6. Communication. This is not just what is said or heard. You need to maintain a paper trail on all aspects of your trucking business. If it’s said and it’s important, write it down: who you talked with, when you talked with them, what was said by all parties, what was the final agreement, and if it's extremely important, have everyone sign the document. Just because it’s spoken doesn’t mean it will be remembered. Don’t assume everyone is on top of any situation. If circumstances change, whether it's concerning delivery or pick up times, repairs required on equipment, solutions to situations, or a personal dilemma, be sure it's communicated to anyone with a need to know.
7. Teamwork is multi-tiered when it comes to trucking. There's the obvious team of driver, dispatch, maintenance department and safety, where teamwork can make everyone’s life more financially rewarding and less stressful, working to provide the best logistics service to the company’s customers. But don't forget the other team members, the major reason you’re out there doing what you do: your family. Work with your spouse to develop your Must Be At Home list and set family goals, which must be compatible with your trucking goals.
8. Your shippers and receivers are king when it comes to Customer Service. Treating them as royalty is the first step to your success. To make sure your customers receive the best service, treat your drivers like you want your customers taken care of and you'll not have to worry how customer service is performed. The best way to retain your customers is through the value of the highest quality service possible. Remember, value is determined more by quality of service than by price alone.
9. Personal care means take care of yourself, in mind, body, and soul. Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Don't allow yourself to become isolated from others by the sheer nature of your work. Be sure to exercise, even if it’s nothing more than a good brisk walk. Think twice, eat once; look at what you're about to eat. Is it nourishing? Is it something that will cause you problems later? If the answer is yes to the first question and no to the second, enjoy it; if not, consider something else. Each day spend a few moments in spiritual contemplation to refresh your soul. Set an example for your employees and drivers.
10.Recreation is needed too. All work and no play makes for an irritable motor carrier owner and trucker. Schedule a hobby or activity which has nothing to do with trucking. This is your escape from your day-to-day responsibilities as a trucking company owner. Plan to do this at least once a week. And again, don’t forget to provide time and encouragement for your employees and drivers to do the same.
The real trick to being a successful trucker is good ol’ common sense. For a motor carrier owner, life goes by a load at a time. For a trucker, it goes by at sixty-five miles per hour. Don't forget to engage the Jake every so often to see what the rest of the world is up to. Follow these ten tricks, and success will be your treat.
Until next time, good loads and safe roads, everyone.