E-Communicator Article

The Chairman's Corner

by P.J. Welch

July 2013

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.

July 2013 - CMSA Communicator

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