We’re marching on through July, and we here at Barnes Logistics have been considering the challenges which annually face our transport side as the summer holidays and the heat of the season takes over, in earnest.
One of the issues, if one can call it such, is that the majority of our core clients and their industries are not really in a position to pause production for a period of note, with the ‘butterfly effect’ of the supply chain demanding we, as a key link in that chain, continue in our endeavours of getting the goods to exactly where our clients want them, when they want them; and our team of transport professionals are at the sharp end of making this happen. Of course, being summer, members of our workforce are equally keen to take well-earned leave themselves; and with our transport management team co-ordinating operations to ensure staffing levels are right to keep the industry moving, it is never far from their minds just what the challenges are for our drivers out on the road; and they know it isn’t just sunshine and an unequal tan to one’s right arm. It is a time of year which presents its own peculiar problems and considerations.
Time spent at any of the hotspots on the arterial routes to the UK’s holiday destinations during summer will inform the observer that traffic volume increases immensely, with those for whom the road network is their workplace noticing the seasonal change the most. With increased volume comes increased potential for any number of variable factors to have an acute effect on the progress of the working day, the health of one’s vehicle, and, of paramount importance, the health of one’s self. The potential for accidents to cause misery and delays, and for this to be compounded by a repetition, under stress and frustration, can not be understated. However, if we all pause to dedicate a few moments to consider how we are all simply trying to get somewhere, and how a little preparation of both the vehicle and the self can fundamentally improve progress for all, and there’s a strong possibility we won’t yield to the popular thought that the roads are a hellish cauldron of aggression inside a particularly unpleasant war-zone.
To present a tick-list of checks to one’s vehicle for summer driving wouldn’t actually read much different than likewise for winter. It’s tyres, oil, coolant, screen-wash, lights, bodywork, load etc. Professionals like Barnes drivers know this, and it is one of their first actions at the start of every working day. Hot weather is no bar to the unforeseen happening, and it does make a different set of demands on vehicle and performance; but personal responsibility and vehicle husbandry is the most effective mechanism for minimizing its effect.
Preparing the personal for the added stresses of operating on a vastly more populated road network is a strategy very much aided by attitude. You see, nobody really embarks on a journey with the intention to obstruct or delay others; but it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing so, if one’s own journey is hampered. It needn’t be so, and it is far better to be a part of the solution, as opposed to the problem. So if we consider that every road-user has equal merit and an equal desire to safely reach their destination, and that our journeys are actually no more or less important than those of others, we can possibly share a better level of understanding and co-operation. It’s a common-sense constituent part of professionalism, remaining calm and focussed when much around appears to be combining and conspiring to scupper one’s ship of progress. Equally professional is knowing when a short break can be the tonic to refresh and re-boot the self and one’s calmer approach. Five minutes sat on the other side of the cab, wrapping one’s self around some of the contents of one’s flask, can only have a positive effect.
Progress, productivity, and a better sense of accomplishment can only increase as a result of a re-think of approach, leaving us all to enjoy a glorious summer in a less stressful and far safer environment.