Trip planning is a crucial skill for all truck drivers. Properly planning ahead can make your trip much more smoother. That way, you can be prepared for anything which might come your way…
Trip Planning: Prepare For Your Drive
Check your route
Your trip planning, of course, will probably begin with you plotting out your route. Now, you’ll want to make sure you plan the best route you can. This means using multiple resources to check the road ahead, even if you have a “favorite”. A new one might give you a time advantage that you would’ve never known about otherwise.
A GPS will be your best friend in this situation. These can help you plot out the best route before you begin driving. Plus, apps like Google Maps or Waze let you turn your smartphone into a quick and efficient GPS. These apps also have a nice advantage, as they will update in real-time and alert you to accidents, detours, or faster routes.
Plan for breaks
It’s also important to make room for brakes in your trip planning. Some drivers think that they can just push through their drives and don’t need to take breaks. However, this can lead to increased fatigue and burnout, which can impact the trucker’s driving ability. This kind of risk isn’t worth any potential time-saving you think you might get.
A generally rule of thumb is to plan for both longer and shorter breaks. Longer breaks can be ones where you take some time to stop and get something to eat. Shorter breaks can be for when you stop for fuel, to use the bathroom, or to just stretch. Make sure you plan these breaks in safe places, and have backups in mind just in case.
Watch the weather
The weather might get overlooked when you do your initial trip planning. After all, if you’re in your truck, then it won’t matter if the sky is clear, right? However, the biggest thing is to look for when the weather is being not-so-pleasant.
Inclement weather like heavy rain or snow can really get in the way of your trip. You can expect not only a tougher time driving, but also a lot more traffic than usual. Plus, some roads might be in so poor shape that you can’t drive on them. As a result, it always helps to double-check before you head out and have a backup just in case.