There are plenty of career paths you can take in the trucking industry. One of these paths is to become a professional driver manager. The job of the manager is to oversee all the drivers on a given team or sometimes in an entire driving company. This job not only requires for you to know what is going on with each trucker on a professional level but it also means getting to know each one by name and building a relationship with them. Every driver should feel as though they can come to the manager to talk about anything that is bothering them or causing them worry. Below you can discover what steps you should take in order to be the best driver manager possible.
Be a good listener
One of the key ingredients to letting your truckers know that you respect them is to listen to them when they speak to you. Showing interest in their work as well as in their personal lives let them know they can trust you in the future should they need someone to talk to. Listen to them when they are satisfied with their job as well as when they are frustrated or stressed. Regardless of what they need, you have to be there with an ear to lend.
Take time to go on ride alongs
If you truly want to be able to put yourself in your drivers’ shoes then going on ride alongs with them is the best way to do that. When you go on a ride along you get to experience what an average day in the life of a trucker is like and that will make you a better manager in the long run.
Understand your drivers have lives outside of their jobs
Being a good manager means acknowledging that your drivers have other obligations they must tend to outside of the job they do for you. Flying off the handle when someone has a family emergency or scheduling your driver to be on the road for weeks at a time away from their loved ones is not what being a good manager is about. Have compassion, be understanding and it will help you in succeeding over time.
Make everything a team effort
One mistake managers often make is making decision strictly based on what they want. When you are addressing your team make sure to think of everyone and speak as though you have done so. This means avoiding using words like “me” and “I” and instead speaking in broader terms like “we” and “us”. You want every driver to be on a united front and you want that front to be the same one you are on as well. Don’t get greedy, do what is best for everyone. It is your responsibility to do so.
As a professional driver manager it is your job to ensure to happiness and productivity of your team. Always remember that there are many people relying on you and the last thing you want to do is let them down.