When Investing in Your Fleet, Remember This One Critical Factor

August 30, 2017

BY DAVE RIORDAN, LYTX EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF CLIENT OFFICER

You invest in your vehicles, keep them nicely maintained, fueled up, with fresh tires. And when your fleet vehicles are operating well, you expect to see a nice return on your investment. But are you investing in your drivers – arguably the more important part of the equation, without which your good-looking, well-operating fleet would still be sitting in your lot?

Here are four ways to invest in your drivers that we’ve observed with our clients over the years. On top of paying big returns, not one of these will cost you any cash.

Investment: Hiring and training in alignment with your company culture

Safety is one of your core values, and in fact, it’s part of your company’s DNA. So when you hire new drivers, do you talk to them about their attitudes about safety? About what they see as their role in keeping themselves, your vehicle and the roads they travel safe? Asking these simple questions can bring home the point that the company relies on the driver to maintain high standards in safety. More importantly, it could weed out those who think safety is someone else’s job.

And when you train the drivers, you likely spend quite a bit of time on the safe and fuel-efficient operation of your fleet vehicle, but do you talk about collision prevention and collision avoidance? Making safety a priority in training – and refreshing the topic with video clips showing drivers what they can do to decrease risk – shows that safety is a choice, not just a slogan.

Investment: Clear, concise and enforceable policies

Company policies aren’t like your grandma’s figurine collection – they’re not meant to sit on a shelf and gather dust. Effective policies are clear to anyone who reads them, concise and to the point, and enforceable. Just having the policy isn’t enough – in fact, if it were that easy, why not just have a No Collisions policy?

Consistently enforcing policies, especially when it comes to safety, underscores that you’re serious about keeping your drivers safe and serves as a common point of understanding for anyone who has responsibility for safety, whether for their own, or for others on their team.

Investment: Saying thank you or good job

Pausing to recognize good drivers isn’t just good manners. Everyone loves to be told that they’re doing a great job when they’ve worked hard to exceed expectations. Giving a public thank you for consistently safe driving motivates the driver to continue putting safety first. Some Lytx clients use video clips of praise-worthy driving to share at safety meetings or team meetings as a reminder to the entire group of what good driving looks like.

Investment: Ongoing skills development

Why does a golfer with a 20-year career in the PGA still have a swing coach? Because there’s always room for improvement. Their philosophy? If skills aren’t getting sharper, they’re getting duller, and the same could be said for safe driving. Investing time to focus on individual driving skills like cornering or following distance, especially using video clips to show where there’s room for improvement, can help turn professional drivers into the champions they’re meant to be.

Some DriveCam program users will choose a different skill or behavior to focus on each month, and create campaigns to get the whole team engaged in better performance. For example, making November “No Rolling Stop” Month keeps that behavior top of mind long enough for good habits to take root.

For more ideas, browse the Lytx Resource Hub by the topic, "Improve Driver Performance".

 

READ MORE FROM THIS MONTH'S BEST FLEET FORWARD:

Retrain to Retain: How Video-Based Coaching Can Help You Retain Drivers HR: Setting the Tone on Safety By Using Video to Drive Accountability, PFG’s Cost Per Claim Decreases by More Than 40 Percent Driver Incentive Programs: Do They Work?

 

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