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Overcoming Common Challenges of Truck Driver Training

When done well, training your CDL A truck drivers results in reduced accidents, a more efficient operation, lower cost of loss, and saved lives.

When done poorly, CDL A truck driver training results in logistical headaches, skyrocketing cost of loss, accidents, injuries, compliance issues, court appearances, and fines. It could even cost someone their life.

Truck driver training should be easy, affordable, and guaranteed to result in safer drivers. We’ll show you how in this blog.

Common Challenges in Truck Driver Training

Based on over thirty years’ of experience in developing and implementing truck driver training programs, these are the three biggest challenges you’re likely to face.

Cost vs. Outcomes

The first issue a school or company has in training truck drivers is balancing cost with desired outcomes.

You want to train drivers to prevent accidents, reduce risk, and make trips without any issues. And, especially if you’re training new drivers, you have a whole litany of standards you have to meet.

The problem is, training truck drivers takes time and money. Traditional thinking tells us the more time you spend training truck drivers and thus the more money you spend, the better your training outcomes will be.

We’ll show you later in this blog how that’s not necessarily the case, but even so, it’s difficult to find the “golden ratio” between time/money spent and desired outcomes in truck driver training.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Not everyone learns the same. Thinking back to your time in school, you probably know this to be true. There were those kids who didn’t need to study but could still ace the test. There were also those kids who were failing not because they weren’t smart, but because they couldn’t just sit there and listen. They needed hands-on experience.

This is even more true for adults. The major learning types are kinesthetic (hands-on), auditory (hearing), and visual (watching). It’s a sliding scale, but most people favor one style over the other.

Your challenge as someone training truck drivers is to have a mix of learning opportunities in all of the styles.

Logistical Issues With Hands-On Training

Above, we mentioned that you’ll need to have a mix of kinesthetic, auditory, and visual learning. This is true, but keep in mind that it’s impossible to teach someone how to drive a truck without tons of hands-on practice.

Some challenges arise from this. It seems more time and cost effective to sit everyone down in a classroom for a few days or even a week to go over rules and basic safety principles before heading out to the vehicle.

That’s completely backwards.

You’re actually WASTING time and money doing it that way. And your training won’t have very positive results. But more on that later.

How to Overcome These Challenges

There’s no silver bullet to your truck driver training problem, but there are two tools that can help: a learning management system and a mobile training app.

What’s a Learning Management System?

A learning management system (or LMS) is an online portal that allows your truck drivers to take self-directed learning from any computer or smart device with an internet connection.

Simultaneously, it allows you to track your drivers’ progress, run and store reports, quiz your drivers to ensure they’ve actually learned something, and assign standardized courses all in one place.

This is obvious, but crucial to understand: no one can learn to drive a truck without hands-on practice. Even so, a learning management system is a great way to make your training more efficient. You could completely get rid of the traditional and tired classroom learning by moving the following topics to a learning management for self-directed learning:

We have an online program for CDL truck drivers called A-Fleet. Your subscription includes access to your own custom learning management system. Check out the A-Fleet at this link.

What is a Mobile Training App?

A mobile training app is an application that is accessed by your driver trainers on any smart device. It’s an essential tool for teaching closed course exercises and behind the wheel training to your truck drivers.

Your trainers use a mobile training app to track trainee progress, explain essential skills, show video demonstrations of those skills, video-record trainees’ attempts, and prove that trainees were trained to proficiency.

This provides several crucial benefits:

  • Standardized training the skill explanations and video demonstrations
  • Reduced training time while increasing hands-on learning
  • Lock-tight compliance files on training
  • Improved training outcomes

AvatarFleet has developed the first ever mobile training app specifically made for the transportation industry. Check out Instructor at this link.

How Do These Tools Work Together to Overcome Training Challenges?

Let’s tackle each challenge and see how these tools we just discussed solve it.

Cost vs. Outcomes

As mentioned, both of these tools reduce training time and often result in much better learning outcomes for truck driver training.

As an example, we have an ELDT program that utuilizes both our LMS and the Instructor App. One of our clients on our ELDT program was able to cut their training cycle from 5 weeks to 4 weeks. That saves them thousands of dollars in training per new driver. Best of all, their accidents numbers are going down as well.

That means you can actually save time and money while getting better learning outcomes with these products. 

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Most professionally-produced programs on an LMS will use a combination of videos, photos, graphs, text on screen, quizzes, exercises, and activities to educate your learners. That reaches both auditory and visual learners.

Then, with a mobile training app, you’re able to reach your kinesthetic learners.

These tools work together to ensure every learning style is accounted for and incorporated into your training program.

Logistical Issues With Hands-On Training

We’ve said this a couple of times now: you can’t learn to drive a truck without hands-on practice. A mobile training app makes this process simpler. 

Companies who use mobile training apps enjoy shorter training cycles, improved outcomes, and impenetrable compliance files.

Mobile training apps make hands-on training easier to implement and more effective for the learner.

Don’t Accept Poor Training Results

Training your truck drivers is supposed to result in less accidents, a more efficient company, and better profit margins. It should never cause you headaches, time, or money.

You can use the tools we talked about in this article to shorten training cycles, reduce accidents, and reduce your risk of litigation.

Remember: training truck drivers can be EASY.

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