Twice as many traffic tickets are now being issued for hand held cell phones being used whilst driving, versus when this was outlawed in 2012.
This is a challenge to you as it indicates a threat to your ORS, the appearance of your fleet, the perception of your brand, and yes, even your fuel costs.
Nothing happens in isolation and the lack of discipline represented by the continued use of hand held cell phones whilst driving is just another indication that everyone needs to pull their weight to set standards that we can all be proud of.
Professionalism is a team effort.
Ignorance is no defense, but nor should it need to be. When you understand the value of your brand and you want the very best for your customers, it comes as second nature to galvanize everyone in your company to live the values by which you want to be known by. Don’t wait for your ORS report to tell you that standards have slipped – take proactive action:
Drivers MUST take personal responsibility for their actions. There are a number who do, but a bigger number who don’t. Those who have slid sideways into the industry to fill the gaps left by the skills shortage, still have something to contribute.
Managers must lead by example, leaving the yard with your seatbelt yet to be fastened, your cell phone glued to your ear and the other hand hanging out of the window is not what you want for your drivers, so stop and think about the example you are setting.
Dispatchers have their own unique pressures, but that doesn’t mean they are excused from their role in the team. Ringing a driver who has no handsfree kit, when you know he is driving – not OK. Also not OK is booking your driver on the interisland ferry without double checking the schedule allows him enough time to get there legally – that means at a fair and legal speed and with all required log book breaks taken.
Quitline exists for a reason – because breaking a habit is not a simple thing to do.
It is almost never that we first work with a customer whose speeding stats reflect the manager’s perception of the fleet. “just a little” over the limit is where most people like to drive, but that means every slight loss of concentration takes you further over the limit, and every downhill blows out your stats for good.
Speeding is a habit as much as smoking, or swearing. It takes discipline to stop doing something that has been a part of your life for so long. Support, role models and peer pressure all play their role, but the first step is for each driver to find his or her own reason for wanting to break the habit of speeding. Have all of your drivers found that reason yet?
Appearances DO count
A clean depot, a tidy yard and a well looked after drivers’ room all set the standard for the care taken in the rest of the company’s business activities. Set the standard for your fleet from the front door to the yard gate. Well looked after facilities encourage everyone to lift their game.
Professionalism is not a buzzword, it is a way of life. Earn the respect of your drivers by recognizing your own sloppy habits and lead your whole team on a journey to do the right thing.