Talking to the average semi-truck driver, you'll find that they're used to driving up to 3,000 miles a week. While you might only need to have your drivers moving supplies a few hundred miles a week, responsible drivers can take on those miles without incident. If you're looking to recruit the best drivers out there, you need to weed out distracted and reckless drivers from the talent pool.
Here are five tips for finding the right drivers.
In order to get the safest drivers around, you need to check out the driving records of anyone you're looking to hire. A driver's history is going to tell you a lot about how they behave on the road. While not every driver gets caught on the job, look carefully at their personal record as well as their professional record.
Crashes are an unfortunate part of the job when you're driving thousands of miles a week. Don't immediately disregard anyone because you see a crash on their record. However, if you see a frequent pattern of them and too many different employers on their resume, that's when you can raise a red flag.
Consider the conditions that your drivers are going to be operating under. Contact gov.uk for a record on any driver that you're working with. Whatever places they've been licensed to drive in should have them.
Look to see how long they've had their licenses as well. Three major accidents could be alarming but put it into context. If the driver has been on the road constantly for 30 years, that's a pretty good record.
You'll have to check for substance use while driving, but be on the lookout for marks on their record pointing to the new menace of distracted driving.
Every driver should be able to come up with some references for you to check. Even if you're the first company they're going to be driving for, you can talk to previous work references to talk about how responsible the driver is. You'll learn a lot from talking to previous employers.
Just make sure you ask the right questions. There are some specific concepts that are more important to driving and delivery than in other jobs.
Ask if they were prone to making mistakes and how they corrected their mistakes. Ask how they took criticism and whether or not it was clear that they were working to improve on the job.
Talk to references about promptness and attitude. Your driver is going to be an ambassador for your company while they're out on the road. It's vital that your drivers know how to act and talk to clients when they deliver or interact with them.
While it might seem like an invasion of privacy for an office job, if your region allows you to test for substance abuse, you should consider it. When you're running a business with a lot of drivers, you've got to make sure you cover for the things you're liable for. Sending drivers out on the road with a truck full of your products who shouldn't be on the road puts your whole operation at risk.
Substance tests can check for anything from marijuana to alcohol or amphetamines. Your tests can be broken down to show you which drugs were present and for how long. While you shouldn't judge a driver for how they spend their time off the clock, there's no way to follow them around 24 hours a day.
You might need to implement random testing to get people to adhere to a substance-free policy.
Another way to weed out potentially risky drivers is to look at driving records for DWIs and DUIs. If you don't want to implement draconian drug policies at your workplace, it's still fully within your rights to not want to hire people with these convictions. It's the one simple way for you to keep yourself from having to deal with someone who might put your company at risk with their behaviour.
Road tests are one of the best ways for you to get a feel for how your driver operates. There are no major flaws to a road test other than the fact that they're given and taken under ideal conditions. While you don't know how your driver is going to react when things get hairy, you'll get a feel for how they handle and operate a vehicle like the ones you use.
Road testing can be set up with a company that issues training and licenses for the class of drivers that you hire. If you're a big enough operation, you could even run testing on your own to see how drivers perform under conditions that you set.
You'll need to adhere to an established standard if you want your road tests to give you the information you're looking for. Ask some experts how they set up their tests if you want to set one up on your own.
While not every driver out there is great at taking written exams, you'll need people who are smart and can think on their feet. Taking a short written exam is a way to weed out drivers who aren't prepared.
There are some basic elements and some basic knowledge that every driver needs to have. If they're unable to communicate with you about what they know or how they need to act when they're on the job, they may not perform well under pressure.
If you're looking to find the best drivers out there, you need to find the ones that meet your criteria for driving responsibly. It's vital to have people on your team who know how to make quick decisions and act accordingly when they're under pressure on the road.
If you want to keep the staff you have happy, check out our latest guide for tips.