4 Truck Driver Skills Beyond the Driver's Seat

By Sharon Nader Feb 24, 2017
Schneider truck drivers

We might drive trucks for a living, but there are many other truck driver skills that come with the territory and that are needed to accomplish the job. Here are just a few:

1. Safety Officer: A driver’s first job is safety. We represent the ability to deliver freight safely and in a timely manner while following the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) rules. You are always a safety representative of Schneider and our industry, even at home. Many people are worried that the new rules will hurt their ability to deliver freight. I disagree. In my opinion, the new rules force everyone to deal with what is possible and advocate for safety on our highways. Drivers are the most important component of success. It can’t happen without safe drivers! Driver compliance, safe equipment and technology will keep Schneider on the top of the list of preferred carriers.

2. Customer Service Officer: Customer service is everyone’s goal. Schneider wants the shipper and the consignee to be happy with their performance. It’s just good sense and job security to want the customer to book freight repeatedly with Schneider. There is a great need to communicate equipment, routing and shipping issues or problems.

Keep in mind that we are humans, and being polite — even when hot and tired — is also a part of the job and one of the more underrated truck driver skills.

You want your load to be safe, legal and damage-free. It can make or break business for our employer, our customers and even ourselves. Every time a problem is identified and you take the time to correct it or communicate it to the customer and Schneider, you are a customer service representative! Whether you are a good representative or a bad one is a choice you make on a daily basis.

3. Billing Agent: A driver who completes business by submitting paperwork helps Schneider get paid in a timely manner and ensures that the flow of business — and your pay — is uninterrupted. Accuracy is vital to the completion of a transaction. Knowledge of the business system will only improve your scorecard and get you more miles. It pays to know the system. Drivers are billing agents every time they complete a load and get that Transflo receipt!

4. Recruitment Officer: Here is an area that I need to improve. Did you ever have someone ask you a question about Schneider while you are cleaning your windshield or in the middle of fueling? It’s one of those “I could have had a V8!” moments! I can’t tell you how many times I have been approached and was never ready to answer the questions that were put to me. Sometimes I want to go find the person after they leave and complete the conversation.

Here are a few things I would tell them: First, I can’t imagine working for another company. Hauling freight is hard work and it can be dangerous. I want to work for Schneider because of its commitment to safety and for helping me be safer.

Secondly, I would say that Schneider’s technology has greatly improved and is continuing to get better to make my job more productive and safer. I think Schneider has the best of the best technology available.

Finally, I would say that Schneider’s equipment, especially trailers, has never been better. We have updated most of our equipment and more is on the way. From what I have seen, Schneider is concerned about driver satisfaction and they don’t just look at pay — they are trying to stay on top of all areas of business.

On a hard work day in the cold of winter or the heat of summer, we have to remind ourselves of these things and use the truck driver skills we’ve acquired . … Be safe!

What truck driver skills do you rely on beyond the driver’s seat?

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