Slip Seating, is it for you?

Jack had just finished his course at the local truck driving school and was now in the middle of the daunting task of trying to find a job in the industry. He wanted to stay local and also wanted to work at a larger company where he may be able to start a career. Because he was looking for city work he kept hearing of a term called “slip seating” from the company recruiters and didn’t really know what they meant when they said that. On a recent visit back to the school to collect some paperwork Jack decided to ask his old instructor what the recruiters meant Slip Seat Illustration by the term “slip seating” on interviews. Jack’s old instructor was very experienced, he had been driving for almost 30 years, he had a nice temperament, and was passionate about the industry.

Jack said to his instructor Fred, “Fred I have been hearing about this term slip seating on interviews and I don’t really know what it means, what is it?” Fred piped up, “Slip seating is a term referred to sharing the same piece of equipment by several people. Many companies do this if their operations require trucks and equipment to operate around the clock, and of course a person can’t work around the clock. I am not crazy about that type of operation, but it can be very lucrative for those that don’t mind sharing equipment.” Jack thought about what Fred had said, ” I don’t mind that because I am hoping to work around the city, are there any problems I should look out for?” Fred gave a small frown and then replied,”I personally don’t like that type of environment because I am very particular about my equipment, but that is just me. What I would look out for is making sure if you do go into that environment you know who you are working with. It is much like team driving, you need to work with that person, have similar cleaning habits, and have the same respect for maintenance and so on. It is not something to be taken lightly. If you don’t share the same cleaning ethic one person may end up doing all the cleaning. If the truck is always in need of repair on your shift you may find that your productivity is going down. If the program is used for highway units be very weary of the sleeping quarters in the sleeper, by bringing in your own sleeping requirements in sheets, sleeping bags, and other needs.” Jack thought for a moment and then said, “So are you suggesting I stay away from slip seat operations?” “No if that type of work suits you and it is a good company, go for it! I am just suggesting when you meet with company recruiters you ask questions in regard to guidelines for equipment and cleanliness in those situations. It may be a great company but if there is no teamwork between the people sharing equipment it can be very hard to keep that going for the long term.” Jack thanked Fred for his help and went off in the distance, trying to decide if that is the program for him.

Many companies operate a “slip seat” type of operation and many of those companies are very lucrative to work for. It is important however to make sure you are comfortable with the other person and each person does their part to make sure the equipment is kept clean and well maintained.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a transportation consultant with over 30 years of experience. He is the author of Books Driven to Drive and Running by the Mile. For more information and other books and more about Bruce please visit his website at www.outridgeenterprises.ca