Fleet Driver Training and Occupational Road Risk
Fleet driver training is aimed at companies in both the public and private sector.
It is an integral part of the fleet management programme and the aim of the training is to reduce the risks encountered by company drivers whilst at the same time lowering fleet costs by reducing accidents, costs and insurance premiums.
“Duty of Care”
If a company employs drivers or has employees who drive as part of their job role then a business has responsibilities. A company has a duty of care to all employees and extends to all drivers of company vehicles and their own vehicles when driving on behalf of the business.
Benefits of Fleet Driver Training
Identifying how to cut the cost of running a fleet, which includes fleet insurance premiums, reducing maintenance and repair costs as a result of higher driving standards in work vehicles. A reduction in the number of incidents of driver related issues. Drivers being coached into learning new eco-driving skills which could easily implemented on a daily basis.
In addition to the above benefits, companies have a responsibility to promote more of a professional image on the road through confident and cautious drivers to promote their business image within the public domain on the road.
Drivers who’ll benefit from Fleet Driver Training include
- Persistent Speeders
- Accidents and Knocks
- Insurance Requirements
- Drivers who may lack confidence
- Complaints from members of the public
Every professional HGV and PCV driver has to undergo a minimal amount of training in order to be licenced and certified under the Driver CPC scheme. Yet the operative word here is ‘minimal’. Just because a driver has met the requirements for minimal training does not mean he or she is fully prepared to be a safe and productive driver. This is one of the primary reasons we promote fleet training for company drivers. Fleet training is an effective tool that motoring businesses of all sizes use to minimise risk and financial loss.
What is fleet training, exactly? It can be whatever a company wants it to be. Consider a waste management firm as one example. That company may employ 50 drivers to operate its fleet of bin lorries. But are all those drivers really fit to serve? The fact is that there are lots of little things about operating a bin lorry that are not addressed in primary HGV training. The firm’s company drivers really need routine fleet training to fill the gaps.
Haulage and transport companies all over the UK have come to learn, through our training programmes, that regular training of company drivers:
- reduces accidents
- creates more confident drivers
- increases efficiency
- increases regulatory compliance
- saves money in the long run.
Reducing Accident Risk
You could easily make the case that the most important reason for developing an ongoing fleet training programme is that of reducing accident risks. Consider the fact that the number of fatal accidents involving HGVs has fallen more than 40% since 2005. That sharp decline is no coincidence. It is the result of more than a decade of improved training standards and equipment.
Regular training reduces a company’s accident risks in a number of important ways:
- Driver Skills – Drivers need to have their skills tested occasionally to make sure they are still performing up to standard. Our training programmes can point out any deficiencies as well as ways to address them.
- Driver Knowledge – A veteran driver’s familiarity with regulations and company policies can lead to forgetfulness over time. Routine fleet training can refresh one’s knowledge and bring back to the forefront any regulations or policies previously forgotten.
- Safety Mindset – Regular fleet training can be used to instil a safety mindset in company drivers. When safety is a top priority, drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents.
What company with a fleet of drivers would not want to reduce accident risk? We cannot imagine there being any. Yet so many companies do not provide the regular training their drivers need to accomplish this very worthy goal. If you are among them, you can change that by working with HGV Training Centre to provide regular fleet training programmes.
Creating Confident Drivers
Anyone who drives for a living can tell you that the most dangerous driver on the road is the one who lacks confidence. Regardless of the vehicle being driven, a driver not confident in what he or she is doing is likely to make poor decisions when under pressure. It only takes a little bit of bad weather or moderate traffic congestion to cause an unconfident driver to do something rash.
Regular fleet training for your company drivers addresses the confidence issue. How? By imparting the knowledge and skills necessary to be an excellent driver. A driver who knows what he or she’s doing is a driver that trusts his/her knowledge and training and, subsequently, makes better decisions under pressure. Confident drivers are much less likely to have accidents.
Increasing Proficiency and Efficiency
Professional drivers do more than just move vehicles down the road, as you know. They do all sorts of additional things such as loading and unloading vehicles, backing trailers into loading bays, applying tarps to flat-bed trailers, interacting with customers, planning routes, and so on. The company wishing to be as efficient as possible need drivers who are proficient in all of these skills. Once again, it comes down to training.
We help companies devise training programmes that are appropriate to the skills their drivers need. We can then implement those training programmes ourselves or in partnership with our client. The result is a fleet of drivers with a level of proficiency that makes them as efficient as possible. And when drivers are efficient, they make the entire company more efficient.
Increasing Regulatory Compliance
Few things are as dangerous to a motoring company as a lack of regulatory compliance. Between vehicle inspections, roadside checks, and other means of law enforcement, companies and their drivers are routinely subjected to an incredible amount of scrutiny. Employing a fleet of drivers unfamiliar with regulations is a risky move. Regular training takes care of that.
An additional concern with regulations is the fact that these are constantly evolving. It is normal for the haulage and transport industries to have to deal with new regulations every single year. Fleet training focused on regulatory compliance keeps drivers abreast of rule changes so that compliance can be assured.
Save Your Company Money
Finally, developing a comprehensive fleet training programme for your company will save you money in the long run. While there is a definite investment involved in training, a well-designed training programme pays for itself over time. Utilising the four points made previously, consider the following:
- Insurance Costs – Reducing the number of accidents that your company vehicles are involved in will also reduce your insurance costs. What better way to save on insurance than to invest a little bit in the kinds of training that will make your drivers safer? Along with reduced insurance costs will be an associated reduction in claims made against your company.
- Repair Costs – Proper training saves your company money by reducing repair costs as well. You will have fewer repairs relating to accidents and fewer repairs as a result of not treating equipment properly. Both translate to less money spent on equipment.
- Reduced Fuel Cost – Company drivers who know how to maximise fuel efficiency behind the wheel will obviously save you money by saving you fuel. It comes down to simple things such as learning how to accelerate gradually and make maximum use of gear shifting.
- Increased Productivity – Efficient drivers who know how to make the best of their time and equipment produce more over the long haul. Greater production combined with efficiency means increased profits. Investing a little bit in proficiency training can go a long way toward improving the bottom line.
- Reduced Fines and Penalties – Every instance of regulatory non-compliance is likely to result in some sort of fine or penalty. Those fines and penalties can quickly add up over time. By increasing regulatory compliance, you will be reducing the amount of money you lose to fines and penalties.
We believe it is easily demonstrated that regular fleet training is vital to the success of your company. Any business utilising company drivers for either haulage or transport should have a comprehensive training programme in place. If your company does not, you need only call the HGV Training Centre to change things. One of our expert consultants can sit down with you to devise a custom fleet training programme that meets the needs of your business.
Please know that we are committed to making fleet training as convenient and cost-effective as possible. We operate dozens of training centres throughout the United Kingdom. Furthermore, we can work with you to create a training programme that minimises the downtime of your company drivers without sacrificing the quality of their training. And as an added bonus, we can design a fleet training programme that meets all of the goals stated above while also helping your company meet its Driver CPC obligations.
When you partner with the HGV Training Centre, there is no need to put drivers on the road who are not truly performing at their best. Our fleet training is just what you need for a team of drivers that gets the job done safely, efficiently, and to the satisfaction of your valuable clients.
ECO SAFE DRIVING
We all have a responsibility to help cut down on emissions, and become a safer more cost efficient driver. Through good teaching practices we will enhance the driver’s awareness and skills to promote safe driving while improving fuel consumption, which will lessen the impact of vehicles on the environment, and the overall fuel costs of the company.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSES
The Defensive Driving Course is a form of training for qualified professional/commercial vehicle drivers that goes beyond mastery of the rules of the road and basic mechanics of driving. Its aim is to reduce the risk of collision by anticipating dangerous situations, despite adverse conditions or the mistakes of others. This can be achieved through adherence to a variety of general rules, as well as the practice of specific driving techniques.
This course is run on a one to one basis, and is split into 2 parts; an Initial Assessment, during which your instructor will assess the candidates driving standards, take note and debrief the driver at the end of the assessment. After a short break a second Confirmatory Drive will take place. This is when the instructor will be proactive, detailing the more advanced techniques of driving defensively and helping the candidate correct any faults that may have occurred during the initial assessment.This is a useful course for corporate business, if drivers have been involved in blameworthy collisions and the insurance company have requested a drivers assessment, or you would simply like a report of your driver’s standards, then this course is for you.
For more details please contact Steve on 07711306605