Effective Driver Management
Driving trucks and commercial vehicles is a major responsibility. Not only are you required to operate a large vehicle, but you must do so while sharing the road with other drivers. In Canada, the climate and traveling distance pose additional challenges for commercial drivers. Additionally, if materials are transported across the US border, regulations from both countries must be followed. With this comes training.
In February 2020, the Council of Ministers Responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety approved entry-level training requirements for commercial drivers. These new requirements dictated, 103.5 hours of required training to obtain a Class 1/A license and an additional 8.5 hours for air brake operation. The first province to include mandatory training in its driver legislation was Ontario.
Driver training requirements vary by province. For example, Alberta requires 113 hours, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan require 121.5 hours.
Driver management software is a powerful tool for companies that operate commercial vehicles. Software can track vehicles via GPS, which improves driver safety by instantly detecting any vehicle issues. In addition, technology can be used to manage all the documentation required by Canadian and US regulations. Finally, driver management software can also improve productivity, by optimizing the allowed driving hours at a safe speed. This article will discuss some of the main benefits of a driver management system.
Top 5 Benefits
1) Improves Driver Safety
Lack of information creates risks at work, and this also applies to commercial vehicle drivers. When a driver management system is deployed, documents and training requirements can be managed more easily, ensuring compliance and safety. Technology can also help drivers optimize their working hours and routes, becoming more productive, but without overexerting themselves.
Drivers can be provided with a mobile app that tracks their driving and off-duty hours automatically. This helps prevent fatigue, by ensuring that drivers do not exceed their legally allowed hours while getting enough rest. Without software, drivers are more likely to exceed the daily driving time allowed by hours of service regulations.
2) Decreases Driver Turnover
Driving commercial vehicles is a physically demanding job, and some drivers may struggle with stress and fatigue. However, when drivers are provided with adequate training and technology, they can feel safer and more confident at work. Safety software and training can help reduce stress, and drivers are more likely to stay with the company in the long run.
Commercial driving often involves long routes under harsh weather. With such a demanding job, drivers will prefer organizations who care about their safety and wellbeing. Meeting regulations is also a challenge, and drivers will eventually encounter inspectors. This can be stressful when they must deal with all the documentation alone, but technology makes the task simpler.
3) Highlights Training Deficiencies
All business activity is subject to regulations that may change, and this also applies for commercial driver legislation. For example, a province may introduce new training requirements or change the format of key documents. In these cases, the required training can be planned and tracked more efficiently with a driver management system.
When a company does not keep track of driver training, they are at a higher risk of accidents and failed inspections. An employee with pending training or without access to key documents may be assigned a trip unknowingly. This can bring legal and financial consequences, and possibly fatalities if an accident occurs.
4) Allows Digitized Documentation
Commercial driving requires the completion of many forms and other documents, and these can be difficult to manage in physical form. For example, the format of an important document may require an update when a driver is hundreds of kilometers away.
When documents are managed with software, they can be accessed by all drivers who need them, regardless of their location. Also, digital documents cannot be damaged or lost during a long trip, which makes them useful for compliance purposes. Drivers are also spared from the responsibility of handling many documents, since any of them can be accessed with just a few clicks.
5) Supports Equipment Maintenance
Software can also be used to manage pre-trip inspections and planned maintenance. Like with any piece of equipment, keeping a commercial vehicle in good working condition is far less expensive than assuming the cost of an accident. In the case of vehicles, adequate maintenance also protects lives.
With driver management software, drivers can complete their daily pre-trip inspection reports with a mobile app and immediately notify their company of dangerous conditions. Also, the maintenance requirements of a commercial fleet are much easier to manage with software.
Commercial vehicles have the potential to cause serious accidents, and drivers must be well trained and well rested to safely carry out their job. In addition, drivers must be provided with all the documentation needed for compliance purposes, considering that their routes may cover several jurisdictions. Finally, the vehicles themselves must be kept in good working condition, which involves daily inspections and planned maintenance.
A driver management software is a very effective solution for all these requirements, helping companies improve driver safety and productivity.