Advice on remembering routes. Patterns from experienced drivers.

Discussion in 'Waste Removal and Garbage Truck Driver Forum' started by Brandonva804, Feb 15, 2020.

  1. Brandonva804

    Brandonva804 Bobtail Member

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    Guys I need more advice on these routes. Tactics or ways to remember the route faster. I love the job but I’m about fed up with remembering these routes. We have four different routes. All take 9 hours or more to complete. I’ve been working at this company for about a two months.

    I’m being paid a good amount and I love the three days off. But I have to drive with two other helpers and one helper knows the route so freaking perfect. Frankly I’m tired of him telling me where to turn because he forgets sometimes and we miss turns. It’s so annoying.

    So it’s not that I don’t know all the routes. I know a good portion of it. But where I struggle is residential neighborhoods where it comes to so many left turns, right turns, turning around etc.

    It’s set up so complex I can see why they say it takes 2-7 months to remember them all. It’s hard to get a grasp on how to remember them.

    I’ve tried tracking software but it’s so many lines going through the route it’s impossible to know how to keep track of where you’re. I wish there was an app to track the route and then route into GPS. Talk about becoming a millionaire if it was.

    Maybe I should video record the route? Then I can watch it when I’m off on days? Ideas for getting it down quicker from you guys would help wonderfully.

    I like staying local and I want to eventually go to Choice where they pay their drivers $250 a day.
     
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  2. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    Video record if you got the chops to have a big memory stick to store something that big.

    Leave off the backseat driver. You only learn by doing.

    You need to simply keep nose on grindstone and repeat year and year out over and over and over.

    There are certain roads pounded into my brain, I think on them from time to time. Google Earth is my primary here at home so I can "visit" and look them over from time to time as a memory lane trip. Sometimes they change a little bit.

    Once in a while people used to post pictures or places as a puzzle. Certain areas of the USA is pretty familiar and I can tell where I am looking at pretty fast. But not always. Usually mountain ranges. But not always.

    IF a dispatcher in Little Rock told me I needed to be in say... Harrisburg by Monday morning from this morning, sure you bet. And I can see in my mind already what it will take to run 40, 81 and a little through the woods via Harpers Ferry to Camp Hill and generally understand already in a few moments what problems might be on that trip. (Memphis, Nashville, Roanoke etc.)
     
  3. buddyd157

    buddyd157 Road Train Member

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    when i did residential garbage for BFI, the routes were in "grids", it is a continual "circling" the grid.

    it does take time to memorize your own route, but it will come to you.

    you must not get any snow where you are cuz here, when it snowed, we certainly did not finish in 10 hours, we finished when the job was done.

    11 hours, 12, 13, 14, 15, whatever.

    but we also got paid OT on all hours over 40, which even in normal days, was always OT

    (by the way, if that is a real picture of you, then you remind me of the actor, Rocky Carol.
     
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  4. PE_T

    PE_T Road Train Member

    First, find out the entire route by either video or voice recording it. Next, break down the route in two (or more pieces) so that your GPS can follow the route. I say this because it sounds like you guys aren’t following the route in your GPS. You will have to play with the routes a little until you can get the GPS to run the route you want.

    There are some other ways you can do this if you have an actual GPS device and not an app. For example, you can create restrictions in the map, so the GPS won’t send you through certain roads. Once this is set up, you then follow the GPS, and eventually you will remember the entire route without even trying.
     
  5. Wicked Wizard

    Wicked Wizard Heavy Load Member

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    POST-IT notes on the dash help me out but you would need a lot. If you truly love your job you will eventually learn them. Don't freak out yet, it's a lot to take in.
     
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  6. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    IF your route crosses railroad tracks that are known to be active, your GPS has standing instructions from US Government not to be following railroad tracks for obvious reasons. So it's going to veer like 100 feet or more to the next closest street and latch onto that. Then the next and so on.
     
  7. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

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    Do you have a GPS.
    My GPS has a trail option. Trail option will record the route I take and play it back when I need to follow the same route.
    If the GPS is not an option I would write down or video record the route.
    Good luck.
     
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  8. Brandonva804

    Brandonva804 Bobtail Member

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    Which GPS unit do you have
     
  9. xsetra

    xsetra Road Train Member

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    I have an old Rand McNally 720.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2020
  10. x1Heavy

    x1Heavy Road Train Member

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    Me?

    Just a little Ran from 1997. Goes into the laptop by serial. Its not something I depend on at all. Its not updated, it's not current and not something to be relied on. I fall back to old fashioned paper.

    Now my smartphone on the other hand sitting on the corner of the desk can tell you what room of a building one is in. It has a one hell of a GPS.

    I don't depend on that either.
     
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