Trucking is a great career that can take you across the open road to new and exciting places, but ultimately every trucker is on the road for the same reason—they’re on the clock and they have an important delivery to make. A key skill every trucker will need to hone during their career is time management because it doesn’t just ensure that the job is done on time, it also ensures that drivers have time to make stops and get enough rest without falling behind.
Map Your Route
Mapping your route before you hit the road is a critical task, but it’s not the only part of your trip you should plan. Think carefully about the route you’re taking and make it a point to avoid areas that are likely to have heavy traffic when you’re going through that area, such as large cities at rush hour. It may seem like it would be faster if the route is shorter, but it’s wiser to just go around and avoid the worst of it whenever possible. This can save you a significant amount of time in the long run.
In addition, plan your stops beforehand—where you’ll eat, when you’ll hit rest stops, and where you’ll park for the night. Carefully consider when you’re going to stop for the night. Truck lots fill up quickly, so plan accordingly to make sure you’re not losing time looking for a place to park and get some much-needed rest after a full day of driving. Always give yourself extra time to arrive. The road is unpredictable at best and dangerous at worst, so give yourself a buffer of at least an hour to ensure you won’t be arriving at your destination late. Having extra time can also reduce stress when things don’t go perfectly and you end up needing it.
Fill Up Your Tank
Don’t hit the road on less than a full tank of gas. Fuel stops aren’t always located right where we need them, so it’s important to make sure your very first stop before you’re too far into your drive is at a gas station. Running out of gas on the highway will cost you a lot of precious time, so it’s a best practice to find your closest fuel station and stop there first at the start of every trip so you know exactly how far you’re getting before you need to fuel up again and can calculate it into your pre-planned stops.
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