View Source:  Jeremy Collins

For this data to provide real results on performance and safety, everyone across the fleet must understand its value. Telematics can modernize truck driver training programs by monitoring on-road behavior for areas that need improvement and suggesting appropriate coaching for each driver.

Many fleets adopted telematics programs when the U.S. mandate for electronic logging devices (ELDs) went into effect. Now, fleet managers are recognizing the potential to tap into useful data that can improve performance and productivity across the fleet. This data allows them to reduce fuel costs and idle time, improve safety, streamline maintenance and dispatch, and allocate large assets and equipment more efficiently.

Telematics can modernize truck driver training programs by monitoring on-road behavior for areas that need improvement and suggesting appropriate coaching for each driver. Here is how trucking insurance clients can use telematics in an organized and systematic way.

  1. Identify behaviors that need improvement

A comprehensive fleet management software program can readily identify problematic driving behaviors. Speeding violations, aggressive acceleration, and hard braking are some of the risky driving behaviors that a business’s telematics program can monitor and report.

Gathering the data on these behaviors and providing specific examples of episodes as they occur is the first step to improving driver safety. Telematics can organize this data into a report that can be shared with drivers to raise awareness of performance areas that need improvement.

  1. Communicate with drivers

Once the information is gathered and organized into a report, then it can be presented to drivers. Often, a team may be unaware of bad driving habits that impact their performance and safety. Telematics reports offer real examples of these behaviors to help drivers better understand their own driving patterns. There can be no question or debate about the opportunities for improvement as the data can be seen and evaluated by the drivers.

  1. Real-time driver feedback

Once drivers have had the opportunity to identify and discuss behaviors that need improvement, they can receive real-time feedback as they are going through their routes. In-cab alerts can notify them as they are approaching the maximum speed to prevent excessive speed violations. They can receive real-time feedback if they have episodes of aggressive acceleration or hard braking. This feedback is invaluable to gaining the best truck driver training opportunities because the behavior is identified and changed as it is happening. That reinforcement of desired behaviors is the most successful in improving drivers’ actions behind the wheel.

  1. Create customized training programs

Gain insight into developing the most personalized and targeted training programs for each driver with accurately pinpointed areas for improvement. Information gathered from telematics, along with continuous monitoring, will customize the training for each driver. This customized approach results in opportunities that are both accurate and measurable for each driver. Specific behaviors that they can improve increase the likelihood of successful follow-through.

  1. Use rewards to reinforce behaviors

Data gathered on drivers’ performance can help businesses incentivize drivers to implement the training consistently. Foster friendly competition between drivers and let them all see who has the top ranking for safety performance on the road. Send encouraging messages to drivers on the job when their performance meets improvement metrics. Perhaps even offer driver rewards as their metrics improve, and behaviors align with desired performance.

Using a system of rewards can change negative attitudes about truck driver training and performance improvement. Instead, it can foster a culture of safety based on positive reinforcement and friendly competition.