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Name of Game is Productivity

By on July 1, 2018
kolman

Are You Making the Most of Your Time at Truck Stops?

SAY WHAT YOU WILL ABOUT FMCSA, HOS & ELDs; THEY’RE HERE AND YOU MUST DEAL WITH THEIR IMPACT ON YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.

Because of the rigid Hours-of-Service (HOS) Regulations and ELDs that automatically and accurately track records of duty-status data—plus monitor engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information—it is more imperative than ever that you use your time wisely. Time is a non-renewable resource. It cannot be saved. Nor can you manage it. You can only manage yourself.

One area where truckers can best manage themselves is to make the most of their time at truck stops by being more productive. This begins with good route planning, including determining the most appropriate truck stops.

Essential considerations are choosing truck stops that have easy-off/easy-on highway access; amply sized parking lots, easily accessed spaces; plus offering a full-range of amenities and services, along with the greatest convenience and efficiencies. The goal is selecting truck stops that enable you to combine tasks. For example, get fuel and DEF at the pump, grab a bite to eat, send or transfer money, get on a WiFi network, etc.

Suppose you need truck service but find yourself at a truck stop without any. That necessitates “burning time” finding one that does. The same situation occurs if you need to take a shower, do laundry or use a parcel shipping service like FedEx or UPS and the truck stop you happen to be at doesn’t offer these services. Every time you stop, you’re using up valuable HOS.

Don’t waste time caused by poor self-management when it comes to truck stops. Choose them based upon your needs and wants.

Really? Yes, Really!

Because each trip is different, I make a list of the truck stop services and amenities I will require. You’re probably saying to yourself: “Really?” Yes, really! Proper planning prevents wasting time and enables better self-management.

Case in point: I typically haul dry freight. On this one dispatch, I would be picking up a refrigerated trailer and taking it to a cold storage facility to get loaded. My driver manager informed me the trailer needed a washout—something I hadn’t done before.

I checked for truck stops along my route that offered this service. I wanted to avoid having to make a separate, time-burning stop at a stand-alone trailer wash facility. While getting the trailer washed out at the truck stop, I had lunch and stocked up on groceries.

Nowadays, with the inflexibility of the HOS regulations and Big Brother ELDs “watching,” I always try to find ways to make each truck stop visit as productive as possible.

About Warren Eulgen

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