Chatter Box

Rates aren’t exactly keeping up with the level of cost increase for ­equipment, a trend owner-operators have felt hard in the last several years. With budgets in mind, what's your best cost saving tip when it comes to the business of log hauling?

Rob Gordon: For owner operators the one of the biggest cost savings is to do your own maintenance. If a guy was to rely on a shop to do work on their truck they will pay basically the hourly truck rate for the repair plus parts and lost time. I even mount my own tires, $25-30 per tire savings myself just to mount the darn thing on the rim.

Jeff Tellefsen: Fuel is right up at the top so we buy large amounts in bulk so we get a bulk rate a lot cheaper then at the pump. Every penny helps. Also a truck is said to burn a gallon an hr at an idle so do the math of how much you may idle during the day ,loading,unloading,etc. 10 20 $ a day in savings ads up at the end of the month.

Rob Gordon: When I worked on a large farm south of Pullman we would buy fuel by the tanker, 9500 gallons at a time and the savings was usually .75c to a $1 per gallon

Dennis Erickson: Tires are a big cost also. More money up front, but buying better tires and having good tire maintenance is key to fuel mileage and downtime. Running junk can cost flats and lost loads. Better tires also last more miles so cost per mile is down even though the bigger expense upfront.

Russell Rutland: PM services, get it fixed before it becomes a problem.

Jeff Wimer: Been doing some research on super singles. Can provide up to 8-9% increase in fuel mileage. That coupled with 2500 lb in weight savings. Talking with a Michelin rep, that new compounding is giving tanker trucks, running the freeway, with up 300,000 miles on a set of tires.

Stuart Loewen: Driving slower and loading approx legal can make a huge difference. Affects tires fuel brakes and can help keep a rate from getting hacked.

Rollie Thompson: If you know something small is going wrong, fix it now before it becomes a bigger problem and you are stranded along the roadside.

Rob Gordon: If we all go back to hauling 80k we will reduce the amount of wear and tear on the truck, save road maintenance, reduce fuel consumption and be cheaper in tires, and tonnage.

Ryan White: The logs don't rot coming out of the woods, I've learned to slow down off road and thus not tear up tires like other guys.

Dawn Slama: Take advantage of parts on sale out-of-season. For example, buying chains in the summer when some parts outfit is looking to get rid of them, instead of paying premium price in the winter.

Paul Marthe: Grease and oil is cheaper that the parts it goes in. know your equipment.

Bill Libby: Napa in South Salem has half off on all filters on the first Friday of each month. Best call them before making a trip. Also, make sure air pressure is where it should be, and rotate those drive tires - that in it's self will save a lot.

Clint Lembcke: Keep your truck in alignment helps with tires and fuel.

David Noble: I don't run recaps on my trucks, Over a year's time, if we lose a few caps away from the shop or out of town, we lose everything we gained by running caps. In the long run, we're way ahead to run virgin rubber.

Terry Bracken: I remember when I was young, my Mom told me that you can always figure out if you are making money or not by how much your fuel costs are. She said if you pay 10% or less of your gross for fuel you are doing great; 15% you are still doing okay.

Clint Lembcke: Stay home.