Modern driver training, or more fitting: driver coaching, goes beyond pure knowledge and skills. It expands upon the human experience and interaction, by adopting specialized and customized technologies in a complete solution.

The principles of knowledge and skill oriented classic driver training still stand. There’s no doubt this strategy has made many a workplace safer. Still, there seems to be a limit to what classic driver training can achieve. And the end goal is not an accident reduction but an accident stop.

That is why a growing number of companies turn towards new, often innovative training or coaching solutions. The better ones have proven to significantly further the decrease in incidents. They might even get to that elusive ‘zero accidents’ … and they come with a lot of added benefits you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

1. The many returns on safety

With forklifts still figuring prominently in serious accidents and incidents, current top tier driver coaching solutions attribute to a significant decrease of human and/or material damages. This means fewer days lost, no insurance premium hikes, executive liability claims or risk of failure to fill orders, missed deadlines and lost contracts. Also: a company that is known for its positive safety culture gets access to a broader, better motivated talent pool.

2. Uncompromised productivity

In 2019 an Erim Europe study showed drivers that scored “high on prevention” (i.e. presenting a safer, more disciplined driver behavior), made as much as 60% less mistakes. A growing number of studies presenting similar results are rapidly debunking the no longer justifiable notions of “fast equals a higher productivity”. Same goes for the common but faulty premise that there has to be a trade-off between speed and accuracy trade. .

3. Real-time feedback for real-time adjustments

Knowing precisely when you’re doing something wrong is a first and crucial step towards changing bad or unsafe habits. As a forklift operator, getting instant and real-time feedback of out-of-tolerance driving, generally leads to real-time adjustment and overall improvement of said behavior.

4. Unbiased data that benefits all stakeholders

Real-time and continuous monitoring of individual driver behavior accumulates an exhaustive, fact based body of data. This data can feed into personalized coaching strategies. It also supports supervisors, HR as well as the drivers themselves with unbiased performance evaluation or incident analysis.

5. Effortless savings on energy

Eco-driving is often a major and valuable by-product of safe and disciplined driver behavior. It stands for a sustainable and energy efficient use of fuel/electric powered motorized vehicles. A 20% or higher energy efficiency being far from exceptional. Recently Rombit’s Digital Driver Coach solution showed every forklift on a logistics site saving an average of €2.361/$2.510 in energy costs. Yearly. Additionally this supports the efforts in reducing scope 2 emissions.

6. Less wear and tear on man and machine

The better the forklift operator behavior, the less wear and tear on tires and other vehicle components. This means less downtime for repairs and less need for spare part usage. Some top tier driver behavior solutions have the capability of registering potholes, bumps and other uneven driving surfaces. Additionally they may expose badly designed loading docks or improper dock leveller/loading ramp discipline. This will prompt remedial action while reducing wear and tear on vehicle as well as driver.

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