Tips For Surviving With a Co-Driver
Having a co-driver can help eliminate boredom while also increasing profits. This often means adapting your routine to help you avoid conflicts with that individual. Fortunately, there are some easy changes you can make to help you co-exist with another driver whether you are on a long haul or a short one.
Drive in shifts
Many drivers become frustrated when their partner does not do his or her share of the driving. To avoid this, it can be a good idea for each person to do 10 hours worth of driving in a 12-hour period. For example, one driver’s shift begins at 7 am and runs until 7 pm, at which time the other partner takes over. This can become confusing when you operate in different time zones, but one way to combat this is to keep the set schedule based on your home time zone. That way, each driver still operates the same number of hours and can maintain a more regular sleep pattern to eliminate drowsiness.
Keep the agreed-on schedule even if you pick up a load mid-shift. For example, if you pick up a load at 5 am and are scheduled to switch drivers at 7 am, then one operator will drive for two hours and then switch over. This will help you develop a pattern of being behind the wheel for a certain amount of time and resting during your off-driving time.
While splitting the driving tasks up into 12-hour shifts is ideal, the fact is a new driver may not have the stamina to be behind the wheel for 10 hours at a time. In this instance, it might be best to split the driving up into six or eight hour shifts instead. In this instance, a typical schedule might be from 7 am to 1 pm for driver A, 1 pm to 7 pm for driver B, 7 pm to 1 am for driver A, and 1 am to 7 am for driver B. Beginning drivers could then operate for approximately 4 out of the 6 hours followed by a period of rest. If this schedule is too demanding, the more experience driver could take a 10-hour shift and simply allow the new driver to go as far as he or she can without tiring.
Change your driving habits
When your partner is sleeping, you may need to adjust your driving habits to avoid tossing him or her around. Hard braking can disturb the other driver’s sleep pattern, so that person may be fatigued when it is his or her turn to drive. Try to give yourself a little more distance between other vehicles so you won’t have to slow down suddenly. When you are approaching turns, try to brake slowly and gradually rather than doing so just before you turn. Use the manual side of your automatic transmission whenever possible, as this helps you slow down more gently so your partner won’t be disturbed by heavy braking. Remember that eventually you will have to sleep also, so drive the way you would like your co-driver to do whenever it is your turn to sleep.
If you are used to operating solo, having a team member with you can take some adjustment. This adjustment can be well worth it because you will experience greater profits while making your hauls more enjoyable at the same time.