Business Magazine

Meet the Truck Whisperer: Part 2

Posted on the 17 April 2014 by Fleetmatics @fleetmatics

Last week we posted the first half of our interview with the Truck Whisperer. Check out the second installment below.

Fleetmatics:     Trucks make a lot of noise—is that their way of trying to talk to us?

Truck Whisperer:     Trucks are always talking, I can tell you that much. Granted, some are more Chatty Chassis, than others.  But they’ve always got something to say.  I can hear them from anywhere, from any part or piece of the truck.  Some places I’m sure any layman can listen are the squeaks from the Windshield Wipers – I mean, if you just close your eyes and put it in park, and let those wipers go, I’m sure you’ll get that those squeaks are saying something.

And of course, the most blatant kind of talking are honks.  Really a honk is like ‘aloha’ to a truck.  It could mean so many things.  “Hello”  “Goodbye”  “Hey” or “HEY!” or “Okey-Doke.” Or if it’s a long honk it could mean, “Oh please I wish someone would take me to get an oil change because it’s been almost 5,000 miles and I could really use one before I start declining in my fuel efficiency and start wasting money”.  Ya’ know, or something along those lines.

FM:   Do you ever come across non-believers? How do you handle them?

TW:   Look, rain don’t have to prove it’s wet.  You either get it or you end up blow drying your hair, ya’ know?  It’s my job to listen to and say the truth of these trucks and whoever wants to hear it – if they’re ready to listen, well they’ll be better off because of it.

And if they hang around long enough, eventually I’ll drown’em in some truth from these trucks.  And truth hits like a sledgehammer and sometimes just leaves them stunned.  Remember, the only two people out there together all day, every day, experiencing the same things are the trucks and their drivers.  And once they realize I know what their trucks know, that no one else in the world could possibly know…then, well…let’s just say that’s all she wrote.

FM:   What’s the most shocking thing a truck has ever told you?

TW:   I certainly do not sign any confidentiality agreements and I can guarantee you that I’m not a priest or anything.  But a part of me would feel like I’d be betraying one of my ladies if I were to tell tales out of school here.  What’s that saying?  The names are changed to protect the innocent?  Okay, so I won’t tell you who said what specifically… but I’m sure you can imagine, I’ve heard numerous sordid tales of ‘off-routing adventures’:  flirting with clerks at convenience stores, “literary advancement” at the magazine racks for hours on end.

And there are smells that are emitted from the human body…well, there’s only so much a paper scented pine tree can do – let’s just keep it at that… But the biggest shocker to me is hearing about some of these big guys, these manly men type of drivers who just let themselves loose when alone behind the wheel. You’d be shocked the number of hair band ballads these guys like to sing in falsetto, when they think no one else is listening.  It’s jaw dropping.

FM:        Lastly, is there one thing you’d like to tell all Fleet Managers?

TW:   First off, I’m much better with trucks than with people…and you have to remember, every truck is unique and therefore every fleet is unique – including theirs.  But there are a few things I find that I cover off, by and large, for most of these managers out there.

Number one, I can’t tell you how many times I’m spelling out the direct correlation, making it as plain as a butterless biscuit, that the more they listen to their trucks, the more their business improves. Simple things, like fuel efficiency. Trucks know if their drivers are idling or speeding more than they should be! And I hear fuel costs a penny or two, right!  That sentence right there is usually like toothpicks under a manager’s eyelids! Yep, that wakes’em up.

And then number two, which is really number one for me, I bring home the overall message that “if you’re good to your trucks, your trucks will be good to you”.  And that right there—that’s like a biblical passage, man. Somebody’s grandmamma should cross-stitch that and put it in a frame. Yeah, man, I mean…that is the big truth with a capital T.

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