In this module, you’ll learn what you need to do when hiring, training, and monitoring drivers.
Timeframe: 15 minutesIn this section, you will learn to:
Before you hire a driver, it is recommended you make sure:
Your Safety Program should include a hiring policy that addresses the following:
A potential driver should be closely reviewed in case:
Be sure to ask your driver applicant for the following information with their application:
A driver abstract is a record of the person’s driving history. You need to get one for every driver at the time of hire and every 12 months after that.
There are two kinds of Driver Abstracts.
The Standard Driver Abstract provides information from an individual’s driving record, such as:
The Commercial Driver Abstract allows for employers to assess safety risks associated with a driver prior to hiring them. It is recommended that carriers check the driver’s Commercial Driver Abstract. It provides most of the same information as the Standard Driver Abstract plus information about convictions and inspections related specifically to the operation of commercial vehicles (for example, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspections and cargo securement violations).
The following section will show you the information available in a Commercial Driver Abstract:
|A||Section A shows the abstract's general information and the date that the commercial driver abstract was issued.
You’ll want an up-to-date Commercial Driver Abstract to review for hiring.
|B||Section B shows the driver's personal information including name, adress and Motor Vehicle Identification Number (MVID).|
|C||Section C shows a driver's status. Here you can see the driver's status, for example if the driver is suspended, and the number of demerit points. A suspended driver is not allowed to drive a vehicle.|
|D||Section D shows the operator licence information such as the driver's licence number, expiry date and any conditions (for example, the driver may need to use corrective glasses while driving).
It is recommended you keep track of driver's licences and their expiry dates, so you can remind your drivers to get them renewed ahead of time.
This section also shows the class of licence. This information will tell you if the driver has the right licence to drive the kind of vehicles you need them to drive.
|E||Section E shows the licence restrictions and the dates to which the restriction applies. This includes convictions and restrictions due to accummulation of demerit points.|
|F||Section F shows convictions. Here you can see the number and type of convictions a driver has. Be wary of drivers with many convictions!|
|G||Section G shows if the driver has gone through any Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Inspections (CVSA).|
Beware of abstracts that show:
You should consider the possible safety risk of hiring driver with:
Companies providing services to the public and/or transporting passengers should also consider getting a criminal record check from applicants.
Once you’ve hired a driver, you’ll need to file records for them, and make sure they are fully trained.
A driver check sheet helps you keep track of important dates. You can create your own check sheet as a table or spreadsheet.
Before you file away your new driver’s records, it’s a good idea to record important dates on this sheet.
Have driver sign an agreement, and make sure they understand why the policies are in place.
You need to make your drivers aware of your policies. If you ask them to sign a statement saying they have read and understand your policies, you can hold them accountable.
What can happen?
You are responsible if your drivers don’t follow your policies. If they don’t log their hours properly, report something like a vehicle defect, or an Out of Service inspection result, that goes on YOUR record as the carrier.
Case Study: One Carrier’s Experience with Policy
Company B spoke again and again to a driver who violated the policies. When the company fired the driver, he went to the Employment Standards Branch [https://www.alberta.ca/employment-standards.aspx]. He said he’d been dismissed unfairly and never said anything about all the times he’d been spoken to about the policy. After that, Company B put a four-step policy in place for driver discipline:
The company found that the four step policy worked well for them and for drivers too. Once the policy was implemented, the company did not have further issues with drivers and the drivers understood the company’s rules and safety practices.
There are many examples of discipline policies. The NSC does not recommend any one policy. It just says you must have one in place, in writing. Your driver policies can include:
How you design your disciplinary policy is up to you. The intent of having this policy is to hold drivers accountable for complying with the law and company policies and procedures.
Remember: It is a best practice for drivers to acknowledge receipt of the discipline action by way of a signature and date.
Alternatively, some carriers offer incentives for violation-free driving periods. For example, if the driver has had no violations in a year, they could be rewarded. As an incentive for completing trip inspections properly, some companies attach tags to inspection items that can be turned in for driver rewards.
In Module 1, you learned about keeping records in general. Here we go into more detail about what’s inside the driver's file.
A driver file should contain:
A few years ago, one of the largest freight forwarding or brokering companies in North America was sued. They had hired a trucking company to haul some of their freight, and never checked the company’s safety history by pulling a public carrier profile. That carrier hired a driver who consistently drove over the allowed hours, and falsified their records. The driver then had an collision with multiple fatalities. The freight company was found partly liable in the accident and sued for 23 million dollars. The carrier is no longer in business and now that freight company is aware of their liability—they’re checking the safety standing of the carriers they hire.
Some carriers have more than one company. When a driver moves from one company to another, it must be treated as though the driver is starting a new job.
You are responsible for making sure your drivers are trained. In your safety and maintenance program, write down the training you will give your drivers. How you train your drivers is up to you. All drivers should know about safety laws that apply to them and there should be an ongoing program for evaluating their driving skills.
If applicable, it is recommended that drivers be trained in the following:
Should you train drivers yourself? Or should you hire someone else to train them?
You are responsible for the actions of the drivers you hire, so you may want to train them yourself. If you decide to do so, it is important to ensure that you have proper training, as well as the time and capacity to train others.
If you find this is not the case and you may need to hire a consultant to work with you on safety practices, make sure you check this list:
In this module, you learned that carriers have a number of responsibilities before hiring a driver, during the hiring process and once you have hired a driver. You learned that you are responsible for your driver's training and for keeping a number of records related to your drivers. You also must maintain a discipline policy for drivers, to ensure you address and remedy problems immediately.
If you haven’t done so already, take some time now to develop and write down your hiring policy, your discipline policy and get your drivers’ records in order. If you have drivers to train, put your training plan together.
In the next module, you will learn about the most detailed aspect of training your drivers: Hours of Service.