Have any of you ever found garbage in your trucks? Once when I was backing up one of our vans in the yard, I reached under the driver’s seat to slide it forward and got a handful of french fries soaked in ketchup. Even worse, I found ants feeding on chicken bones that were next to the french fries.
Enough was enough! I met with all our supervisors and drivers the next morning and warned them they’d better keep the trucks clean. I asked them how they could ride in a truck that was so littered with food and trash. They blamed their mover/helpers—but couldn’t name any of the “offenders.”
To fix the problem I inspected the trucks when they returned to our base. Would you believe they still came back dirty? Their excuse was there was trash in them already when they departed at dispatch time.
I finally devised a process that kept them clean by adopting the following procedures:
1. Before a driver left the yard, he had to thoroughly inspect the condition of the cab (including under the seat). If he found trash, he had to immediately report it to operations before leaving. If he chose to depart without notifying operations, then he “owned the trash.”
2. Our drivers, who were not necessarily supervisors, were given the authority to make their passenger/movers clean their trash before returning to our base.
3. Our CSR sat next to a window overlooking our truck yard. When trucks returned from a job, she inspected them on an irregular but consistent basis. When she greeted a crew in the yard, they were to open all the truck doors (including the rear rollup) and stand quietly next to their truck while she inspected it. She was merely an information gatherer. She filled out a “Truck Return Inspection Form” and filed it unless the truck came back dirty.
4. If it came back dirty, management met with the driver and reprimanded him. A reprimand might consist of the driver having to clean the truck, paying another employee to clean it, or in a worst-case scenario, being put on probation for 30 days.
Within a week, this process worked—trash in our trucks was no longer a problem.
TRUCK RETURN INSPECTION FORM
Truck No.: ___________
Inspected By: _________
Cab: Clean o Dirty
Vehicle Cargo Area: Clean o Dirty
Pads Folded? Yes o No o
Equipment Stacked neatly? Yes o No o
Fuel Tank(s) Full? Yes o No o
Write here anything that is broken, missing or wrong with this truck: _______________________________________________________
For more information on our online office moving training, please visit www.officemoves.com/training/index.html or call Ed Katz at 404.358.2172.