April 23, 2019 Category Drivers Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window) See how you can plan your next haul LIKE A BOSS Planning your trips ahead of time will not only save you time and money, but it will actually significantly decrease your stress levels and let you enjoy the road. Good planning skills are a huge plus for professional truck drivers because they allow you to organize your time and responsibilities so that you are relaxed and not in a rush when you transport cargo. Considering how dangerous driving under stress can be, with ever approaching deadlines hanging over your head and drawing your attention away from the road, getting all your ducks in a row before a trip can be lifesaving. You can’t keep a close rein on everything that goes on during a road trip, but you can definitely have a better handle on most situations if you just take the time to plan everything as much as you can. The weather The weather can seriously affect your next haul, so keeping a weather app on your home screen is always a good idea. When planning a trip it’s important to think and look ahead, so try to locate any bad weather areas in advance and try to find ways around them. Being stranded in the middle of nowhere during a snowstorm, for example, with no proper place to park your truck or sleep is not something you want to live through. The road Remember to always take into account that, depending on the trip, you might be driving on different types of roads which can take up more or less of your time. If you’re driving in mountainous areas you have much higher chances of running into some issues on the road, like mudslides and other roadblocks, so it’s good to keep that in mind when you’re planning a trip. Take into account border crossings, and occasionally check your maps app for any traffic jams so that you can find a way to go around them if possible. Make sure to leave enough time for any unplanned events, just in case, and give yourself a chance to still get the cargo transported on time. Fuel Stops Fuel prices have been constantly growing for a while now, and they can vary drastically from one state to another - it varies between $2.49 in some southern states, and it can even go up to $3.95. Every penny counts and can eventually make a difference, so planning in advance which fuel stops you’re going to use can really save you money. You also have to make sure that the gas stop has a place for you to park your truck if you want to take a longer break. Food Eating healthy and balanced meals is hard enough, but when you’re on the road it can be even harder. Gas stations and rest stops usually don’t have the healthiest food to offer, so one way you can keep your diet in check is to buy groceries and actually cook your own meals. This requires more effort on your part, but with the right equipment, it really doesn’t have to be the case. You can find affordable, and portable, pressure cookers, grills, and similar equipment that have proven to be very useful when you want to not only eat healthily, but actually save some money. If you want to stay away from restaurants and fast food, try planning your trips and stops around grocery stores, so you can stock up on healthy food, but make sure you check whether there is enough space on their parking lot for you to park your truck safely. Just in case supplies If you’re doing a long haul, you’ll probably end up in the far-flung corners of the U.S. at some point, and as Murphy's law says: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong if you let it (especially when it’s the worst possible moment for it). So, don’t let it go wrong! When you plan your whole trip ahead of time, you should know exactly which areas you’ll be passing through and what equipment and tools you might need, so always bring some extra supplies. You’ll be glad you brought extra clothes, food, and other supplies in case you breakdown somewhere miles away from any stores and shops. The apps Planning a whole trip can be time-consuming, and the amount of information you need to find, check, and double check can be overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be. Smartphones have opened up a door to basically endless amounts of instantly available information, and with the right apps you’ll be able to almost effortlessly plan your next haul. From weather apps and fuel price tracking apps, to apps that help you manage and keep your records up to date, it’s definitely worth giving them a chance next time you plan a trip. A fair warning, though. It’s possible that your battery might give out at some point, so relying solely on your smartphone might not be the best idea. It might come in handy to have actual printed maps somewhere in the truck, or you could invest in a portable charger (some of them can completely recharge your phone several times before you need to charge the battery itself). All in all, the best piece of advice we can give you is to take your time to research your next route in detail, and to leave enough time for the unexpected. That way you can have time to regroup if something goes wrong and still get the cargo to its destination on time. And if nothing bad happens along the way, you’ll have the chance to deliver the goods even ahead of time, which is a very good look for professional drivers. 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