Truck Driver Schedules: Improve Driver Scheduling With Syntelic (2024)

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.

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.

Truck Driver Schedules: Improve Driver Scheduling With Syntelic (2024)
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