The Czech transport company VCHD Cargo has founded a Millionaires’ Club for drivers who have driven a million kilometres for the company or more. This year, the Club has 23 members and more than 10 of them have actually already reached 1.5 million kilometres behind the wheel of the company’s trucks. All Club members received gifts from VCHD Cargo with the message “You are the most valuable thing we have”. The company hopes to welcome more drivers into the Club soon.
It is a well-known fact that there is a lack of drivers in the market and VCHD Cargo can attest to it. In the year when it celebrates its 28thanniversary since its foundation, the company employs nearly 350 people in the Czech Republic and Germany. Petr Kozel, chairman of the VCHD Cargo Board of Directors, is well aware of the fact that a trucker’s life is no easy ride: “Being a driver is one of the toughest professions in the world. From a distance, the work may seem rather romantic but it is a daily routine for our drivers who must maintain a professional attitude and behaviour every day when they represent VCHD. Our drivers are asked to play many roles at the same time that go far beyond just safely driving heavy vehicles, often with fragile or hazardous cargo. They must also be product specialists when they load and unload shipments. They must also be good psychologists and know how to deal with “crisis” situations during loading and unloading,” Petr Kozel explains. “They must be able to communicate in foreign languages, at least at a basic level, because most shipment documents are not in the Czech language.”
Negotiating, loading and properly securing the cargo is only the beginning of a driver’s job. Every day, VCHD Cargo truckers have to drive as much as 600 or even 700 km in heavy traffic. VCHD Cargo knows the value of what they do and has developed a range of tools for employee motivation. The Millionaires’ Club is one of them.
“We tremendously admire our drivers’ work. They are the face of our company and the success of our business greatly depends on them. That’s why we decided to create the Millionaires’ Club to motivate our drivers to stay with us and get the benefits of being loyal to our company,” Petr Kozel continues.
The VCHD Cargo all-time record is held by Jiří Kadlec who has travelled nearly 2.3 million kilometres for the company. “We are in deep awe of drivers like this and Mr. Kadlec is a true legend in our company,” Petr Kozel says. “He has a lot of stories to tell about how the world has changed over the past 25 years that he has worked for us.”
“Being a trucker is not an easy life although our trucks are often full of happiness that we bring to people. All the goods they can buy in shops – I don’t think there is a type of product that I have not had in my trucks at some point,” Jiří Kadlec reflects on the life of drivers. “What could make our lives easier? A bit more respect for our work, which has suffered a lot because of a few, mostly foreign, drivers causing problems on the roads. And more respect for our dispatch team. In these fast and uncertain times, it is the VCHD Cargo 24-hour dispatchers who are always there to help us solve any problem that we may encounter.”