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Should you be worried about mergers and acquisitions as a driver?

You’re driving for a carrier and you start to hear rumblings that they may be entering into the stage of a buyout or even worse bankruptcy proceedings. What do you do? Do you panic and quit on the spot? Do you turn a blind eye and keep going as if nothing is going on? Do you approach the company and ask for an explanation? Do you look for information from your colleagues? The truth is that any of these suggestions may or may not give you the correct information and will be impossible to predict anyway.

Many of us have been through these types of changes before. Much of the time it doesn’t affect employees at a certain level so there is no need to panic if you are in a position such as a driver if that is the main service of the company. Depending on the structure of the companies involved in the transaction those in management or office roles will see the most changes as there will be duplicate roles that may require streamlining. So how do you know what to do?

Of course you will need to look at each situation on its own because they are different, but here are some signs that may help you.

Your company has been purchased by another company, don’t panic!

If you are working for a carrier and they have been bought out by another do not panic. Companies buy each other all the time and is a way of acquiring market share. This allows them bid on larger contracts and attain additional services that they may not currently provide. I worked for a carrier that was bought out three times in the thirteen year period that I worked for them. The name changed and top management changed, but the services remained the same. The only company that won there was the graphic company in my mind.

Your company announces it is restructuring but everything seems to be running as normal, keep a close eye on the situation!

Companies often restructure so if things are running without service interruptions or issues with payroll then you may not be affected. I wouldn’t panic but I would keep a close eye on things. The company may just be adjusting services and nothing will change. If you see services drop, a decline in contracts, or a major change in equipment then it may indicate problems.

Your company can’t pay their bills and service is interrupted, panic!

If you start to notice that your company is having trouble with cash flow then you may want to begin looking at other options. Early in my career I didn’t pay attention to the signs when the small carrier I was driving for was going bankrupt. Our services were all on a cash basis and the workload was getting slower. The company ended up going bankrupt and my last two paycheques bounced. I didn’t pay enough attention to the signs.

If your employer is going through one of the situations above then pay attention, but don’t panic. If you are a driver then you are probably okay. Where drivers have problems is when they have a bad safety record or their performance is impacting the bottom line of the company due to poor performance. The new company may be decide to do some cleaning. These situations all are very hard to predict and can change at the last minute in negotiations. Panicking often just fuels the fire and causes people to make the wrong decisions. The best way to insulate yourself from issues out of your control is to be as professional as possible. Employers need good employees. Be a safe reliable employee with good performance and most companies will want you around. Keep your resume up to date should you have to move in a hurry. The only thing in life that is for sure is change so always keep your eyes open for opportunity. Good luck!

About the Author

Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, podcast host, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com

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