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The Importance of Requalifying Drivers
Most safety managers and company owners will tell you that they all understand the importance of qualifying a new driver who is joining their fleet and performing background checks on them. They know that standards need to be in place to determine if the driver is qualified, if they have appropriate or relevant experience for the equipment that they will be operating, or if they are even trainable. Most do an excellent job of keeping their driver files up to date with all the required paperwork.
The missing link in the process tends to be the requalification of existing drivers in a fleet. All drivers should be held to the same standards and reviewed on a regular basis. At a minimum, this should be done annually or even semi-annually and not just after an incident occurs. A safety manager’s goal should be prevention, not reaction. If you see that they are slipping in certain areas or have recently developed some bad habits, use this as a training opportunity to get them back up to the fundamental criteria that you established.
Truck driver shortages have been an ongoing concern in recent years, with an estimated shortage of 80,000 truckers in the US and 25,000 in Canada. Use the driver requalification process as an opportunity to improve your overall retention. Identify any gaps that may exist and use them as a training opportunity. Keeping your drivers educated and up to date will help to make a more educated and satisfied fleet.
It is easy to make excuses and justify the behaviour of existing drivers in your fleet because of the history you have with them; however, everyone needs to be held accountable. This is why your driver requalification standards should mirror your initial documented hiring criteria. Take the opportunity to ensure that your drivers are operating your equipment safely and representing your company brand with the highest level of professionalism.
Over time, regardless of whether you are driving a personal or commercial vehicle, we all start to exhibit some bad behaviours behind the wheel. Understanding that you will always be held accountable against specific standards will help enforce good habits and reduce the risk of being involved in an incident.
ISB Global Services Offerings
The continuous requalification of truck drivers is essential to ensuring safety on the roads and to upholding the reputation of the logistics sector. ISB Global Services plays a pivotal role in this process by providing comprehensive and meticulous background checks tailored for the commercial transportation industry. By consistently and accurately assessing drivers' records, qualifications, and suitability for the role, ISB supports organizations in maintaining a fleet of qualified and reliable drivers. In doing so, the businesses and organizations that ISB serves can contribute toward safer roads and more efficient operations.