If you’re a truckload carrier who is thinking about creating a fleet driver safety program for your truck drivers, here’s some information to get you started.
Also known as a carrier safety plan, trucking plan, or cooperative safety plan (CSP), fleet driver safety programs are relatively straightforward to set up. A CSP is a voluntary structured plan that motor carriers file with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to ensure they can address any underlying issues with potential safety ramifications and ultimately improve their performance.
How does the industry define safe truck drivers?
One essential attribute of a safe driver is their superior skills, which help them handle any situation on the road. Ideal safe drivers are also knowledgeable, alert, and responsible and have self-discipline, patience, and rudimentary mechanical skills, to name a few additional characteristics.
Implementing and maintaining a successful fleet driver safety program
So how do you engage your truck driver workforce in a fleet driver safety program? Much of the focus is on communication, training, and maintaining safety, of course. Here’s how to get started:
- Practice good communication with truck drivers. Your safety program begins with a review of your company fleet. Start by teaching your new hire about your company fleet, e.g., how many drivers you employ, the new driver’s role on the team, and how each driver’s actions could impact the entire fleet. You’ll also want to touch on company accident information and safety goals.
- Proceed to train on fleet safety processes and protocols. A multipronged approach will help here. Think about the best ways to use printed materials, meetings, presentations, and online training. You’ll want to focus on fleet safety rules and policies, defensive driving policies, the role of hours-of-service (HOS), vehicle inspections, accident and security procedures, personal safety policies, individual driver responsibilities, and performance evaluations. Be sure to include information on what happens when a driver violates safety policies, as well as ways your company rewards safe drivers.
- Document your new hire’s trucking knowledge. After your new hire completes training, document their completion and sign paperwork stating they understand the safety processes and any possible repercussions if they fail to stay safe on the road.
- Choose tools that optimize your workforce’s time, energy, and skills for better safety outcomes. A versatile TMS factors in drivers’ hours of service (HOS) restrictions into route planning. When you know which drivers are close to their HOS limits and which have more time available to drive, you can create a safe driver plan with breaks, restarts, and multiple drivers who are well rested and able to drive more safely. Also, consider tools that ensure you don’t miss any critical maintenance or repairs and provide alerts and reminders about driver certification, license renewals, or drug tests.
A good investment
A fleet driver safety program is one of the best investments you can make in your company and your drivers’ futures. Why not start your safety journey today by drafting or revamping your safety plan?
Hours-of-service (HOS) rules keep drivers at peak performance with plenty of rest and breaks, so they drive responsibly. The Axele TMS knows your drivers’ HOS restrictions so that it won’t assign a load to a driver nearing their time limits. Your drivers will be safer with an optimal transport plan from Axele. Contact Axele today.