Efficient route planning is vital when it comes to any carrier’s success. A driver needs to be able to combine the ability to predict when a truck will arrive at its destination with the understanding of how to get a load from point A to point B quickly and safely.
Once upon a time, drivers had to keep all that data in their heads with long-term memory, but since the late 70s, automated routing software has helped reduce costs and increase accuracy.
An Age-Old Problem
Fuel costs are still the primary motivation behind improving routing times. Drivers may also be interested in customer service, on-time performance, and/or compliance issues, but reducing miles or assets to cut back on fuel is still goal number one. Evolving technologies such as onboard computers and routing packages can reduce fuel costs while also increasing safety and adherence to compliance measures.
How Can New Technology Help?
Updated software means better communication as well. Dispatchers can make changes throughout the day if they perceive an issue. This saves the driver time and alleviates route frustrations. Mobile communications also mean that a fleet can monitor route progress and report back to the home office on how the route is developing. Quicker communication with mobile devices and routing software also means that carriers can optimize routes not just by shortest route but also depending on the load type, vehicle type, traffic patterns, and much more.
Growth in the types of routing software available means that drivers can examine a variety of variables when planning out their routes. When planning your route, take the following factors into account:
- Road segment distance
- Road quality
- Travel speed
- Travel time
- Load type
- Safety characteristics
- Commercial truck restrictions
- Prohibitions regarding vehicle dimensions
A successful route considers all these factors, as well as providing accurate miles and maps, easy-to-read directions, and fuel-efficient timetables. A successful driver will use the tools available to them to ensure the goods are transported safely, efficiently, and to the customer’s satisfaction.