Truck driver loading dock etiquette

Apr 23, 2021

For the most part, truck drivers have the freedom of working alone while driving on the road. This aspect of the trucker lifestyle is what entices many new drivers to begin their careers. But that’s not it to the job. There is a call to interact with others at the loading dock. It’s up to our Sisbro drivers to work directly with dockworkers to ensure the delivery is efficient and correct.

In a time of COVID-19

Loading docks are a place where there are usually many regulations such as having proper footwear or wearing orange vests, depending on the location, but now, drivers are also required to do things like wear masks, stay in their trucks and let others handle their freight, and perhaps even have their temperature taken. If you’re ever at a loading dock that feels unsafe, be sure to report it. If you turn a blind eye to people not following policy or procedure, it could lead to yourself or someone else getting hurt.

Communication is key

It’s important to understand that no two loading docks are the same. Often, truck drivers are dropping freight off at multiple locations throughout a week. The fact of the matter is that a lot of loading docks work differently from each other. So, when a driver arrives at a loading dock, effective communication should be their main focus. Drivers should let the dock workers show them the ropes. We know it can be frustrating when dock workers aren’t working as quickly as you would like them to. Just be sure to let them know when you arrive and then have patience!

Get organized

Before arriving at the loading, dock you want to make sure that all of your paperwork is organized and easily accessible. Being well organized makes things go a lot smoother, and it makes you and the company that you are representing look professional.

Also, you want to prepare yourself before arriving at the loading dock, especially if you haven’t been there before. If you can, talk to other drivers that have been at the loading dock before. They may be able to offer you valuable information that can save you time and trouble.

Pay attention

It’s up to you to pay attention. Read the signs, pay attention to your surroundings, respect the loading dock workers, keep yourself safe, and unload your freight properly if that is up to you. Loading docks are not always the most safe environment. Accidents happen when people are distracted, so take the time to know what’s going on around you!

Stay awake, alert and professionally attentive. When truck drivers fall asleep, leave their truck or are generally MIA, it slows things down. Yes, there are long waits involved when you’re a delivery driver, but that’s just the name of the game. Pay attention, provide the required information or documentation, patiently wait your turn and follow the dock rules – and you’ll be a part of the solution, rather than the problem.

The goal is for everyone to get their job done as professionally, efficiently and safely as possible. Observing a little loading dock etiquette for truckers will help to make that happen.