In an industry driven by customer service, it is important that we hold ourselves up to a different level of professionalism. Being a driver for a living carries along its own set of responsibilities. While most of the general public would be perfectly fine getting their goods without ever having to see a truck deliver it, they are prevalent on every roadway in our country because we live by a different code…We get it there!!!
Being in the short-haul business, or what some people refer to as local hauling, I deal with more of the customers and public than your average driver. Being the face of customer service for my own business, and Freightliner’s Team Run Smart web community, I hold myself to a higher standard than what most people expect out of a truck driver. When I’m getting ready for my average day where I face multiple shippers and receivers, professionalism is a must, for I am a businessperson first and foremost.
I make it a point before I even think of firing up my truck each day to make sure I am clean, showered, dressed nicely and in the mindset to deliver the goods! If I have a bad day, am tired, or even a bit on the grumpy side, I make sure to bag it in the beginning and not let that affect the job I am out there to do. In my line of work, you have to be ready to go from driver, to freight lumper, and back to driver at a moments notice. The fact that a customer wants to refuse a whole pallet of pet food for one damaged bag on the bottom does not mean you just accept that as the solution; get out there, re-stack it, let them refuse the 1 bag instead of 150, clean yourself up and get back in the mindset to do it again!
Actions like this are all in a days work for me and those other drivers out there willing to go the extra mile. So to heck with the negative public image and negative media surrounding the trucking industry that we make a living in. Rise above the hype and remember to conduct yourself professionally, regardless of what you may encounter out there. Take your place alongside other professionals and stand up against "flip-flop"shower shoes and sweatpants as a daily uniform of choice! Shift gears and make a change for the better to improve your own position in the most important, yet under-appreciated, link in the supply chain. What can you do today to be a truck driving professional rather than just a steering wheel holder?