Driving, Transportation & Logistics Opportunities

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Hi there, Marty here, Thanks for joining us today at Warehouse and Operations as a Career.  We’ve mentioned Transportation several times in other Episodes and I’ve had a few questions about the opportunities to move from warehousing into a Driver position so I thought today we’d visit on a few of those positions.  I’m really excited about today’s show, here in a bit we’ll be visiting with an Over The Road Driver and hear how she joined the industry and a few of her thoughts about the profession!

In the world of Distribution I feel there’s really two different jobs to talk about in regards to driving, one being the Delivery Driver, Outbound if you will, & another being the Freight Driver or Long haul driver, let’s call that the Inbound Driver.  A Distribution Center brings product into the facility to ship it out individually to its many Customers or end users.

Let’s start with the Outbound Delivery Drivers today as that’s where many of us will have the quickest opportunity to move into Driving and delivering our companies own products.  The quick advantage here is we’re learning every item the company carries, we see every customers name they sell to & the Company learns us as an employee, that we’re motivated, trust worthy and dependable AND they know what our goal is, they have an opportunity to groom us into a Driver Position.

A Driver position can pay very well, especially these days with activity based compensation, case pay or whatever you want to call it.  Again, there are few if any short cuts to making that money though.  Experience is what your company is looking for, miles, time behind the wheel or in our case, what I’d like to talk about here is product knowledge and time with the company.  I’ve known several people that knew they wanted to be a Driver, only to find that it’s tough to break into the field if you want to stay home every night.  There’s some great opportunities with trucking schools and over the road companies, really some good deals to be had, but as with any pay to learn experiences, wither by time or money, make sure you know what you’re getting, what’s expected and what the overall or real cost is,  and to get the experience needed to make that good money you may have to be away from home quite a bit and or ride as a Team for a while.  More about that in a few minutes, I got side tracked, let’s get focused back to the Delivery Driver.

Like I was saying, I’ve known of several people that set their goal as being a delivery driver only to find that companies were looking for experience.  I mean were asking them to put us out on the road in their Tractor and Trailer loaded with their product making maybe 20 stops to their customers and we have no experience doing it.  I think we’d all admit that’s a lot of faith.

However, and I’ve seen this approach be very successful many times, if we reply to a warehouse position ad, and are willing to start at the bottom if necessary and work our way through a few positions we may just be able to get that education AND get paid for it while we’re doing it.

I actually had this very conversation with a young gentleman once,  He had checked into a driving school, it was reasonably priced and came with an internship to help defray some of that cost but he was puzzled by the contract that said he’d need to do some team driving, across state lines for a period of one year but a good job was in the foreseeable future.  We talked about how it sounded like a great opportunity, I sensed he was a bit hesitant and found that he didn’t really want to be away from the family every day, maybe only being home a couple nights a week.  He really wanted more of a local route or delivery position, a 8 to 10 hour job kind of thing.  I pointed out that you had to put your time in to settle into something like that.  I suggested getting a warehouse position with a local D/C, do a great job for them & maybe he could Drive for them eventually.  We’ll a long, and expensive story later, he decided to sign on with the trucking schools offer, did it for about 6 months and decided he just couldn’t be away from home that much and ended up quitting.  The silver lining is that he did eventually get an entry level Inventory Control position, moved up through several positions, became an order selector for about a year, approached his company for a driving position.  They trained him and today he’s living the life, accomplished his goal & is doing a great job for the company!  Think of the time he could have saved, and the money he wouldn’t have lost had he just planned out his course, really developed a plan instead of shooting from the hip.  We all do it, I wish I had planned much better in my younger years but this is a good example of how to reach for the clouds and grab them right?

A Delivery driver can be a rough job, it’ll probably pay really well but it can be tough.  The hours can be long, you have a lot of responsibility, todays cities can be a pain to get through with like 20 stops and 1500 cases to unload.  At every stop you could encounter an issue, something not on the truck, a case damaged, and it’s always that one case that the customer needed.  The salesman’s promised something that hadn’t been delivered, any number of things can happen and of course the customer has you to vent too & expects you to have the answer lol.  It’s a great job though, I love logistics, you’re really the President of the company when you’re out on the roads, your representing the company at the highest levels, with your customers, and probably being paid well for it.  Freedom at its finest if you will.

The other type of Driver we’ll talk about today is the Inbound driver.  Your company had purchased a truck load of product and we’re driving it in from 2000 miles away.  Talk about being the president of your company, and in many instances, you are the actual president as you could own your own rig & be the decision maker.  If you can be on the road, away from home some & have patience, a lot of patience this can be a great & rewarding career.  It comes with some of the afore mentioned issues or opportunities, brokers & salesmen could sometimes tell us anything to get us on the road only to find our appointment was scheduled too tight or was moved forward to another day.  Oh and trying to schedule our return freight so we’re making money for the ride back may cost us a day here or a day there as well.  And of course, weather can play havoc with your schedule too, again I mention that word patience.  It’s a great life if it’s a life for you and can really pay well too.

Inbound deliveries or over the road driving is thought to be less physical by many, and its true theirs many instances where you may just have to drop and hook, take off again or maybe where your unloading they offer a lumping service or have unloaders but many times you may have to unload your product, it just really depends on your terms and contract.  I feel any driving is physical, very few driving jobs are easy, but it’s a great career choice if you’re interested or yearn in it, many drivers I know call it more of a calling.

And there’s huge growth potential within the transportation worlds, todays logistics use computer software and systems and offer global opportunities. Many of our supply chain specialist and Logistics managers got their start in Transportation, going on to plan, implement, and control freight movement over the roads and oceans.  Couple that experience with a BA in Supply Chain and Logistics Management & you may be able to work anywhere in the world! If you bought something today it was brought there by a truck!

Well that’s some quick thoughts of mine regarding Drivers Positions and we’ll be talking about Transportation more in-depth in upcoming Episodes.  I love the Industry & its Opportunities.

We have a special guest visiting with us today, Ellie is a Long-Haul driver, a professional in the field of transportation.  You can keep up with her travels, as we here at WAOC do, through her Twitter feed @AzureAngel17 or her YouTube Channel Ellie O’Daire.  Her travels are really interesting and you can tell she loves what she does!

Ellie shares a bit of her background and how she found her way into the Trucking Industry.  We discuss the type of freight she carries and the easiest to deliver as well as a few thoughts on Lumper Services.  Ellie loves what she does and shares a few of her thoughts on the Industry!

And thanks again to our listeners, I hope you enjoyed todays show.  Please Email us a comment or a suggestion to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com or @Whse and Op’s on both Twitter and Facebook!  If you’re on a path to driving yourself we’d love hear your story as well.  Till next week, Think Safe & Be Safe, others are waiting on us to come home tonight!

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