Since service truck drivers face many safety risks on a daily basis, it’s important not to overlook truck safety as a vital part of your business operations.
However, in addition to being important on the job, service truck safety is also important when loading, unloading and driving the service truck around town. In this article, you’ll find great advice on the top service truck safety procedure tweaks and pack-along tools to help:
- Reinforce the bottom line
- Prevent costly vehicle repairs
- Protect your workers and community
- Increase the reliability of your service trucks
Why Service Truck Safety Has the Power to Save Your Business
Service truck safety might not immediately sound like something with the potential to save your business.
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. Plus, customers will see your reliability as an edge to keep coming back.
1. Embrace New Truck Safety Technology
New service truck safety technologies allow companies to outfit their trucks with many automated collision avoidance measures. The following features can help ensure your service employees arrive home safely after every shift:
- Speed limiters
- Proximity alerts
- Lane departure
- GPS location monitoring
- Forward collision warnings
- Rear and blindspot cameras
- Automatic emergency braking
A 2021 legislation requires all new vehicles to have advanced driver’s assistance systems.
In fact, these lifesaving technologies could prevent 2 out of 5 accidents with large trucks rear-ending vehicles.
2. Develop a Preventative Maintenance Schedule
Regular maintenance is a must on any service truck. After all, you want your employees out there helping clients, not stuck on the side of the road, digging around under the hood.
Take a look at a few maintenance items you should consider scheduling in advance:
- Oil checks
- Change fluids
- New batteries
- Brake inspections
Also, be sure to regularly check tire wear. Remember, tires are the only thing between your employees and the road. Only 11% of drivers properly inflate their tires. As a result, this leads to uneven wear and safety hazards, as well as wasted gas.
Keeping drivers safe while on the road is paramount, and each service truck is the lifeblood of your revenue stream. Keep them well maintained so you’re never left without a vehicle.
3. Pack Road Safety Tools for Each 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 employees loading and unloading their trucks. Luckily, there are 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 every service truck:
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 vehicle.
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 vehicle.
Safety triangles are a simple life-saving device that are simple to store, 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.
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.”
In February 2022 drivers were 30% more distracted than they were in February 2020.
To make matters worse, 71% 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.
However, there’s a point when attempting to regain lost time due to weather or traffic that could verge on recklessness. Remember, you’re the leader of your fleet. You make the rules.
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’ll need to extend that trust to those operating your trucks.
Give some consideration to the unpredictability of road conditions that your team will face on a daily basis. Ensure that dispatchers and office staff give techs extra time between appointments to reach their next destination.
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, to help send alerts to 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
- A simple maintenance schedule to follow for your fleet
- How all of this can increase customer satisfaction and your bottom line
- Easy to pack safety equipment that should be in each of your service trucks
- Procedure and mindset tweaks to capitalize on safety and consistency across your business
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!