What should drivers not do if they want to avoid a driver debrief at the end of the day? While there is a lot of advice out there for transport managers, covering driver debriefs, sticking to plan and cutting turnaround times – we think there is a lack of information for drivers.
We’ve compiled a list of 8 things which we know land drivers in the debrief hot seat at the end of their shift.
#1 – Cornering like Lewis Hamilton
Besides the obvious increase in the risk of an incident, including hay bale road distribution, it also puts extra stress on the vehicle, costing more for repair and maintenance in the long run. Taking corners at excessive speed will almost certainly guarantee a place in the transport office later on.
#2 – Taking the scenic route
Most of us enjoy a Sunday drive in the countryside. Instead of doing it on the weekend, hair blowing in the wind; making it happen mid-shift on the way to the next job will waste time and burn extra fuel. It will also land the driver in a world of trouble when transport managers notice a discrepancy between the planned route and the actual route taken.
#3 – Leaving customers for dust
Accelerating quickly in an exhibition of speed demon-ship will land drivers a debrief at the best of times. Taking that to the next level, accelerating too fast whilst on site or setting off from customer premises too quickly will almost always attract the wrong kind of attention.
#4 – An impromptu road-side siesta
Whilst rest stops are essential for safety and to comply with driver’ hours legislation – taking an unplanned mid-shift stop off is sure to get noticed. Journey Management telematics will detect if trips are taking longer than anticipated and flag them for investigation.
#5 – Doing ANYTHING your mum would be ashamed of
With cameras now all the rage – forward, sideways, backwards, in-cab you name it – doing anything at all that your mum would reprimand you for is a bad idea… If you’re not being captured on your fleet’s own camera system, it could be someone else’s dash cam. We therefore advise you ask yourself “would my mum be mad at me doing this”. If the answer is yes, then expect to land in detention.
#6 – Lunch spot loyalty
There’s that one fish & chip shop that just can’t be beaten. Despite searching high and low across the land, the batter’s never as crispy… or the chips are never as good. A drive back to the lunchtime happy place, regardless of location or the next job, is likely to set red flags waving back at base.
#7 – Meeting up with mates
The same goes for meeting up with fellow drivers for a mid-morning break or simply for a catch up. If it has to be wedged into the daily itinerary regardless of extra distance travelled then it is asking for trouble. One anonymous customer told us how they spotted different vehicles in their fleet often converging on one location, from miles around. It just so happened that this location was a popular truck stop. The next time it happened the transport manager phoned the cafe to say that breakfast was on him, but asked the server to inform the drivers that this would be their last one together!
Tip #8 – Sneaky golf sessions
Geofencing is a wonderful thing. I won’t go into all of the details but you can read about them and their capabilities here. Locations, like whole golf courses, can be fenced off meaning that if a vehicle enters leaves or stops off at a location, the transport office is alerted. Hit the driving range for a cheeky practice session and it’s quite possible the boys and girls back at base will know all about it…
Highlighted above are some of the most obvious no nos. But the truth is, the smallest improvements in driving style, when repeated, can mean big reductions in the amount of fuel burned, CO2 emitted and money spent by any transport operation. We’ve created a guide for drivers to understand how to do it properly and improve their MPG and driving score.