What Does It Take To Be The Best?

Topic 22444 | Page 2

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G-Town's Comment
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Since there isn't a single word describing the process for learning from one's mistakes, I'll offer a close match; "sensible". You cannot be sensible without the ability of learning from mistakes. Honestly for me, this is right up there with the importance of patience. I cannot count the number of times I learned from a mistake or from an experience that didn't go well because there was a better way,...still happens.

The other one is "resilient", for me the ability to make lemonade from a lemon, roll with the punches and effectively play the hand you are dealt. All part of the job and one of my favorite "trucker-attribute" words. Here is the Dictionary Definition of Resilient: Adjective; (of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. I think the trucker application of this is obvious.

So here is my resilient story:

Most of our Walmart back hauls are drop & hook. All it requires (usually) is to show up with an empty at a processing plant or DC. A "serviceable" empty is required. Implied is; the empty you deliver is eventually loaded and ready for pick-up several hours later by a different driver/truck. This is usually the case and a process that affords the constant luxury of very low wait times at shippers. During the hot summer season, water back hauls are frequent. Many times during the summer when I deliver water pallets to a store, it goes right to the floor from the trailer, available for immediate sale. It moves that fast.

Anyway the back haul is always returned/delivered intact as a full 45,000-46,000 pound 21 or 22 pallet load to the Walmart DC. So about 2 years ago, on a very hot August afternoon, during the peak of "water season", I arrive at Nestle' in Breinigsville PA to pick up a load of Deer Park Pure Mountain Spring Water. Proceeding through the gated lot, I find an open spot, park and proceed to the shipping office. Much to my surprise, the clerk informs me it's a "live load" (the L word) as opposed to the usual "hook and go" routine. I asked; "how long is my wait time for this?"

She replied; "about 90-100 minutes."

Remember? It's peak water season so Nestle' is running a bit behind. "Yikes" I thought, "I have only 2 hours 10 minutes left on my 14 hour clock". In order to make it back to the Walmart DC, I need about 1 hour 10 minutes for the drive. I calmly and professionally described the issue I had, and she explained the last Walmart empty they received was placed "out-of-service" with a flat tire. "Oh joy." Basically they were out of empties and needed mine to keep things going. This does happen, but why me this time. Hah. "Okay" I thought; "that truly sucks". My plan to have dinner with several other drivers at the DC that night, wasn't meant to be. So I asked the shipping clerk if there was something we could do to remedy this, such as; were any other Walmart loads ready for pick-up available to swap with my assigned live-load BOL. She informed me there were three and offered that I could take one if I received approval/authorization from the DC. I asked for the trailer numbers, BOL #s and proceeded to call my DM; explained the situation, offered him a possible solution and relayed the collected information . It was good, very good with him, so he put me on hold, called over to Walmart dispatch and got an approval to take one of the available pre-loaded trailers. In no more than 35 total minutes of total time, I had a new Load Bill, spotted my MT in a space, and was on my way after a pre-trip on the trailer. The load I had was originally dispatched on was reassigned to another Walmart driver for a pre-load pick-up about 2-3 hours later.

In this case everybody wins; Nestle' got their empty, my DM kept his assigned freight moving on the same shift, the next driver will have a pre-loaded trailer and I made it back to the DC able to enjoy a meal with friends I rarely see. In addition, and more importantly, I will have a full 14 to start my next day, instead of breaking for 10 hours, restarting my clock, driving and getting back to the DC with a running "hot clock" cutting into the next shift's productivity. At least with Walmart Dedicated making it back to the DC at the end of every shift is key to maximizing efficiency and overall compensation potential.

It's little details like this, that can make a big difference in driver, DM and planner performance.

Shipper:

The customer who is shipping the freight. This is where the driver will pick up a load and then deliver it to the receiver or consignee.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

Out-of-Service:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Rainy D.'s Comment
member avatar

Ability to prioritize and keep things in perspective.

Is it really that big of a deal it took 2 hours to fix the tire? it really needed to be fixed and that 2 hours could save you major headaches and fines.

DAC:

Drive-A-Check Report

A truck drivers DAC report will contain detailed information about their job history of the last 10 years as a CDL driver (as required by the DOT).

It may also contain your criminal history, drug test results, DOT infractions and accident history. The program is strictly voluntary from a company standpoint, but most of the medium-to-large carriers will participate.

Most trucking companies use DAC reports as part of their hiring and background check process. It is extremely important that drivers verify that the information contained in it is correct, and have it fixed if it's not.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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People skills and a decent sense of humor. All too often you hear about the drivers who do it because they're not a people person. Decent social skills and a good sense of humor go a long way, especially if you're dealing with someone who might be having a bad day or just dealt with a real piece of work driver. Play your cards right and you'll find yourself on someone's good side, which can put you in a door before the real jerk.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

The Wise Old Dragon breathes the fire of truth:

People skills and a decent sense of humor. All too often you hear about the drivers who do it because they're not a people person. Decent social skills and a good sense of humor go a long way, especially if you're dealing with someone who might be having a bad day or just dealt with a real piece of work driver. Play your cards right and you'll find yourself on someone's good side, which can put you in a door before the real jerk.

*like

Susan D. 's Comment
member avatar

Determination is important! Don't give up when things get tough. Always deliver early as possible. If it's somewhere I've never been, I'll show up way early, smile and plead ignorance lol. "Really? Wow I'm Soo sorry.. I was told I could deliver this now. If it's a problem, I'll be glad to come back later.. yada yada". . They'll generally work me in much earlier, if not immediately. Today I called earlier in the day knowing full well that customer closes at 430.. I should be there about 0415, IF I don't get stuck in traffic . Could you please unload me if I'm there by 500? And yup, got there at 5 and they had waited on me. That means I can be waiting at my final delivery when they open in the morning and go pick up my next load 10 or so hours early lol. And you know I'm going to try it. Worst they can say is no. But going in with a smile and a good attitude makes all the difference in the world.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Dave Reid's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Also, getting to your fuel stop the night before and fueling up while simultaneously logging your pretrip.

double-quotes-end.png

Be careful with this, it could get you in trouble with Dot. You should check with your logs or safety department before doing that one.

My guess is that Unholychaos meant that he would do the pretrip at the same location as the fuel stop and get most of that knocked off before starting his 14....but then log whatever his company requires for pre trip and fuel stop. That is exactly what I usually do. In my case, I am required to log 5 minutes pre trip and 5 minutes fuel stop. But, it takes longer than that to do those things....so I do 'em, and then split. At some point I will make the entries...maybe toward the end of when I am doing the things or maybe later. By my first break of any significance, my log is up to date...usually sooner. Also, sometimes I stick the entry for the fuel stop at the end of the prior day, especially if my hours that day were lighter than they will be for the next one.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
member avatar

Puttin SAFETY and runnin LEGAL above ALL ELSE.

millionmiler24 (CRST Amba's Comment
member avatar

T: Tenacity
O: Open Minded
P: Patient

T: Tactful
I: Independent
E: Extrovert
R: Respectful

D: Determined
R: Road worthy
I: Intelligent
V: Very Safe
E: Extremely Cautious
R: Repetition

I tried there to come up with words or groups of words that fit each letter in the phrase Top Tier Driver. I hope I did good here. If yall can think of somethin better than what I have please put it in here. 😁

Jeremy C.'s Comment
member avatar

As a newbie, I can only allude to the top three (already been posted here) that I think stand out as the most important. The others may come with time, but without these three you'll never get off the training range...

  • Humility (Brett)
  • Resilience (G-Town)
  • Determination (Susan)

Clearly these are not the only traits necessary, but without these three specifically, ya don't even make it out of the gate.




MillionMiler, very nice!

T: Tenacity
O: Open Minded
P: Patient

T: Tactful
I: Independent
E: Extrovert
R: Respectful

D: Determined
R: Road worthy
I: Intelligent
V: Very Safe
E: Extremely Cautious
R: Repetition

This should be on a trucking poster somewhere. smile.gif

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

T: Tenacity
O: Open Minded
P: Patient

T: Tactful
I: Independent
E: Extrovert
R: Respectful

D: Determined
R: Road worthy
I: Intelligent
V: Very Safe
E: Extremely Cautious
R: Repetition

I tried there to come up with words or groups of words that fit each letter in the phrase Top Tier Driver. I hope I did good here. If yall can think of somethin better than what I have please put it in here. 😁

That was fantastic!

smile.gif

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