Wash racks should treat drivers like VIPs
Apr 6, 2011 10:13 AM
Tank truck wash racks play a critical role in the driver sustainability campaign that is being championed by National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC). Through actions or inactions, wash racks clearly affect driver satisfaction.
The wash rack role in driver sustainability was addressed Monday, April 4 on the opening day of NTTC's Tank Cleaning & Environmental Council Seminar in Austin TX. NTTC has stated that it will raise the driver sustainability issue at every association meeting this year.
"We all have to keep in mind that there would be no tank cleaning if the trucks are not moving up and down the road," said Travis O'Banion, National Tank Services. "Carriers are taking a hard look at the way we treat their drivers, and we have to make sure that we are providing the drivers with what they need.
"No driver is happy spending time at a wash rack. Still, a wash rack can become a place where drivers like to go. We can provide a pleasant experience that will encourage drivers to come back."
Providing a pleasant experience starts with showing a driver respect and understanding his concerns. More than anything, many drivers want to be connected with family while waiting at the wash rack. WiFi has become a must for the driver lounge.
Jay Sims, Shreveport Tank Wash, pointed out that what most drivers want is a quick turnaround of the tank trailer they bring in for cleaning. "We also try to give them a comfortable, enjoyable place where they can relax while we clean their trailers," he said.
While drivers want tanks cleaned quickly, they also want the job done right. "Common complaints from drivers are that pump cleaning takes too long, and the pumps aren't cleaned thoroughly enough," O'Banion said. "Hoses are another issue. Many times hoses are assigned to the driver, and he is financially responsible for them. We need to work together to address driver aggravations. We need to open a clear dialogue with drivers, and listen to what they have to say."
Ed Matlage, Miller Transporters Inc, added that the biggest frustration for any driver is to have that freshly cleaned trailer rejected at the loading rack. "Being turned down completely kills the driver's productivity," Matlage said. "In addition, the driver gets criticism from the shipper and the carrier. Wash racks must do everything they can to protect the driver's ability to earn revenue."
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