Wheels of Justice
A perspective on driver professionalism
I am always interested in concrete suggestions as to how everyday truck drivers and carriers can reach a desirable position in the years to come. Some excellent concrete responses I have re-ceived have come from Joseph Simons, president and founder of DNA of Commerce, a provider of “image-driven workforce solutions.”
Joseph knows the trucking industry from top to bottom. He’s been a company driver, trainer, fleet manager, corporate director of driver retention, director of operations, director of safety, director of recruiting and vice president of hu-man resources. Check out his Web site at www.DNAofCommerce.com.
Most drivers and carriers are concentrating on hours of service, electronic onboard re-corders, freight rates, fuel costs and wages, but not on people. “Image is what it is all about,” says Joseph. “The image in the public’s mind is what must be changed.”
Changing that image is why Joseph started DNA of Commerce. He calls it “Image Driven.” He uses the acronym DRIVEN to guide his message. “D” is for demonstration—the driver must show the public he is a professional worthy of their respect. “R” is for responsibility—the driver must show personal responsibility for every one of his actions. “I” is for integrity—the driver must show he will be honest even when no one is looking. “V” is for value—the driver must show he provides a valuable service. “E” is for excellence in his profession—the driver must show he is a true professional by his actions and his deeds. “N” is for nobility—the driver must show he has the pride and self-esteem in his chosen profession, just like any doctor or lawyer has in theirs.
Joseph’s concept is to look to other industries to see why they have such good images. He suggests that we observe those that carry freight and people, such as airlines, rail and shipping. All bring to mind professional, ethical and qualified people and certainly are not considered “jobs of last re-sort.” What is it about air, rail and shipping that makes them seem more professional than truckers and trucking? These are the best of times for trucking, because today you, me and everyone involved can take the time to look into the mirror and determine if we like what we see. Are we willing to change ourselves, other drivers, the carriers, the public’s image of us and the government to make trucking a true profession? Nothing worth having is easy, so today is the first day for you to make changes so we can all use trucking’s ladder of success.
Jim C. Klepper is president of Interstate Trucker Ltd., an organization that provides legal defense protection to commercial drivers. Jim is a lawyer who focuses on transportation law and the trucking industry in particular. He works to answer your legal questions about trucking, and he holds his Commercial Drivers License.