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!