Planning – McLeod Express


The groundhog did not see his shadow on February 2nd! Will we actually be in for an early Spring as predicted? I think it’s safe to say we all hope that he is right. While this winter has not been particularly rough, it doesn’t take long for us to miss any type of warmth or comfort outside. February usually has a trick or two up her sleeve and I doubt this year will be any different. Let’s just hope it’s only one trick instead of the kitchen sink! January wreaked havoc on trucks. If you were at the mercy of frozen brakes or dead batteries or any number of other issues last month, we appreciate your patience and understanding. Breakdowns are never fun, but we hope that we responded to your situation in an acceptable manner. Every breakdown is different and the service we receive from repair shops differs location to location. As always, good communication goes a long way. Don’t forget to stay stocked up on anti-gel for the next month or two still. You never know what Mother Nature will throw at us.

Have you ever wondered, “how did this happen?” or “where did things go wrong?” Those are hard questions to ask ourselves and even harder to give an unbiased answer. I am not really talking about trucking as I am generally in life. The truth is, planning is of the utmost importance and can be taken as serious or as lazily as one would want. You can make the scope as small as a day or an event to as large as your whole life. Having a plan is proven to make things go smoother. Of course, that doesn’t mean that your plan will always be carried out 100%. In fact, it rarely does. Things always have a way of cropping up and forcing us into Plan B. I talk to my kids often about the importance of being flexible and rolling with the punches. I don’t think we ever totally grow out of getting frustrated when things go askew but hopefully you are good at making a backup plan.

Trucking definitely gives us plenty of opportunities to work on our backup planning skills. I am doubtful there is another industry that is rife with as many curveballs as transportation. The list of daily possibilities to derail your plan for the day is almost endless. There are breakdowns that can change your day in a second. Traffic jams are always a possibility and customer blunders happen daily. These are only the most common, but I sure have heard some good stories about other malfunctions. What was terrible at the time can turn into a great story.

The best thing we can do as a team is to overcommunicate. Sometimes we are good at this, but I am sure sometimes we aren’t great at it. After all, we all are only human. When you find your day going haywire, take a second to think back. Could you or McLeod have planned better? Was this an unforeseen circumstance? Can we learn anything from this? Above all, stay calm, communicate, and roll with punches. Thanks for everything each and every one of you do each day.