Tips to conduct a great road test

Comprehensive road tests offer one of the best tools to evaluate an applicant’s technical skills and driving behaviors. But the process involves more than ensuring the truck driver completes the journey. Let’s check some tips to improve this process. 

Create a trusting environment

Before a road test begins, it is important to take some time over a coffee to get to know a job candidate better. This helps break down psychological barriers and establish a sense of trust that will help better gauge the driver’s character, skills, and attitude.

Check the attention to detail

After the candidate has done a circle check, he or she can be measured in the fleet yard. Having a driver couple a tractor to the trailer offers the chance to monitor their attention to details, such as ensuring that the fifth wheel’s jaws have properly closed around the king pin.

Look at what they see

Once you’re on the highway, start a conversation about family, friends, and social activities. Ask questions about the number, location, and even color of vehicles to their left, right or in front of the truck at any moment. And how often are they looking at their mirrors?

Drivers should be seen following the Smith System of Driving’s five key rules. Looking far ahead, expanding their visual field, keeping their eyes moving, ensuring they are seen and predictable, and ensuring they don’t leave themselves boxed in without an escape.

Ask drivers to tell you what they can’t do

The things a driver avoids are just as important as what they do. As they move through an urban environment, can they identify signs that prohibit trucks from entering specific streets? Do they know how to identify routes that cannot accommodate heavy vehicles?

Watch how they behave

Calm drivers are safe drivers. Is a candidate aggressive in their maneuvers and braking? Do they seem aggravated when someone cuts them off or drives too slowly in front of them?

Back up observations

Several skills and approaches can be observed by asking a driver to back into a space or loading dock. Does the candidate get out and look (GOAL)? Back up smoothly and at a low speed? Do they demonstrate patience – especially if they have to repeat the maneuver?

More than anything else, the candidate should love driving. Any person who loves his/her job does it well. Driving a truck or a car is good employment for those who do not want to work within the confines of an office. These are some of the best ways in which you can hire drivers for your fleet of vehicles.

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