On a recent load from Henderson, NC to Stockton, CA I was faced with many options on the routing.   My Rand McNally wanted to take me on the northern route across - working my way up to I-70 and I-80.  As I always do, I check the weather in various parts of the country.  I'm glad I did as there were forecasts for April blizzards!  Here's just one of thousands of articles found about the April snow and traffic snarls it created.

Instead of taking my GPS's recommendation, I chose a more southern route across the country.  Interstate 40 kept me south of all the winter weather.  I just had to deal with high winds and wildfires.  Thankfully, nothing too bad. It's not by chance that I had this option.  Since I live in Virginia, which has a moderate climate, I have the option to go north, south or west on loads from home.  I always stay on I-40 or south of it during the winter and early spring months.  I'm not required to carry chains with me and I never get slowed down with winter weather.  I realize not everyone has this option, but the point is to make the best business decision from the options presented to you. 

Besides weather, I also weigh the pros and cons of route options based on whether or not I have to travel mountain ranges, big cities and huge events like civil demonstrations, sporting events and the like.  Oversized routing makes it even more complicated.  I've taken routes that were longer, but had me bypass three states - which allowed me to save more net money because I didn't have to buy their permits. 

In conclusion, just remember to weigh all the different factors that will affect your trip before choosing your destination or route.  Money, time and safety have to be considered before you leave the shipper on your way to the destination. 

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Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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