Test Date On The 26th. Looking Like I’ll Be A Professional Truck Driver. Questions On Trip Planning

Topic 26588 | Page 1

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Leeva804's Comment
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So I started class on August 5th and my test date is September 26th.

I wanted to know just how complex trip planning can get and how to plan for it. Or studying and learning it early on.

School showed me how to navigate atlas but I’m wondering what I should purchase before going with Maverick Transportation.

First off since I’m flatbed will clearences be less of a threat?

What gps unit is recommended for trucking in different states considering you can’t completely depend on them.

How can I absolutely make sure I don’t end up down the wrong street if I’m not depending on gps? My school explained Atlas but no where did I see which roads in the city you can’t go in with trucks besides low clearences.

andhe78's Comment
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Still have to watch clearances, there are two places I can think of off the top of my head that we have to go in a certain way because bridges are too low. I’ve routinely hauled loads at 13’6” and had a few lumber and pipe loads that had to be reworked due to over height.

I used the Rand McNally 740 with no problems, then google maps satellite view once I got in close. Maverick also is good about company directions, probably 70% of the places we go, the company has truck directions on how to get in legally. There is also a very good Facebook page for maverick drivers that has a steadily growing database of how to get places, how to check in, etc.


Operating While Intoxicated

PackRat's Comment
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Many shippers/receivers also have phone numbers that will have a prompt specifically concerning directions. Companies themselves should provide the best, legal routes to get in and out of these customers. It's in their best interest to avoid fines and obstacles. When in doubt, stop, evaluate, call for help and guidance. Road signs are usually pretty awesome, too. These have been around for more than a century.

I also use a RM TND 740 GPS. Google Earth is instrumental sometimes, as well.

GPS is a good tool for in-town movements, but an Atlas is fine for movement from state to state. Sometimes that GPS will go out at inopportune times, so don't count on it to always work or even perform accurately.


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.

Mikey B.'s Comment
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Your truck GPS is still a handy tool even when you're not following it. It still shows speed limits and shows truck restricted roads, in combination with street signs it can still save you some trouble and some money. Most city roads will have a sign if its truck restricted but if it doesn't, if it looks like a small residential type road and you wonder how the heck you can make that turn...stay off of it..lol. never follow google maps or the such as they are only designed for cars and will get you into trouble although it is useful for confirming your destination address is right. New York and New Jersey you cannot drive on the parkways. Trip planning will get better with experience.


Operating While Intoxicated

PJ's Comment
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I also use the Rand McNally TND 740. Guess its a thing with us mature folks, lol. I agree to disagree with it about 20% of the time. Always google earth view your location. It only takes a minute of your time. I am a visual person. I look at any directions and find them on the map so I can see exactly what I’m getting into before I get into it. Also my company gives gps coordinates. Don’t always count on them being correct. I have one customer if you use those will land you at a middle school 3 miles down the road. Just a word of caution. Also like packrat said nothing trumps a road sign. Tried and true method.


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HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
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Old School's Comment
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Google Earth is a great tool. It gives you a visual of the whole area. It's really helpful for finding entrances and seeing where trucks are at your destination.

Here's how I trip planned as a rookie. It's helpful, but takes a little time. I would write down my whole trip turn by turn from start to finish. I'd use my Atlas, the company 's suggested route, a trucker's GPS, and Google Earth to put that together. I no longer need that kind of detail, but I still recommend that method for newbies.

As you gain experience you'll find yourself relying more on signs and gut instincts based on what you are observing and what you know.

Grumpy Old Man's Comment
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Don't You Dare Miss That Sign!

Absolutely. I was on a truck route yesterday. No problem at all, if you read signs. If you don’t, and we’re in the left lane when you missed a sign, you would be missing the top 7” of your truck and trailer. CLEARANCE IN LEFT LANE 12’6”!

Also, your GPS is a fine tool, as long as you double check EVERY route beforehand. Take it from me, mine took me to downtown Portland ME, where I had to be escorted through town by the police to a safe route. And this is AFTER I checked the route against company directions. Every time since, on the same route, it has been correct t. No idea why it was wrong.

But I have also noticed it will try to take me different routes than normal many times. Luckily it is my weekly route, so I just ignore it.

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