Truck Driver Schedules: Improve Driver Scheduling With Syntelic (2023)

Transporting and delivering cargo is a complex business with—literally and figuratively—many moving parts. Trucking software helps keep information organized and automates a variety of necessary processes to reduce stress for employees.

Some tasks are handled with no human involvement, such as inputting and presenting data. Other responsibilities may still require the help of an experienced employee for final changes, such as driver scheduling.

What Is a Driver Scheduler?

A driver schedule is a comprehensive list that includes information about available drivers, such as their experience, availability, past deliveries, and more. This information is then used to schedule drivers onto specific routes in the most intelligent and efficient manner.

Why Is a Truck Driver Schedule Important?

Keeping an organized record of which truck drivers are taking routes at what times can improve overall efficiency by providing insight into available resources. Some drivers prefer to drive certain routes because they are familiar with the roads or customers. In some cases, you may have more experienced drivers who you want to send on more difficult routes.

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Delivery schedule software provides a holistic view of when and where your drivers can go.

Factors to Consider When Scheduling Drivers

Building a truck driver schedule gets more complicated as you receive more clients, drivers, and orders. There are a few key considerations that should be taken into account by the scheduler or scheduling software for the best possible results. Availability of drivers, planned routes, traffic patterns, and other scheduling challenges can have a direct impact on driver schedules.

Driver Availability

One of the most important—and difficult—components of a driver scheduling software is tracking driver availability. A scheduler cannot make informed decisions if they do not have accurate information. The problem is that drivers do not always input all the necessary information. If they forget to mention even the smallest details, it could result in the entire schedule being thrown out.

Additionally, driver availability may change on the day of a scheduled route. If a driver wakes up sick and needs to call in, the schedule must be updated; this sometimes requires a complete rework.

Informed Route Planning

You want to make sure the driver you put on each route is a sensible choice for that route. This could involve scheduling more physically-able drivers on deliveries which need to be unloaded faster, sending drivers to customers they have a good rapport with, or ensuring inexperienced drivers don’t have to drive difficult routes.

Traffic Patterns

There are a variety of obstacles that influence a truck driver’s route beyond their own capability and the miles they have to travel. Speed limits, other vehicles, one-way streets, construction zones, and more can affect the time of a route. Delivery schedules allow you to effectively plan around these obstacles and build the most efficient routes possible.

Scheduling Challenges

When building a driver schedule, there are multiple obstacles to consider. The potential of last-minute changes, the risk of missing key information, and difficulties communicating with truck drivers can make scheduling harder. Having a scheduling system or template setup that allows you to quickly substitute information makes the entire process easier on you, your drivers, and your clients.

Scheduling Delivery Drivers

The actual task of creating a driver schedule typically falls to an experienced employee. Even if a software handles the initial route assignment, a driver canceling at the last minute can swiftly ruin the predetermined plan.

Driver scheduling can be a stressful job that often comes as a responsibility on top of other expectations. You cannot prepare ahead of time for every possible schedule change. Even so, there are some positive features to a comprehensive driver scheduling system, including organization and route flexibility.

Organize Shipments

If you have 10 drivers that must all deliver to 10 different locations in a 500-mile radius, there are many potential routes. Chances are extremely high that driver shifts would be inconsistent, less effective, and more expensive. Trucks might end up driving back-and-forth across town or delivering to a client whose cargo is packed beneath another client’s cargo.

In combination with route planning software, delivery driver scheduling software helps to create a consolidated plan for daily deliveries that factors in the optimized routes with driver schedules. Especially when scheduling becomes complicated, it’s good to have a system in place that helps to keep track of driver availability and experience.

Adapt to Changing Routes

A truck’s speed, fuel usage, location, and route are monitored during deliveries. This information is stored in an onboard computing system. Upon the truck’s return, the data can be used to alter existing routes in the future. If one part of the route took longer than expected, it may be exchanged for a different path.

Delivery driver scheduling software can help keep track of whether or not the changing route times were the result of the driver or external influences. If a driver is repeatedly making decisions that negatively affect your company’s bottom line, you will be able to confront them with evidence.

Benefits of Driver Management Software

National regulations limit the number of hours truck drivers can drive. The larger your company gets, the more drivers it will need. To fulfill such a wide range of potential orders to different customers/locations, you will need to properly organize your drivers and vehicles. A scheduling and dispatch software can help you do all this and more.

Simplify Driver Payroll

Not all driver scheduling software offers driver payroll management, but they can make it easier to track driver hours and performance. Whether your drivers are paid hourly or make a salary, It’s still important to make a detailed record of their work history. The ability to simplify driver schedules to compare how long a driver should’ve taken with how long they did take is also a necessary feature of driver scheduling software.

Save Resources

Disorganization results in wasted time and money. When trying to run the most efficient operation possible, knowing which driver is taking which route makes all the difference. If a driver has a clear understanding of their schedule and the truck router sets clear expectations, the driver will be more likely to follow the planned route.

Driver schedulers also spend a lot of time trying to work out the perfect situation for everyone involved. A driver management software helps by providing a more fleshed-out starting point, meaning driver schedulers will have a good framework to modify into the perfect plan.

Increase Driver Satisfaction

As in any industry, the “boots-on-the-ground” part of your team must be well-equipped to handle their duty. In trucking, the truck drivers are the touchpoint for customers and are often solely responsible for transporting and unloading expensive goods. Creating a strong driver team is more than just hiring and training, it’s also about management.

Drivers should feel like they are being cared for and given attention. Driver scheduling helps to reflect that by creating an optimized route with no wasted time. Give your drivers accurate time estimates for their routes so they can continue to understand and perform their duties.

Drivers also enjoy having a set schedule to follow so any issues or complications will not fall back on them. If something ends up being less efficient than it could’ve been, the driver can blame it on the premade schedule—assuming they followed it correctly.

Delivery Driver Scheduling Challenges

Driver scheduling will always be one of the most difficult aspects of planning a delivery operation because of how impactful unforeseen changes can be. If a truck is routed to 10 stops, and one of those customers cancels, the driver can still ride the route for the other nine stops with a minor change.

If a truck is routed to 10 stops, and the driver has to take a sick day, all of those stops must be covered or picked up by another driver. If there is not an extra driver readily available to cover these stops, then a lot of switching must be done. And since people often call in on the day of their shift, it’s always a scramble to repair the affected schedule.

Additionally, real-world schedules are much more sporadic than theoretical ones. Different drivers may have scattered appointments, family engagements, or other plans at random times throughout the year. If these events are not recorded in an organized manner, drivers may experience schedule conflicts. This could lead to driver no-shows or dissatisfied employees.

Syntelic’s Customizable Software Can Help Manage Drivers

Syntelic has resource management software that relies heavily on driver reporting. If one driver does not input schedule conflicts or updates as soon as they come up, the software will not be able to make the most informed schedule.

Our Route Planning software, on the other hand, does not rely on employee information to help optimize routes. Our route optimization algorithm uses time, distance, drivers, stops, and a variety of other factors to develop the best possible delivery plan.Syntelic prides itself on having one of the most reliable and efficient softwares on the market. If you’re wondering what the implementation process would look like, how Route Planning can supplement driver scheduling software, or what our other products do, contact us today to learn more.


Why is it important for a driver to have accurate time management? ›

Truck driver time management is so important because without it you are not only going to be less efficient, you are going to run the risk of burning yourself out or compromising safety.

What is a normal schedule for a truck driver? ›

Load and unload times dictate how much flexibility you have in your trucker work schedule and also depends on which career path you select. In a typical week, a driver can expect to work about 40-60 hours. In the U.S., drivers are limited to 60 hours on-duty over 7 days or 70 hours over 8 days by the FMCSA.

How can I improve my truck driving? ›

Tips for Truck and Bus Drivers
  1. Check Your Blind Spots. ...
  2. Be Aware of Long Stopping Distances. ...
  3. Make Wide Turns Carefully. ...
  4. Always Buckle Up. ...
  5. Drive at a Safe Speed. ...
  6. Stay Focused and Avoid Distracted Driving. ...
  7. Always Use Your Signal. ...
  8. Maintain Your Vehicle.
Jan 31, 2023

Do truck drivers choose their own schedule? ›

Over the road truck driving jobs allow greater flexibility for trip planning for the driver. A driver can usually set their own personal schedule and make many of their own scheduling decisions.

What are the important tool for effective time management? ›

To-do lists are one of the most commonly used time management tools out there. Most people use some form of a to-do list, whether this is a list written in a book or added to an app such as Todoist or Outlook. The idea of a to-do list is to get everything that you need out of your head and captured somewhere.

What of the driver is the most important factor in all driving situations? ›

Speed is probably the most important factor in maintaining control of your vehicle.

What is the 8 2 split rule? ›

According to the new HOS rules, the 8/2 split states that a driver may drive for up to six hours, and then take a two-hour off-duty break before driving another five hours.

What happens if you go over your 14 hour clock? ›

Hours of Service Regulations Violation Penalties

If law enforcement finds a driver in violation of a HOS rule, they stop that truck in its tracks. If this happens, the truck sits on the side of the road until the driver has enough off-duty time to be in compliance and can again drive the truck.

How many hours can a federal employee drive in a day? ›

May not drive beyond the 14th consecutive hour after coming on duty, following 10 consecutive hours off duty. Off-duty time does not extend the 14-hour period.

How do truck drivers stay focused? ›

Turning on your favorite music while you drive can help you stay mentally active without distracting yourself from the road. Although podcasts and other forms of audio entertainment can be invigorating, they can also be distracting. However, your favorite music will energize you without taking your mind off the road.

How do you solve truck driver shortage? ›

5 ways to combat the truck driver shortage
  1. Offer increased mileage rate. Truck drivers are often paid per mile because it allows for flexibility and efficiency while still receiving a good wage. ...
  2. Improve onboarding procedures and talent teams. ...
  3. Attract new hires. ...
  4. Lower the age requirement. ...
  5. Highlight company culture.
Aug 25, 2022

What makes truck driving hard? ›

Many experienced drivers might say stress is what makes the job hard. From dealing with other drivers to keeping track of your hours of service to making it to a customer on time, truck drivers have a lot to juggle.

Is being an OTR truck driver worth it? ›

Demand is high. If you get a little OTR experience and you can keep your license, your safety record, and your service record in solid standing you could make 10 phone calls and have 10 job offers before lunch time on any given day. You'll never have to worry about having a job. More home time opportunities.

How many hours can a local truck driver work? ›

The maximum duty period is 12 hours. May drive the entire 12 hours.

What is the life of an OTR trucker? ›

Their work schedule

Like all other commercial drivers, OTR drivers must follow Hours of Service (HOS) regulations, and are required to: Take a 30-minute break after, at most, eight hours of driving. Take a 10-hour break after either 11 hours of driving or 14 hours of being on duty.

What is the 6 12 6 rule for time management? ›

Use the 6-12-6 rule.

Block out specific time to check communications instead of doing so throughout the day. McKinnon calls this the 6-12-6 rule where check your email for 20 minutes at 6 am, 12 pm, and again at 6 pm.

What are the 2 factors that make you a good driver? ›

There are at least two different sets of driving skills that make someone a good driver: technical skills and safety skills.

What are the four driving factors? ›

The Four Factors Driving BPM
  • Increased productivity.
  • Reduced costs.
  • Increased quality.
  • Reduced risk.
Apr 26, 2010

What is the most important quality in a driver? ›

A driver who steers, brakes, changes gears, and accelerates smoothly is a good driver. Smooth driving also places far less stress on the mechanics of a vehicle, thus avoiding unnecessary and inconvenient breakdowns. It's important that drivers employ defensive driving when on the road.

What is the 7 3 sleeper berth rule? ›

Under the sleeper berth provisions, a driver takes 7 hours in the sleeper berth & later takes an off-duty period of 3 hours before arriving at home.

What is a 7 3 split? ›

The 7/3 sleeper berth split: In a 7/3 split, you start with 7 consecutive hours off in sleeper berth status and then complete your required break by taking your next 3 hours later in the day. Similar to the 2/8 split, you can take a 3/7 sleeper berth as well.

What is 7 3 and 8 2 split rule? ›

A driver may use a 7/3-split (sleeper berth for 7 hours, 3 hours off-duty) or an 8/2 split (sleeper berth for 8 hours, off-duty for 2 hours). Commodity drivers are still prohibited from driving more than 11 hours inside the 14 hour window.

Does 8 hrs in the sleeper berth reset your 14? ›

Those 8 hours in the sleeper berth do not count as part of the 14 hours. This means that you only used 7 of your 14 hours so far, and your 14-hour limit gets extended to 5:00 a.m. the next morning (original 9:00 p.m. limit plus 8 hours).

Can you mix sleeper berth and off duty? ›

Guidance: No. The 11 hours of driving time between the first and second sleeper berth periods must be considered in determining the amount of time that the driver may drive after the second sleeper berth period. Sleeper berths are intended to be used between periods of on-duty time.

Can a driver go off duty while being unloaded? ›

Can You Go Off Duty While Being Loaded? While a driver is loading and unloading, they must log this time as on duty according to FMCSA rules. It doesn't matter whether a driver is on the clock physically, or whether they are assisting or even if they are just watching the loading happen. They must log it on duty.

Why do truck drivers have to work 70 hours a week? ›

Hours of Service and the 60/70 Rule

To offset the effects of cumulative fatigue, drivers are not allowed to drive if they have been on duty for 60 hours over the last 7 days, or 70 hours over the last 8 days.

How many miles can a federal employee drive in a day? ›

exceeding 10 hours behind the wheel. the Federal Travel Regulations and established by DOI/NPS (350 miles/day) if they feel their health and safety would be jeopardized by continuing to travel. To receive reimbursement, approval is authorized in accordance with 41 CFR 302-4.403.

Do travel days count as work days? ›

From the Law:

Such compelled travel time therefore constitutes compensable “hours worked.” Your employer only has to pay for this travel time if you are required to attend the event or travel as part of your job.

What is the hardest thing about truck driving? ›

In fact, some drivers will rack up around 3000 miles each week on the job, which sometimes requires early mornings and late nights to meet deadlines. While many would assume having to maneuver a big truck would be the most difficult part of the job, the long hours are often what truck drivers say is the hardest part.

What do truck drivers drink to stay awake? ›

Limit your reliance on caffeine as it can also impair your consistent sleep schedule. If you need a small pick-me-up, stick to normal coffee. Choosing coffee will give you the caffeine you need without as much of a crash later on.

Why do most truck drivers quit? ›

Problems with dispatch, supervisors, and the company in general are among the causes of truck drivers' resignations. Some frontline managers at a trucking company don't treat them like people; they are occasionally harsh and hurtful to them. They resigned as a result.

Why is trucking declining? ›

Most experts would say trucking rates are relaxing and flattening out after a few years of high rates and tight capacity due to demand. But the uncertain state of the US economy, the lack of consistent work for drivers, and recent part supply issues keeping semi-truck prices high all heavily impact these rates.

Why is the trucking industry losing drivers? ›

There are many individuals with the training and skills needed to fill these truck driving job positions. But due to low pay and less than desirable working conditions, many are leaving the industry, in search of a better career. What is this?

What is the trucking industry forecast for 2023? ›

Fifty-four percent of the Freight Rate Survey's respondents reported a negative forecast for 2023, citing concerns such as high fuel costs, increased regulation, inflation, overcapacity and a cooling economy. More than 300 OOIDA members responded to the 35-question survey, which the association sent to members on Dec.

Is truck driving hard on your body? ›

Truck driving can take a major toll on your physical health. You are more likely to experience various health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, hypertension, sleep disorders, and more! Because of a poor diet on the road and the sedentary nature of the industry, a large number of truck drivers are obese.

What is the hardest part of getting your CDL? ›

Then the DMV will assess your knowledge with a written test and inspection test and test your physical driving skills with a driving test. The general consensus is that the road test is the hardest part of getting your commercial driver's license (CDL).

Which CDL endorsement pays the most? ›

Your Class A CDL will generally be able to garner you the highest wages of any type of truck driver. Most students who graduate with their Class A CDL will get into over-the-road (OTR) trucking.

Who is the highest paying OTR trucking company? ›

The 10 Best Paying Trucking Companies
  • Bennett Motor Express.
  • Mercer Transportation.
  • Sysco Foods.
  • Walmart.
  • UPS.
  • GP Transco.
  • Marten Transport.
  • ABF Freight System.
Mar 20, 2023

Is getting a CDL worth it in 2023? ›

Getting your CDL will give you the skills and qualifications you need to find a stable job in the trucking industry. Earn a good living: Truck drivers starting out can earn a median wage of $45,000-$60,000 per year, with seasoned drivers seeing increased earning potential.

Does going off duty stop your 70 hour clock? ›

To completely reset the 70-hour clock, it requires a 34-hour restart. Example: A driver can be ON-Duty a maximum 60 hours in a 7 day cycle. In order to reset the cycle, drivers must take a consecutive 34 hours of OFF-Duty.

Can I drive after 7 hours in sleeper berth? ›

A driver may also use the sleeper berth to extend the 14-hour limit. Any period in the sleeper berth of at least 8 consecutive hours does not count as part of the 14 hours, and, therefore, allows a driver to extend the time during which a driver could use their maximum 11 hours of driving.

What is the split sleeper rule? ›

The split sleeper berth rule allows a truck driver to extend a shift by splitting the required 10 consecutive hours of off-duty time into two shifts. This means that drivers can adjust their schedules for longer hauls or warehouse hours by “dropping in” a rest break to comply with driving hour limitations.

What is the average age of an OTR driver? ›

The average truck driver is around 45 years old and the average retirement age is 62. That is not to say that you can't continue to truck drive after that; however, there are other factors that go into truck driving that you should consider.

Is trucking a stressful job? ›

From making sure that their vehicle is in tip-top shape, to managing their hours correctly, making deadlines, getting enough sleep, safely operating the truck, and navigating legal and regulatory hurdles, truck driving can be about as stressful a job as there is.

How much free time do you have as a truck driver? ›

Legally, truckers must take 34 hours off after working for 70 hours. However, truckers should also take vacation days to fully rest and recharge. Companies generally provide truckers with two weeks of vacation time, but this number can be higher depending on the company and trucker position.

Why time management is very important for success? ›

Time management has many benefits to your professional life and overall work-life balance. Time management is important: it helps you keep your workday under control, allowing you to build your business without sacrificing your personal life. Good time management skills take time to develop and put into practice.

Why is time management important for ADHD? ›

Research shows those living with ADHD have difficulty estimating how long a task will take or how long they just spent on a task. Experts found this is because ADHD can cause the brain to create distortions of time.

What are the 5 reasons that time management is important? ›

How could time management be crucial to your business?
  • It can help in sticking to deadlines. ...
  • Time management can often improve focus and overall efficiency. ...
  • Better time management can lead to less procrastination. ...
  • A good schedule can lead to less stress and more freedom. ...
  • Time management is easier now than ever before.
May 19, 2022

Why is time management important professionally? ›

By managing their time well employees will meet deadlines, improve their efficiency, be more productive, and deliver better work. They'll also have a greater level of job satisfaction because they'll feel less stressed, which will aid them with career progression and ultimately lower your business's staff turnover.

Does time management help with procrastination? ›

Proper time management can reduce procrastination

For example, one common time-management technique is to break tasks into manageable steps. This technique can reduce procrastination by improving people's time management directly, for instance by helping them understand, prioritize, and plan their work.

Why is time management important for mental health? ›

Managing your time better can reduce your likelihood of experiencing burnout, as it ensures you have more time to rest and deal with other things that can cause mental, emotional, or physical distress. With plenty of time to attend to your work, you're less stressed and anxious.

Why do I struggle with time management? ›

Some people face the time-management challenge of too little time to complete their goals. This may be the result of a multitude of necessary objectives, and those tasks may be equally important. This feeling may also have to do with a large quantity of less-important and overwhelming tasks.


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