There are many kinds of acronyms used in the business of transportation. These acronyms are used to indicate various factors that people involved in the business should know about.
One of these acronyms is PTA. This one acronym has many kinds of full forms, and many of them hold similar meanings. For different kinds of transportation, the PTA acronym can also hold various meanings.
But what does PTA stand for in trucking? In the trucking business category of transportation, the term PTA stands for Projected Time Of Availability. And what does this projected time of availability even mean when it comes to trucking. For that, we will try to learn about what it entails.
What PTA Stands for in Trucking
In trucking work, truckers have various terms to use. Some would sound like unofficial slurs or codes, while some terms are set in abbreviations. And one of these popular terms is known as PTA.
The common meaning of PTA you will find when it comes to trucking terms is the “projected time of availability.” This refers to the time schedule that a trucker themselves have to make to avoid making mistakes with certain jobs given by dispatchers.
There are times you, as a trucker, could mess up when it comes to when you need to pick up a certain load of goods and by what time you need to deliver it to a certain destination.
What if you decided to take a break during that time? You might end up being late to deliver. You need to add that break into your schedule as well to make sure everything plays out well.
Important Factors Regarding PTA in Trucking
To understand PTA or projected time of availability, we should learn about some of the factors related to it so that we know how it affects a trucker’s daily life and how the term is used around in the business. Below the features are given:
1. The Time Of The Pick-Up And The Drop Off
The moment the truck driver gets a new dispatcher or task, they need to make sure they know the correct timing to when the load should be picked up and when it needs to be delivered. Sometimes the timing may be set in a way that will not be efficient.
For example, the time you are supposed to do a pick-up is at three o’clock in the afternoon, and you are about 10 minutes away from the place you will be picking the load up. This is happening while the time now is ten o’clock in the morning.
What now? You will have hours before you need to get moving to the location. You will have to kill those extra hours somehow before you get to the pick-up point. In the meantime, you could also try to manage to do a few more dispatchers in the meantime before you go to that first dispatcher’s pick-up point.
The same problem will arise if the delivery time is also pretty late from the pick-up time. You will have to find a different task to do to fill in that gap of time before the delivery time.
It might not be possible to make other deliveries since you already picked up one load and currently possessing the load, so you will not have any more space for a new load.
If possible, you should try contacting the shipper or receiver if they are alright with receiving their deliveries early. In that way, you can get the first load off your hands and work for the next dispatcher.
2. Keep In Touch With Everyone About Updated Information
The truck driver needs to always keep in touch with everyone. This includes the person who placed the order for the dispatch, the people waiting for the truck driver to arrive and pick up the goods, and the people waiting for the truck driver to deliver the goods to them.
There might be other people the truck driver may have to keep in contact with, like his employer or a coworker he works with. They will need to discuss working hours and the hours when the truck driver might be free or off duty.
If you ever find a certain task difficult, make sure to call your dispatcher and cancel it. You might have trouble with your truck, or maybe you will not be able to follow the projected time of availability that was given by the dispatcher.
Instead of messing up a task, it is better to call it off or try to hand it over to any other truck driver you know. You will also have to inform the customers about this switch too.
3. Estimated Time Of Availability (ETA)
Another term that is related to the acronym PTA is ETA. It stands for Estimated Time of Availability. Some people might mix up the two terms and think they are synonymous with each other and can be used as replacements for each other. But there is a slight difference you need to be aware of to avoid making this mistake.
For example, the estimated time of availability for the truck driver at the receiver location could be at two o’clock in the afternoon. But there is no guarantee you will immediately be available after that. The customer receiving the goods will take a lot of time to just manage to unload everything.
Altogether there is a chance that your truck will finally be empty around the time of four o’clock in the afternoon. And that timing is your projected time of availability. It will end up falling different from the estimated time of availability.
If the customer or boss mixes up the terms, you might get in trouble since they will assume that the estimated time is your projected time and think you are available and free for another dispatch.
You will need to clear the misunderstanding of such terms and make sure everyone you are working with is updated on such information.
4. The Route The Truck Driver Will Take
Before becoming a truck driver officially and doing tasks, it is important that you know a clear outline of the map of the country you are working in currently.
This way, you will know all about the addresses of where you need to go and also have a clear understanding of how long it will take to go to a place and come from a place.
Your knowledge of shortcuts will also be enriched once you have the mapping memorized. It will definitely make your job easier if you have tried touring around the different places in cities in your truck so that you get used to it.
At least you will not have to rely on a GPS (Global positioning system) device on your truck or your phone. And chances are pretty much low of you getting lost with loads of goods in your truck.
Read Further: What Does Live Load Mean in Trucking?
Being a truck driver must be exhausting because of all the various acronyms and terminology you have to learn, and always make sure you follow strict schedules and timings.
Knowing what does PTA stand for in trucking and how it is calculated and used is a very important skill truck drivers need to know in order to have an efficient work schedule.