Commercial truck drivers must plan their trips wisely. They must plan around hours of service rules and regulations. They must also plan around pick-up and delivery times for their loads. Commercial truck drivers must plan their trips carefully as there are consequences for failing to do so. Failing to plan trips can waste time and fuel. Drivers could get lost and end up in unknown or unsafe areas. They could run out of fuel. They may not know where a truck stop is located. They may not be able to find a safe place to sleep. Taking the time to plan trips can help ensure that things can go smoothly. This requires drivers to have proper equipment.
One item drivers might consider is a Global Positioning System best known as a GPS. GPS units are designed to help drivers determine the best route to a specific destination. GPS Units have maps including very precise voice prompted directions. They also have other features such as traffic delay alerts. However, things can go wrong with a GPS unit. A GPS can lose its signal or have an outdated map in its systems. Consequently, a GPS should not be your sole source of driving information as they are not foolproof.
Truck drivers should also have a Professional Motor Carriers Road Atlas. This type of road atlas is made specifically for commercial truck drivers. Heavy trucks are not allowed on all roads and highways. You never want to find yourself on a road which is unsuitable for heavy trucks. A spiral bound laminated book best as it is very durable. Unlike a GPS which is not foolproof, a current road atlas is foolproof and can stand on its own in enabling you to plan your driving route. Good map reading skills will enable you to get the best use out of a road atlas.
Truckers should have a cell phone with computer applications and/or a laptop. This is especially helpful in keeping abreast of information including weather conditions. They should also have a calculator which is helpful in calculating mileage, fuel consumption, etc.
Always allow extra time for your trips. There is always the possibly that unexpected things will occur which can throw your time off. Once you have calculated the mileage and estimated time your trip will take you can make further plans. Locate truckstops along your route. This will enable you to plan your breaks. It will also enable you to determine what time you need to stop to rest for the evening. This is especially important as truckstops are few and far between in some areas of the country. Failure to get a good parking place for the evening could cause you to have to stop in unknown and possibly unsafe areas.
Taking the time to plan your trips can enable you to be a more productive driver. You will be able to get to your destinations with few if any problems. You will be a successful, happier trucker as a result.