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Maximizing Your Productivity on the Road

Posted in Blog  
Friday, November 15, 2013

by John Siebert, Driver, NTB Trucking

I was asked to give some pointers for maximizing productivity as a driver. I have found helpful in consistently achieving miles per week well above the fleet average. I would like to address this in a couple of ways.

First, I think that a proper viewpoint is imperative if one is to achieve maximum output. Let me give a few points that help me.

  1. I am a goal setter. I want to consistently do better than I did the previous week, month, year, etc.
  2. I believe that goals are accomplished by understanding the needs of the employer and having my productivity in line with what makes the company profitable.
  3. I want to be a person that 'strives for...' verses a person that 'settles for...' Too many 'settle for' what they think is 'good enough' and will find their production average to mediocre. I want to be always 'striving for' not just good, but excellence. It takes discipline, drive, continual evaluation, and learning ways to improve.

Second, let me share a couple of practical things I do to help myself accomplish my goals.

  • PREPARATION. I want to be prepared each week, and each day, so that when I come on duty, I can give my entire 14 hours to NTB. I eat a good meal before the day begins and have my coffee thermos full, fresh fruits and vegetables (great energy food) in a cooler beside my seat to snack on through the day so that I do not have to stop to eat until my 14 hours are complete
  • DETERMINATION. I want to use every minute profitably. Minutes matter!!! In this age of electronic logs, having a couple of minutes more at the end of the day can mean the opportunity for one more move. Bathroom breaks are taken at destinations so I do not have to break in route. Paperwork is done while fueling, or waiting for store managers. Routes are planned according to the shortest time. I continually look for ways to shorten my stops while fulfilling responsibilities. Carrying my broom to the back of an empty trailer assuming it needs swept out saves from going back after it when I see it needs swept out. I want to be confident at the end of each day that I have done everything possible to maximize my time.
  • DRIVE. I find that the most important key to maximizing miles is what I do the last two hours of the day. Having a couple of extra minutes that allow me to deliver another store, move to my backhaul, or get to a safe haven for break that may be 15 minutes further down the road not only increase a day's output, but also increase the opportunities for the next day. I want to use as much of my 11 hours of allotted driving time each day as possible. I trust this is helpful and will inspire a few drivers to commit themselves to strive for excellence.

Tagged with ProductivityTrucking