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Getting A Positive Return On Driver Training


This month, CRST announced that in addition to its biggest increase in driver pay ever, it’s also spending $25 million to train drivers.  That’s a huge investment.  But, will they get a positive return on driver training?


It reminds me of Ringo Starr’s hit, It Don’t Come Easy, where he sings, “You gotta pay the dues if you want to sing the blues.”  CRST is paying some pretty steep dues, which are certainly beyond the budgets of all but the mightiest carriers.  Why?  Because competition for good drivers remains fierce.

Many carriers are now mining deeper and deeper into the applicant pool in search of CDL drivers.  They’re beginning to accept drivers who have little or no experience.  This strategy is ripe for disaster, unless they make a corresponding investment in driver training.  In fact, lowering hiring criteria without adding more effective training will have you singing the blues.

Driver training, in these situations, takes on far more importance than ever before.  It’s no longer a check-the-box, cover-your-behind activity.  Applicants fresh out of driving school lack the knowledge and skills needed to perform safely and efficiently.  Simply put, driver training better lead to meaningful learning outcomes.  Otherwise, those additional drivers will just create additional accidents, injuries, citations and problems.

Most carriers don’t have a $25 million budget.  Nor do they have instructional design expertise and professional media production capabilities needed to create effective curriculum for their drivers.  Instead, they rely on old videos, homemade Power Points and unstructured on-the-job training.  All boring.  All ineffectual. And, in this new world, all very expensive because they don’t work.

This is our world.  We focus on transportation safety and operational excellence.  We have incredible instructional designers and we produce the very best adult education and training materials in the world.  We recently launched the best professional driver curriculum ever produced.  Yes, we’re bragging.  But here’s what a few trucking executives had to say at our gala premiere night:

"Imagine getting drivers excited about safety training!  You’re sitting on a gold mine!!  If Avatar sold stock, I’d be buying it.”
-Dot Frey, Director of Safety & Compliance, General Transport.

“I’ve sat through a lot of driver orientations and they’re boring.  I hate to admit that, but they are.  This should spice it up for the drivers and I feel they’ll learn more.  I like the way they went about it.”
-Jerry Carlton, Chief Executive Officer & President, AWL Transport.

“One of the most entertaining videos I’ve watched.  I like the different and comedic approach. It’s not as dry as what we’re showing now.  It’ll keep drivers’ attention and keep them entertained. That’s the goal, keep them engaged and entertained. I’m going to ensure that my drivers see this so they drive safer.”
-Travis Hobart, Safety & Recruiting, Berner Trucking

“It’s an attention-getter and the industry is full of same ole’, same ole’ – people will respond to this.”
Jeremy Rayl, Chief Executive Officer, J Rayl Transport

“Definitely entertaining. We’ve used [other] videos in the past.  It will definitely keep the drivers more entertained than the other videos.  Nobody likes them, everyone hates to watch them.  If we can entertain them and educate them at the same time, it’s a win-win.  It’s entertaining and a great production.”
-Jeff Thomas, President, Thomas Transport.

The course includes 16 modules covering a wide range of vital subjects.  They’re delivered by The A-Fleet, a team of five colorful and entertaining presenters. Just adding these self-directed modules to your existing driver orientation will make a big difference to your business outcomes.  And, ambitious forward-thinking companies will also want to implement the comprehensive skills-based training exercises and behind-the-wheel training and certification that come with the kit.

Why not spend three minutes and watch just a few clips for yourself.  Or, order your own free copy of Federal Regulations & Hours Of Service module.  You can judge for yourself if our claims are true.  To contradict Ringo, sometimes it does come easy. Preparing your new drivers with The Professional Safe Driver Course is as easy as it gets.

Mark G. Gardner
Chief Executive Officer
Avatar Management Services, Inc
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