Three Time-Management Tips for New Truck Owner Operators

Posted on: 20 May 2016

As an owner operator, you're your own boss. Unlike a company driver, you won't have someone else guiding you. For this reason, it's important that you be diligent, especially when it comes to time management. As an operator, you're only as good as your ability to meet time demands. If you're a new owner operator, here are some time-management tips you can apply.

Stay on Top of Maintenance

A commitment to maintenance doesn't just help protect your investment and keep your truck running better—this practice also helps significantly reduce the likelihood of a breakdown.

A breakdown will find you stranded on the side of the road, causing you to either be late dropping off a load or late picking up a load. Whichever the case, you won't only be facing the expense for the repairs to the truck, but also any loss of income you incur for the load transport delays. Keep maintenance a priority to stay on track.

Set a Full Daily Schedule

When planning your schedule for the day, include more than just a listing of your load pickups or deliveries. Create a full schedule for your day, as this will help you stay on track better. For example, say your route for the day consists of a six-hundred-mile journey.

Along this route you will need to eat and use the restroom several times. When creating the schedule, allot time for these activities, such as fifteen minutes. While you can't set an exact time when you will stop, if you at least have the time allotted for these activities you won't have to worry about getting off schedule and you can still meet your time demands.

Choose Routes Wisely

The goal as an owner operator is to earn income, but this doesn't mean you must accept every route offered to you. Unlike company drivers, you have the power to choose which routes you accept, so it's important to do so wisely. Say you have a planned route from St. Louis to Milwaukee, for example.

At the last minute, you're offered a load for Chicago; the only problem is the drop off time is in the middle of rush hour. The time you spend in traffic could not only delay drop off for the Chicago load, but you might also miss your Milwaukee load deadline. Look at every aspect of a load to ensure it's feasible.

Be sure you are making a commitment toward good time-management skills for the greatest chances of success, and look for owner operator jobs in your area to get started.