For the most part, as a truck driver, you’re alone on the road. That is except for when you are picking up and dropping off your freight. Of course, you want these situations to go as smoothly and swiftly as possible so you can be on your way! There are certain loading dock etiquette and tips you should follow that will keep you on track and safe!
Five Loading Dock Etiquette and Tips
Here are five tips for truck drivers to follow at the loading dock!
1. Communicate effectively.
When you arrive at a loading dock – especially if it is somewhere that you’ve never been before – you want to be sure to communicate effectively. What I mean by this is to be polite and humble. Let them show you the ropes, and don’t assume that things at each loading dock will be the same. In addition, it’s always a good idea to let them know if you are running behind, or to pass on any message that might be of use to the company you’re delivering for.
2. Organize your paperwork.
Next, you want to make sure that you have your paperwork organized. When you arrive at the loading dock, we all know how annoying it can be when they aren’t ready for you. On that same token, it’s equally annoying for them if you are fumbling to find the paperwork or are unprepared for the transaction when you arrive.
3. Remain patient.
Some loading docks are better than others. Regardless of how frustrated you get in situations where people are off schedule, unprepared, or just plain rude, remember that it’s not always about you. Remain patient and try to make the interaction as painless as possible for yourself. The more patient and calm you are, the faster you can get out of there.
4. Respect the rules.
I know. Some of you are reading that one and rolling your eyes hard right now. We get it. More and more people are cracking down on rules and regulations. Some of them may seem ridiculous or pointless to you. However, just the same as we said above about being patient – it goes the same way with following the rules. No matter what you think of the rules, abiding by them will get you on the road faster than arguing about it will. Plus, always keep in mind that you are representing your company. You don’t want to lose your job over something minute.
5. Pay attention.
Lastly, pay attention. Read the signs, pay attention to your surroundings, and make sure that you are respecting the loading dock workers, keeping yourself safe, and unloading your freight properly (if this is up to you.) Loading docks are not always the safest environments, and accidents tend to happen when people are distracted.
With that said, let’s delve into some safety issues you might see at loading docks.
Loading Dock Safety Tips During COVID-19
There are always situations where you can get hurt at the loading dock, from forklift injuries to slipping and falling. However, now the coronavirus adds another threat at the loading dock. The loading dock is one of the few places that truck drivers have to get out of their rigs and interact with people. This is a place where there are usually many regulations to ensure, such as having proper footwear or wearing orange vests, depending on the location. Now, drivers are to do things like wear masks, stay in their trucks and let others handle their freight, and perhaps even have their temperature taken. If you’re ever at a loading dock that feels unsafe, be sure to report it. If you turn a blind eye to people not following policy or procedure, it could lead to yourself or someone else getting hurt.
What are some additional loading dock etiquette and tips that you feel all drivers should know? Drop them in the comments below!