Be the best you can: Part 2

The sec­ond part in the se­ries of how to be the best pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor you can be

Owner Driver - - Driving Your Business - Lynette Gray

FOL­LOW­ING ON from the ques­tion I asked last month: 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 in­ter­ac­tion with the gen­eral pub­lic on your be­half … what are the five 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: 2 per cent

• Me­chan­i­cal skill: 8 per cent

Last month we dis­cussed the top two things that peo­ple ‘look for’ in a per­son be­ing at­ti­tude and cus­tomer ser­vice and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. So this month let us talk about the fi­nal three ar­eas of in­ter­est.

I was par­tic­u­larly sur­prised that personal hy­giene made the top five, right up there with driv­ing skill, when we are em­ploy­ing or en­gag­ing a per­son for a job.

DRIV­ING RECORD

It goes with­out say­ing that a pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor has to have the cor­rect li­cence.

You have to take tests to demon­strate that you have the min­i­mum knowl­edge and skill that the li­cenc­ing body in your state has de­ter­mined is nec­es­sary to grant you a li­cence.

How­ever, in or­der to be a pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor, you will have an ex­cel­lent driv­ing his­tory that gives your em­ployer and cus­tomers the con­fi­dence that their equip­ment and their freight is in good hands.

Your driv­ing his­tory also im­pacts on the ve­hi­cle in­sur­ance, and a good op­er­a­tor keeps ve­hi­cles costs down.

Pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tors strive not only to get the freight to its des­ig­nated des­ti­na­tion but also to get it there safely and se­curely. This means stay­ing alert, main­tain­ing a safe fol­low­ing dis­tance, keeping aware of blind spots, fol­low­ing sug­gested speeds and get­ting enough rest.

They also know and un­der­stand the im­por­tance of on-time route sched­ules, and they in­clude ex­tra travel time in case of traf­fic, road emer­gen­cies, or other un­fore­seen cir­cum­stances.

A pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor is pa­tient with them­selves, the road, clients and, of course, their truck.

Apart from high-qual­ity driv­ing skills to en­sure re­duc­tion of fuel con­sump­tion and ve­hi­cle wear, pro­fes­sional driv­ers must also know ad­vanced driv­ing tech­niques.

A pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor must be alert at all times and be aware of many fac­tors and be re­spon­sive to a va­ri­ety of road surfaces, weather, ve­hi­cles and traf­fic con­di­tions.

They must en­sure they are well rested and able to han­dle the task at hand as driv­ing chal­lenges all your senses, not just sight.

A pro­fes­sional trans­port op­er­a­tor en­sures that they carry out all pick-ups and de­liv­er­ies on time.

You also need to be able to plan a path for com­fort, ef­fi­ciency, and safety. Even when late, a pro­fes­sional driver does not speed to make up time – it is bet­ter to be late than not ar­rive at all. They also recog­nise that a profit mar­gin pro­vides their em­ploy­ment.

PERSONAL HY­GIENE

Do you brush your teeth every day? Do you wear de­odor­ant on a reg­u­lar ba­sis? You’re prob­a­bly say­ing, “Of course I do!”

But even if you do brush your teeth and wear de­odor­ant, you could still suf­fer from some ex­tremely em­bar­rass­ing personal hy­giene prob­lems. The worst part is that you may not even know it. Let’s take a look at the top em­bar­rass­ing personal hy­giene prob­lems.

1. Body odour: Body odour is the king of all hy­giene prob­lems. Now I’m not try­ing to be mean, but if you have BO, then you prob­a­bly have very few friends. Sadly, some peo­ple with body odour don’t even re­alise how bad they smell. Body odour is eas­ily pre­vented in most cases by show­er­ing with soap and wa­ter, and also us­ing de­odor­ant.

2. Bad breath: This is an ob­vi­ous one, and a personal hy­giene prob­lem that af­fects the most peo­ple. Gum dis­ease, plaque build-up, miss­ing cer­tain ar­eas while brush­ing, and smok­ing can all cause bad breath. The eas­i­est so­lu­tion is to make sure you brush your teeth reg­u­larly.

Here are a few con­di­tions that also af­fect your personal hy­giene, such as jock itch, dan­druff, greasy hair, ath­lete’s foot, foot odour, sweat­ing palms or dirty fin­ger­nails to list a few. If any of these prob­lems per­sist, con­sult a doc­tor be­cause you could have an­other is­sue that’s at the root of the prob­lem.

Telling some­one they have to change their personal hy­giene habits is al­ways a tough is­sue to tackle but ig­nor­ing the prob­lem puts other em­ploy­ees in an un­pleas­ant work en­vi­ron­ment.

So, how do you han­dle an em­ployee who smells? So smelly co-work­ers do sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact pro­duc­tiv­ity and po­ten­tially iso­late them­selves from other em­ploy­ees. The longer you leave it be­fore telling them, the more dam­age is caused.

ART OF CON­VER­SA­TION

Be cer­tain, be sub­tle, be clear, and put it in per­spec­tive. No­body wants an awk­ward con­ver­sa­tion to last any longer than it has to – es­pe­cially the per­son on the re­ceiv­ing end. You don’t have to be blunt but you definitely can’t beat around the bush.

You’re prob­a­bly go­ing to feel un­com­fort­able hav­ing the con­ver­sa­tion but it might do you both good to pre­tend you’re not.

“Don’t make a big deal out of it, it’s only as big as you make it.”

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 peo­ple with body odour don’t even re­alise how bad they smell.”

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