For Fredi Sidler, his employees are better than business cards for bringing success to his company in the highly competitive trucking marketplace. And so are the vehicles that his employees drive.
Fredi Sidler’s son Adrian Sidler bought a new Scania S 520 when he started working in the business, and in doing so he was following in his father’s footsteps. When Sidler joined the family business in 1987, he was allowed to buy a Scania, too. He still has it. “With my son’s S 520, the story continues,” says Sidler.
Today he is the general manager of Fredi Sidler Transport, a mid-sized transport company in the Swiss Canton of Zug. “Our customers value the fact that we don’t just bring their goods to the loading dock, but that we also provide additional services,” he says. That is why he looks upon his truck drivers as auxiliary sales representatives; they are supposed to find good solutions on location for customers who find themselves in difficult situations. “Customers value a neat truck and a polite truck driver,” Sidler says. “Those are our calling cards. Thanks to them, we are always picking up new assignments.”
“We want to be on the road with the latest technology”
The company has about 80 vehicles in use, half of which are from Scania. Around the same number of truck drivers work for Fredi Sidler Transport, and many of them have already been with the company for years, even decades. Driving the V8 trucks stirs in them an enormous passion for the job. “Those are the legends,” Sidler says. “We have always had them, ever since they came onto the market in the late 1960s.” He believes that many employees stay as long as they do precisely because their vehicle makes them happy. “For us, this passion and the joy of working are very important.”
He also believes in his son Adrian’s choice of vehicle. “We bought the S 520 because we want to be on the road with the latest technology that also gives us low fuel consumption and low maintenance,” he says. “For that, we gladly spend a little money. Customers take note of what we are driving, and they can see that we are investing in the business. Other truck drivers catch on too. When they see that we are up to date, it makes it easier for us to land both new customers and new truck drivers.”
Young European Truck Driver
Thomas Knüsel is a dispatcher at Fredi Sidler Transport and confirms this view. “Naturally, that is a strong argument for recruiting good truck drivers,” he says. “The new model helps us do that. There is no longer any transmission tunnel; the inside furnishings, the ease of operation, the driver ergonomics and the comfort are all very good.”
Knüsel knows what he is talking about. He works in the office these days but he knows how to handle trucks: He took third place in the 2015 finals of the Scania Young European Truck Driver Competition in Sweden after he had qualified for the European finals in two qualifying rounds as the best Swiss driver. “[The V8s] were very interesting experiences, which also helped me a lot in my daily work,” Knüsel recounts. “While driving the obstacle course and manoeuvring , I remembered a lot of the details that I had lost through the everyday routine. Of course, getting third place was pretty good too.”
It is precisely this sort of passion that Fredi Sidler wants to awaken with his vehicles, such as the new S 520, which has already made a big impression. “We will definitely be buying more of those,” he says.
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