Errors to Avoid While Hiring Truck Drivers

Hiring truck drivers is an essential step for any company. It is critical to do a thorough job of screening candidates and making sure they are qualified for the position.

If careless, you can make several mistakes when hiring a truck driver. These mistakes can cause you to lose money and expose your business to legal problems.

Hiring the Wrong Person

An expensive and time-consuming error is making the wrong hire. It can also indirectly affect team culture, productivity, and client relationships.

Good truck driver recruiters know recruiting the right people is crucial to success. It means hiring people who are a good fit for your organization, can do the job well, and will be committed to working with you long-term.

Recruiting from within the organization can be intelligent because they already know your company and are likelier to stay with you. However, finding qualified drivers from the outside can be challenging.

Creating a compelling job posting is one way to ensure you’re getting quality drivers. It can include crafting a solid story about your company and how it’s different from the competition. It can also involve detailing the qualifications and experience you’re looking for in a driver.

Not Conducting a Background Check

Hiring unqualified drivers can be a considerable risk to your business. They can cause serious accidents, injury to others and even death.

Background checks help you avoid these risks by identifying drivers with a history of driving recklessly or breaking the law. It protects you from negligent hiring lawsuits and makes your company legally compliant.

Not Conducting a Drug Test

While you may feel that drug testing is a hassle, it’s essential to keeping your company and your employees safe. It’s the only way to ensure your drivers don’t abuse drugs or alcohol while on the road.

Drivers who fail a pre-employment or random drug test must complete an evaluation and substance abuse program (SAP) before they can work for your company again. They also need to be tested at random throughout their employment.

Not Conducting a Vehicle Inspection

Whether it’s the owner or an employee, a vehicle inspection must be completed before using a vehicle for work. It ensures that a vehicle is in good working condition, so drivers and their passengers can be safe while traveling.

If a vehicle fails a safety inspection, it must be repaired before being used on the road. It can save time, money, and the lives of everyone on the road.

Not Conducting a Medical Exam

A medical exam is a crucial part of the hiring process. It includes a thorough check of your vision and hearing, as well as checking for blood pressure and a urine test.

DOT regulations state that only a doctor listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners can perform a medical examination. That list includes licensed physicians, advanced practice nurses, doctors of osteopathy, chiropractors and physician assistants.

Failing to Conduct Driver Training

When hiring truck drivers, it’s essential to make sure they are well-trained. Experts say drivers need to learn about traffic rules, how to back up a vehicle, and how to drive safely.

But drivers can be put through training that could be more thorough, according to research and drivers’ representatives. Industry researchers and drivers’ representatives said some trainers need to be more trained and may need only six months of experience before preparing a new driver.

Many drivers also spend weeks of their time unpaid waiting for trainers to arrive. Industry researchers and drivers’ representatives say that can cut into their paychecks.

The Department of Driver Services has strict regulations about what a driver must know and do to get a license. Hence, drivers’ representatives and lawyers call companies to improve their training programs. They’re also pushing for changes in how driver-training costs are repaid.

Failing to Offer Compensation

Drivers are likelier to stay with your company if you compensate them for their work. It can include an hourly pay rate, a bonus for completing certain miles, or other incentives to motivate them.

Truck drivers who refuse to drive in violation of federal safety regulations, hours-of-service rules, or unsafe driving conditions are protected by laws against retaliation. 

Failing to Conduct a Background Check

A background check can be vital to your business, proving that your drivers have the licenses and training needed for their jobs. However, it can also lead to severe problems if you conduct it improperly.

A trucking company needs to screen applicants carefully and thoroughly. Failure to do so can lead to legal issues, poor hires and a waste of money.

Employers must do background checks on prospective new drivers under laws enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These screenings include driving record and medical history checks, employment verification, and drug and alcohol tests.

These background checks can reveal various information, including convictions for reckless driving and DUIs, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal sexual assault and more. Many of these offenses are disqualifying.

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