Finding and keeping qualified HGV drivers remains a major challenge for the haulage industry.
Current estimates put the shortage at around 50,000 to 60,000 drivers. The shortfall is expected to increase, with some predictions suggesting that this figure will rise to 150,000 by 2020. With the average age of an HGV driver around 55, and only 2% of drivers aged 25 or under, this statistic is hardly surprising. The cost of training is at the top of the list of reasons why the industry is failing to attract new blood. Work life balance and poor facilities are also cited as contributors towards this negative impression.
Driver welfare is a critical success factor for any haulage business.
If you employ drivers it is in your best interest not to overlook their wellbeing. When your drivers feel safe, happy and engaged with their job the result will be improved performance and an increase in staff retention.
One of the key aspects of driver welfare is safety. Ensuring your drivers get adequate rest and that they receive regular training on how to keep themselves and other road users safe is essential.
Many factors contribute towards creating a safer environment for drivers, often small but practical changes that can have significant impact. An example of a simple application that makes the driver’s life easier and safer is the installation of scene lights. These LED lights fitted externally to the rear of the cab protect the drivers if they are working on their trucks at night.
The ability to keep in touch whilst on the road is another crucial aspect of improving driver safety and wellbeing. Access to technology to locate service stations, safe places to park or to call for roadside assistance in an emergency provide reassurance and peace of mind. Whilst the provision of mobile devices is essential for communication and reducing isolation, systems must be in place to prevent the driver from using the device while driving.
Spending long periods on the road makes it difficult to access creature comforts. Fitting appliances, including microwaves and fridges can help and can make it easier for the driver to access healthier food options.
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Most risks can be reduced by being able to see clearer. The types of lighting that can installed to improve driver welfare include:
- Scene lights – LED lights fitted to the rear exterior of the truck cab to enable the driver to work safely at the rear of the cab
- Puddle lights – LED lights fitted under the door that switch on automatically when the door is unlocked or opened. Puddle lights illuminate the ground by the vehicle so that the driver can see what they are stepping into when leaving the vehicle
The ability to stay connected safely and securely in the fast paced, “always on, always connected”, 21st century is vital. We can install a range of quality communications equipment including:-
- Fixed Mobile Phones
- Interactive Phone Cradles
- Screens and Tablets
- Fitting of vehicle catwalks
Eating and Drinking
- Appliance installation – from kettles and coffee machines to satellite TV
- Fridge installation
- Microwave installation
- Power Inverter Installation
A power inverter is an electronic device or circuitry that changes direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).
Installation of a power inverter provides more flexibility with the type of equipment you can use on the road. First step is to consider what equipment/appliances you want to run through the power inverter. Once this is know we can calculate the amount of power that the inverter will need to handle.
The location of the power inverter also needs careful consideration. If you want to use appliances or equipment inside the vehicle then the power inverter will need to be installed in the cab. It can be fitted under a seat, mounted to the floor or under the dashboard. Once we know the make and model of your vehicle and the amount of power required we can advise on the most appropriate location.
We safeguard 100% compliance with vehicle manufacturer’s specifications by ensuring that the power inverter wiring circuitry does not impair or impact on existing wiring in any way.
- Additional Battery
When you consider that the primary purpose of a vehicle is to move from A to B the last scenario your driver wants to experience is a flat battery! Installing an additional battery ensures that the applications and appliances that have been fitted to improve driver welfare can run off the battery when the vehicle is stationery. Even if the battery loses all power there is a back up to get the vehicle started.