“Safety First!” We say, winking.
Too often companies ignore safety protocol to keep their overhead low. And the results are disastrous.
Despite safety regulations, we know what really happens. We know that many drivers don’t get enough sleep. We know that drivers take shortcuts to pass inspections. It’s just the way it is, right?
It doesn’t have to be.
Despite saving money in the short term, ignoring the protocol of your fleet safety program will cost you. From insurance increases to lawsuits, being cheap is not cheap.
You might’ve had a change of heart regarding the safety of your trucks, but maybe you don’t know how to start an effective initiative.
Don’t worry. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your fleet safer.
1. Identify Areas of Concern
Every company is different. The safety issues of a short-range delivery company won’t be the same as a company that hauls hazardous material cross country.
Identify your fleet’s biggest safety concerns. Look for bad habits that could cause big problems. Shore up areas that are laxer than they should be.
Just like driving a truck, if you don’t know where you are, you won’t have any idea how to get where you’re going.
2. Create a Written Fleet Safety Program
Once you’ve identified your company’s lacking safety practices, it’s time to put a plan in place.
Write out specific policies regarding fleet safety. Leave no stone unturned. Account for every possible scenario.
Distribute copies of your safety program among your employees. If anything changes, make sure you edit your written policies.
Above all, communicate your fleet safety program to your employees. Nothing is worse than being penalized for breaking a policy you didn’t know existed.
3. Put Accountability in Place
After you create a cohesive fleet safety program, how can you make sure your drivers follow it? After all, how can you monitor your entire fleet when they’re sprawled all over the country?
While it may seem a little like “Big Brother is Watching,” consider installing GPS trackers in all of your vehicles.
If you do, don’t do it in secret. Installing a tracking system without the driver’s knowledge may violate privacy laws. Make sure your drivers know.
A GPS tracker allows you to monitor driver performance effectively and easily. You can check for drivers going off route (or using bad ones), not adhering to mandatory rest periods, or misusing company trucks for personal reasons.
GPS tracking creates accountability among your fleet and enables you to make sure drivers follow the fleet safety program.
4. Change Company Culture
If your company has slacked on safety procedures before, it can be a hard habit to break.
You’ll have to shift your company culture. And that’s easier said than done.
It’s not enough to tell your drivers you value safety. Put your money where your mouth is.
Add incentives for drivers who go the extra mile for safety. Give out a quarterly safe driving bonus or an extra vacation day to drivers without violations.
While positive reinforcement works better than punishment, don’t overlook repeat offenders.
If an employee consistently disregards safety procedures and negatively influences other workers, you may have to take drastic action.
You can’t afford reckless employees.
Onward to Safety
Ready to take fleet safety seriously? You’re going to need a state of the art fleet tracking program.
Cut waste, end dangerous behaviors, and save yourself money.
Get Fleet Trax, and drive safe.
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