Consistently delivering loads on time is one of the biggest marks of a high-quality driver. Your dispatcher will be pleased with your reliability, and chances are they’ll trust you with more loads over time. Getting to your destination on time means that you’ll have more time to take new loads each week, which means more miles and more money. It’s not difficult to start arriving on or ahead of schedule, even if you’ve had problems in the past. Here are some tips to keep in mind when delivering your load.
Account for Traffic
If you leave at 4:00 AM, your GPS may show that your destination is six hours away. But if you’re driving through a city, does that number account for the morning rush hour? Likewise, if you check your ETA at 2:00 PM, it may be different than if you check it at 5:30 PM. Look at the number of miles you need to drive rather than the time your GPS says it will take.
Take the Scenic Route (Sometimes)
If your route is sending you through heavy traffic areas, you may need to reroute to a different road. Interstates and other major highways are usually the fastest routes to a destination, but if there’s a traffic incident or heavy construction delays, those can quickly add time to your trip. Check for alternative routes, and be open to taking them as long as they’re truck-friendly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Early
Your customers aren’t going to be upset to see you arrive several hours ahead of schedule. Even if you have to wait until they can unload your trailer, they’ll be happy to have you there– after all, two hours early is far better than two hours late. And if your destination can get you unloaded and off the lot as soon as you arrive (as they sometimes can), you’ll bank time, shave hours off your trip, and maybe even be able to get an unexpected load. Or you can always use that time for the last tip:
Rest When You Need It
This may seem counterproductive. If I can get ahead of schedule, I should do that no matter what, right? Not necessarily. If you’ve followed all of the steps above, you should have some extra time to play with in your schedule. Make use of that time if you’re feeling fatigued. Getting the rest that you need will make you a more efficient driver (not to mention a safer one).