Driver compliance is critical for any industry. Hiring good drivers is clearly a critical task for your organisation, so how do you go about that?
Transport managers may play a key role here. Many will have been drivers themselves before moving into a managerial role. If that is not the case in your organisation then it may be a good idea to ask one of your trusted drivers to sit in on the interviews. Adding that extra layer of practical knowledge to the process can only result in better hires.
Adding a second interview to the recruitment process can be invaluable. Make this a practical examination, ensuring that the driver understands the vehicle they will be operating. A driving test showing that they can operate the vehicle efficiently will provide additional insightm, as will testing to confirm that they know how to attach air lines, hook a trailer including doubles and triples and a converter dolly, for example.
Driver CPC checks
You will want to run a Certificate of Professional Competence check as soon as possible on any potential new driver. Passing four tests means they will have this certificate.
The driver should be willing to enable a potential employer to view their record. The CPC qualification lasts for five years, but drivers must undertake 35 hours of training over this period prior to the deadline. A fine of up to £1,000 can apply if the certificate is out of date.
In addition to CPC and appropriate driver licensing, some sectors may require a police DBS check and, in all cases, the right to work in the UK must be confirmed.
It is common practice in larger fleets for newly employed drivers to be checked by experienced staff or transport managers. This may involve spot checks, carried out by accompanying the new employee on part of a run or observing pre-journey checks. An additional check after a few weeks of employment may include the transport manager following the driver on part of their route. Clearly, this must be a spot check and the driver should not be informed of this prior to the journey.
At the end of the first three months of employment, it may be advisable to carry out a feedback interview with the driver, from which both sides may benefit.
Most transport managers are aware of the importance of compliance. There are legal requirements and the issue of safety. Failures in driver compliance are simply too great a risk to take. With digital tachographs, the driving record of any vehicle is strictly monitored. All commercial vehicles registered after 1 May 2006 must be fitted with a digital device, although vehicles registered prior to that date can still use an analogue system. It is unlikely that the latter will apply to fleet vehicles in 2019 as they will almost invariably have been replaced.
Issues such as driver breaks are monitored to the second and the consequences of any breach can be severe, with drivers flouting the rules and keeping poor records running the risk of losing their licence with an adverse effect on the firm as a whole.
It is vital that drivers are adhering to the highest standards of safety and compliance. An efficient fleet is heavily dependent on driver education, responsibility for which almost invariably falls to the transport manager.
Protect your driver’s compliance
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