Tips on How to Coach Your Drivers

Effective coaching programs for truck drivers can help reduce turnover, increase profitability, and minimize accidents. The FMCSA states that drivers are at fault in 84% of fatal truck accidents

Therefore, offer driver coaching to prevent high turnover and accidents. Besides, it is expensive for a fleet to keep firing, recruiting, hiring, and training drivers every so often.

Furthermore, theaverage ageof fleet drivers is 55 years, meaning most of these drivers have been on the road for two or three decades. That is enough time to develop poor driving habits that are hard to shake off if you don’t catch them and rectify them early on.

In the spirit of truck driver appreciation awareness month, below are tips on offering driver coaching to improve fleet management and driver safety.

Identify driver training needs

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for proper fleet management. You need to understand what your drivers’ training needs are. Embarking on blind training without identifying specific needs wastes time and resources.

Instead, you need to analyze historical data concerning incidents, identify current risks associated with the drivers, examine daily operations, and inspect vehicles. The data you collect from these observations will offer insight into your drivers’ training needs.

Once you identify specific needs, look for the right fleet technology and provide training to improve driver safety. You can start with the most common need and finish with the least.

Driver ride-alongs

One practical driver coaching tip is to have supervisors tag along during deliveries. This works in two ways: One, the supervisor gets to observe driver practices, to determine whether they are in line with safety and company regulations.

Secondly, the driver can also suggest to the supervisor what routes the driver has concerns about. They could point them out to the supervisor as they ride along. Alternatively, you could follow the driver using live streaming video fleet cameras.

In addition to supervisors observing drivers’ practices and techniques, they can also offer training while on the road. This is especially handy after introducing a new fleet technology. Instead of telling them how to use this technology, supervisors or trainers canshowthem.

Introduce learning management systems

Introduce learning management systems (LMS) fleet technology to keep your drivers on their toes. These systems allow drivers to access training materials remotely and stay informed on the fly.

If your company doesn’t have the resources to invest in an LMS, you can use YouTube and other free online training materials.

Integrate driver coaching into your organization’s culture

Imagine having a successful driver coaching session, and your drivers have hit every milestone as expected. Now what? It’s easy to sit back and feel like you’ve accomplished your mission.

However, you’ll have a new driver join the team every now and then. Consistent coaching and engraining this in the company culture helps the older drivers show the new drivers the way around.

Employee recognition and appreciation

Seeing as this is truck driver appreciation month, is there one or more drivers on your team who’ve worked diligently by providing exceptional services to customers? You can show them some appreciation.

Asurveyshowed that79% of employees quit jobsbecause they don’t feel appreciated. You can show your drivers appreciation by:

  • Saying a heartfelt “thank you”
  • Offer prizes and awards to your best drivers
  • Recognize them on social media

Showing appreciation to employees helps boost morale and improve their motivation. Satisfied, motivated, and happy drivers lead to increased productivity and better service to customers.

Use fleet management tool to coach drivers

A fleet management tool is the first step to coaching drivers to improve driver safety, minimize accidents, and increase productivity. Ask for a free demo to learn more about how our fleet technology can help you achieve that.