It’s a difficult thing to get the culture of any business positive, but to get this right in the trucking industry can be even more difficult, this means care and consideration is required throughout the business. Getting it right can bring great benefits, getting it, even slightly wrong and there will be consequences.
As with all cultures, the key to a good one is the nature of the relationships between everyone involved. Too much of a top-down command structure and resentment can build in parts of the team, as uninformed decisions are handed down with little thought of all of the consequences. Too little influence from the top tier and the situation gets confused and teams tend to form factions and conflict ensues.
There are many different scenarios which play out like this is any situation, this is not solely a trucking thing. One of the added complications is the other people people working in a trucking operation have to interact with and the pressures on those others and the way this influences their interaction with people like truck drivers.
For drivers out on the road interaction with colleagues from their own operation can often be limited, apart form the usual stuff between operations teams and the drivers.The drivers do, however, have a lot of interactions with customers’ staff and sometimes customers’ customers’ staff.
These people do not have anything to do with the trucking operation apart from the simple act of loading or unloading a truck. There are no more considerations to be taken on board than ensuring its the right stuff, the right weight, or the right number of boxes, and they are not damaged.
It is at this interface where it is difficult to control culture, so therefore, it is at this interface where there is a lot of care and consideration required. A warehouse supervisor getting grief from their manager about and issue, may take it out on a driver delivering goods at the loading dock, or vice versa, if the driver is under pressure.
No-one gains from this interaction and any incident could sour a relationship and put a business relationship into doubt. This is not a desirable result from a simple lack of care and consideration on the part of the parties, working for different entities, involved at that interface.
From my many years working in the trucking industry and trying avoid the kind of conflict I have seen take place, I came down to a simple motto to live by, when arriving at a collection or delivery site, “It’s nice to be nice!”