Perks are to get customers to continue to use a business’s service and to create loyal customers.  Recently there has been an interesting shakeup in the trucking industry where the perks were rearranged, and many of us woke up one day to find we had lost some of “our” perks.  Once the perks are given to us they became ours, and they are expected to continue, and when changed or stopped there is a lot of anger at the offending business.

My thoughts are first that perks are just that perks and they really do belong to us.  They are like gifts that do not have to be given. The problem is we have come to expect these perks, and they are part of our business plan.  We do not plan to have to pay for our showers or to park as we are loyal customers and we buy our fuel at these locations.

You might ask what does fuel have to do with showers and parking?  Good question as fuel is fuel.  But in past years when we buy so much fuel, we get a free shower and it has been expected a free place to park.  Now, these same businesses are figuring out that parking is becoming a premium and the parking is another income stream.  The key word here is business, and all businesses are in business to make money which includes ourselves.

Back to the perks as the perks are changing and causing terrible heartburn, gnashing of teeth, and protests by taking their business elsewhere. The perks have been given for so long that they are expected and considered part of our cost of business.  Why did the perks change?  All I can do is speculate.  Our costs have gone up, and I am sure the truck stops costs have gone up.  In certain areas the homeless have started moving in on truck stops, more and more people are cooking in their trucks, drivers, as well as trucking companies, are using the truck stops as terminals.  We often see someone park their truck in a prime parking spot and then are picked up by someone in a car or they drop their trailer and leave to not come back for a few days.  That also says we are part of the problem as we use the truck stop as our terminal or our home away from home.  How is the truck stop going to make money with us using their business as a terminal and not spending a dime in the store?  Yes, we buy fuel at these locations but I have to argue is that enough to pay for our parking for a few days?

Everything changes and so have our perks, and they are still based on how much fuel we buy, but I have to wonder why base our perks on fuel?  Is this because there are many drivers that are home every night and do not use the shower and meal perks?  Why not address the elephant in the room and that is the freeloaders who are taking up the parking spots so that paying customers cannot find a place to park?  We all have to buy fuel, but all do not use the showers, the restaurant, the laundry room, or the parking. 

What about making all parking paid?  The perks go to those that pay to park and can be figured just like they are on fuel.  If you park more than one day, you get more perks.  This would solve a few problems of now the people who only use the truck stop as a terminal will have to pay, those of us that cook in the truck pay our fair share, and the problem is addressed of those that fuel elsewhere but like the parking in a different truck stop.

If a business is going to give away perks, then give away perks to address the problem they are trying to solve and make it simple. 

Fellow Pro Henry Albert wrote a blog on this subject from his point of view:

If you want it pay for it!

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Linda Caffee

Bob and Linda started their driver careers after their children left home for college in 2000. Bob started as a driver for a large motor carrier with Linda as a rider. They decided to enter the Expedite industry as team drivers in 2005 and purchased their first Freightliner. Both, Bob and Linda have had their Class A licenses since the early 80's starting out driving in the oil field and hauling grain as fill in drivers where Bob worked as a diesel mechanic. Linda worked at the local country courthouse in data processing.

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