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Some businesses have the ability to hire long-haul drivers or dedicated staff who are able to truck goods across the country. This can be a vital first step in cementing your logistics chain, and is a cause for celebration. However, it can also be that we ignore the essential necessities of road travel, the toil and hardship that can often come along with that.
This means that equipping your logistics drivers is essential, by investing in them and their experience. Considering the logistics experience from your trucker’s perspective can be an essential means of having your cargo delivered in the best time frame, in the safest manner, and more importantly, with a loyal staff member who is happy to continue delivering loads where they are needed.
After all, building your logistics firm can take time and dedication, but if not polished to a sheen it can suffer and slowly start to become less effective than it might have been. So, let us consider your approach to that end.
The driver must not have to dictate the majority of the route themselves. Taking the maximum amount of effort this requires outside of your driver’s hands allows them to focus on heading in the right direction, driving safely, keeping an eye on the road and defensively considering their cargo. They must not also have to consider the best routes forward, calculate tolls to place on their expenses and where might be suitable to stop for lunch. You should have this calculated for them ahead of time, and equip them with a GPS that will ensure they can follow this. Of course, deviations are also important to consider. Road traffic accidents, closed roads or impromptu weather conditions can sometimes cause the best route to become impeded, and that means your driver should have the freedom to exercise their own judgement.
You may equip them with route planning guides, but you shouldn’t treat your driver as an automaton. Allowing them to exercise the best judgement is key to ensuring your cargo is delivered safely.
Simplify The Process
It is also essential for you to simplify the process as much as you can. For example, instead of having them pay for things through an allowance or to report their personal expenses and then find compensation from your firm, we would recommend looking into services and tools such as the universal fleet fuel card. This can ensure your driver is able to refuel and restock his vehicle effectively from a range of stop stations across the country.
This also gives your logistics office more freedom and accuracy in how they manage your logistics budget, from being alerted to purchases made, setting purchase limits to also opting for PIN security measures that can prevent said allowances from falling into the wrong hands.
GPS Contact & Liabilities
It is also important that you equip your driver with a GPS on his or her vehicle, so you can see just where they are at any time, their forecasted arrival time, and any other errors they may wish to report. A direct line for error reporting or security flagging can also help them in a pinch. This is where excellent insurance options should be available, so they can get help within the hour if there is a maintenance issue. On top of that, liability insurance should cover absolutely everything, from vehicle damage, road accidents to cardo disturbance should an accident occur or should cargo remain incorrectly packaged.
Ideally, a driver should always be able to contact your logistics department at any time, whether driving in the middle of the day or night. This can help them report errors or issues ahead of time, ensuring that round the clock care is ready for them should this become an issue.
It is important to keep a stable trucking experience for your long-haul drivers, considering the ‘rig’ they use. A driver gets to intimately know his vehicle over many hundreds of road miles, and can operate it as if second nature. If continually leasing new trucks with new compartments, new sizes and new operational dashboards, they are prone to become quite confused. As much as you can, invest in the best leased options, or purchase your own new or reupholstered trucks. This can give said professional the same reliability afforded to many other employees in charge of expensive tools.
With this advice, we hope your logistics efforts will become as seamless as possible.