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Fuel for Thought

Work dumb and still do well?

By Greg Huggins
Posted Jan 22nd 2020 10:21PM

Work smarter, not harder.

Work dumb and still do well?

Well the first one, I have heard for a long time. It makes sense. But that second one? 

Work smarter, not harder. I get it. I try to live by it. For any business, expenses are the enemy.

Work smart = efficient, cost effective, revenue gains

Not harder = inefficient, unnecessary expenditures, loss of revenue.

My guess is that many try to follow this rule. After all, if you work smart, you will more than likely generate more revenue than it will cost for you to earn it (profit). Whereas, if you work harder, rather than smarter, chances are that you will spend more of the potential profit, thus leaving you with less at the end of the day and probably even a little more tired from the extra effort you have to put in just to earn less. That is not to say that working hard is a bad thing, just that working smarter will reap greater rewards for all your hard work. If you are a solo driver, you will quickly learn to work hard, but also to work smarter. Every job is either your job, or one that you will pay another to do for you, which can reduce your net profit.

Work dumb and still do well? This one floored me when I first heard it. On the surface, it seems to imply that one would not really need to try to succeed, but that it will just happen. However, when put into context, it seems to make a little more sense. A truck running team drivers, can, in theory, work dumb and still do well. Why? A near endless amount of available log hours and duties divided by two. These two differences mean that even if a team does not plan very well, many times they can ‘make it up’ simply by switching drivers, or if one can not do their usual part, the other can. 

A solo driver will need to plan a lot better in order to not fall short for a delivery. Many times with team drivers, each will have their strong points or regular duties to the team. While one may be better at mechanical, the other may be the bookkeeper. One may decide on which loads, while the other plots the course. Together a team working in unison can not try as hard and still do well. Solo drivers are the mechanic, bookkeeper, dispatcher and navigator all in one. If any of these duties are overlooked, there is no one else to handle it. 

Am I saying solo drivers are smarter? Absolutely not. 

Am I saying team drivers are dumber or don’t try? Absolutely not. 

What I am saying is that if you decide to drive a truck as a solo, be prepared for all that needs to be done in order for you to be as successful as possible. If you decide to drive team, you will have a little wiggle room for error, but if both team members run like a well oiled machine, you can really knock it out of the park. Work dumb and still do well? Sure, but why set a low threshold. Team or solo, strive to knock it out of the park every time.

(Just for reference, I first heard this “work dumb and still do well” statement from a successful team)

See you down the road,