Where the Rubber Meets the Roadcheck

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CVSA’s Roadcheck Enforcement Campaign 2016

This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) annual truck safety inspection will take place June 7-9, 2016. During this period, certified inspectors will conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeting motor carrier, vehicle and driver safety, the most common and most stringent being the North American Standard Level I Inspection. It is a 37-step process and requires examination of both driver and vehicle.

The emphasis for this year’s campaign is Tire Safety. Here are some suggestions to help you prepare for a tire inspection:

AM Transport

Infographic created by AM Transport’s Amanda Williams

To learn more about roadcheck procedures or to find tire safety educational materials, visit CVSA’s website.

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The “Cult of Busy” – Adapting to the 24/7 Workplace

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Functioning in a Work-First Culture

Erin Reid coined the term “cult of busy” to describe the way our workforce has become: jobs come first in the hierarchy and constant availability is the expectation. With the increased ability to always have your work at your fingertips (e.g. email linked to your phone), the assumption of 24/7 accessibility has only intensified – and continues to do so.

Working all the time should lead to more productivity, right? Wrong-o. Harvard Business Review and The New York Times have shared studies and stories of the problems that arise from constant work – employees crying and passing out from exhaustion, high turnover rates, and lack of diversity among your workforce being among them.

So how are we coping with this ever-growing demand for the 24/7 workplace? Quite disfunctionally, as discussed by Huff Post writer Emily Peck. She talks about three ways we are “adapting” to the work-all-the-time demand.

1. Accepting
Just give in and work all the time. Give up the deep relationships, community engagement, and physical well-being for the job. Just keep plugging away until you reach the burnout stage.

2. Passing
The “fake it” strategy for coping. Technology makes it easy to be working wherever you are…and equally as easy to fake that you are working wherever you are. Talk about a large window for rampant disengagement.

3. Revealing
Some people actually ask for flex time and limits. However, this is often met with penalties and/or disappointment for not always putting work first. “Are you going to be a professional or are you going to be just an average person in your field?”

So now that we are aware that this is the culture we are currently working in, what do we do about it? Emily mentions that the only solution is through collective action – banding together to try and make collective movements toward recognizing the “always on” moments, finding bosses and co-workers that don’t work weekends, and stopping the scheduling of meetings at 5 p.m.

Read more about the effects of the 24/7 workplace: 3 Dysfunctional Ways We’ve Adapted To The Hell Of The 24/7 Workplace

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Who is Wally Pipp?

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Remember the Story of Wally Pipp

At AM Transport, we tried to put as much of our personality into our work spaces as we could. If you come and visit our office, you will see that in the back is the most popular meeting area…that doesn’t exactly look like a meeting area. It has a funky carpet and modern lighting, a mini fridge, a gold framed whiteboard/projector screen, and other cool and swanky things. The walls are also painted red. Many of us fondly call it the “red room,” but a noteworthy piece hanging in the middle of one wall has given it another name: the Wally Pipp room.

Why Wally Pipp? Well as our employee handbook explains, Wally Pipp hangs on the wall as a very important reminder that you must always stay hungry. Here’s the story.

Wally Pip – First baseman for the New York Yankees 1915-1925

According to the most popular version of the story, Pipp showed up at Yankee stadium one day with a severe headache and asked the team’s trainer for two aspirin (there is some conjecture as to whether or not it was due to being hit in the temple by a ball during ap previous game). Miller Huggins, the Yankees’ manager, noticed this and said, “Wally, take the day off. We’ll try that kid Gehrig at first today and get you back in there tomorrow.” Gehrig played well and became the Yankees’ new starting first baseman. This story first appeared in a 1939 New York World-Telegram on Gehrig’s career, in which Pipp was interviewed. Pipp was later quoted to have said, “I took the two most expensive aspirin in history.“

Lou Gehrig went on to play 2130 consecutive games and became one of the most famous and respected baseball players in the history of the game. Pipp, while a good and powerful hitter in his day, became a footnote in Gehrig’s history.

The moral: In a competitive environment, there is always someone hungry waiting behind you. If you do not continue to push forward and develop yourself, there are folks waiting to overtake you.

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The Powerful Word that Changed Tom Hank’s Career

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The Power of One Word

As one of the most recognized and honored actors of all time, Tom Hanks has walked quite the interesting road. But he didn’t hit home runs like Cast Away right off the bat. If you lovingly remember the early days of Tom Hanks – e.g. Money Pit, Turner & Hooch, Joe Versus the Volcano – he didn’t start out his career raking in the Oscar nominations. So what helped him get to his first, second, third, etc. Oscar nominations? One word: no.

“I realized…that I had to start saying a very, very difficult word to people, which was “no.” The odd lesson for that is, I figured out that’s how you end up making the favorable work you do…. Saying yes, then you just work. But saying no means you made the choice of the type of story you wanted to tell and the type of character you want to play.

Justin Bariso, the founder of Insight, writes how finding the power of “no” impacted not only his life, but the life of his family as well.

“When I started my business some years ago, I literally took whatever work I could get my hands on. Living in a foreign country with a family to feed, I had no choice. But as time went on, I established my brand and gained more freedom–especially in deciding which clients and jobs I wanted to focus my efforts on. And let me tell you, there’s no better feeling than having that freedom. But you have to take advantage of it.”

But just saying “no” to everything doesn’t get the job done. It is saying “no” strategically. Take a moment to think about your decisions. How will this choice affect me and my loved ones? How will it impact my bottom line? Will saying yes to this eliminate the opportunity to say yes to something else more important? Does saying yes add value to my time? Evaluate each instance and decide if no is the right way to go.

Want to read more about Justin and Tom’s take on saying no? Read the full article here.

Need more inspiration? Here’s the beloved piano scene from the movie Big with Tom Hanks. Enjoy.

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Find Your Gorilla: Career Lessons from Sir David Attenborough (LinkedIn Pulse)

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Find Your Gorilla

Sir David Attenborough (who just turned 90 years old this week – happy birthday!) is a British naturalist and documentary maker. He has captivated children worldwide with his television programs and documentaries on the wonders of nature. His career has not only been a very public one, but it is one that he has filled with his own passions. And it is a career that has inspired many children around the world to follow in his footsteps.

Richard George, contributor to LinkedIn Pulse, identifies three lessons that we can all take from Sir David’s incredible career. All of us may not be interested in travelling the world, studying animals and plants, and sharing those findings with the rest of mankind, but we can certainly find our own dream roles full of interest and passion – we can find our own gorillas.

Three lessons from Sir David’s career:

1. Find your passion, or something that drives you
Figure out what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning. You may not currently be working in your dream role, so find aspects of your job that allow you to expand on your other interests. Sign up for a more creativity-based project, take classes in a skill that you have not quite developed yet, or work with people that can teach you elements of your job that you have never explored.

2. Take risks
Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. As Richard points out, “the greatest and most wonderful things we do often happen as a result of putting ourselves at risk and grasping the things that scare us.” Do more things that you would normally shy away from, such as public speaking or leading your coworkers. Test new ideas. Reach for that promotion. You may not succeed every single time, but you will certainly learn crucial lessons all along the way.

3. Don’t worry so much about what clothes you wear
While presentation can be important, it is your content and connections with others that matter most. The more distractions we can eliminate, the more barriers to communication we can break down. Find something that works and stick with it. Then move on to bigger and more important decisions.

Read Richard’s full LinkedIn Pulse article here. And for more about Sir David, check out his biography.

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Repost – 1 Thing to Know About Everything at Work

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The Business of Business is Simple

“The business of business is simple. All you really need is what’s listed in this post.” – Geoffrey James

This repost is about an article written on Inc.com by Geoffrey James, and it is essentially a TL;DR version of some incredibly simple, but very useful, things you need to know about the working world.

Here is a sneak peak of a few of the gems he provides in the article:

Commitments. Your reputation is based not on how many commitments you keep but on how few commitments you don’t.

Innovation. Great ideas are dime-a-dozen; what matters is execution.

Presentations. There’s a special place in hell reserved for whoever invented PowerPoint.

Selling. The ultimate purpose of all sales activity is to help other people become happier.

Success. Measure success by how much you accomplish, not by how much money you make.

Check out the full article for more of the “single most important things you need to know,” according to James.

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