Becoming an efficient driver goes beyond skillful driving. It is all about becoming more productive or efficient without compromising on safety. Taking little steps such as painting your truck in white, to reduce the effect of thermal loading, and paying more attention to the power train, can help increase overall efficiencies. There is a wide range of areas a truck driver must be conversant with in order to increase productivity and reduce risks of accidents. The following ways are also believed to enhance efficiency in the use of your time in the field as a truck driver;
Timing is the most important thing
To optimize your time much better in the field as an efficient truck driver, you must make plans to drive when road conditions favor you most. Try as much as possible to avoid wasting precious time in traffic congestion, therefore you should plan your routes to when there is less traffic congestion.
You should make calculations on how you can be off the road especially during the evening rush hour of between 4 and 6:30 pm. You need to also figure out routes that are most congested and drive through such routes when traffic is lighter. Your chances of avoiding truck accidents through timing are quite low.
You should learn to optimize packaging, as a truck driver. Learn to identify those goods that require less heavy packaging. A simple change in packaging type, for instance, can help you carry more volume without exceeding your maximum weight capacity. Certain consumer goods can be handled with less weighty packaging materials. Carrying fewer loads as a result of using alternative packaging materials will increase speed and reduce fuel consumption.
Be more proactive with loading and unloading
It is important that you meet deadlines as a truck driver because the inability to meet deadlines means you will lose miles, some loads and sometimes your job. You need to plan ahead of time to load and unload so that you can exceed your deadlines. When you load and unload early, you can call the shipper or DM to make arrangements for earlier pickup than the original schedule. Unloading and loading earlier than scheduled will boost your reputation and also your chances of landing new jobs are greatly increased.
Load management optimization is very important to maintain efficiency. Make sure you remove dead-heading, which is a situation where truck drivers run empty on their way to pick up a load. You can make use of recommended software to optimize you’re your load pickups and delivery routes. Doing this will help prevent dead-heading.
Get enough rest
Getting enough rest can reduce your chances of getting involved in accidents Getting enough rest is important for truck drivers who want to stay healthy and more productive. Statistics have shown that fatigue is responsible for more than 30% of truck accidents. If you need help after a truck accident, especially an accident caused by the negligent act from another driver, please get in touch with a truck accident lawyer.
When you have enough rest in-between your truck driving jobs, you will be able to think clearly on the road. You will also be able to respond sharply to adverse driving conditions. Keep in mind that pushing your body too hard when you are exhausted will trigger the release of adrenaline hormones (stress hormones). The adrenalin stress hormones released into your body, the longer the recovery time your body will need to make up for the exhaustion.
Chronic sleep deprivation will lead to extensive stress that can shut down your body, and expose you to serious accidents. Taking a nap during the day for between 20 and 60 minutes can help you stay mentally alert and productive as a truck driver.
Pay attention to your truck
Learning to communicate with your truck is one of the best possible ways to stay effective and productive as a truck driver. Make sure you pay attention to the power train and also talk with salespersons and dealers about the parameters of your truck engine. Make sure you constantly check the pressure gauge of your tires and keep them inflated. Tire issues are responsible for many truck accidents on the roads. Learn to reduce your speed to maximize fuel efficiency. It has been discovered that driving at 65km/hr. rather than 75km/hr. for instance, can reduce fuel usage by as much as 15%. Keep in mind that there is a link between constant maintenance schedules and fuel efficiencies. Always keep track of your loads, you should know the level of loads that make you more productive and the ones that reduce your efficiencies.
Learn to slow down when you are driving against or into the wind, but you can speed up when the wind is after you- doing this can increase fuel efficiency and reduce chances of wind-related accidents. Experts suggest that you should consider switching to low viscosity engine oil to increase engine performance. You should also consider switching to tires that exceed the EPA SmartWay rolling resistance specifications for a better tire efficiency. Make sure all loose components or parts, including the bumpers, skirts, and fairings, are fixed. Unused clutters inside the truck can reduce efficiency indirectly and may even cause injuries, therefore they must be eliminated.
You should consider reducing packaging materials that are very heavy and if possible, embrace 3D printing.
The bottom-line of becoming an efficient truck driver lies in your ability to understand how your truck works. It is equally important not to ignore safety, in your quest to maintain high productivity and efficiency. Part of your safety plans should be having the contact of a truck accident attorney to help you fight your case and get compensated when you are involved in an accident caused by an omission or negligent act of other road users. A truck accident attorney helps in filing proper litigation on behalf of a truck accident victim to ensure that the client doesn’t get compensated below what he or she deserves.