Drivers have a tough job. They are on the road for long hours, covering long distances while maintaining a seated, almost inactive physical position. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently revealed the high rates of obesity among long-haul truck drivers, rates of which are nearly twice that of the general public, including sleep apnea, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other health issues associated with obesity.
Keeping a strong bill of health can be challenging in this profession. And trucking carriers have good reason to look after their employees’ wellness. Driver fatigue is a common issue that affects focus, short-term cognitive ability, safety of the driver and safety of other drivers on the road.
In addition to immediate safety issues, a driver who calls out sick or even quits due to health issues is a problem for the company. The transportation industry has recently experienced an ongoing driver shortage that affects every aspect of business. For example, hiring and training a new employee can cost three times that position’s annual salary. That is money not every carrier can afford. But, taking care of employees demonstrates how invested fleet managers are to their team—an essential key to retaining competent and skillful drivers.
These issues can be avoided with the help of GPS tracking software. Carriers can decrease the amount of tired drivers with Electronic Driver Logs that meet HOS compliance. E-Logs help eliminate accidents, prevent drivers from driving long hours without taking proper breaks, and most importantly, prevent driver fatigue. There is no paper involved. It is a clear record of hours worked, with a clear view of your fleet’s productivity.
More and more, carriers work to consider their employees’ entire situation, including work/life balance, family, and diet—all factors that impact a driver’s health. So the more a company can support the entire picture, the more reliable and the more loyal that employee will be.
Initial driver training is also key. GPS tracking software is an innovative tool for carriers to view overall driver behavior that tracks idle times, harsh braking, and speeding to identify which drivers need extra training, and which drivers deserve to be called out as stars. These events can easily be recorded and utilized as safety training, or to allow drivers a chance to explain any mitigating factors in their performance. Driver incentives come together to support good habits.
Fleets that use GPS tracking software see dramatic changes in business. By proactively monitoring their vehicles and drivers, their fleets experience decreases in fuel consumption because drivers speed less and idle less. Compliance becomes more simple and reliable. Drivers become less likely to incur traffic violations. Dispatch and routing become efficient.
The work is safer and managers can identify which drivers to reward based on performance. By approaching skillful driving from every possible angle, trucking companies can stay compliant and maintain their drivers safe and rested.