truck

5 Ways to Improve Service Truck Safety

Service truck drivers face many safety risks during the course of the day. Not just on the job, but also when loading, unloading and driving the service truck around town. This is why it’s important to not overlook truck safety as a vital part of your business operations.

In this article, you’ll find great advice on procedure tweaks and pack along tools that will help:

  • Protect your workers and your community.
  • Increase the reliability of your service trucks.
  • Help prevent costly vehicle repairs.
  • And reinforce your bottom line!

Why Service Truck Safety Has the Power to Save Your Business

Service truck safety might not immediately sound like something that has the potential to save your business. Much like an umbrella doesn’t seem necessary on a sunny day.

But as they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

If you focus on safety, maintenance, and prevention, you’ll find that your service trucks remain far more reliable year after year.

Your service employees will have the tools they need to stay safe when out in the field. And your customers will see your reliability as an edge to keep calling you with their business.

1. Embrace New Service Truck Safety Technology

New truck safety technologies allow companies to outfit their service trucks with many automated collision avoidance measures. The following features can help ensure your service employees arrive home safely after every shift:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Forward Collision Warnings
  • Speed Limiters
  • Proximity Alerts
  • Lane Departure
  • Rear & Blindspot Cameras
  • GPS Location Monitoring

Recent legislation introduced in 2021 will require all new vehicles to have advanced drivers assistance systems. In a press release applauding this new legislation, the Truck Safety Coalition writes, “These innovative technologies… could prevent more than 2 out of 5 crashes in which a large truck rear-ends another vehicle.”

2. Service Truck Preventative Maintenance Schedule

Regular maintenance is a must on your service trucks. You want your service employees out there helping clients, not stuck on the side of the road, digging around under the hood.

“Regularly schedule in advance when to change fluids, change batteries or check on the oil,” writes Matt Farnham for PlumberMag.com. “Fleet maintenance is incredibly important and conducting maintenance properly and frequently can be the difference between your company making money one day and losing money the next.”

Also, be sure to regularly check tire wear, and schedule a professional mechanic for routine brake maintenance. Plan on having someone out to inspect the brakes on your service truck fleet every three months. “This scheduled maintenance could be the difference between having to simply pay for new brake pads or having to pay thousands to fix shot rotors and calipers,” adds Farnham.

Keeping drivers safe while on the road is paramount. But we know that your service trucks are the lifeblood of your revenue stream. Keep them well maintained so you’re never left without a vehicle.

3. Pack Road Safety Tools in Each Service Truck

It’s not always clear where your service truck will park when arriving at a job. Many service locations present less-than-desirable road conditions. This might leave your service employees at the mercy of oncoming traffic or distracted drivers.

Tight, winding roads with blind turns can be disastrous for service employees loading and unloading their service truck. Luckily, there’s a few easy-to-stow truck safety options to help alert other drivers of your vehicle up ahead.

Pack these common road safety tools in each of your service trucks:

Safety Lights for Trucks

Loading up a service truck after dark can be dangerous without proper illumination.

If you find your service employees parking in high traffic areas, it may help to pack rechargeable flashing amber safety lights. You can stick them on any metal surface on your service truck.

These are especially useful in the winter months when the sun sets early and your worker may be out on a call after sunset.

Flashing amber warning lights can be used in a pinch to keep drivers aware that there is someone working in or around your parked service truck.

Truck Safety Triangles

These simple life-saving devices are easy to break down and store, and easy to assemble and place along the road.

Your insurance may already require that you carry warning devices that meet DOT standard FMVSS 571.125 specifications. Luckily, you can find plenty of DOT-approved options on Amazon.

Safety Flags for Trucks

Another easy-to-pack truck safety tool is a set of red or orange high-visibility safety flags. These can be staked into the ground, added to your truck safety triangles, or even hung out your driver’s and passenger windows.

The idea is to draw as much attention as you can to your service truck parked along the road. This saves lives, and helps protect your staff and equipment.

4. Discourage Distracted Driving

Screens have invaded nearly all parts of our lives. We use them for work, play, communication and commerce. Your drivers will likely use GPS navigation as a normal part of their day.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration stresses, “Do not engage in distracted driving! Avoid typing or entering addresses or information into the navigation system while driving.”

To make matters worse, 71 percent of fatal crashes involving large trucks and cars occur due to distracted drivers.

Be sure to create and communicate your screen-use policy when operating a service truck. Verbalize how you wish to have your drivers input information and calculate routes before putting their service truck in gear.

5. Preach Punctuality. To a Point.

We all want to arrive at appointments on time. As a business owner, you expect your service employees to not keep your clients waiting.

But there’s a point when attempting to regain lost time due to weather or traffic that could verge on recklessness. You’re the leader of your fleet. You make the rules.

And while it’s important to foster trust with your clients that you’ll be where you say you’ll be at the agreed time. You also need to extend that trust to those operating your service trucks.

Give some consideration to the unpredictability of road conditions that your service employees will face on a daily basis. Ensure that dispatchers and office staff give techs extra time between appointments to reach their next destination.

And in a pinch, let your service truck drivers make the call that’s right for their situation. Extend that consideration and trust and you’ll see an overall increase in safe driving, and decreased stress in your drivers.

Also, consider using a field management software, like FieldEdge, that can help send alerts to your clients when your technicians are on their way. Plus, FieldEdge’s dispatch board helps dispatchers streamline job schedules for each technician. This tool can ensure that techs have plenty of time to get from job to job!

Keep track of your employees, streamline your everyday operations, and minimize stress – THAT’s the power of FieldEdge. See what FieldEdge can do for your service business, and schedule a FREE demo today!

The Best Service Truck Safety Procedures Can SAVE Your Business

Safety will always be more than a few trinkets packed in the trunk or gizmos installed under the hood. Safety is a mindset that starts with genuine consideration for the wellbeing of your staff and the community as a whole.

In this article, we covered:

  • Emerging service truck safety technologies.
  • Easy to pack safety equipment that should be in each of your service trucks.
  • A simple maintenance schedule to follow for your fleet.
  • Procedure and mindset tweaks to capitalize on safety and consistency across your business.
  • How all of this can increase customer satisfaction and your bottom line!

We’re all in the business of bettering people’s lives, and not just our paying clients. Extend that courtesy to your service employees, fellow motorists and pedestrians. You’ll find that consideration may just come back in the form of new clients, good word of mouth, higher employee retention and a stronger bottom line!


Related: Your 4-Step Field Service Business Emergency Plan


Want to get updates about the latest content, industry news and business tips? Sign up to receive our emails!