5 Safety Management Challenges for a Growing Trucking Company
Safety management is an important aspect of running a trucking company. Of course, if you are trying to grow a trucking business to compete with corporate companies, you likely find yourself wearing many hats to keep things going. This means keeping up with the challenges of training and retaining drivers can prove stressful.
To thrive, you need to embrace a safety culture. Proper training and documentation can relieve the stress of running a business. The safety of your company affects all other areas. From keeping qualified drivers to protecting yourself in court, the challenges of safety management connect to continued growth.
The good news is there are ways to turn these challenges into opportunities. Understanding the 5 common challenges and how to navigate them is a good start to creating a culture of safety and growth.
Improving CSA Scores
On top of the numerous hats worn by an owner trying to grow a trucking company, the responsibility of safety management often falls on you as well. A large part of this responsibility is improving CSA scores for your company. You must keep up with training to avoid issues such as:
- HOS compliance
- Unsafe driving habits
- Maintenance mishaps
- Driver fitness
Providing the proper training takes time out of already busy schedules. Plus, the cost of training can cut into profits while you are competing for success. You need to maintain those CSA scores to help with that success though.
This struggle between safety compliance and profits is a constant battle. Luckily, there are options to reduce the cost of safety training while providing a positive return-on-investment. The trick is to find an option that will grow with you.
One of the best options is an online learning system that will help you track training needs for your drivers. Options such as Trucking 52 give you access to online safety management that reduce your costs and help you compete in the trucking industry. You can ensure your drivers get proper training to reduce incidents and track any needed follow-up training.
Lawsuits can destroy your business. In the last five years, 300 cases against trucking companies awarded more than $1 million. The amounts awarded grew 51.7% annually between 2010-2018.
We all know accidents happen and people want someone to blame for them. The problem for the trucking industry is that lawyers often go after large settlements and suits even if the truck driver isn’t fully responsible for the accident.
The good news is that proper safety management and training can reduce the ability of litigation to sink your company. This includes keeping good records of the training completed by your employees. If you keep track of your safety and protection documentation, you can reduce the risk of losing the business.
You can take other measures, such as cameras and ELDs to show your company and your drivers meet the safety management standards required. Cameras can also protect against shady characters that target truckers for big payouts.
Another place to be careful is in the company policies. Make sure the written policies are things your employees can follow. Lawyers will go after the smallest discrepancy, and this can cost you dearly. One company had lawyers go after three words in a sentence to make a case.
The cost of insuring your fleet is another money-drainer. This is one that hits smaller companies harder too. As you grow, the ability to negotiate insurance prices will improve. This takes time to establish yourself though.
Depending on the fleet size, insurance costs can range from 5.3 cents per mile to 15 cents. Company-wide driving records also affect these costs. The good news is you can mitigate price increases with proper safety management.
Increased safety records give better negotiating power. Safety management training is one way to improve this record. Keep good records of training certifications for your drivers to negotiate these better prices.
Hiring drivers with good driving records also improves your negotiating power. Keep logs and records to show how you are working to continuously improve those safe driving measures. The more you can show improvements, the better chance you have of competing with larger companies when it comes to insurance costs.
The issue that affects the trucking industry across the board is regulations. You deal with federal, state, and local regulations when drivers are on the road. Depending on your company, you may have to deal with regulations from multiple states.
Add to this that regulations are constantly changing and increasing, and a smaller company can get weighed down. With so many things to do to keep your business growing, keeping up with these regulations can take you away from more important aspects. You just don’t have the same resources as big trucking companies to keep your safety management up to date with the changes.
As you grow the business, you often have a small number of people taking on multiple roles. It’s too easy for things to fall through the cracks. It’s important for you to find tools and solutions that take some of that burden off your shoulders.
Finding safety management programs that help you keep track of changes to training needs is one way to remove some of that burden. You want to put tools in place that will ensure relevant information makes its way through the ranks.
Retaining Qualified Drivers
A growing company must compete with those corporate trucking businesses for qualified drivers, and this can prove difficult. Larger organizations have the funds to pay more and/or provide better benefits than the smaller companies.
This makes it difficult to attract and retain valuable drivers. You want people who will follow the safety management protocols and help protect your company. This means you need to find other ways to bring in those MVPs.
Communication is key to retaining the drivers you want to grow with you. You can create a sense of strong communication among your employees by making your drivers feel valuable. Listen to their feedback and provide opportunities to make contributions towards the growth of your company.
Creating a sense of loyalty in your employees will keep good people around you that are willing to help you succeed. You can also create incentive programs to motivate your drivers to maintain a safety culture. This will help them become more valuable and give them a sense of pride in your organization.
Let Safety Culture Grow with Your Business
Safety management is a 24/7 job. Safety is also important to keep your trucking business growing. While you don’t have all the same resources as the corporate trucking companies, you do have resources to help you compete.
Trucking 52 is a simple safety training program that allows you to meet your safety needs on a limited budget. You get access to the training, tracking, and reporting tools that protect you at an affordable price so you can focus on the other important aspects of your business.
Want to see how we can help you keep growing? Request a demo today and learn how you can reduce the stress of running your business.