Delivery To New Construction Sites; Don't Search Google Maps

Topic 26702 | Page 1

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Rob D.'s Comment
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Many of the flatbedders have commented about delivering to construction sites. So I thought I would post about my "trip planning" for my meeting tomorrow (qualifier: I am not a driver), which is at a new construction site, to see how others have dealt with these conditions.

My meeting is at the sales office of a new residential development.

Neither the Rand McNally Trucker's Atlas nor GPS will help you because the street does not exist on any map. It's still under construction.

Satellite or Google Earth won't help you because, even if you knew where to look, all you would see is cornfield.

The only thing that shows a street or development is the Google Street View, because the picture was taken February 2019. But the only way that I knew how to get to the right spot on Google Street View, is because I generally know where to look.

And even with Google Street View, it only shows you street level view of the streets as of February. So you have no idea about the street configuration today and where they want you to deliver the load. Or where they have staged construction equipment or stored materials on the roads, which you can see they had done in February.

And BTW, the main road leading in the new residential construction site is two lane, no shoulders, and open ditches.

I'm curious to hear other's experiences of delivering to a new construction site with an address that doesn't exist on any map.

Jamie's Comment
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Neither the Rand McNally Trucker's Atlas nor GPS will help you because the street does not exist on any map. It's still under construction.

I delivery to new construction sites all the time, mostly new housing development areas. They don't show up on google maps, my gps, etc. I always ask for cross streets, the nearest street that has been around for awhile since it has to connect some where, and things like that. Since I do a lot of city driving where I have to go down no-truck routes, finding cross streets are really simple and easy and you can usually do it via Google Maps. I then verify the cross streets with the customer to ensure I am in the general location, and from there you can usually see the street or find it a lot more easier.

Jamie's Comment
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So far I have had no problems finding the places I had to delivery too on this account, but it was a fun experience from just having the GPS take me directly there.

PJ's Comment
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These things happen, and not always for new roads. There are only 3 GIS companies in the states. Generally they do updates on 6 month intervals. I worked in that arena several years ago when they started doing mapping/GPS stuff for emergency vehicles. You are very correct what you are looking at on google earth can be outdated.

Customers are always your best info how to get in and out. I delivered last week and when I talked to the customer they gave me different directions because their front gate is blocked off due to flooding. I had to go around to a back gate of a oil refinery. Which was miles from the front gate. Just be sure when you talk with a customer they fully understand what you are driving. Companies get deliveries in all size vehicles. A clerk in the front office may have no clue how to route a semi into their place.

Turtle's Comment
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A phone call to the customer is usually step one in locating a non-existent address. Without a contact number you're kind of shooting in the dark.

In my former life as a contractor, I'd often run into the situation you described, especially new construction residential sites. A visit to the construction company's website would often yield a map or guide to their "new or upcoming" sites, complete with yet to be official street names.

In a big truck, you really can't do anything until you have some kind of idea where to point yourself.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
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My company (Prime) has a lockout on the app and my Qualcomm while driving so I have taken to pre programming a "Delivery" contact in my phone. Each time I get a load, part of the trip plan is re programming the delivery number there. This way, if I get the two lane road with no sides like you mentioned, or I am unsuccessful in getting a person to answer until I am close, I don't have to also block traffic or panic looking for an accessible stopping point just to call again.

Most trucks in Prime are 2018 or newer and have all kinds of connection you will sync your device with. The downside is if said device wants to link with all smart devices (GPS, radio, smart watch, etc), you end up yelling at lots of inanimate objects like a lunatic when they try to steal the mic connection from each other when the phone rings.

Past that, slow is the correct speed and try to find a safe parking area the day before that is nearby in case you really can't find access or the site itself. No one likes driving around your big blinking butt in the wee hours of the morning (no experience with that or anything).

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.
Rob D.'s Comment
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so I have taken to pre programming a "Delivery" contact in my phone

Spaceman, I had thought about the same thing. Having designated contacts for certain people I would want to call using hands free. Like "Fleet Manager" and "Receiver." It make take some trial and error, based on your other comment about yelling at inanimate objects.

"Call Receiver."

"Would you like to call Rick Evers?"

"No call RECEIVER."

"Would live to receive directions to Rick Evers location?"

"NO! CALL RECEIVER!"

"Would you like to text message Rick Evers?"

"NO! NO! NO!, I want to CALL RECEIVER, you stupid b***ch."

"Would you like to call Stuart Birch?"

"FU!, FU!, FU! FU!"

"I'm sorry, I'm not understanding your command."

Fleet 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.
Rob D.'s Comment
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Turtle, Spacemen, and other Prime drivers,

I have a follow up question regarding "out of route" flexibility. On my the way to my meeting yesterday, I took a different route than Interstate 70 just because as Doobie in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles says, "You don't see nothing on the Interstate, but Interstate." The route that I took was 14 miles and 7% longer than driving Interstate 70. But at the same time there was no traffic and very few small towns where you had to reduce your speed.

What tolerance does Prime have for choosing your route?

Interstate:

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

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.

Turtle's Comment
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What tolerance does Prime have for choosing your route?

I've never been spoken to about my routing. Literally never. Obviously I won't go extremely out of the way or anything, but often I'll take the more scenic route vs the interstate. That's within reason, of course.

Our routes, as best I can tell, are computer generated when you punch the addresses into the Qualcomm. When you go out of route, it simply tells you to reroute. But the computer doesn't take certain things into consideration such as traffic, weather, construction, etc. So I as the driver will often reroute myself based on those considerations. Other times, it's simply because I'd rather take US-30 instead of I-80 for a change of pace.

I'm sure there's a bean-counter at Prime who looks at things such as fuel mileage and excess miles. Let's face it, a route through several small towns with stop-and-go traffic, or through hilly terrain, will likely burn far more fuel than than the nearby interstate. So you have to use common sense in your routing.

Mostly though, as long as you deliver on time, they probably don't care much. Example: just last week I heard on the CB of a fatality accident 30 miles or so ahead on the US hwy I was on, possibly closing the road for several hours. I immediately stopped, pulled out the atlas, and found another way around. The new route added 70 miles, but I didn't even flinch, and made my delivery on time. Never heard a word about it.

Also, rerouting is a two-way street. Often the Qualcomm will route me one way, but I find another way through back roads that'll shave off 40-50 miles. It works both ways.

To answer your question: I don't know what their tolerance is. I've never found the boundary.

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.

Interstate:

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

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

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.

Spaceman Spiff's Comment
member avatar

Ditto to turtle. Not sure what our parameters are and I always try to find out first.

My first route was from salt lake City to Seattle. My trainer locked all the GPS to the address and it came up as routing us north 15 to 90 west through south Washington state. Trainer said eff that, jubitz has a sweet deal for st Patrick's day meal. So we drove along the beautiful Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, stayed in Portland then up to Seattle. This is about 100 mile detour. So I guess the minimum threshold for having a problem is over 100 miles?

Rob, I gotta tell you, I really thought I'd have seen a cell phone leaving a truck window at rapid velocity by now.

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