How do you trip plan?

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by chalplec, May 15, 2022.

  1. chalplec

    chalplec Light Load Member

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    For the past 2 years I've just done the standard rookie CDL class divide the trip by 50 and that's the hours it should take you minus your 10 hour break and loading/unloading times. But by this calculation I should only be able to do 550 miles in a day but it's nothing to knock out 630-650 in a day with no shippers or receivers to deal with. It's no big deal sending in ETAs and being early all the time I'd never want to be late but I do get frustrated when they set my appointment time for the ETA I sent in and they won't take me early and now I'm sitting along some road for 3 hours. Or they do take my early but and I'm empty at noon and the office has figured I'd be getting unloaded at 4PM and out of there at 6PM and has already preplanned me on another load where I now have 6 hours to go 40 miles and they can't change it.

    So is there a better method of trip planning nobody at the truck stops have ever told me? Or is this just the way it is. I typically send them ETA updates the night/day before my delivery when I know roughly how many hours early I will be but by then it's too late for them to make any changes.

    I'm starting a new job this week and kind of want to start with a new mentality if there is one. Should I just go by 55 and see how that works out? Trucks are governed at 65mph and running reefer.
     
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  3. MysticHZ

    MysticHZ Road Train Member

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    First star on the right, onward to morning ...
     
  4. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Road Train Member

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    It ticks my wife off when she asks me when I’m going to be home and I say something like next week or not sure
    She goes you can give a delivery time within 15 minutes but can’t give me a day?

    I run a lot of 3-5 day trips and if I know I can get empty Friday am and reloaded for the weekend rather than sitting I will figure 650-675 miles a day

    I then figure my fuel stop to coincide with my 1/2 break
    Then only stop for my 10. If trying to be there in time say on that Friday to reload

    So day 1 you start at 9am I figure no later tha. 9pm I’m parked which gives me a little wiggle room for load checks etc
    7am to 7pm etc for the next day and so on

    I almost never need an appointment pulling flatbed but when I start out I will call. Say when I think I will be there and I’m usually within 1// hour of that guess
    You should be able to narrow it down using the same monkey math
     
  5. chalplec

    chalplec Light Load Member

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    I figure on a good day I can do 600-620 easy within a 14 and includes stopping 2-3 times for a potty break with one of those being fuel and a 30. And that's not even running my clock out. I typically take the first empty spot I can find once I hear that 1 hour left buzzer unless I'm running nights/early mornings and know everywhere is still empty at 2-3PM. Only time my clock ever runs out is if I'm sitting in a dock. So dividing the trip by 55 seems doable.
     
  6. GYPSY65

    GYPSY65 Road Train Member

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    If you’re running ahead and can’t rearrange the appointment then just start later on that last day so you’re not at a shipper running your clock down
    Maybe in you case if you sit 2-3 hours at the shipper you can start split logging
     
  7. Dave1837

    Dave1837 Road Train Member

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    Unfortunately that's the way it is. That's why I like running LPG and asphalt, 24/7 loading and unloading. I don't like stopping, I even get irritated when I have to stop and get fuel, so if dispatch happens to ask me for an ETA I typically add 20-30 mins to what the trip actually takes just in case. If they plan it for me and it doesn't sound right I just tell them it's either too early or too late. Or let them know "I'll be there at 3am for that 6am appt., can you let me know where to start heading when I'm empty?"
     
  8. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

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    I calculate the trip using the 50MPH average speed or 2 hours per hundred mile rule of thumb and add 1 hour to the ETA per day for multi-day trips. There is no good reason to attempt to be accurate to the half hour before the day of the appointment time. I use my truck GPS to double-check my estimate. I don't use Google Maps for estimates since I'm not driving a car. There is no need to stress out trying to be accurate to the 4th decimal place when the dispatcher and the customer feel satisfied to be accurate to the calendar date only. EVERYTHING in the industry will be pushing you to hurry, worry, and speed. Learn to take a deep breath and relax when you notice any of those pressures. Learn how to pad your estimate so you always beat your estimate. On a 500-600 mile drive I will pad my estimate by AT LEAST 1 hour unless there are mountains or city traffic. Nobody in the office is going to boost their blood pressure to give you a super accurate estimate of when they will do all of their job.
     
    D.Tibbitt, spindrift, Numb and 2 others Thank this.
  9. teams567

    teams567 Light Load Member

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    Ok so what would you do if dispatch sends you out with 60 mph instead of 50?

    To me that's driver harassment and trying to force someone to drive unsafely.
     
  10. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

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    Dispatchers will always try to dump loads. And then they’ll just put in the notes that the driver was late. So you do have to protect yourself. They’re just employees like you. They get themselves in the situation they can’t get out of and they look for the most gullible agreeable driver on their list to dump the load on.
    I’ll run tight loads, in fact I like them as a good challenge every once in a while. But I always state “I’ll do my best, but if anything comes up out of my control there’s nothing I can do“. And when I get a load like that I run as hard as I can, taking no breaks, etc. If that’s not good enough, it’s on the dispatcher. And I let them know that upfront.
     
  11. teams567

    teams567 Light Load Member

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    Yeah but that's how you get speeding tickets or even worse cause an accident.

    For me it got to the point I refused loads like that. 50 mph that's easy for an experienced driver. But 60 or 65 no way. My truck says aveerage speed 55 and I think that's pretty good. 14000 miles last month.

    Also if you arrive late you are a work in so they can keep you there literally for as long as they want. If you pull reefer you have issues with reefer fuel etc... Also no detention is paid if arriving late.

    I think dispatchers force these tight loads to stress them out possibly make them quit. It's harassment.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2022
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