One of the best ways in which you can show your truck drivers that you appreciate them and are invested in their satisfaction? By devoting resources and time into their success through driver safety training.

To get you started, we’ve come up with 12 truck driver safety training topics that fleets need to teach. As always, consider the needs of your drivers and lesson timing required (we suggest more frequent training).

→ Download Now: Six Questions to Ask When Implementing Driver Training

12 truck driver safety training topics fleets need to teach

Inexperienced drivers

If you’re hiring someone out of school or with less than a year’s experience, consider assigning these lessons.

  • Driver Qualifications
  • Driver Wellness
  • Hours of Service
  • Hours of Service — No Sleeper
  • Whistleblower Protection

Experienced drivers

You should use a different training plan for drivers with years of experience. However, remember that experience alone may mean bad habits. Focusing on specific skills and new regulatory updates stops complaints about “basic” training.

  • Month 1: CSA Overview
  • Month 2: GHS / Hazard Communication
  • Month 3: Roadside Inspections
  • Month 4: Hours of Service
  • Month 5: Air Brakes
  • Month 6: Driver Wellness

Hazmat

For drivers getting ready to get re-certified for Hazmat, the following courses will help prepare them for the test.

  • Hazmat Communication Rules
  • Hazmat Driving and Parking Rules
  • Hazmat Loading and Placarding
  • Hazmat Security Awareness

Speeding violation remediation

Speeding is a symptom of other issues. For new drivers, it may be that they think it’s the way to make more money or they may think truck drivers are allowed to speed. More experienced drivers may be rushed or are trying to get to a stop so they can call home. Either way, take the approach of asking the driver why they were speeding so you can address the root problem.

  • Speed Management Enhanced
  • Space Management
  • CSA Overview
  • Fuel Management
  • Road Rage
  • Rear End Collision Avoidance
  • Driver Distractions
  • Defensive Driving Enhanced
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Trip Planning

Logbook violation remediation

With electronic logs so ingrained in the trucking world now, we’re seeing fewer of these. The problems you see have more to do with either not knowing how to use the equipment or not knowing how to classify time.

  • CSA Overview
  • Hours of Service
  • Logbooks
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Driver Disqualifications

Equipment violation remediation

A malfunctioning or burned-out lamp can be the excuse a trooper needs to pull over a driver and inspect the vehicle. Depending on the nature of the violation, you may want to create a basic group with some of these lessons then assign specific lessons (Flatbeds, Combination Vehicles, etc) to an individual.

  • Pre-Trip Inspection
  • Trip Planning
  • Roadside Inspections
  • DVIR Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections
  • Preventative Maintenance
  • Air Brakes
  • Cargo Securement
  • Coupling/Uncoupling
  • Flatbed Safety
  • Tanker Pre-Trip

Minor accident remediation

“Little” bumps and scrapes in parking lots or loading areas tend to turn safety managers’ hair grey much too early. The root cause of these preventable crashes is typically over-confidence or rushing.

  • Avoiding Fixed Objects
  • Backing and Docking
  • Backing and Docking Enhanced
  • Driver Distractions
  • Trailer Loading and Unloading

Warehouse

For any driver who walks through warehouses — which is nearly all drivers —injury prevention training courses reinforce the “head on a swivel” habit.

  • Workplace Awareness
  • Safe Lifting Driver
  • Safe Operation of Manual Pallet Jacks
  • Back Injury Prevention
  • Lift Gate Safety
  • Trailer Loading/Unloading

We also have a few forklift lessons. Although they do not meet the qualifications for a forklift license. they serve as a good refresher.

  • Forklift Fundamentals
  • Forklift Operations
  • Forklift Propane and Battery Replacement

Medium-duty truck

For drivers without a CDL or for those moving from heavy-duty trucks to medium-duty trucks and commercial fleets, specific training should be required. The following lessons are made for drivers of medium-duty trucks and can be found under the medium-duty truck lesson category.

  • Avoiding Fixed Objects
  • Backing and Docking
  • Communication
  • Defensive Driving
  • Driver Distractions
  • Hazard Awareness
  • Lift Gate Safety
  • Night Driving
  • Seat Belts
  • Space Management
  • Speed Management
  • Visual Search
  • Winter Driving

Tanker

Tanker training is needed to ensure drivers are aware of the safety implications. Such training can help stop events like tanker truck rollovers.

  • Tanker PPE
  • Tanker Pre-Trip
  • Tanker Rollovers

Regulations and rules

Regulations aren’t fun but they help both new and experienced drivers understand why things are done a certain way. Training on rules and regulations can go a long way toward eliminating gripes.

  • Accident Procedures
  • CDL Basics
  • CSA Overview
  • Customs Security Awareness
  • Driver Disqualifications
  • Driver Qualifications
  • Environment
  • Hours of Service
  • Hours of Service — No Sleeper
  • Logbooks
  • Roadside Inspections
  • Whistle Blower Protection

Orientation

Putting all drivers through training courses before they hit the road helps establish a fleet’s commitment to safety and performance. New driver orientation is not a replacement for in-person training and equipment familiarization but can dramatically reduce the amount of time, cost and hours needed to on-board new employees.

Training is an investment in driver satisfaction

Safety training for trucking companies is one of many ways in which drivers can realize they’re appreciated. Additionally, such an investment keeps your company much safer from negative events while at the same time protecting drivers and the community at large.

Driver training is worth the investment. After all, you can’t really beat satisfied and qualified drivers at the helm of your fleet.

You know which topics to cover in driver training. The next step is to download our guide, Six Questions to Ask When Implementing Driver Training, to learn about evaluating driver training against your fleet’s needs.   

Curious as to the questions you should be asking when looking to implement driver training? Download our guide and find out!


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