The art of Planning comes down to balancing the driver’s needs with the customer’s needs in the most efficient way possible. Two of our biggest tools we use are drop lots and extra trailers. When we use drop lots it creates extra runs (segments or legs) and extra miles. Most of these extra runs or segments are less than 200 miles and a big percentage within 100 miles. We call these local runs or city work. Some view city work as a negative or a hassle. Granted it can be extra work, but in reality by doing local/city work you are really helping out other drivers.
Last week we had Jim coming back from PA with a Greenville, IL delivery for 8am. The Jim’s ETA to Effingham was 17:00. If he was to stay on the Greenville, IL, he would have about 5 hours of downtime. We split the load in EFF so the driver could keep moving. The next driver, Bob, planned to finish the Greenville was concern why he had to do a short load. Bob even joked (or I hoped it was a joke) that we were picking on him. I explained to him how important his part of the puzzle was to insure the other driver could keep moving.
As Karma would have it, Bob needed in early that weekend for a family function. He had a load from GA to Quincy, IL. We stopped Bob in Sullivan so he could get home timely and Jim ended up finishing that load Monday morning.
So the moral to the story is having our drop lots and having drivers focused on the team and providing a “helping hand” to other drivers is what makes our company stand out from the rest. Short/local/city work is critical to our success. If you are asked to do this type of work just realize you are actually helping your fellow drivers make it to a child’s ball game, a family reunion, help console a family member, save some driving time, etc. The list of benefits goes on and on.
Thank you to all drivers that have helped other drivers out. Just another reason I think we have the best drivers in the industry.