Choosing fuel stops is a very important aspect of truck driving. Perhaps the most important part of being a good truck driver, apart from driving safely, is to be able to reach your pickup and delivery destinations on time. This means knowing exactly how far you must drive to reach your next destination and being able to plan your arrival to coincide with any appointments or set delivery times.
Whether you own your own rig, or drive a company truck for a conglomerate, the fact remains that as a driver you must be on time for your pickups and deliveries. This will require more than simply pushing the pedal to the floor in order to get there on time. It requires careful planning of each leg of the trip to ensure that your load arrives safely and on time.
Knowing how far it is from your pickup location to the delivery point is a key piece of information for you as a truck driver. This will help you determine how much time behind the wheel will be necessary in order to reach the destination on time. It will also help you plan your fuel stops along the way. Coordination of fuel stops with all of your other stops is the best way to save time on the road and boost your productivity as a truck driver.
Here are some tips to utilize in planning your fuel stops to coincide with other stops along the way.
- Fill up before you pick up your load. This can help prevent hours of service violations if the shipper takes a long time to load your truck
- Know how far it is from the shipper to your first approved fuel stop. You may have to fill up before picking up the load in order to reach it.
- Know how many times you will have to fill up before you reach your destination and plan your stops before you ever leave the shipper. This will help you keep your rig rolling and making money.
- Plan bathroom and food stops to coincide with your fuel stops to eliminate unnecessary delays on the road.
- If you are familiar with your route and the truck stops along the way, then choose fuel stops that allow easy access, even when the parking lot may be crowded with trucks. This will help speed up your time by reducing wait times at the fuel island.
Planning each stop for fuel along your route will boost the efficiency of your truck. It will also help you earn more money, as you will spend less time each day trying to figure out what your next move is. Have a plan, and work it from pickup to delivery, and prove that you are the all star truck driver you set out to be when you first obtained your CDL license.