As a truck driver, you know how important it is to manage your time. You need to deliver your load on time and sometimes under tight deadlines. Time management affects a truck driver’s salary and getting home to see the people you care about.
While experienced drivers have had years to perfect their time management, this is something new drivers struggle with a lot. It can be tempting to try and “power through” a delivery by driving long hours without much rest.
So how can you get enough rest while managing your driving time and making sure your deliveries arrive on schedule? Keep reading to learn our time management tips for truckers.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Always factor in extra time on your route for delays, traffic, breakdowns, or other unplanned setbacks. Even if you’re driving a familiar route, and you know exactly how long it takes, give yourself that extra cushion of time for the unexpected.
In an industry where timing is everything, giving yourself more time will not only alleviate stress but will ensure that you’re making your deadlines. Construction, accidents, extreme weather—the list of possible delays is endless.
And stress management is the biggest advantage to giving yourself enough time. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can happen from burnout and fatigue, making it even more difficult to manage your time.
And if you don’t need the extra time, you’ll have more time to relax, start your next delivery early, or get home to friends and family.
Plan Your Fuel Stops
With a large truck, you know you aren’t always able to use the closest gas station. Whether the canopy is too low or the fuel nozzles don’t fit, you’ll sometimes find yourself passing one or more gas stations before you’re able to fuel up.
Plan your fuel stops ahead of time, so you don’t get stranded. Or don’t be left driving off track just to find a gas station that can accommodate your semi.
Planning where you stop for gas should be a regular part of planning your route and something you do before you start driving.
Traffic Control: Plan Your Route
A 2011 study showed that truck drivers lost a combined total of $27 billion to traffic delays! Luckily, planning your route to avoid heavy traffic has never been easier.
While you can’t always avoid traffic completely, many apps can help you navigate the roads, so you run into as little traffic as possible.
The best traffic apps for 2021 are:
- Google Maps
- Apple Maps
Always check traffic ahead of time and plan accordingly.
Set Mileage Goals
Mileage goals can help you plan long trips and set realistic time management expectations. Setting goals can also help you stay focused during long driving stretches.
Just make sure you set realistic mileage goals. Include traffic and breaks into your planning. Don’t set yourself up to fail or become overtired. And if you exceed what you hoped for that day, great!
Mileage goals are excellent for new truckers because they allow you to plan how long your whole route will take and how long you’ll be driving each day.
Take a Rest
As a truck driver, you have a professional obligation to make your deliveries on time and stay safe on the road. And that means taking a rest when you feel tired. Lack of sleep increases your risk of an accident, and it decreases your job performance.
When you plan your traffic routes, fuel stops, and mileage goals, you also need to plan time to rest. Pushing yourself to exhaustion is usually due to poor time management. If you’re taking control of your time and planning your routes, you should be giving yourself adequate time for rest.
Find a Truck Repair Shop You Can Trust
Having a reliable truck repair shop is a huge asset for time management. No matter how on top of repairs and maintenance you are, unplanned breakdowns can happen.
If you’re a seasoned trucker, you may have experienced what every driver dreads: you’re driving on a highway in the middle of nowhere, and your truck breaks down. Choose a truck repair shop with roadside assistance.
A truck repair shop that does repairs in-house will save you money and get you back on the road faster than a shop that outsources repairs. And it means they should have a large range of parts and services available to address whatever issue your truck has.
Plan for the unexpected with a great repair shop and get back on the road as fast as possible.
Manage Your Driving Time
Planning your route in advance, factoring in traffic and breaks, getting good rest, and having a great repair shop available is the key to successfully managing your time.
At Kelly’s Truck, we have over 50 years of experience in the industry and offer a large variety of services to suit all your needs. Whether it’s regular maintenance or an unexpected breakdown, Kelly’s Truck is here to help.
Request a quote online, call us at 1-800-793-9282, or drop by our San Leandro location. Rest assured, Kelly’s will handle all repairs as fast as possible so you can get home to the people who matter.