When is it competition ? Mutual benefit ? Or ... just the right thing to do ?


When it comes to our competition in business, there may be times when you question whether you should help them when they require your assistance. If a ship is sinking in the ocean from my understanding, it’s common practice for the nearest ship to try to rescue the crew and its passengers.

I happened to be watching a video recently online and it made me think of this subject of where do you draw the line between common decency and competition. The actual video I’m referring to portrayed an icy interstate highway with traffic crawling due to ice and high wind conditions. A truck in the right lane was trying to keep moving and found it very difficult as the high winds blew the truck and trailer which caused the truck to slide towards the shoulder of the highway. A competing truck from another business witnessed what was happening and moved his truck which was heavily laden right beside him in order to block the wind. Together, they both were able to move slowly beside one another in order to keep moving safely. The helpful driver could have just stayed in position and not assisted which would have allowed the competition to literally be blown away.

It is my opinion that when we have a common enemy we should work together. During my flatbed days, I can remember assisting many drivers to tarp/un tarp in windy and stormy weather. We all benefited when we helped each other. Other helpful situations might be alerting a driver when you notice their tire is low or perhaps a light is out on the truck/trailer. Sometimes, a driver may need assistance with maneuvering their equipment into a tight space or dock. It may be that a driver needs a jump start, water, coolant, fuse, tape or even a fire extinguisher. I myself couldn’t watch someone’s equipment burn if I had a fire extinguisher handy. Many times, I offered up my extra bungie cords when someone didn’t have enough to secure their load. Another example I can remember was after being loaded and tarping, I ended up with a tear in the tarp. Another driver witnessed the tear and offered to loan me his tarp as we were both headed to deliver to the same location.


There are times when you must work with your competition for mutual benefit .



Even though we are all competing out here on the road, it’s important to take time and assist your fellow driver when needed. You never know when you just may need the favor returned. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in fierce competition but at the same time, I want to beat out my competitor through healthy competition not misfortune.



Comments (2)

Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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Since we are in a smaller niche of trucking we overlook the signs on the side of the doors and have enjoyed many conversations with our fellow expediters. When we someone struggling sliding their tandems why walk by when you can help them? It only takes a second.

September 12, 2016 7:26:52 AM

You always help in a safety situation. I try to help where, I can, mostly that comes down to spotting, but an occasional turn of a wrench, or as you say, letting them have a bungee cord or a piece of tape. There have been times where other drivers have helped me out.

September 12, 2016 5:36:08 AM