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Entries related to: operations

Technology and Coaching: A Proven Combination to Change Driver Behavior

In today’s trucking environment, where high-dollar litigation has become the norm, driver managers are tasked with an ever-increasing burden to ensure drivers conduct themselves in a safe manner. This is quite challenging since drivers are out of sight most of the time, but technology is catching up to the trucking industry, and motor carriers should be happy about that. Sitting drivers down in front of safety videos is one of the least effective ways to change their behavior. For adults, it is best to show them their performance gaps (i.e., bad fuel economy, moving violations, etc.) and help them find solutions on their own. A proven way to do this is to combine technology and coaching.
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Talent Metrics Every Motor Carrier Should Track

Motor carriers use the word talent to refer to employees, but this reference can include all employees or a select group (i.e., high performers), depending on who you’re talking to. One thing carriers can agree on is that mismanaging talent can have the same negative impact on the company’s bottom line as a crash or injury can have. For this reason, trucking companies should be managing their talent the way they manage their risks: using metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). To gauge how well the company is managing its workers, an employer can use these talent metrics to measure its performance.
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Ask the Safety Representative: What is the Difference between an AOBRD and AN ELD?

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Back to Basics

In the frenzied pace of motor carrier operations, it is easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of fundamentals. For any business, three key elements are crucial to success: communication, teamwork, and planning. Revisiting each of these elements periodically is healthy for the entire organization and can help the company achieve its objectives. However, one area that motor carriers tend to ignore in varying degrees is safety. In the Spring 2019 issue of Safety Talk, we discussed how practical drift, an employee’s gradual deviation from established policies and procedures, can erode the effectiveness of a company’s safety efforts, and if allowed to continue unchecked, can negatively define the company’s culture. Senior management at a trucking company can contribute to this erosion as well. Here is an example: A motor carrier may become complacent or resistant to change because it hasn’t recently experienced a crash or injury. Management then adopts a mentality of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This type of mentality introduces risk into what may otherwise be a healthy organization. If management cannot attribute the company’s success to effective loss-prevention practices, it is essentially saying pure luck is responsible for the company’s performance. Regardless of past loss performance, no company can afford to rest on its laurels if it expects to remain competitive. A periodic review of basic safety practices is essential because new risks may be present that have not been accounted for. Whether a change in customers, equipment, commodities, or personnel, motor carriers should have a process in place to continually assess their risks and determine if current safety practices are sufficient. Below are some assessment methods.
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Why You Should Make Road Tests Part of the Hiring Process

One of the most important responsibilities a motor carrier has is to hire qualified drivers. This critical task, if conducted haphazardly or not performed at all, could have a negative ripple effect across the company and affect productivity, downtime, morale, expenses, and profitability. Due diligence should be given to screening applicants and conducting required background checks, but, arguably, the most reliable method to gauge a driver’s abilities and safety attitude is with a comprehensive road test.
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Prevent Cargo Theft Over The Holiday

Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as the holiday approaches. Fewer employees around the facility and warehouses and trailers potentially full of valuable cargo, makes for a target-rich environment to would-be thieves. Here are some loss prevention tips that can help motor carriers and drivers decrease the risk of theft. 
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Preventing Crashes from Outside the Truck

There is nothing worse for a motor carrier than receiving a call that one of its drivers has been involved in a crash. Everything stops as you react to the situation and start gathering details about who was at fault and whether the driver could have prevented the incident. While drivers are ultimately responsible for the decisions they make behind the wheel, the root cause of a crash could run deeper. There could be mitigating factors within management’s operational control that are contributing to losses – or worse – have lulled the organization into a false sense of security if a loss has not occurred yet.
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Ask the HR Professional: How Can I Better Manage a Geographically Dispersed Workforce?

Great question! Engaging and managing a geographically dispersed workforce is a challenge most motor carriers struggle with, especially those trucking companies that utilize over-the-road drivers who may not see their home terminals for weeks on end. This is an issue that is expanding beyond drivers, though, as more and more companies are weighing the risks and benefits of utilizing remote employees.
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Preventing Rear-End Crashes Today

Rear-end crashes typically result in severe losses and can be catastrophic for everyone involved. Preventing rear-end crashes requires drivers to recognize the hazards that increase the odds of a crash, know the defense, and to react properly. Read the information below, and ask yourself how you can improve your vigilance and driving style.
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Practical Drift: How Human Nature Causes Policy Failure

Policies and procedures are necessary for high-hazard industries like trucking. They add structure and consistency to operations to ensure the highest quality product or service is being delivered. Unfortunately, a lack of oversight by senior management can cause the company’s policies and procedures to deteriorate over time and lead to a phenomenon known as practical drift.
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