On June 22nd, 2022, AvatarFleet leaders Scott Rea and Mark G. Gardner discussed recruiting, compliance, training, and nuclear verdicts with Bluewire.
Bluewire is a software company that deploys data analysis in defense of the truck driving industry. AvatarFleet provides software to trucking companies to fill empty seats with safe, high-quality drivers. Together, these industry leaders shared insights into how you can grow your business and reduce your cost of loss.
As Gardner laid out, there are three major concerns plaguing the trucking industry:
These are not new problems. Gardner pointed out that they started all the way back in the 80s with the deregulation of the trucking industry and union busting. For over four decades, the trucking industry has been suffering from what everyone refers to as a trucking shortage. Gardner and Rea don’t like that terminology.
The problem with a shortage is that there’s nothing you can do about it. A single company can’t shift a national supply and demand curve issue. Instead, AvatarFleet and Bluewire think of it as a driver problem.
You have empty seats, unqualified drivers, lawyers digging up dirt for the next billion-dollar lawsuit, and all the while your drivers are causing accidents (and costing you money). There’s good news though. The driver problem, just like most problems, can be solved.
As Scott Rea describes, “There are two types of drivers. Drivers who work for you and drivers who should work for you.”
Of course, it’s difficult to attract, hire, and retain high-quality drivers. This isn’t news. However, you don’t need to throw your hands up and say, “It’s a tough market. Nothing I can do.” You can solve this problem.
Rea describes AvatarFleet’s formula for successful recruiting: pitch, placement, process, and people.
“The pitch is where we start and where we see the big hole in the industry,” Rea says, “and this is where I learned from you Gardner day one. We both subscribe to the purple cow theory.”
The purple cow theory was created by Seth Godin, and it goes like this. If you were driving by a farm and saw a bunch of white cows with black spots, you won’t take much notice. On the other hand, if you saw a purple cow in that field, you’d notice. You’d probably pull over and take a few pictures.
The purple cow stops you in your tracks. That’s what you need to do with advertising. Drivers see dozens of ads every day asking for drivers, and if yours looks like every other company’s ads, you won’t be able to attract more drivers.
If you want to become a purple cow, start with the Google test. Search “truck driving jobs near me.” Find a competitor, read their ad, and think about how similar it is to yours. If you could swap your logo and it wouldn't change a thing, you don’t stand out.
You need to find three claims that differentiate you from the crowd. Lead with those in your advertising and you’ll have more drivers applying.
Scott Rea explains, “There are two flavors out there. There are the big ones – the nuclear verdicts – that get all the press. But then there are the ones playing the numbers game.”
You can see the billboards in every city. “Hurt in a truck wreck? Call now.” And everyone who calls is a money sign to them.
So what do you do when you get the dreaded letter? How do you defend yourself in court? The answer is to not let it get that far in the first place.
Gardner points out that over 90% of lawsuits are attempting to find a leak in your compliance or training processes. Regardless of the cause of the accident, if the plaintiff can prove that the driver was out of compliance or improperly trained, your ship is sunk.
That’s why you need what Rea calls “the wall.” You need an easy way to document your compliance and training in order to show you won’t be an easy case.
Rea says, “Give the plaintiff attorney a wall of documentation that says ‘go pick on someone easier.’”
A-Suite Comply makes it simple to show someone “your wall.” Simply export your DQ files and training, put it in the letter, and send it to the attorney. You probably won’t hear from them again.
In 1990, Gardner was forced into a head-on collision with a dump truck. He was given less than a 1% chance to live. Of course, and luckily for us, he did in fact live. Then, he decided to dedicate the remainder of his life to making the world a safer place.
That is how Avatar Management Services and, subsequently, AvatarFleet were formed.
Our companies care about protecting people, getting your employees home safely, and saving lives. You likely care about that as well, but there are financial incentives to reducing accidents too.
As Gardner says, “Most truck lines spend between 3 and 5 percent on what we call total cost of loss. This is in an industry where a good trucking company makes 8 percent profit and burns 5 percent on accidents.”
You don’t have to accept accidents as the cost of doing business. That’s because accidents are entirely preventable. If you train your drivers to reduce risk and avoid unsafe behaviors, you will have fewer accidents.
Best-in-class companies use the following training cycle to reduce accidents and save hundreds of thousands of dollars in prevented accidents:
Our clients who put this cycle to use receive a massive positive return on their investment in safety training.
Empty seats, unfair lawsuits, and expensive collisions aren’t just the cost of doing business. They’re hampering your ability to grow. Luckily, all of these problems can be solved.
If you invest in proven recruiting, compliance, and training solutions, you can increase profits while becoming an industry leader. It won’t happen overnight, but if you book a meeting here, we can show you where to start.
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