Ever wondered how a hauling company plans its routes before transportation?
While the average person may answer "no," this information is helpful for utility managers who want to make sure their project stays on track.
Route planning is important as it aims to find the quickest, most direct, and safest route for the delivery fleet. This should save time and money during transportation.
But route planning is more important for you as a utility project manager because a transportation company’s route planning process will show you how careful the transportation company is with your load.
A transportation company that prioritizes optimization routing typically cares about reliable transportation and wants to keep its transportation services affordable for you.
If that is the type of company you want to hire for your transportation needs, then you should know a bit about route planning and how it typically works.
Here are some considerations that utility hauling companies should account for when planning routes for their loads.
Analyze the Load
First, most utility hauling companies will analyze the load, so they know exactly what they are hauling and what load requirements apply.
To analyze the load, they will measure the length and the weight of the shipment. If it’s an oversize load, the hauling company will have to get oversize hauling permits to be allowed to transport the load. These permits are different by state, so if the company only gets a permit for one state, they will have to plan a route that stays inside that same state the entire trip.
The hauling company could also consider the load’s center of gravity on the trailer. If the center of gravity can’t be positioned ideally on the trailer, the company may consider slower and smoother routes just to ensure the safety of the transport.
Determine Road Constraints
With heavy loads, there are probably several roads that the utility transportation truck won’t be able to travel on.
A lot of rural country roads have weight limits because the large trucks may cause potholes or other damages. Also, some roads have weaker structures that can’t hold the weight of a truck and its load. For example, certain bridges may not be designed for large weights and are at risk for collapse if a vehicle over the weight limit tries to cross.
Aside from weight limits, there are other reasons for road constraints. Certain roads may not allow large trucks simply because they can cause traffic congestion They could also prohibit large trucks because the roads are simply not large enough for them, like small streets in cities.
Regardless of the restriction reason, transportation companies must determine what roads prohibit large trucks and exclude them from their delivery route.
Avoid Road Construction
If possible, most transportation companies will try to avoid road construction as it can significantly lengthen the amount of time it takes to transport the load. Optimizing the travel time is especially important for long hauls because truck drivers have limited hours of service before they have to stop and rest for a while.
So, transportation companies should search for the most updated information on current road closures and road construction. This information helps them plan the most time-efficient and cost-effective route.
Consider the Time of the Year
Different seasons come with different challenges for utility hauling companies. In the winter, heavy snow storms can close roads and significantly delay transportation. During springtime, heavy rains can reduce the safe speed of travel and even wash out bridges.
To add more challenges, the weather will vary by location as well, so a truck driver may encounter winter winds in one location and run into springtime rains while traveling.
Thus, safe transportation companies will consider the weather in their present location and in the final destination. They may plan routes to avoid localized storms. Or, if necessary, they might delay the transportation date or time to keep everyone safe and deliver your load securely.
Ask Your Preference
When planning routes, the transportation company might find that one route is faster while another route is cheaper. For example, a toll road could be the fastest path to your worksite since it allows high transportation speeds, but you will have to pay for the toll and the gas to travel at high speeds. In that scenario, a more direct route on a slower highway would be a cheaper option, even though it takes longer.
If it comes down to a decision like that between faster or cheaper, the transportation company should ask about your preference. After all, their choice will ultimately affect your project one way or the other, so you should have the final say on whether the bottom line is faster or cheaper.
Use Route Planning Software
With all the factors to consider for route planning, most transportation companies use route planning software. This software uses developed algorithms to take the data given and solve the route problems with practical results. It can quickly adjust routes if different data is found, and it enables the hauling company to maximize its efficiency with route planning and transportation.
Obviously, route planning software makes route optimization easier for the company because they don’t have to spend time making detailed calculations again and again for different routes. But the software is also better for you because route results from planning software are often more reliable than human-calculated routes. So, you can trust that the route for your load is the best possible option.
Monitor the Transporation
After the load has been sent off, your transportation company should track the load’s progress and stay in communication with the truck driver to keep everyone safe.
Not only should the company monitor the load, but they should watch the route as well for any unexpected changes, like accidents or sudden bad weather. With this monitoring, the company can make real-time adjustments to the route plan and ensure that the route remains the most cost-efficient, safe, and timely route option.
Blackwood Resources Utility Hauling
There are a lot of factors that need careful consideration for route planning. If your transportation company neglects one or more elements, you could lose time and money during transportation.
Find a transportation company that will take route planning seriously and work for the best solution for your utility project. Try Blackwood Resources.
Our dedicated team of professional drivers and operators will work to find the best route for your project needs. With over 5 years of experience across the United States, we’ve learned a lot about planning optimized routes, and we will use all that experience to plan a successful transport for your utility materials.
As an asset-based company, we own and operate equipment specially designed to haul and unload your materials. Forget about the hassle of getting enough equipment and time to unload your materials once they arrive on site. We take care of the entire unloading process for you.
Concerned that we can’t haul your overlength materials? Our truck beds have the capacity for materials up to 90’ long! We can transport your wood, steel, or concrete utility poles. We will also haul pilings, pipes, transformers, and other oversized or awkward materials, so we have your transportation needs covered.
Let Blackwood Resources take care of transportation for your next utility project—you won’t have to worry about hauling or route optimization. Contact us at email@example.com or 812-676-8770 today!