From the moment the COVID pandemic changed our lives, delivery professionals have been and continue to be in high demand with no let-up in sight. Thanks to the convenience of having someone else deliver goods, demand for these services continues to increase.
Being a delivery driver requires you to spend most of your day behind the wheel. It is a challenging, tiring, and dangerous job considering the numerous daily vehicle accidents and crashes. Accidents on the road account for increases in the costs of medical care, property damage, liabilities, and a loss of productivity./
So, what can delivery drivers do to increase their productivity and profit while protecting themselves and property when driving? Here are 10 important pieces of advice to do just that.
1. Pick the Right Delivery Job
Options include working for a private delivery service or working as a delivery driver for a specific company that delivers its merchandise.
- Landing the job: a hiring process with an interview may be required, or you may be able to create an account with a driving service platform
- When selecting the type of job, it’s important to know if a company provides a vehicle or if you must use your own.
- Scheduling must fit your lifestyle. Can you decide hours or will you be subject to a delivery schedule defined by a company?
2. Have the Right Tools
If you will be working independently, you need the proper tools to be ready for a variety of driving jobs. These may include:
- A clipboard and pen
- Sticky notes, labels, or post-its together with dividers with compartments to use if you have more than one order to avoid mixing up deliveries
- A cash box, container, or bag with a lock if you are required to give change or collect fees
When working in the food delivery industry you’ll need to invest in:
- A cooler for frozen or cold foods and beverages
- Insulated boxes or delivery bags for warm food items
Independent drivers may want to equip vehicles with devices to reduce car insurance costs such as safe driving monitoring devices or one of the top backup cameras available.
3. Prepare Adequately Before You Drive
If you are unfamiliar with the area, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the route ahead of time.
- Check weather conditions
- Check road conditions
- Check traffic in the area
Have alternative routes in the event of bad weather or street closures. Use a dependable GPS device or mobile phone app to assist you in finding locations in the shortest time. Always prepare backup plans and shortcuts in the event of unforeseen obstacles or delays.
4. Drive Safely
Some pick-ups and deliveries have a time element within which you must complete the delivery. Nonetheless, your safety, and that of other drivers always come first.
- Respect speed limits, and drive slower in bad weather
- Never drive if tired or feeling unwell
- Park safely, avoiding blocking roads and increasing the risk of being hit
- Plan for bad weather with emergency accessories
- Avoid eating or drinking while driving
- Do not use a cell phone. Use car speakers or earphones that operate with vocal commands leaving your hands free for the steering wheel.
- Set music, radio stations, or traffic instructions before you begin driving.
5. Inspect and Maintain Your Vehicle
Your vehicle must be in good working order to guarantee safety on the road. Regular vehicle maintenance should be scheduled and respected at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles upward.
Before beginning your workday, check headlights, tires, brakes, oil levels, turn signals, and windshield wipers. Keep the inside of your vehicle clean and orderly.
The vehicle registration and proof of insurance should be up to date and kept in the vehicle. Your driver’s license should also be renewed promptly.
6. Offer No Contact Delivery
In the wake of the pandemic, no contact interactions have become the norm. Use disposable gloves and a designated location instead of person-to-person delivery. Photograph the parcel at the delivery point and notify the customer that delivery has been completed.
7. Offer Great Customer Service
Good customer service will earn repeat customers and better tips. Reviews of good service may earn you new clients.
- Dress in clean clothes and shoes and maintain a nice orderly appearance.
- Be friendly and polite. Express appreciation for having chosen you as a delivery service.
- Check delivery orders to make sure you have been given the correct food or merchandise to deliver.
- Keep dog treats handy. Pet parents connect easily with people who like their fur babies.
8. Be Punctual
Picking up or delivering punctually is one way to keep a customer happy. Allow extra time on each run for unforeseen circumstances. Do not accept jobs that are physically impossible to complete on time. Inform customers if there has been an accident or other that will make you late. They’ll appreciate the courtesy.
9. Be Aware of What Influences Your Income
Knowing what factors influence how much money you make can help you streamline your work, rendering it more efficient and profitable. Consider facts such as:
- Where you drive: how populated the area is, and how many businesses use delivery services.
- Independent drivers have more freedom in deciding how many jobs to accept, increasing or reducing earnings
- Salaried or earning an hourly wage?
- Will you be paying for your gas, or will a company be reimbursing gas costs?
- Independent drivers need to research the costs of personal car insurance for delivery drivers
10. Prepare Tax Documents From Day One
If you are an independent contractor, keeping track of your earnings and tax write-offs will make life so much easier when tax deadlines arrive. Remember that you may be able to detract expenses related to:
- Road tolls
- Cell phone fees
As a freelancer you may have to make quarterly payments, so check with a tax expert from the very start.
Improving service will benefit your customers and you as well. Consider these tips to increase clientele and profit.