Going Hard Early Helps When You Meet Obstacles

Topic 22173 | Page 1

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Pete B.'s Comment
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This is not a new concept, I’ve seen others mention it before, and that is to get as far along in an assignment as you can as quickly as you can. In this case, you may still suffer a breakdown and yet make your delivery on time, or even early.

I received this assignment while in Chicago Monday afternoon, finishing up the previous load. I was scheduled to pick up a pre-loaded trailer on Tuesday; still having time on my clocks, and realizing the trailer was available now, I picked it up Monday evening and headed out of town directly... you never know how traffic is going to go in Chicago, especially during rush hour. Several hours south I shut down.

Today my goal was over 600 miles, which I would have made except a trailer tire exploded. By the time someone came out to replace it, I was out of hours and could only continue to the next ‘safe & legal’ stopping point I found.

My appointment is for Thursday morning. I requested an early delivery, planning to arrive by noon tomorrow. Even with the blowout, being sidelined for several hours, I should still make it to my destination by noon tomorrow. I could not have made it if I had delayed picking up the trailer, or had lolligagged today. When the unexpected happens it’s not always going to go this smoothly, but you certainly can help yourself by getting as much accomplished as soon as possible.

Old School's Comment
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Nice job Pete!

This is a principle that always pays off. It can save you from being late due to circumstances beyond your control (like your example). It can also help you deliver early sometimes. When we can deliver early, that possibly sets us up to accomplish more for that particular week or month, there by allowing us to increase our earning potential.

However it plays out, trying to get the most accomplished early on in a trip plan is beneficial.

One of these days Pete, we're gonna cross paths - I'm looking forward to it!


Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
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I agree with this 100%. You always want to stay way ahead of schedule if you can. I've also said many times that getting loads picked up and delivered early is one of the keys to making top money out there. Often times appointments will have an extra day or two built in. If you can get somewhere a day early and get that load delivered, or convince a shipper to load you early, you're increasing your chances of making more money.

Also, as Pete pointed out, travelling the highways is an incredibly unpredictable environment. You should expect there to be snags along the way. Staying ahead of schedule can allow you to make an appointment on time even if there are problems.

The average driver is surprised when something goes wrong. A great driver is surprised when nothing goes wrong.


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.

Jenny's Comment
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The average driver is surprised when something goes wrong. A great driver is surprised when nothing goes wrong.

I couldn't agree more! The best days in Trucking are uneventful.

Suicide Jockey's Comment
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This entire week I've been trying to stay ahead of schedule but stuff keeps knocking me back. We are normally a team truck, but the truck owner is on home time so this is my first week running a solo. 1st load: I was trying to reach the reciever the previous night so I could be ready for an early unload. A container truck wreked and caught fire in my path shutting down the highway. Sat in traffic so long I barely got into a rest area before my 14hr ran out. Had to start my clock early next morning to get to reciever on time. 2nd load: was a short 200 mile run. It loaded in early afternoon and delivered @ 11pm. Only problem was that I had to start my clock early to make that previous load, my 14hr was going to run out at 7pm. No way for me to work in an 8/2 split. This reciever did not allow you on property more than one hour before delivery and had no nearby parking. I made the pickup, but had to bring the load to another driver who could make the delivery within their clock. Load 3: I show up early for a drop/hook and an informed is not ready yet. It's another 10 hours before I finally get my load. This load had 2 stops with the first stop having a very tight window. Unfortunately I couldn't cover 860 miles in the 11 hours I had to get there. Had to get the first stop appointment changed, but I still managed to get to my second stop early. Load 4: I'm tired of getting stuck behind the 8 ball so I get to shipper 3 hours early and they take me right away! I get moving and arrive at the reciever a day early! But they won't take me early.... And no parking nearby. I end up sitting for a day 8 miles away until my appointment the next day...dang. Load 5: I again get to shipper early, and again I'm told load not ready, go away and we'll call you when ready. I'm waiting and watching my 14 hr tick away as I had started clock to deliver load 4 that morning. My concern is that my shipper is at the port in Galveston TX. They won't let you wait on property, and parking nearby is very Very VERY limited. If my 14 runs out the nearest major truck stops are 40 miles away. 4 hours after my appointment I get the call to come get loaded. Lucky for me they get me loaded fast and I'm done with 1hr on my 14. I get out of town and pull into a large truck stop @ midnight with 20 minutes left on my 14. Phew.... Now I've got 632 miles to cover today to get to my receiver to deliver early tomorrow morning. Can't wait to see what obstacles Murphy will drop in my path today.


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.

Suicide Jockey's Comment
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Yikes I put spacing in that to make it easier to read but it somehow all got mashed together. Sorry I should have previewed!

Steve L.'s Comment
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Amazing how things seem to work out (in the big picture) when you’ve got great work ethic. Very good! I hope you’re rewarded with clear skies, smooth roads and beautiful scenery.

Pete B.'s Comment
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Thanks Old School, Brett, and Steve. Old School, it’ll be my pleasure and an honor to meet you one day; Brett, thanks for pointing out the financial advantages of arriving early. You’re absolutely right; in speaking w/other drivers in my company and learning of their habits, that attitude makes the difference between great pay and pay. I appreciate that, Steve. I wish the same for you!

And hang in there PlanB, keep doing what you’re doing... long term you’ll start seeing dividends.

TommyGun's Comment
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^ What all the folks above said.

Always preferable to be early than right on time.

Sometimes you don't get much of a choice though. xD

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