Exploring the Advantages and Disadvantages of Team Driving

Posted: 05/21/2018
Category: Industry , Shipping
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Team drivers can be utilized to deliver freight when operating with critical loads and tight window times. In a team driver situation, two certified drivers share the ability to operate one truck as they work together to deliver freight. With a team, one driver is able to relax and rest while their hours renew and the second driver is awake operating the truck.

When looking for quick service, air expedites can be the fastest solution but the prices can skyrocket for the services. Often time’s shippers are trying to find the balance between quick delivery services and staying within a specified price range. Contracting team drivers can be the solution to finding the cost-effective balance while shipping loads quickly.

Below we explore an advantage and disadvantages that can come with sourcing team drivers.  

Faster Delivery Times
One benefit that comes with sourcing team drivers is the ability to decrease the transit time. Having two qualified operators available to drive freight decreases the waiting time needed for a drivers work hours to renew. Currently, drivers must take 10 consecutive hours off for rest and that additional needed time can hinder the ability to meet specific delivery windows. Operating with team drivers provides an opportunity to continue operating in the necessary driver downtime, as the other driver comes off their rest period and takes over operating the vehicle.
The ability to switch drivers between operating periods creates an opportunity to drive almost non-stop. Besides routine breaks, for things such as food and fuel, the transit times no longer include a down period for operators and creates an expedited solution.  

Increased Costs  

Team drivers create a unique opportunity for shippers to move freight quickly, but it also comes with increased costs. As the name suggests, a team of two people is now employed to move the freight rather than one.  Double the workforce leads to doubling the employee pay. Some team driver rates will not completely double in prices but the costs will rise to accommodate the increased workforce. It would also be beneficial to consider the fact rates could increase if there is a lack of team driver availability for the time or location. Sourcing a premium service tends to come with a premium price.

Before sourcing a team to move your freight, it would be beneficial to determine the necessity of the service. Instead of expediting the original shipment, there might be an opportunities to send additional materials from a supplier close to the delivery location or other similar options. Knowing your delivery needs and opportunities can help prepare you for what to expect from team drivers.  

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