Looking for a job? Have you considered driving a truck?
What is involved? Driving, early starts and maybe night driving, lots of fast food and little exercise.
What skills do I need?
· You need to have a full automobile driving licence.
· You need to be over 18, over 21 or even 25 in some cases. Check with the licensing people regarding the minimum age for driving a truck.
· The ability to speak English. Many companies will not let you onto their premises unless you can understand safety signs and directions written in English.
· Patience. You will meet a lot of stupidity as you drive around the country, largely from inexperienced drivers.
· The ability to work early mornings, or late evenings, without it affecting your body chemistry too much
Where do you start? There are several routes into the job.
· You can start as a driver’s assistant, sitting in the cab, helping to unload and blocking traffic when the driver is reversing the truck. The company will hopefully contribute towards the cost of your truck driving training.
· You can pay a truck driving school to teach you the ins and outs of handling different kinds of trucks.
Once you have a licence you can apply for driving jobs anywhere your licence is valid, or you can buy a truck and set up a transport company. Setting up as an owner-operator is best left until you have more experience of the business.
There are always going to be jobs for truck drivers. It’s just a matter of finding them. This is implicit in any distributed economy, where such a large proportion of end-users are only reachable by road transport.
Owner operators have to actively seek out loads to carry. The Internet makes this much easier. You can contact load brokers, who have access to information on loads to be moved from one part of the country to another. No longer will you have to factor into your quotes having to return empty, so you will get more jobs.
Trucking companies are always looking for employed drivers and all you have to do is to search the Internet, especially the specialist truck driving agency sites to find opportunities in your area.
You will be able to apply for more jobs if your licence covers a wider range of trucks and if you are prepared to travel longer distances or to consider night driving.
A great deal of energy is expended by many of the largest business corporations persuading us that they are truly committed to providing excellent customer service.
If my experience is shared by other consumers looking for reasonable service from businesses, then these claims are hokum.
I am writing this from an Australian perspective, so mentioning specific names is pointless, but I will give some examples of what I have experienced.
A large department store chain is struggling to keep pace with its main competitor. The retailing group owning the department store chain is considering selling off the business, since they cannot see the solution to the poor performance. I have shopped at this department store.
One time, I found entering the store to be an eerie, almost surreal experience. There were no people. Eventually, a few staff members and customers ambled into view. I asked for directions to find a product, and was told ‘to the left’ with the wave of an arm, and no eye contact. A little later, I had to wait for the privilege of paying for the item. Staff morale was obviously at rock bottom, and it was no fun to shop there, so people did not bother. Any senior executive could surely have seen and sensed what I did. Too obvious, I guess.
The telephone company had a promotion which involved telemarketers calling and offering a deal that included a free cell phone. When I received the call, the telemarketer was based offshore, and had a heavy accent. To make matters worse, the telephone line was appallingly bad – I could barely hear what was being said. When I said I did not want a free cell phone the telemarketer demanded to know why not. I ended the call as politely as I could. For a telephone company to market its services over poor phone lines with a telemarketer who wants to argue with potential customers simply defies belief.
I was in one of our major banks, and overheard some conversation from the staff behind service desk. One of the staff, obviously experienced, was dealing with what appeared to be a young customer. She seemed flustered. When the ‘customer’ left, her colleague leaned over and said ‘that was a shopper’, to which she replied ‘I thought so’. The shopper was a phantom customer, used by the bank to check if the staff members followed the prescribed formula to deal with a customer. This branch of the bank dealt with customers who were both wealthy and of advanced age, some a little eccentric. To use the formulaic approach would risk driving them away.
We humans are a gregarious species. We enjoy communicating with our fellows – we need to be needed. We are hard wired to cooperate, so helping one another should come naturally. But no, decision makers, out of touch with day to day life, seem to come up with formulas to better what we do naturally. As I said at the start – hokum.