The Basics of Settling Into a New Route
Truckers are familiar with braving unfamiliar territory – it’s part of the job. But sometimes a driver may leave their comfort zone on a regular basis, traveling far off from their home and seeing new areas every week.
Different areas have different challenges for drivers. The infrastructure, traffic patterns, weather conditions, local laws, and many other factors impact a trucker’s journey from A to B. While some drivers may feel comfortable jumping into a new route quickly, there are a few things that are wise to figure out first.
Looking ahead and managing a route is a responsibility many people can take in the freight industry. Carriers often have their own dedicated staff members and equipment to plan a driver’s route beforehand. This includes making estimates about timeframes and creating backup routes should a problem arise.
Self-employed drivers are usually tasked with handling this themselves, though some work with third-parties who can help with the task.
Drivers who are heading into new areas should be aware of the things they’ll need – rest stops, trucker-friendly parking areas, and restaurants It’s also a good idea to look for stores which sell the basics you may need on the road.
Truckers must also be aware of the dangers a given route poses. Crime rates vary from area to area, and truck drivers sometimes make easy targets for criminals. Being unfamiliar with a location or having a lack of quick contacts can make anyone more susceptible to harm. Planning out a new route carefully is sometimes less about making for a comfortable experience and more about making for a safe one.
Sometimes drivers will gain familiarity with an entire district or region, working for multiple clients within the same area. This makes it very easy to develop steady business as an owner operator. Drivers who are looking to move from employment with a carrier to owner-operator status may find that learning several routes in close proximity is a useful strategy.
Every trip is different, even if it’s taken on the same road. While it is impossible to predict everything about a journey, planning ahead is key for making a route easier and less stressful.