning out lodging and dining locations to save money

Rates and costs schedules for truck owner drivers

To further your understanding of exactly what expenses are associated with being an owner driver business, rates and costs schedules will give you information on the typical running costs of a business and rates typically paid to employee drivers for similar work.

The Victorian Government have done a fantastic job of creating a range of different schedules to better accommodate the type of owner driver business you may come to operate. Take a look at the different rate and cost schedules for truck owner drivers available on their website. 

This blog is a guide only and does not contain a definitive list of regulatory requirements which you must meet as a business owner. Businesses are required to comply with all laws, regulations and codes of practice by identifying their risks, and develop and implement control measures tailored to their circumstances, and you must seek independent advice to assess your circumstances. 


  • There isn't much that can be done to minimise your fixed costs
  • To reduce variable costs you can do many things such as;
    - Increase fuel mileage
    - Prepare your own food on the road

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