Effective Drive Team Communications - Teamwork Makes The Dream Work
When you’re alone and waiting for an answer, 5 minutes can feel like 5 hours.
Maybe you have an appointment and need additional information; perhaps your truck is broken down, or it could be that you just need a quick answer.
Drivers and their support infrastructure are part of an integral team that must work seamlessly to ensure truckloads arrive on time and in great shape. So how well we communicate becomes key.
We recently had an opportunity to meet with one of our driver/trainers and an operation support member to capture their observations about effective drive team communications.
Many thanks to Jeremy and Stacy for helping us create these 6 tips to better Drive Team communications. Jeremy knows what it’s like to be in your shoes, and Stacy provides a unique perspective from monitoring over a hundred messages per day!
Below are their Top Tips:
Tip #1: Know That Information Accuracy Is Key
At times, it can be incredibly frustrating for drivers who are seeking an empty trailer.
Drivers can really help by typing in the correct trailer number when dropping off trailers. This action will ensure the system has accurate info making it much easier for Support to provide proper information to the next driver. It’s basic, but getting this right helps drivers keep moving!
Tip #2 Know When To Call Versus Use Mobile Communication
Mobile Communication is usually your best bet unless you are driving down the road.
It’s faster and you can avoid the potential drawback of getting voicemail and waiting for a reply.
Mobile communication at Veriha is fast because support team members monitor up to 5 communication boards for key driver messages that need a rapid response.
That being said, there are times that only a call will do and if it’s necessary to reach the office while moving, be sure to call using a Bluetooth device and remain “hands free”!
Tip #3 Use Form Messages
Jeremy points out that Form Messages can be highly effective during certain circumstances such as a breakdown. While breakdowns don’t happen often, he uses the Tractor Breakdown Form Message and provides an updated ETA. It’s both fast and effective.
The Form Message not only provides the support team vital info needed to update the customer, it also sends maintenance your location and contact info to expedite getting you help.
Jeremy also recommends drivers use the macro for preventative maintenance services.
When a driver uses this form, the fleet leader & maintenance team have the ability to quickly secure a service time and get him back on the road.
Tip #4 Send Load Confirmations
Load confirmations are actually vital messages to receive.
Upon receiving your load and completing trip planning, send us a load confirmation. Having a correct ETA allows the support team to work directly with customers to keep lines of communication open and set proper expectations.
Stacy’s experience is customers who are made aware of possible delays, are much more likely to remain positive and be ready to quickly get you into the dock when you arrive.
Tip #5: Communicate Your Availability
It’s our job to match drivers with loads, so as soon as we know your availability, we get to work!
In addition, if we know there’s a driver needing a load we use our “Load Needed Board” to reach out to clients and connect drivers with loads in the area.
Tip #6: Avoid That Frustrated Feeling
We want our drivers to have a positive frame of mind while at work, so even when we don’t have a quick answer, we let you know we’re working on it!
“When I was a brand new driver, I used to get impatient and adopt a rushed mentality. It wasn’t necessarily productive for me so I had to learn how to avoid that feeling. The 5 to 15 minutes I might have to wait for a full answer was never really the “make or break” moment of my day. I learned to trust that Stacy and the team would get me an answer and I could keep moving.” reflected Jeremy.
Bonus Tip - Monitor Your Productivity The Right Way
Instead of looking at your productivity week-to-week…try looking at it monthly, quarterly, or even annually.
If able to take a broader look at your miles and productivity, you can maintain a clearer view of how your driving is progressing and avoid the whole “forest for the trees” pitfall.
Veriha offers unique training programs that will have drivers safely and competently operating trucks regardless of prior experience. We bring the world to you, and our drivers mean the world to us. Contact a Veriha Career Development Specialist at (877) 310-3134 to discuss your trucking career!