Trip Planning 101

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Victor C. II's Comment
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Soooo I was wondering if maybe we can make this one of the largest threads in Trucking Truth so it could help those who are new and I how to PROPERLY trip plan and be able to get to our shippers and recievers on time or early. I have been struggling with just that, trip planning!

So ready set GO!

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Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Eric G.'s Comment
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1. Review all of the route instructions if you get any with your load assignment. By review I mean pull out the atlas and trace each road you will be traveling on in each state. You are looking for the road to be highlighted a yellowish orange color. That indicates it is a truck route.

2. Go the front section of the atlas where it lists each state, and make sure that each road in each state does not have a low clearance warning or is a restricted route. If it is listed use the info provided(street name, city name, map coordinates (ex. W-3) to locate the low clearance or restricted route in that state.) you do this to make sure you will not be traveling in that road through that issue.

3. That should be about 90% of the trip planning you will do, but it is also the easiest. The other 10% is the tricky part. Get the directions to you shipper or receiver, well both actually. You don't have to do both at the same time though.

4. This is were google maps and earth come in. Using the map view locate your route through the city. From your exit to your destination. Make sure you know all the turns.

5. Use the satellite view to locate the customers entrance, and any potential obstacles you may see. Sharp turns, or hard to make turns. Alternate routes to get to the customer etc.

6. Google search the states truck routes. I have only been taught this, I have not had to put this in practical use yet. Review the list of routes that are restricted to your vehicle type. Make sure your not going down any of those roads. We use this if it is a place we have not been before. The states truck routes will help you through the towns. Some let you search county by county.

If you find yourself routed in a non approved truck route. Find out if your company has a permit to use that road. Sometimes states will grant access if the company pays for it.

Hope this helps. Stay safe all.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Eric G.'s Comment
member avatar

Additionally when we plan our trips(my trainer and I) we estimate at 50 mph. So we take the total miles to the shipper and then to the receiver. We estimate if we have time to make those appointments. We do this first because as we all know sometimes the spot to the shipper is like yesterday.

If the appt time is so tight we just trip plan to the shipper, then finish the rest once we get there. Some days we just trip plan for that day, then so on and so on.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Damon L.'s Comment
member avatar

I haven't been out yet but what I was wondering is what is the average from the time you receive a load to get it to a customer? I've seen people on YouTube complaining about running out of hours before being able to make it to the customer on time.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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They are cry babies lol

The answer is: I usually get a "preplan" for my next load before I get to my receiver for my first load. While getting unloaded I can plan my route to the next shipper. How long the unload takes will determine what time I get there. If the first receiver takes a long time and I can't make the appointment for the next shipper , they simply change the appointment time to something I can make.

Example: yesterday I was 300 miles away from the next shipper at noon. The appointment was for 1500. By the time I got unloaded, the appointment was changed to 2100--plenty of time to get there.

As for getting from shipper to receiver on the same load: loads are planned to give you enough time. Dispatch knows how much time you have on a daily and weekly basis. They know if you can't get it done. I often get told "I know you don't have the time on your 70, I'll have another driver meet you. Just get it as far as you can."

One of the most annoying YouTube videos I saw was a guy complaining he took a ten hour break, then only drove 30 miles. He then had another ten hour break. Then he was given a load and cried and whined to dispatch he was tired and couldn't make it.

Before I drove. I thought the scenario was terrible...evil dispatch. Once I got on the road, I realized he could have pulled over and taken a nap in the amount of time he cried to dispatch and made the video! Then delivered the load. But instead he bashed his dispatcher online, made his company and teuvkers look bad, and tried to boost his ego with the "I'm right" attitude.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

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.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Fatsquatch 's Comment
member avatar

Biggest trip planning tip: when deciding where you're going to park for the night, always have a plan B...and C, D, and E. Plan A is obviously where you ideally want to get by the end of your day. The others are for when (notice I don't say "if") you get delayed by traffic, construction, accidents, weather, breakdowns, etc. Always be thinking at least two steps ahead and know where your alternative parking locations are for the times you can't make it to your first choice, and be prepared to adjust the rest of your trip accordingly.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

Fatsquatch speaks the truth:

Biggest trip planning tip: when deciding where you're going to park for the night, always have a plan B...and C, D, and E. Plan A is obviously where you ideally want to get by the end of your day. The others are for when (notice I don't say "if") you get delayed by traffic, construction, accidents, weather, breakdowns, etc. Always be thinking at least two steps ahead and know where your alternative parking locations are for the times you can't make it to your first choice, and be prepared to adjust the rest of your trip accordingly.

Great advice.

Unholychaos's Comment
member avatar

Biggest trip planning tip: when deciding where you're going to park for the night, always have a plan B...and C, D, and E. Plan A is obviously where you ideally want to get by the end of your day. The others are for when (notice I don't say "if") you get delayed by traffic, construction, accidents, weather, breakdowns, etc. Always be thinking at least two steps ahead and know where your alternative parking locations are for the times you can't make it to your first choice, and be prepared to adjust the rest of your trip accordingly.

Trucker Path app for smartphones comes in handy for this. If you have a smartphone and don't have this, GET IT!!! It's shows all the major truck stops, mom n pops, Wal-Mart's, weigh stations, ect. along with how many spots are available, amenities they offer, and so on. Also includes a review section so you won't be surprised by the dirtiness of shower #3 when you open the door.

Victor C. II's Comment
member avatar

Great advice everone and please keep it coming I love all these tips and this way we can have thid as a future go to for newbies!

Matt 's Comment
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So how long should you take trip planing? Obviously time will differ but what is realistic?

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