Whether you run a global fleet of over 30,000 vehicles or a small business with just a few cars, driver safety is at the center of what you do. Keeping safe and compliant on the road is part of your guarantee to clients, and without putting rules and regulations in place to make sure everything stays safe on the road, you could be putting your business at risk. However, if you’re managing a fleet that’s well-organized and full of cautious, well-trained drivers, on-road safety should be a built-in feature of your service. From finding a gps compatible commercial fuel card to teaching your drivers how to put safety first during each job, here are a few ways to make sure your fleet stays on top of the competition.
Streamline Your Training Process
No matter how well your training procedure is set up, remember that it could always be better. One of the keys to being a successful fleet manager is keeping the potential for progress in mind in everything you do. One of the best ways to do this is to use GPS tracking data to see where your drivers could be doing better on the road. Each driver’s trip report will show you exactly which moves they made on the road, giving you insight into which repeat issues are the fault of the driver, and which might have something to do with an oversight in your training procedure or an issue with a certain vehicle. If you’re dealing with a repeat issue that’s showing up for a few different drivers, it might be time for a re-training session that focuses in on a specific safety issue. Reinforcing protocol is always a good idea, especially for older drivers who might have started getting laxer during their time with the company.
Track Gas Usage
Although your company’s fuel costs might not, at first glance, seem to have a lot to do with driver safety, looking closer at those figures could give you some insight into how your drivers are behaving on the road. For instance, if you know a certain vehicle has a specific MPG attached and your drivers are going way over the line, you already have some insight into how they’re driving. With certain GPS systems, you can actually set up notifications that will tell you (and your driver) when 15 minutes of idling have passed. This will let you see not only how your drivers are behaving on the road, it will help you pursue better, faster routes to take, as well as finding other ways to put caution and moderation first during a job.
Track Driver Performance and Give Notes
One of the great things about having raw data delivered to your inbox after every trip is that you can see exactly where a driver went wrong or did something right. You can also use this information to track unhealthy patterns and put a stop to them before they start doing damage to your vehicles or to your bottom line. If you’re noticing that a driver’s performance is off, try taking them aside and offering some helpful criticism. For instance, if a driver is racing through jobs to finish on time or to improve their track record, you might find it helpful to de-incentivize this kind of behavior within the company while stressing the importance of safety over jobs completed per day. You can also explain that, contrary to popular belief, safer driving actually adds up to more jobs completed per driver in the end.
Incentivize On-Road Safety
Nothing helps encourage safe driving like built-in, company-wide incentives. While it’s always best to train your drivers to put safety first, the reality of the situation can too easily send drivers mixed messages about what their priorities are on the road. By explaining that while speed and efficiency are important on the road, safety is actually the top priority in any situation, you can help drivers understand that they’ll actually be doing their jobs better by following safety protocol to the letter. You can even create special bonuses for drivers without any safety faults on their record, or create extra-curricular training sessions that will give drivers extra points toward vacation time.
Have Regular Re-Training Sessions
No matter how long a driver has been active on the road, it never hurts for them to go through the basics of safe driving every six months or so. To prevent your drivers from getting sloppy or forgetting the rules of on road safety, set up mandatory re-training sessions at least once every few months so that your drivers can get reacquainted with better on-road practices.