Remember in the "Old Days" when you drove up to
the pumps at your local service station, and the attendant came out and pumped
the gas for you? Then he checked the water and oil and cleaned your windshield
– that was service. The oil, water and air were right there at the gas pumps;
if any of them were low, he would add it for you.
In the "Old Days," you could buy tires, batteries,
radiator hoses, headlights, oil, antifreeze, fan belts, and all car-related
things. In addition, there were two service bays – one with a hoist to service
Now all of the above has changed – you pump your own gas, do
all the other checking and wash your own windshield. Oh, I forgot. First, you
have to go in and pay for it and then go out and pump the gas. Then, you go
back into the building to get your change and your receipt. When you get there,
you look around, and there is nothing in the building that is vehicle-related,
no headlights, antifreeze, radiator hoses – nothing for your car or truck.
However, you can buy a cup of coffee, a candy bar, cigarettes, Bic lighters, sandwiches
and groceries. They even have a microwave there to heat your food. But not a
bay and a hoist to service your car, nor a tire or tailpipe in sight.
You can now go into a drugstore and buy groceries! You can
go into a grocery store and get your prescription filled! The name above the
door doesn't mean a thing anymore.
We in the trucking business are falling behind the times. We
have to modernize our business and think of something we can sell other than
pickup and deliver freight. We have to think of how we can diversify and
increase our profits.
I have put some thought into this and have come up with an
idea. Why don't trucking companies sell men's underwear? (Yes, this is
sarcasm…) After all, we deal with shippers and receivers, and they are primarily
men, so we have a potential customer base. When they talk to the shippers and
receivers, the dispatchers can tell them that the drivers, as an added service,
are selling name-brand, good-quality men's underwear at competitive prices. We
can utilize part of the cab's sleeper and passenger seat to transport and store
Let's say that one company starts selling underwear and
makes a success of it. Other companies will soon follow suit and sell men's
underwear too. It wouldn't be long before it became a national thing, and
everyone would know that trucking companies sell underwear. We could even have
a catchy slogan like, "Ask a trucker, and he will show you his underwear."
But why limit ourselves? While the driver is waiting for his truck to be
unloaded, he can sell all sorts of things on a commission basis. That way, the
driver makes extra money, and the trucking company makes an additional profit
with little or no added cost. But of course, this would eventually lead to some
fly-by-night company coming in, cutting the driver's commission and undercutting
those making an honest living. And so the trucking saga goes on and on…
P.S. Or we could just
keep doing what we do best – hauling freight.
P.P.S. I vote for the
Happy New Year, Everyone!