Driver Training - Plan for Success
In my previous blog post I explained the need for comprehensive driver training. In this next instalment I'm going to lay out a three-part plan that I think will help you achieve it.
The achievement of long-term driver-training returns requires a non-traditional approach, with non-traditional expectations. I suggest a commitment to SMART: specific, measurable, agreed-upon, realistic and timely goals. These goals drive a three-step training approach:
- Knowledge: Professional truck driving apprenticeship must be based on well-defined driving standards. Narrowing the typical 30% gap between your best and worst drivers will be easier when drivers can measure themselves against clear performance benchmarks.
- Effort: Optimal results will be achieved within an evidence-based training curriculum. This step is particularly challenging because few, if any, driver training standards have ever been successfully validated. I have an idea as to how to change this situation.
- Effort and Persistence: Like any improvement program, results do not appear magically overnight. Fleet managers must persistently apply a series of driver-training evaluations and exercises throughout the driver's entire career, from pre-hire screening to initial training to regular refresher courses. Establishing higher standards of performance may take a little time, but doesn't any major improvement; and only major improvements can produce major benefits.
I would suggest that if the industry is going to create an expanded driver pool and attract new candidates to driver pool, it must present value and opportunity to prospective drivers from high schools, trade schools, colleges and the military. These individuals have a wide range of driving experience, skills and attitudes, and would all benefit from this three-step training approach -- and when the drivers benefit, the trucking industry benefits as well. This is a win-win proposal you can't afford to refuse.Now that I've laid out my three-part plan for success, my next blog entry will focus on how to make it happen.