My husband has been a driver for 24 years and I have been teaming with him for 11 years. A lot has happened in those years. We have had about five family emergencies during our time on the road. Life happens. We have to prepare for the worst on the road and at home.
Providing for family is one of the biggest reasons we are on the road. And without them, we are less motivated. That being said, the wheels need to keep turning to keep money flowing and meet customer expectations with the service we provide. The best solution is to work together to achieve a common goal. But when things happen, and they will, an emergency action plan is vital.
Here are a few suggestions to prepare a truck driver emergency action plan:
- Give certain key family members the toll-free number to reach your driver leader. Your leader can ask you to call in through the mobile communications platform. You will be stopped at a safe place when you return the call.
- Consider your location. Is it feasible to drive home? Can you work your way to the house? You may need to rent a vehicle or buy an airplane ticket.
- Are you physically and mentally capable of driving and working your way to the house? Is there enough time? Driving while emotional is dangerous, and as our Safety First and Always core value says: "Nothing we do is worth harming others or ourselves." Keep that in mind.
- Do you have the funds you need to handle an emergency? You may need a hotel, a car, fuel or an airline ticket. I always try to keep enough funds on a credit card to accommodate an emergency. I also try and save my frequent flyer miles towards an emergency.
- Always ask for help if you don't know what to do. Schneider’s 24/7 support shift and driver managers have all been trained to coach you through to the best decision for you. And never be afraid to discuss what you feel you should do.
- Stay calm and take the time you need to think through the problem. It may sound harsh, but the situation normally has already happened and acting in a dangerous fashion won't improve the problem. Emotions will plane downwards after an initial shock. And if they don't, then you know you can't drive that big rig to the house. We must always think of others in our time of need.
Schneider has strategically located offices throughout North America. It makes it so much easier to know what to do in an emergency. After going through a few emergencies, I find that depending on the distance, there is always a major airport in close vicinity to a facility location.
Stay calm and professional. And stay connected to your leader. Let your family know the proper action to take in any emergency situation. It's the right thing to do.
Schneider drivers are family. It's what makes this company the best!