By Robert Lake
Planning your trip is not just about finding your way from point A to point B. Most truckers can find their way through any state and around any city in the country. It’s something you’re either good at or you’re not, and truckers better have a good sense of direction or they won’t last long in this business.
But knowing where you are going and knowing what’s available when you get there are two very different things. You are stuck in Orlando for Thanksgiving; will the truckstop you plan to spend the holiday in have a restaurant on site? Can you get your truck washed anywhere on the route back home? What about a shower? A fax machine? Internet access?
Not knowing these answers can cause costly delays. Paying attention to those small details and planning your trip around time-and money-saving amenities offered at a truckstop can pay off in the long run.
Because you have told us that trip planning can be a problem, Truckers News and Rand McNally have teamed up to bring you the most comprehensive truckstop directory available. Available at truckstops nationwide in January 2005, it will feature complete location and amenity listings for almost 6,500 of the nation’s premier truckstops. Not only are there high-quality maps you expect from Rand McNally, but they are provided in a user-friendly layout – sorted by interstate and exit numbers. With the flip of a page, you can find out detailed information about each location, such as number of parking spaces, accepted fuel cards, number of showers and restaurant listings.
Successful truckers plan everything. Our “How to Become an Owner-Operator” series has generated a huge response from those of you who are trying to become more efficient in your trucking business by planning ahead. Truckers who plan their trips down to the smallest detail share similar traits with owner-operators who can tell you their cost per mile at any given time. The smallest correction in old ways or bad habits can pay off big if you are willing to go the extra mile that careful planning requires.