Canada recently approved new training standards for truck drivers, according to Trucknews.com. New drivers will need 103.5 training hours and 8.5 hours of air brake training at a minimum to receive a Class 1/A licence.
This rule does not apply to truck drivers and bus drivers that already have their respective licenses for operating commercial vehicles. However, trucking and bus companies have an obligation to ensure the safety of their drivers and the general public and advanced driver training can help.
It is also important to note that online driver training can only go so far. “Behind the wheel” training supported by classroom instruction is the most effective way to make drivers better operators.
Employers need to understand the importance of training company drivers to understand the rules of the road better, maintain the vehicles properly, and develop good driving habits.
Below are the benefits of advanced driver training for employees.
The biggest problem for fleet managers and truck companies is vehicular accidents. With trucks and buses, the potential for accidents are higher because they are bigger, have large blind spots, and drivers are behind the wheel for longer periods. Many people die or sustain injuries due to bus and truck accidents.
The thing is, many of these accidents are preventable. According to studies, commercial or professional drivers with advanced training help them avoid accidents to a significant degree.
Aside from the moral and ethical issues of accident prevention, companies can also avoid legal and liability issues for on-the-job crashes when they invest in driver training programs. This is because employers are responsible for the costs associated with employees involved in accidents while on the job.
Liability can include medical and health bills for their employees and any third-party as well property damage and lost productivity for an injured employee. If lawyers get involved, the legal fees can certainly mount up. The costs can be significant even if no one gets hurt, because it will increase the insurance premiums for the vehicles and personal injury.
The best way to avoid these costs is to prevent accidents. Advanced behind-the-wheel training with an experienced instructor can detect risky driver behavior and help the driver develop better habits.
Transport Canada requires commercial drivers to get regular certification of their fitness to operate their vehicles safely on Canadian highways. Part of professional driving courses is instruction on relevant rules, regulations, and compliance requirements, so the driver as well as the employer is aware of any changes in the laws. This ensures that the employer can meet compliance standards and keep on operating legally in Canada.
If for anything else, driver training can instruct drivers on what they need to do, not only to operate a vehicle properly but also to maintain it to maximize performance and fuel economy. Driver training often includes good driving habits which prevent sudden stops and starts, which contribute to the higher wear of tires and other parts, as well as the proper way to keep air brakes in top form and the optimal pressure for tires.
Upskilling and regular training opportunities are good ways to engage employees, and engaged employees are happy employees. This can keep employee turnaround and recruiting costs down as well as keep skilled people on the roster.
The costs of paying for training company drivers in your fleet is offset multiple times by the benefits of better and safer operators on the road. Employers just have to make sure that experience instructors are conducting the courses they purchase for their employees.
Read also: Learn 10 Habits for Defensive Driving
Learn more about tips on driving safely by browsing through MSM Unify’s articles on driving.