By: Peter Carr EROAD Director, Regulatory Market Development ANZ
It’s not that unusual to find people who see their vehicle as just a thing, and who neglect it in consequence. Minimum legal requirements are pointed right at these people.
Other folks are at the other end of the spectrum. An owner-operator’s truck may be the single most expensive asset they have ever owned, maybe that they will ever own. Others may have a deep fondness for a vehicle because of the experiences they have had and associate with that vehicle.
When it comes to managing vehicles, too great an attachment can be as much of a problem as a lack of care or concern. For example, it may lead you to hold on to and run the vehicle for too long. Alternatively, a well maintained ‘mobile castle’ may not be economical if it gives away a tonne of payload-weight – or accumulates a tonne of additional debt – for the portable shelter, barbeque, decals and other adornments some choose to shower on their vehicles (and yes, this list is from one real-life example).
Pride in a vehicle is not a bad thing where it helps motivate one to take proper care. But in this – as it is in coping emotionally with uncertainty – it is perhaps most helpful to cultivate a moderate view.
The best managers genuinely care for their charges. Yet they also bring a certain stoic detachment to the job: they neither let the highs get them too high, nor the lows drag them too low, always keeping in mind that ‘this too shall pass’. Even a hard-working and much loved truck will need to be stood down, retired or resold at some point, and this should be more of a business-led decision than emotion-led.
Indeed, few things are more certain than change, even – or especially – when it comes to vehicle management.
About the author
Peter Carr is the Director Regulatory Market Development with EROAD Ltd, responsible for working with government policy agencies and regulators across Australia and New Zealand on road safety, funding and taxation matters. Prior to joining EROAD, Peter was responsible for advising the New Zealand government on: the operation and performance of the land transport revenue, funding and investment systems; the rates of Road User Charges and Fuel Excise Duty; the use of tolling, debt and public-private partnerships; and the regulatory settings for heavy vehicle dimensions, mass, and access.