“Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it”. Anthony J. D’Angelo, Author.
We have all heard the adage about reinventing the wheel. Why spend a great deal of time and effort on working through something that someone has already explored or created? When Women in Trucking Association was formed, we looked at other trade organizations and professional groups and determined what parts of them worked for us and what didn’t. In fact, we took a lot of our ideas from an organization called Women in Aviation International (WAI).
At the time, I was working on my private pilot’s license and joined the WAI because I wanted to meet other women who fly. The airline industry isn’t all that different from the trucking industry and both have a very small percentage of women in the cab or the cockpit. Many of our challenges are similar, so why not cooperate on our efforts?
What if we took that idea a step further; to redesign ways for our drivers to enjoy some of the perks that their fellow pilots appreciate? What if we looked at airports and how they work to design better stop-over experiences for professional drivers?
For example, a pilot is assigned a specific route to avoid other traffic and any congestion. Wouldn’t it make sense for the trucking industry to route drivers to the best highways during the best times to avoid as many automobiles as possible?
Commercial airplanes must deal with those of us who fly small aircraft, but small aircraft are limited in our airspace and even in some airports. If our planes are too slow or don’t have the proper equipment to communicate with air traffic control, we are prohibited from using the same airspace as our commercial counterparts. What a novel idea; to give the big
planes (and big trucks) the priority because they are the ones with the
more urgent deliveries.
You probably won’t see a single engine Cessna flying into Chicago or Atlanta’s airports and you won’t find a general aviation plane over 14,000 feet above sea level. Those lanes are reserved for the larger, faster airplanes. Maybe trucks should have their own ‘space’ as well.
Although many small airports offer self service fuel, it’s only for the airplanes that can accommodate the small fuel hoses and slow discharging pumps. The more important airplanes have the fuel delivered to them via a fuel truck. Wait, what if we could do that with tractor-trailers?
Anthony Petitte, CEO of TruckPark, Inc. (http://truckpark.com) found that on average a driver must wait 62 minutes to obtain fuel at a truck stop. That’s over an hour to get your tanks filled while sitting in the fuel line for an extended length of time.
What if the trucking industry adopted the airline industry practice of offering to fuel a truck to fill those tanks? The driver could pull into the parking area and order the fuel and wait for the delivery while he or she rests or secures the truck for the night.
Many female drivers have chosen to eat and fuel at one truck stop and then move on to another area to sleep so that no one is aware that there is a solo female in the truck. If all drivers could pull into a parking spot and wait for a fuel delivery, this could be a safety factor as well.
What if you could have the fuel delivered to you while you are waiting to unload or load at a customer’s dock? It’s almost the same as having my back-yard propane tank refilled so I can keep my house warm.
Thanks to the forward-thinking attitude of Mr. Petitte and his colleagues at TruckPark, Inc., you will be able to enjoy this service yourself. Instead of reinventing the wheel, they realigned it to make your life easier. In 2021 you will be able to have diesel fuel delivered to you, wherever you are as they have partnered with a company that delivers on-demand fuel services.
No, you won’t pay more for this service because they typically charge LESS than the rate you pay at the fuel pump, but at the very least they will match the rate you pay. Think about how much time you could save if you are not sitting in the fuel line?
Now, if we could address the congestion issue …
Why not adopt some airline ideas in the coming year? Let’s realign those wheels and make the trucking industry a more successful and productive one in 2021.
Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 17 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks North America, BMO Transportation Finance, Great Dane, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder System, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org
Ellen Voie founded the Women In Trucking Association in March of 2007, and currently serves as the nonprofit organization’s President/CEO.