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Driver Training Has To Be Adapted To New Delivery Challenges
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 at 12:58
The large increase of home deliveries, including those at night, presents new challenges for courier companies & delivery drivers. Nearly half road casualties & collisions occur in the hours of darkness, indicating delivery drivers may not be receiving the training they need from the courier company they work for.
Online shopping and home delivery is clearly beneficial but has resulted in big changes for delivery drivers, who are increasingly required to make deliveries to homes, rather than warehouses or depots.
This is when training becomes important for ensuring professionalism, safety and efficiency.
With an increase in deliveries, drivers are experiencing as much pressure as the depots picking the items and must also handle the pressures of time-specific deliveries.
Despite these challenges, these key aspects of the job are often overlooked when it comes to training.
Route Planning can help same day couriers with timekeeping, enabling them to plan ahead and make their journey efficient as possible. Sat-navs cannot always direct drivers effectively, but effective route planning can help to navigate around built-up areas, which pose additional obstacles. Vehicle limitations are important to understand, particularly as they can change throughout a shift.
Narrow streets, cul-de-sacs and one-way systems can be a nightmare, even in smaller, VW Caddy, Mercedes Sprinter or award winning, Ford Transit type vans. Transport managers could implement training that improves and develops their drivers’ awareness of their vehicle and, where possible, provide a refresh on all vehicle types they may be expected to drive.
Night deliveries are becoming more and more common. With the correct training, driving in the dark should not present any significant challenges. However, training is important for helping drivers understand how to minimise disruption from the noise and light of the truck in residential areas.
Roadside delivery consists of vehicles being unloaded or loaded in a public area, presenting different problems. Firstly, drivers need to have the knowledge with which to assess the best place to park.
Drivers also need to be aware of pedestrians and other vehicles when operating tail lifts on vehicles such as Luton vans or 18-tonne vehicles, as well as considering the safety implications of the load when it has been removed.
Manual Handling incidents are still a great issue within the industry, primarily because employees aren’t given sufficient training.
Dealing with a customer is very different to dealing with a warehouse manager. As with any customer facing role, appropriate training must be provided so that drivers are equipped and comfortable to interact with customers.