This is one of the most important parts of truck driving. They don't mention this in CDL school. You have to know where you are going.
After the qual Comm sends you routing you can use your trip meter on your odometer to help you.
Zero the trip meter out. When you have to travel on a road say I80/90 for instance about 600 miles...right when you get on that road (I80/90) hold the trip meter button in until it reads zero. (You just started on that road) say the next road is the I94 right when you are at mile 599 or after you should come onto the interchange (I94).
This keeps you from following your GPS in a blind manner and getting lost.
Each new road zero out your trip meter. The miles spent on a road by Roehl routing is usually accurate enough.
Trip planning
Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Satellite, Jan 24, 2010.

Satellite Light Load Member

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Satellite Light Load Member
This also allows you to follow the Roehl routing more closely without getting too many out of route miles.

In my trip planning I follow holy trinity of maps, GPS (and Google Maps on my Iphone) and Roehl route. That works most of the time. 
spinpsychle Medium Load Member
This is an interesting idea. I use the trip meter for the day's miles in the logbook. Don't rely on gps, but don't rely on optistop, either. It only goes zipcode to zipcode.

when i plan, for interstates, i write down the exit number i need to take. on roads without exit numbers, i jot down the town at or just before the intersection. my current load has loaded miles at 677 but opti route says 748. i am calling my fm tomorrow about it. if the 2 are within 30 or 40 miles i don't bother but 70 miles is a big difference. in the past, my fm corrects the loaded miles.


Little Joe 2012 Bobtail Member
Trip Planning Principles: When you get your load assignment do the following:
Check # of miles on trip + deadhead miles (from QC) or dispatcher. Divide the total miles by 50 (conservative miles per hour average you can drive in a day). Example: 1200 miles divided by 50mph = 24 hrs of driving required to complete this trip.
Divide 24 hrs of driving by 10 (conservative hours of driving in a 14 hr day), now you have 2 days of driving 10 hours plus another 4 hours on the third day. Add 1 hour of onduty time every day for pre/post trips/fueling and now you need 27 hours to complete this trip. So you need 27 hours total working hours. Don't forget to to add or subtract the time zone changes.
Now you have to compare this to your available hours based on your 70 hour recap. Take the hours available from your log recap and adding it to the hours from the days that will roll off (remember you pick up the hours from 8 days ago every day at midnite), as you make the trip gives you the total onduty hours avail for this trip. If you have multiple stops make sure you have the right number of hours avail on any given day to meet the delivery time for that day. Now ask yourself, do I have enough time to complete this trip, legally, safely and on time? Do I have the onduty and driving hours avail to complete this trip legally? If the answer is no contact your dispatcher or send a msg via QC and tell him how far you can and when you could get the it to the drop point. Don't turn it down, try to run with it as far as you can go legally and safely. If you turn it down you might just "sit" there for a day or two.
So remember, total number of miles divided by 50 mph will give you the total number of driving hours required to deliver the load. Divide the total number of driving hours by 10 and the result will be the number of days required to deliver the load. Add 1 hour for meals, fueling, and pre/post trip inspections per day and then add or subtract time zone changes. After you do this, check your recap hours avail and see if you will be picking up sufficient hours every day to complete this trip legally and safely by the scheduled appointment time. Now go to your road atlas, you know that in 10 hours you will be driving approx 500 miles. Now figure out from point A to point B (500) miles, look for a truck stop where you will spending the night. Easy way of doing this: Go to page 3 of the Road Atlas, with a ruler, start at point A, wiggle around turns on the interstate, every inch equals approx 150 miles, this will give you an approx rest stop at point B. I have a GPS on my truck but I never rely on it. This is old school trip planning and I have never been in trouble doing it this way. Good luck to you!
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