Trucking incidents and how to resolve them are sometimes obvious, yet they can be the most difficult to see. Clarity to obvious answers is a struggle in every day life, such as the time I spent hours working in the Baltimore zoo doing student research on bear captivity. It did not take statistical data to answer this question in my head. Yet someone had received grant money to analyze why the bear was eating his own feces, pacing, and loosing hair while living in an 8 X 10 cage. Now I realize data collection is the necessary evil behind your support for change. However, perhaps the answer to why your drivers are falling asleep at the wheel, getting distracted, or drinking and driving is right in front of us.
Driving is extremely monotonous, lonely, and exhausting which breeds depression. Every month we hear a trucking concern such as, a commercial driver killed multiple others from either falling asleep at the wheel or from drinking and falling asleep at the wheel. We train, we educate, we refresh, and yet the terrifying truth remains. A new approach needs to be made. Prevention in a new light. Just as we criticize our American healthcare system for not supporting preventive healthcare but then paying billions of dollars in chemo therapy or patch work on the symptoms, we should take a critical look at how preventive is our driver program? Preaching the cure is not working.
3 Ways to Reduce Your Trucking Incidents
1. Trucking Incidents & How to Break the Monotony and Teach Coping Skills
No matter how much technical driver training we offer, and prevention efforts we make, monotony, loneliness, exhaustion, and depression will remain. Diversify the schedule, offer route choices, change the truck your driver is in, offer schedule incentives with longer breaks. Teach coping skills such as: listening to a library of thriller and action packed books on tape, satellite radio, provide a daily riddle your driver can brainstorm all day and announce a winner at the end of each day, teach breathing exercises, provide phone or Face Time counseling, teach positive affirmations, reiterate how their driving impacted their companies success that day, teach 15 minute exercise routines and use fit bits to measure their steps, offer incentive awards for drivers that best balance exercise with drive time.
2. Trucking Incidents & How Break The Loneliness
Perhaps it seems cheaper to operate a business of drivers like a Purdue chicken house, but have you ever analyzed the costs of your turnover, training, and on-boarding? How profitable are companies with very little turnover and retraining costs compared to companies with high turnover and significant retraining? Consider an incentive program in which your drivers win extra days off each month, flights, hotel rooms, and vacation packages. You could easily grab a hand full of round trip flights to Florida for $99.00 and or groupon packages to Arizona. You could have a drawing of your top drivers and 5- 10 people could win.
3. Trucking Incidents & How to Track Incidents and Reasons For Leaving
Accidents will happen no matter how hard we try to prevent them. It is critical that you protect yourself and your company by tracking your: drivers’ training, prevention efforts, certifications, insurance, incidents that do occur, why they occurred, and why your drivers are leaving. Tracking data, compliance and incidents will promote your stakeholders confidence, increase merger potential, and provide insight into areas of most concern within the culture of your company. You can not heal or change a company’s trend unless you identify exactly what, where and why change is most needed.
In our experience, the most successful companies are the ones still analyzing areas to improve. Businesses that are most struggling are the ones that prefer to maintain the way they are. Which company are you? If you want to be preventive and progressive, then imagine the loyalty and job satisfaction that would result from your commitment to your drivers mental and physical health. How much more motivation would result from your drivers extra time with their family? Incentives and choices will help your drivers not feel like a victim to life, and feel more like they have control over their day. Offering a schedule that is better than your competitors and includes more substantial chunks of family time at a more regular rate than your competition, will ensure you get the best drivers remaining with you!
Kristen converts inefficient compliance management systems and siloed technology into a dynamic workflow with end to end client support. Through our implementation process we work with you to reveal areas of hidden risk and produce new best practices for your compliance management team.