The efficiency of long-haul trucking relies on the routine that each driver can maintain, Every person has their own circadian rhythm, which defines how long they can focus, when they need to take breaks, and how long they need to sleep. The law also requires that each individual driver be given a fair amount of time to rest which limits the total hours they can drive each day.
However, the truck doesn’t need to stop when there are two drivers in the cab. Team driving, sometimes called partner driving or co-driving, is when two people split the hours and duties of keeping a rig operating on long-hauls for long hours. One can drive while the other sleeps and they can double efficiency on stops handling cargo and maintaining the rig.
Today, we’re focusing on the efficiency and safety benefits of team driving for long-haul trucking and how to operate with functional teams.
What is Team Truck Driving?
Team truck driving is when two people share a rig and drive together. Because they can alternate shift hours, the truck doesn’t have to stop for rest periods. The pair will also spend many hours awake together, keeping each other company and helping one another remain alert.
For two people who are both skilled drivers who enjoy each others company, team driving is an excellent way to increase both efficiency and safety for a single owner-operator rig or as members of a trucking fleet.
Benefits of Team Driving
Around-the-Clock Routes for Speed and Efficiency
Two drivers are capable of working around the stop. Instead of stopping the rig when one driver reaches their sleep hours, the other driver can take over while their partner catches a nap. The more amenities inside the rig, the more capable any team will be in taking turns between driving and self-care.
Because drivers can switch off instead of stopping the route, team drivers are also more able to make faster deliveries and longer routes because they don’t make as many stops.
Safety and Attentiveness
Two drivers are also better at keeping each other alert when they are both awake, Conversation between the driver and passenger, both can watch the road and the passenger can lend their awareness to their driver partner
Passenger Distraction Support
Passengers can also handle technology like phones and navigation apps to help the driver avoid these distractions, The active driver needs to focus on the road but can receive news from the passenger far more safely than if they try to control a device inside the car, even the built-in devices.
Companionship Away from Home
Companionship is a vital part of work-life balance. Drivers are far less likely to become lonely or stressed out while far away from home for many days at a time. If the partner drivers enjoy each others company, conversation can help the miles fly by.
Double Cargo and Maintenance Capabilities
Team drivers also have double the capabilities to help out with cargo at the beginning and end of each drop off.
Challenges of Team Driving
Two Capable and Trustworthy Drivers
In order for team driving to provide all the benefits, first you need both drivers on a team to trust each other with good reason. If both drivers are capable and careful drivers, they can trust each other to achieve full capabilities on when to sleep and when to share hours.
Challenging Shift Schedules
Team driving does not mean that it’s easier to sleep during scheduled times. The shifts may be challenging for those who try to maintain partner driving as a routine or lifespan matter.
Drivers Must Get Along Well
Fleets can’t just assign drivers together for the benefits of team driving. Team drivers much be able to get along and to trust each other and live in harmony together, which is why best friend and husband-wife pairs are typically welcome.
Inquire About Team Driving Truck Insurance
There’s no denying that team driving is great for efficiency and safety. But what about insurance? To find out about how your commercial trucking insurance will be influenced by partner driving, contact us today.