Trip Planning Tips from Bay & Bay Transportation
From local short hauls to running the roads throughout the country, trip planning is a major part of truck driving. Without planning ahead, a driver could encounter a multitude of issues that will set them behind in both mileage and hours, in addition to decreasing the efficiency of the truck. Before you set out on the open road, make sure your driving supplies include a decent plan for your trip. Here are a few helpful hints from Bay & Bay Transportation to help you get started with the planning.
Utilize all your resources. There’s a lot to be said for both the GPS and the paper atlas. We recommend you use them both so that you’ve got the most comprehensive idea of the roads on your trip. An electronic GPS always has the potential to fail, and a paper atlas is harder to keep updated with the most current road information, including tolls and other traveling time trip ups. Don’t forget to use other drivers on the road as well! Someone may have just traveled the roads you’re setting a course for and will know of potential construction obstacles or tricky exits. By using all of the information available to you, you’ll be sure to plan a less stressful route than you would by just “winging it.”
Calculate trip time using averages. Once you’ve become accustomed to the nuances of your truck and the feel of the road, you’ll have a better idea of what your average speed is when you finally get rolling. Most drivers calculate their average speed at about 57 mph in less congested areas, like driving through the Midwest. More populated areas, like the east coast, set the average speed a little bit lower, closer to 55 mph. It’s important to give yourself enough room in case you encounter unexpected obstacles. Better to be early than late, always!
Keep track of your hours. While traveling, keep track of how long certain routes take you to travel. With some experience, you’ll have an arsenal of information on driving in different areas that will help you plan your future routes.
Don’t forget about rest stops. Refueling takes time, from actually pumping the fuel and topping off fluids to traveling to and from the truck stop. Using your average speed, calculate how often you’ll have to stop, and account for downtime in the route.
Timing is VERY important. Driving in rush hour traffic is aggravating enough when you’re just trying to get home for supper. It can be even more of a pain when it sets you behind on a delivery. When planning a route through a major city, try to avoid passing through from 8 -10 am and 3 – 6 pm, with extra caution around the lunchtime hour. The less traffic present, the less stress you’ll experience while driving.
Using these tips, trip planning will become a consistent, easy way for you to reduce stress while driving, while increasing efficiency. If you’d like to put your trip planning skills to use for Bay & Bay Transportation, check out our available positions under Driver Opportunities or go directly to the “Apply Now!” page for an on-line application form!