How to Train Delivery Drivers?

The best way for businesses to instruct new drivers or long haul truck drivers is by training them first. The delivery driver training program is essential as it helps amateur drivers in gaining confidence before they go on the road.

In addition to being confident, your drivers will be more efficient, handle uncertainties better, be able to provide great customer service and be better at their jobs.

In this delivery driver training checklist, we have covered a process that more or less all delivery companies follow while training delivery drivers. If not, all these tips are really easy to integrate into your existing training programs.

A Guide Followed by Most Delivery Businesses: 

  1. Customer Service Training

    customer service training

    As the last link between the clients and their customers, delivery drivers need to understand the importance of delivering last-mile products. 

    Delivery drivers need to treat the route and the customers like their own in order to provide excellent customer service. 

    Having this approach will the drivers be more particular and take up ownership for each delivery task they carry out. 

    When drivers act simply as a messenger between the last-mile delivery business and its customers, they are not really helping anyone. 

    So, the first step of delivery driver training must include a demonstration on taking up responsibility and accountability while offering excellent customer service.

  2. Software Training

    The delivery management software used by companies will always differ. So the new drivers will definitely need a hands-on training to understand the delivery software better.

    Your internal route optimization tool must be easy to use for your delivery drivers or courier drivers. Many delivery businesses have a handheld device given out to their drivers for GPS and location tracking.

    The best software to have is something that doesn’t require hardware support and can be operated using the driver’s mobile phone.

    It is not enough that the software is used for optimizing routes correctly, it must allow you to:

    • Schedule deliveries for months in advance;
    • Navigate using platforms like Google Maps or Apple Maps;
    • Send delivery notifications to customers using SMS or email; and
    • Record proof of delivery.

    This is where a route planning software like Upper Route Planner helps last mile delivery businesses. It not only provides optimized routes but supports your business in providing a good customer experience and streamlining your delivery processes.

  3. Process & Professionalism Training

    Being a delivery driver is more than just mastering delivery tools, getting into the car, following the GPS, and reaching your destination. Your driver training must help new recruits get into a professional courier’s mindset. 

    Without getting into their role as a professional courier driver, new drivers will end up making serious mistakes. Often these mistakes get in the way of providing excellent customer service.

    So, it is better to help them prepare for time-consuming mistakes or situations that will end tampering the efficiency of the delivery process.

    The best way to do this is by helping new recruits be and act like professional couriers.

  4. Health & Safety Training

    health and safety training

    When it comes to educating drivers about health and safety, we definitely have something to learn from UPS driver training program. 

    During their first month at UPS, drivers are expected to undergo several safety evaluations. UPS said it invests more than $200 million annually in driver safety training. UPS gives its workers the tools and training required to make decisions that positively impact their health and safety.

    Some external condition cautions to look after:

    • Look out for slippery or dangerous road conditions. Adjust your driving according to the road conditions you face.
    • Slowing down when you encounter hazardous road conditions will allow you to identify and react safely.
    • Use extra caution when driving at night or in fog, heavy rain, or snow.
    • Use headlights after sunset or at the time when visibility is 1000 feet or less.
    • Be aware of slower moving vehicles. Trucks on hills must be kept in close consideration.
    • Remember, if you cannot see a truck’s mirrors, the truck driver cannot see you.
    • Be alert for motorcycles overtaking your vehicle.
    • Be aware of pedestrians and cyclists around you.
  5. Defensive Driving

    defensive driving training

    Defensive driving is more like an extension to the health and safety training.

    Motor vehicle crashes are common. It leads to employers paying huge amounts of money. Due to traffic incidents, delivery businesses are often exposed to liability risks and legal expenses, not to mention time loss, drop in productivity rate, and increased workers’ compensation rates.

    Some basic tips to follow:

    1. Look well ahead to anticipate the next move of vehicles on the road.
    2. Use your peripheral vision to be aware of any blind spots.
    3. Slow your speed at an intersection.
    4. Have plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
    5. Minimize all distractions.

    A defensive driving training helps:

    • Reduce risk of motor vehicle collisions and traffic violations;
    • Minimize exposure to liability risks and legal costs;
    • Reduce insurance premiums and workers’ compensation claims;
    • Lower vehicle repair bills and replacement expenses;
    • Protect drivers and business operations.
  6. Order Load And Unload Training

    One of the most significant mistakes that can have long-lasting effects on a driver’s route is simply how they load their delivery vehicles. It can significantly delay deliveries.

    It may sound like a pretty straight-forward task but the way a driver loads his vehicle can have an effect on the overall delivery route.

    The biggest mistakes drivers make is loading their vehicles without consulting the optimized route. By doing this, the drivers are only increasing the amount of time it takes to finish a stop. 

    When packages are arranged without checking the optimized route, the drivers waste a lot of time rummaging through the packages in the back of the truck.

    One of our clients, David Greensmith, Founder of Essential Meal Delivery instructs his teams to prepare the meal packages and load them in the vehicle according to their position on the route. 

    By doing this, David can ensure that the drivers do not waste time looking for the right meal package and the meal stays fresh by the time it reaches the intended customer. 

  7. Most drivers are used to navigating routes using an outdated GPS navigation system or something with limitations of its own.

    A professional courier knows how street addresses work. While looking for a specific address, they can figure out what side of the street they’re on, and find their stop quickly.

    But even without a good navigation system, your drivers must be aware of navigating around a locality using some common tips. This is where they can develop the mindset of a professional courier. 

    But having an efficient routing system like Upper Route Planner at their disposal will help a lot. Upper Route Planner will not only help you with planning routes, but helps drivers with navigation, stores notes regarding each delivery, and is able to provide other details related to delivery like customer information and delivery instruction. This makes navigation and delivery easier. 

CTA image

Upper Route Planner

A Simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about.

  • Save up to 95% of planning time
  • Save up to 40% of time on the road
  • Plan 500 stops at once

No credit card details required

Tips from Some of the Most Successful Delivery Drivers

A list of tips from an actual driver to help professional drivers avoid subtle but significant mistakes.

  1. A general rule of thumb – right turns are always preferable to left turns. The risks for getting into an accident increased with left turns as compared to right turns.
  2. It really helps to learn how different areas are laid out. 
  3. A good workout could be had by running or jogging from the car to the customer’s door and it gets it there that much quicker. Just be careful not to trip and if you do, try to make sure the package survives.
  4. Stuck outside an apartment complex or gated area with no way in? Usually just waiting in the leasing office parking lot for a little bit will do the trick as someone goes in or out of the complex.
  5. Don’t be afraid to call your customer and let them know if their order is running behind. A lot of customers prefer hearing “Hello sir, I’m XXX from XXX and I was just calling to let you know that we got a little behind with orders tonight but yours just went out and should be there real soon, alright?” over not hearing anything until you get to the door.
  6. Odd and even numbered buildings and houses are on opposite sides of each other. This is the case 99% of the time. Sometimes some developer will do something ridiculous like build an even numbered building on the odd side. Bring a flashlight for night shifts, it helps out alot!
  7. In cities, NEVER park in a pay lot, they will boot you no matter what. Find visitor parking or park in a fire lane. Always put your hazards on and make sure you have a car topper or something that proves you’re not parking illegally. If you get a parking ticket, pay it or contest it, don’t forget about it!
  8. Always look for a call box for apartment complexes or lofts. You can search up the customer’s and they can buzz you in. Try to avoid sneaking into complexes and often call up just in case they are paranoid about unwanted visitors.
  9. If you need a credit card slip filled out, don’t say “just sign here”, because some people will take that literally and stiff you. Always say, “fill it out”. For cash orders that need change, ask “How much change do you need back?”, not “Do you need change?”, because they’ll laugh at you and be offended.
  10. DRIVE SAFELY! Delivery drivers aren’t ambulances or police cars!
  11. Have your phone charged and working at all times. Don’t be afraid to call a customer to get info. Watch out for your minutes if you aren’t using a company phone. It can add up quickly.

Benefits of Delivery Driver Training Program

The delivery driver training process benefits are as follows:

  1. Reduces risk fatalities and crashes
  2. Teaches your drivers to be safe
  3. Reduced compliance costs
  4. Improves communication with team and customers
  5. Boosts driver confidence
  6. Improves driver accountability
CTA image

Upper Route Planner

A Simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about.

  • Save up to 95% of planning time
  • Save up to 40% of time on the road
  • Plan 500 stops at once

No credit card details required

FAQ

Yes, delivery drivers need training on the job as it helps them be more confident about the work they are doing. It also helps them prepare for difficult situations that may or may not arise while on the road. Professional driver training is just a way to set new drivers up for success and put them in a better position to do their jobs.

To become a good delivery driver, you must:

  • Be accurate and give attention to details
  • Try to be quick in order to be efficient
  • Polish your communication skills
  • Learn customer service tricks
  • Know your localities and how to get around them quickly

Here are some of the best driver safety tips:

  1. Be present and aware
  2. Lock the vehicle and carry the keys when delivering
  3. Carry a limited amount of cash
  4. Consider installing a camera on the dashboard
  5. Carry a physical map, torch, and a way to reach out to colleagues in case of an emergency.

Conclusion

Like most industries, the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the last-mile delivery company. It has brought in quite a few ways in which delivery operations have changed and become more difficult to manage, partly because of the increased demand. 

The level of delivery training knowledge will be the same, with just some additional inputs regarding making deliveries during the pandemic. 

Last-mile delivery businesses must look at training as a continuous process. Delivery training courses shouldn’t stop after orientation. It needs to be built upon. UPS does very similarly in terms of delivery driver training.

The most effective way to get the best results is to incorporate e-Learning and online training with on-the-job and ride-along-style training.

Delivery management platforms like Upper Route Planner can help immensely in making driver training and driver jobs easier. 

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.

https://www.upperinc.com/guides/delivery-driver-training/