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5 Ways to Make Money During Downtime for Truck Drivers

Truck drivers often experience periods of downtime, time they don’t get paid for, whether waiting for the next load, mandatory reset period, or during vehicle maintenance. This downtime, while necessary, can be frustrating if it feels unproductive. If they are feeling motivated, truck drivers can make money during these periods in several ways:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is a fantastic way for truck drivers to generate passive income. By partnering with companies to promote their products or services, drivers can earn commissions on sales generated through their referral links. Here’s how to get started:

Choose the Right Products: Select products or services that you genuinely use and believe in. This authenticity will make your promotions more credible and effective. Apply for available affiliate programs.

Create Content: Share your experiences and reviews through a blog, YouTube channel, or social media platforms. For example, you can review trucking gear, gadgets, or apps that have made your job easier.

Utilize Affiliate Networks: Sign up for affiliate programs through networks like Amazon Associates. These platforms offer a wide range of products and services to promote.

By consistently sharing valuable content and integrating affiliate links, you can create a steady stream of income during your downtime.


2. Taking Surveys or Becoming a Product/App Tester

Online surveys and product testing are easy ways to make extra money without a significant time commitment. Numerous companies are willing to pay for consumer feedback on their products, services, or apps.

Survey Websites: Platforms like Survey Junkie and Swagbucks pay users to complete surveys. These surveys typically take a few minutes to complete and can be done during short breaks.

Product Testing: Websites like UserTesting and BetaTesting pay individuals to test new products and apps. You’ll provide feedback on your experience, usability issues, and suggestions for improvement.

These activities can add up over time, providing a nice supplementary income stream during downtime.


3. Local Delivery Services

Leveraging local delivery services like Amazon Flex, DoorDash, or Uber Eats can be an excellent way for truck drivers to make money during longer breaks with access to a regular vehicle.


Amazon Flex: This service allows drivers to deliver Amazon packages. You can choose your own schedule and deliver packages in your personal vehicle.

DoorDash/Uber Eats: These food delivery services offer flexible hours and the opportunity to earn tips. They’re perfect for filling a few hours in between long hauls.

Local delivery services are a practical option for truck drivers looking to maximize their earning potential without a long-term commitment.


4. Handyman Services or Flipping Items

If you’re handy with tools or have an eye for valuable items, offering handyman services or flipping items can be a lucrative way to spend your downtime.

Handyman Services: Basic repair skills can be in high demand. Websites like TaskRabbit allow you to offer your services for various tasks such as minor repairs, furniture assembly, or even moving assistance.

Flipping Items: Thrift stores, garage sales, and online marketplaces like eBay or Facebook Marketplace are great places to find undervalued items that you can buy low and sell high.


5. Dispatch for Friends

Utilize your industry knowledge to help your fellow truckers find loads and manage their schedules. Acting as a dispatcher allows you to earn income for coordinating these activities.

Build Relationships: Establish connections with truckers and shippers to create a reliable network. The stronger your network, the more opportunities you’ll have to help.

Use Load Boards: Platforms like DAT are essential tools for finding loads posted by freight brokers and posting trucks. You can negotiate rates for your driver, book loads with freight brokers or shippers, and handle paperwork on the driver's behalf.

Offer Scheduling Services & Communication: Help your friends by managing their schedules and optimizing their routes. Be the point of contact for all communications so the driver can focus on driving. This can save them time and increase their earnings, making your service valuable.


Bonus: Offer Maintenance Services to Other Drivers

Another great way to make use of your downtime is by offering maintenance services to fellow truck drivers. If you have mechanical skills and a good understanding of truck maintenance, you can help others keep their vehicles in top shape while earning extra income.

Basic Repairs and Maintenance: Offer services like oil changes, brake checks, and tire inspections.

Mobile Maintenance Service: If you have the equipment, consider offering mobile maintenance services. This could include responding to minor breakdowns or performing maintenance tasks at truck stops.

Building a Client Base: Start by offering your services to drivers you meet on the road. Word-of-mouth referrals can quickly expand your client base.

While truck drivers should use their downtime to rest and recharge, there are plenty of opportunities to make additional income if they feel motivated. From affiliate marketing and taking surveys to offering local delivery, dispatch, and handyman services, these activities can help you turn unproductive periods into profitable ones. Additionally, providing maintenance services to fellow drivers can save them time and money, while also bolstering your earnings.


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Soshaul Logistics LLC and its affiliates do not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. It is meant to serve as a guide and information only and Soshaul Logistics, LLC does not assume responsibility for any omissions, errors, or ambiguity contained herein. Contents may not be relied upon as a substitute for the FMCSA's published regulations. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction or operation.


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