I often get asked by drivers about working for a full 12 months as opposed to eight flat out and then four quieter months. Here’s my Ten top tips for the Agency Driver…..and how to work all year….
1. Maintain a high standard of professionalism. This means treating others as one expects to be treated. It also means showing loyalty to core customers and not moving on a for a 50p an hour pay rise…..
2. Don’t resort to Facebook to fight your battles. Pick up the phone and actually manage and engage the problem. Texting and Facebook means you’ve probably lost control of the situation and got to be a near Shakespearean wordsmith in order to make your point effectively.
3. Keep a daybook/journal/diary. Record all walk round issues, start-times, breaks, finish times, mileage from and to work, anything out of the ordinary. This is a contemporaneous note and makes excellent evidence in any dispute. It will also catapault you into the “stellar Driver” bracket.
4. Become the “go-to” driver at the agency. The first name on the team sheet is the best place to find oneself. That is not say “takes loads of shit” – but find the balance of being helpful and courteous but not a “yes man….or woman”.
5. Make a point of regularly downloading your digi-cards if you have ever have a problem… at the end of the day a small-claims court will adduce on proven actual work.
6. Learn how to Take the knock backs on the chin… after all you’re in business – it’s hard work out there… but the 1973 Agency Act is protection to ensure that you get paid for actual work done… i am afraid to say that non-payment of guaranteed shifts cancelled at the last minute are not usually covered by the Agency Act – only actual work performed.
7. Embrace and use digital technology. It is there to save you time and of course money. You can do most things with a mobile phone nowadays – bar driving a wagon (well not yet).
8. Stay compliant. That is “o” licence compliant and also financially and taxation compliant. No transport manager has ever liked a “bent” driver… they are not going to start now.
9. Know the law. The Highway Code is over 50 pages long and Croners Transport is over 400 pages. Nobody is suggesting that you memorise every subsection… but you must have a good-working knowledge of the laws affecting Road Transport.
10. See your CPC courses as an educational opportunity and not as a chore. There are some interesting courses out there. Embrace them, grow your knowledge and prosper.
The above tips are all common sense… but following them will differentiate you from the ordinary into the “super-driver” bracket. Forget the fat of the summer months… think about the January to March period…. be that STAR……