The good old days of trucking were a time without so many rules and regulations and definitely without so much traffic. There was less congestion on the roads and consumer demands were less as well. Truck drivers were free on the all expansive road. Drivers did their job in their own style. They could drive until they were hungry or tired and then look for a good place to stop and rest. Now due to strict HOS and electronic logging, it’s essential for drivers to plan ahead for their trips to avoid unwanted stress and difficulties during their journey. A research study published in the Transportation Journal revealed that regulations are one of the main sources of stress for drivers. Although truck drivers understand that the intent of the regulations is for their safety as well as that of others, the reality of the situation can sometimes be otherwise. Better planning can help truck drivers avoid unnecessary difficulties and dangerous situations on the road.
Here are some tips to make trucking less stressful:
- Keep traffic in mind
Before you head out on your next trip, take into consideration the traffic you might encounter. If you have to drive through cities with heavy traffic, make sure you allow plenty of time to get through these areas without violating any HOS. Also, use Google Maps to help you estimate traffic ahead of time. Check Google Maps one day in advance at the time you are likely to be in the area and see how the traffic is for that specific time of day or night. That can help you calculate how much time to allocate for your trip through that area.
- Stay informed about the weather
Checking on the weather can help you be more prepared for your next drive. Use The Weather Channel App on your mobile phone to receive weather alerts in your area so you are always up to date on weather conditions. If necessary, change your route ahead of time to avoid dangerous weather conditions. If it’s not possible to reroute then at least advanced knowledge of the weather can help you prepare to leave enough time to get through areas where weather may cause delays. You can also keep a note of possible rest areas in advance in case it’s necessary to suddenly stop along the way.
- Always Carry Essentials with You
Make sure that you always have a plentiful stock of food, water, and warm clothes and blankets in your truck at all times. It’s also good to have a strong flashlight, tools, and keep your mobile phone charged. If you have a break down in a remote area or an extreme weather condition, being prepared could save you not only stress but your life.
- Plan Ahead for Night Stops
With strict HOS regulations, truckers are finding it harder and harder to find a place to stop for the night; with most of the places they stop at being already full. Finding no other option some drivers are forced to park in unauthorized areas which are not only unsafe but could cause them to get large fines and violations also. If you are traveling through the mid-west (currently Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio or Wisconsin) use the Trucks Park Here App; a new initiative to help truckers find parking spots with ease. If you are traveling through a different state, try to do research ahead of time of several potential stops so you don’t find yourself at your end of HOS for the day without a place to park.
- Install User Friendly Devices in Your Trucks
Last but not least, use the same technology that can make life difficult for truckers to help you instead. By installing user-friendly ELD compliant devices in your trucks, you can reduce the headache and stress of otherwise confusing and complicated systems. Matrack’s user-friendly ELD compliant device and App are straight forward and easy to use. Also, our technical support is available 24/7 so if you can get timely help when you need it most. Don’t let the new regulations stress you out. At Matrack, we use technology to make things simple and easy.
See for yourself and visit our website MatrackInc.com
While the trucking industry may not be like it used to be in the golden days of the past, there are still ways to reduce stress while on the job and help you enjoy your work. Use technology to help you stay informed about traffic, weather conditions, and potential rest areas for the night. This will help avoid unnecessary stress while on the job. While this may take a little effort ahead of time, the benefits greatly outweigh the consequences of getting stuck in a storm or being stranded for the night after reaching your HOS without a proper place to park. Also through using user-friendly devices and Apps with Matrack you can make sure that following your HOS will be easy and stress-free and you will have friendly tech support to help you with any difficulties day and night.