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Increasing Safety & Efficiency for Home Delivery Drivers

Blogs | 13th Mar 2017
Increasing Safety & Efficiency for Home Delivery Drivers

As a country we’ve never been busier, making us a nation that thrives on convenience. With online stores literally at our fingertips thanks to smart devices, we have adopted a ‘click and buy’ way of living, with the capacity to browse and buy items with a simple tap of our phones.

However, through this added convenience, the desire to have our items in a matter of hours is sometimes too much to miss, increasing the pressures on delivery companies and drivers. With so many deliveries to fulfil each day, delivery drivers are experiencing as much pressure as the depots picking the items, and these pressures increase for those whose experience predominately lie within a warehousing or depot delivery. This is where training becomes of even more importance to manage such complications and challenges.

Navigating around city centres and housing estates can be problematic, with a number of obstacles to contend with – built up areas, parked and moving cars and pedestrians. Drivers need to stay safe and alert whilst looking for specific houses/buildings. Sat-navs cannot always direct drivers effectively, so training on route planning and urban driving will help drivers to problem solve successfully within these scenarios.

In addition to the typical obstacles drivers find on the roads, drivers must also be able to understand the limitations of their vehicles, which could change throughout their shift. Narrow streets, cul-de-sacs and one-way systems can be a nightmare for drivers, even in smaller, 3.5 tonne vehicles. Transport Managers should look to implement training that improves and develops their drivers’ awareness of their vehicle and, where possible, even provide a refresh on all vehicle types in their fleet that they may be expected to drive.

The beauty of today’s online retail industry is that it allows us to purchase any item we wish, no matter how big or small. But when it comes to delivering larger items, drivers can be often be left on their own to handle items from their vehicle to the designated delivery address. Items such as beds and sofas present high risks to drivers, especially when manoeuvring up narrow staircases and in small spaces. Manual handling incidents are still a great issue within the industry, primarily because employees aren’t given sufficient training. The inclusion of manual handling within Driver CPC training will further educate drivers on correct handling techniques, helping to massively eradicate injury and potential damage to goods.

A massive bug-bear for anyone waiting at home for a delivery is the lack of accuracy on delivery times. It is inevitable that the high service levels expected by today’s customers mean that deliveries that are even a few minutes late lead to customer complaints and general overall dissatisfaction. Traffic accidents and road works can cause unavoidable delays but drivers must be able to handle the pressures of time-specific deliveries and combating obstacles. Drivers will benefit from professional driver training to eliminate pressures that compromise their safety on the road. Training on route planning can also help with time keeping as drivers will be equipped to plan ahead to make their journey as efficient as possible.

A customer’s perception of your business starts from their purchase and ends when the item is received, so it is vital that drivers represent your company in a professional manner. Dealing with a customer in their home is very different to dealing with a warehouse manager, and drivers must have the manners, tone and competency to deal with customers on a face-to-face basis and be trained to handle any situation. Training in interpersonal skills and customer service will significantly help drivers break down the barrier of communicating with all types of customers, dramatically improving your customer service rating.

RTITB’s Master Driver CPC Consortium training suite includes modules that can aid drivers within a delivery role, helping to keep drivers safe, compliant and professional. Learn more about RTITB’s Driver CPC training solution.

Download our helpful infographic on how you can help your delivery drivers to stay safe and efficient on the road.