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6 Trucking Industry Terms Every New Driver Should Know

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Are you new to the trucking industry? If so, familiarize yourself with the key terms and concepts associated with this profession. Doing so makes you a more informed and capable driver. You also avoid many mistakes and misconceptions that could hurt your job performance. Here are six trucking industry terms every new driver should know:

Trucking Industry

Route Optimization

First, define optimize, which is making something as effective and functional as possible. In the trucking industry, route optimization involves planning a truck’s route to minimize time, cost, and fuel consumption. It’s achieved by planning the most efficient route from one place to another using mapping software. The effort also reduces the carbon footprint on the environment and keeps drivers competitive in the industry.

Logbook

A logbook is a written record of information related to truck drivers, such as how many hours they are driving, when they take breaks, and the distances traveled. Drivers are required to keep up-to-date logbooks for legal and safety reasons.

Logbooks ensure drivers don’t exceed the maximum hours allowed by law in a given working period. It also records the driver’s activities and helps them stay organized while on the road.

Nowadays, logs are digitalized, making it easier for drivers to fill out and track their logbook information. You can easily share the information with trucking companies and regulatory agencies.

Weight Restrictions

Weight restrictions refer to the legal weight limit of a truck and trailer. Be aware of this information because it determines how much cargo a driver can haul safely and how much toll you will pay. State and federal laws require drivers to stay within the weight limit of their vehicles.

Knowing the weight limit also helps drivers avoid fines or penalties for carrying excessive cargo, which can be costly. Note that the weight limit for a truck can vary depending on the state; check the laws before hauling.

Detention Time

Detention time is the extra time a driver spends waiting at a shipper or receiving facility before they can unload or load cargo. It’s usually unpaid, and most drivers don’t realize they can get paid for it if they negotiate with their employer. Keep track of detention time and discuss it with employers when negotiating contracts.

Fuel Tax Credit

This credit offsets fuel costs, making it more affordable for drivers. To qualify for the fuel tax credit, you must follow specified rules and regulations. Research the requirements and ensure you’re eligible before applying for the credit.

Deadhead

Deadhead is used to describe when a truck driver travels without cargo. It occurs when the driver has to return to the starting point without a load, or they’re in between loads. Understand this term, as it can affect your pay.

Deadheading is an unavoidable part of the job, but there are ways to keep your costs down. Look into fuel-efficient routes and vehicles, and always plan to minimize the amount of deadheading you must do.

Maximize Your Earnings And Get More Job Satisfaction

When you’re well informed of the terms and regulations of the trucking industry, you’ll drive safely and efficiently. You’ll also avoid the many disappointments and fines associated with ignorance. Research and stay up-to-date with industry terms, regulations, and trends. It’ll help you be a successful truck driver and increase your safety and earnings.

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