Choosing the Best ELD Training Method for Your Fleet
Using an electronic logging device (ELD) can be a challenge for even the most experienced drivers, no matter how many years they’ve been on the road. Whether it stems from apprehension towards new technology or adjusting to process changes, a calculated training program helps reduce anxiety and smooth the learning curve for a better driver experience.
From onboarding new team members to refreshing current ones, training programs are essential for ensuring drivers stay compliant and comfortable with their tools. And since most fleet training programs are similar and scalable, implementation is generally simple regardless of your fleet's sizes.
How to Find the Right Fleet ELD Training Program
There are several options when it comes to training programs for fleets. Determining your path is step one, and while there’s no right or wrong answer, some programs are more impactful than others. Fleet training program options include:
- Live/in-person sessions with hands-on training
- Virtual training through webinars, videos, or other media
- Hybrid programs blending in-person and virtual training
So how do you find the best fit for your fleet? Many factors are involved with this decision. Here are some to consider:
A hands-on approach is hard to beat in terms of interactive opportunities and immediate responses to trainee questions. In-person training and ride-alongs may follow a day in the life of a driver or various walk-through scenarios with the ELD device. In-person training is ideal for checking in with drivers along the way as trainers observe firsthand how trainees interact with their new devices and offer instant corrective measures or retraining.
In-person training is especially helpful for onboarding new drivers since it covers many subjects before they ever hit the road. Paired with Driver Training, it creates a holistic approach with more opportunities for feedback. In-person training also enables veteran drivers to participate in the education of new drivers and provide insights based on years of driving experience.
While in-person training offers many advantages, there are significant logistical and time commitments required such as building a crew of team members dedicated to creating, maintaining, and leading the program(s). It takes time and effort to schedule sessions based on class size and whether your fleet has enough space to meet. Transporting drivers to and from your depot or office may pose a scheduling challenge as open shifts need to be filled or worked around.
Over the last several years, the world has become more comfortable and familiar with virtual training. The top benefit of virtual training is its ability to be implemented anywhere. Since materials are delivered virtually through Zoom, video, or other media, drivers don’t need to be in an office or shop environment for training, removing many logistical barriers.
Virtual training is also an easy way to send updates on process or system changes through videos and materials that can be tailored to fit your drivers' needs, making training more accessible. Learning management software companies such as Luma Brighter Learning offer custom training solutions designed to engage, educate, and empower drivers with the knowledge they need for a better experience.
In terms of drawbacks to virtual training, specific skills and programs may be needed to develop virtual training materials, meaning a significant financial investment or additional training for your team. And while the lack of real-time driver feedback may require additional follow-up, it can be used to improve the training material over time.
The blended learning approach combines the best of both worlds. For example, a driver who takes an online course to learn the basics of a topic may later attend an in-person class for hands-on ELD practice and in-person access to a trainer. Virtual technology also makes it easy to remotely share real-time videos with drivers and answer their questions instantly regardless of their locations.
Some drivers will prefer one style over the other, so a blended approach enables you to provide training in the ways they like to learn. A blended learning approach requires coordination and effort to plan, create, and schedule sessions while ensuring your materials are up to date, but it also delivers a larger return on your investment by offering multiple training methods and greater flexibility to your program.
Finding the Right Fit for Your Fleet
Although each training approach requires a notable time and maintenance commitment, keeping your drivers updated and confident in their ELD skills goes a long way in supporting your fleet’s compliance and driver retention. Ensuring your team makes the most of their ELDs also drives daily task efficiency while revealing the insights needed to improve your operations. Whether you choose in-person, virtual, or blended learning, implementing an ELD training program offers both immediate and long-term benefits for your fleet.
How can Platform Science help?
As an industry leader in fleet management software and telematics, Platform Science provides 24/7 access to a team of experts dedicated to training customers on how to use their ELDs and software tools. We offer a wide range of blended learning options, as well, including driver-focused and portal videos, live virtual training sessions, an ELD simulator, a “train-the-trainer” model, and collaborations with Luma Brighter Learning. In the near future, we’ll also be providing access to interactive online training through our friends at CarriersEdge, so stay tuned for more ways to keep your drivers ahead of the learning curve.