Trip Planning/Driving Time

Topic 10552 | Page 1

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Miss Miyoshi's Comment
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I have a question about trip planning. I'm a pretty nocturnal person, and therefore I love non-traditional jobs where I don't necessarily have to keep daywalker hours. I'm curious how trip planning works with regard to when you actually drive. Can you drive whenever you want as long as you're not driving longer than is allowed and the delivery makes it on time? Or are there restrictions? I've been poking around the site here and I can't seem to find anything definite by way of any possible rules. If there are restrictions, would it be company-based, state-based, or industry-based? What times do you prefer to drive, and why? What are the possible negatives of driving mostly at night that I might not be considering properly?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give!

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

No restrictions except what the load requires. I like starting 3-4am. My friend likes driving nights. If your pickup or delivery have appointment times you'll need to adjust and then you can go back to what you like.

We're both solo OTR. Just beware of weather conditions unique to when you like to drive. E.g. Ice @ night.

Good luck.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Pick/Grin's Comment
member avatar

You can request to your dispatcher to be given loads that occur during certain hours. I prefer getting up early around two or three, that way I can shut down by 4 in the afternoon and I have a good four or five hours of little traffic early in the day. Additionally, shutting down midday is a lot safer and you will find it much easier to find a spot since everyone else is still out on the road. However, they might give you an assignment that conflicts with your personal schedule. Every once in a while, you will be the only driver in the area that can pick up a particular load. You might start your day at 8 at night, but they need you to load at 2pm, in which you say "no problem". It's just a necessary occurrence.

Dispatcher:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

Personally, I love driving at night. There's less traffic, scales are normally closed and I can make good time. It's all dictated though on when the load has to be picked up and delivered and how your logs are going to look hour wise. During the winter can be a different story though. Daytime driving can be safer with melting from the sun and traffic to help mash up the snow and ice. Plus, with less traffic at night, if something happens you're on your own.

William C.'s Comment
member avatar

Are you planning toteam or go solo when I ran team with my ex we would do 12 hour shifts she would do noon to midnight and I would do midnight to noon

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

As long as you pick up and deliver in your appointment windows, you can drive any time day or night. Most of these windows are pretty generous. I love going to distribution centers after midnight because "no one" is there, so the whole trailer & dock area is yours. Also once I timed this: Cincinnati I-75 south to north, right through downtown: 15 minutes. Try that when the sun is up.

Indy's Comment
member avatar

Negatives: reduced visibility (compounded by numerous dimwits that think it's okay to drive down the highway with high beams on all the time), the reduced visibility most problematic when looking for signs and such on unfamiliar roads, sharing the road with other nocturnal animals, drunk drivers

Pluses: less traffic, less traffic, less traffic. I love driving at night

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I certainly understand that there will be times I can't work at my most preferred schedule. But that's life. I'm ok with that. I just wondered what the overall possibility would be if I wanted to do more night driving. Seems like it might be mostly workable.

The advice about driving at night during the winter in areas that would be more snowy/icy was good to know. I hadn't considered that, or that there are less people to help during breakdowns. Definitely something for me to keep in mind, being a woman and alone. (Yes, I plan on driving solo. My husband, while super supportive, likes his daywalker office job.)

As for electronic logs , since all of this is new to me I have absolutely no idea how to conceptualize how it would affect my planning. I know there are resources here, so I'm reading what I can to learn as much as I can.

Thanks!

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar

Miss Miyoshi has no concept:

As for electronic logs , since all of this is new to me I have absolutely no idea how to conceptualize how it would affect my planning.

E-logs have nothing to do with the time of day you drive. The legend of the paper log is that you can "adjust" your daily driving times to maximize your distance covered. Not so with e-logs. (Think how much you can "adjust" the cards in computer solitaire compared to slipping one under the stack in paper cards.) At least yuo don't have to remember/take the time to update e-logs.

Electronic Logs:

Electronic Onboard Recorder

Electronic Logbook

A device which records the amount of time a vehicle has been driven. If the vehicle is not being driven, the operator will manually input whether or not he/she is on duty or not.

Miss Miyoshi's Comment
member avatar

Good to know. I've seen some pushback by a few people in different places about paper vs. electronic. I'm all about electronic everything. Less paper = less things getting misplaced. If information is able to upload to a server before I spill tea all over the device then at least I know I'm good that entry. Again, I have no idea how these work, but hopefully in about a week I'll have been able to read up on them and be more familiar with how they operate.

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