At ORDP, keeping drivers safe is our #1 priority. So, we teamed up with industry expert, Lorie Dodson of CDLJobs.com to highlight some of the modern training solutions available to truckers today.

Driver training is a crucial component of any trucking enterprise’s operations. Even the most adept companies can find themselves in situations where they are facing legal questioning or depositions due to the questionable habits of untrained drivers. These situations should be avoided wherever possible—and the good news is that it is possible to minimize their occurrence.

Modern training solutions takes the guesswork out of trucking, makes adhering to legislation easier, and ensures that safety standards are upheld at every point in the journey. This will attract new, skilled drivers to an industry that’s better equipped to provide them with the right tools for the job. The US trucking industry has been in a recession since 2019. Yet, despite eCommerce straining an already hard-hit industry, it needs to bring in over 60,000 new drivers to meet the demand.

Clearly, it has never been more important to implement intelligent and effective training solutions to keep truck drivers and customers safe and satisfied. It’s essential that your fleet keeps its training solutions up to date with current technological developments to give you an edge in an increasingly competitive sector.

Why Train Truck Drivers?

Training implementation and documentation are the keys to reducing a trucking fleet’s legal liabilities. However, the most important reason behind a proper safety program should be to keep customers, drivers, and the motoring public safe from harm. Without your trusted drivers and your customers, your business could not sustain itself.

Safety programs can reduce the number of injury claims and the extent of potential damages, saving fleets massive sums of money by steadying their insurance rates. They can also boost driver recruitment and retention, as drivers will be more comfortable working in a safe environment.

The cornerstone of your training strategy should be to take a proactive stance to ensure that your training program is robust and detailed. It should also be in line with 21st century practices and technologies to ensure maximum success.

The Potential of VR Technology in Trucking

In 2019, a study from Brandon Hall Group showed that many trucking companies are now using VR as a modern training tool. Virtual reality has proven useful in high consequence sectors, in which operators’ and drivers’ errors can cause expensive property damage, and even fatalities.

The companies that took part in the survey noted that implementing VR tools was their highest learning priority for the two years following the study’s conclusion. Huge trucking names like UPS are already using virtual reality simulators to train their drivers and provide basic safety education, with UPS having done so since 2017. Other firms are using VR simulations to make learning more immersive and engaging for their drivers to ensure better retention of information.

Digital Simulations for Better Safety

In the past, trucking firms would have used books and video presentations to train their employees. Today, more companies than ever are evolving alongside their truck drivers with the use of VR and machine learning technology.

VR allows drivers to experience physically operating equipment and gain real-time insights required for extensive learning and comprehension. Plus, it provides excellent preparation for dealing with dangerous situations and unexpected crises.

Virtual simulations can record drivers’ progress and reactions to certain situations. This can help to identify areas of learning that need further attention, and to prepare them for scenarios such as skidding, pedestrian collisions, and other real-world realities. Ultimately, using VR as a training tool could create a generation of safer and better prepared drivers.

Modern CDL Driver Training Necessities

Any training program for truck drivers needs to give them the full set of tools and skills they need to tackle the road confidently.

There are several necessities to bear in mind when creating and implementing educational courses, especially if you want to protect your drivers and reduce your company’s own liability at the same time.

A Solid Plan of Safety Program Implementation

Many fleets assume that once their drivers pass their CDL exams, they are fully trained. This is not entirely correct.

A good deal of transportation safety officers are noticing that drivers are lacking basic formal driver training knowledge, even though they have acquired commercial drivers’ licenses.

An effective modern training program should be a comprehensive and ongoing process. It should give drivers all the tools and proper practices they need to be safe on the road, and to remain that way at delivery and pickup points. Companies’ programs should supply regular feedback to employees and employers about enhanced safety performance and overall efficacy.

Continual Implementation for CSA Protection

Insurance companies believe that one of the most common issues with training programs is a distinct lack of ongoing engagement with drivers. Onboarding meetings may touch on safety policies, but their time frames are taken up by paperwork and other protocols.

Training should be continuous for all drivers—even senior ones—for as long as they are employed by a trucking company. Training sessions should refresh and reinforce past lessons as well as introducing new concepts.

Modern Fleets Need Sufficient Documentation

Trucking outfits should always keep records of their driver training sessions. Without having verified training in your files, there’s no way of guaranteeing that your drivers are properly educated. Record-keeping should be detailed and thorough, including aspects like the location and time span of each training session. Which topics were explained to drivers and was there any measurement gained regarding their understanding of the training material? Have any follow-ups been completed?

When trucking companies deal with insurance and liability claims, being able to produce detailed records of safety training can significantly slash potential settlement amounts. A lack of attention to modern and comprehensive training can make your program as much of a liability as the claims you may face because of its weakness.

Insufficient training programs can also endanger drivers and members of the public alike, which is why it’s essential to train staff members as thoroughly as possible.