The Logistics Drive: Featuring Yeo Eng Tin of Yang Kee Logistics
Master of Heavy Vehicles
Mr Yeo Eng Tin has been driving ever since his national service days where he obtained his class 3 license and drove reservists and trainers to and fro various camps.
Today, having driven for 36 years in the logistics sector, he has witnessed and handled all types of cargo in various shapes and sizes, from humongous machineries to flammable liquids, which requires a special type of license for transporting dangerous goods and hazardous materials.
Driving for the logistics sector took him on all sorts of adventures and challenges, and developed him into a safety expert when it comes to not only the act of driving, but also managing heavy vehicles and equipment as well as cargos. He is indeed a ‘Shifu’ (master) in anything related to heavy vehicles, a skill and art that only someone who has been as exposed or ingrained in this sector for so many years would be able to acquire.
Having worked for Yang Kee Logistics the past 19 years, Mr Yeo is currently the Transport Supervisor that leads the rest of the drivers in safety aspects, trains and orientates new drivers, manages a fleet of over 50 vehicles and 200 chassis when it comes to maintenance and equipment issues, and is involved with workshop repairs. His role is pivotal in helping the company to save cost through maintaining a healthy fleet of vehicles and equipment, and to prevent potential accidents for the team of drivers.
Driving and maneuvering such enormous and heavy loads requires not only great skill, but also patience and steadiness – and sometimes even wisdom and guts.
He recalled that transporting oversized cargos in the dead of night was most challenging as a young driver, for example it could be 70 feet long or wide cargo that he had never transported before. It required him to be more careful and meticulous due to the weight and size of it, and with the police escort team driving alongside his prime mover, it somehow excites him to ensure that the goods are undamaged.
“You always need to know and understand what type of goods you are transporting and carrying (behind the prime mover). This will help you make better and more accurate judgements when handling the cargo,” says Mr Yeo, who also constantly advise new drivers who are not used to driving an extended chassis with heavy or odd sized payloads.
Another valuable advice he hopes to pass on to other younger drivers, “Accidents make us realise we should drive safely. So, accept the fact that there will be delays and external factors you cannot control, and just focus on the job. We cannot be impulsive or irresponsible just to rush a job.”
Mr Yeo had also witnessed how the logistics industry transformed and shifted in the past three decades. To him, digitalisation has been the biggest change – with a mere click on the PSA iPad now, drivers can show their location, and take photos and video evidences of cargos and accidents. This helps to boost productivity and save company’s time and money when it comes to disputes on cargo damages.
Although Mr Yeo drives less now in his current role, he enjoys the new found safety and maintenance aspects of his job. It helped him realise that he is a fixer that loves fixing new challenges, especially when it comes to the various maintenance parts of the prime mover and other equipment.
When asked what is one thing, he’d like to share with someone new in the industry, he replied without hesitance, “You won’t learn everything in one day. Logistics is so diverse!”
Mr Yeo summed up his entire journey of logistics in one word, which is ‘Experience’ – he has seen everything, and done all sorts of things through logistics, and he definitely cherishes this life time of experiences and memories.