What to consider when choosing a truck driver

What to consider when choosing a truck driver

Often the driver is the first face to face contact a customer will have with your business. Let that sink in….

Your product is great, you have the demand, but your reputation as a business is resting on the shoulders of the individual driving it. You want the driver to arrive at the destination on time, safely and deliver professionalism to all in contact with your business through them.

There are great drivers in NZ, but complacency and poor decision making can have detrimental effects on your business’ reputation, finances and the safety of the driver and others on NZ roads. Finding the perfect driver can seem like finding a needle in a haystack, but it is possible to find a trustworthy and responsible driver for your needs.

Check out some tips below:

  • Don’t go hiring Bill because Steve knows him and he’s a really good guy – Word of mouth can be a great way to find contacts and business, but it isn’t the best way to find that perfect driver. Steve may  be a very trusted and reliable source, but there is far more to consider about Bill than if he’s “a really good guy”. Finding a driver can often become a rushed and vague process. You need to know more than just if he has a license, how much experience does he have, what trucks has he driven in the past, and police checks are all great places to start.

  • Personal AttributesRemember, the driver is representing your company, and personal attributes have a big part to play in professional mannerisms. They can also say a lot for an individual’s ability to drive long distances and in difficult conditions.

  • Responsible – It is important to use a truck driver with a sense of responsibility. If they are punctual, careful handling goods and polite to clients, they are accurately representing your business. Having a keen sense of responsibility also plays advantage to their driving, being responsible for their driving and equipment reduces the risk of complacency and accidents.

  • Endurance – Physical stamina and mental endurance are important attributes for a truck driver. Lifting heavy goods or equipment is a frequent occurrence, and they will have to spend long periods of time in uncomfortable positions, as well as spend periods of time away from loved ones on a regular basis. Drivers must be both physically and mentally prepared for this demanding industry.
  • AlertIt is important for drivers to be alert and responsive to safely drive a heavy vehicle for long periods of time, this includes both mental health and vision. Any medication dependencies that alter alertness or poor vision can determine a driver’s ability to safely drive a heavy vehicle. Being alert and responsive to changing conditions and surprises is essential.
  • Calm – Due to deadlines and the physical and emotional strain, truck driving is considered a stressful occupation. Due to the demanding nature of the job, the driver must be able to manage stress accordingly.
  • Experience and qualificationsOn NZ roads there are legal requirements that must be met to drive vehicles of a certain size or weight. However relevant experience is just as valuable.

  • LicensedThe driver must be licensed appropriately to drive the vehicle required. Obtaining this license requires study and passing written and practical tests covering information about vehicles, weights, road rules, trailers etc. The licenses are essential and provide the driver with relevant information needed to stay safe on NZ roads.

  • Police CheckObtaining a police check is useful when choosing a driver for a number of reasons. Firstly, this person will be handling goods, and interacting with your clients so ensuring your business and those in contact with it are safe is essential. Secondly, a police check is a great way to identify any past driving charges, being aware of a history of speeding or driving whilst intoxicated could make the difference when choosing a reliable and trustworthy driver.  

  • Knowledge of mechanicsThey don’t have to be experts or professionally trained, but basic understanding of truck operation and maintenance is useful. By being aware of gauges or indicators that the vehicle isn’t performing correctly means that they can be fixed before developing into a costly and time consuming problem.

Choosing a driver can seem like a daunting task, but looking for the attributes mentioned above is a great place to start. Drivers are responsible for the performance of your business, and choosing one shouldn’t be rushed or be taken lightly.

To discuss the experience and services offered by Independent Linehaul, call Chris on 021622644 or send an email to chris@linehaul.co.nz