How Team Driving Optimizes Freight Management

Team driving is the new, old best practice for many shippers and carriers.

Companies have long recognized truck driving teams’ value where two CDL-licensed drivers take turns driving a truck to expedite long-haul trucking. But with increased online shopping and changes to federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, shippers and carriers now have more incentive to adopt a team-driving approach:

  • Customers pay more to keep high-value freight moving. With two truck drivers handling the rig, freight is continuously on the move, covering more miles in a shorter amount of time. The team approach maximizes freight turnaround, ensuring carriers meet customers’ demands.
  • One driver can drive to his/her HOS limit while the other driver takes over. HOS regs are the same for team drivers and solo drivers. In a one-team truck (with two on-duty and two driving clocks), each driver has a 14-hour on-duty clock and an 11-hour driving clock. Further, each driver must take a 30-minute break during his/her shift. He/she is limited to 60 hours in seven days or 70 hours in eight days, just like solo drivers. Solo drivers must shut down at least 10 hours every day.
  • Teams on average log anywhere from 4,500 – 5,000 miles per week. Solo drivers log only about 2,400 – 2,800 miles per week.
  • Teams sharing different shifts can work extended hours. Teamwork generally minimizes delivery times, thanks to fewer stops and break times and quicker turnaround.

Team driving: Truck drivers benefit too when that freight keeps moving

While team driving can be an acquired skill for truck drivers, it provides truck drivers with many benefits, too:

  • Team drivers usually earn more money than solo drivers. Team drivers can run significantly more miles than they ever could by themselves.
  • Large trucking companies may incentivize team drivers. Sign-on bonuses, a 5,000-mile-per-week guarantee, a higher pay-per-mile rate, a higher safety bonus rate, and priority dispatch can all sweeten the pot for driving teams.
  • Some companies offer team-matching programs. Drivers can locate a teammate based on personal preferences, geography, load volume, and more, giving drivers more options.
  • Team drivers usually see more priority loads. If freight needs to get somewhere fast, carriers often turn to teams before solo drivers.

Axele just introduced a Team feature within their TMS which allows dispatchers and trip planners to visualize drivers’ schedules. Seeing solo drivers and teams on a weekly Gantt chart ensures proper assignment of loads with no overlap. Axele TMS integrates HoS data from electronic logging devices (ELD), so dispatchers and schedulers can see the availability of all drivers and teams. Clear availability information enables better scheduling of the transport plan.

Want to learn more about reaching your freight management goals? We can help. Contact Axele today.

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