Pleasing everyone is never easy. Not in everyday life and not in worker safety. Priorities may differ between management and workers, or even between management and HSEQ. So it’s always invigorating to find that rare solution that benefits all stakeholders. Rombit’s forklift Driver Coaching is such a solution. Or rather, it can be, if done correctly. 

Speeding, lane crossing, sudden accelerations and braking, sharp turns … . Improper on-site driver behavior can severely impact multiple key facets of your organization. Obviously it increases the risk of accidents resulting in injuries, damages to vehicle or material. Additionally there’s the wear-and-tear on machines, higher insurance premiums, fuel-inefficiency and plenty of other factors that negatively affect your overall safety culture, productivity and ultimately your bottom line.  

Industry-regulations impose driver certification, with courses and checks that focus on skills and good driver behavior. This is without a doubt a solid and necessary foundation. Nevertheless, experience and statistics show a need for extra, regular or possibly continuous,  driver training and coaching. 

That is why in this article we will …

  • … briefly explore and compare ‘classic’ and ‘modern’ driver coaching,
  • list the multiple ways a top tier modern driver coaching can contribute, and 
  • explore who benefits, and how. 

Driver training, then and now

Traditionally driver coaching and training centers on knowledge and skills. These elements still stand. In fact, modern driver coaching greatly improves the efficiency in acquiring, reinforcing and assimilating said knowledge and skills. And just as important: it also helps keeping them relevant. 

But at the same time, the best tier driver coaching goes beyond pure knowledge and skills. Mostly by providing actual data of individual driver’s safety performance. On the one hand this data is used to enhance coaching efficiency, while on the other hand the drivers receive real-time feedback on their performance. 

Modern driver training or more fittingly, driver coaching, expands upon the human experience and interaction, by adopting specialized and customized technologies in a complete efficient solution. 

Modern driver coaching checklist

What to look out for when considering an upgrade/update for your driver training? 

  • Individual profile analyses of drivers across all equipment. 
  • Real-time and historical analysis of non-eco, dangerous and out-of-tolerance driving.  
  • All data is automatically and continuously uploaded and stored in real-time. 
  • Human coaching incorporating this data and analysis in a personalized guidance process.  
  • Instant feedback with alerts for unsafe or other inappropriate driver behavior for that specific driver. 
  • Easy retrofit installation, supporting all types and brands of equipment.  

When done right, the enhancement of the classic training with intelligent data application should benefit all of the following stakeholders: 

Management benefits because:

  • Less accidents and improved productivity.  
  • Less maintenance requirements, because within-tolerance driving means a decrease in repair costs and vehicles out of operation. Added bonus: a longer residual life.
  • A safe and appropriate driving style can lead to fuel and energy savings of up to 25%. Simultaneously a step towards environmental/sustainability goals.  
  • An overall lower cost of ownership.

“As a progressive and innovative company, Wolftech has opted to improve the driving behavior of our staff and to keep the level of damages under control. Since the roll-out of Rombit Driver Behavior, we have seen a cost reduction of 70%.”

— Kris Lambrecht, Managing Director, Wolftech

HSEQ benefits because:

  • Coaching works towards regulatory compliance. 
  • Safe and disciplined driver behavior means less accidents. 
  • It allows for a higher overall safety and creates/nurtures a safety culture.
  • The collected and objective data supports unbiased and fact-based individual evaluations. 
  • This feeds into personal coaching capabilities.

“At Schrauwen, we have around 30 forklifts that are continuously on the move. At the end of each day, we want to ensure that our operations were completed safely and efficiently. It is therefore essential we get honest, neutral feedback to offer our drivers qualitative coaching.”

— Tom Van Molle, Prevention Officer, Schrauwen

Driver benefits because:

  • They see a continuous improvement of their driver skills through real-time feedback and data-driven personized coaching. 
  • Any and every individual evaluation is based on and supported by objective data. 

Human Resources benefits because:

  • Human Resources also greatly appreciates the advantage gained from the objective, data-driven individual evaluations. 
  • Which feeds into those improved, more efficient personal coaching capabilities. 

So while it often is a tough challenge to get a win-win, the best driver coaching might just provide you with that rarest of unicorns: a win-win-win-win.

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