Part of being a truck driver is being comfortable working with sometimes tight deadlines. Both the trucking company you work for and the customer receiving the delivery expect for things to arrive on time. Meeting these tight deadlines requires drivers to have effective time management.
Newer drivers may especially struggle with gauging how long it will take to make the delivery on time. The following are 6 great ways for truck drivers to manage their time effectively and keep customers happy as a result!
1. Give Yourself Extra Time
When traveling new routes, or even familiar ones, it’s always best to leave a little bit of extra time. A lot can happen out on the road that is completely outside of your control. Traffic, weather, or accidentally taking a wrong turn can add a lot of extra miles to your trip.
If you know that you have to deliver by a certain time, then plan to get there with maybe an hour or two to spare. Allowing for that extra time can make all of the difference in the long-run and there’s nothing wrong with being early! In fact, it just means you’ll get to head home that much sooner.
2. Ensure You Have Enough Gas
It may sound kind of ridiculous but always make sure you are driving with extra gas in the tank. If you get caught in a traffic jam or an area happens to have a gas shortage, you might run out before you get to your final destination. Running out of gas is a sure way to ruin a trip and make your order late. Plan ahead by filling up when you can to avoid disappointing your client.
3. Finding A Quality Parking Spot
It can be challenging to find a parking spot at truck stops during prime parking hours. Driving around several times looking for a spot or to park far away can cost you valuable time that can otherwise be spent driving and making your delivery on time.
Apps That Help with Parking
One great way to combat this issue is to reserve a spot through either the TA & Pedro Stopping Centers TruckSmart mobile app or the MyPilot app. Reserving a parking spot ahead of time will give you peace of mind and help you stay on track!
4. Try to Avoid Traffic
Traffic can be a tricky thing to predict but will become easier with more driving experience. For example, if you know you’re going through a major city at rush hour, consider looking for an alternative route to avoid the traffic. Avoiding traffic can buy you precious time, save gas, and help you be on time.
Apps That Help with Traffic
While you can’t always avoid traffic, keeping up with traffic alerts or using traffic apps like Google Maps or Waze can help you stay on track.
5. Set Mileage Goals
Setting mileage goals can help you determine how productive you are being with your time. Breaking your route up into sections will allow you to evenly spread your stops and stay on track with your end goal.
If you drive an average of 8-9 hours a day, you can expect to drive roughly 400-500 miles. Use the number of miles to determine when it’s best to take breaks or how many breaks you should take to reach your destination on time.
Moreover, some companies may even give financial or other incentives to those who reach their mileage goals on a consistent basis as they are typically able to produce more for their company.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
There is nothing quite as essential as getting an appropriate amount of rest each night for truck drivers. Driving a big rig requires you to be alert at all times as you are responsible for both the safety of yourself and others on the road. Getting plenty of rest will keep you from having to pull over if you feel like you’re going to fall asleep, which can derail you from an otherwise on-time delivery. Sacrificing a few daily miles is worth it in the end because it buys you more miles and helps you be as safe as possible.
These are just 6 great tips to help drivers make their deliveries on time. Being on time, or even early, can make all the difference in your customer satisfaction. It can be challenging for new drivers to meet their deadlines at first but comes naturally as you become more experienced. Effectively managing your time can exponentially improve your chances of being promoted and making a long, quality career back into the forefront.