Trucking businesses in the US operate in a highly competitive domain, with more than 1.86 companies in the industry. Besides reliable services, safety is a factor that can set a business apart. If you have commercial trucks on the road, you will surely know the risks and challenges around safety.
In fact, safety compliance is essential to your business, regardless of your level of experience in the trucking industry. We will sort through the intricate web of laws and regulations and provide you with a road map to ensure your business follows the law and protects its drivers, cargo, and reputation.
Here are a few safety compliance best practices to keep your business on the right side of the law.
Establish an On-road Policy for Drivers
Establishing a comprehensive on-road policy for your drivers is one of the first steps in fostering safety within your trucking company. This policy should specify the standards, regulations, and recommendations for safe driving procedures.
Speed restrictions, work hours, rest periods, and procedures for inclement weather should all be a part of your on-road policy. It should also cover the use of electronic devices while driving and the significance of adhering to all local, state, and federal laws. With a policy, you establish the groundwork for safe driving practices within your organisation by outlining expectations clearly and offering guidelines.
Stay Ahead of Vehicle Maintenance
Trucking mishap prevention depends on routine vehicle maintenance. Neglecting maintenance puts your drivers’ security in danger and increases the likelihood of expensive breakdowns and delays. You have to stick to a strict schedule that includes regular inspections and repairs to stay ahead of vehicle maintenance.
Invest in a reliable maintenance management system that keeps track of every vehicle’s maintenance history and notifies you when a service is impending. You can lower the possibility of accidents and keep your fleet operating smoothly by being proactive with vehicle maintenance.
Invest in Driver Training
Well-trained drivers are the best line of defence for your business against mishaps and legal problems. You should invest in thorough driver training programs that cover the fundamentals of safe driving and the specific laws relevant to your business.
Your driver training protocol should cover emergency response plans, cargo security, and defensive driving techniques. Make sure the drivers are knowledgeable about the recent industry standards and rules. Your ongoing commitment to safety should include regular training and refresher courses. Training new drivers should also be a top priority.
Conduct DOT Testing for Drivers
Trucking industry security compliance also depends on drivers passing Department of Transportation (DOT) testing. You need to ensure your drivers are fit for duty by conducting regular DOT drug testing and alcohol screenings. Look for a dependable testing partner you can trust for quick and affordable testing.
Your testing program should include random testing, post-accident analysis, and reasonable suspicion testing. Ensure that all test results are meticulously documented. Take strict action, such as suspension, against the drivers who test positive. It is a good way to set an example for everyone else on the team.
Accurate and thorough documentation forms the basis of security compliance for trucking companies. You should maintain thorough records of all safety-related incidents, vehicle maintenance, DOT test results, and driver logs.
This documentation serves as valuable support during audits and legal proceedings if necessary. You can invest in electronic record-keeping tools for tracking and managing compliance information. Review and audit your records frequently to find any areas that could use improvement.
Incentivise Safe Behaviour
Incentives can be an effective tool for encouraging your drivers to behave safely. These incentives may be in the form of cash bonuses or internal recognition within the business.
Incentives encourage your drivers to prioritise security and boost others to follow the same behaviour. Drivers are more likely to adopt defensive driving practices as part of their daily routine when their dedication to safety is valued and rewarded.
Create a Safety Culture
Fostering a safety culture within your organisation is a crucial aspect of security compliance. A safe culture involves cultivating a mindset where security is the mainstay of every choice and action.
Executives and management should put protection first and show that they care by their choices and actions. You can encourage open communication among your staff members so they will feel confident in raising any safety issues or incidents.
Safety compliance in the trucking industry is not an option but a requirement. You can implement these best practices to meet regulatory requirements and prevent accidents and injuries. Safety is a commitment to safeguarding lives and upholding your reputation, so you shouldn’t fall short of it.