Equipment Certification – CDL Training – Experience

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Hi all, Marty here with Warehouse and Operations as a Career!  I spent quite a bit of time on Social Media this week, if you follow us on Facebook you may have noticed I’m a member or have joined quite a few Job’s Groups in the 5 states I work with and try and post when I know of someone hiring or participating wherever I can.  Since the New Year I’ve seen a real influx with the number of postings from companies offering training for a CDL license in transportation or Equipment Certifications in the Warehouse.  Not that this really bothers or affects me, but I do want us all to understand what’s being offered through them.  When I saw how may replies they get and noticed the number of post from individuals asking things like “Where can I get Forklift Certified, or Where can I learn to Drive a Cherry Picker and Where can I get my CDL License I feel these people are legitimately asking for help and I’m not sure their receiving it, or in an unbiased form anyway or at least in some instances.  So, I pushed back the topic scheduled for today and I’d like to share some thoughts on these two avenues to employment, probably good choices for some but possibly not all of us.

Social Media can be THE tool for us as job seekers, but I feel it can also and many times can get us off track or urge us to go down the wrong path when trying to get our careers started.  Experience and Responsibility are the two components I believe in, and found to be the actual fast track tool.

Let’s look at this scenario, the bosses son has been away to college for 4 years, only worked in the warehouse during his summers in high school, kind of knows how the freight comes in, that its stored in the racks and its shipped out when a customer orders it.  He had a hand in all the tasks before, physically moving the product through the system but not really on a day to day routine.  Anyway, he’s graduated now and is coming back to work with the crew.  Now he’s a great guy, doesn’t come off as a know it all and he definitely has the training and education to review the P & L or Profit and Loss statements, Contracts and turns out he’s a pretty good negotiator or salesman to the customers but his expertise or experience in the warehouse or on the floor activities are going to be really lacking.  He won’t know how to turn a pinwheeled pallet inside a trailer without breaking it and damaging the left corners freight, or how to slide a leaning stack of product back onto the pallet without having to restack the whole thing. And what about placing a small piece of wood between the trailer decking and the dock plate lip so we can drive our equipment in and out of the trailer without bumping the load off the pallet!  Things like that, and about 5000 others aren’t taught at most schools, experience is how there learned.  So, this gentleman has been given the title of warehouse manager, but I feel he’s going to struggle maintaining the productivity and handling the crew and daily operations because he’s still going to have to Learn the task or job.  Is it going to frustrate him, make him work twice as hard, really wear him out?  I believe it can and probably will!  He’s been trained and educated to view and handle things at like a Directors level, he knows, and might I say he’s comfortable with those tasks because he has that training and that education.  Now let’s change the story just a bit and say that he had worked in the warehouse during high school on weekends and after school each day.  He had unloaded trucks, received the P.O’s, ran product from the docks, racked pallets with the forklift and pulled orders and shipped orders for that 4 years, went off to college and was trained in the same qualities we discussed earlier.  I feel he’d be a great Warehouse Manager, a much stronger Director because of his Experiences, right?

I guess what I wanted to talk about are perceived short cuts to our Careers today so I’ll get back on subject, we’ll finish that story on another episode, it actually does goes somewhere and I think that little piece kind of fits in with today’s topic, maybe..

So, while running through the feeds I saw one ad stating something like” Learn to drive in 21 days, zero cost to you, solo and team drivers, and most if not all of those type ad’s will mention Home Time.  Now this isn’t a bad opportunity for the right individual.  Upon looking into the offer, in this particular case the program was paid for through some sort of state or federal funding program for jobs, which I feel is a great thing, but we’re going to be working for their company while we EARN our CDL or commercial driver’s License.  It seems to be a really decent program, for that individual that can be away from home quite a bit, willing to get the needed miles on the road and the experience of drop and hook transportation.  These jobs will pay you pretty well in a year or two.  You’ll have the license in 21 days, I guess the question is do you accept the position and the pay that goes along with it!  Another ad stated something like CDL Training, route, regional and National driving positions, Home Time teams and Solo.  It seems like these school’s range in price anywhere from 2k to 3k dollars and I’m sure their worth it, if only because of all the one on one training, instruction and Safety considerations that’s presented to us.  Upon looking at some of the job referrals they’d be offering I saw those road mile opportunities, home time was there but kind of like in small print.

I think we all understand, at least deep down inside us somewhere that these types of Opportunities can be both advantageous to us or a hindrance to our real pursuits.  The real money we’re looking for is going to come later, after we have the miles, deliveries and experiences and learned the responsibilities of the job.  In my experience, companies are not going to hire us because we possess the CDL license in our hand alone.  Their going to put someone in their Company’s Rig or tractor and trailer that they’ve invested something like 140k dollars or maybe more in and loaded with freight they are responsible for that has experience, years of experience, with a safe driving record and delivery experience first and foremost.

And I’m seeing the same question regarding our Equipment Certification for warehouse equipment.  As you may know this one really irks me.  So, the ad typically goes something like “Forklift Licenses in 1 day, earn up to $xx/hr, we help you seek employment”.  The certification is a regulatory requirement here in the states and your employer, 99% of the time, is going to train and certify us for free.  We should have the training to be on his or her dock, its free.  And there’s a well know component to the standard that we’ll have to be on-sited or observed on the dock that we’ll be working on to complete that certification process.  I’ve seen the cost of these School’s range from $88 for just an electric pallet jack or a forklift to like $189 or more depending how many types of equipment their going to certify us on.  Now these classes aren’t really a bad thing all the way around.  I think there a great refresher course as they pertain to a specific type of equipment, kind of an overview or review of the operating manual and the Safety refresher is definitely worth the cost.  But do your research and know again what your getting for your hard-earned money.  I read so many comments and replies on Jobs Groups this week where people paid for a class and are hearing through their job searches that you need 1 year or 6 months or 2 years of experience for those well-paying positions being advertised.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I think both these Driving Schools and the Certification Classes have their place and in many instances, can help us achieve our goals BUT please make sure we’ve researched them and know what we’re getting out of them and how we are going to make them work for us and to our advantage.  I’ve found those referrals that are offered are sometimes just a list of trucking companies that are continuously hiring or staffing companies that presently have ad’s running.

We’ve talked about Social Media now on a couple of different episodes, Sharon, a Recruiting Specialist with a large national sourcing company, Belmar Integrated Logistics, walked us through how to better use Social Media when we’re responding to Recruiters and handling that phone Interview and what she looks for in that stressful and sometimes agonizing face to face interview we all dread.  One of her points was experience and how different companies look at experience levels when filling positions.  She mentions how there are just no short cuts to experience. Again, Social Media is a great tool for us job seekers, but I feel it can be a distraction if we’re not careful with it.  I saw so many individuals posting this week of how they’ve applied for a position and are waiting for a call back, been waiting for a couple of weeks.  They were told they have the job but have to wait for the position to open back up, sometimes they’ve even sent their friends to the same place and now their waiting on that call also.  Make sure that call’s really coming before you quit searching and applying for jobs would have to be my advice.

Back to the topic’s I guess, I see or hear from at least one person a month that’s walked into an agency or company with their Operators License in hand stating I’m ready to go to work as a Lift driver only to be told he or she doesn’t qualify because they have no variable experience.  Oh, a true story, Last year a friend’s son shelled out $2700 to take a CDL course, it was really a good course and they taught him all about the equipment, hauling, backing, all the regulatory information he needed to know, really a through school or class, I was honestly impressed with his education.  Even with his father’s contacts within the industry he had to sign on with a company, kind of at the bottom rung and start putting in his time, building that experience.  He was far from happy with the starting pay, he won’t be happy with his pay for a couple of years but then it’ll all be worth it as after you have some bankable experience it can be a great and very rewarding profession!

If you’re a long-time listener with us here at WAOC you know we believe the wealth comes from knowing all the positions that your task touches, adding those values to your resume and believe that you’ll increase your earnings with that knowledge and experience.  Mix in a little self-education, participate in all the shift meetings, show up on time for every shift and make sure our bosses know our goals and I cant help believe we’ll see success much quicker than the individual that believes he’s found a short cut.  Experience & Responsibility Pays.

I hope I made sense today and you found some value within the show somewhere.  If your seeking employment use those Job’s Groups on Facebook, use them responsibility, I think their great resources.  Please Like our group’s, WAOC can be found @whseandops on Facebook and twitter and we’re having a lot of fun with the Warehouse Equipment Operators Community Group on Facebook as well, dang I was going to try to get through a whole episode without saying as well, I heard from a listener that I said it too much at the end of sentences.  Oh, and email us with any thoughts or suggestions to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com we love reading your messages!

Thanks for listening and not just good luck but a wish for great luck with your job search or that promotion that your chasing!  And as always, remember Safety is our first responsibility in any task we perform, let’s all Think Safe and Be Safe this week!

Questions & Answers with a Few Thoughts Tossed In

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Warehouse and Operations as a Career back with you again, it’s been a great week, I’m certain we’ve all been productive and made great headways with our careers this week! I’m Marty and I have to say I’m excited about a few of the episodes we’re working on and planning for the next few weeks.  I won’t spoil the surprises, but we have some great topics and guests lined up.  Keep those topics coming in, we love hearing from you and we’re receiving some great suggestions and questions each week!  Today we’d like to explore a few of them and see if we can gather up some answers for ya.  If you don’t follow WAOC on Twitter or Facebook we’d appreciate you checking out those feeds, where we can be found @whseandops and of course any missed episodes can be streamed or downloaded on our website  http://warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com/

 

Ok, now that all that’s all out of the way let’s try and get caught up on a few questions we’re behind on.  Let’s start off with this one, it usually goes something like this:  I want to make more money should I quit and get a warehouse job?  Usually we hear it from someone in the restaurant or retail industry or maybe from someone in the fast food world.  My Career choice was Operations, so I’d cautiously say yes of course.  A Chef is probably going to say No Way, keep honing your skills here and the Retail Manager is going to talk with you about all the advancement opportunities available.  Oh, and your Fast Food boss will share all the Managerial positions and franchise or business opportunities you can grow into.  Remember, as managers we’re all doing what we love, our choices have been great choices for us.  We’ve probably had mentors pay attention to us, teach us and helped us grow in the chosen fields.  I saw a quote on Facebook just today from Herb Health Happiness that said The 3 C’s of Life – Choices, Chances, Changes.  You must make the choice, to take a chance, if you want anything in life to change.  Make you think doesn’t it!  My point is, and you’ve probably heard me talk to it before, we have to work the rest of our lives.  I feel one has to enjoy their work to be successful at it.  If we change jobs for a little more money but we don’t love what we do, not only will we not enjoy our days there but we will not succeed at it.  We’ll just be wasting our time.  I believe we can grow in any field or industry.  We’ll need to get started, learn our job and the task of others working around us, get noticed by our management team, accept more responsibility every time its offered, be on time for every shift offered to us and learn, many times on our own, about our Industry and we’re guaranteed success.  If we enjoy what we’re doing.  Myself, in my senior year of high school, I worked part time at a mall for a major Retail store in the backroom of their catalogue department.  There were 3 dock doors at the docks and I would occasionally be tasked with working out there as our catalogue orders would be delivered.  I found I loved the physical workout and being around the equipment.  Eventually I got to operate the forklift and I was hooked.  I worked several jobs throughout the college years but always wound up back on the docks.  So to answer the question “:  I want to make more money should I quit and get a warehouse job I’m going to say if you’re asking yourself the question you need to make a choice, do your research on it, step out there and take a chance, that will lead to your change.  There’s no law that says you can’t do that over and over again.  If you find you love warehousing I can assure you the opportunities are there, and you can be as successful and make as much money as you’d like within the industry.  The more you learn and the more responsibilities your willing to take on the more you’ll earn!

I rambled a bit, but you know by now I kind of preach Op’s every chance I get!

Here’s another one we see from time to time and we’ve talked to it a couple of times and probably should dive in a little deeper: I’ve been a warehouseman for 2 years, I think I’d like to be a Driver, I’d make more money.  Maybe not really a question, but I see a variation of that sentence at least once a month.  Transportation is a huge part of Operations and the Supply Chain.  And yes, there’s money to be made in the field and I find it to be a Great Career choice.  My first thought is if we’ve worked in the warehouse for 1, 2 or 3 years you must be enjoying the work.  If we’re working hard, showing up on time every day and doing things to get noticed by our managers we’ve probably seen at least an increase or two and may be on our way to that first promotion of some type.  Maybe changed tasks or been trained at another position or two, started climbing the ladder if you will.  If you’ve been speaking with a few drivers, another word doing your research, and we believe we’d enjoy that job the transition is pretty easy and can be a huge opportunity for us!  In earlier episodes we’ve talked about the different ways to break into the field, basically theirs two avenues to pursue.  And I guess we should look at the two different types of Driving also, Over The Road or driving for a vendor & the Delivery or Route Driver. The Driving Schools out there can be one choice and coming up from the bottom or taking a position within transportation like on the fuel island or a driver helper within our present employer is another avenue.  If one has the money for the schooling and don’t mind spending some time over the road I think that’s a great route to take.  You’ll be exposed to the Common Carrier role and it’s a great way to see the country. Most of the delivery or route driver opportunities are going to want us to have several miles under the belt before they turn us loose in the city with something like 20 stops on their tractor and trailer.  They’ve got 10’s of thousands of dollars tied up in that equipment.  And add in the cost of the freight you can understand they’d like to know we can get the product delivered safely and without incident, right?  I feel you have to be a patient person to go over the road.  I once thought I’d make a great driver, signed on with an outfit and went out as a junior driver with an instructor.  My first 3 trips as a Team driver, well really it was 1 trip, a 3.5-week trip with 3 pickups and 3 deliveries was enough to show me I wasn’t going to enjoy the life and there was no way I would succeed at it.  I ended up being stuck in Florida for 2.5 days while our broker found us another load to head home with.  Remember, as a driver your paid for hauling freight, rolling empty cost money.  When I got back home I went back to the warehouse.  I think that’s when I realized how much I loved the job and started planning my career and reaching for my goals.  The other way to give transportation a try is by working in a non-driving compacity like a driver helper.  Here we’ll be traveling with a driver and responsible for stacking down the freight, properly unloading it and if we’re in the distribution or route delivery side of things, two wheeling the product into our customers place of business, shelving the product and working with the invoicing even.  Many companies will work with us, let us practice in their truck yards, help us learn to back up and bump docks.  A lot of times they’ll help us get our learners permits, sometimes even let us use their equipment to take our driving tests and of course give us a driving job as soon as we receive our Commercial License and Endorsements.  I mean we already know all their product, customers and procedures because we’ve been helping the driver all along.  I believe Driving is a great Career, rewarding and lucrative profession.  I hope my thoughts kind of helps, if you’d like to discuss it a bit further with us shoot us an email to host@warehouseandoperationsasacareer.com and we’d be happy to offer up an opinion on your particular situation.

Let’s see, what’s another one we see kind of often, PPE’s.  Here’s one, I’m not sure why we as Associates question PPE’s so much but here’s a question from 2 weeks ago: Why is a Safety Vest so important, it’s hot and it doesn’t help me when I’m unloading a trailer.  I hear something like this all the time in my travels.  Last August I was in Arizona, I was observing the 3rd shift and it was still 107 degrees at 10pm, I had been there earlier in the day and it was 121.  That’s really warm even to a Texan.  I of course was wearing a vest over my tee-shirt.  Does our light weight vest, many vests that are worn in our warehouse environments can be a mesh material even, does our light weight vest really hold in any heat anyway?  I personally wear a vest anytime I’m out on the floor, no matter if the company I’m walking requires it or not.  I don’t think any of us would deny we’re going to be seen better by any equipment operator.  I’ve never talked to a fork driver of pallet jack operator that didn’t appreciate the crew wearing a vest, it’s just easier to see people in the aisles or on the front docks.  Shoes and boots, our steel toe PPE’s comes up quite a bit too.  I know many facilities don’t require steel toes, but I strongly suggest and encourage that anyone that works around pallets and warehouse equipment wears them at all times on the floor.  I’ve seen several incidents where people injure their toes by dropping a pallet on their feet and toes.  Pallets are heavy, drop one on the bridge of your foot or on your toes and it’s going to hurt you.  Why risk getting hurt, missing work or having an accident when it’s something that can be prevented?  Just recently we had a good discussion on the Facebook Group Warehouse Equipment Operators Community about which are better Steel Toe Shoes or Boots.  Myself I prefer boots that cover my ankle when I’m working around pallets, but I do just wear a shoe style when walking a warehouse and observing.  There’s some really nice ones in both styles, even some designer style tennis shoe types are out there.  Don’t argue about any required PPE’s, your company is trying to protect you, wear them.  Many PPE’s may be required, things like respirators, fall protection devices and hard hats even.  Many times, it’s the law, our jobs require them, respect that and follow the rules.  PPE’s are there for a reason, at some point the task has been identified, maybe through a Job Hazzard Analysis, as having a danger, respect it and let’s be thankful to our employer for thinking of us or enforcing the regulatory rules.

I think we have time for one more, lets get to this one, I actually missed it or we would have started with this one or I can say we saved the best for last right .  You talk about being certified and on-sited, never get on a pallet jack until you’ve been trained, what do you mean?

Here in the states our governing body OSHA or the dept of Occupational Safety and Health Administration has set guidelines, rules and regulations and standards. Congress created OSHA to assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.  I’ll add a link to the show notes but you can find them at https://www.osha.gov/  in your browser, a lot of interesting information there.  Anyway 29cfr1910.178 is the section regarding Powered Industrial Trucks.  I’ll add the link here as well, its actually a very interesting read and I’d use the word educational too, check it out, you’ll enjoy several parts or sections of it.

https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_id=9828&p_table=standards

In a nut shell it states to never get on, touch, move or operate a piece of powered industrial equipment that you haven’t been trained on. If your employer has not certified you to operate your equipment on their docks mention it to them, I assure you they’ll appreciate it or should.  The classes are inexpensive, and any fines incurred are can be very expensive.  The class it self is informative about 3 or 4 hours long and consist of a bunch of videos, instructional information and a test at the end.  There’s an on-site required which is usually a small obstacle course like area where we can demonstrate to our instructor that we can operate the equipment.

Let me take one more minute and get to this one, this question came in about a month ago, I of course replied but I just saw it here and thought I’d share with the group:  Do you have any forklift jobs, is this a company?  Well no WAOC is not a company and we don’t have any jobs to offer.  We’re just a group of old Operations people sharing our experiences, thoughts and opinions about an Industry that we feel provides opportunities with long lasting careers.  We have a couple of mics and a recorder that we carry with us sometimes on the road or too events and job fairs but most of the time the show is recorded out of a room in the house and sometimes in a closet when its raining to hard and the mic picks up the sounds.  So please don’t be to harsh with us on the audio, we’re learning ourselves, some of that self-education I’m always talking about! WAOC isn’t monetized at all, meaning theirs no money, no one receives pay or compensation for visiting with us, we truly just like talking about Operations and sharing our experiences and yep the occasional opinions! Do be sure to check out our Twitter and Facebook feeds though, sometimes staffing companies post positions there and we try and retweet as many job postings as we can there.

Well, I hope we hit on a question today that brings you some value. We appreciate you checking in with us this week.  Until next week, Be Productive and please work smart which means Safe!

Equipment Pre-Trip – Transportation & Logistics – Lets Earn More

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So Week 1 of the New Year has arrived! I hope everyone enjoyed the Holidays and is ready for 2018!  I look forward to the change, the new challenges and all the Opportunities that a new year can bring with it.  I use the word can here because we as Employees or Associates have to capitalize on those opportunities, maybe I can say we have the responsibility, to ourselves, to make things happen for us. Have you sat down and figured out what you’d like to change at your work place this year, written down 5 Goals for the year, have you said out loud how much more money you’re going to make this year?

I was having a conversation with a great group of Op’s guys last week and we ended up talking about efficiencies, employees and how them as leaders can excel at their jobs, reduce expenses and aid us employees in their success.  Every Supervisor and Manager I’ve met needs his or her associates to succeed and make more money.  Realistically Management teams needs their employees to be the best, the most productive in the industry at their jobs.  They need to have associates willing, trained and capable of taking their place or he or she will find themselves stuck in their positions.  You may have heard to always train someone to do your job, so your boss can pull you from it when the time comes right, I’ve always tried to have a #2 ready willing and able to take my place.  I always wanted to be available for that promotion and make that money! I hadn’t planned on speaking to all this today, I tell you what, I’ll reach out to a couple of new supervisors and managers in the next few weeks and we’ll explore some of their thoughts on advancement.  It’ll be fun and interesting to hear their New Year goals & how they plan on their future success!

So what I wanted to talk about today was our equipment, our pre and post trips and equipment maintenance in particular.  I was asked how’s the best way to handle a situation where you’ve reported an issue with your equipment and it’s not addressed.  Well, my first thought was just don’t get back on it, but we all know that may not be the best way to handle it and we’d probably just end up turning our maintenance department or maybe even our manager against us.  A more proper way to address would be to use knowledge to get it fixed, throw out the financial cost that’ll be involved, loss in productivity and the accident potential, if one exist, to our managers and I’m certain he or she will see that it’s addressed and probably immediately. Remember we’re working on our careers, or I hope we are.  Although our first thought could be to get loud, feel like we’re being singled out and our concerns aren’t being taken care of but that’s not going to get us noticed in the light we’re wanting, we’d be reacting like a person working at a job or towards a paycheck.  If we’re doing our job and have our eye on that next position that’s going to pay us more, probably with more responsibilities, we need to be reacting to every situation from the mind set of expenses and productivity.  We’re going to get noticed presenting that type of personality and attitude much better and quicker than being negative or being a problem. Both techniques will get our equipment fixed, one will just earn us more money in the long run.   Remember it’s our responsibility to do our jobs to the letter and our pre and post trips reporting is the first step and the last step to those jobs, we won’t get in trouble by performing in our jobs! But I can assure you by not performing at them we won’t have them very long.

A quick true story, many years ago I had a buddy who’s sitdown or counterbalance forklift had a leaky hydraulic hose, it didn’t leak unless the second stage of the mask was raised really fast or at full speed.  We saw it dripping, talked about how he shouldn’t use it but he didn’t want to be told to go select on a pallet jack, so he went ahead and jumped on his lift.  Well about 2 hours into the shift the hose ruptured and oil went everywhere, all over the floor, soaked a lot of product not to mention all over him.  Through being questioned about the event it came out that he’d known about the leak and he was dismissed like a week later.

Another incident that ended up costing an employee the cost of some freight, his blade on the slipsheet attachment was not true, about a quarter inch warped and when he scooped under a stack of frozen French fries he ripped open the entire bottom layer.  When maintenance checked his preshift sheets and compared them to the previous shifts post trip document they found it had been recorded & that he had not actually performed his pre-trip.  He got to keep his position but ended up paying for the product because he’d been negligent and of course he received a corrective action write up.  Two great examples of how important it is that we perform our duties as directed.

Just yesterday I was reading an article I saw on Facebook from Truck 1 News.com http://truck1news.com/2017/11/20/top-10-most-dangerous-u-s-roads-for-truck-drivers/

Titled Top 10 most dangerous U.S. Roads for Truckdrivers.  It reads as – An additional 36 percent more trucks are on the roads during the holidays, and truck companies can use logistics to keep drivers safe. An additional 36 percent more trucks are on the roads during the holidays, says Zonar, and truck companies can use logistics to keep drivers safe. To aid those decisions, the company released graphics showing the top 10 most dangerous roads in the U.S. for truck drivers. Knowing which stretches of road are the most dangerous for trucks in terms of total accidents can help operators and fleet managers potentially decrease their chances of getting into an accident and help keep other drivers safe – by adjusting their routes or schedules, varying driving times and loads, or increasing inspections and checkpoints. According to the US Department of Transportation, the top 10 most dangerous roads for truck drivers based on total accident volume between 2013-2016 are… I’m not sure I’d agree with their list but I’ll add the articles link to our show notes, so you can go check it out, but I did find some of its statics interesting.  It goes on to say – More than half the trucks involved in accidents were found to have at least one vehicle defect. A point to my feelings of how important a good documented pre-trip can be.  It may not catch everything but its important to perform it and its really our job to do so! Some other statics it states are – 30 percent of those were found to be directly caused by equipment failure including brake, tire, light and transmission failure as well as vehicle overload. Adverse weather caused 14.7 percent of accidents, with rain as the most common cause (72.6 percent) as well as fog (12.5 percent) and snow (10.12 percent).The increased volume of drivers on the road during the holidays are comprised of private passenger cars (23%), delivery fleets (10%) and people-carrier traffic such as rented buses and shuttles (3%).“Look around any room and you’ll find the majority of the things you see and use are there because of the approximately 3.5 million truck drivers on the road at any given time.

3.5 million truck drivers on the road at any given time, that’s a huge number isn’t it! We’ve discussed here at WAOC how pretty much everything we see and use each day has gone through a distribution center and or been delivered by a truck or at least a component of the item was shipped at some point.

Transportation is a key component of the supply chain process.  We can manufacture or produce the goods, and store or inventory the product and then sell it, pull the orders and get them separated and loaded but then we have to pass them along to Transportation to get them shipped and distributed.  We’ve mentioned how interesting the Logistics fields can be in other episodes and really the opportunities are just as endless as in the warehouse segments of the industry.  I know several men and women that started out as Driver Helpers oh and 3 that moved on from dispatch clerk positions, you know routing is another great way to break into the logistics and transportation department.

Oh, talking about breaking into transportation, I was reading a post on one of the job boards from an applicant looking to enroll in a CDL course and get his commercial license.  He was looking for a class that would not interfere with his day job.  I had two thoughts here, I feel the class route of course can be beneficial but from my experiences you’ll need to not only the license but some miles under your belt to get that driving job you’re looking for.  Many of these classes, which can be a bit expensive, will require you to do some over the road work for their company. Now that will get you the needed experience and miles, but you’ll need to be prepared to be away from home quite a bit.  I’m more of an advocate of working in the industry as a driver helper, dispatcher or clerk of some kind and moving into transportation within your present employer.  There’s so many advantages going this route. Your getting paid for learning instead of paying to learn, your showing your present employer you want more.  And I feel in many instances you’ll achieve your goal quicker, especially in the distribution field.  I know others may disagree but that’s my opinion, all two cents worth.

Logistics is blowing up with positions right now, not only is there a huge need for drivers but the whole supply chain component has jobs to offer.  Look on any job board or advertisements and you’ll probably see open positions for Freight Broker Agents & Logistics Coordinators, we retweet several of them weekly on our twitter feed, they can’t fill enough of these positions.  Speaking of Logistics Careers, todays Universities and a lot of our Community Colleges offers some great courses in Logistics now as well.

Another excellent field within our Industry is with Safety!  Right now is a great time to be interested in Light Industrial Safety, companies are always looking for and expanding, its important to keep everyone safe and adhere to any regulations to the letter.  As you know I love being involved and working within a strong safety culture and positive environment!

2018 is going to be a great year, it’s going to be what we each make of it!  Our success and safety in the work place and working towards our career goals is our responsibility and I know I’m ready willing and able to accept them, are you ready for your success?  As you can probably tell this is my most exciting time of the year.  WAOC is looking forward to visiting with you each week, having some knowledgeable guests sit in with us and throwing in a few more mobile episodes this year!  Let’s all rock 2018, get noticed by our management teams and take an active roll in our Safety and the Safety of others!