Bye-Bye Stress, Hello Time Management! Find out how You can Achieve a Less Stress-filled Run
Ah, stress. This is one emotion that truckers are very familiar with. Stress is just part of the job in trucking, from tight schedules, pressure from shippers and receivers, maintaining safety (for yourself and others) to environmental stressors like traffic, weather, and terrain. And, like it or not, stress is a big factor in how efficient we are and how we manage our time.
It’s time to say bye-bye stress, hello time management! While you can’t eliminate all triggers of stress, there are ways to lessen them and have a smoother, more efficient trip that will leave you with more of your sanity. It comes down to time management. So, how should you manage your time better?
It’s amazing what you can do when you have a plan. Knowing how you’re going to get to where you’re going allows you to know at all times if you’re on schedule. One great perk of trip planning is the sooner you know you’ve fallen behind schedule (knock on wood), the sooner you can reassess and make a new plan. Appointments can be rescheduled, making it far more likely that you don’t miss out on a reload if you can alert dispatch early enough.
Trip planning is also a great way to know when and where you will fuel and park for the night, making it less of a headache and a lot safer so you can avoid being stuck in the mid of nowhere, miles from the next truck stop.
This is a very brief example of trip planning. To learn how to plan your trip properly, visit our blog Don’t Wing It. It’s Time to Start Trip Planning.
Do Those Daily Pre and Post Trips
Avoid the ever-so annoying and frustrating break-downs by doing your daily pre-trips and post-trips. This is a great way to find malfunctions early because, in reality, it’s safer, cheaper and far less stressful driving into a shop rather than being towed into one.
Proper maintenance of your truck will significantly reduce the chance of a break-down and, in turn, make your life a lot less stressful.
Load and Unload as Early as Possible
Don’t dilly-dally! Veteran truck drivers get to where they’re going as soon as possible. The reason? Everybody wins when you’re early. Shippers and receivers generally like earlier than expected service, and if the customer is happy, dispatch is happy. And the best part? You end up making more money faster!
Avoid Rush Hour
Sometimes, you can’t avoid the busy morning or afternoon rush around major cities, but, when possible, you should. You can either hit these cities when traffic is moving or find a route that avoids some major cities. Always check with your dispatch if you’re thinking of rerouting.
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep!
Don’t downplay the power of a goodnight’s sleep. From a safety standpoint to emotional and mental health point of view, sleep plays a big role in how a day might go.
With a good night’s rest behind you, you’ll find yourself making better decisions, you’ll be sharper, make fewer mistakes, and feel, physically and mentally, better.