TSQ: Do company drivers do enough to take care of their equipment?
January 1, 2012
MILTON, Ont. - A recent blog from executive editor James Menzies (Want to run nice trucks? Treat your people right, the nice trucks will follow) prompted a barrage of responses from both fleet owners and drivers.
MILTON, Ont. – A recent blog from executive editor James Menzies (Want to run nice trucks? Treat your people right, the nice trucks will follow) prompted a barrage of responses from both fleet owners and drivers.
Some owners claimed drivers are essentially pigs who refuse to keep company equipment looking presentable, while drivers cried “foul,” calling the claim an overgeneralization and noting that many company drivers take great pride in their pristine trucks. But where does the truth lie? Truck News went to the Fifth Wheel Truck Stop in Milton, Ont. to see if drivers think company truckers do enough to take care of their equipment.
• Chris Wright, who plays a dual role of company driver and owner/operator, says any company truck he’s shared has always seemed to be fairly well maintained – including his current rig: “It’s like your living room inside it.”
“I have worked on and off with (company trucks) for 25 years and I have never had a problem,” he told Truck News. “They don’t give me a pig pen and I don’t take it back looking like one either.”
• Larry Hathaway, a company driver with Donnelly Farms out of Hartland, N.B., says it makes no difference whether it’s a company driver or an owner/operator operating the equipment: either they take pride in their equipment or they don’t.
“I have seen a lot of drivers that come over from Europe and met four or five that didn’t care about the truck, but the rest of them take good care of their trucks,” he says.
• Wade Peacock, a company driver with Scott Woods out of Maple, Ont., says it all depends on the individual and how they prefer to be seen – and whether they choose to have a professional attitude.
“I try to keep this truck clean, but there are others that don’t care whether they’re clean or not; it’s simply a means of work (for them),” he says.
• Jim Marryatt, a company driver with GTL Transportation out of Dartmouth, N.S., says his 13 years of experience as an owner/operator helped him learn how to maintain equipment and give him a sense of pride in his “workplace” – even if he doesn’t own it.
“I know a lot of guys that take good care of their equipment and I know a lot of guys that don’t. I have a brand new Peterbilt over there and I want to take care of it,” he says. “I get him cleaned up and I bathe him, and I like to keep everything nice and neat.”
• Guy Caron, an owner/operator with KNT Transport in New Brunswick, agrees with Menzies’ original blog sentiment: that if you treat your drivers right, nice equipment will follow.
“I was a company driver for years and I believe I took pretty good care of the equipment,” Caron said. “If you are treated right then you want to take care of the equipment and the company’s reputation.”
Caron says the look of the equipment has a lot to do with how customers perceive a company. “If you pull into the yard and have nice looking equipment in good shape, your load is going to get there safe and you are not going to have your stuff spread all over the road. If you have bad manners as far as keeping your stuff clean and up-to-date and well-maintained mechanically, I’m sure you are not going to take care of the stuff.”
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