Looking Both Ways
The 20 Carat Driver
This post of Look Both Ways attempts to remind you of the positives that make truck driving a rewarding career. The new generation needs to see the positives - reasons to believe that truck driving is a noble and profitable profession.
Years ago I attended a recruiting seminar presented by Lance Porter. I took two important principles away from that seminar. The first is that every truck driver is like a 10 carat diamond. At that time in the early 1980’s a 10 carat diamond was worth about $100,000. That was the amount of revenue that a good truck driver could bring to your company in a year. The second idea was to be a positive, confident person. I begin each day with those two thoughts.
Today, when a regulatory change is issued, many within the trucking industry think the government is sending an invitation for folks to complain. Most accept that invitation with open arms setting fire to the kindling that will soon be a wild fire of negative resentment engulfing acres of our industry. Most people are reluctant to change. Change is inevitable. Progress never occurs without change, yet we all desire positive progress. I believe that some of these latest regulatory changes are intended to make the life of the truck driver better, for our generation and the next generation of drivers. Try a positive approach towards these changes. The industry has to be safer to entice new drivers to it. Good things are coming your way from some of these changes.
A driver who starts their day with a small issue, or feels they were wronged, often spends up to the next 11 hours growing that small issue from a molehill into a mountain. “I think dispatch gave that load I wanted to another driver. Daisy Dispatcher told me the load cancelled. The company is just out to get me”. Truth is the load did cancel and Daisy worked very hard to find that driver another load. The driver does not contemplate the fact that he or she has a load which is going to make or break their paycheck, but rather dwells on the disappointment that they didn’t get the load they wanted. Imagine how this driver might answer the questions of an aspiring driver at a rest area or travel plaza during that day. Would you ponder a career in an industry full of disappointment? Be a positive, confident person – you are an ambassador to the industry. Engage folks interested in our industry with YOUR success stories. Years from now these will be “the good old days”.
Tell people interested in truck driving about the times you deliver a load to a city or town you’ve only heard about in magazines? That first load to a place like San Diego California. What about Atlanta Georgia in the spring? Or the first time you drove through the Smoky Mountains on the roads around Knoxville and Asheville? The ability to see so many places such as these is a gift bestowed only to truck drivers and a select group of others. This is just one of the many wonderful rewards of being a truck driver.
How many friends do you have, or better yet, how many great folks have you met because of your chosen career in trucking? Within our Expedite community think of how many friends you have made. You may see some of these people only once a year at the Expedite Expo. They are not just friends - these are folks that would sacrifice to assist you in times of need. There is great camaraderie in trucking. What about the BBQ that follows the Expedite Expo? Driver Appreciation Days celebrated at trucking companies and the truck stops? What about driving championships or rodeos? Ever heard of Safety Director Appreciation day? Is there a National Dispatcher appreciation day? The country celebrates the truck drivers of America for an entire week each year. Talk about something neat that may appeal to a person contemplating a career in the trucking industry!
The bumper stickers say it correctly – If you have it, a truck driver brought it! How important is that?
One of the reasons you love driving truck may be the freedoms granted to drivers. No boss breathing down your back. You certainly have many responsibilities, but you have the freedom to decide how to accomplish those responsibilities in many ways.
Truckers are still, and will always be, the knights of the highway. Describe those feelings you get when performing a good deed on the highway. Truckers are always the first to assist disabled motorists and always first to render aid to the accident scene victims. Truckers are also some of the most giving folks promoting charitable causes such as the Great Lakes Convoy and Trucker Buddy. Share with others some of the intrinsic benefits you derive from your job as a truck driver.
Great truck drivers are still like 10 carat diamonds. Revenue produced by a professional driver is still relative to the value of a ten carat diamond. Drivers who promote a positive image of the industry are surely 20 carat diamonds. Be a positive, confident person every day. Focus on those reasons that you became a truck driver and enjoy every minute of them.
Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.
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Till the next blog, Thank you drivers for all you do!. Please be safe!
John Mueller, CDS, COSSwww.PTLLLC.com