If you have a business that requires company drivers, you need to ensure that you follow best practices for hiring and managing those drivers. This is not only for the safety of your drivers and customers but also to protect your business from liability. Many companies fail to do this, and they end up with drivers who are not adequately trained or supervised, which can lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.
To start on the right foot, let’s look at a few critical best practices when hiring and managing company drivers.
1. Conduct Thorough Background Checks
One of the most important things you can do when hiring company drivers is to conduct thorough background checks. This means checking their driving record, criminal history, and employment history. You want to be sure that you hire safe, reliable, and trustworthy drivers. Because your drivers will be representing your company, you also want to be sure that they have a clean driving record and are not associated with any criminal activity.
When conducting background checks, use a reputable service that offers accurate and up-to-date information. You don’t want to hire a driver only to find out later that there was something in their background that you should have known about. You can also check with the local police department to see if any complaints have been filed against the driver.
2. Communicate Your Expectations Clearly
When you hire company drivers, be sure to communicate your expectations clearly from the outset. This includes what time you expect them to arrive and depart, what route they should take, whether or not they can make stops along the way, etc. The clearer you are about your expectations, the less likely there will be misunderstandings or problems down the road.
If you have specific requirements for your drivers, be sure to include that information in the job description when you post it. That way, only drivers who meet your requirements will apply. You can also have that information in the contract drivers sign before they start working for you. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings later on.
3. Be Ready for Accidents
Driving will always involve some risk, no matter how safe and experienced the driver is. That’s why it’s crucial to be prepared for accidents when you have company drivers. This means having insurance that will cover the cost of repairs or replacements and any medical bills they may incur. You want to be sure that you are fully protected in an accident.
You should also have a plan for what to do if an accident occurs. This includes who the driver should call, where they should go, and what information they need to gather. Especially when the accident involves other vehicles in collisions, you want to have an experienced car accident attorney on your side to ensure you are fully compensated for any damages.
4. Provide Adequate Training
Before sending your company drivers out on the road, provide them with adequate training. This includes both classroom-style training as well as on-the-road training. They should know all the policies and procedures they must follow while representing your business. They should also be comfortable behind the wheel of the vehicle they will be driving.
Some companies hire drivers with experience, while others prefer to train their drivers from scratch. Others also employ a mix of both. There is no right or wrong answer, but you should consider what will work best for your company. You want to be sure that your drivers are safe and competent before you send them out on the road.
5. Manage Your Drivers Carefully
Once you have company drivers working for you, you must manage them carefully. This includes tracking their hours, mileage, and fuel usage. You can also require your drivers to submit reports on their activities. You want to be sure that they are following your policies and procedures and not exceeding the limits you have set for them.
You should also conduct regular performance reviews with your drivers. This is an excellent time to address any problems or concerns you may have. It’s also an opportunity to let your drivers know what they are doing well and praise them for a well-done job. Always be fair and consistent in your management of your drivers.
By following these best practices when hiring company drivers, you can help ensure the safety of your drivers and customers while also protecting your business from liability. Thorough background checks, clear communication, and adequate training are essential. You should also manage your drivers carefully to avoid any problems. By taking these steps, you can help ensure a successful company driver program.