How do we improve the perception of the trucking profession in society?
Answered August 30 2019
The following methods can help overcome the negative perception many people have of the trucking profession today:
- Professional training
- Improving business relationships and communication
- Using monitoring and preventive maintenance to improve safety
Above all, these methods can help people regard trucking as a respectable profession. This immediately works towards solving the issues the industry currently has with hiring enough drivers.
How do we implement professional training?
Part of the poor perception of the trucking profession is that many view truckers as unprofessional. To remedy this, trucking companies can implement regular professional training for their drivers.
Given the nature of the job, it’s difficult to hold in-person training. The solution is to move that training online. Currently, only 10% of fleets use this type of training for their drivers. That's a pretty low percentage, but it means there’s so much room for improvement.
One of the major obstacles to implementing professional training is the fact that the drivers themselves often see training as punishment. The key to promoting acceptance of regular training is to shift the focus from remedial instruction toward professional improvement. If truckers see themselves as professionals, it should help improve the public’s perspective of them as well.
What builds better business relationships and communication?
Another way trucking fleets can improve the way their drivers are viewed is by working on business relationships and communication.
Long wait times, poor communication, and other factors often contribute to feelings of hostility between drivers and business partners. In order to address those issues, truck drivers must communicate more consistently with shippers and receivers.
Instruction on communication could be included in professional training. Or, providing various onboard tools would be useful in alerting business partners to the current status of trucks and shipments.
How can we improve safety through monitoring?
One final issue that should be addressed is safety. Many view truck drivers as unsafe drivers.
Enter the Internet of Things.
In conjunction with professional training, IoT devices can monitor driver behaviors, like speeding or swerving. The level of accountability these devices bring can help ensure safe conduct on the roads.
Vehicle monitoring tracks the current condition of trucks themselves, providing alerts when something is in need of repairs. This use of IoT devices facilitates predictive fleet maintenance. PdM can go a long way toward making sure each vehicle is safe to operate on the road and, as a result, improving public perception of trucking as a profession.
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