Nothing beats rushing cross-country with a hot load and arriving at the receiver to find out they closed early on a Friday afternoon. That happened a few times to me in my 15 years of trucking. That’s why you always plan in advance where you want to be if you have to layover.
The last thing you want to hear is having the appointment changed to another day
After informing the broker/agent on the closure/rescheduling, there’s nothing more you can do but find a nice, somewhat quiet place to hunker down for the night – or maybe two. Layovers are more frequent in some areas of logistics than others.
In my opinion, less-than-truckload (LTL) and over-dimensional freight have a higher number of layovers than other types of trucking. Back when I was on a contract running LTL transfer loads from Grand Prairie, Texas to Birmingham, Alabama, you had to layover at the terminal because you literally had less than an hour left on your 11-hour driving rule. The 650-mile trip in that lane meant you had very little room for error.
Heavy haulers and construction drivers deal with layovers as well. There are certain days you cannot haul permitted loads. Federal holidays and certain state holidays are often days when drivers have to lay over wherever they can. The haulers try to plan their freight to be delivered by then, but unforeseen circumstances can cause extra days to be added to a trip.
And there’s always that magic thing called the weather. Honestly, who has not had to deal with a storm or snow day. Making sure you’re in a safe area where someone will not slide into you hydroplaning or skidding on ice is important to consider.
How to deal with the layover blues
Trust me, having to stay somewhere more days than you planned for is a pain. Time your truck is not rolling is money not in your pocket.
Having things to do during downtime is important for one’s sanity. There’s only so much sitting in a truck, staring at a phone, waiting for that miniscule hope you might get lucky and deliver sooner than later that one person can take.
Having a schedule of chores might sound off, but it does help break the monotony. Cleaning, meal prep, and a daily workout routine is good for the soul. Having a good pair of walking shoes and just going for a stroll (with proper protection from the criminal elements as well as the weather) is good for the body too.
There is always something to do in trucking. You just need to want to get out and do it. Having unplanned layovers is a pain in the rear end, but they will happen. But it does not have to be a waste of time and money if you know what to do with the time.