More Questions About Trip Planning

Topic 8214 | Page 1

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Shaun S.'s Comment
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I have been seeing some questions about trip planning which makes me wonder what happens when your time is up and you have not found a truck stop? I thought about this the other day because my current job is across from pilot at i69 in mi and that place is constantly packed.

Mr. Smith's Comment
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Say your 100 miles from Pilot. You thought youd make it but you just arent going to. you have 15 minutes left. You pull off the highway at the next available location. I see trucks parked and sleeping on the on ramps all the time in California... we dont have too many truck stops here. nor rest areas... its sad.

Also, If you are not going to make it because of traffic that was caused by something like a sig alert... use your extra hours...

your log book paper? no electronic log in your truck? then your not out of time at all...

if your not on paper... I have seen some guys say you can roll at really low speeds that would be probably attract attention... depening on how far you gotta go.

Scott O.'s Comment
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It's never a good idea to park on a on/off ramp... Most states it's illegal and you can get a fine.... When trip planning always have a plan b and plan c don't just look for truck stops and rest areas try Walmart's strip malls that have dollar general and any store that you would think has a big parking lot... You can use google to get a view of the location to see if you can fit... You know how far you can drive in a hour. Trip planning takes time to get and will get better with practice but there's always a chance for something to screw it up that's why it's best to have plans b and c

Wilson's Comment
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Well, I'll throw my 2 cents in the ring.

As a general overview as far as trip planning, I look at it this way. You either have a load day, an unload day, or a travel day.

The load day naturally depends where you are when you load/hook. If you are close to the Interstate , you treat it like a travel day. If you are out in the boonies, you will have to do a meticulous plan asking yourself how far can you get with the time left on you clock for that day. Your clock is the variable. I get out Google maps and look at where I will appox end up and see what is available. If I can't get to the Interstate, I look for places like Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, etc. There are other places as well. You have to have a place to park; you don't want to 'paint yourself into a corner' with your clock. If you can make it to the Interstate, there are the truck stops, rest areas, welcome centers, etc. along the way. Again, your clock is the variable.

The unload day is similar to the load day only in reverse. You will really have to take a look at how far your destination is from the closest parking spot at the end of that travel day. Ideally, your destination has overnight parking. But not all delivery places have overnight parking. For example, the load I am on right now has a Home Depot 2 blocks from where I deliver. I originally planned to park there. Especially since it was right off the exit of I76. However, on my way down, I discovered there was a Flying J just 8 miles from that exit. So that is where I parked at the end of my last travel day. The trick here on the unload day is to know you can get to your destination from your last parking spot without trouble. Sometimes it is obvious, sometimes not.

The travel day is what I consider Interstate travel. You are on the Interstate all day long. I will usually drive 500 to 550 miles on a travel day. Now naturally, depending on your destination, that may not be the case. But for the most part, it will. Travel days take the least amount of planning in my book as there are normally truck stops, rest areas, welcome centers, etc dotted along the way. Some parts of the country have more than others and you will have to take that into consideration. But normally, I just take off on a travel day and when I get an hour out on either my clock or when I've decided to stop driving (that means if you do not want to use up your entire 11 hours of legal driving time), I get out my little truck stop book and look up which truck stops are around the spot I will be in an hour. Sometimes it will be right on the money, sometimes before, sometimes after. That is when you will have to decide where you will stop. If the stop is after or a little more than an hour, your will have to determine if you have that extra time to get to the one further away or not. If not, then you take the earlier one.

This is all pretty generic and are driven (no pun intended, heh heh) by variables. This is how this rookie does his planning. It has worked for me and I have almost never been late for an appointment. The times I have been late have not been my fault.

I once shared a story with another trucker about the time I rolled up to the stop sign at the end of the exit ramp that was a couple of blocks from the truck stop I wanted (had to) stop at. I had one minute left on my drive clock. At the stop sign, I went to "off duty" mode and then I drove less than 25 MPH to the truck stop. With e-logs, if you are going less than 25MPH, the computer will not switch you to "driving." Well that trucker told me he never has *that* problem. I asked him how that could be. He said, "Simple. I'm on paper logs!"


Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.


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

Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Sig Alert

"Sig Alert" is particular to the Los Angeles area, Mr Smith. I smiled a bit when I saw it. (Haven't lived in LA for years.)

For those non-SoCals, it's any highway incident that closes at least one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more. Thank you, Smith, for using it. (I dunno, is it just me?)


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Charles K.'s Comment
member avatar

Sig Alert


"Sig Alert" is particular to the Los Angeles area, Mr Smith. I smiled a bit when I saw it. (Haven't lived in LA for years.)

For those non-SoCals, it's any highway incident that closes at least one lane of traffic for 30 minutes or more. Thank you, Smith, for using it. (I dunno, is it just me?)

Oh, then the fatal accident on I-25 in Denver that a SUV lost control and ran across ALL traffic lanes(that is, including the opposite direction coz she wrecked the concrete central devider) must be a Sig alert for sure.


Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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