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
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.
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.
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.”