Pre Trip Planning properly

Discussion in 'Questions From New Drivers' started by Kingty9183, May 19, 2020.

  1. Kingty9183

    Kingty9183 Light Load Member

    Jul 19, 2019
    Was wondering what's the proper way to pre Trip plan. I keep seeing scenarios in my head where I have only a couple hours left to drive and I'm stuck in the middle of the desert with no truck stop in sight
  2. Espressolane

    Espressolane Road Train Member

    Nov 21, 2009
    Just south of the north 40
    a few down and dirty things.

    Work backward from your delivery point.
    Drive time. This works out to about 50 mph.
    Take your miles and double them.
    Ex. 1250 miles X 2 = 2500 or 25 hours of drive time.
    Will it take that long, probably not, but you have covered traffic problems and some minor delays.
    Now look out forward on your route about 10 hours. That is where you need to be looking to stop. Then you are not right up against your clock and have some room to adjust.
  3. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    While out in the middle of the desert, do you have fuel? Yes? Then you’re not stuck.

    There are lots of areas, particularly out west, where there aren’t too many truck stops. Fuel accordingly. If you run out of fuel, you’re part of the food chain. Dead meat.

    If you are running your clock and you realize that you’re going to probably run out of hours way out in the middle of nowhere, TOP YOUR FUEL TANKS OFF at the last truck stop. I don’t care if the tanks are half full, fill them up.

    So, you’re running along and you have fuel and you’re way out in the middle of nowhere. There will be these little nothing towns with a population of 50, with 1 gas station (usually a Cenex...every little nothing town has a Cenex), or a CO-OP with some big grain silos. Stop there. There will normally be some person there that works the gas station part that can also cook food. Better food than the big chain truck stops. Life is good. You are welcome.

    “But Six, how do I know they will let me park there?”

    If unsure, go inside and ask them. We used to pull big superloads through those areas, and I would walk in and ask them. They always gave us a thumbs up. BTW, if someone fires up the grill to cook you some food, tip them well.

    Luck in battle.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  4. TripleSix

    TripleSix God of Roads

    Apr 10, 2009
    Copied in Hell
    Now, the thing that you really have to pay attention to in those areas is the weather. This is another reason why, in rural areas, you do not allow your fuel to go lower than a half tank. A tornado can come through and wipe out the power or the fuel stop. Check the weather forecasts for the areas you’re traveling too. It’s better to stop short than to have to stop in an area that’s expecting severe weather.
  5. tscottme

    tscottme Road Train Member

    Jul 25, 2008
    Nashville, TN
    Put the app Trucker Path on your smartphone and use it as a moving-map truckstop directory. Itvwill also show you how traffic is moving on the roads. Click on a truck stop anf TP will show you number of parking spots, relative number of full/available parking spots, nearby restaurants, etc.

    When planningbyour trip calculate what time you bill be at possibe stopping points. The later in the evening you will be there the fewer empty parking spots you can expect to available.

    As a new driver, if you work for most starter companies they will tell you which route to drive and where you must fuel. Yourbtrainercwill also show you how he picks spots to fuel/eat/sleep. The process will read like a brain surgery book until you start seeing it done or doing it in the truck. The Trucker Path app and truck GPS are very helpful. Old timers will tell you to skip the electronics and just bring all of THEIR experience into YOUR truck. Ignore that advice. You the tools you can afford & understand. If that is a $12 paperback truck stop directory, a $400 GPS, or a $3 notepad, use what you can afford & what works.
  6. Mid-May Trucker

    Mid-May Trucker Heavy Load Member

    Oct 23, 2018
    Driving till your clock turns red and then set the brakes.
    Lostmykey, meechyaboy and Hazmat Cat Thank this.
  7. FearTheCorn

    FearTheCorn Light Load Member

    Jan 6, 2019
    Always have a pair of flip-flops.
    Hazmat Cat Thanks this.
  8. mud23609

    mud23609 Medium Load Member

    Mar 9, 2015
    There are many ways to plan. Some folks know three days from now that they will stop for a squirt and rest stop x. Others like me approach things from a more fluid perspective.

    The biggest thing is be aware of your available hours and especially when going into areas with limited parking have extra time. Sometimes your going to have to stop early because of the parking situation.

    After a while you’ll have some hideouts and can use them too when your in a bad area.
  9. fishonron

    fishonron Light Load Member

    Jul 25, 2017
    North Central Kansas
    And that would be me...


    Most on my runs are 14-1700 miles. Between the Trucker Path app and Google maps satellite view (so I can zoom in and see what the parking lot looks like) I plan my trip as soon as I know what it"s going to be.

    Heck, the the trip planning is one of the things that 'I' find as one of the fun parts of my job.

    Another thing is I always (if the load allows) start my day a couple of hours before sunrise so I can hopefully end my day early afternoon when parking is plentiful.

    I always 'try' to plan my stops around shower credits (sorry folks I shower every day with the rare exception).

    There's really no reason to find yourself out of hours in the middle of the desert or anywhere else.

    A 1500 mile run in 3 days might look like, 500 the first day 450 the second and 550 on the third, all depending on where I decide my stops are going to be.

    Just spend some time at the beginning of your trip with the Trucker Path App and Google maps and plan out where you're going to stop every night.

    A note as to the Trucker Path App. There's a free version, a $17 a year version and a $99 a year version.

    I highly recommend the $17 a year version.

    I won't get into the details but start with the free and when you see things that you want to look at only to greeted with that little "your locked out " symbol then you may decide to upgrade.

    This is also a usefull tool.

    I'm in a 68 mph truck and planning trips at 62.5 mpr is pretty accurate for me.

    The lower number accounts for getting on and off the road for beaks and other things that might hold you up.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
    Scooter HBG and FLtoOKBound Thank this.
  10. ProteinBar

    ProteinBar Bobtail Member

    May 17, 2020
    each day I start I figure out how many miles I can legally go based on 65mph, and then i aim for that stop closest to that limit, i also allow myself 1 or 2 backups prior to that stop to allow for traffic weather or an accident
    FLtoOKBound Thanks this.
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