The Power of Planning Ahead
The power of planning ahead is loss to a certain extent as a truck driver. The reality is that when more than just you is a part of the planning process (freight, shippers, receivers, your dispatcher, traffic conditions, etc) you never know if your plans will work out.
Having said that, its not impossible, and many times it will work out if you start early enough.
If the company has plenty of freight, and the dispatcher is competent and cares about the drivers, then its a good chance most of your important plans will turn out ok as long as you left them know well in advance and remind him/her as you approach the week of the important date.
Notice, I said important. Two reasons I intentionally added the word important. If you are trying to get scheduled time off too frequently with most companies, you will be both a burden for the company (because they can't efficiently run the truck like that), and you will keep yourself from making the type of money you expected to make (because you can't get the miles you need to make the money if your time out on the road is always affected by your need to be back in).
If this is your situation, (needing to be back home frequently) trucking is simply not the type of job for you. You are basically incompatible for the trucking lifestyle.
But let's continue...like I said, if you are a driver and you need to be home tell the dispatcher once and depending on him/her to keep on top of it is taking a risk. They handle a lot of drivers at most large companies each with their own problems and needs, its easy to forget.
But this is also why you want a good relationship with all people you deal with in life. Especially important to have one with your dispatcher. Like I said it is a team effort. But no worries, you have the type of positive attitude that makes all of this easy! I can just tell. I mean really, what type of person wastes time reading about planning ahead?
I will tell what type....a winner.
The Importance of Planning Ahead
The importance of planning ahead is obvious. Even though you can't predict if the plans will work out, you need to plan ahead the best you can. Try not to over commit yourself to unnecessary obligations and let people know who are connected to the plans how being a truck driver means things may not go down as planned so the stress level is kept to a minimum if things don't go as planned.
Summary: Planning ahead is difficult not impossible. Its just that sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't. You need to understand that. Family at home you needs to understand that also.
Tell the fam I said, "be easy, give you a break, It's not always the driver's fault when hometime does not work out"
He/she can't leave the truck and jump in an airplane without the companies consent if he wants to stay employed.
If he's supporting the family then, well you do the math! He needs the miles and the job.
Learn To Plan Ahead it Will
Leave Power of planning ahead go to disadvantages
Serve You Well in Life