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A Reading From the Book of Profits
LONDON, Ont. -- Quick (and although this sounds like a joke it's serious) -- can you name the three types of truck drivers on the road today? According to Ray Haight, executive director of MacKinnon Transport Inc. and the incoming chairman of the Truckload Association of America (TCA), the three types are: cowboys, lost'n'forlorns; and finally, professionals. And, he told an assembly of trucking professionals at the first ever "Driving for Profit" seminar held in this central Ontario city last Thursday, it's the third type of driver that you want behind the wheels of your rigs. The "Driving for Profit" seminar series is sponsored by NAL Insurance, KRTS Transportation Specialists and SelecTrucks and the next events in the series are scheduled for April 10 in Windsor, Ont., Aug. 21 in Kingston and then Oct. 23, in Toronto. For the low price of $50, participants at the London event enjoyed a continental breakfast; a sumptuous lunch and between the meals, two presentations by industry leaders who inspired attendees with ideas for how to find and keep your most valuable resource -- good drivers. The first presenter was David Brown, a recruiter with Rosedale Transport and he was followed by Haight. Brown emphasized tricks for smart recruiting. Don't be afraid, he said, to ask direct questions and then be as honest as possible with new recruits. "Tell them about the little traps that are in our companies." In turn, he says, the recruits will be square with you. He also said it's important to train recruiters to do their jobs with as much enthusiasm as we train drivers to do theirs. Haight then talked about how he and the MacKinnon family wrestled with that outfit's churn rate and brought it from the 1996 high of 120 percent to its current 34 percent. From outfitting the drivers' room with fresh fruit on a daily basis to ensuring that every staff member knows and follows a company's statement of operating principles, Haight says the secret is to "create a positive company spirit, positive company culture with a sense of community in a value-driving organization and you will reap the benefits of low driver turnover." It's the only way to separate the professionals from the lost'n'forlorns.
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