Compliant driving involves more than merely obeying the law – it embodies the practical considerations compliance regulations intend to support.

You have to scale the Ladder of Compliance before you can climb into the cab of your truck.

There are four rungs to the ladder: driver safety, driving rules, organizational requirements, and best practices. In some cases, your truck won’t go anywhere until you’ve satisfied these conditions.

Let’s take a closer look.

Driver Safety

Due to its unquestionable importance, driver safety is the first rung on the Ladder of Compliance. The good news is that your company likely addressed many of these conditions before you saddled up for the day. Perhaps your fleet utilizes an in-cab driver coach or some other tool that provides driver instruction and feedback based on telematics-generated data. If so, this resource will be ready and waiting for you the moment you climb in.

Driver training and professional development contribute significantly to driver safety, as do preventive maintenance and vehicle safety features. By design, your regimen already embodies the benefits of these measures.

Combine these items with an unwavering focus on the road and a strict adherence to traffic laws and you are on your way up the ladder.

Driving Rules

Like it or not, if you are driving a commercial truck, you are bound by driving rules and safety mandates. In the US, the AOBRD-ELD conversion mandate is just around the corner, coming into effect on December 16, 2019. In the EU, you have been utilizing smart tachographs per Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 since June.

Save yourself a headache (and possibly a bunch of money in fines): Hit that next rung on the Ladder of Compliance with a thorough knowledge of driving regulations. Drivers, commit to making them a part of your personal driving habit, and fleet managers, weave them into your larger fleet management matrix.

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Organizational Requirements

Once everyone is safe and observant of driving rules, it’s time to do some business. In theory, every delivery or service visit bolsters a company’s bottom line. In the same way, every excess mile avoided, and every superfluous piece of paper saved also bolsters the balance sheet.

Profit comes both from sales and from savings, and there are plenty of tools out there to help improve your operation. Dispatch software helps fleet managers direct their fleets along the most efficient routes. Mobility software provides full-fleet visibility and real-time communication and driver reports via the Cloud. Business intelligence software arms you with the actionable data needed to make confident decisions.

Consider too that profit is often connected directly to human resources, so if you don’t love the idea of organizational requirements, try to view them instead as job security.

Best Practices

While regulators and organizational leaders invest extensive research into mandates and directives, combining those protocols often inadvertently dilutes best practices.

This is the final rung on the Ladder of Compliance.

Despite being bound to a canon of requirements that have evolved from existing regulatory measures, drivers and dispatchers have to deal with important day-to-day choices – choices of efficiency, scale, vigor and intensity. Industry best practices should govern and guide each of these decisions for optimum efficiency. Fleet managers can get ahead of the ball on implementing compliance measures rather than waiting until the last minute. Drivers can embrace new daily habits. These practices will help fleets save money and move trucks more quickly as the industry realizes a “new normal.”

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Issues of compliance sometimes get a bad rap. Realizing that the rules are there to protect drivers and their jobs can sometimes help in swallowing an otherwise bitter pill. Drink it down with the sweet knowledge that choices do still remain – and these choices demand responsibility and a solid knowledge of industry best practices.

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