As a business owner, you know just how important it is to protect yourself, your employees, and your business from harm and scandal. As a construction worker, you know just how perilous a construction site can be for workers and visitors alike—that’s why there are so many rules and regulations when it comes to being on a site. But we all know that hard hats and other safety gear are just the beginning when it comes to safety protocols. One way that you can ensure that your business and employees are protected from harm or legal retribution is by hauling materials to and from the site safely. This means that you, as an employer, must maintain a high level of truck safety.
Truck safety is just as important as site safety when it comes to commercial businesses. Whether it be a faulty vehicle or an unqualified driver, if there is any kind of accident that results from poor hauling practices, your business may wind up dealing with someone’s accident attorney. Hauling materials to and from a site is an essential process in construction; therefore, it is essential that you, as a business owner, take the proper steps to employ qualified drivers and safe vehicles for your construction sites.
Truck Safety: The Drivers
One of the two most important ways to maintain safe hauling practices is to ensure that your drivers are trained and qualified to operate commercial vehicles. While pickup trucks, which can be used on construction sites for bringing in materials and carrying out waste, are not typically classified as commercial vehicles and therefore do not require a certified driver’s license (CDL) to operate, many other common vehicles used for hauling materials, such as flatbed trucks, do. However, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the need for a CDL is determined by weight and not just vehicle type. This means that whatever you load onto the vehicle could cause it to weigh enough to require a CDL. For this reason alone, you, as a responsible business owner, should consider hiring drivers who have and maintain a CDL to ensure that they are qualified and trained to haul heavy loads to and from your construction site.
However, if you are struggling to find qualified drivers who already have their CDL, or if you wish to expand your potential employee pool, you might consider taking a page out of several businesses’ book and offering new hires help in obtaining their CDL as a part of the hiring process. This practice may cost a little extra money in the beginning, but it will potentially save you money in the long run by guaranteeing that all of your drivers are trained professionals and can help maintain a safe construction site.
Truck Safety: The Fleet
The second most important way to maintain safe hauling practices for your construction business is to maintain or hire a well-maintained fleet of trucks, commercial or otherwise. By making sure that your qualified drivers are using safe vehicles, you can guarantee a safer construction site for both drivers and workers alike.
If you are a large company, it may make financial sense to own your fleet and conduct your own inspections and maintenance. However, if you are just starting out or a smaller company, renting a fleet from a reliable company can help you have the peace of mind that your drivers are operating safe trucks.
You should conduct extensive research when deciding to rent or own a fleet, taking into consideration how large your construction projects are, how many vehicles you are realistically going to need for your average site, and how much you can budget for both the purchase of the trucks and the maintenance that will go into the upkeep of your fleet (including regular maintenance such as oil changes and insurance).
Once you have decided whether to rent or buy your vehicles, you will have to research which company to use and what type of truck to get. Here, you can utilize other construction business owners in your area by asking them which companies they prefer, as well as reading reviews online and researching for yourself which company and type of truck work best for you.
Owning and operating a construction company and its sites is a rewarding and profitable endeavor. However, it can also be a financially taxing operation should an accident or injury occur. By guaranteeing that you are using safe practices both on and offsite, including your vehicles, you can avoid unnecessary financial and legal woes that could arise due to faulty equipment or reckless driving, operating, and hauling of vehicles and materials. Choosing reliable drivers and trucks can go a long way in providing you as an owner with the peace of mind you need to safely and effectively run your business.