Hello, thank you for checking into this thread.
I am the safety manager for a small trucking company with a fleet of 20 trucks. I am trying to improve our safety and maintenance programs and I believe getting information directly from drivers who are out there every day doing the job is the best way to go about things.
Currently our most common maintenance violations are tires, lights and brakes. Things that would be easily detected on pre and post-trip inspections, but are still being overlooked.
Please help me understand what programs or practices I can put in place to avoid this. What has worked for you in the past? I don't want to just rely on fines, I believe drivers are not children that need to be punished when they do something wrong or make a mistake, they are professionals that I want to work with on the same level.
What can I do to increase participation for pre and post-trip inspections? What can I do to make sure they are thoroughly done? What does a driver need in order to be properly motivated to perform one?
Thank you in advance for your advice, I look forward to talking to you all as the thread goes on.
What motivates you to do a thorough pre-trip inspection?
Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by AAABrothersLLC, Jan 30, 2023.
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austinmike and The Railsplitter Thank this.
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DUNE-T Road Train Member
- May 10, 2015
I am an o/o and my biggest motivation is catching something before it breaks on the road, but for drivers there is no motivation, they just don't give a crap about your equipment.runningman0661, Lostmykey, Nostalgic and 15 others Thank this.
buddyd157 Road Train Member
- May 25, 2017
when i first got assigned a tractor AND trailer set up, i went thru BOTH as carefully as i could, that first time.
after that, i was satisfied that i "knew my equipment", and did my usual pre-trips and post trips DAILY/NIGHTLY.
then i'd do a complete full pre-trip maybe a month later.
i'd always catch a light bulb out, or a flat, or at the very least, a nail in a tire.
i was dedicated route, so i had a very good handle on my stuff.Lonesome, bryan21384 and AAABrothersLLC Thank this.
TripleSix God of Roads
- Apr 10, 2009
Have you ever driven a truck for any time period to your contracted customers? If you had, you would know that the number one thing that trucking companies get wrong is the “meat in the seat” mentality. You have the mindset that ALL drivers are equal and you make your company policies according to the stupidest driver on your fleet. Common mistake. Good drivers get treated like and punished right alongside the steeringwheelholder idiots when companies attempt to stupidproof and handhold. Really good for morale, wouldn’t you say?
So, if you reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaalllly want to solve this issue, get rid of the meat in the seat and become a talent scout for your company. How do you recognize T A L E N T in the truckin industry?
@Ridgeline and @gentleroger can help in this aspect.God prefers Diesels, Brettj3876, Accidental Trucker and 14 others Thank this.
fishonron Medium Load Member
- Jul 25, 2017
One company I worked for gave a bonus for passing dot inspections. I think it was $150 for a level 1.The Railsplitter, Lonesome, beastr123 and 2 others Thank this.
You’re not going to motivate lazy people to do things properly.JoeyJunk, 88 Alpha, God prefers Diesels and 19 others Thank this.
Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member
- May 28, 2009
Are your trucks OTR or local? If they're running close to home all day, drivers may not worry too much about broken lights or even a flat/low tire. Also, being paid hourly VS. mileage makes a difference. If I was you, I would be super friendly with my drivers, easy to do with just 20 trucks. Mingle around at beginning of shift, do a few pre-trips with them. Stress the importance of safety. Buy donuts/coffee weekly. Have safety meetings often. Give away a steak dinner now and then, to the most safest driver. Have the other drivers vote !God prefers Diesels, The Railsplitter, Lonesome and 3 others Thank this.
tscottme Road Train Member
- Jul 25, 2008
Not all younger people are lazy, and not all older people are hard workers. But I recently see there is an obvious gigantic difference between the employees being hired of one age group and those from a different age group. SMH
Stereotypes develop for a reason.
JoeyJunk, Snow Hater, Sixela918 and 4 others Thank this.
Thank you all for your inputs so far.
To give a little more information and clarification on our particular operation, our drivers are OTR and they don't usually come through the yard. I do offer bonuses for clean inspections depending on level (Level 3 - $100, Level 2 - $200, Level 1 - $300). Drivers also get paid percentage of the load at 30% of the gross which I believe right now is top of the market. I know there might be one or two more companies that offer more, but I also dispatch with a picture of the rate con straight from the broker, nothing changed. Which not a lot of other companies that pay percentage do.
I know it's impossible to get blood from a stone, but I don't believe any of my drivers are hopeless or lazy or just steering wheel holders. If I didn't think there was a way to get them to be more thorough, they would have been fired already.
I am just looking for advice from drivers on what has worked in the past for them to get them to be more invested in their equipment and not get violations. Even if it was something like bonuses for certain things or something that made it easier to do a pre/post-trip inspections or even just having monthly/weekly calls regarding the company safety scores and procedures (I doubt that last one would be too effective, but I'm just throwing stuff out there). Just anything that you ever came across that made you think "Wow, that's a good idea".
Thank you all again for your information so far, I look forward to reading more.God prefers Diesels, The Railsplitter, rockeee and 3 others Thank this.
201 Road Train Member
- Apr 16, 2014
Well, I'll tell ya', you have one of the toughest jobs in trucking,my friend,,compliance. We, as drivers, never got along with compliance. It was the worst phone call you got. Never good news. I was constantly on the hot seat for violations. I believe the pre-trip inspection must be noted, on OBRs or paper logs, and driver in violation for failure of omitting that, no? I don't think DOT looks too kindly on that, and the DRIVER can get in big trouble. What you describe is nothing new, and those "violations" are a gray area. The driver has other things on their minds, apparently, and trucks have gotten so trouble free, a pre-trip inspection amounts to a "visual", during the day, if at all. If it's not in the drivers view while fueling, it probably won't get noticed. Years ago, we did a pretrip to save our OWN axx, just to make sure it was safe. Today, it's just not an issue, and that's scary. This whole darned industry scares the heck out of me today. I wish you luck.
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