Discussion in 'Business Strategy' started by mac, Sep 14, 2016.
or now you're in the possible situation of " Your driver took the wrong freight!!"
From time to time we seem to run into shipper / receivers that make their own rules and for whatever reason think it is the carrier's responsibility to load their own freight. Just had a customer yesterday call us at 4:45 pm stating the truck was there to load but the driver refuses to load! She told us it was not her job to load the freight. We explained to her that it is the shippers responsibility as it is a liability risk for the drivers to load the freight. Her answer was; "but all the other carriers do it!" While this was going on, I find out the driver ended up doing it. I would have preferred he didn't as now we are in a situation with this customer where their beliefs of how things work are of course validated. How are we supposed to enforce these rules if not everyone is following them thus creating an false sense of how things work with these shippers and receivers?
That's a good way to go Salma. I'm also careful with driver assist. it doesn't take much for someone to get injured.. a pulled muscle etc, and the driver is down for the count and in the hospital. I'm also leary about drivers having to climb up on the load for securement and tarping, especially if its steel and its a little wet due to rain. Very slippery.. I appreciate drivers who go the careful route by explaining that they'd rather wait for the material to dry off some before going up and risking injury.
There have been a few times where our truck has arrived at a receiver that does not have a dock, even though we were told that they do. I have noticed that if the freight is heavy, the receiver will insist that they have no other employees available to help our driver unload the trailer. After a few phone calls, a handful of employees suddenly appear out of thin air to help unload the trailer. The receiver knows that the risk of injury is high so they would prefer to sacrifice the driver rather than injuring one of their own employees. You have to be really careful in driver assist situations.
As far as the original question goes, we do our best to address any driver assist situations BEFORE accepting a load. Generally, yes, we do provide this service under certain circumstances but NOT with the heavy loads. In those cases, our drivers are usually willing to help out a bit, if needed, but we always insist that the receiver's employees do the majority of the offloading.
I agree with you. As far as what brokers are paying versus what they're getting, I know that as an average, the percentage is not very high ... but again, on some volatile lanes, sometimes we'd make a lot and sometimes we'd take a hit. We can't look at it from the perspective of each transaction when we're under contract to the customer.
Not saying there aren't some out there just plain gouging, but it's not me ...
To your point ... a load of nursery stock versus a standard load on the same lane doesn't pay the same. Risk vs reward.
We do and have done nursery stock for years. Most is driver assist but we are well compensated to do it. It is usually my brother that does the loads but we do get others to do them once in awhile. Other than that our drivers drive.
I am assuming that the WSIB rates are higher for moving companies than trucking companies due to the higher risk of injury. Carrying heavy personal effects up and down stairs is an accident waiting to happen. As far as general freight my opinion has always been, shippers ship, receiver's receive and drivers drive. Helping to hand bomb a skid or two is one thing but expecting the driver to spend hours unloading a truck is over and above his job description. Customers need to be quoted "dock to dock" and if driver assist is requested the rate must reflect that and shared with the driver. Or decline the freight.
Local drivers definitely have to assist (assist not kill themselves unloading trucks) if required is and always has been part of the job. Hiway drivers lumpers lumpers lumpers with charge back to customer.
I think that as a company, it has to be decided what kind of freight you want to deal with. Obviously, if you're going to do things like personal goods and such, driver assist is common, but in general freight it is not. Most of that freight is palletized and when it is not, there is something in place for shipper/receiver staff to do the work. In other cases, you would hire a lumper service with a pass-through expense to the customer.
Freight that requires driver assist is generally higher risk freight with higher claims ratios etc so pricing has to take all of these things into effect. Only you can judge if there is sufficient reward for the risk.
I just had a great driver injure his back due to a driver assist call. Actually, I think it was caused from a build up of a few assist calls during the week. In any case he is now off for an indefinite amount of time and it has created a WSIB claim. Truck drivers and movers are two different sets of skills and I don't like my drivers doing too much lifting. What policy is in place at your company for driver assistance? Do you provide this service?