There is plenty of evidence, whether anecdotal or actual studies, that show how truck driver training plays a huge impact on overall fleet safety outcomes. How you train and communicate with your truck drivers – how you communicate to them and show their worth – will give them greater incentive, both implicit and explicit, to ensure they do a better job driving on our nation’s roads.
When a fleet focuses on proper training and communication, they are better able to manage the perceptions of those in their fleet. How valued your truck drivers – and others who operate in your fleet – feel will play a direct impact on not just their motivation, but your CSA scores and overall fleet safety measures.
Going Above and Beyond for Safety
The best motor carriers know that going above and beyond to ensure the safety of their operators goes beyond merely providing job training or offering a newfangled perk. We are talking about career professional truck drivers here. No matter what kind of truck they are driving or technology they are using, they want to feel safe in the cab, and even more, know that the operation of their vehicles is keeping those on the road around them safe, as well.
Is your fleet playing a positive role to utilize training – whether new or ongoing – to improve overall safety measures? When you add a competitive training package, combined with good pay and proper truck driver recognition, you build a truly successful strategy for the future. With retention and the trucking employment squeeze an ongoing problem, you want to make sure you are tapping into and developing the full potential of your people – and training plays a critical role in ensuring that success.
Using Communication as a Key
Are you properly communicating your fleet safety goals to your truck drivers through comprehensive training efforts? Are your fleet managers or fleet safety directors interacting positively with those on the front line? Everyone who interacts with those operating your fleet’s should be reinforcing the same safety message.
In many cases, a truck driver’s direct supervisor plays one of the most important roles in how a truck driver views safe commercial motor vehicle operation. It comes down to how well that front-line supervisor communicates a message of safety. Is the truck driver a new employee on the line, or are they an old hand in the fleet, well-experienced and ready to hit the road? The answer to those questions should drive your motor carrier’s overall approach to the safety question.
Using Your Truck Drivers in Innovative Ways
Since experienced truck drivers are often the best truck drivers and have the lowest turnover rates, some fleets have turned to using them as mentors. Why not pair an experienced truck driver with someone who has just come out of training?
Not only does this instill a greater sense of confidence in your newer truck drivers, but it gives your experienced truck drivers a greater sense of buy-in within the overall company hierarchy. Statistics prove this. You can both improve overall safety measures and increase truck driver retention and motivation all at the same time.
With fleet’s forced to compete for an ever-shrinking pool of truck drivers, it is important that they think outside the box on both how they can increase safety, plus improve their overall retention rate. The only way to raise overall confidence both within motor carriers and industry-wide, attention must be paid to how truck drivers, old and new, are communicated with and paired together for greater safety outcomes.