Truckers have a lot on their plates at any given time, and probably the most important part of the job is being able to get from Point A to Point B in the right amount of time. That's obviously more easily said than done, but we have a few suggestions to help drivers — especially new ones — do just that.
Read on to learn more:
1) Know what you need in terms of parking
One of the biggest problems many drivers face on a daily basis is that they have to look high and low for parking when it comes time to pull over, and you should plan ahead, according to Trucking Truth. If you can arrive at a planned destination before dusk and plan to be parked for the next several hours, you'll be more likely to find easy parking.
2) Drive at the right times to avoid traffic
Along similar lines, you should plan to drive at times when traffic will be relatively limited, Trucking Truth said. You don't want to get stuck in snarls around rush hour or near big cities, so a little bit of work to chart your route to avoid traffic should inform things like departure time.
3) Know how important rest is
While you certainly have legal requirements for how much time you can drive in a given day, you should also be cognizant of how much rest you will need, Trucking Truth further added. Getting yourself on the right sleep schedule based on your needs for a given trip is a must, and you need to be able to settle in easily.
4) Invest in a real-time GPS
Although you can plan for all kinds of eventualities on the road, the fact is you're guaranteed to encounter unexpected, unavoidable issues that hold you up, according to CDL Jobs. Having a GPS system that recommends alternate routes based on current traffic conditions will help you avoid those traffic jams.
5) Plan how you will use your stops in advance
You should be able to get a pretty good handle on things like when you will be hungry, when you need to refuel, and when you need to sleep, among others, CDL Jobs advised. You can start to figure out exactly how long you'll stop for, and check all the right boxes for what you need to do there.
6) Don't compare yourself to other drivers
Especially when you're new, you need to understand that proper time management isn't something you'll nail down on Day 1, according to Knight Transportation. Veteran drivers will always have a better handle on it, so don't push yourself to unreachable standards.
7) Build time into your schedule for loading an unloading
A classic mistake many drivers make when planning their trips is not building in time for loading or unloading their trailers, Knight Transportation noted. That can take hours, and it's an important part of getting the job done on time.
8) Don't get frustrated
Finally, keep in mind that there are some trips where you'll be early by several hours (or more) and those where you will be hours late, Knight Transportation warned. That's life, and getting upset when you're running behind isn't going to help.
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