Trip Planning/Driving Hours/Mtn Driving

Topic 8675 | Page 1

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Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar

Ok just a question and concern, I'm soon to be a driver for Swift. Driving and backing isn't really a problem, I learned how to back and double clutch as a kid in my dads truck when I was 16-17. The real thing, or couple things that worry me are trip planning and managing my hours of driving time. I see guys who say they will only run about 5-6 hours today to save their hours for tomorrow and what have you. Why not just drive 10 hours everyday? And I'm concerned about not managing my hours correctly, It seems to me there is a lot of thought that goes into managing hours. When I first started I assumed you just drive your 10 hours everyday, get your 70 for the week and that's it. The other thing that worries me is mountain driving, maybe I'll understand it more when I get more driving time in mountains with steeeeep downgrades but I'm a little worried about braking, being in right gear and etc. The little stuff I have nailed, straight line backing, parallel parking, double clutching , pre trip, and etc. But I'm worried about not trip planning right, managing my hours and when to drive so many hours and stop to help me the next day, and also mountain driving. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you and be safe out there drivers.

Double Clutch:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Double Clutching:

To engage and then disengage the clutch twice for every gear change.

When double clutching you will push in the clutch, take the gearshift out of gear, release the clutch, press the clutch in again, shift the gearshift into the next gear, then release the clutch.

This is done on standard transmissions which do not have synchronizers in them, like those found in almost all Class A trucks.

Jessica A-M's Comment
member avatar

These are things school should discuss and things that your trainer should definitely teach you as well. Make sure to ask questions when you're training.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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Your trainer will address pretty much all of your questions and the reasons for doing so. Yes, mountains can be intimidating, especially pulling a 45,000 load as a relative novice. Remember though, your trainer wants to make it down just as safely as you do so hopefully that helps ease your nerves a bit.

One piece of advice told to me time and again by my trainer. You can go slow safe and easy down the hills over and over again. You can only hurry down out of control once.

Snappy's Comment
member avatar

As far as the trip planning goes, my trainer when I first started out recommended logging only 8 to 9 hours a day -- 5 to 6 is just leaving miles, and therefore money, on the table!

Having done a little bit of math, I try to burn up my driving hours as much as I can -- using as many of them as I can for driving, of course. It's more efficient to use your time that way. Daniel B has an excellent thread floating around here discussing that very topic! If I had it bookmarked, I'd link it here. I might search for it later.

As for mountain driving, it is a good thing that you're concerned about it -- your trainer should show you Swift's way of doing things. I'd rather see a new driver be cautious about that than overconfident.

Have fun in your new career, and be safe! :)

The Persian Conversion's Comment
member avatar

For me, there was only so much I could learn by instruction about logging hours and trip planning. I really just had to get out there and start doing it so I could learn from my own experiences. Every day offers a slightly different set of circumstances, and there are so many little nuances to it all that no one could ever teach you everything about it. They taught me the basics, but being out there on my own was like my graduate school. I wouldn't stress about it too much, just expect that the first few weeks, you probably won't be as efficient as you'd like at maximizing your time. Just be patient and it will come.

Jarod(Red)'s Comment
member avatar

As far as the trip planning goes, my trainer when I first started out recommended logging only 8 to 9 hours a day -- 5 to 6 is just leaving miles, and therefore money, on the table!

Having done a little bit of math, I try to burn up my driving hours as much as I can -- using as many of them as I can for driving, of course. It's more efficient to use your time that way. Daniel B has an excellent thread floating around here discussing that very topic! If I had it bookmarked, I'd link it here. I might search for it later.

As for mountain driving, it is a good thing that you're concerned about it -- your trainer should show you Swift's way of doing things. I'd rather see a new driver be cautious about that than overconfident.

Have fun in your new career, and be safe! :)

Hey Snappy< your only about 45 minutes from me lol good to see someone local. And thanks for advice guys! It helps a lot

Snappy's Comment
member avatar

Hey Snappy< your only about 45 minutes from me lol good to see someone local. And thanks for advice guys! It helps a lot

That's awesome! Yeah, just the other side of Eville! :)

Eckoh's Comment
member avatar

Trip planing comes with practice. The more you do it the better you will get at it and the more effectivly you can use your hours. When starting ALWAYS give yourself more time then you need to be safe. My mentor told me when planing, plan on averaging 50 mph (as swift tells you) then add 1 to 2 hours on that in the beginning to be safe. As you get better you can remove some of that extra time to make better use of your clock. When you are starting out it is always better to be an hour early then 15 minutes late.

As far as mountains they are very scary to think about but then once yo do them they are no big deal. My mentor threw me into the deep end my first day in the truck with him. Going on 64 west starting at the Virgina West Virgina line at 10:30 at night in a thunderstorm.... so my first time driving for real was with 35k in the box at night in the storm on mountains.... but now none of that bothers me. I still rather drive in the day light just because IMO its safer but that is personal prefernce.

As far as how you use your clock that is going to be up to you. Some like running on recaps forever meaning they do not have more then 8.75 hours on duty per day average so that they never need to do a reset, other like to burn their clock as fast as possible so they can do a 34 then do it again.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Trip planing comes with practice. The more you do it the better you will get at it and the more effectivly you can use your hours. When starting ALWAYS give yourself more time then you need to be safe. My mentor told me when planing, plan on averaging 50 mph (as swift tells you) then add 1 to 2 hours on that in the beginning to be safe. As you get better you can remove some of that extra time to make better use of your clock. When you are starting out it is always better to be an hour early then 15 minutes late.

As far as mountains they are very scary to think about but then once yo do them they are no big deal. My mentor threw me into the deep end my first day in the truck with him. Going on 64 west starting at the Virgina West Virgina line at 10:30 at night in a thunderstorm.... so my first time driving for real was with 35k in the box at night in the storm on mountains.... but now none of that bothers me. I still rather drive in the day light just because IMO its safer but that is personal prefernce.

As far as how you use your clock that is going to be up to you. Some like running on recaps forever meaning they do not have more then 8.75 hours on duty per day average so that they never need to do a reset, other like to burn their clock as fast as possible so they can do a 34 then do it again.

Nothing like getting that precious mountain driving experience done right off the bat. I'm glad I got thrown to the wolves honestly, it's priceless education. Mine has been up and down the west coast running Grapevine, Mt Shasta and Siskiyou in the day, night, rain and fog. All in all, it's been a blast and most importantly, nice and safe.

Paul F. 's Comment
member avatar

One piece of advice told to me time and again by my trainer. You can go slow safe and easy down the hills over and over again. You can only hurry down out of control once.

They taught us the same thing in training.

You can take that turn too slowly a thousand time, but only once too fast.

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