Driver Ambassador: January Post-Trip Inspection
by Kellylynn McLaughlin, on Feb 3, 2021 12:28:29 PM
Hear from Kellylynn herself! Take a listen to the podcast-version below.
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 reflect, assess, and plan what’s next.
This month I am reflecting on the unique opportunity I have to look forward to in 2021. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has named 25 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers from across the country to serve on a new driver panel to the agency’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) and I am one of those selected. This panel will serve as a sounding board and listening session for that committee. I cannot help but reflect on the importance of this driver panel which will have the ear of our national leadership as they determine the Transportation Department's priorities and craft the legislation that guides our industry.
When I entered the transportation industry over six years ago, one of the things I noticed was that very few drivers were sitting at the decision-making tables. I’m a bit optimistic in that I believe that all stakeholders deserve representation at that table - especially those that are often most at risk and affected by the decisions. I wondered how the driver perspective and experience bubbled up - if it even did at all. There were so many conversations I wanted to have with those making the decisions that impact me and my fellow drivers. AND I knew early on in my transportation career that I wanted to have those conversations at all levels - ground, company, state, regional and national, in the hopes of making a positive impact on drivers.
Being a Peace Corps Volunteer and working for decades in grassroots movements taught me that so many people’s voices are often not heard. Much of my life’s guiding purpose was defined during that era of my life. I had the opportunity to work with the most interesting, diverse, passionate, caring and visionary leaders. One of the things we did annually was get together and put our heads together in strategic planning sessions. I always laugh when I think about how many sticky notes we used during those planning sessions.
To this day, I am still a sticky note girl. When trying to organize my thoughts, do strategic planning or prepare for an interview, I use them. You should see my tractor windshield when working on a project while I’m OTR! I’ve started making my sticky notes of overarching topics to bring forward to the driver panel and thought I would share a few with you.
- Safety of CMV drivers
- Training & development of new CMV drivers
- Parking capacity & infrastructure
- Technology to improve safety, efficiency & driver experience
I am looking forward to meeting those working within the FMCSA and hearing their perspective, working with the diverse group of professional drivers on the panel, listening to those from branches of the transportation industry of which I have no work experience, and bringing the voices of professional drivers (especially those of the female driver) to the MCSAC.
I am so proud of the FMSCA for prioritizing the voices of professional drivers and creating this panel of drivers so that our voices can be heard. We have a seat at the conference table and can participate in decision making process at the national level! How cool is that?! But after all, isn’t our government about and for the people?
My goal is to professionally advocate for and represent CMV drivers with common sense, honesty and respect with the hope that we can work together to improve the lives, livelihoods and safety of our fellow professional drivers.