Why is Truck Driver Communication Important?
Strong communication is crucial to business success in any industry and is particularly important for trucking companies. Clear, thorough, and effective communication ensures that all shipping processes run smoothly and safely.
Strong communication is crucial to business success in any industry and is particularly important for trucking companies. Clear, thorough, and effective communication ensures that all shipping processes run smoothly and safely. In this guide, we discuss the importance of truck driver communication, ways truck drivers can improve communication skills, and where to apply for a trucking job with a great company.
The Importance of Truck Driver Communication
Trucking companies are complex businesses with many stakeholders, high stakes, and countless moving parts. Plus, these complex facets are usually spread across large geographic areas, complicated by many supply chain variables beyond any one professional’s control. Communication is essential for keeping everything running smoothly and successfully. Let’s break down a few reasons why communication is vital for truck drivers.
Safety is the top priority for the trucking industry, and solid communication is critical to help drivers stay safe on the road. Drivers must perform vehicle and load inspections before and after trips and communicate statuses with management teams. In return, management teams can provide attention as needed and openly share the timelines of repairs. Proper communication helps dispatchers, brokers, and drivers coordinate rest breaks for drivers and trucks undergoing repairs. Team communications can also give drivers insight into changing weather or road conditions so they can plan ahead and adjust routes as needed. To learn more about trucking safety, read our blog, 15 Truck Driver Safety Tips on the Road.
Quick Problem Solving
Timely and effective communication ensures that problems can be identified and addressed quickly before the issues have time to escalate. Difficulties can arise in many stages throughout the freight process. When delays, complications, and concerns are brought up early, drivers and freight teams can collaborate to arrive at a solution.
The entire global supply chain relies upon efficient trucking operations, but keeping everything running smoothly is easier said than done. Communication ensures that everyone is on the same page and working together. For example, drivers rely on accurate and timely updates to understand hauling protocols, pick-up locations, drop-off locations, route changes, and more. Monitoring and sharing important trucking news and information can prevent confusion and frustration and ensure everyone can confidently complete their jobs.
Poor communication skills and patterns are not just damaging to productivity; they are also damaging to morale. Truck drivers deserve respect and appreciation, and practicing strong communication skills is a significant way to demonstrate respect and help employees feel confident in their roles. Respectful communication requires promptly and professionally providing information as well as actively listening to the needs, concerns, and thoughts of others.
Communication is also a massive part of customer service. When truck drivers, freight brokers, and other shipping professionals have open, honest, and proactive communication pathways with shipping customers, everyone can feel confident in the success of the shipment. If issues arise, strong communication patterns allow for rapid responses that can further reinforce the positive reputation of the truck driver and trucking company in the minds of shippers.
7 Ways Truck Drivers Can Improve Communication
There are many ways truck drivers can improve communication. Hint: many of these ways involve a team effort. Read on to learn more.
Waiting for a response to a question or concern is stressful and inconvenient. Proactive communication involves taking the initiative to reach out in advance and promptly responding to inquiries you receive. In cases where an answer is not immediately available, we recommend responding with confirmation of receipt and letting the other person know you are working on a solution and will follow up as soon as possible.
Clarity is key to successful communication. Try to describe situations effectively by stating the facts and speaking from a first-person perspective if emotions or other subjective aspects of a situation must be expressed. These strategies can improve the likelihood of productive outcomes and reduce the possibility of conflict.
There is a time and place to share your life story, but professional trucking communication is not that time. In trucking communications, time is often a major factor. Get straight to the point and only include the necessary details.
Know the Lingo
The trucking industry has its own language, terms, codes, and lingo. Originally designed to optimize the use of limited radio channels, the lingo has become solidified into trucking culture. To keep communication flowing along well, learn the terms and use them. Please read our blog 115 Trucker Lingo Terms to Know for Effective Team Communication to learn more.
Practice Active Listening
Communication is a two-way street. It is not just about giving information but also about receiving it productively and effectively. Learning active listening skills can go a long way in improving communication abilities. The core tenants of active listening are paying attention, using body language that communicates attentiveness, withholding judgment, reflecting upon what the other person is saying, asking clarifying questions, summarizing your understanding, and asking for feedback.
Use the Right Tools
For many years, truck drivers could only communicate via radio. Now, many more options include company apps, social media, and more. The key to solid communication is to use the tools at your disposal and use them properly.
Work for a Great Company
Even if a trucker has excellent communication, the communication outcomes can only be as strong as the trucking company. To maximize the quality and impact of your communication, work for a company that prioritizes strong, honest, respectful communication.
Truck Driver Jobs at QFS Transportation
QFS Transportation is one of the best intermodal trucking companies offering intermodal trucking services throughout the United States. At QFS, our drivers come first– that is why our network of Owner Operators have a great road-home balance, a dedicated support team and safety staff, and the experience needed to help our drivers succeed. QFS Transportation is always searching for experienced drivers across the entire nation. If you are interested in hauling for QFS, fill out our Driver Application or our Tractor Application.