Did you know – as an employer you could be missing out on significant cost savings by not having Safe and Economic Driving Instructors on site?
Simon Docherty, RTITB Instructor Academy Manager, says that ‘“Ensuring LGV drivers are trained for safety and efficiency is, of course, beneficial for their development and wellbeing, but it also can result in measurable business benefits, such as cost savings. Regardless, equipping drivers with the right safe and economic driving skills begins with having correctly trained Instructors.”
The RTITB Instructor Academy Safe and Economic Driving Instructor course equips on-site trainers with the knowledge and skills to train drivers in this important area. Following a comprehensive course and four part practical and theory assessment, Instructors will be able to deliver training to LGV drivers, educating them in the requisite skills around traffic awareness, driving style, route planning, vehicle preparation, loading, and customer scheduling.
Improved skills, such as better traffic awareness, can decrease the time drivers spend stuck in traffic jams, improving fuel efficiency, and working towards maintaining customer satisfaction. This in turn can help to reduce driver stress which could lead to further health issues. Urban driving training is also covered to increase drivers’ awareness of their surroundings, such as different road types, enabling them to problem solve on the job and work more efficiently.
Simon commented “Next day deliveries and high demand for quick turnaround puts professional commercial drivers under tremendous pressure to get the job done quickly. With safe and economic driver training, they will learn how to cope under the strain while completing day-to-day tasks, which we’ve found results in improved efficiency for the business.”
Economical driving is also an important aspect of Driver CPC training, and can be implemented both at work and beyond. Gentle braking, the use of secondary braking systems (such as exhaust breaks), appropriate gear use, and gentle acceleration help to reduce costs, whilst being more environmentally friendly. Sympathetic driving also helps keep the vehicle in the best possible condition, reducing the likelihood of breakdowns or damaged components; minimising the frequency and cost of repairs. During the course, drivers can also learn about eco-safe driving components, designed to save costs and make the vehicle more aerodynamic. The instructor can individually explain the relevant components, going through their uses and benefits and potentially including their own personal experiences.
Correct vehicle checks are important also, and completing a check before each journey can reduce repair costs, ensure peace of mind and identify any issues before the vehicle is operated. Checks include measuring tyre pressure, tears in curtain sides, loose panels and body work, and debris under the vehicle.
“Effective, quality training in safe and economic driving is a powerful tool for employers to make cost savings, while enhancing their business efficiency and adhering to safety and legal requirements.” Simon continues, “What’s more, it can also be delivered as part of the legally required Driver CPC Periodic training, making it easily achievable within your existing training programme.”
As part of Driver CPC Periodic training, qualified instructors can hold sessions on a variety of subjects, prioritising safety, efficiency, and the personal development of drivers sitting the course; including modules on Safe and Economic Driving. This can be tailored to help meet the unique goals of your business. These topics could include route planning, fuel consumption, telematics, driving style, and road safety in both urban and rural environments.
To qualify drivers and prepare them for the delivery of in-house Driver CPC Periodic Training, the RTITB Instructor Academy offers a formal qualification after the relevant examinations have been passed.
Simon states that “Regardless of how you choose to deliver the Safe and Economic Driver Training course to employees, it’s a vital part of enhancing the way your fleet operates. It allows you to reduce unnecessary costs in your business and maximise safety.”
“Improving drivers’ professional skills and behaviours through quality training instruction also helps to dispel the negative perception of LGV drivers by other road users. This helps keep your drivers engaged, loyal and happy and also makes LGV driving a more attractive option for a long-term career.”