What Is A Good, Safe Universal Speed

Topic 29768 | Page 2

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RealDiehl's Comment
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No Prime jokes? I don't know if I should feel grateful or highly offended.

We are governed (company) at 62 while using cruise control. We are encouraged to go 60mph bc it is better for fuel mileage. We get fuel bonuses which is a good incentive to go slow. Honestly, you will not "lose" money by driving at 61mph. My highest mileage day while driving for US Xpress (governed at 68) was 673 miles. My highest day with Prime was 648 miles. Not much of a difference.

There have been several discussions on this forum about the negative financial impact of being governed at a slower speed. The truth is that a truck governed at 70 is not/should not be going any faster than a truck governed at 60 through construction zones, heavy traffic, foul weather, or local roads. The difference in miles per day is negligible unless you're traveling at 70mph for your entire shift-start to finish-which never happens.

Old School's Comment
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I know going slower costs money. You get less work done.
Honestly, you will not "lose" money by driving at 61mph

I have to agree with Real Diehl on this. We all know we get paid by the mile. Therefore the more miles the better. In any given fleet you will find a core group of drivers who regulatly turn more miles than the other drivers. When all those drivers trucks are governed at the same speed, it clearly shows there is something else distinguishing those higher performing drivers from the others.

If it's not the speed of the truck, then what is it? There are far too many variables in a truck driver's day to think the speed he can drive will give him an edge. Efficiency at trucking is far more a matter of good planning and strategy based on experience than it is on speed. I know how to get through Chicago and Atlanta much quicker than your average rookie driver. I can sometimes get in and out at some of my customers in a much shorter timeframe than other drivers.

The speed of your truck is not going to help you outperform others. Just look at the success Prime has had. That's a great operation running the slowest trucks on the road. I've never had any problems being a top performer in my fleet. I have no problem regularly doing 3,000 plus mile weeks. My truck is governed at 62.

This concern or question is common among rookie drivers. Don't be fooled, the path to more miles is more complex than just being able to go faster. To find yourself turning the big miles you have to learn How To Get Yourself Dispatched 5,000 Miles Per Week.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
PackRat's Comment
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That's why I listed my career mph average. That's with nearly 700K dispatched miles. I'm netting more than $1500 per week, usually only driving less than 500 miles each day, and running recaps. I'm also in the top 5% for company driver miles. I forgot to mention it's much less stress, too.

BTW, since we're not driving mechanical engines for quite awhile now, there are no "governors". It's a computer controlled speed limiter.

Steven's Comment
member avatar

Hey everyone these are great answers and they helped me a lot. Thank you so much.

For the record I usually set my cruise at 61 even though I could go 65. I only go 65 when I'm trying to pass the rare vehicle going slower than 61. I've been told my average speed is one of the lowest on my board, yet I still get the same miles which I manage through sheer discipline (taking few breaks, eating once per day when my shift is already over, waking up early and ending early, etc).

I just wanted to see if I was crazy for going slower and I've just learned that I'm not. Thanks again.

RealDiehl's Comment
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Thanks for the assist, Old School! That first quote is the exact statement I was responding to. I forgot to actually add the quote in my response though. Thankfully, you picked up on it.

Thanks for the governor/speed limiter distinction, PackRat! Keep sharing the knowledge..!

Mr. Curmudgeon's Comment
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One consideration, not mentioned, but very real. If your Corporate Safety people tell you that 61 miles per hour is a good safe speed and your truck will go 68, if you're doing 68 and and are involved in a crash, have you opened yourself up to issues where you did not follow the guidance of the safety department on a safe speed?

I understand all the discussions about the driver being the captain of the ship, etc etc. However, the safety people are ultimately the Arbiter of whether your crash was preventable or not. And that affects your employment history.

If they said 61, maybe 61 is the route to go. If you are a new driver don't be surprised if they are monitoring your average speeds looking to see how well you respond to guidance and direction

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