Truck driving at night is a lot different than during the day. You’ll need to be more alert due to the lowered visibility, but there will also be several times fewer drivers on the road to worry about. While the benefits and downsides run neck and neck, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons to make your choice clearer.
There will undoubtedly be less traffic at night; most people are driving during the day to and from work and a store or two afterward. That leaves the road pretty much wide open to you during the night.
That doesn’t mean that there aren’t challenges to be had. Lots of wildlife tend to come out and wander onto the road at night. Given that it’s a lot darker out, you might not see them until it’s too late and then you can be paying for some costly repairs.
Another downside that you’ll encounter is road work. Many cleaning and repair crews will work at night to fix the road at the lowest traffic times for the maximum safety of themselves and drivers on the road. That can mean a four lane Highway turning into one lane, and that backup can prove to be hours long.
That being said, there are ways to check the planned roadwork of the states you in (example: California) or radio ahead when you have a choice between two routes so you can make the best decision.
Parking later at night, say past 4 o’clock, can be a challenge! Most people don’t enjoy truck driving at night, so by the time you get to a rest stop, all the spots will be taken. They may be getting up in an hour or two to start their day, but what are you going to do in the mean time?
Luckily there is another option when you are really in a bind. Parking lots of major retailers. Think big parking lots, like the lots you would encounter at a Walmart. As long as you park further away from the entrance, you should have no problems, and you can get up and move to a rest stop in a few hours time.
Use Your Flexibility
If, like many of the places that you’ll be delivering to, you’re allowed to drop your load off between a time window (say between 8 am and 4 pm) use this to your advantage! You can use the benefits of the reduced traffic to make some great time and get extremely close to your drop point by the time people are waking up.
Setting yourself up for success by avoiding traffic in bustling cities isn’t only smart, it’s a necessity.
If you’re more of a night owl, use this to your advantage and drive later than your fellow truck drivers. Just be sure that you are getting enough sleep to function by the time you get up to drive next.
If you need more tips for truck driving at night, give us a call at 877-693-5192 or, if you need to, you can check your current order here now!