RFX Blog

How to Be an Efficient Truck Driver

February 24th, 2012

The life of a truck driver is more than simply driving the open highways from one destination to the next.  It involves a lot of planning, skillful rig negotiations, and the ability to navigate through unfamiliar territory in a myriad of road and weather conditions.  One of the most valuable tools trucking calls for is how to operate safely and efficiently for job stability, maximum profits, and personal enjoyment.

Fuel Efficiency

One of the biggest keys to trucking efficiently involves using fuel economically.  Any driver who can lower their company fuel use by even a small percentage will increase their job security and potentially, their pay.  Some trucking tips to save fuel include turning off the engine in lieu of idling, using the correct grade fuel for the season, and keeping tires properly inflated.  An additional trucking tip is the use of the exhaust brakes in place of friction brakes to cut fuel off from the engine will decrease fuel consumption.

Slow Down

While it may sound counter-intuitive, it is actually more efficient for trucking to drive within the speed limit rather than to speed along to get to a destination quickly.  In addition to being dangerous, trucking too fast is also wasteful.  It can wind up costing a lot of money in fines should a driver be pulled over for speeding.  Further, trucking efficiently hinges greatly on how much fuel is consumed and driving too fast will quickly diminish a truck’s fuel supply.  It may be helpful to engage cruise control, if available, to keep speed more constant and below the speed limit.

Drive While the World Sleeps

If a truck driver can take advantage of empty roads, the efficiency ratio of trucking grows exponentially.  And roads are at their barest during the wee hours of the morning.  Plan trucking routes through the most congested areas between the hours of 3 and 4 in the morning, and plan to be on the swift flowing interstate by 9 AM when the majority of other drivers are commuting.  It is also helpful to be off the road altogether before the evening commute envelopes the roads at 5 PM.

Sleep Efficiently

Sleeping well is important to everybody, but particularly for truck drivers whose lives depend on being alert behind the wheel.  Sleeping at the same time every day is vital to catching quality shut-eye and taking advantage of empty roads at night is best for trucking efficiency.  Therefore, it makes sense that sleeping for the night should start before the sun goes down.  If truck drivers aim to begin their snooze before 5 PM, a congested evening commute can be avoided and a consistent schedule can be kept.

Keeping these trucking tips in mind when planning a daily schedule can increase a truck driver’s efficiency, paycheck, and job security.  In addition, it can lessen stress and increase satisfaction on the job.  Remember to drive consistently, plan logically, and maintain a strategic schedule aimed at taking advantage of beneficial driving and sleeping times.

Posted on February 24th, 2012 in Trucking Tips