Running a Trucking Fleet? Make Sure Your Drivers are Safe
Trucking is a high-risk profession. There are an alarming amount of fatalities and injuries that are linked to the business. Estimates regarding deaths related to trucking seem to be in the 600 per year region. Of course, there are also long-term concerns that you need to consider that come with the trucking lifestyle.
So let’s say you’re the owner of a trucking fleet, or that you’re planning to start up such a business. How exactly can you help keep you drivers safe? Sure, you can create rules and remind them to follow state driving regulations. But what more can you do? Well, there’s plenty. Let’s take a look.
One of the best ways to keep your drivers safe is found right at the beginning of the process. You need to make sure you’re actually hiring people who can do the job properly. Make sure you give all candidates a thorough background check to ensure they have a good history of driving safely. Making sure they have the correct license for driving a truck is also crucial. If they don’t have one, they can work towards one by training for CDL.
Making sure your trucks are in great condition is absolutely necessary. Many business owners make the mistake of leaving maintenance and repair work for when something goes wrong. But whenever a truck is returned to the business lot, it should be checked out and tuned back up. Regular maintenance of your trucks may seem like an unnecessary cost. But it’s the best way to prevent issues on the road. If money is an issue, you can use freight bill factoring to help pay expenses. Keep thorough records detailing the maintenance schedules of every vehicle.
You may already know what can cause such a large amount of accidents in this sort of business. A stereotype of truckers is that they drive around for hours without stopping to catch a break. And by “hours”, we’re talking more than ten. Up to twenty, maybe. Well, unfortunately, that stereotype is reinforced by the available statistics. Truckers really are spending way too much time driving! This results in dangerous fatigue problems. So make sure you’re following all regulations regarding hours of service, and ensure that your drivers are taking breaks and maybe even naps!
Communication is the key to so much success in pretty much any business. Safety in trucking is no exception. If you can maintain communication with your drivers, then you can tell a lot about their situation. If they’re too tired or feeling ill, then you can be in touch to ensure that you give the proper advice and commands. If they’re having trouble communicating with base, they may not report on crucial problems.
Finally, GPS tracking for your fleet should be used so you can review driver performance at any point. If you’ve got a driver that’s been going for hours without a break, this technology will alert you. If they’re speeding, or even if they’re not wearing a seatbelt, this technology will let you know. This gives you a broader view of the various safety measures being employed by your drivers.