In telling others about us, Mike and Vicki Simons, we describe how we have blended our passion for truck driving and saving money. We believe that our frugal lifestyle and commercial driving experience serve well as a backdrop for sharing money saving tips for professional truck drivers on Truck-Drivers-Money-Saving-Tips.com.
Not only have we implemented money saving tips while driving professionally, but we desire to help other truck drivers save money, too.
While we both have college degrees, our work experience includes both white collar and blue collar work.
Some people talk or write about trucking without ever having spent a day on the road behind the wheel of a big truck. Not us. So that you may have complete confidence about us, we’re going to detail our trucking experience.
Just before coming to the end of a white collar job years ago, Mike was handed an application for and information about J.B. Hunt.
Even though a few of Mike’s family members are (or were) professional drivers and he rode with his truck driving dad when he was growing up, he had no actual truck driving experience. Vicki’s side of the family boasted no trucking experience whatsoever.
To get a more complete understanding about us, you can read how we got started in the trucking industry by attending and graduating from truck driver training school.
Our trucking experience began when we took our first jobs as a husband and wife professional truck driving team in January 1993 with Swift Transportation. After six weeks with individual trainers, we were on our own.
We drove for Swift for 20 months. We worked diligently and passionately to pay off our massive student loans within the first 18 months.
Our trucking experience continued when we switched to driving for U.S. Xpress, for whom we drove just over a year. Using the same passion we’d used to pay off our loans, we saved money for the future.
It was during our days of team driving that we first wondered why truckers put up with some of the inferior products and services that are available to them on the road, a situation we now attempt to rectify by providing and asking for reviews on products, services, truck parts and truck stops.
A Series of Changes
We came off the road to start a business that we found Mike was not well-suited for. We burned through our savings and unfortunately wracked up a sizable amount of credit card debt.
Mike knew that his experience in trucking was the best way to get that debt paid off.
He got a local truck driving job through a temporary employment agency.
After that, he broadened his local trucking experience by hauling tankers which transported liquid fertilizer, gasoline or diesel. Unfortunately, that company’s trucks were not very well maintained. Vicki was so concerned about brake failure and a potential accident that he left that company.
Mike began his regional trucking experience when he was employed by Epes Transport System, for whom he drove for 2½ years.
We pulled in our financial belt very tightly and paid off our credit card debt completely in a little over a year. Our passion to save money was honed to razor sharpness.
Free from debt, Mike took a white collar job that lasted 4 years. When he wanted to return to Epes, he found that they required at least 1 year of OTR trucking experience in the last three.
He hired on with Schneider National, driving for them for 13 months. There were several drawbacks to driving for them at that time:
- Home time consisted of only 5 days per month;
- They prohibited the use of inverters larger than those that plug directly into a cigarette lighter; and
- They prohibited the use of a portable toilet in their trucks.
Having the required year of OTR trucking experience, he applied to and was re-hired by Epes and drove for them for four more years. Mike has 16.5 years of OTR driving experience altogether. We have over 19.5 years of trucking experience between us.
Besides a short stint in pulling tankers, at one point, Mike’s only other commercial motor vehicle experience had been strictly with dry vans and refrigerated vans.
In early 2011, he took a local truck driving job pulling flatbed trailers. This dimension of truck driving allowed him to identify with yet a different sector of truck drivers.
He has hauled other kinds of equipment since then.
Even now, when people ask about us, Vicki still surprises them when she says she was a professional truck driver for almost 3 years. With her own good nature, she kids them and asks, “What? I don’t look like a truck driver?” They usually respond, “No!”
However, her trucking experience includes
- team driving a truck with Mike,
- riding with Mike full-time for about 1½ years from Spring 2000 to Fall 2001, and
- riding with him again full-time for over a year in 2009 and 2010.
Vicki passionately serves as Mike’s “home support team.” She has done this both at home when we’ve had a residence and in our “home away from home” when we’ve been on the road living in a truck. She works to save as much money for their family as possible.
Using Our Experience to Help You
A friend has repeatedly told Vicki that she has the “gifts” of researching and writing. She is using these gifts through this website to deliver to you information not only from our own store of knowledge but also from other experts in the field. As we say on our home page:
We provide real world tips that help professional truck drivers save hard-earned money and personal reporting about products and services for use on the road.
Since it has been reported that there are 3.5 million professional truck drivers nationwide, the opportunities for saving money on the road abound.
Throughout our site, you’ll learn more about us, including both our successes and mistakes. While your trucking experience may vary from ours, our passion to help you save money is the entire reason for this site.
Even if your goals are small to begin with, we’d like to show you how to multiply savings to keep more money in your pocket.
Are Trucking and Saving Money the Most Important Things in Our Lives?
The most important thing about us, however, is neither our trucking experience nor our passion to help you save money, but that we seek to honor our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, in all that we do, say and think. To God be the glory. We believe so strongly in His Word to guide us in every aspect of our lives that we have made a daily Bible reading schedule available through our Free Downloads.
Throughout our site, you will see a variety of images. Some of these images have been obtained (or modified) from free sources such as FreeFoto.com, Microsoft’s Digital Gallery Live, Wikimedia Commons, Stock.XCHNG or ButtonShut.com.
In cases where images from other sources are used, they have been released by the site for use on other sites or are in the public domain. Some images are courtesy Amazon.com and may be used specifically in connection with a link so that you may purchase the product shown. The file names of images on our site generally indicate their source.
However, many of the photos on our site are our own original work — taken at home, in the truck, or during our travels on the road. So, you may have complete confidence in and about us as co-laboring with you to move America’s freight while saving as much money as possible.
Let’s Get Practical
Now that we’ve told you about us, we’d enjoy helping you save money on the road. How may we help you reach your financial goals?
Perhaps you have mastered something we haven’t. While we have written about us and what does and does not work for us in the trucks we have driven, you may have a different opinion. And that’s OK!
Please share whatever trucking-specific money saving tips have worked for you.
If you have a truck drivers money saving question, please ask.
Remember, this site is not just about us. Our goal is for it to become a clearinghouse of how truckers around the world save money.
- An Honor to Serve
- Comments to FMCSA on Hours of Service
- Comments to FMCSA on Preemption of CA Meal and Rest Breaks
- Electronic Logging Devices Mandate Commentary
- Comments to FMCSA on Automated Driving Systems
- Comments to FMCSA on Detention