Wednesday July 25, 2018
With the improving economy, there are some significant issues faced by fleet managers. There currently has been a heightened rumour regarding the shortage of good truck drivers in the business. The reasons behind this shortage are many.
i. The aging of current workforce leaving a massive void in the industry
ii. The regulations that limit the number of driving hours for the existing drivers
iii. Increasing demand for freight because of the improving economy and expanding markets
iv. More respectable jobs that attract the current drivers to shift from the current one
v. Demands of trucking firms to employ experienced truck drivers also push away the younger drivers to other industries and jobs
vi. Long working duration at a stretch for several days or even weeks does not interest many of the young drivers
It is no revelation that truck drivers have a comparatively tough job as compared to many other jobs in the same pay category. There are many sacrifices that the truck drivers make despite being in an underpaid job and leading a lifestyle that probably isn’t out of choice.
If you’re a fleet owner, you know that your drivers need to be trusted enough to be given the kind of responsibilities that they do.
Adding to the entire ruckus mentioned above is the problem of hiring better drivers.
Fleet managers need to be extremely careful while hiring because of the already existing shortfall in the number of truck drivers. Hence, we have shortlisted tips that can help you effectively hire efficient drivers.
1. Interview the candidate – As cliché as it sounds, interviewing, is the most effective way of finding the efficiency of the driver, his experiences, background, etc. to be able to gauge his trustworthiness.
2. Test the practical skills – It is imperative for a potential truck driver to go through this secondary screening stage. Practically, testing truck driving skills will give you the confidence to trust him with your vehicle and also evaluate his ease and comfort while driving the vehicle.
3. Certifications Licence and Background Check – The next extremely important stage of screening is through the driver’s license and certifications.
The background check must include safety accountability if the driver and health check-up to know if the candidate is fit to drive for long hours on the highway.
4. Test Mechanical Skills – Apart from driving on the highway, the driver must also be prepared for unpredictable road mishaps and accidents and should understand the technicalities of handling the vehicle under such circumstances.
5. Check Technology Skills – The changing times have given birth to the additional pressure of being tech savvy. For choosing the best candidates, you must check if the driver understands technology because it is essential that they can operate the GPS tracker or manage fleet fuel cards.
6. Test Stress Management Skills – A good truck driver must at all times be calm and composed. It is important to test how the drivers perform under stressful conditions and how well are they able to handle anger.
7. The Sense of Responsibility – When wanting to segregate the good drivers from the best ones, you must check for their sense of responsibility.
The best drivers are those who understand that they at all times have to be reasonable as well as responsible. They are responsible for the safety of the vehicle and must always act reasonably. Good truck drivers deal with clients and co-workers carefully.
8. Check Customer Service Skill – The truck drivers are required to meet the customer face-to-face, and in that case, they are representing the company in some way.
A good driver must execute good behaviour while meeting customers and not harm the company image by inappropriate behaviour.
9. Test Multitasking Skills – The job of a driver requires doing many things at the same time, which makes it imperative that a truck driver is good at multitasking and possesses all the necessary skills to perform well.
10. Check Trustworthiness – As we all know that drivers are human too, hence apart from the professional skills, it is essential that the truck drivers are trustworthy individuals.
Truck drivers are not just trusted with the vehicle but with the essential responsibility of transporting your goods efficiently and morally.
11. Test Alertness – A driver must at all times be alert with, saving himself and the vehicle from unpredictable driving conditions. You must test the driver on his hearing ability, hand-eye coordination as well as long driving capabilities to ensure how alert and prepared he is.
12. Know about the prior experience – Most times, fleet managers are unable to gauge the efficiency of a candidate. At those times, the driver’s prior experience speaks for itself.
Hence you must ask about the previous jobs and companies of the driver before hiring.
13. Hire an honest professional – Honesty is the best policy especially for truck drivers who are trusted with much more than just the vehicle.
Their job responsibility expects them to be honest and open at all times. Make no compromise even in desperate times. Ensure the driver you hire is an honest person.
14. Consider the physicality – As shallow as this sounds; the truth is that truck drivers travel on the highway, meet all kinds of people and to deal with these situations they must be strong and look physically fit.
15. Look for their interest – Last but not the least, you must hire someone who truly loves this job or wants to do this for a living.
Do not sugar-coat the job responsibilities to make them want to take it. Be honest and choose someone who fits your criteria and whose criteria you fit as too.
These are some ways to ensure hiring the best drivers out of the pool of existing ones. Especially in the current times, when there is a disparity in the demand and supply of truck drivers, you must be extremely careful before hiring.