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Looking Both Ways

Thoughts for the New Year

By John Mueller
Posted Dec 30th 2015 5:08PM

Some small changes with potential huge positive results for everyone in the Expedite industry

This post of Looking Both Ways will attempt to help all of us working in Expediting to experience 2016 to the fullest. We all spend a great portion of our life working – why not get the most from that time. Be all we can be. Carpe Diem - seize the day! Ideas to increase your earnings, live with less stress, make every ones lives better in the New Year. This is a team effort – a partnership between drivers, carrier clerical personnel and customers.

For Expedite drivers:

  • Be available a little more. When you work give 100%, when you do take time off play at 110%. Perhaps try to accept a few loads that you would not normally accept. When you take a break, make it a point to do something new or exciting that will bring satisfaction and relaxation to you and your family.
  • Be prompt with paperwork. Examples might include:
    • Update your logbook each time your duty status changes rather than playing catch up later. It can be miserable to catch up later.
    • Submitting your weekly paperwork to the carrier in a timely manner. This allows the Carrier to get their money just a little quicker from the customers. You like getting paid on time, don't you? Carriers do too.
  • Be more professional. Possible professional enhancements might be:
    • Appearance – driver and vehicle.
    • Speech
    • Driving habits

You can only make one first impression. People treat others as they are treated, and by those first impressions. Want to command respect? Try wearing a shirt and tie, or even a three button polo shirt with casual slacks and work shoes for a couple of weeks while driving your truck. When you encounter shipping and receiving staff at facilities, greet them in the most professional and friendly manner as possible. If you do not receive the same back, keep your cool and respond in the utmost professional manner. Kill them with kindness. I think you will find that you have commanded their respect. I believe you will be treated as a professional which is what you want. You will feel more confident and positive. The positive feelings will rid some of your stress and anxiety. You will feel better as a driver and as a person.

Keep your vehicle properly maintained and clean. Violations discovered in roadside inspections affect the safety rating of the carrier you are leased to and also your PSP report. Customers surely appreciate their freight being transported in a nice clean truck.

  • Be a better business person. Make it a point to learn how to determine, and know at all times, your actual cost per mile expenses; what you expect to earn per mile (see your lease agreement – read it and understand it); your availability percentage; know the number of load turn-downs and the "lost revenue" from those loads. Treat every decision as a business decision. Attend some seminars or workshops to keep you abreast of changes within our industry that have possible effects on your business. Second hand or here-say information can be tainted. There will be some excellent workshops at the 2016 Expedite Expo being held for the first time at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington Kentucky this July. Register online and attend.
  • Say a kind word to others, and perhaps share a positive comment of the carrier you are leased onto.
  • At the start of each morning encourage yourself to be a positive, confident person.

Implementing some of the suggestions above will surely lead to increased job satisfaction and earnings along with less stress.

This Year I Will Be Awesome!

For carrier personnel - Operations, Safety, Recruiting, Accounting and Sales:

  • Attempt to become more effective listeners. Stop and actually listen to what drivers and staff from other departments are saying. Once you listen then respond. People know best what occurs in their jobs and departments. You might learn from them.
  • You meet the same people "on the way down" that you did "on the way up". We all have different upbringing, education and experiences which form our personalities and knowledge. Respect everyone in every way. No one is better than anyone else. No one is more important than anyone else.
  • Make an extra effort to find the driver their next load. The next load not only benefits the driver, but also the carrier who pays your salary. One extra load a day can help 365 drivers over the course of a year.
  • Remember that your actions and efforts affect not only the livelihood of the employees and drivers of the carrier, but also extends to each of their family members. There are more people than you might have imagined that depend on the livelihoods earned by the jobs in this industry. If each person working at a carrier has 2.1 persons that depend on their earnings, and there are 200 drivers and 50 clerical positions within the organization, which means that 525 people are dependent on the success of that company. Those same 525 people are adversely affected by the failures.
  • Thank each other, and especially drivers for the jobs they do.

To customers:

  • Thank you for your business. We all appreciate it very much.
  • Please respect our drivers, their equipment and their time.
  • Just as your time and production is valuable, so is ours. Please be considerate and honor the times you have scheduled for pick-ups and deliveries.
  • Please package and prepare your products for shipping appropriately. Your products will be driven on our roads in trucks. Imagine all the possibilities.
  • Thank you for your business. We all appreciate it very much. Yes, you deserve to be told twice.

Visit frequently and make "positive" contributions. Get involved with support groups or Associations that support OUR industry. Be informed. Information is invaluable.

Have a wonderful and prosperous New Year. Best wishes to all.

Disclaimer: This blog is NOT intended to give legal advice, nor be a substitute for any training required by the Regulations.

Till the next blog, Thank you drivers and all industry associates for all you do! Please be safe!

Click here to read more of my blogs!

John Mueller, CDS, COSS


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