Atripco takes a proactive approach to driver training with help from CarriersEdge

Atripco takes a proactive approach to driver training with help from CarriersEdge

Atripco continues to provide drivers with training courses to help them stay informed.

“Nothing is Impossible” is the motto for Atripco Delivery Service. And it’s held true: for more than 50 years, the Toronto-based company has made the complexities of providing same day, courier, final mile, and other transportation services easy for its customers in the greater Toronto and Calgary markets.

Founded in 1970 by Ivan Service, what began as a small same day rush delivery service and overnight courier in the Toronto area, has grown into a full-service local transportation provider that employs more than 300 people.

“We’re a third-generation family-operated and owned business and we take pride in what we do,” said Lindsay Service, who serves as vice president of sales and administration for Atripco and is Ivan’s granddaughter. “Customer service is our top priority. We work hard to foster great relationships with our customers and to find solutions for their unique delivery needs.”  

As Atripco has grown, in part to the recent boom in e-commerce, the company has added additional equipment and drivers to its fleet to keep up with demand. Atripco operates nearly 60 vehicles which include medium and heavy-duty temperature-controlled and dry van box trucks, tractors and delivery vans. Atripco works with a wide range of customers, including professional service and e-commerce companies to healthcare providers needing dedicated freight services.

As a 24/7 service provider, keeping vehicles on the road, and making on-time deliveries to customers is vital to its operation. To help keep operations running smoothly, Atripco regularly services its vehicles and follows a structured driver training program to educate its drivers with the skills and information they need to operate their vehicles safely.

A new approach to fleet safety

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In 2019, the company transformed its fleet safety program to create a more formalized approach to its driver onboarding and training program. According to Service, the growing number of drivers made it difficult to effectively manage its safety programs. To help, Atripco added CarriersEdge, a provider of online driver training to assist with the delivery and consistency of training courses for G, DZ and AZ Class drivers.

During driver onboarding, Atripco uses CarriersEdge to deliver new drivers with training courses on topics such as hours of service, load securement, pre- and post-trip inspection, defensive driving and more. Nearly 200 full-length orientation, refresher, remedial and standalone knowledge tests are available through CarriersEdge’s monthly subscription. Since CarriersEdge’s courses can be completed on any internet-connected device, Atripco makes it flexible for drivers to work on assigned courses and review internal documents on their own time before meeting in-person for the next stages of orientation.

“The CarriersEdge course library is full of modules that are useful to our drivers and our operation,” Service said. “The courses are interactive and informative, and since we pay monthly for the service, it’s easy to add or remove drivers from our account.”

Once drivers complete training courses, drivers will perform road tests and go on “ride-alongs” to learn their route among other orientation-related tasks. According to Service, many of Atripco’s customers have specific protocols drivers need to follow when making deliveries, so the ride-along drives help the drivers become familiar with the companies it has contracts with.

Continuous driver education

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As drivers progress in their careers with Atripco, the company continues to provide drivers with training courses to help them stay informed on regulation changes and to ensure drivers receive a refresh on driving skills and information they need to perform their job safely.

While Atripco initially added CarriersEdge to deliver training content to drivers during the onboarding phase, the company has found CarriersEdge’s refresher and remedial training courses useful in streamlining their ongoing driver training program.

“With CarriersEdge, we’ve gone from being reactive to proactive in our approach to continual driver education,” Service said. “Before using online training courses, we would address driver-related incidents as they happened. With CarriersEdge, we can provide drivers with information that can help prevent incidents from happening without it being disruptive to our operation.”

Atripco assigns drivers with CarriersEdge courses on a regular basis on topics that help educate drivers on skills behind the wheel as well as daily tasks associated with in-city driving. For example, in late summer when kids are preparing to go back to school, Atripco drivers will complete a defensive driving course that is focused on helping drivers prepare for driving in busy school zones. When winter approaches, drivers will take a course on winter driving to help refresh their driving skills in difficult driving conditions.

Monitoring driving behavior

When a poor driving incident does occur, such as a hard braking event, Atripco captures it through its truck’s Isaac ELD scorecards or dashcams. With that information, the company can determine whether remedial training is needed to address the incident or to help improve a driving skill.

“The combination of driver safety technologies we use helps us stay informed on the performance of our drivers and take action to correct problematic incidents,” said Mary Murphy, general manager for Atripco.

When Atripco assigns CarriersEdge courses for drivers to complete, the company engages administrative staff to follow up and runs weekly reports for Atripco safety managers. The reports are an overview of the courses individual drivers have been assigned, driver progress in the courses and more.

“These reports make it easy for us to see exactly where drivers are with the training they’ve been assigned and whether they’ve completed and passed them or not. It helps us stay organized,” Murphy said. “If we notice a driver is having trouble with a course or they didn’t complete it in time, we’re able to work with the driver on it.”

After making continual driver education a top priority in its driver safety program, Murphy has noticed a significant reduction in maintenance and repair costs, in part due to the education drivers now receive on vehicle inspection.

“Since we began assigning refresher training courses on vehicle inspection, we’ve received more reports from drivers on issues they find with their trucks,” said Murphy. “This allows us to deal with the issue before it becomes a greater problem. As a result, we’ve reduced maintenance costs plus it helps keep our trucks on the road, making deliveries.”

With a more formalized and proactive approach to its driver training program, Service is more confident in where the company is now with its overall safety program.

“With online training, providing drivers with the education they need to perform their jobs safely is easy,” she said. “CarriersEdge has made it simple for us to track the completion of courses we assign through the reports we receive. We feel confident in the event we ever need to pull training records to show proof our drivers are receiving the education they should be.”

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