The route plan for truck drivers leads to success and profit. Whether you are driving a couple of hundred miles or cross country spending a few minutes on planning it out can save you time in the long run. Mapping out your day can help guarantee you a spot at a truck stop. Nowadays there are also plenty of applications you can use that can help you with planning your trip, it doesn’t hurt to write it down and glance at it throughout the day as you’re making progress. If you’re just getting some info on responsibilities but haven’t made the first leap into being a CDL driver, look into how to become an owner-operator.If you find that you are the person for the job, working for a company like Matrix could be the right fit for you, we have experienced and diligent dispatchers that will work with you 24/7.
A few tips you can use while your on the road:
-Maintaining a steady speed
-Reduce your idling time by turning your engine off when possible
-Use progressive shifting, low RPM saves fuel
-Use your fuel card if you have it
Plan your trips destination:
Check the routes on your GPS & see which is best.
Will there be load restrictions or road conditions?
Make sure the route your taking is best for your weight, some roads don’t allow vehicles over a certain weight. Construction or road closures might be an issue as well as low bridges, there are apps that can help avoid these obstacles on your route such as the google maps or waze.
How are the road conditions & weather?
Check your weather app to make sure you are prepared, bad weather can delay your trip.
How long will you load & unload?
You can plan your route down to the minute, but don’t forget, the unexpected can happen. You have a time on when to deliver your load, but you could always get stuck waiting at the dock. Plan your trip with a little extra waiting time just in case.
Where will I have to stop for fuel?
Figure out how much your fuel tank holds & the mileage you are driving so you have a good idea on how far you can drive before you stop to refuel. You can plan some other activities as well, eating, taking a short nap or some exercise. You can use this time to plan some of your breaks.
When should you take a break?
According to the regulations you have to take a 30 minute break every 8 hours. Studies show between 4am-6am & 2pm-4pm is when your body naturally becomes more fatigued, try to plan your breaks around these times. A 15-45 min nap is more energizing than a cup of coffee. If you plan a little exercise during your breaks that will make your body feel less sluggish for the remainder of your trip. Breaks reduce stress levels, it’s good to be calm while driving so you can be alert and aware of all your surroundings. The route plan for truck drivers should also include checking their ELD, to make sure all the logs are correct and remember to switch it to “off-duty” on break so it records all breaks.
Inspecting your cargo:
North American Cargo Securement Standard has the driver re-inspect his cargo unless it is sealed or inaccessible to the driver.
-First re-inspection within 50 miles of beginning your trip
-Driver should re-inspect after driving 3 hours or 150 miles, whichever comes first.
-Every time your duty status changes