When working with heavy duty trucks in a hands-on work environment, it can be easy for employees to not take care of the vehicles. A company or work vehicle is made to do the tough jobs, but that doesn’t mean employers should be flippant about how they’re treated and cared for.
A scratch here or a dent there may not seem like a big deal to those operating them, but to the company that pays for these rentals, a few dings and scratches can mean losing money. Of course, scratches aren’t the only things that can happen to heavy-duty work trucks. It’s common for more serious damages to occur while they’re put to work. The best thing drivers can do is to take pride in the vehicles they’re responsible for and take as good a care of them as possible.
Just because heavy-duty trucks are more likely to sustain damage during work, it doesn’t mean all drivers are being reckless with their responsibilities. However, making sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to taking care of company vehicles can go a long way in keeping your rental trucks from sustaining too much preventable damage. Allowing preventable damage to continue is money out of the company’s pocket for repairs and fulfilling rental agreements.
Remember, these trucks aren’t yours, so you are liable to another company for the use of their products. With that in mind, let’s look into a few ways you can help avoid preventable truck damage.
Create a Policy and Make it Available to Everyone
The most effective and replicatable policies are ones that are thought through, written out, and distributed regularly. It’s not enough to give a single training on safety and truck handling and expect employees to remember everything. You need to create a physical policy that can be reviewed by employees, managers, and executives regulary.
A physical copy is also a great tool for disputes, miscommunication, and learning. If ever an employee claims they didn’t know a policy or that it doesn’t exist, you can pul out the company-wide policy with clearly written out guidelines. You can’t argue with that.
Not only do these policies explain safety rules, they can also outline the rules of who can drive the work vehicles and when. Make sure to clearly explain how many people can be in the vehicle, who can drive the vehicle, and how to operate it safely and correctly. All the rules you’ve compiled from years of experience working with rental trucks – put them in your policy! Experience is the best way to know what’s important and relevant to the safe operation and treatment of vehicles.
Don’t Just Tell Everyone What the Policy Is. Enforce It.
Just because you create a policy, document it, and train your employees does not mean anything is going to change. Those employees have been doing the same wrong thing for so long ren’t going to bother changing their ways without some sort of consequence or follow-through on the company’s part.
This policy has to become part of the company itself and be an integral part of the culture for a difference to be made. So here are some things you can do to get the message across:
- Make sure everyone, especially those who operate the vehicles, a hard copyof the policy to take home with them.
- Go ahead an hold that training to walk everyone through the policy and what it will look like in day-to-day operations.
- Hold a separate training for supervisors to make sure they know how to implement and enforce these changes within their individual teams.
A message is only as good as the incentive or consequence attached to it. With that in mind, consider creating an incentive or reward system that recognizes those employees who embody the new policy and are trying to make a change. They will be more likely to keep the vehicles safe and damage-free if there is a positive incentive attached to it.
Take a Look at Driver Responsibilities to See If Current Policy is to Blame
It’s easy to immediately blame the employee for allowing damages to occur while working, but you never know if a pre-existing company policy is at fault. This could manifest in the form of unrealistic expectations for employees. It’s hard to prevent work-truck damage when there’s a time limit for employees to complete a task. Evealute those limits and see if they allow enough time to safely operate the vehicle. Review your policies and change them if they don’t allow for safe handling of vehicles.
Remember That New Policies Take Time To Show Results
After all the time spent creating new policies, training employees, and instructing managers on the new policies, it’s natuaral to want to see immediate results. That’s not always realistic. Mistakes will be made. Steps will be missed. Although this is okay, don’t be lax. Make sure to give constructive feedback to your employees so that these new policies more easily become second nature. Your hard work will definitely pay off in the end. Less preventable work truck damage and more money saved for the company.
Check the Conditions of Your Vehicles Regularly
Preventative maintenance is another way to avoid preventable damages to your work vehicles. Keeping vehicle maintenance up-to-date will help you save money and extend the life of your rentals. If more major issues are found early on, they will be easier to fix and therefore prevent injusry or serious damage to employees and property. Being on top of things is always better than waiting for something bad to happen.
The more you care for your heavy duty truck rentals, the more they’ll take care of your and your workers. Prioritie safety, maintenance, and respectful vehicle handling today to get better results in the future.