The built-in complexities of fleet management can be quite nerve-racking. Not only would you need to adhere to countless rules and mandates, but there are also accidents, maintenance, and servicing costs.
For a lot of trucking businesses, one of the areas that they often fail at fortifying is their driver management. Driver management is a critical component of fleet management, the trucking company owners should endeavor to fix the gap as soon as possible.
With a poorly executed driver management system, a trucking company is bound to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) which can easily lead to its collapse.
Are you also struggling with driver management? If you answered with a resounding “yes,” then check out these four tips that you can use to improve the way you manage your drivers.
1. Equip your trucks with ELDs (electronic logging devices)
With the new ELD mandate that was released by FMCSA recently, it has become a requirement for the CMVs (Commercial Motor Vehicles) to have AOBRDs (Automatic On-Board Recorder Devices) or ELDs by the end of December 2017.
When you consider that you can connect your ELDs to trucking apps that have a plethora of features, you can’t help but embrace the technology and the benefits it can bring to your trucking business.
When it comes to driver management, you might be wondering how exactly the ELDs can help your business. To address this question, let’s check out some of the benefits of ELD systems that other fleets are enjoying.
- Our system can reveal your drivers’ location in real-time making it easier for you to help them avoid traffic or roads that are under maintenance.
- The Motive ELD solution simplifies IFTA reporting by automating the entire process, so you won’t have to manually review trip sheets anymore.
- You won’t have to spend hours auditing your drivers’ paper logs.
- You can send and receive instant messages from your drivers.
- Our system can help your drivers record their maintenance results.
These are just some of the many benefits that will aid you in improving your driver management. When you have these elements working for you, you’ll be amazed at how effortless your driver management can become.
2. Driver happiness and retention
Driver turnover can hurt a trucking business pretty badly. When you think about how companies often spend about $4,000-to-$5,000 to recruit a new driver, you’ll come to realize how driver happiness and retention isn’t something to take lightly.
And so the question becomes, “How do I keep my drivers happy?”
For most fleet owners, they often equate their drivers’ happiness to an increase in pay. While there is certainly some truth to that, there are other angles that they can look into when trying to keep their drivers satisfied.
According to the data shared by StayMetrics, two decisive factors that can cause a driver to leave is work-family conflict, and the drivers’ being dissatisfied with their home-time.
If you hope to manage your drivers effectively, you need to make sure that your drivers have ample amount of time with their family (among other things).
An effective strategy that you can use to uncover what your drivers’ sentiments are is to run a survey. It’ll only take your fleet managers seconds to send your drivers a message through the ELDs, making it easier to uncover your drivers’ sentiments about what they feel would make them truly happy while staying with the company.
3. Establish a meaningful relationship with your drivers
There is an abundance of benefits to be had when a trucking company’s fleet managers and truck drivers are working in harmony.
The peaceful environment not only nurtures a culture of teamwork and unity, but it also helps promote driver happiness.
The company needs to take the necessary steps to nurture a meaningful relationship between their fleet managers and their drivers. A direction that they can take to make that happen is to install ELDs on the trucks.
The ELDs can help make the fleet managers’ and the drivers’ jobs easier. So it’s bound to help improve the relationship between both parties.
If you’re a commercial truck driver, here’s how you can benefit your trucks are equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs):
- You won’t have to miss your break times. Because your fleet managers can see your driving logs to the minute, they’d be able to see if you missed taking a break and send you a gentle nudge should that happen.
- The help you’ll get from the company (should you need any) will arrive a lot sooner. Because the ELDs track where your truck is in real-time, there’s no need for the fleet managers to guess where you are in a given area; they know exactly where you are located.
- Because ELDs can capture data about your driving habits, it can tell you whether you’ve been making way too many sudden brakes, lane changes or sharp turns (among other things). By analyzing this data and their own performances, drivers can improve as well as ensure their safety.
- You can forget about the tedious paperwork that you had to contend with in the past. The ELDs can do most of it for you. Drivers end up wasting a lot of their valuable time in maintaining paper logs. ELDs and electronic logs can automatically manage all of that. So drivers can spend more time driving and, therefore, earning more money and spending more time with their families.
With all the convenience and benefits that the ELDs can bring to both the truck drivers and the fleet managers, it is bound to strengthen the relationship between both parties.
4. Monitor your driver’s performance for better driver management
Here’s the thing.
While you may have taken the time to hire the best drivers for your fleet, the fact remains that you are not with them 24/7. It’s precisely because of this that you need to install ELDs on your trucks. That way, you can monitor how your drivers are performing and help them improve their driving skills.
Allow me to highlight some issues that you can avoid when your drivers are performing adequately:
- Exorbitant truck maintenance fees
- Late deliveries
- Road violations
- Your drivers getting pulled over countless times.
- Disgruntled customers
- Bad CSA scores
- Heavy penalties and fines
Being able to avoid the points that I mentioned above is integral to the success of your trucking business. If you haven’t been tracking your drivers’ performances up to this point, then a change needs to be made. Doing so is fairly easy with the use of ELDs.
Through electronic logging devices, fleet managers can gain access to boatloads of information about drivers’ behaviors, such as idling, sudden lane changes, hard braking, and excessive acceleration, etc.
You can then use the information that you’ve uncovered from your ELDs to give your drivers accurate feedback that would help them improve their driving skills, making them even more efficient at what they do.
Have you had your fair share of driver management issues? If there are struggles or challenges about driver management that you’d like to share with the community, then please add them in the comments section below.