- Photo courtesy of Jon Ashcroft

Photo courtesy of Jon Ashcroft

It’s amazing what impact perception has on life. Our past experiences severely impact our current and future in more ways than we may realize. One way is how we perceive things. According to Webster’s, perception is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

Here is an example: A truck fleet manager, who wished to remain anonymous, lamented about how his fleet driver’s perception was impacting fleet operations’ vehicle downtime. Seems strange, but this was his story:  

“I changed several of our fleet trucks to a biodiesel blend. We moved some of our drivers into these vehicles, and told them about the change. You wouldn’t believe the number of ‘problems’ these trucks suddenly had. I’m surprised I didn’t get complaints that the windshield wipers stopped working because we switched to biodiesel. We decided to switch more vehicles over to the blend, but this time didn’t tell our drivers. Strangely, none of the same problems occurred.”

It’s amazing how driver perception can impact something such as vehicle maintenance and problems. It’s an easy conclusion to make here that the drivers had perceived there would be problems with the alt-fuel based on past experiences or information they heard somewhere else. In speaking with others in the industry the same poor perception issues occur with autonomous vehicles, regulations and mandates, and new in-vehicle technology.

But, how do you handle issues of negative perception? One piece of advice is to invest more in education. If you educate fleet drivers about changes that are occurring and how they will — or will not — impact a vehicle’s maintenance operation, they may be less likely to perceive and create “ghost” problems.

Remember: Always take the time to communicate changes in fleet to all key stakeholders, and take the time to explain the benefits, provide assurance against anticipated concerns, and address any questions in advance.

Have you had situations where driver perception has impacted changes made in fleet operations, good or bad? How did you handle it?

Share your story! E-mail me and let's chat! 

Lauren Fletcher
Lauren.Fletcher@bobit.com 

Author

Lauren Fletcher
Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher

Lauren Fletcher has been covering the fleet industry since 2006 and is currently the executive editor of Work Truck magazine.

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Lauren Fletcher has been covering the fleet industry since 2006 and is currently the executive editor of Work Truck magazine.

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