Fuel for Thought
Time management could be one of the most critical aspects to success in trucking. Equipment, customers and good paying loads are vital to your success, but without proper time management, it could be all for nothing.
Drivers want to have affordable, reliable trucks, and while the truck is a necessity, it is but one part of the equation. Too many drivers think that if they just get a truck, everything else will fall in place. Too many drivers enter this industry with the thought that all they need is a CDL and a truck, there is so much more to it than that. Many schools teach only to pass the test. This means their goal is to teach you how to pass the CDL tests to get a license. That is their number 1 goal, what you do with it and where you go from there is up to you. This is only the beginning.
Finding good customers with good rates is another area many drivers focus on, and why not? Without good paying customers, you have no revenue. But what if you cannot deliver on your promises? This is not politics, your word has to mean something. Your actions will cement your place with your customers for building a long lasting, lucrative relationship that benefits both parties. This is where time management comes in.
If you cannot effectively manage your time, you can miss deadlines. Missed deadlines for critical deliveries can result in penalties from your customer as well as lost future revenue. Unreliable drivers are not the first choice of good customers.
If you can manage your time very well, estimating trip travel times, you can accomplish much more than the average driver. Placing more emphasis on getting the job done than focusing on off duty activities can lead to more revenue, happier customers and future opportunities, which allows for extended time off to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Time management does not mean driving faster. It simply means planning. You can plan a trip at 65 MPH or you can plan for 75 MPH, that is up to you. Managing your rest breaks and fuel stops can help get you farther down the road sooner at any speed. Proper trip planning will help ensure that (a) you have not over committed yourself to an unrealistic delivery window, (b) that you have not wasted more time than is necessary on your trip and (c) your customers will want to use your dependable service again.
You can have the newest truck and the highest paying loads, but if you cannot manage your time and diver on your promises, your new truck will be sidelined for the next load as the customer will choose a more reliable carrier.
See you down the road,