Time Management Advice 

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When you're brand new to trucking, you don't really know how to manage your time efficiently or how many miles you should drive. So let's take a look at some time management factors and mileage expectations.

Sometimes It's All About Parking

One of the most exhausting and frustrating aspects of trucking is the lack of truck parking at night. After about 7:00 pm in the summer and maybe 6:00 pm in the winter, it's incredibly difficult to find parking at truck stops. They fill up quickly. I'm sure you've heard the saying "The Early Bird Get's the Worm", Well that's especially  true when it come to trucking.  So my 1st piece of advice to you is get up early and get and get those miles behind you. Trust me, It'll save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration. 

Try To Avoid Getting Caught In Heavy Traffic

Schedule your runs to involve traffic management.

You'll want to schedule your run to cruise by Major Cities when chances are better that traffic will be lighter. You can't always win - sometimes you'll sit in a traffic backup at 3:00 am - but over time you have to learn to play the odds.

Getting Loaded And Unloaded Early

One thing veteran drivers usually become quite good at is getting to their appointments early and getting loaded or unloaded ahead of schedule. You will have tons of opportunities to cut hours, or sometimes even an entire day off of a run. If you can pull it off, you've cut an entire day off the journey, the customers were given excellent service, you've made more money in less time, your company made more money in less time, and everyone is thrilled!

Rest Before You Become Too Exhausted

The mind needs time to rest and recover. However, there is something critically important to know - the more exhausted you let yourself get, the less efficient your recovery time will be. If you learn to take short naps when you're getting tired instead of pushing through to exhaustion, you'll feel far more awake and energetic. If you learn to park early for the night to get a good night's sleep when you're feeling tired and get up earlier to stay on schedule, you'll feel far more awake and energetic.

Obviously there's a huge safety factor here too. You're incredibly dangerous when you're driving tired. Someone who has been up 24 straight hours has the same driving skills as someone who is legally drunk - it's been proven through scientific testing. So stop and rest before you become too exhausted. You will feel more energetic and you'll be a safer driver if you stop to sleep before you become too exhausted.

Mileage Goals

And what mileage goals should you shoot for as a rookie driver? In your first six months on the road as a rookie, I would say about 2400-2700 miles per week would be a solid goal to shoot for. From about six months to a year on the road, you can up it a little bit - maybe 2600-2900 miles per week. After you've been on the road for a year you should be able to run about 3000 miles or so per week on average safely without burning out.

Putting It All Together

So if you can manage to avoid many of the traffic delays, find easy parking when you need it, try to get some of your appointment times moved ahead, and rest before you become too exhausted, you'll be able to turn more miles, make more money, feel more energetic, be a safer driver, and please your company immensely with the same amount of sleep as a driver with less efficient time management skills.

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