Driver Ambassador: March Post-Trip Inspection
by Kellylynn McLaughlin, on Apr 9, 2020 4:09:00 PM
As those in the trucking industry know, the Post-Trip Inspection is a time to check and see if anything has changed with your equipment since you began your trip and if there are any items that need to be addressed before continuing on down the road. It’s a time to assess, reflect and plan what’s next.
Recently at the end of an Over-The-Road training week with a new hire for Schneider, I was doing my mental Post Trip Report on what went well and what needed improvement. So much has changed in our daily lives since my past DA Report and I was feeling a bit pensive. I asked my student…”If you could have three truck driving wishes to share with the country what would they be?”. He told me his wishes: 1) customers would provide free snacks, water and restrooms to divers, 2) bonuses for drivers that continue to drive during pandemic, and 3) the public would be patient, not rush grocery stores and and leave some food on the shelves for others. He then asked what my wishes would be. I’ve reflected on that question this week and decided these would be my truck driver wishes to be granted for all professional drivers.
REFLECT - MY THREE WISHES
I wish that the appreciation and respect we are experiencing today in the trucking industry would happen every day. This is a great time to share our stories - the successes and the struggles. Our country sees us right now and is listening! We are no longer In The Way or Invisible.
I wish professional drivers had more access to 3 basic human rights.
Safe shelter - To me this means being welcomed back into communities to park while taking our mandated breaks, to take care of our personal needs, and the NO TRUCKS and NO TRUCK PARKING signs would be replaced with TRUCKERS WELCOME. There is currently a critical shortage of safe parking for commercial vehicles, the capacity is just not there for the number of trucks that criss-cross the country delivering goods.
Maybe now that the essential service we provide is appreciated we can have discussions with communities to find a way to include and make room for us.
Access to healthy & aﬀordable food - Wow this is a hard one. Fridges in tractors are a huge health factor and convenience. Have you ever tried to live out of a cooler for a week or more? It took me a while to figure out how to do it … finding ice at the right time was an issue, water got into my food containers and ruined my meals, mold grew inside my cooler after a while, occasionally my food spoiled and I got sick. I didn’t want (nor did I have the money) to buy food at truck stops. When I drove past grocery stores they often had a sign that said NO TRUCKS. When I stopped for my mandatory 10 hour break it was often not within walking distance of a grocery store or was after store hours. Truck parking at or near grocery stores, pharmacies, movie theaters, barbers, shopping malls would allow professional drivers the opportunity to be more a part of the community and take care of our personal and business needs.
Access to hygiene facilities customers - Easily 50% of the customers I serve do not allow restroom access to drives. Some drivers have commented on social media that customers and communities don’t owe drivers anything…I disagree. We don’t have to continue to accept something just because that’s the way it always been. If a customer provides hygiene facilities (flush toilets and a place to wash hands) to their employees, I want the same access when servicing that customer. I may have driven for 6 hours or more without stopping to service that customer and need the facilities! We all need to be part of the movement to raise awareness about driver struggles and this is definitely one of them for me.
I wish that everyone could take a ride with a professional driver and see the world from our perspective. It’s beautiful, interesting, educational, unpredictable and challenging. Maybe passenger vehicles would understand just how much space we need to accelerate, turn and stop. I bet they would quit merging into us an unsafe manner!
Just maybe they would be patient for a few seconds and wait while we make our turns. Maybe more women would join me and discover this really cool job - and the driver shortage would be minimized!
PLAN WHAT’S NEXT
I plan to take advantage of the positive trucker love song going on in our country right now! I want to share more of our stories, perspectives and challenges with as many people as possible. Join me on social media and share your story!