Thanksgiving, America’s one of the most dedicatedly celebrated festivals, is a day that is all about expressing gratitude to everyone and everything that has helped us round the year. Most people thank their friends and family who have been with them through thick and thin. However, what we tend to forget is the people without whom we would not have the money to buy our turkeys.
As fleet managers, we must not forget to thank the drivers who work for us the entire year, round the clock devoid of every weather condition. We would like to talk about the struggles faced by fleet drivers. And in honor of our 3.5 million drivers who work in the trucking sector, we’d spare some time and thank them for their hard work.
The delivery requirements, unforeseen weather conditions, and fleet managers determine a driver’s schedule. Depending on when the roads are clear, some drivers begin their shifts early and others late at night. Some drivers also put in more than 70 hours of work over eight days to complete the job. Furthermore, their work schedules resemble emergency medical personnel like trauma surgeons and ER nurses.
So, the next time an Amazon box arrives at your house or you realize you’re out of your favorite ice cream, think about the fleet drivers who deliver everything to you. It took several hours of driving for you to have that convenience.
One of the most significant pressures the truck drivers have to face is ensuring the items are delivered in excellent condition. When driving a truck, even a slight bend or abrupt braking can cause the cargo to fly around the truck and break or damage. They must therefore pay additional attention to the road and what is going on in the traffic to avoid making rash decisions that could endanger themselves or the packages they are transporting.
Delivering the items on time adds to the pressure of delivering them in flawless condition. Truck drivers must go above and beyond to satisfy the unreasonable delivery and timeliness standards that many businesses in the logistics sector set.
Since a truck driver’s compensation is primarily based on the number of kilometers driven, work might be impacted by unforeseen events, such as delays in deliveries or natural catastrophes. Many non-CDL drivers are unaware that a trucker occasionally needs to travel more than their haul is paying for.
There are occasional unpaid hours for workers in all professions, but truck drivers may find these hours particularly tough because they also work away from their families.
Another significant issue faced by truck drivers is loneliness. Records show that truck drivers’ top reported mental health concern is loneliness.
Consider this: they are frequently gone for hours, days, or even weeks. They go alone in their truck, and when they get to their destination, no one they know is waiting for them. Due to this, their mental health and even their interpersonal connections may suffer in the long run.
In addition to the long hours, truck drivers’ job environment can put them at odds with healthy lifestyle choices. Drivers who travel over the road, or OTR, frequently lack access to healthy food options. Most of the time, drivers consume convenient, quick-to-eat meals and snacks that are high in calories and low in nutrition.
Drivers spend many hours sitting down in their seats without getting any exercise. You are looking at a wide range of potential health issues when you combine this with bad food alternatives. Because a driver’s particular schedule makes it challenging to schedule a doctor’s appointment, they are not treated or diagnosed immediately. Thus, drivers must go above and above to improve their diets and increase their physical activity.
As a fleet manager, your responsibility is to improve your drivers’ working environments. Offer your fleet drivers a hike and encourage healthy competition with performance-based compensation and reward structures.
Choose the best drivers and reward them with monetary and non-monetary incentives.
For example, drivers with the highest safety ratings and the fewest instances of risky behavior on the fleet driver app would be appreciated. It can boost retention and loyalty rates. It might also inspire other drivers to drive more safely.
Make sure to plan long-haul drivers’ schedules with their families and personal time in mind if you are in charge of them. If you long to keep them satisfied, you should provide them with a good work-life balance.
It isn’t news that both you and your fleet will benefit from a fleet management system. So, after you’re done with the truck driver management system’s training process, acknowledge the ones using it efficiently.
You can also encourage fleet drivers to get themselves acclaimed to the fleet driver app to know the shortest route possible, save time and fuel, get updates on maintenance dates, etc. Since the drivers will enhance your fleet’s efficiency, you can give them a bonus and inspire others to get acquainted with TMS.
Like experts in other disciplines, truck drivers cherish and appreciate being recognized. Drivers should have the impression that management cares about them as people and does not only treat them as numbers in reports.
Fleet managers can provide drivers with a sense of value by creating mentorship programs tailored to their requirements. This may entail sending seasoned drivers and mentors to train younger staff members on how to handle the difficulties of being a truck driver on a daily basis.
A mentoring program will not only assist new drivers in strengthening and addressing their areas of weakness, but it may also give them the chance to build wholesome relationships inside the organization.
All in all, it is crucial that we realize the importance of fleet drivers as soon as possible and continuously express our gratitude towards them. Without a doubt, earning bread and butter by working as a truck driver can be excruciating. And at the same time, we cannot function if we take fleet drivers out of the equation.
So, this Thanksgiving, don’t forget to appreciate and think of truck drivers! If you’re a dispatcher reading this, please acknowledge the hard work of the carriers you deal with on a daily basis. Thank the professional drivers you see at rest stops, restaurants, or while driving if you are a person affected by any of the above-mentioned factors and are reading this.
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