How Professional Truck Drivers Can Get More Miles and Earn More: Insights from Andrew Winkler
In today’s competitive trucking industry, it’s common for drivers to feel the pressure of balancing work and home life, while also trying to maximize their earnings. Recently, Andrew Winkler, the host of the Driven Too Far podcast, shared valuable insights on how truck drivers can effectively handle these challenges. His recommendations focus on smart planning, efficient time management, and effective communication with dispatchers. Here’s our take on his insightful advice.
Maximizing Home Time Without Sacrificing Income
One of the most challenging aspects of being a professional truck driver is managing home time. While it’s crucial to spend quality time with family, doing so often comes with financial implications. As Winkler says, “[If] you go home early or if dispatch sends you home early, are you willing to come out of the house early? That’s really the discipline that you need to have as a driver.”
Balancing family commitments with the need to maintain your income can be difficult, but it’s not impossible. Discussing your schedule with your family and sticking to it, can help. Be clear about when you’ll be home and when you need to be back on the road. Remember, every hour of downtime is a potential hit to your paycheck. So, plan your time wisely.
Communicate Effectively with Dispatchers
A healthy relationship with dispatchers is key to a successful driving career. If there are gaps or inefficiencies in your dispatch, don’t hesitate to address them. Be proactive in asking for your next assignment, and if you’re ready to work but they don’t have a load for you, ask to be compensated.
You’re not being unreasonable – you’re simply asking to be rewarded for your readiness and commitment. If you’re experiencing repeated problems in this area, it may be time to have a broader conversation with your operations group.
Honor Your Home Time Schedule
While balancing home and work life can be challenging, it’s crucial to honor your home time schedule. If you’ve committed to being ready to work at a certain time, ensure you stick to it. Avoid letting personal circumstances affect your commitment. This discipline is not just about honoring your commitment to your employer; it’s about ensuring you don’t lose potential income.
Understand the Benefits of Short Miles
Contrary to popular belief, long hauls are not the only way to make good money in trucking. While long routes might be less physically demanding, short miles can also be lucrative. Many companies, including Chief Carriers, offer additional compensation for short hauls to make up for the fewer miles driven. Instead of focusing solely on the length of the haul, consider the potential daily income.
Open Dialogue and Analysis
Addressing low mileage and income concerns isn’t just about pointing fingers. It’s about understanding the underlying issues and taking steps to address them. As Winkler suggests, it’s important to engage in an open dialogue with your dispatcher or operations manager and work together to identify and address any issues.
In the world of trucking, maximizing your income and miles requires both a proactive approach to your work and a clear understanding of how your decisions impact your earnings. It’s a challenging but rewarding career, and with smart strategies like those shared by Andrew Winkler, you can increase your miles, maximize your earnings, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Tune into Andrew Winkler’s podcast, Driven Too Far every week for insights and tops for truck drivers.