Most truck drivers will admit that they have a stressful job. For many, there are the long hours and days on-the-road away from family and friends, constantly fighting the bad weather, and watching out for distracted drivers. If that isn’t enough, there’s the dealing with difficult shipping and receiving personnel as well as unrealistic deadlines.
While some drivers may take the attitude that stress just comes with the territory and you have to accept the things that you cannot control, the true professional driver knows that much of the stress in their job can be minimized by good road trip planning.
Planned trips make $en$e…
Ask professional drivers about the advantages of planning each trip ahead of time and most will immediately cite two important ones:
- Planned trips mean higher profits – knowing ahead of time what states are the best on fuel prices helps you to know where to fill up. That, alone, could save you as much as $.10 per gallon.
- Planned trips promote a healthier lifestyle – you know where the healthiest restaurants or truck stops are along the route as well as the best rest and sleep locations. These stress-reducing stops can be pre-planned within HOS guidelines.
Professional Driver Road Trip Planning Tips Include:
- Use the 38 mph rule when calculating the distance of a trip and the estimated time that should be allowed to get there. This figure allows for variables, taking into consideration bathroom breaks, eating, fueling, border time crossing, traffic, weather, etc.
- Set realistic daily travel goals. Consider weather, expected traffic delays and volume, mountains vs flat terrain, border crossings, etc.
- Know where the nearest Walmart is located. Buy your groceries and supplies there instead of at truck stops. Walmart is less expensive and has a bigger selection from which to choose.
- Cushion your schedule with additional time. The cushion will be a stress-reducer, eliminating the need to rush, speed, or risk a traffic violation.
- Follow weather reports closely. You need to know where the storms are and the road conditions at all times.
- Carry food, essential supplies and extra clothing if traveling in remote areas. Always be prepared for the possibility of being stranded.
At DriverSource, safety will always be our top concern. As a leader in providing professional full-time and part-time leased CDL drivers, we know that company owners prefer drivers who will keep themselves safe and healthy while on the road. Those preferred drivers are most likely going to plan their trips using the tips mentioned above.
Bill D for DriverSource