It amazes me how many people bounce around the country without any kind of plan or thought to how their time is used and how to enhance their career by being more efficient. This is so true for the professional driver. Many go around the country when they’re told and feel as though they hold the key in their hands. They arrive when they want, and the famous line heard over many C.B. radios is “I’ll get there when I get there!”My question is what time is that? The same driver who exudes his power by saying the phrase mentioned before is also the same one when sitting in the truck stop will belly ache about how many miles they have put in, how they run multiple logbooks, and how when driving they calculate their income and they average $2 per hour driving. The same driver however keeps on going, week after week after week. If you believe you are averaging $2 an hour for your work I want you to take your truck back to your yard, park it, hand in the keys, and quit! There is a job at McDonalds down the road that will pay you at least ten dollars an hour and your family will thank you for the eight dollar an hour raise that you just got, not to mention your kids will love to hang out with you at work. Let’s hope that you did not start in a career that averages $2 an hour as the norm?
Strategy is planning and is one of the 12 steps to becoming a professional driver. The driver that does not plan does not have a successful career. You should be planning everything you do, you should be planning on delays, and you should be planning for running profitable. I have seen drivers do everything from try to stay out longer so they don’t have to do a certain run to running certain areas for prestige like California. It may feel good to tell someone you run California and you are a big time trucker, but if you’re not making any money what is the point. The successful drivers I know running California have it down to a science, they plan their trips.
Here are some tips to help you strategize your week. Always deliver your first load of the week on Mondays if possible. Arrive at your destination the night before so you are fresh and have hours to run the next day. Aim to put in five hundred miles a day for five consecutive days; your goal is 2500 miles per week. Calculate your border crossings and delivery income to maximize efficiency. Don’t go home during the week unless absolutely necessary. Better to stay in work mode and get the job done, it can be hard to go back to work after being home most of the day. Plan out your time, miles per month, miles per week, and miles per day and be consistent, If you can do that you will go a long way to giving yourself a raise as a professional truck driver. Good luck with the planning and I hope if I see you at McDonalds you are in line to buy a hamburger.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a business and leadership consultant for the transportation industry. His 30 years of experience from driver and owner operator to supervisor gave him a successful career in transportation. He now helps professional driver become successful in their careers and their businesses. For more information on Bruce and hid services visit his website at www.outridge.ca