Trip Planning – back to the basics


Thanks to Jami Jones (@shewhoknowstruk on Twitter), senior editor at Land Line Magazine, for bringing this topic up.

I’ll bet a lot of new drivers have never really heard of this before.

It really amazes me, or used to amaze me to hear other drivers ask on the CB radio, how to get somewhere.

I mean come on, use some common sense here.

You have to use common sense and plan your trips. A calculator and a map should be a truck drivers best friend. You can use the calculator to pinpoint almost exactly to the mile-marker, how far you can go on the fuel you have in your truck.

Trip planning is the most important thing need to do before setting out on a run. Yes, it is more important than your log book, calling your dispatcher, etc. Start off by getting the trusty ole map out. If you know how to read one.

Don’t go blasting it on the CB Radio, asking for directions. Now I am talking about asking for directions from point A to point B. There is a difference, when asking for directions if you are only a few miles out of a place rather than asking for directions a thousand miles away.

A lot of the newer drivers today, don’t know how to open a map, or are too lazy. They have to look it up on the computer, or put into their tom-tom GPS unit. Well, as many are finding out you cannot completely trust a GPS unit, they are not fool proof. A hand dandy ole map however is fool proof if it is current. But you must know how to read a map, not just look at it.

Many companies now have designated fuel stops. They are calculated on estimates and assign you stops along your route. If you fuel out of the system the company does not receive the discounted price. But this does NOT mean you continue on until you run out of fuel.

That ends up costing your company a lot more, road side service ain’t cheap. Use your head and call into the company’s fueling department for an override. Of course you don’t fill up but get enough fuel to make your next fuel stop. Just because it comes across the Qualcomm, does not mean it is “Gold”.

As a “seasoned driver” I would not rely solely on a GPS unit to get the load from point A to point B. I would use all the tools at my disposal to get a general idea of where I was going. But I would use the map as the source of getting myself where I needed to go.

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I'm just a EX-truck driver, trying to pass along a little information. I been in the Trucking Industry as a driver for over 15 years. I have driven both as an owner operator and as a company driver. I have also been a driver instructor for an accredited truck driving school in KY. I am no longer a truck driver, but I consider myself to be a watchdog for the trucking industry. In fact this site is the #1 site for getting the real news about trucking. We don't hold back here, you will hear the full story. Twitter | |Truck Drivers News Facebook
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