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A story about entrepreneur Samir Latic was recently published in the Macomb Daily, and it’s a story we hope those with CDL trucking jobs will feel inspired by.

Refugee entrepreneur starts own cCDL carrier companyLatic was a refugee from Bosnia, and writer Gina Joseph tells his journey of becoming “one of the biggest small companies in the trucking business.” Latic’s CDL truck driving story began when he arrived at the Detroit, Michigan airport, Joseph writes. The industrial community he settled in, Hamtramck, wasn’t the idyllic landscape of his American dreams. But it promised a new beginning.

Hamtramck had a community of Bosnians who arrived before them.

One family even took them in until they were able to buy their own home. The brothers also found work and not long after purchasing a home were able to buy a semi-truck.

“I wanted to drive a truck and save as much money as I could and go back to school,” Latic said, holding onto the idea of becoming a dentist.

But one truck led to two trucks, some good contracts and by 2004 the brothers were in the trucking business. Despite his day job, however, Latic managed to squeeze in enough classes at Wayne State University to earn a bachelor’s degree in public affairs and a master’s degree in international relations.

Latic has been in the trucking industry for 11 years now.

His company, Midwest Freight Systems of Warren, has more than 200 trucks and employs more than 250 people, 40 percent of whom are refugees. Joseph quotes Latic as saying:

“Follow your dreams, stay the course and you will get there. I don’t think we as a family would have been able to do what we’ve done anywhere but in the United States.”

Even though Latic came to America hoping to be a dentist, he was still able to create a new life for himself and his family. Read more about Latic and his journey on the Macomb Daily here.

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In a recent Forbes.com article, writer Bill Georgemphasizes that “authenticity has become the gold standard of leadership.”

But he maintains that many business owners misunderstand what it means to lead authentically. That applies to trucking company executives as well. In a November 10 article, George sought to clarify the definition of an authentic leader and reiterate why you should strive to be one in today’s business climate, no matter what your industry may be.

George writes:

Authentic leadership is built on your character, not your style. My mentor Warren Bennis said, “Leadership is character. It is not just a superficial question of style. It has to do with who we are as human beings and the forces that shaped us.

Authentic leaders are real and genuine. You cannot “fake it till you make it” by putting on a show as a leader or being a chameleon in your style. People sense very quickly who is authentic and who is not. Some leaders may pull it off for a while, but ultimately they will not gain the trust of their teammates, especially when dealing with difficult situations.

Authentic leaders are constantly growing. They do not have a rigid view of themselves and their leadership. Becoming authentic is a developmental state that enables leaders to progress through multiple roles, as they learn and grow from their experiences.

Authentic leaders match their behavior to their context, an essential part of emotional intelligence (EQ). They do not burst out with whatever they may be thinking or feeling. Rather, they exhibit self-monitoring, understand how they are being perceived, and use emotional intelligence (EQ) to communicate effectively.

Authentic leaders are not perfect, nor do they try to be. They make mistakes, but they are willing to admit their errors and learn from them.

Looking for trustworthy, qualified truck drivers?  Let Drive My Way match your company to qualified CDL drivers now!

 

Featured image from Google.com

 

 

Understanding what fatigue is and how to manage it – through rest, diet and other methods – is vital to fostering what Tom DiSalvi, vice president for safety and loss prevention at Schneider, calls the “safety payoff” in trucking operations.

“The biggest piece of truck transportation planning is how to insure drivers are well rested so they can stay alert,” DiSalvi told Fleet Owner magazine. “For us, that starts with education through driver training: gaining an understanding about the sleep cycle, sleep debt, sleep hygiene, and proper fatigue management,” he explained.

DiSalvi touted the importance of truckers finding safe overnight parking. He also suggested truckers do what they can to make their tractor interiors more comfortable for sleeping. Taking such small but important steps will help drivers stay more alert, DiSalvi reasoned.

“It’s about helping drivers be more prepared so they understand the warning signs of fatigue and also know how to counteract it,” DiSalvi said. “We then help tie that into our safety expectations. The whole idea is that the driver is the ‘captain of the ship’ and the need to have the right information to know if they are too tired to drive.”

Better managing fatigue at the wheel ultimately can have lasting benefits, such as improving a fleet’s safety profile and increasing driver retention.

“It develops a stronger and more [positive] relationship between drivers and front-line managers,” DiSalvi noted.

Some trucking companies are becoming proactive in combatting on-the-job fatigue. Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL), for instance, implemented a sleep apnea interdiction program designed by FusionHealth back in 2011. Learn about the positive results they saw and read more of the article here.
Image from www.fleetowner.com

John Sloan of Allegiance Capital writes an excellent article on how to recruit millennial drivers and maintain your fleet workforce. The article demonstrates “How to Find, Train and Maintain a Productive Team” with a focus on millennials.

Sloan lists five critical steps to recruit millennial drivers:

Recruit Millennial Drivers

  1. Recruitment – First, millennials are attracted to companies that use social media quickly and smoothly.
  2. Competitive advantage – Up-to-date equipment and flexible work arrangements will help you attract and build a solid workforce.
  3. Engagement – Productivity can be directly linked to the emotional commitment an employee has to an organization and its goals.
  4. Motivation – Clearly communicating your business mission fuels motivation. It helps your workforce understand how they personally contribute to your fleet’s success.
  5. Performance evaluations – Furthermore, evaluations should have clear, achievable objectives that measure individual, team and organizational performance.

Therefore, with the average age of a driver moving towards 55, there will be an influx of millennials flooding the workforce. There must be an adjustment to the benchmarks for driver satisfaction.

Overall, follow these 5 tips to recruit millennial drivers at your organization.