Running a tight schedule on the lanes that my trucks run, it is sometimes difficult to make appointment times line up perfectly. It never fails that occasionally I will arrive at a shipper or receiver early due to planning a little too much cushion for a faster than expected previous customer. This exact case just happened to me recently, where I knew in advance I would be at a shipper about 4 hours early and that they were always busy. The other important fact that I was glad I knew however was that this customer loved their regular drivers that brought them “goodies”. Not being opposed to “greasing the wheels” occasionally, I was armed and ready.
Having had booked the load a day before it was set to ship, I took the liberty of picking up a six-pack of Cinnabon cinnamon rolls to take to this shipper the next day. I remembered from previous loads that the shipper was usually pretty busy, was strict on appointment times, but that they were also very friendly and easy to work with as well. They had joked with me previously that if I brought them donuts they would be able to “work me in” early” if the need arose. Although it was said in a joking manner, I could tell this was probably a good way to take care of some really nice people anyway, that did a great job of loading me every time. Sure enough, I showed up four hours early and was able to get worked in, allowing me to be loaded within an hour of my showing up!
This was not my first instance of “greasing” a shipper or receiver. I always carry stuff like candy in the truck to hand out at places that treat me well and for those customers I see on a regular basis. Just this little bit of recognition for a shipper or receiver, with a small token of gratitude, can make a big impact on making you stand out. In my opinion if I am making a good amount on a load like that, the $10 investment on a pack of cinnamon rolls to be worked in early is a small price to pay. Even if they weren’t able to get me worked in, I like to show my appreciation for their doing a good job all the time, so it would have been deserved either way. Let this be not only a lesson to take care of those that take care of you, but also that it never hurts to “grease the wheels” once in a while.