By Seth Clevenger
This story appears in the May 27 print edition of Transport Topics.
PRINCETON, N.J. — Existing driver training programs can be improved through management software and give carriers an edge in cutting turnover rates, the director of driver training at Maverick Transportation said.
Maverick’s Curt Valkovic said his company has improved retention among driver students after fine-tuning its training program through a partnership with EBE Technologies Inc.
Valkovic said the software company crafted a tool that enables him to monitor the work of students and instructors. It also allows him to more easily manage the curriculum for students with varying levels of experience and those who are learning how to transport different types of freight such as glass or goods requiring temperature control.
“If you’re blessed enough to get [a truck driver] to choose your company, you better do everything in your power to make sure he or she is successful,” Valkovic told attendees of the ALK Transportation Technology Summit here earlier this month.
Student turnover at Maverick has declined to 63% from 75%, he said, because of software that helped tailor the training process for different students with different needs.
Maverick began hiring drivers with fewer than six months of experience in 2005 and currently runs separate classes for those drivers, he said.
“You have to teach completely differently,” he said of the less experienced students.
Valkovic said the EBE software allowed Maverick to save five to six hours a week — time that training staff formerly spent on paperwork and scanning training folders. The program is now paperless except for homework assignments, and even those will move to laptops soon, he said.
Cindy Nelson, vice president of marketing and business development at EBE, said pay and lifestyle aren’t the only reasons drivers leave fleets.
According to surveys and conversations with drivers and carriers, Nelson said, the most common reason for drivers moving on is that they don’t feel they’re being treated fairly — or with respect... Continue reading.