It goes without saying that everyone at Dot Foods, whether a Dot Foods employee or a Dot Transportation, Inc. (DTI) employee, appreciates our driver force. We all know they have a tough job and that they make us look good.
To celebrate our drivers, I want to run through two main themes I think are appropriate for demonstrating the sacrifice and professionalism our drivers exhibit daily.
Drivers sacrifice their own family time to benefit our customers and suppliers. This means they might miss a few special family occasions. We always try to get drivers back for their special requests, but it would be a stretch to say that DTI meets 100 percent of requests. In other words, drivers sacrifice things that most of us take for granted.
Think of it from the perspective of a driver’s family. Our drivers’ families must understand that the time they spend on the road improves overall family life—even if that driver would prefer to be home for all those special events. It takes a unique mindset to understand that—a sacrifice.
Life on the road isn’t as easy, either. Drivers spend their nights at truck stops or other driver-friendly locations. While truck stops have a lot of facilities that cater to those 80,000-pound vehicles, there are also the challenges of getting parking, eating healthy, and knowing who you can trust and not trust in various locations.
Our supplier partners have the best intentions, but sometimes their actions alter a driver’s schedule. Occasionally, a supplier’s request can dictate whether or not our driver can be back to our distribution center (DC) or back home on time. They don’t do it on purpose but, in these moments, it can be hard to remember the times where things ran smoothly, and our supplier partners set that driver up for success.
Our customers have the best intentions as well. They value the service we provide and the frequency of our deliveries. Our customers’ employees know that the Dot load can be the toughest one they receive that week! Occasionally, they take out that frustration on our driver, who is just trying to service our customer. But there are always two sides of the coin, as the majority of our customers make friends with their dedicated driver and even treat them like family!
In the face of that potential adversity, our drivers remain professional. They make the rest of us look good every time they interact with the public, the supplier, or our customers.
Our drivers are the first to understand a load-quality issue. Most of our customers’ receivers point out the things on the load that could have been done better. Our customer may share their displeasure with our drivers, but the driver has to remain professional through this and, ultimately, put a smile on that customer’s face. But, our drivers also get to hear our customers praise first hand when things look good!
For all of you that drive, I don’t have to get into the professionalism it takes to stay above the fray on our public roadways. That is a given! Our drivers have a professional, safe mindset on our public roads—even when frustration would be an easier choice.
In short, our drivers, through their sacrifice and professionalism, cover all our warts. Our drivers make the rest of us look good every day because of their professionalism and sacrifice. We always owe them our appreciation—but especially during driver appreciation week, we need to say an extra “thank you.”