The land cargo business involves a fleet of massive trucks making long-haul trips over vast distances. This consists of many risks. You, as the owner, are responsible for the safety of the load, your driver, and other people on the road. How do you ensure road safety to avoid liability? This article will discuss some tips.
Ensure Your Drivers Have Adequate Safety Training
Your drivers should have the proper training to operate the trucks in your fleet. They should be skilled in doing challenging maneuvers such as doing wide turns. They should follow all traffic laws and drive defensively. You can send them to defensive driving courses or hold regular safety meetings to ensure they are up-to-date on best practices.
In addition, you should perform background checks on all potential drivers. This will help you weed out those with a history of reckless driving or accidents. Only hire drivers who have clean records and are dedicated to safety.
Educate Your Drivers on Road Hazards
Your drivers should be aware of common road hazards, so they can avoid or manage them. Get professional training for your drivers on how to handle trucks when the road has ice or snow or is uneven. They should know how to drive safely through strong rains, heavy fog, and at night. They must know what to do if an animal suddenly crosses the road.
They should know how to deal with bad weather, wildlife crossings, and construction zones. You can provide them with maps or GPS devices that highlight these areas.
Ensure that all your trucks are equipped with communication equipment that keeps drivers always in touch with your central dispatching office. This will enable drivers to immediately reach out if something unexpected occurs. Make sure drivers also have a list of other emergency numbers in case they run into trouble.
You should also have a policy in place for what to do if a driver is involved in an accident. This will help to ensure that everyone knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
Enforce Safety Policies
It is important to have safety policies in place and to enforce them strictly. This includes things like speed limits, seat belt usage, and distracted driving.
Enforce the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations on hours of service for truck drivers. These include providing a sleeper berth on trucks used for long-haul drives. After every eight consecutive hours of driving, drivers must take an uninterrupted 30-minute non-driving break.
You must have certified truck scales at every point of departure. Before drivers start any trip, the loaded truck must be weighed to ensure that no truck is overloaded. An overloaded truck is a road hazard.
Fit cameras on various points on your trucks. These will enable you to monitor that your drivers are observing safe driving. They will also provide valuable information in case of an accident.
Supply all trucks with emergency equipment such as reflective triangles, flashers, and road flares to be used when the truck has to stop on the road or roadside.
Maintain Your Vehicles Regularly
Your vehicles must be in top condition at all times to avoid breakdowns or accidents. Make sure to perform regular maintenance checks and keep up with repairs. Also, invest in quality tires and brakes to ensure your trucks can stop quickly if necessary.
In addition, you should outfit your vehicles with the latest safety features. This might include blind-spot monitors, lane departure warning systems, and forward-collision warning systems. These technologies can help prevent accidents and save lives.
Enforce pre-trip and post-trip vehicle inspections. Drivers should be required to inspect their vehicles before each trip. They should also perform a post-trip inspection after completing their delivery. These inspections will help to identify any potential problems with the vehicle.
Provide De-Stressing Programs for Drivers
Long-haul driving is extremely taxing physically and mentally. Provide both physical and mental de-stressing programs for your drivers. This will help them to stay healthy and alert while on the road.
One way to do this is by offering regular fitness classes or gym memberships. You can also provide mental health support through counseling services or employee assistance programs.
Make sure that your drivers have access to healthy food options while on the road. This will help them to avoid unhealthy fast food options. You can provide gift cards to healthy restaurants or send care packages with healthy snacks.
Ensure You Have Adequate Insurance Coverage
Make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage for your business. This includes liability insurance, property insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance. This will help to protect your business in the event of an accident.
You should also consider investing in roadside assistance coverage. This will help to cover the cost of any repairs that need to be made if a truck breaks down.
Run a Safe Land Cargo Business Successfully
By following these tips, you can help ensure road safety in your land cargo business. These measures will help to protect your loads, your drivers, and other people on the road. It will protect your company from liability and establish your reputation in the industry.