Being involved in an accident on the road, whether it’s a small bumper bash or something more serious, is a haulage worker’s worst nightmare. Not only can it lead to injuries or discomfort, but you could also be looking at time off work and costly repairs. There are many ways to increase the personal safety of drivers on the roads, which will also ensure the wellbeing of those around them. Most people involved in haulage work are experienced and expert drivers, but taking a few minutes to consider whether you are doing all you can to help your employees is always a good idea.
A Helping Hand
Firstly, it’s important to realise that the responsibility for driver safety does not rest entirely on your shoulders. That would be a heavy burden to bear and, although there are things you can do, why not turn to the latest in haulage work technology to give you a helping hand?
Developments in technology, such as satnavs, vehicle cameras and vehicle monitoring systems, can all assist you in keeping an eye on your fleet and protecting your drivers in case of an incident on the roads. Vehicle monitoring technology can identify trucks that need an overhaul before they become dangerous. Vehicle cameras are particularly important in identifying the causes of an accident and can help to protect a company from fraudulent claims.
Be a People Person
It is important to have a stringent employment process to ensure that you are employing the best of the best. If you can secure excellent drivers that you trust, – those with impressive experience, great judgment and good references – you minimise the possibility of an accident due to inexperience or lazy driving. Many leaders of the industry have chosen to follow these guidelines during the employment process.
Carrying out rigorous background checks: Ask for motor vehicle and criminal records that cover the whole of the country, and insist on regular drug tests both before and during employment.
Implement an in-depth training programme for new recruits to make sure that they are up to the mark: It’s also a great idea to reassess all of your drivers’ performances regularly and offer extra training to decrease complacency.
Everyone loves a bonus: Why not offer monetary bonuses to those employees who impress you with their driving skills? This will encourage the whole fleet to step up their game and consistently put in maximum effort when behind the wheel.
Just as vehicle operators should avoid becoming complacent on the roads, you should ensure that you are always actively improving the safety of your fleet. Here are some questions that you should be asking yourself regularly.
· Is your fleet well-maintained?
· Are there any outstanding issues that need to be resolved with specific vehicles?
· Have all of your drivers undertaken the most recent training session?
· Do you think that your drivers are motivated to operate in a safe and reliable manner?
· Are you making the most of the cutting-edge technology that’s available in the haulage work industry?
We all know that safety on the roads is one of the most serious and most important issues in this industry. I hope, therefore, that these tips have motivated you to keep your fleets in tip top condition and to ensure that your drivers are making the roads a safer place.
Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,000 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.