If you are in search of a new position in trucking then having a safety mindset may be the advantage you need. Often I talk about the importance of having leadership skills to put you ahead of the pack in your career and safety would fit into that category. Many students going through training facilities may be presented to with safety in mind, but do they truly understand the importance of taking safety seriously?
One of the largest issues I have come across when in training environments is students trying to memorize systems in order to pass their exams. What happens when you memorize things? Memorization may help you remember information but it also can stop you from recognizing hazards. If you have ever done the test of reading a sentence that is totally spelled wrong, but when you read it you fix the mistakes in your mind and the sentence reads correctly you will understand what I mean. Memorizing safety systems is the same thing. If you memorize an inspection routine like you would a song you begin to go through the motions, possibly missing important safety issues.
A recent article I was reading on wheel separations showing that incidents are on the rise for 2016 mentioned that pre-trip inspections and the torquing processes may be part of the problem. Drivers are required to stop after having a wheel or tire repair to have the torque checked to ensure the wheel has been installed properly and remains fastened. But how many are doing that after a repair? How many companies are supporting the drivers in having that inspection done? I know as a driver many times you are pressured to get the load delivered after a breakdown as it may already be late due to the initial incident. If a repair network has not been established then where does a driver go? Who pays to have the torque checked? All of these questions may cause some companies or drivers to bypass the secondary inspection process.
This is why that safety mindset may be the best advantage a driver may have. You don’t need to have the answers, but you need to have the knowledge to ask the questions. If you know that you need to have a secondary inspection done after a wheel repair at least you can ask a question of the company or repair person as to where, when, and how to have the repair checked. So how will a safety mindset help you get that next great job?
Many carriers say that new drivers have trouble with the inspection process on an interview. As mentioned earlier much of that from my opinion is that many are being taught to memorize the process due to time limitations. If a student really learns the importance of the inspection process and why they are conducting that inspection then they should do better inspections. If they want to make sure the vehicle they are driving is safe they will ask the questions and stop for that secondary inspection from a wheel repair. Knowing to ask these questions can make you a Rock Star to a recruiter.
So get that safety mindset from the beginning of your training and keep it throughout. It will make you understand the importance of the driver in keeping our roads safe and will help you look like a Rock Star on the interview front.
About the Author
Bruce Outridge has been in the transportation industry for over 30 years. He is an artist, author of the books Driven to Drive and Running By The Mile, consultant, and speaker. TTSAO also known as the Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario has certified member schools in the truck training vocation ensuring quality entry level drivers enter the transportation industry. To learn more about the TTSAO or to find a certified school in your area visit www.ttsao.com