Is Training Required For Every New Vehicle
Is training required for every new vehicle your company obtains? That is a question the training department gets asked any time a new vehicle or piece of equipment arrives on the property.
Lets look at the procedure and concerns that may develop.
You must consider the law under Due Diligence for your area. When considering training on new vechicles such as buses or trucks, you have to consider whether the new unit is similar to ones already operated by your employees. Is it radically different? Are there features that would require some instruction before they would be used safely or efficiently? Would training make the employees job easier, more comfortable, or safer?
Answering these types of questions will not only determine if training is required, but what type of training would be most suitable.
Take into consideration that with todays Due Diligence laws in most regions, if a situation occurs where there is large property damage, injury or worse, the company, supervisors, and trainers may all be held accountable. Everyone benefits from adequate training and information, saving time and costs in the long run.
Training For A New Vehicle
. As mentioned in the section Instructor Update, you have gathered information on a new model vehicle that your company has obtained or is about to purchase and bring into operation.
Assessing your informational material will help you decide whether training is required, and if it is what kind of training or information you have to compile.
Brochure or Handout
Often all that is required is a brochure or information handout to be given to all the employees that will operater your new unit. If the new vehicle is the same as those they are already driving only with some special added features, you may only have to produce one of these.
Take the time to produce a professional looking package, in colour, with pictures and illustrations. Use eye catching layouts to emphasize important and informational material. If you put time and effort into making material worthwhile, employees that should use it are more likely to find its importance worthwhile of their time.
Making your handouts pocket size will often ensure they are kept and referred to as necessary. Remember, drivers out on the road often don't have a whole lot of carrying space for large sized printouts or books.
Never use pages and pages of plain old 8 1/2 x 11 paper with black text. These are a recipe destined straight to the garbage can within a few minutes.
Static Demo / Display
Another useful technique relating to new buses, trucks or equipment is to park it in a convenient area, usually near the front door, and provide a static display. Here a training person would be present to answer questions and point out any unique items or special features. The length of the display would depend on your workforce schedule and procedures. It may have to be available over several days back to back, or random throughout the week, or even be made available for night shift workers.
You may want to combine the static display and provide your brochures or handouts at this time. Let operators have a hands on experience. Start it up, use the controls, and see how it fits, is all part of the procedure.
"Can I take if for a drive?" is often asked at such a static display. You can decline nicely by pointing out that after consultation with other company members that was determined to be unnecessary. It is very similar to units already operated with only minor differences. Also the static display is situated and must remain at the location to ensure the maximum number of operators get to participate.
Demo Drive or Test Drive With Instruction
This would be the case if the new unit has major differences from those already on the property and used daily by employees. For example, if your company only has 40ft. straight coaches, and they obtain articulated 60ft. models that bend in the middle, a familarization drive is probably a good idea.
The length of the drive should be enough to get 'the feel' for the vehicle in various traffic situations. The number of employees and time constraints will dedicate a balance sufficient to be satisfactory for all. It should not take longer than twenty to thirty minutes for experienced operators to become sufficiently familar with most new units.