OTA Dispatch Issue 3, 2022

28 Oregon Trucking Associations, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch Safety—What Is Our Motivation? By AdamWilliamson, OTA’s Director of Training & Development SEPTEMBER HAS BEEN a groundbreaking month in the Williamson household. My wife Sandra and I welcomed our first children—twin babies John and Rose—into our family. It would be an understatement to say that we are feeling overjoyed and blessed by these two little ones! Only a week in, and we already cannot imagine life without them. Of course, life changes when you become a father or mother. Parenthood brings a different perspective to even the old, familiar subjects that you now look at with a fresh set of eyes. In my case, this has meant asking a lot of significant life questions: How are our finances? How is our health? Do we have a good life plan for the next 20 plus years or so? At age 40, I am not exactly a young first-time father, and providing for my family’s future feels even more important than it did yesterday. I would sure like to stick around to be there for my kids as they grow up (and perhaps one day even take grandkids fishing…but that may be getting ahead of things!). Yes, my perspective has definitely changed as a new father. You might say that I am more motivated than ever about certain things. This brings to mind the subject of safety more broadly. Every carrier with a quality safety program invests significant time and resources into educating its drivers on the importance of safety. From the newest hire to the most veteran team member, the message is repeatedly drilled ad nauseum into everyone’s brain. The subject of safety is not new. Perhaps this is a good reason why it is important to periodically stop and remind ourselves of “why” safety is so important to each one of us. Every day a driver leaves on his dispatch and runs the risk of not returning home. Every day a driver makes decisions related to driving habits, diet, and exercise. These decisions can impact not just a particular trip, but also a driver’s career and even their quality of life going forward. Safety (as well as general health and wellness) is a grind at times. It is easy to lose attention, to be distracted by the moment and to lose sight of the big picture. So, what is our motivation? It may be different for different people. For some drivers, it may be simply just making it home to their family at the end of the day. Others may aspire to have an extended, productive career in truck driving; and everyone would like to live a long, healthy life if possible (all things that accidents or health conditions can get in the way of ). Most companies cannot afford accidents (at least not very many of them), and the financial component to safety is a big deal. Trucks are not getting any cheaper today, and it is important to take care of your vehicle fleet as well as your drivers. Bottom line: we should all have a very clearly defined set of reasons why safety is important and worth the investment that we make in it. For both carriers and drivers, there are some things that money simply cannot replace. Each one of you knows what those things are for you. Let’s all be safe out there on the road! SAFETY Adam and his wife Sandra welcomed John Alan and Rose Joy on September 13, 2022.