Be the best you can: Part 3
The third part in the series of how to be the best professional transport operator you can be
AS I PREVIOUSLY WROTE, there comes a time when you are looking for someone to work with, either an employee or a sub-contractor, who will spend a substantial time on the road, driving from point A to point B and interacting with the general public on your behalf.
What are the three most important things you look for in a person? The feedback I received from a community of 50,000 drivers and transport owners and operators was:
• Attitude of the person: 44 per cent
• Customer service and communication: 21 per cent
• Driving ability and record: 15 per cent
• Personal hygiene: 12 per cent
• Mechanical skill: 8 per cent.
We have discussed the first four things that people ‘look for’ in a person being attitude and customer service/ communication, driving ability and personal hygiene. This month, let us talk about the final area of interest when employing or engaging a person for a job.
BE MECHANICALLY MINDED
The professional transport operator is not only about driving but also understands the basic mechanics of how their vehicles operate, and they can fix most minor issues while on the road. They can perform repairs as necessary, such as changing a tyre or light bulb, to help ensure the truck meets compliance and other road and industry safety standards.
A professional transport operator has an understanding of modern vehicle dynamics. Not only must they be alert mechanically but also be able to evaluate and assess their condition and be aware of fatigue factors.
They also know when to report something is wrong and get the assistance that they need. An aptitude for operating the rig is a gift, as is an ability to ‘feel’ what is happening to your truck and trailers – not only see and hear.
They are tuned in to their surroundings and will notice a strange sound, vibration or an odour which may indicate an early warning signal of a more significant problem.
Complete daily checks before leaving to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. A professional driver understands how important the safety of the freight and other users on the road is.
They contribute to safer roads not only for themselves but for everyone who is sharing the road with them.
Now that we have covered off on what typical employers look for in an employee or engaging a sub-contractor, let us reverse this scenario and ask what three things employees or sub-contractors look for when choosing a company to work for.
Upon running a short poll in the same group of 50,000 drivers and transport owners and operators, what came through loud and clear was:
1. Pay rates
2. Payment terms
3. Consistent work
4. Company’s attitude
5. Workplace health and safety. Everyone who owns more than one truck doesn’t need to be told this, as we already know it. However, it is confirmed loud and clear.
Subcontractors, even if they only have one truck, are in business for themselves. They are not an employee and cannot expect the same privileges as an employee. To provide a freight service from A to B and have the freight arrive in excellent condition and on time, transport companies need to overcome a considerable number of challenges to make the money flow.
Let us tackle a significant issue head on, which has a flow-on effect to everyone and has an impact on all these areas of concern. This is meeting your customer expectations. Let’s face it – without customers you have no business, no payments, no need for any employees or sub-contractors and no cash flow or lifestyle. However, as timeframes get tighter and tighter, some customers may expect from their transport company faster and faster delivery times, which is never feasible nor safe.
It is essential to be transparent with customers and make sure all parties are on the same page – from the warehouse, driving operators and administration personnel. In the logistics industry, it’s keeping up with the latest innovations in technology. The best transport companies are underpinned by technology solutions that help to streamline and improve their businesses.
Transport companies face different challenges when it comes to delivering goods from A to B. There’s a lot to keep in mind, from fuel and other running costs, customer expectations and the latest technological developments. Transport companies can flourish with measures to overcome these common problems.
These are some of the things that I wanted to share with you. If you would like to know more secrets of my 25 years of industry experience, I am pleased to offer you a 30-minute free discovery session where we can talk about “what is your plan, so everything doesn’t fall back to you” in your business. Or we can go deeper into your business, your fears, your story or your battles within these 30 minutes. It is up to you and guess what, it’s absolutely free!
Feel free to share this article if you think it can add value to your family, friends or colleagues. Thank you, and I hope you learned something new from this short read.
“Some customers may expect from their transport company faster and faster delivery times.”