Route planning, getting from A to B safely and efficiently

Route planning, getting from A to B safely and efficiently

For anyone setting out on a long-haul trip, the objective is always to get there are back as safely and efficiently as possible.  This guide will help you to plan your route, maximise efficiency and keep your driver and vehicle safe.

Route planning

Route planning is just what it says, it’s planning the most efficient route between your starting point and your destination, taking into account any stops along the way.  Importantly, it allows you to plan for eventualities such as traffic conditions, road works, congestion and prescribed stops and rest periods.

Planning reduces stress

When planning a journey, the first consideration is the route itself. You must take into account the distance you can cover in one day, the road conditions, speed zones and stop locations.  By mapping out the most direct route to each location, you can estimate travel time, plan stopping points and create a schedule which makes it easier to keep track of progress.  It also allows your dispatcher to know where you are and how to contact you in the event that you fail to call in at a prescribed time.

Planning supports productivity

Not only does route planning increase efficiency, keeping to a specific route helps you to be more productive.  Choosing the shortest path can save time and reduce fuel costs provided that you are avoiding congestion and known bottlenecks. The time saved by using toll roads often outweighs the cost.  Getting the job done faster means you arrive at your destination less stressed and ready to tackle the next job sooner.

Use technology

Onboard technology can alert the driver to known traffic hazards and hold ups.  Being advised that there is a hold up ahead allows the driver to take a different route or schedule a rest break until the issue is resolved.

Ensure the device is updated regularly so that you always have access to the latest maps, and using onboard analytics allows you to monitor driving distance and track progress in real time.  Feeding the analytics back to base allows them to track the vehicle and notify customers of any delays. They can also inform future planning as they allow you to compare the planned route against the distance travelled and actual time taken.

In an emergency situation, knowing the exact location of the vehicle is vital for service vehicles or emergency services.

Benefits to the driver

A driver who plans their route in advance can usually meet deadlines and or targets.  Having a pre-set route is less stressful which is especially important when there are multiple drop offs or deliveries. On a long-haul journey, detailed scheduling helps drivers to know when and where to take a break, perform safety checks and monitor fuel.

Rentco is Australia’s leading commercial vehicle rental company.  We operate from our head office in Perth, and depots in Adelaide, Darwin, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Townsville.  This means you’re never too far away from help when its needed.