Hired hands

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The difficulty of recruiting professional drivers during the ongoing driver shortage combined with the escalating costs of driver training is pushing more private fleets to consider driver leasing. But placing company trucks and products in hired hands requires a careful selection strategy.

You start by asking the right questions, suggests Tracy Jobe, founder and President of In Transit Personnel Inc., a recognized and established driver service in Ontario, and provides this list of things you need to know when interviewing prospective driver services:

1. How do they screen their candidates?

2. What kind of file management system do they use?

3. Do they remit the required employee and employer payroll source deductions?

4. When they say they provide a 24-hour service, do they really mean it or is it just someone who answers the phone?

5. Who are their current clients?

6. What is their retention rate of drivers?

7. What is their accident and injury history?

8. Do they provide a health plan and occupational and safety program for their drivers?

9. Do they get a Workers’ Compensation rebate or surcharge?

10. Have they ever been audited by Revenue Canada? Or Workers’ Compensation?

11. What additional training do they provide- for instance: pre- and post-trip inspections, dangerous goods training, hours-of-work training, upgrading for air brakes or any of the Ministry of Transportation legislative changes?

12. Do they test the drivers on required skills?

Lastly, Jobe warns: “What about their Commercial Vehicle Operators Registry (CVOR)? Their insurance premiums? You can get demerit points and jeopardize your livelihood as a private fleet operator if your vehicles are involved in collisions. It doesn’t matter whether it is a company driver or an agency driver, what you do to fulfill your driver needs requires careful examination, while what you want is a professional, who is going to show up ready to go, who can make deliveries on time and keep your operation uninterrupted.”

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