Commercial Vehicle and Truck Route Planning and Optimization
Since different countries and states have different traffic regulations, particular vehicles, such as those that have more than 2 axles, hazardous materials restrictions, weight, width, height, bridge, and tunnel avoidance, and other Class 1- 8 vehicle restrictions, can be prohibited from traveling on certain roads, adding more complexity to the already complicated Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) and Vehicle Route Problem (VRP). In addition to posing a serious danger to public and driver safety, driving commercial vehicles on public roads can also result in substantial fines and law violations. In order to minimize risks, increase operational efficiency, and avoid fines for using prohibited roads, Route4Me allows you to plan and optimize routes specifically for commercial vehicles. To plan and optimize commercial routes, first, you need to build a fleet of commercial vehicles (learn how to create commercial vehicles). Next, you can either use the default or create custom Vehicle Profiles with commercial parameters (learn how to create custom Vehicle Profiles). After that, you can assign commercial Vehicle Profiles to the vehicles in your fleet so that they can be used for commercial routing. Thus, when you assign a particular vehicle to a route, Route4Me takes into account all commercial parameters from this vehicle’s Vehicle Profile and applies them to the optimization in order to produce the most cost-effective routes on commercially approved roads.
To plan routes optimized for commercial vehicles, first, make sure that you have commercial vehicles in your Route4Me fleet. Commercial vehicles are the vehicles in your Route4Me fleet that are created for commercial routing (learn more) and have an assigned Vehicle Profile with commercial parameters (“Profile” column).
To assign a default or custom Vehicle Profile to a particular vehicle in your fleet, click on “Edit” next to the vehicle that you want to use for commercial routing and then scroll to the “Vehicle Profile” section where you can select one of the existing Vehicle Profiles accordingly.
When you assign a commercial Vehicle Profile to a particular vehicle, this vehicle inherits all commercial parameters from the corresponding Vehicle Profile and when you use this vehicle for planning routes, the routes are optimized accounting for the commercial parameters in this vehicle’s Vehicle Profile. To learn more about creating custom Vehicle Profiles, visit this page.
To plan and optimize routes for commercial vehicles, first, go to “Plan New Route” from the navigation menu and then select one of the preferred route data import methods (Interactive Map Editor, Copy-and-Paste, Upload a File, or Import Data).
After that, adjust the following route optimization settings:
- Go to the “Optimization” tab;
- Select the preferred optimization type: Single Driver Route, Multiple Drivers Route, or Balanced Team Route;
- Choose where to end the routes after the last stop on each route is visited and serviced.
Next, go to the “User” tab, and then select the commercial vehicle that you want to assign to the route. After that, specify the rest of the route’s parameters to your preference and then click on the “Create Route and Proceed to Add Addresses” button. NOTE: If the vehicle that is assigned to the route doesn’t have an assigned Vehicle Profile with commercial parameters, the route will not be commercially optimized.
When you assign a commercial vehicle to a route, Route4Me optimizes this route accounting for the commercial parameters in the vehicle’s Vehicle Profile and produces the most cost-effective sequence of stops on commercially approved roads. Since commercial vehicles cannot travel on all public roads, the system finds the most optimal detour roads. Thus, to avoid fines for driving on prohibited roads, commercial routes can have longer travel times and cover longer distances than the routes optimized for regular vehicles.
Routes that are optimized for regular vehicles have fewer constraints since regular vehicles are allowed to travel on most public roads without any specific size, weight, length, and other restrictions. Thus, for example, regular vehicles can travel over the majority of bridges and through the majority of tunnels. Regular vehicles are also less restricted when traveling around and through the city since they easily can fit on very narrow roads, drive under all types of overpasses, and so on.
Depending on the vehicle’s specific weight, size, length, and other parameters, commercial routes can be optimized to avoid all roads that prohibit the use of commercial vehicles with the corresponding parameters. Thus, for example, commercial routes can avoid driving over the bridges with specific weight restrictions, or under the overpasses and through the tunnels with particular maximum height limitations. Commercial vehicles of a specific size can also be restricted from driving on certain public roads that are too small for them or too dangerous for public safety (i.e., hazmat vehicles), and in such cases, commercially optimized routes can avoid driving straight through the city by favoring highways or toll roads.