There are three things that I take notice of in June every year.
Two of these things, peak season and Father’s Day, I really
enjoy. The third thing, summertime heat, I could do without.
Every year, we use the winter months to prepare for the
increased volume of the summer season. Considering the dramatic
increase in “crate and freight” shipments from the summer of
2012 and expecting van capacity to be in short supply again this
summer, we focused our purchases on late model vehicles that
would ensure our ability to service the increase in the crating
of interstate shipments and to become CARB compliant. As
expected, CMSA Associate members stepped up to the challenges of
providing high quality and affordable equipment options. We were
able to purchase the flatbed trucks we needed from a trusted
supplier, increasing our capacity for crated shipments and
improving the bottom line.
The summer season brings the increase in shipment volume that
our industry depends on to maintain successful and growing
enterprises; it also brings an increase in the temperature. With
the average high of more than 110 degrees last week, I consider
myself fortunate to have dedicated employees who are able to
handle the heat and provide high quality service for my
customers. While our local crews have had time to acclimate to
the summer heat, we have had many problems with drivers and
helpers coming from cooler parts of the country becoming
dangerously ill during the day.
As owners and managers of moving companies who send crews to
service shipments in hot climates, there are many things we can
do to ensure the safety of our employees and prevent costly
delays, breakdowns or decreases in service levels. While the
list of precautions is endless, the following are what I
consider to be the three most important to be taken during times
of extreme heat. First, provide extra labor whenever possible.
Not an easy task to do when labor is stretched thin during the
summer months, but one extra helper will make a huge difference
in the morale and safety of the crew, which will lead to
improved service levels.
Second, keep up on routine vehicle maintenance, and make
sure that truck and trailer tires are properly inflated and are
the correct size. We have had more blown tires due to mismatched
tire sizes than any other reason. Third, check coolant levels,
and check for leaks in radiators and overflow reservoirs. We
have had more drivers and trucks stranded, waiting for coolant
reservoirs than any other mechanical failure.
Even with all of the stresses that June brings to our
industry, I still look forward to this time of year.
I grew up in a warehouse full of furniture, helping to check
in shipments and driving the forklift to stack empty containers.
Many times, my parents have told me that they bought a moving
company because they had a family to take care of and they felt they
had reached their limits working for someone else. Now that I am a
father, the summer season makes me understand and appreciate the
hard work and sacrifices that my parents have made. As July begins,
I look back at June knowing that we prepared well by increasing
number of shipments served and meeting quality service levels
expected by the customers we serve. Summer season seems to end
faster than it begins, but I already find myself looking forward to
next June, peak season and Father’s Day.