Damian Rohde is a Pinnacle Drive-away driver. He’s been with the company since July. Since September he has earned 13 good roadside inspections. Wait…what? Thirteen…what? That’s right, 13 good roadside inspections.
The 53-year-old Georgia resident, who grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan—close enough to the Big House to hear the drum majors, saw an opportunity he couldn’t resist when Pinnacle initiated its good roadside inspection program September 1st. He has been all-in ever since, earning 11 $400 bonuses on top of the original $300 he earned for the first two.
For those of you who like numbers, that’s $4,700 extra Damian earned during the current program, plus his regular settlements.
“It seemed like a great opportunity to move the goal posts,” he said, using an analogy all maize and blue Michigan fan can appreciate, “It helps Pinnacle with the SMS scores, and it helps me financially.”
The key to getting a ton of good roadsides is “developing relationships with DOT officers,” he says. “I’ve tried to establish relationships with DOT officers in weigh stations from east to west. I have my favorites and sometimes they’re too busy to do an inspection. But I always stop and ask.”
Damian explained that he started going into weigh stations and asking for an inspection. If an officer would oblige him, he’d remember him and look for the same officer next time.
“Damian has been a great asset for the company, going out of his way to help anyway he can,” Tennessee Driver Care Manager James Drake, said, “we really appreciate all the hard work he’s done.”
Damian runs out of Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana terminals. He makes a point to keep his logs accurate at all times which is why the DOT don’t find violations, he says. “I always make sure my logs are good. It’s an ounce of prevention that’s worth it because two, three or four good inspections is a lot of extra money in your pocket.
“I would encourage drivers to develop relationships with staff at the DOT stations,” he said in parting. “And stay focused on logs.”
That advice is hard to argue with.