Work Attire for Truck Drivers

You may be a company driver. Or work for a contractor. Maybe you own your own truck and you lease to a company. You may even be 100% on your own with your own truck, your own authority and book you own loads – but it is time to wear the appropriate Work Attire for being a truck driver.

Good Work Attire

Uniform shirt and pants are not necessarily a requirement, but you should dress in a manner that is presentable and appropriate for your job. I have watched drivers walk on to shippers docks wearing (dirty) t-shirts, cut off shorts and flip flops. You have to wonder if the driver was a professional employee or a guy on his weekend break at beech.

One of the allures of truck driving is the relaxed world of being on your own. No boss. Limited co-workers. Your own little world. You can smoke if you do. Drink sodas or coffees. Snack while you drive. A lot of little bits of freedoms that you will not have on an assembly line or in an office environment. You have the opportunity to chat away on the CB or the cellphone – as long as you use handsfree.

While you are in the cab of your truck, you are in your own little world. However, the minute you step out of the truck and into the dock / shipping / receiving area of your company’s customer – you are now representing the company. You should and you must present yourself professionally.

Long Hair and Beards are not no-nos. Many truck drivers have both. Clean and groomed however is expected. The more physical your job – the more important that you take the time to wash/shower as needed. A long haul, dry freight driver may be able to get by with skipping showers. However, a flat bed driver doing a lot of physical work climbing on loads and working with dirty tarps will need to max use of truck stop showers.

A trick that some drivers regularly use is to change clothes. They have work pants, a uniform shirt, a company hat and steel toed shoes that they will don before checking in to load or unload. Once loaded with the trailer buttoned down – they will stop and slip into a t-shirt, shorts/sweat pants, tennis shoes to be comfortable during the drive. Then change back before they unload.

Many drivers also like to carry coveralls that they can slip on during fueling or maintenance activities so that they can keep their work clothes clean and looking for the best during time at the dock.

There is zero reason to not enjoy the freedoms of being a truck driver, yet also looking and presenting yourself and your company in the best right at the times when it matters the most – at your company’s customers locations.

Happy Trucking = John Carter

Load Boards and Freight Finders

Load Boards and Freight Finders

Load Boards and Freight Finders are ways of matching up freight that needs to be moved with the proper and right equipment and drivers to move it. Although the original load boards were available at selected truck stops. Since it cost the truck stops money to install the systems, many were reluctant to do it, although the pay back was that it attracted drivers to park there. Since the driver(s) were waiting on loads, they would likely spend money in the driver’s store, restaurant, opt for truck PM and maintenance, etc.

In the old days – load board access was only available at (select) truck stops or via the home office on a data link. The growth of the internet started changing all that. Now many times drivers/owner-operators can find loads at any place where that can access the internet, even truck stops that do not have load board systems installed.

Additionally, may of the major load boards have portals for access using lap top computers, tablets and smart phones. This allows many drivers to function as their own dispatch service and reduces the need to rely on unknown and unverified brokers.

The value in load boards is the ability to scan loads looking for the best loads that may be available. Calling a broker and asking for work may result in the broker offering the most important load to the broker. There may be other work that pays more and dispatches sooner or even delivers closer to home, but the broker has promised a shipper and is now worried about getting the freight moved.

Why use Load Boards and Freight Finders

With the display of loads based on selected search criteria, truck owners, drivers or dispatch personnel can select from numerous loads that are the most profitable for the truck – which may pay less per mile but involve less detention/wait time and fewer unloaded and thus unpaid miles.

Some Load Boards and Freight Finders validate the brokers and shippers that are posting to their system. This helps reduce the rick of the truck not getting paid for the freight because the load board stands behind broker assuring payments. Brokers that don’t promptly and accurately settle up risk being barred from the load board making it harder to move their future goods.

There are numerous Electronic Load Board systems, but DAT (part of Roper Industries), is the largest and best know. It all started in 1978 at a single truck stop in Oregon and now located in truck stops from coast to coast. There are other systems and truck owners should review several to make sure they get the best on to match their needs. DAT is a general board with loads for a variety of equipments (van, flat, tanker, dump, etc), however there are also load board systems that are tailored to specific equipment. These targeted load boards may offer your truck the best value. So signing up for a load board service is like all business decisions – gets lots of information first and then talk to drivers at truck stops to see what their experiences have been.

Most trucking companies, at some time or another, will need the services of Load Boards and Freight Finders.