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How to Manage Driver Fatigue with Your Drivers

If you own or manage a fleet of trucks, then you can see trends across your fleet or company that impact efficiency and safety. One of the most detrimental factors is tiredness, and driver fatigue can cause even more dangerous situations in winter. While individual drivers can make choices that reduce dangers, the incentives often aren't there. Here's how to make systemic changes across your fleet to reduce driver fatigue and danger.
  • Change scheduling and routes when and where you can. Planning routes from a central office is becoming more and more common, especially because it means greater efficiency for large companies. Make sure you're creating routes along major highways instead of smaller country roads when you can. Not only do major highways have more truck stops so your drivers can better plan stops and avoid overcrowded locations, the larger road systems are usually safer: they tend to have better lighting, more areas to pull over, and grooved edges that jolt drivers awake and make them more aware that they need to pull over instead of fighting through the fatigue. If you have control over scheduling hours, schedule drives (or encourage individual drivers) to avoid the pre-dawn hours of two to five when people are at their sleepiest.
  • Make driver fatigue a topic of discussion. There's an industry-wide taboo about letting fatigue get in the way. Many drivers don't want to bring it up in the concern it will make them ineligible for longer trips or because of the stigma. So find ways to make drivers feel comfortable stopping instead of pushing to drive: this can include anything from encouraging breaks, teaching drivers signs of driver fatigue and treating it like a legitimate concern, and asking drivers for feedback about routes that are too long or increase fatigue the most.

Managing a fleet means taking a lot of different factors into consideration to keep the operation both profitable and safe. Go to JRuble & Sons Trucks Sales for more information on how to keep your drivers safer.

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