It doesn’t matter how much training you’ve had or how many textbooks you read, your first time on the road won’t be anything like you expected. When it comes to time management and meeting your mileage goals, there are plenty of tools that can help, but the best tool is definitely experience.
The more runs you make, the more this will become second nature. But for your rookies out there, there are some things you can do to make managing your time on those earlier runs a lot easier:
Factor in parking
if you’ve ever lived in a city, you know that if you have an appointment downtown and you forget to factor in parking, you’re going to be late. The same is true for driving a truck. And it’s a lot harder to find a spot to fit an 18-wheeler than a Prius.
Evening parking is particularly difficult, because you’re not the only trucker looking for a place to rest for the night. If you’re planning to get in any time after 7:00 at night, you might just miss all the good parking at the truck stops. Consider waking up a little early and getting started before the rest of the crowd. If you get parked before 6 PM, you should have no problem finding a spot.
Avoid heavy traffic
Google maps can usually tell you when there’s a traffic jam, but an experienced trucker doesn’t need and app to know there are certain times of day when it’s good to avoid driving through or even near major cities. If you know you have to take I-10 through Phoenix, it’s best to get there well before the workday lets out, or well after.
Failing to account for regular heavy traffic can cost you serious time. You’ll still hit your fair share of traffic jams that can’t be predicted, but that’s all the more reason to plan around the ones that can.
Every rookie wants to get through that first run as fast as they can, but pushing yourself too hard can backfire. If you let your body get exhausted, it’s going to require more recovery time, meaning more time before you’re back on the road. If you feel tired halfway through the day, stop and take a nap. Take two of you have to. The more rested you are, the more capable you will be to push yourself when you need to, and the easier it will be to recover from a long day’s drive. Plus, the better rested you are the safer you will be.
No one expects a rookie driver to be the fastest person out there. What they expect is that you’ll make smart choices, drive safe, and get your goods delivered.
To learn more about handling your first job, or to start looking for your next career, contact a Contracted Drivers Service representative today.