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Drivers hold the keys to a fleet’s success

A few weeks ago, I dropped by my local establishment for a "pop" after a long hard day at the helm.While enjoying a cold beverage, I ran into a friend of mine who has been driving big rigs for most of...


A few weeks ago, I dropped by my local establishment for a “pop” after a long hard day at the helm.

While enjoying a cold beverage, I ran into a friend of mine who has been driving big rigs for most of his working life.

He is currently employed with one of Canada’s larger private fleets and we have had numerous conversations regarding this industry and where it is (or should be) going.

On this particular evening, he made a comment that almost floored me causing me to nearly spill half of my 20oz “pop.”

Apparently, the head honchos of his company made the executive decision to update some of their older tractors.

‘Great,’ I thought, ‘God knows the truck manufacturers need the business.’ So what was the big deal that almost made me lose my cool brown beverage?

They forgot to ask the drivers – the people that use them, the people that spend most of their waking hours behind the wheel – what make of tractor they would prefer to drive.

Wouldn’t you know it? Apparently, these new beasts are the black sheep of the fleet.

The vast majority of drivers would rather call in sick, than be sentenced to time behind these wheels.

Maybe they haven’t been spec’d properly, or maybe the “deal” was too good to pass up.

Regardless, they now have a number of unhappy drivers who spend their nights thinking of creative ways to avoid doing time in them.

Drivers can make or break your business.

We all know the importance of keeping good drivers and for the life of me this decision just doesn’t make sense.

This fleet could have saved themselves one giant headache at least consulting with the drivers first and – even if they were going to ignore the opinions of the majority – explaining their decision to them.

A two-part questionnaire on what make of truck the drivers preferred, and why, could have been sent out prior to the purchase.

Later on in the evening my friend mentioned that his company provided a full benefit package including dental, eyeglasses, uniforms etc.

Hats off to their Human Resources department for recognizing the value and importance these represent to the employees and their families.

Not all fleets provide them and if you presently have these benefits – use them. You never know, one day you may lose them.

– Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and he can be reached at 416-442-2097.


Truck News

Truck News

Truck News is Canada's leading trucking newspaper - news and information for trucking companies, owner/operators, truck drivers and logistics professionals working in the Canadian trucking industry.
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