2 min read

How Technology Can Enable Drivers & Lead to Better Compensation

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If you introduce new technology to drivers without explaining its benefit, it’s a safe bet to assume most will resist. Think of a driver with millions of miles under their belt and no accidents told they now have an in-cab dash cam.

But, if you take the time to explain the tech, how the dash cam can make a great driver even better, you’ll see an easier transition.

We speak with Dominic Covello, Regional Transportation Manager at Quikrete, about new technologies and how it can offset the increased cost of driver compensation.

Join us as we discuss:

  • An overview of technology being used recently
  • Making great drivers better with an in-cab dash cam
  • How industry driver compensation is improving & customer service
  • Suggestions for decision makers

An overview of technology being used recently

For any trucker on the road, safety is always a top concern. And is exactly why, over the past few years, Quikrete has invested in the latest safety technologies in the trucking industry. A few of the many technologies include:

  1. Lane departure
  2. Collision mitigation
  3. Adaptive cruise control

Since the addition of these technologies, Dominic has seen quite the difference.

“We've seen significant decreases in the number of accidents and the severity of accidents with all these technologies in place for our drivers.”

— Dominic Covello

 

Making great drivers better with an in-cab dash cam

There’s one technology, however, that has stood out from the pack: The in-cab dash camera. 

For Dominic, while he considers the other technology as tools for the driver, the dash cam is a full system; giving him the ability to review on-the-road footage with each driver and the opportunity to help these drivers grow throughout their careers.

“We're able to develop behaviors, hone in on exact training measures that we need with specific individuals that may not be uniform across the board, and create a better more defensive driving force.”

— Dominic Covello

 

Pushback from drivers

Change always has the potential to be difficult. And with the introduction of in-cab dash cams, it wasn’t a surprise that initial feedback wasn’t the best. For experienced drivers with little to no accidents, it didn’t make sense that the dash cam was necessary. 

However, with one to two years of data, Dominic explains that those hesitant drivers began to see the benefits:

  1. Exonerated drivers involved with collisions due to dash cam.
  2. Ability to help rectify bad behaviors that drivers aren’t aware of.
  3. Helping the less experienced drivers grow much faster.

 

“You have to treat drivers like you would want to be treated yourself. Let them know the big picture, show them the end results.”

— Dominic Covello

 

How industry driver compensation is improving & customer service

40 to 50 years ago, truck driving was an honest living that people sought after, according to Dominic. However, over the past two decades, the trend has gone in the opposite direction — In part due to poor compensation. 

Better compensation for drivers, however, usually leads to increased rates that negatively impact shippers. Dominic’s solution: Using an incentive program that provides a safety bonus to the top performing drivers that are saving the company money in other ways. 

 

Technology & customer service 

While the drivers are benefiting from the new tech, the benefits go well beyond safety improvements. Dominic shares some examples:

  1. Using their ELD provider, they’ve been able to draw geo fences all across the country.
  2. Partnering with their operations team, they’ve measured dwell time in order to increase productivity. 

“There's ways that we can fight a lot of these increased costs on the market by looking at our margins differently and improving our operations by leveraging these technologies.”

— Dominic Covello

 

Suggestions for decision makers 

If Dominic could give any advice to decision makers such as the FMCSA, it would be this: Recognizing the differences between local and over-the-road drivers. 

A local driver’s off duty time will be much different than a driver who’s in a sleeper berth most nights of the week. Setting different parameters for each can help set both kinds of drivers up for success and safety. 


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