Without a way to reliably transport your inventory to its destination, every other part of your business might as well shut down. Inevitably, this leads you to put a considerable amount of trust in one group: Your delivery drivers. Because of the huge amount of responsibility given to them, commercial drivers are held to a high standard. Regardless, their potential mistakes will have serious consequences for their employers. What safety practices do you encourage for your CDL drivers? Here are some tips that will help you maintain a great safety record.
Make Sure Your CDL Drivers have the right class of license
Not all commercial driver’s licenses are adequate for every job. Depending on the type of vehicle being operated, your drivers may require either a class A, B, C, or D license. Though this is fairly easy to keep straight when hiring new drivers, it can be easy to overlook the license class if it is ever necessary to switch roles to cover a short-term need. You may have multiple employees who have their CDL, you may even have several who are capable of driving heavier vehicles, but if they don’t have an active license of the right class, you should never use them – even for short trips.
Safety Rules for Every Trip
Since accidents involving large vehicles can be catastrophic, there is little room for error with your CDL drivers. Your drivers should have the following safety reminders memorized until they can repeat them in their sleep.
· Pay attention to vehicle maintenance
Due to their heavy workloads, commercial vehicles require constant maintenance – much more so than private cars. If you have a large fleet, you will need a team dedicated to vehicle maintenance, and you should never let even the tiniest shake, rattle, or squeak go uninvestigated.
· Perform a pre-trip inspection before each ride
CDL drivers have to learn to do a proper pre-trip inspection before they can obtain their license. This walk around isn’t just to check that the vehicle is in good position. Since many workplace accidents – and even fatalities – are caused by heavy vehicles, a quick walk around will ensure that no tools or even people could be injured by the vehicle as it takes off.
· Never allow your drivers to rush
The consequences for falling behind schedule may seem dire, but the consequences of a single accident could be much worse. Foster a better culture by emphasizing safety over speed, and never encourage your drivers to take unnecessary risks to catch up. It may be frustrating to fall behind schedule, but there are much better ways to beat the clock.
· Don’t overwork your drivers
Studies indicate that being overworked or tired has the same effect as being drunk. Just as you would never let a driver take a company vehicle on the road if they had been drinking, you shouldn’t allow your employees to exceed their physical and mental limits, either. Though no official standard can determine how tired is too tired, federal law mandates how long a driver can be on the job before resting. If you allow (or worse, encourage) your operators to exceed these limits, you will be liable for any potential damages.
Hiring With Safety in Mind
Finding qualified, safety-conscious CDL drivers is not always as easy as you might like it to be, but All Quality Labor can help. With access to the best industrial talent pool in the state, we can guarantee a great hire on the first try. No matter what your company’s staffing needs might be, we can help you meet them successfully. Contact us today to learn more about our staffing services.