There are times when your drivers struggle with too much traffic and equipment failure. However, this can tarnish your reputation as a fleet provider if the frequency is often.
Educating your drivers about the latest technology, such as a GPS tracking device, dashcam, and dispatching software, can improve their driving experience as well as your business operations. But training on its own isn’t going to solve all your problems.
Most drivers see training as a punishment or may not be open to any suggestions you may have on improving their performance. Hence, fleet managers and companies need to show truckers that such programs can positively impact their professional lives.
Here are 7 easy ways you can train your drivers:
Provide Personalized Training
By assigning only the courses specific to drivers’ job requirements, you can create a more personalized orientation for them. For example, a local driver would have different requirements for training than a long-distance driver.
You can also provide training by incorporating media that allow your drivers to consume content as per their choice. They can listen to audio files, watch videos, or read handbooks.
You can also create a more personalized training experience by delivering a program based on skills for results and knowledge assessments. Such programs provide the driver with information that they were unaware of or weren’t practicing.
With numerous training options, you can find one that best suits your drivers’ interests. From lessons on how to inspect brakes to updates on the latest commercial driving regulations, it’s essential to structure your training for drivers in a way that adds value to their existing knowledge of the trucking industry.
Communicate The Benefits Of Using Devices
Companies in the trucking industry who are at the forefront of utilizing fleet management and monitoring devices are witnessing positive changes in the way they conduct their operations.
Most truck drivers are not tech-savvy. They tend to find it hard to use the latest GPS devices and other technology. Therefore, having a training curriculum that allows them to learn such devices at their own pace is important.
Using the latest IoT devices such as advanced GPS tracking, dashcam, and driving apps for drivers, which you can view on Samsara.com, you can massively improve the lives of their daily operations.
Show your drivers the advantages of these devices, such as taking a low-traffic route, automatic logging, displaying nearby stations that are great for breaks, etc. You can even pique their interest in training by explaining how footage of videos captured on dash cams can help their employer exonerate them from legal issues.
Sponsor Their Tuition
Newbie drivers who dream of a life on the road and want to break into the trucking industry usually need to pass the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) exams. Hence, some trucking companies invest in these drivers by paying for their tuition, contingent on the fact that they have to sign a contract with the company for a certain period.
These contracts are common among large fleet providers and usually yield promising results. Not only do you get to choose a well-trained driver who is passionate about the job, but you can also lower the training costs and resources required to get such an employee on board.
Hence, if you constantly find yourself in a shortage of skilled and dedicated drivers, paying for their tuition can help you attract employees according to your business requirement.
Show Empathy For Their Lifestyle
Life on the road isn’t as organized as a 9-5 job and involves long hours. Sometimes there can be traffic on the road, or there are just a few stops for the drivers to stop, eat, and rest.
To elevate the impact of your training sessions, you need to understand how a driver’s schedule can be hard on their health and relationships. Ask veteran drivers with significant experience to give tips on handling stress and tight deadlines. Find ways to help them become more disciplined with their time and money.
Paying attention to your trainees’ feedback about their driving experience and showing that you care about their problems can help you engage the drivers in training sessions.
Pair Them With Good Trainers
The learning curve can be very challenging for drivers if they don’t like the trainers that they have been allotted.
It is natural in the trucking industry for trainers and drivers to experience personality clashes. Nevertheless, it can demotivate both of them in the training period as they spend a considerable amount of time with each other. As such, ensure that you are careful when pairing them.
In case your drivers request to change their training partners, consider their request. Ask both the driver and trainer what is not working—if there’s a chance that they can work things out, great! If not, change the trainers as soon as possible.
Use Experience Drivers As Trainers
It goes without saying that the initial training period can be difficult and stressful. It takes time for drivers to get used to the trucking lifestyle. Spending time away from home and being unable to maintain a normal social life can be hard on many drivers in the industry.
One of the major things that fleet managers and trainers can do to improve their programs is to collaborate with experienced drivers who understand these issues and have valuable advice to offer to your trainees. This also allows new drivers to find a mentor in trucking veterans.
Share Professional Development Opportunities
Without having a roadmap for their careers, drivers would feel that their life is going nowhere. Driving endlessly without having a clear picture can demotivate them in later stages. This is also one of the reasons that the turnover rate is so high in the trucking industry.
Provide your drivers with a clear picture of how they can achieve success in the trucking industry and what promising career opportunities lie ahead. Guide them through every step of their career to provide them with stability and build long-lasting professional relationships.
These are seven easy ways to improve your training program and ensure your drivers’ safety when they’re out in the field. Encompassing these practices will not only enrich the lives of your truck drivers but also distinguish your business as a spearhead in the transportation industry.