Be the best you can

There are five im­por­tant cri­te­ria em­ploy­ers look for when hir­ing the best pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tors

Owner Driver - - Driving Your Business - Lynette Gray

IASKED THE QUES­TION re­cently: “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 five most im­por­tant things you look for in a per­son?

This is the feed­back I re­ceived from a com­mu­nity of 50,000 driv­ers and trans­port own­ers and op­er­a­tors. I trust that this will help owner-driv­ers, em­ploy­ees and em­ploy­ers find the best-qual­ity per­son for their ex­ten­sive range of jobs through­out this great land we call Aus­tralia.

• 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

Let’s talk about th­ese. It wasn’t a par­tic­u­larly big sur­prise that at­ti­tude came out on top, how­ever it is sur­pris­ing that your at­ti­tude makes up for al­most half of you get­ting em­ployed or en­gaged as a trans­port op­er­a­tor or an owner-driver.

This month we are go­ing to talk about the top two and next month we will talk about the last three ar­eas that we look for when em­ploy­ing or en­gag­ing a per­son in a job.


A pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor has a good sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity and ad­heres to the safety re­quire­ments when driv­ing, is cour­te­ous to clients, and treats the freight with ut­most care. They are re­li­able and fol­low through with their com­mit­ment and un­der­stand the ne­ces­si­ties of meet­ing dead­lines.

Pro­fes­sional driv­ers seek so­lu­tions to lo­gis­ti­cal chal­lenges and don’t com­plain or whinge for change to oc­cur. They are fo­cused on com­mit­ment, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and de­liv­er­ing re­sults to fur­ther the com­pany’s mis­sion. Their sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity means they take own­er­ship in their role by keep­ing in­dus­try knowl­edge and skills cur­rent.

Pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tors do what they say they’re go­ing to do, how and when they prom­ise to do it. They re­spect that their em­ploy­ers and cus­tomers have dead­lines and sched­ules that highly de­pend on their ex­pert per­for­mance. A pro­fes­sional truck driver aims to be part of the so­lu­tion to ship­ping and cargo trans­port chal­lenges.

To be a re­spected pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor, they will not skimp on any as­pects of the rules and reg­u­la­tions of the Aus­tralian trans­port in­dus­try ei­ther. They are con­fi­dent in their ap­proach and the gen­uinely pro­fes­sional driver takes great pride and sat­is­fac­tion of hav­ing done the job right, legally and safely.

They also treat and re­spect the equip­ment as if they were mak­ing the pay­ments on it and give real value for money that their em­ployer and cus­tomers spend. They are re­spon­si­ble and re­li­able, and will also prove that they are in­dis­pens­able.

Ul­ti­mately, pro­fes­sional truck op­er­a­tors come to work each day well rested and pre­pared to meet the day’s chal­lenges.

It is vi­tal to have pa­tience with other driv­ers on the road. By in­ter­act­ing cour­te­ously, pro­fes­sional driv­ers help keep our high­ways safe.

Fur­ther, they treat their load with re­spect and the un­der­stand­ing that the cus­tomer’s prod­uct is of prime im­por­tance.

In the trans­port in­dus­try, driv­ers who have a good sense of hu­mour are great for morale to laugh and let things roll off one’s back. There will be times when things get stress­ful and you are stuck in a spot, due to break­downs or traf­fic snarls. The sit­u­a­tion will even­tu­ally turn out, and things will get bet­ter.

“Abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate – be on the phone to the cus­tomer (or our of­fice) be­fore the cus­tomer sees a prob­lem. Al­ways be on the front foot.” – Andy Camp­bell.


A nat­u­ral ten­dency for cus­tomer ser­vice is an es­sen­tial qual­ity for the pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor when deal­ing with cus­tomers or clients who are ei­ther ship­ping or re­ceiv­ing freight. They know some small habits peo­ple can use to judge oth­ers for self-im­prove­ment.

They try to have a good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with ev­ery­one they work with and know how to get on well with their em­ploy­ers, clients, ware­house work­ers, truck stop staff, other driv­ers and ev­ery­one they meet dur­ing their work­day.

Be­ing able to cope with work­ing on one’s own for long hours or days at a time takes a cer­tain level of skill, and they may find them­selves lonely at times. Even the fact that they spend most of their time alone on the road, ex­cel­lent in­ter­per­sonal skills will turn in­ex­pe­ri­enced truck driv­ers into great ones. The pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor has the self-con­fi­dence to han­dle al­most any prob­lem alone, and knows how to make the right de­ci­sion dur­ing an emer­gency, at a mo­ment’s no­tice.

They re­mem­ber their in­struc­tions and do not lose sight of the big pic­ture. They com­mu­ni­cate any is­sues with the freight co­or­di­na­tor and their clients when things go awry so that ev­ery­one re­mains on the same page. They fully con­trib­ute to be­ing part of the so­lu­tion and not the prob­lem. While it is es­sen­tial to main­tain a set sched­ule, it is equally im­por­tant to ex­er­cise pa­tience when is­sues arise.

Don’t hes­i­tate to send me a mes­sage and I will send you some in­for­ma­tion on your topic in the ques­tion. If you would like to know more se­crets of my 30 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.

“A pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor has a good sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity”

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