Daytime or Nighttime Driving? Strategies for Professional Truck Drivers

Factors to Consider When Establishing Your Trucking Schedule

Whether you decide to drive your truck during the daytime or nighttime is dependent on a variety of factors: your pick-up and delivery schedule, traffic, available parking, and your personal preferences. Adjusting to new work and sleep schedules can be challenging for professional truck drivers, so it’s important to consider these factors when setting your game plan for transporting each load. Continue reading to learn more about creating a schedule that works for you!

Pick-Up & Delivery

The freight you’re hauling has a lot to do with the schedule your truck must follow. Refrigerated and dry goods oftentimes follow different schedules. This means that if your freight is refrigerated, you typically have a specific time that your load must be delivered. You will need to work on strict deadlines. Therefore, your truck will need to be running both during the day and at night. However, sometimes if you are delivering dry goods, you will be given a range of time, such as 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., to which the load must be delivered to the customer. This allows you to create a schedule that runs mostly during the day. It is important to remain flexible because your schedule and loads may change at any time causing you to adjust your sleep and driving routines.

Potential Traffic Jams

Another factor that may affect your driving schedule are potential traffic jams. If you are set to drive through major cities such as Los Angeles or Atlanta during peak driving hours, you can expect to be sitting in your truck for extended periods of time. Time is valuable in the trucking industry. Truck driving is a competitive field, so you always want to keep your truck moving. Ultimately, time is money.

To avoid sitting in traffic, it is important to plan out your routes ahead of time. If you know you will need to travel through major cities, it is vital to plan your route accordingly, so you hit these areas at low driving times which typically are during the nighttime. Again, be flexible and willing to adapt to necessary schedule changes.

Available Parking

Oftentimes, parking is the last thing on your mind during your delivery. However, parking is a major factor that affects the schedules of many truckers. Typically, all professional truck drivers would love to run a 9 to 5 route, and then turn in for the night. However, this cannot be the case because when you go to park your truck at a truck stop, you will be stuck in a congested area attempting to find a spot. Many times there will not be a safe place for you to park, so you will be left parking on a wide area on a shoulder or an off-ramp.

To avoid the hassle of parking, many professional truck drivers recommend that you begin your route early and finish at an earlier time to ensure you always have a place to park. If this is not a viable option, many truckers often recommend parking in the customer’s lot. If you’re considering this option, it is crucial that you contact the customer to ensure they have room for you to park your truck overnight.

Personal Preferences

The final factor affecting your trucking schedule are your personal preferences. Maybe, you thrive during the nighttime, or consider yourself to be a morning person. You may also choose to drive during the daytime, so that you are on a similar schedule to your loved ones so communicating will be easier. Whichever you choose, remember to remain flexible, but also choose the schedule that best fits your lifestyle. Ultimately, a successful freight delivery is dependent on how healthy, dedicated and well-rested you are.


Want to learn more about the truck driving industry? Advanced Career Institute offers training courses to assist you in earning your Class A CDL or Class B CDL. ACI has three campus locations throughout the California area in Merced, Visalia and Fresno. To learn more about earning your California CDL, head over to our Truck Driver Training Programs page!