We all do it, cut corners in our daily job. It could be as simple as reading just the summary of an email, doing a quick walk around for an inspection, or eating a receipt to a toll road to make that log book match. It happens to the best of us at any given time and is part of our human psyche, but it can also be the cause of some of the greatest problems in our industry or in any industry for that matter. Think about the last time you took a short cut and regretted it, maybe you didn’t do that pre-trip inspection to the best of your abilities and got stopped at the scale and fined or put out of service? Maybe you took a short cut through an area that trucks weren’t allowed to go and got fined for traveling on a no truck route? We see it every day in the newspapers and on the news.
There are the bus drivers that have taken a short cut in New York State and taken the top off the bus injuring hundreds. There is our favourite ship captain of the Costa Concordia who decided to take a short sight seeing trip sinking the ship on the coast line. There are a number of truckers that have failed to do proper inspections and found their brakes failing while going down the mountain. Then there are the countless drivers that have dismissed the rules of their log book and have fallen asleep at the wheel writing off their truck. Any paper at any given day will give you examples of this as well as on television. Maybe it has even happened to you?
As we move forward in the transportation industry there will be many more changes than the ones we have seen to date. As we do we will get more people whining about the state of the transportation industry, but something else will happen, we will create more shortcuts. It’s a vicious circle that may never stop because human nature is to be lazy and laziness is what causes you to cut corners. There is only one person that can cause you to stop cutting corners and that is you! It won’t matter how much technology you use, how much you use excuses such as I am too busy, or too much in a hurry it is up to you to stop and take the time to do whatever task you are trying to complete properly and without short cuts. Some of the ways to help in stopping short cuts are by using checklists, having good time management so that you have left enough time to complete your task, but probably the best tip is to not let yourself take the short cut. Next time rushing seems to be haunting you and you have that urge to cut corners think about the ship captain, the bus driver, or the buddy we all new know that fell asleep at the wheel, and decide how much is it worth to you to cut that corner, what are you really gaining? The piece of mind may outweigh the time that you may or may not gain, after all we all know you can’t bring back time, but time never killed you!
About the Author
Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant with over 30 years of experience and author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile. For more information visit Outridge Consulting Services at www.outridge.ca