While some carriers see driver training as purely an educational tool, Craig Hart thinks there’s more to it than that.
“Our argument is that safety training protects your company. It protects you. It protects your driver,” Hart, the product manager for Vertical Alliance Group, said during a webinar hosted by DriverReach on June 2. “At the end of the day, the things that we are doing save you expenses, they improve your bottom line, they protect you when you find yourself in litigation. All of these things cost money. You can't stay on the road if you can protect yourself from these incidents and accidents that occur.”
Hart said continuous training is a big key to protect carriers and make fleets safer. Most of the content that Vertical Alliance pushes out to drivers is reinforcing the safety knowledge drivers already have. And making this training easily accessible to drivers goes a long way, he said.
“What we found to be the most successful way to do that is short videos that are to the point that people can watch on their phones, on their tablets, while they're sitting in their truck, waiting for the next load,” he said. “We want to make sure that it's convenient for them. We know their time is valuable.”
Plus, there is value for fleets who regularly reinforce a safety culture through training, Hart argued:
Reduction in accidents: Fewer crashes saves fleets money on costly tows and insurance renewals.
Increased insurability: “The goal with safety training is to make sure that you were the least risky bet an insurance company takes,” Hart said.
Reduction of costs associated with live orientation and training: Remote training can save carriers the costs associated with in-person training, such as transportation, lodging and food costs associated with traditional classroom settings.
Social distancing: Even for those carriers who do not have in-house social distancing policies, keeping drivers apart can be a plus for clients that are concerned about their employees and the COVID-19 pandemic. “If you were hauling to a particular client and they have certain expectations of social distancing from your drivers,” Hart said as an example, “that's something that you need to be able to communicate effectively and be able to honestly say, ‘that our drivers are receiving this information remotely and they are safe.’”
Save on fuel: Keeping drivers on the road delivering and picking up loads.
“All of these things on this list impact your bottom line in either a positive or negative way,” Hart said. “And that’s why we talk about it being a business necessity. It is not a luxury. It is not optional. This is what’s going to keep your trucks on the road moving day in and day out.”