Let’s face it, professional drivers and company owners are held to a higher standard than many in the construction industry. They’re required to maintain a safe vehicle, have a Company Fleet Safety Policy, conduct pre-& post-trip inspections, have knowledge of State and Federal regulations, load securement, understand DOT inspections and how to handle them, CSA scores, how to handle accidents, employer liability, and much more.
“Is the safety level high? Absolutely,” says Aimee. “Are drivers held to high standards? Absolutely. And there’s a reason for that. All it takes is one unsecured load that falls from the truck bed and we’re talking about the possibility of a very serious accident, potentially fatal.”
“Many drivers will say, ‘But I know my truck.’ Or, ‘But nothing has ever happened before. Or, ‘But, I have to deliver this load by a certain time and I don’t have an extra 15-20 minutes in the morning to do the pre-screen check.’ While we’re sympathetic to the numerous pressures that drivers and owners face, there’s also no ‘buts’ in this world. For the officers, you’re either in compliance or in violation, it’s that simple.”
“The stigma of the gear-jammin, wallet-on-the-chain truck driver is a thing of the past,” says Jeff Newton, President of DuBois Construction Inc. “Today’s driver is the ambassador of your company to the motoring public and your customer base.”
Many AGC/VT members take the same philosophy as Jeff. Aimee and Richard Wobby realized the industry needed more help, so they created a new, four-hour training known as Professional Truck Drivers Awareness Training, which was rolled out in the spring of 2019.
This isn’t a CDL prep class, but one geared entirely toward safety and educating drivers on how to maintain their vehicles to meet state and federal regulations. “Training drivers to improve best practices, will help their CSA score, eliminate unnecessary fines, help pass audits/inspections, along with help HR staff understand their part in compliance regarding Driver Qualification files, Fleet Safety policy’s, and more,” says Aimee.
So far, the reception has been positive, and all the classes have sold out.
Read more about how the Pro Driver Safety Class is making Vermont roadways safer in the next edition of The Build Board.