Newbie Problems With Trip Planning..

Topic 26601 | Page 1

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Kim H.'s Comment
member avatar

I'm still new to trucking-after upgrading, I've been solo for about 7 mos. One of the things I'm struggling with the most is trip planning and I think its affecting my performance. Is there any advice on how to be better at this or any resources that I can be pointed in the direction of? And before anybody asks "why didn't your trainer show you how to trip plan?" Its a long story and not something I want to talk about. But if anybody has advice it would really be appreciated..

Steve L.'s Comment
member avatar

Not sure which part you need help with. But; 1. Always look at your Motor Carrier’s Atlas to be sure you’re planning on truck safe routes.

2. Once you know the miles, divide the miles by 50. You can usually use a higher mph than 50 IF you’re going all interstate.

3. Consider weather and heavy traffic areas like Chicago, Atlanta.

4. I use the Truckerpath app (free) to trip plan, but mostly just to compare routes. Sometimes an alternate route is better to avoid heavily congested traffic.

You might wanna talk to your Driver Manager to see if there’s a person in the office who works with newbies on trip planning. Or, if the DM understands trip planning, run your plans by them for their input.

I hope this helps.

Interstate:

Commercial trade, business, movement of goods or money, or transportation from one state to another, regulated by the Federal Department Of Transportation (DOT).

Dm:

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.

Driver Manager:

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.
PJ's Comment
member avatar

Kim it would help if we can narrow down how your company operates in this area. I.E. do they provide you with a route you must take?

Do you use a gps such as rand mcnally or garmin and is it a truck gps, or does your truck computer give you routing.

I don’t want to bore you if it is something specific we can help with. If it is the entire process then we can do that as well. Steve gave some great suggestions above already.

Also if you have a smartphone do you have google earth app? If not download it.

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Always leave as early as possible for the load. Traffic, accidents construction and more can delay you. Once you fall behind you never catch up. Message dispatch with any issues in WRITING not on the phone.

Parking can be an issue for new drivers so if you have to, shut down earlier and start the next clock earlier. Running your full 11 hours is not always best cause if space is limited or tight and you are tires, you may hit something.

PlanB's Comment
member avatar

I like to calculate estimated drive time to my delivery. Then look at how many total hours between now and my delivery appt. Subtract my drive time from the total time and now I'm left with total amount of time I can spend parked. Now I'll divide that by 10 to see how many 10 hour breaks I could fit in, plus any spare hours.

Now you can break those numbers up and move them around to see how many hours a day you need to drive and how many breaks you'll be taking. Once you know about how many hours a day you'll be driving you can plan out where you want to stop and at what time.

I usually do the math on a pocket notepad so I can visualize and double check my planned use of hours.

You may want to shut down sooner one day if your going to hit a city at rush hour, and get an early start to cover that ground next shift when traffic is better. Or if you in an area where parking is competitive, definitely shut down early if you can. I once spent 4 hours hopping from truck stop to truck stop to rest area until I finally found a dirt lot behind a gas station. That was I64 and I77 through WV and VA late at night.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Rick C.'s Comment
member avatar

I like to calculate estimated drive time to my delivery. Then look at how many total hours between now and my delivery appt. Subtract my drive time from the total time and now I'm left with total amount of time I can spend parked. Now I'll divide that by 10 to see how many 10 hour breaks I could fit in, plus any spare hours.

Now you can break those numbers up and move them around to see how many hours a day you need to drive and how many breaks you'll be taking. Once you know about how many hours a day you'll be driving you can plan out where you want to stop and at what time.

I usually do the math on a pocket notepad so I can visualize and double check my planned use of hours.

You may want to shut down sooner one day if your going to hit a city at rush hour, and get an early start to cover that ground next shift when traffic is better. Or if you in an area where parking is competitive, definitely shut down early if you can. I once spent 4 hours hopping from truck stop to truck stop to rest area until I finally found a dirt lot behind a gas station. That was I64 and I77 through WV and VA late at night.

I like that. Just clipped it to my driving notebook, thank you.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Maria R.'s Comment
member avatar

What do you mean in writing? I'm new to all of this I just graduated but have not yet decided what company to sign with.

Always leave as early as possible for the load. Traffic, accidents construction and more can delay you. Once you fall behind you never catch up. Message dispatch with any issues in WRITING not on the phone.

Parking can be an issue for new drivers so if you have to, shut down earlier and start the next clock earlier. Running your full 11 hours is not always best cause if space is limited or tight and you are tires, you may hit something.

PackRat's Comment
member avatar

"In writing" means over your truck's computer....People Net, Qualcomm , Zonar, etc. This makes it a permanent, digital record.

Qualcomm:

Omnitracs (a.k.a. Qualcomm) is a satellite-based messaging system with built-in GPS capabilities built by Qualcomm. It has a small computer screen and keyboard and is tied into the truck’s computer. It allows trucking companies to track where the driver is at, monitor the truck, and send and receive messages with the driver – similar to email.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Maria, if you are that new, don't worry about this stuff yet. You have SO MUCH to learn. You have the bare minimum right now. Company training is when you will see this stuff in action.

And be sure to find a company soon. The longer you wait after graduation, the harder it is to find a job.

Villain's Comment
member avatar

Just like when you're driving, anticipation is important for planning.

Say you're going to come off of your 10 and have a dispatch already. It's 60 miles to the Shipper. Review the route. Where do you anticipate to scale if needed after loading? Where do you anticipate taking your 30? Can you combine the 30 with your fuel stop? At your fuel stop where do you expect to take your 10? Do you expect to be close to your 10 during peak parking times? If yes what alternate locations are available (Walmart, rest areas with bathrooms)?

I used to write my plan down. Now I just keep in mind the next stop or 2 and what time of day that stop will be.

I remember when I first started using this forum. I believe it was Old School that wrote about planning and being a master of the clock. This is critical to maximizing your earnings.

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.

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