“In the shadow of today already walks tomorrow,” is a line from a poem by a 16th century Greek poet. It’s as true today as it was all those years ago, especially when we stop for a moment and think about the turmoil and disruption of the past couple of years.
The disruption in our personal lives, but also the disruption in our working and business lives.
Disruption is not always a bad thing especially when it forces us to rethink how we go about what we do and how we do it.
My last Big Rigs article, titled ‘Time to tame the Bureaucratic Monster‘, was written to hopefully ask the question, ‘Is it time?’
The road transport industry sector is absolutely critical to the wellbeing of every Australian and should be given the best possible opportunity to continue to function in the safest and most efficient way possible.
There are many facets of the bureaucracy involved in the road transport sector, each with a specific area of responsibility.
Each has an important role and function for all sorts of reasons. Each of these areas eventually impacts directly on the driver, owner driver and the small to medium fleet owners who are the backbone of the road transport sector.
What tomorrows are walking in the shadows of our today for the road transport sector and Australia as a nation?
As individuals involved directly or indirectly in the critically important industry sector, what do you see?
What I see from an owner-driver and small fleet operator is a lot of positive opportunities. The continued development of technology at all levels from how we manage our business to the safety and efficiencies in the equipment on our roads.
On the negative side, I see supermarket shelves half empty, I see trucks drivers getting older, I see owner-driver and small fleet operators leaving the industry, I see existing operators being called upon to do more and more as the capacity of the industry becomes less and less.
I drive a body truck, on an infrequent basis, which requires I fill out a work diary.
I have no desire to kill myself or anyone else by driving when I feel I am feeling fatigued. Ask yourself the question is the work diary simple? Does the bureaucracy responsible for the legislation know when it is you are fatigued or not fatigued?
Some of the most obvious questions I have are:
Is the cab of a truck a workplace?
If the work diary legislation imposed on the eastern states works so well, why hasn’t it been adopted by the road transport sector in Western Australia?
Why are we not attracting young people into this critical industry sector? Why are so many long standing owner drivers and small fleet operators leaving the industry?
As individuals involved in this critical industry sector, what do you see in the shadows of today that will become your tomorrow?
If we keep doing what we are doing, we will certainly get the same results, so our today will continue to be our tomorrow.
The overriding message from my small business management book, Don’t Suck the Pencils is KEEP IT SIMPLE.
About the author:
Graham Cotter’s passion is for small business, especially the road transport sector, and the significant role it plays in the Australian economy.
Having both managed and owned a small-fleet operation for a number of years, Townsville-based Cotter has witnessed first-hand the difficulties small-business operators face in the day-to-day aspect of running a transport business and has now dedicated his life to assisting other business owners.