August 1, 2008
The title says it all when you talk about “fuel prices.”
The price of fuel is growing and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down for some time to come, if at all.
I know many carriers, including ours, are having to buckle down and do what they can to survive in this industry.
All avenues need to be explored when it comes to reducing fuel costs, as this will hit everyone in some way or another – new and veteran drivers alike.
New drivers have to learn to walk before they can run and in many cases I have seen the new driver wanting to be a veteran driver before he or she has earned the right to do so.
This can be the start and end of a perfectly good career if they don’t slow down and take it one mile at a time.
If your dispatcher assigns you a 700-mile run, you have to do mile one before you can do mile 506.
Makes sense, right?
Slow down and relax
In many cases the new driver is thinking about mile 700 before he does number 12.
This causes a ‘mindset’ change and accidents begin to happen. Your head needs to be in the first mile before it can be in the second mile.
Many new drivers start out wanting the newest truck so they can make it their own.
Then they want the best runs and then the most money. It doesn’t happen like that.
One mile at a time is required to earn the right to take the next mile.
My advice to anyone who is starting out in this industry is “relax” and take it “slow.”
Your 15th mile or your 222nd mile should and will come before you know it.
The biggest complaint I have in this industry is the new drivers not searching out their first mile.
This happens before you get into a truck.
It occurs before you even get your licence.
It occurs when you have the desire to drive a truck, large or small.
It’s when you want change from what you have done in the past and want to try something new.
Look for a good school that will show you the right direction in getting the type of carrier you want to work for and then search that carrier out.
So many new drivers have been turned away at the door because they didn’t do this research first and it has cost them valuable time and expense.
Find a carrier with ‘backbone’
Running one mile at a time also includes finding the right carrier for your needs and that of your family. Including everyone in the family is the only way to go.
It will pay huge dividends in the future.
Find a company that has ‘backbone’ and says what they mean – one that doesn’t promise you the world and give you daisies.
Otherwise, after three weeks you find yourself starting the whole process over.
Make the carrier verify their answers and prove that their word is the truth.
Don’t be afraid to walk out and say ‘No, thank-you.’
The only way this industry is going to get better is if we all take a genuine interest in how it is looked after.
So many drivers, old and new, are never satisfied. You can’t have everything your way.
There are going to be days that don’t go your way.
Resist the urge to become a ‘bleeding heart.’
Do your job and do it well. You will be remembered for what you did and how you did it.
This approach also helps if you have to leave a carrier and the reason follows you when you apply for your next job.
I spoke briefly about ‘backbone’ and the ‘bleeding hearts’ – also watch out for the liars, cheats and the ‘Howdee Doodees’ of this industry.
I know what I am talking about because I have met them all and they are a pain inside the industry and a pain in your backside.
Do the right thing: search, ask around and find out who to talk to and who to trust.
Trust is another big area in this industry that can be missing at times, but there are many great people out there who will help you find the way.
I call them the ‘pioneers’ in trucking and they know who they are because they are setting the path for future generations of truckers to come along.
I hold the greatest respect for all the pioneers in trucking.
– David Brown is the recruiting manager for the Rosedale Group. He is also the president of Carriers Coach Solutions. You can reach him by visiting www.carrierscoach.com.
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