How to calculate my ETA?

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by snowez, Sep 12, 2021.

  1. zaroba

    zaroba Heavy Load Member

    Aug 28, 2012
    South East PA
    Leaving at 8am, 9 hours left for the day with an 800 mile drive? I would give an ETA of 10am, although I'd likely be there before 8am.

    Leaving at 8am, use 7 hours to drive untill 3pm, at my general cruising speed of 68mph, that is 476 miles, could even toss in a 30 and park at 3:30pm. Shut down for the night. Leave at 3am the next day to drive the remaining 324 miles to arrive at about 8am. Done this way on purpose to limit my drive time the next day and maintain my general schedule of starting my day at 3am so my 14 is up at 5pm, thus forcing a 10hr and letting me start at 3am again and using HOS to keep a dispatcher from giving me a load that requires driving outside my preferred schedule.

    But as I stated, I would tell my dispatcher 10am to account for possible delays, like maybe construction caused me to only do 430 before 3pm and I needed to do 370 the next day to arrive closer to 9am.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2021
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  3. Dockbumper

    Dockbumper Road Train Member

    Apr 29, 2020
    "General Cruising Speed" doesn't mean much. I drive a 68 mph governed truck. My average speed over a 30 day period, on the Drive Line is about 59-62 mph. On Duty/14 hour clock.... 47-52 mph. I run 1500-2000 mile loads. Load/unload 2x....maybe 3x in a 7-8 day period. The math is there. Unless you drive an 80mph truck, 68mph average is impossible.....EVEN SPEEDING thru 50 mph construction zones all day and night. Yes.....that means you.... Amazon, Fed Ex ground, and the rest of you that keep your High Beams on 24/7..... even at the pumps or parked for your 10 Hr. DOT break
    gentleroger Thanks this.
  4. BrandonT28

    BrandonT28 Bobtail Member

    Aug 12, 2021
    Be very generous with your predictions to begin with until you’re more experienced with certain areas. Driving across Nebraska? Your ETA is gonna be close to what your truck is governed at for however many hours until you reach your destination. Driving through SoCal, especially LA? Add two hours to your ETA for driving through LA alone. And then 45mph outside of LA while going through the mountains. Tons of traffic and a few 30mph climbs/declines in the mix.

    On multiple day (3-4 day, 2000 mile) loads, I just assume 60mph average, 11 hours of driving every 22.5 hours. You might vary depending on how often you need a bathroom, whether you have a pet, etc. But I basically factor 20-30 min for pre trip and post trip, 20 minutes for bathroom breaks. 30 minute required break. So 12.5 hours + 10 hour SB.

    After a while, you’ll have enough loads under your belt that you just sorta know off the top of your head. For example, I used to run a dedicated run from Grand Island, NE to Syracuse, NY. It took almost exactly one day to get to Gary, IN and another full day to get to Syracuse with what my truck was governed at. I was able to use that memory to gauge loads along that same route.
    Speed_Drums and ncmickey Thank this.
  5. lovesthedrive

    lovesthedrive Is here to help

    Nov 11, 2008
    Sorrento Maine
    When I drove for CR England. They said the average driver will average 50 mph. You might go faster and find yourself worn out more and need to stop more frequently. Yet the average is 50 mph (it gives you a cushion). Also your average day will be 10 hours.

    10 x 50 = 500 miles per day. This also presumes you get stuck in traffic for rush hour and accidents. As it was mentioned elsewhere you need to add in your 10 hour break. Yet the driver may use more hours than that.

    IE you get up in the morning and get dressed. Go on duty and go get something to eat. Chat with other drivers, listen to the comical supertruckers spin wild fantasies about drivng in 4 feet of snow in a blinding rainstorm. Get back to the truck and stow the purchases away and do the pretrip inspection. Get in the cab and verify where your going. Look up the route with google and see if any road work or closures. Realizee you need fuel and pull up on the pump and get topped off. What do you know, you just burned a hour of on duty time. Change duty to on duty driving

    Hit the road. Drive for 5 hours. It might be nice to pull over and have some lunch. Pull over change back to on duty not driving. Get out of the truck and stretch the legs. Maybe walk the length of the rest area parking lot a couple of times. Go get your lunch from the cab. Sit at a picnic bench and enjoy your time not driving. Well no time like the present, so time to go back to work. Do a enroute inspection before leaving. Get back in the cab. Verify distance to the receiver or road conditions. Log back on duty driving. Wow you just killed 7 hours of your day.

    Hit the road and drive 5 hours. Maybe they were easy miles and you racked up more than the 500 miles today. Maybe you hit an accident and were parked for 3 hours. Who knows. You found a good place to park for the night. Time to go on duty not driving. Maybe you feel guilty about chewing up the clock and decide to go off duty. At any rate you chewed through 12 hours of duty time alone.

    So dont plan that your day is 11 hours driven and 10 hours off. We are not that mechanical with our lives.
    Speed_Drums Thanks this.
  6. flood

    flood Road Train Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    if you log this as "ONDUTY" your an idiot.... that is the very definition of OFF DUTY.... what's next logging onduty when you take a shower.....??
    all this takes less than 15 min

    .... again STUPID.... per fmcsa this is OFF DUTY....
    ya so 3 min
    more like 5 hrs 20min..

    meanwhile in the real world we truck drivers do 600 plus miles, pretrip, fuel, 2-3 mid trip, and post trip and legally log less the 11hrs..

    I drive 10 1/2 - 10 3/4 hrs a day... and off 10hrs 5min..... just because you can't doesn't mean the rest of us can't
    BrandonT28 and gentleroger Thank this.
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