Cross Training at TMC - From the Road to the Office
Across all positions, cross training is always going on at TMC. In the past, we've shared blogs about cross training at the VP level as well as a fleet manager experiencing life on the road as a driver. For this week's blog, TMC driver Roger Ihle has written about his experience coming off the road and learning more about life in the office as a fleet manger...
“If I am to be honest, I became interested in cross training as an alternative to losing 2 days’ pay while at a terminal for service. There were nagging questions and suspicions about what exactly happen in the office. For example, how are loads found? Why are they assigned to certain drivers? Within my first hour I quickly realized, however, just how helpful and informative my cross training was going to be.
During my training, my first impression was amazement; amazement at just how overwhelming and busy a fleet manager’s day can be. It consisted of constant phone calls, scanning the computer, checking the status of their drivers and answering last night’s messages. It never stopped. There were brief moments that the volume decreased, but all in all it was steady.
I gained a tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for the tasks performed by every fleet manager; talking to planners, customers and other fleet managers all while stressing about what the best option is available for the driver. I witnessed a great concern for and efforts made on behalf of drivers. I watched loads refused because they wouldn't work. I heard planners told that loads weren't good enough and they needed to find something else. All the while I had often thought the first load offered was the one you were given, and that when I was waiting for load assignments for an extended period of time it was because I was forgotten.
This experience has made me a better driver by providing me with empathy for the fleet managers now that I know their daily operations and just how difficult their job is. I have seen it firsthand, and that knowledge has changed my opinion.
My personality is such that when I feel time is wasting, I express it. However, I believe that my cross training has improved my relationship with my fleet manager because I now understand the enormity of what he does. I know without a doubt that if time is ticking away and it is because of something he is doing, it is being done for a good reason.
I would strongly urge all drivers to take advantage of cross training. I would even suggest that as a part of the initial training and orientation, at least a day is dedicated to the class spending time with the fleet managers. The training will provide useful insight and answer many of the inevitable questions that will arise."
Roger Ihle, Driver