January 7, 2022

Fleet Driver Selection Tips

Truck drivers are the heart and soul of every fleet. With that in mind, when recruiting drivers, you need to be careful. Every fleet manager

Fleet Driver Selection Tips

Truck drivers are the heart and soul of every fleet. With that in mind, when recruiting drivers, you need to be careful. Every fleet manager has the responsibility to find the best candidates, so it is crucial to think long and hard before deciding. To help you out in the process, here are some fleet driver selection tips.

Why do we need to be selective when choosing truck drivers?

Let's first discuss the reason for top-quality drivers. COVID-19 has left a mark on Canada's trucking industry, and there is a hole that needs to be filled. Furthermore, the ELD mandate of Canada is getting closer, which means there will be some radical changes in the industry. We need a solid base to support all trucking companies, and the only way to do it is with the help of passionate and qualified truckers.

Drivers with experience are a good choice

Picking an experienced driver is almost always the best approach. They know the business, and you don't have to worry about your vehicle because it is in safe hands. However, keep in mind that there are multiple reasons why a trucker might want to change companies. We have mentioned that many businesses had to close because of COVID-19. But that is not the only reason why someone is unemployed. Reckless drivers will often get fired, so make sure to investigate the applicant's background. The safety of your entire fleet depends on it.

With that in mind, you need to collect all the background information from every applicant:

  • their driving history and experience;
  • what equipment they know how to use;
  • previous job;
  • the number of miles driven;
  • accidents and criminal records;

Should you hire inexperienced truckers?

Trucking is a great career choice in Canada, and that is a window of opportunity for people looking for a job. Many ex-pats are moving to Canada in search of a career opportunity, and the trucking industry is a good choice for them. With that said, you should have an open mind when interviewing truckers with no experience. There is a system to follow that can help you determine whether the person is suitable for the job or not.

What are the top qualities of a good truck driver?

Other industries are looking for truckers, too. For example, the moving industry, storage and warehouse companies, etc., also need drivers. The competition is fierce, but the number of drivers is limited. Everyone will try to pick the best for themselves, and you need to do that too. We spoke with multiple companies to hear their opinion about the top qualities of a good truck driver, and the employees of Discount Moving & Storage in Ottawa thinks that a good driver should be:

  • reliable;
  • skilled drivers, but they should also possess mechanical and stress management skills;
  • honest;
  • alert;
  • courteous;
  • self-dependent;
  • fit enough to endure hours of sitting behind the wheel;

Experience is always a plus, but they believe that an honest person with a desire and drive to build a career can also be a good choice.

Follow these steps when considering truckers for your business

One of the most critical fleet driver selection tips is to have a system that allows you to evaluate applicants correctly. Here are a couple of simple steps you should incorporate in the hiring process.

Have every driver fill in an application form

We spoke earlier about acquiring information about the previous experiences of a truck driver. The best way to do it is through an application form. Think about all the things that might be of interest, and make it a requirement for all applicants to give their honest answers.

A 1-on-1 interview

Speaking with a driver in an interview is simply a must. You have to look at the person in their eyes and see for yourself if they feel like a good choice. Trust your instincts.

Prepare a written test

If you want to make sure that every driver in your fleet understands traffic regulations, and has the general knowledge about driving awareness, prepare a written test. After they speak with you, let them take the test and use the results to get a complete picture of the person.

Check their references

If you are interviewing an experienced trucker who already worked for other companies, ask to see their references. Make sure to contact their previous managers and talk about the applicant. You need to verify they are qualified for the job.

Driver license check

It is absolutely imperative to verify their driver's license. Do not accept any photocard licenses. This step will tell you if they had any previous criminal records, show the license category, and many other things.

Job training and certification

If your company offers job training and certification, it is a good idea to mention that or even make it a requirement. All drivers need to maintain their level of skills, and mandatory training every couple of months is a good idea. Make sure they understand that and that they comply. Another benefit of this step is that it will attract hard-working drivers to your business.

A driving test

If you wish to evaluate the skills of your applicants further, you should conduct a driving test. Get them on the road and see how they perform. This is one of the most efficient fleet driver selection tips.

A medical examination

Before you finally offer the job to an applicant, they must undergo a medical examination. You need to make sure they are physically fit for the job and their reflexes and eyesight are good.

Follow these fleet driver selection tips, and you will find perfect candidates

You should look at these fleet driver selection tips as best practice guidelines for finding quality drivers. The selection process needs to be tough and challenging because that's the only way to find truckers with potential. Best of luck!