Fleet managers are constantly faced with the challenge to improve their drivers’ performance and safety records while keeping costs down. Effective driver coaching programs can help meet these goals.

Coaching programs not only help drivers to improve their skills but also reduce accidents, optimize fuel consumption, and reduce maintenance costs. But designing a driver coaching program can be challenging, especially for those new to the process. We’re here to help, with a step-by-step guide to building a driver coaching program that will produce actual, measurable results.

  1. Define your objectives:

What do you want to achieve through a driver training program? Is it to reduce accidents? Improve fuel efficiency? Increase driver satisfaction by rewarding your top performers in safety and efficiency metrics? Your chosen objectives will help determine the kind of program you build, the tools you use to teach and measure, and the metrics that matter most. Many fleet operators are interested in the insurance premium reductions and shorter vehicle downtime durations that a training program emphasizing safe driving can provide.

  1. Choose the appropriate metrics:

What gets measured gets done, which means you need to be able to tell where your drivers need the most improvement. There are several metrics to consider, including fuel consumption, idle time, traffic violations, accidents, and harsh braking. Top fleet management tools like GPS Trackit put all of those metrics in an easy-to-scan dashboard, where you can look at real-time information and examine trends. Once you have these metrics in place, you can start tracking your drivers’ performance and identify areas that need improvement.

  1. Use an effective learning platform:

Gone are the days when handing a driver a dry notebook with policies and requirements were considered “training.” You need a platform designed to offer drivers an interactive, engaging, and hands-on approach to learning.

The GPS Trackit Marketplace has a variety of highly-rated and cost-effective training programs that work in concert with your fleet management tools:

Samba Safety’s CDL and Delivery Driver online training programs are some of the best in the industry, and the company’s continuous driver monitoring program combines driver training with motor vehicle record monitoring for one of the most comprehensive driver management tools on the market. 

CarriersEdge specializes in driver training for heavy-duty trucks, with courses covering general safety, and more specialized topics like hazmat procedures along with regulatory compliance. 

Driving Dynamics’ DrivActiv courses feature a comprehensive learning library for heavy-duty and light-duty truck operators, at one of the most competitive prices in the industry. 

Infinit-I is a great choice for fleet managers seeking a full learning management system for heavy-duty truck drivers. Its Workforce Training product has more than 850 training videos. 

  1. Provide ongoing support and feedback:

The best driver training programs offer a continuous feedback loop. When drivers get regular reports about their performance and are encouraged to ask questions and seek guidance, the entire team benefits from the exchange of information. Make sure that all feedback is constructive and non-judgmental so that drivers are motivated to improve their performance and not get frustrated or detached. 

  1. Celebrate successes:

Finally, don’t forget to celebrate successes. Acknowledge the achievements of your drivers and create a culture of recognition and positivity. Recognizing successes can help motivate drivers to continue to improve their performance and build a positive, engaged team. Some of the most effective driver training programs are connected to reward systems that offer high-performing drivers cash bonuses for continued safety and efficiency. Fleet and driver interests are aligned! 

To learn more about how a driver training program can help your fleet drive safer and more efficiently—and to see examples of what other top-performing fleets are doing—talk to an experienced Fleet Advisor today