First and foremost, you must never forget that you have not just obtained a truck, you have entered into a business; therefore, it is important to learn how to balance the business while enjoying life away from home in a commercial vehicle. If you are entering this profession as a driver for a company or fleet owner much of this will also pertain to you.
Review your notes from orientation. Continue your education by asking questions of other drivers and
|Take lots of notes and ask questions
gaining experience as time goes by.
Controlling uncompensated dead head
- Keep a record of paid loaded miles and uncompensated miles.
- Separate the personal use miles that are spent site seeing, going to the movies, or shopping
- These miles add up for a fleet owner or a owner operator and you will need to know the true business cost of operating your truck.
What is your fuel mileage?
- miles driven / gallons purchased = MPG
- Start a fuel mileage book to record MPG each time the truck is filled
- How does speed affect the MPG - find the sweet spot for best fuel mileage
- How does weight, mountains, start and stop traffic affect fuel mileage
- Knowing MPG is one part of knowing your cost of operating your business; fuel will be your largest business expense.
- Get enough sleep
- Learn freight patterns as a solo to get the most uninterrupted sleep
- Team - get a schedule so that you are ready to drive at a moments notice
- We switch between 3-4 morning and afternoon so each of us get some night sleep
- Keep the sleeper dark and cool
- Use lavender sheet spray to help relax
- Put the phone down and clear your mind
- While truck is moving and one driver is in the sleeper, ensure that the phone that your carrier may call is with the driver and is hands free capable.
- If needed use ear plugs to help sleep
- Good pre and post trip inspections are essential to identifying many problems before they become
|Checking the oil
- Preventive maintenance should never be put aside because corrective maintenance will eat into you profits.
- Cook in the truck if possible - there are a lot of Facebook pages devoted to ways of cooking inside of a sleeper
- Make up vegetable bags to snack on when driving - healthy then junk food
When is the best time to put a load of clothes in the washer?
- Getting an ASAP pickup when the clothes have just started washing is not fun.
Read the free periodicals that are found at the truck stops as they contain articles that can directly affect your income. It is much better to be prepared for a new rule change then to be caught unaware.
Remember that this is not a vacation but a business is the first rule and the second rule it so enjoy yourself when you can. We are able to see and have many adventures as truck drivers and it would be a shame to miss these opportunities. The key is to always be prepared to take another load and when possible to enjoy another adventure of seeing the sites outside of our office window.
|Champagne brunch in the Grand Canyon
Our favorite saying in expediting:
Expediting isn't just trucking, it's a lifestyle;
Expediting isn't just a lifestyle, it's an adventure;
Expediting isn't just an adventure, it's a job;
Expediting isn't just a job, it's a business.