New Truck Training


While listening to the Dave Nemo program, I heard a great idea. Of course, I thought that it was a great idea because it reinforce my beliefs. Dave was talking with some folks at one of the mega carriers about automated transmissions. They had an executive and two drivers on. One was a veteran. The other was fairly new. They were talking about training a driver (new or veteran) on a new truck when they get one. It is a standard 4 hour tutorial. It makes sense.


Our fleet at Paper Transport has several types of trucks. They are mostly Freightliners, but unfortunately also include Volvos, and Kenworths. We are also a leader in CNG fueled trucks. Over the last few weeks, I have noticed a few things. We had a young driver stand up at a safety meeting and complain about the collision mitigation systems. I spoke up in defense of the systems. Most of our drivers have adapted well to them. A few have struggled.


Collision Mitigation Systems can be a hassle. Once you know how they operate, they really aren't that bad. If you insist on making the be a hassle they will be. Basically, they want to know that you know what they know. They want you to interact. You can reduce interactions by tapping your brakes, canceling cruise cruise control, or even accelerating. Training drivers how to work with the system would save a lot of hassles.


You could put me in one of our CNG trucks, and I could figure most of it out. It would be better, if you spent some time with me. Train me to use it. That way I could use it efficiently. Drivers can be stubborn. We take pride in being able to drive anything with wheels and an engine. We are good at it, but we could be better.


When the medical community develops a new surgical tool, they don't just put it in the hands of the surgeon and say “operate”. They train the surgeon how to use the device. These new trucks are technological marvels. The best truck drivers are true professionals. If you simply put a new truck in the hands of a professional driver you get some good results. If you train the professional driver to work with these new trucks you get optimal results.



Comments (2)

Jeff Clark

Jeff Clark of Kewaunee, WI has been driving a truck for 24 years. He has been an owner operator for 11 years.

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Right on all counts. I would like to see hands on training every time a truck gets handed off.

October 01, 2015 5:13:50 AM

It never ceases to amaze me, in a negative way, how many drivers do not read through their trucks owner's manual to learn how things work, or to know what specific maintenance items must be done and when. Even worse is hearing about some fleets that issue drivers new trucks without the manuals!

July 12, 2015 4:38:09 AM