Bad weather conditions, poorly maintained vehicles and the threat of violent crime are common risks drivers face while doing haulage work. There are, however, other less well-known risks that can affect the safety and ability of drivers to deliver road haulage on time. Here are some of the especially dangerous ones you need to watch out for:
Inability to Cope with Routine Work
Doing haulage work and staying behind the wheel for hours on end is not for everybody, even those that do not want to admit it. Some new drivers will tough it out and do their best to soldier on with their jobs, but others will gradually begin breaking down from the stress and repetitiveness of the job. Early and obvious signs include taking lots of unscheduled leaves for dubious reasons, an overall dour mood while on the job and hostile behaviour against colleagues. If left unchecked, these drivers could resign or do something that will force you to fire them when you need them the most.
Excessive Fraternization with clients
This might sound like a good thing at first glance but drivers can end up crossing the line with your clients. It could be something as petty as insulting a sensitive client or getting behind schedule because of too much friendly banter. Your drivers can be friendly with your clients, of course, but always remind them to be professional, as their words and actions are representative of the haulage firm they work for.
Lack of Exercise and unhealthy lifestyle
Haulage work can be quite demanding on the body, especially heavy haulage that requires your drivers to deliver huge quantities of items over long distances. Your drivers will just want to grab the easiest food available, which is often the most unhealthy option, and nod off to sleep once they get home. This lifestyle, however, increases the chances that they get sick, take sick leave and require extensive medical attention. Getting a stroke or a heart attack in the middle of a trip is also a sure-fire way to suffer a serious loss at an unexpected moment. Subsidizing weekly gym sessions and providing incentives to maintain a certain weight is a great way to keep your drivers healthy and fit for the job.
Lack of Proper rest and driver rotation
Speaking of an unhealthy lifestyle, you also need to make sure that your drivers are not overworked and are capable of working at 100% while on the job. Haulage work may not require a lot of thinking, but it does require a lot of focus and concentration. Drivers that have been on the road for hours on end will begin to lose this focus as the need for sleep and all over fatigue start to dull their senses. This is a disaster just waiting to happen for haulage services. Make sure you have enough drivers to cover multiple shifts and that you allocate them some time to rest and sleep during lengthy journeys. It may even be worth it to partner up two drivers so one can rest up while the other focuses on driving.
Take these risks into consideration and you will see safer, more reliable haulage work from your drivers.