Recently TransRep was hired by L3 Driver Training Solutions to do some strategic marketing and assist in raising their brand awareness. During our research at the early stages we learned just how helpful embracing simulation could be for recruiting people into our industry.
When we think about the next generation of drivers we think of technology, our next generation wants, needs and embraces technology. When you think of the thousands of dollars we as an industry invest in advertising, marketing and promoting our industry why would we not consider using simulators to attract people. Smart companies are already doing it. Without mentioning names during our research at TransRep we learned that companies are doing exactly that to recruit drivers.
One long time senior executive told me it was their secret sauce for recruiting new and existing drivers. Possible new hires get a tour with their interview which includes being introduced to the simulator. They ask if they have ever been on a simulator and they put them on it. They talk to them about their company’s commitment to safety and technology and how the simulator is used with all drivers to make them a safer driver. The simulator plays a major role in marketing their award-winning company.
The other thing we as an industry need to do is get the government and industry stakeholders to buy-in that simulation should count as training hours for entry level drivers attending truck training schools. One could promote that it is a safer alternative to putting the greenhorns out too early with the general public and other road users. Spending 4-8 hours in advance of hitting the road could be a very valuable alternative and some already using simulation training arsenal for entry level drivers claim they get a better driver. Makes sense to me.
How about the wear and tear on the trucks and trailers? If you’re in the business, you know how the equipment gets beat up in the early stages of a students training. As an industry we need to consider new ways to recruit and retain our most valuable asset, the professional driver. With the average cost of bringing on a driver in the 8-10k range and the ongoing investment of education for the drivers why wouldn’t you consider looking at simulation as a recruiting and training tool?