A Guide to Planning a Trucking Route Efficiently

As a truck driver, your most important job is to deliver your load on time. In order to do that, however, you need to plan your route meticulously and avoid common route-planning challenges. Here’s what you need to know.

What Are Some Common Route-Planning Challenges?

The Wrong Equipment

It’s common to have a job that you’re simply not equipped to handle. For example, your truck may not be able to deliver cool products if you don’t have a refrigerated compartment. It could also be difficult to access particular warehouses or areas that require you to drive through narrow streets. Finally, you may not speak the same language as the customer, which can make communication challenging.

Capacity Constraints

Since every truck has constraints in terms of weight and volume, drivers need to decide how many customers to serve in one trip. It can be difficult to save costs while overloading the truck.

Hazards & Traffic

Natural disasters, weather, construction, and old roads can all lead to dangerous situations for drivers. Being aware of these issues when planning your routes is crucial to staying safe. Additionally, drivers often encounter bottlenecks in metropolitan areas, leading to idling and poor fuel efficiency. 

How Can You Plan Your Route Efficiently?

Keep a laminated atlas in your truck so you always have a physical map to reference. While there are plenty of routing apps and tools on smartphones, having a paper option will ensure that you know where you’re going even when there’s no service. Replace the atlas every year to ensure it’s fully updated. You can deduct the expense on your taxes.

In addition to a physical map, there are a number of trucking apps to consider. While Google Maps® or Waze® are perfectly good options, applications made for truck drivers offer information on gas prices, truck stops, parking, weigh stations, and toll roads.

Finally, when planning a route, always include a back-up option. This will allow you to switch in case the road you’re driving on has major traffic or construction work on it.

If you’re looking to become a professional truck driver, we have the resources you need to enter this lucrative career. To speak to a member of our team about our programs and the 2020 class schedule, call (330) 239-2229.

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