For the most part, truck drivers have the freedom of working alone while driving on the road. This aspect of the trucker lifestyle is what entices many new drivers to begin their careers. However, truck drivers do not solely get 100 percent freedom; in fact, truck driving involves more relationships than you think!
Truckers are required to pick up and drop off their freight at loading docks all over the country. While doing this, truck drivers will have to work directly with dockworkers to ensure the delivery is efficient and correct. Unfortunately, drivers and dock workers seem to butt heads more often than they should. This is where relationships come into the trucker lifestyle.
At TransWood, we work hard in training our drivers to become the best they can be. Below, we share some tips on loading dock etiquette to help make freight pickups and drop-offs go much more smoothly for drivers.
Focus on communication
When preparing for a drop-off at a loading dock, one thing is for certain; no loading dock operates the same. Often, truck drivers are dropping freight off at multiple locations throughout a week. The fact of the matter is that a lot of loading docks work differently from each other. So, when a driver arrives at a loading dock, effective communication should be their main focus. Drivers should let the dock workers show them the ropes, and remain humble and polite with their words.
Dock workers and truck drivers are on a completely different schedule, and it can be frustrating when dock workers aren’t working as quickly as you would like them to. If you are ever behind schedule, be sure to let them know when you arrive and always stay patient.
Before dropping off freight, truckers should always prepare! If you are going to a place you’ve never been before, make sure you plan out the route to help you stay on time. Also, if you have any questions about a certain loading dock location, do not hesitate to ask other drivers at your company! Chances are someone has been there and they could give you valuable information to help make your drop off be as efficient as it can.
Truckers should also have all of their paperwork organized upon arriving at the loading dock. Just as it is a little irritating having to wait on a disorganized shipper, you can make everyone’s life a little easier by having all of your paperwork organized and ready to go before arriving at the loading dock!
Follow the rules
Although it may seem obvious, when drivers are waiting at a loading dock, it’s important to just follow their rules. Loading docks work to make each delivery or pick-up go as fast as possible. So, by following the rules, drivers are able to keep themselves as well as others safe and allow for dockworkers to work as they have been trained to.
Stay calm and patient
Lastly, when at a loading dock, it’s so important that drivers are staying calm and patient. It can become frustrating when dock workers are working at a slow pace, especially if the driver is a little behind schedule. However, sometimes delays are unavoidable. Instead of making a big deal and potentially hurting your relationship with that loading dock, drivers must stay calm and patient and do their best to avoid any conflicts.
If your delivery does in fact take much longer than it should, let your company know about the situation. Instead of saying something and potentially burdening your relationship, let your fleet manager deal with the issue!
Although the trucker lifestyle allows for much independence, it also requires drivers to make relationships with loading docks. Use these loading dock etiquette tips to ensure your pick-ups and deliveries are efficient and safe!
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