Commercial transport trucks share Canadian highways with the general public on a daily basis. For the companies who rely on these trucks, it’s important to take necessary precautions to ensure everyone’s safety while on the road.
Minimal training = Maximum risk
Although most provinces are now implementing Mandatory Entry Level Training (MELT) programs, this does not ensure that a driver will be ready to operate all types of vehicles, loads and long-haul mileage. There is currently no guarantee that once a driver is hired, they are ready to hit the road safely. The responsibility for the safety of these drivers and the costs of their accidents – including potential reputation costs – belongs to the companies who employ them. Fortunately, they are also best positioned to protect themselves.
Whether workers are driving 40-ton rigs on major highways or forklifts in a warehouse, company-sponsored training can promote safety, protect goods and help companies manage risk.
Drivers should have knowledge of federal and provincial laws and regulations, but they also should clearly understand company policies with respect to vehicle operation. Company-sponsored training can be targeted to specific truck configurations, loads and routes used by drivers and ensure they understand laws, regulations and policies. Training should also include:
- Defensive driving
- Hours of service and logbooks
- Transportation of dangerous goods
- Cargo securement
- Winter driving
- Vehicle inspection
- Driver wellness
- Risk perception and observation skills
Remedial training is just as critical as onboarding and preventative training. It can help reduce turnover resulting from poor driver performance by ensuring drivers’ understanding of all training aspects. It also helps reduce potential accidents by correcting identified problems with driver behaviour. Training provides further opportunity for companies to reinforce messages around driver wellness and reduce costs related to employee retention and absenteeism.
The return on investment
Investing in company training for drivers offers multiple returns for companies that go far beyond safety. There is the security of knowing products are in the hands of people trained to ensure their timely and safe delivery as well as the savings that can be found in avoiding unnecessary repairs and accidents. It can also help companies avoid lengthy border delays and the sidelining of drivers or vehicles for easily avoidable infractions related to repairs, loads or logbooks which costs both time and money and can eventually tarnish a company’s reputation.
Consider an online option
Geography and schedules can present a challenge for training. Online training is a solution that offers delivery of critical training with consistent messaging to all employees. With an online system in place, companies also have an easy way to update drivers on new regulations or policies or provide immediate remedial training.
Aviva can help
Aviva has partnered with Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists (KRTS) to offer our commercial transport and fleet customers a discount on KRTS comprehensive driver training courses, including their online training system. In addition to hands on courses, designed to improve driving skills, KRTS can also help with defensive driving, audit preparation, dangerous goods certification and driver wellness.
Kim Richardson Transportation Specialists, Inc. (2018). Retrieved from KRTS: https://www.krway.com/
Transport Canada. (2018, December 06). Motor Carriers, Commercial Vehicles and Drivers. Retrieved from https://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/motorvehiclesafety/roadsafety-motor-carriers-commercial-vehicles-drivers-1312.htm