Trip Planning For Lowboy Trailers

Topic 30576 | Page 1

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Ronda U.'s Comment
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Ok so i haven't found any good info so far and im sick of winging my way thru while im still learning trip planning after almost being done with my second year of driving. I basically want to know how to trip plan for really low clearance trailers to avoid issues when hauling. I have struggled a lot with trip planning and im basically failing at it cause it takes me forever and cuts into my drive time and ive wound up in some really awkward situations like finding 12'6" bridges and low house wires, under weight limited bridges, and truck routing in areas, and i really want to conquer this because not knowing what to expect is causing me extra anxiety i don't need. I also want to better manage my time for more miles as a part of a team and find the time to actually feel human and enjoy normal stuff like eating, bathroom breaks, showers, and doing laundry. Im getting ready to bite the bullet and start dragging rgn trailers but ive been trying to figure out how to trip plan and then cover my a## because they have a greater chance of high centering or something going wrong. My company keeps pushing the issue, but i feel like im stuck on the basics. I really didn't learn trip planning and after watching videos and reading articles im still not getting it. Thanks in advance.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
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i really want to conquer this because not knowing what to expect is causing me extra anxiety i don't need.

I totally get your stress, and I love the way you want to conquer this problem. Your post raises a lot of questions for me that I would appreciate some clarity on before I give some advice.

  • How did you get started in trucking?
  • I am assuming you are working for a fairly small company if you are going to be pulling RGN trailers. Is that so?
  • You used the phrase "part of a team." Are you a team driver? That seems odd for RGN trailers.
  • Do you know how to use all that wonderful information available in your Rand McNally atlas?

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Bruce K.'s Comment
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After two years of dealing with this issue you need to be honest with your company and insist on getting help and training. What are you doing to get assistance?

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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If you’re speaking in regards of hauling oversized and permit loads, the majority of those will have specific routing assigned which take into account bridge height, ground clearance issues etc. That being said, it doesn’t account for everything. One of the advantages of a hydraulic rgn is the flexibility of the trailer in raising and lowering but you’ll still get those times where it’s going to hang up and potentially get stuck. You quickly learn that you’ll pay much more attention to everything, much more than pulling other styles of trailers because you have so many other things to take into consideration but as far as there being a guide to clue you into every single problem area, it doesn’t exist.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Old School's Comment
member avatar

I was hoping to hear from Robert on this one. Thank you sir!

I completely agree with him when he says, "as far as there being a guide to clue you into every single problem area, it doesn’t exist." None of us makes a plan and then thinks all will be well now that I have a trip plan in place. Trucking requires a great deal of diligence. Part of that diligence is situational awareness. When pulling RGN trailers that just multiplies the issues. Sometimes it may even be difficult to pull in to a truck stop. I have seen folks with these low trailers hung up at the entrance to several truck stops. You can't make a plan that detailed. You have to be aware of your surroundings and be quick on your feet to come up with alternative options. That is just part of trucking. We have to make decisions on the fly.

I'm sorry to say it, but I must disagree with Bruce's advice. I don't think you can expect your company to train you on trip planning. This is on the driver. They may be willing or able to help you understand how to use your atlas or calculate your time on a certain route, but beyond that this is something that we drivers have to develop for ourselves. Two years of driving has given you ample opportunity to work on this. Are their specific issues and problems that we can help with?

Bruce K.'s Comment
member avatar

I was hoping to hear from Robert on this one. Thank you sir!

I completely agree with him when he says, "as far as there being a guide to clue you into every single problem area, it doesn’t exist." None of us makes a plan and then thinks all will be well now that I have a trip plan in place. Trucking requires a great deal of diligence. Part of that diligence is situational awareness. When pulling RGN trailers that just multiplies the issues. Sometimes it may even be difficult to pull in to a truck stop. I have seen folks with these low trailers hung up at the entrance to several truck stops. You can't make a plan that detailed. You have to be aware of your surroundings and be quick on your feet to come up with alternative options. That is just part of trucking. We have to make decisions on the fly.

I'm sorry to say it, but I must disagree with Bruce's advice. I don't think you can expect your company to train you on trip planning. This is on the driver. They may be willing or able to help you understand how to use your atlas or calculate your time on a certain route, but beyond that this is something that we drivers have to develop for ourselves. Two years of driving has given you ample opportunity to work on this. Are their specific issues and problems that we can help with?

Thanks Old School. I certainly defer to your advice. I meant that whenever I had an issue, I followed my companies advice: "Smile and dial".

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I was hoping to hear from Robert on this one. Thank you sir!

I completely agree with him when he says, "as far as there being a guide to clue you into every single problem area, it doesn’t exist." None of us makes a plan and then thinks all will be well now that I have a trip plan in place. Trucking requires a great deal of diligence. Part of that diligence is situational awareness. When pulling RGN trailers that just multiplies the issues. Sometimes it may even be difficult to pull in to a truck stop. I have seen folks with these low trailers hung up at the entrance to several truck stops. You can't make a plan that detailed. You have to be aware of your surroundings and be quick on your feet to come up with alternative options. That is just part of trucking. We have to make decisions on the fly.

I'm sorry to say it, but I must disagree with Bruce's advice. I don't think you can expect your company to train you on trip planning. This is on the driver. They may be willing or able to help you understand how to use your atlas or calculate your time on a certain route, but beyond that this is something that we drivers have to develop for ourselves. Two years of driving has given you ample opportunity to work on this. Are their specific issues and problems that we can help with?

double-quotes-end.png

Thanks Old School. I certainly defer to your advice. I meant that whenever I had an issue, I followed my companies advice: "Smile and dial".

Referring to the company for advice can be a double edged sword. Very very rarely does anyone just start out doing heavy haul or specialized work. It requires certain levels of experience and training to achieve and at that point there are certain expectations. Constantly relying on dispatch or safety can quickly cost a driver that position because so much emphasis is placed on problem solving abilities. Granted, there will be times where a driver gets stumped and will need to reach out but generally, that call will be made to another driver or possibly a mentor. The heavy haul community is very tight knit and you’ll often see drivers helping out and sharing advice with others willing to receive it much more than other aspects of the trucking industry. Don’t get me wrong, you still have those knuckleheads out there but you can pick them off pretty quickly and your guy just tells you to stay away from them. I’d love to get back to it honestly because I enjoyed it so much but the biggest down side is the home time.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
member avatar

More than happy to help when I can Old School. Heck, I was just in your neck of the woods a couple weeks ago. I wanted to reach out and offer to buy lunch there at Kinfolks but time wouldn’t allow for it unfortunately.

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