The Owner-Operator's Weekly Planner
Smart trucking owner-operators make every single week as profitable as possible. This means looking at the advantages and disadvantages of every day of the week and planning your activities around those subtle changes.
Overall Planning Tips
- Match your trip length to the optimum day of the week
- Plan to deliver on the day you have the best opportunity of getting a load
- Plan to drive under a load on days when it is harder to get a load
Your plan will vary depending on the weekly delivery cycle of your region, your typical length of haul, personal requirements, and other factors. While you don’t have control of many of the elements, it’s essential to build a weekly plan that can improve your success.
Picking up or delivering freight on Sundays is like giving yourself an entire extra day of the week, since this typically isn’t a day for either task. Make the most of your Sundays, which offer the highest average rates, to give you a headstart on the rest of the week.
Profitable owner-operators deliver on Mondays. Why? Delivering the first load of the week on Monday lets you start your week with miles already generated. Mondays provide the highest volume of the week on load boards, so take advantage.
Unless it’s a long-haul trip, delivering the first load of the week on Tuesday means the week usually won’t be as profitable. Tuesday is the day to analyze how many miles you’ve driven and how many more you need to have a productive week.
By now, about half of your gross revenue for the week should already be in-hand.
This can be the make-or-break day of the week. A load picked up on Thursday should be either short enough to deliver on Friday or long enough to carry you through the weekend. Many drivers will turn down a short run because it would mean laying over until Friday, but this can be an expensive mistake. Drivers have more negotiating power on Thursdays since brokers are getting nervous.
This usually is the best day of the week for freight, and the best day to negotiate hard. Being under a load with the longest possible miles over the weekend makes the most of your time.
You can take advantage of high Saturday freight rates by being the “go-to” driver for a trusted broker with an emergency load. Use the Truckstop.com load board to post your truck and make yourself available on the weekends, and you may see surprising results.
Many experts suggest taking your vacation time during the first week or two in the quarter when loads are less plentiful. Avoid taking time off during the last two weeks of the quarter when freight options are more abundant.