Safety in the Trucking Industry
Transportation has always been a key element in moving America forward. If all of the trucks in the United States stopped for just one day, we would all feel the impact.
According to the “Transport Services Global Market Report 2022: By Purpose, By Destination, By End-Use Industry” report, the transportation industry values up to billions, expected to grow by $7,210.41 billion in 2022.
Commercial Transport Inc. is a family-owned industry-leading motor carrier with outstanding safety records and customer satisfaction. In its early years, Commercial Transport Inc. operated as a coal and gravel enterprise before moving cement, rock, and now food-grade dry bulk goods and petroleum products.
Where It All Started
Commercial Transport Inc. (CTI) is a unique family owned operation. Started in 1940 by Alfred White and his brother Robert White. The business evolved and has been passed down to many generations. Talking with Dana Achartz, the Director of Safety for Commercial Transport Inc., the company has flourished in terms of its policies and procedures, growth and employee base.
Climbing the Corporate Ladder to Success
Dana Achartz first started in the trucking industry almost 20 years ago. Through her journey, she has seen multiple changes within the industry from regulations, technology and experienced many obstacles drivers face moving freight across the country. Throughout her career, she advanced her roles and positions embracing change and improving safety in transportation. She climbed her way up the corporate ladder starting off as a log auditor, supervisor, management, as a director, and even as a safety consultant for a reputable insurance company.
As someone in her 20s, she paved her path and won several national safety awards and honors. As she approaches her 40s, she has shifted her sights to a mentoring role to help the younger generations who will be the future leaders of the industry.
The trucking industry offers many opportunities. You have to always be on top of your “A game” as trucking is constantly changing. Being passionate about what you do truly makes your career enjoyable. Being part of a great team and sharing the same vision will bring the company and its people success. Dana empowers her team and together they make things happen. Leading with her motto, “My passion is my superpower”, she truly enjoys her line of work.
What she values the most is through her safety training and awareness, she believes at some point throughout her career, at least one life has been saved. We all value life. What more could you ask for?
Not All Hero’s Wear Capes
The world felt the power of the pandemic. The one good thing (if any) that came out of the pandemic is that it taught everyone just how important the trucking industry is. Stores had empty shelves. Shortages across the country, nationwide. Trucker’s couldn’t stop and they didn’t. They had to move America. Truck drivers became the hero’s. They got in their trucks every single day, moved goods across the country so our families had what we needed to survive.
Dana personally believes that everyone is essential and they just have to find their way in the work world and discover something they enjoy doing. When you enjoy what you do, most days will come easy to you. Working isn’t about making money. It should be about passionate and daily happiness. Making a difference in the world. Enjoying what you do for a living, makes daily events fun and almost like a hobby.
Trucking can be a very rewarding career. I’m thankful for every single driver out there moving freight. I’m thankful for the farmers for getting food ready to put on our tables. Not all heroes wear capes, some drive a truck.
Facing the Driver Shortage
The trucking community faces a driver shortage. We need drivers. That’s a common concern in our industry. If it wasn’t for the drivers, we wouldn’t be here. You need to always be grateful for your front lines. They’re the reason you have a job.
Transportation as an industry has been facing a driver shortage for years. There’s plenty of freight out there, but not enough people to move it. Trucking is such an exciting profession. You can do so many things in this industry. The opportunities to advance are endless. It’s also a great way to see our amazing country and see the beauty of Mother Nature.
Dana’s solution to this is to work on driver retention. Strengthening employee culture and morale is the best approach in today’s market. Treating your employees as your work family keeps the culture positive. We spend so much of our lives with our work family, we need to appreciate everything they do. People feel more encouraged and loyal to the company when they are appreciated for their hard work.
Culture plays a vital role in the company’s success. If everyone is working together and shares the same vision, you’ll be successful. Who doesn’t like the feeling of accomplishment? Working hard and achieving greatness with your team is an amazing thing and should be celebrated.
Unity in the Workplace
Dana feels strongly about keeping her team united. Your team will experience each high and low the company will go through together. The team shares the same goals and achieves their milestones simultaneously.
Hearing and giving attention to every opinion your team has is important. It allows everyone to speak up and communicate. It allows out of the box perspectives. A good team collaboration solves problems and difficulties. Everyone contributes and feels like part of the solution. Aww, and there’s the feeling of accomplishment for all.
A person’s quality or character matters greatly when you want to expand your team or work family. We spend a significant portion of our lives with those we work with. You’re not always going to agree on everything and that’s ok. That’s great as it allows growth. When a disagreement happens, you should always handle confrontation as soon as issues arises to avoid further escalation and to maintain a healthy work culture.
“I enjoy constructive criticism. There’s always room for improvement in everything we do. You have to learn to not take things at work personally. It’s very important to leave work at the door and personal stuff at home.”
The transportation industry keeps getting more and more exciting with constant technological upgrades, advancements, and developments. All these advancements share a common goal which is to keep the drivers, the motoring public, and nationwide roadways safer. We all value life and it’s our responsibility to do everything we can to protect it.
Advice for future leaders?
“Keep moving forward no matter what. Find what you want to do with your life and go for it! Every experience in your career is a lesson to be learned. Regardless of good and bad, you’ll have many of both.
Having experienced more than two decades, Dana has a lifetime’s worth of words of wisdom to share. She always appreciates everyone in the company as they all play an important role in the company’s success.
Always appreciate the ups and downs as they give you experience and knowledge. Celebrate little victories. They count too. There’s so much opportunity in the trucking industry, don’t be afraid to try something new like becoming a driver, being a mechanic, working as a dispatcher, or in the safety department. The more you do, you more you’ll understand and appreciate everyone’s role in our industry. Every day will not be perfect. When you have one of those less-than-perfect days, challenge yourself to stay positive and “keep trucking” forward. Never lose hope in yourself or what you’re working towards!
Referencing Dana’s motto, “My Passion is My Superpower” that is one of those mottos that will always empower you to be better than you were yesterday.