A safe fleet is a profitable fleet. Here are some important steps to staying safe, saving money, and making sure your business runs as efficiently as possible.
Good record keeping is essential to maintaining and improving fleet safety. By keeping accurate, up-to-date records of your fleet operations, you can accurately monitor drivers, review and evaluate driving practices, review vehicle, parts and warranty information, and gain a more complete overall picture of your business. Organized and thorough records are also very valuable in claims defense and can save your company significant settlement costs. With good records you can also keep a complete list of what drivers need and help provide good information when conducting annual reviews. This can also be a valuable tool in determining who needs further training and who is performing well, which helps your company gain a firm grasp on the skill and safety level of your drivers.
How do I keep the paperwork from building up???
With the sheer volume of vehicle records, performance evaluations, safety data and financial documents, how can you maintain an effective and efficient process?
The answer….Go Digital
Keeping accurate records online is another way to improve safety by cutting down on clerical errors, streamlining data entry, and increasing efficient access to important information. Linking digital software to conference rooms or work centers is another great way to not only provide effective training but also to depict important data and information in staff meetings and conferences.
RTA’s software system allows multiple offices to access the same data, no matter where they are located. This is a great solution for organizing records and disseminating information versus the traditional filing cabinet.
New Driver Orientation
One of the two most important components of fleet safety are orientation and the training you provide for your team. Be sure to fully cover technical and operating protocol such as vehicle operating, vehicle safety, equipment usage, and routes and schedules. In addition, review practical procedures such as work standards, rules and regulations, and pre-trip and post-trip practices during orientation.
Orientation should serve more as an overview of what will be taught and what is expected. The goal is to acclimate new staff to the team and familiarize them with the best safety practices. Instilling safety knowledge and emphasizing proper procedures at the beginning of a new driver’s employment is crucial in ensuring they build strong safety routines throughout their time on staff.
The training you provide to your drivers and team is paramount to safety. How well equipped they are to handle situations that may arise, understand the importance behind the protocol, and know what good safety practices are, the more likely they are to stay safe. It is crucial to hire only qualified trainers with professional certification. They should provide in-depth knowledge and training on all safety procedures, work standards, protocol for road conditions as well as hands-on skill and safety development. New computer models are constantly being developed and enhanced to provide first-hand experience on a variety of conditions.
Track and Report Data
It’s important to keep good records, but first ̶ you must create them. Accurately tracking safety data, vehicle inspection history, and driver information is imperative to knowing where you stand in terms of safety and risk reduction.
By examining both individual driver data as well as company information you can analyze who are the safest drivers and which drivers need further training. It can also help you identify areas of improvement for your company as a whole. This can be a key tool in identifying specific problems or trends as well as general areas of improvement. Additionally, having the data to back up safety claims can be valuable in reducing insurance costs.
Clear communication is key to reducing mistakes and helping to eliminate confusion. We suggest quarterly performance reviews of all drivers, management, technicians, and any other staff related to safety. This should be a good time to address any problems or concerns as well as convey praise for a job well done.
While you can provide all the training in the world, in order to fully ensure safety your equipment must be fully functional and consistently maintained. Having certified technicians and engineers monitoring equipment and making sure it is up to standards can prevent larger technical problems down the road. Routine maintenance is recommended and providing continual training for technicians as well as drivers is imperative. RTA’s preventative maintenance software lets you know which vehicles are due for maintenance and when, which means less surprises and reduced downtime.
Compliance with state and federal regulations, risk management and transportation guidelines are a must when it comes to safety. It is not only important your drivers and staff comply with the law; they need to understand why the laws exist in the first place. Regular trainings and seminars should be conducted to test drivers on their compliance knowledge and a clear process for certification should be in place.
Before you let your drivers get behind the wheel….
Contact RTA for a comprehensive lineup of digital software features to help make your fleet safer and more productive.