Training new drivers can be time-consuming and expensive, especially if your fleet makes deliveries along routes that change frequently or chauffeurs passengers to and from highly-regulated areas with complicated roadways, like airports or ports of call.
Chris Boynton is no stranger to this challenge. As the Operations Manager at Dolphin Transportation — a luxury ground transportation company serving southwest Florida — Boynton hired and trained roughly 20 new drivers during their peak season this winter.
Thankfully,Dolphin Transportation had just installed Samsara dash cams. Leveraging Samsara’s hyperlapse feature, which allows you to request an entire hour of footage from your dash cam and review it in just two minutes, Boynton created a video library of complicated routes. This eliminated the need for time-consuming ride-alongs and enabled him to train new drivers three times faster.
How to train new drivers faster using Samsara’s hyperlapse feature:
Set up geofences around challenging areas
Download hyperlapse videos of complicated routes
Create a library of training videos
1. Set up geofences around challenging areas
One particular destination that proved challenging for Boynton’s drivers was the Port of the Everglades.
“I had some drivers coming back and telling me they were getting yelled at by the Port Authority because they were going the wrong direction,” said Boynton. “Depending on what day you go there, you have to take different routes. Sometimes you have to go down around the propane tanks. Sometimes they’re loading fuel, and you have to go a different direction.”
Since they had just installed Samsara dash cams, Boynton realized he could leverage Samsara to set up a geofence alert around the Port of the Everglades. That way, the next time a veteran driver completed the complicated Port of the Everglades route, he would be notified and could request a hyperlapse video of the entire route. (Another way to quickly get this information without creating a recurring alert is to do a proximity search.)
2. Download hyperlapse videos for complicated routes
“We were able to watch the driver go in, watch the people in the port waving the bus off in the left-hand direction, and watch the bus go off in that direction, down around the fuel tanks and then back around to pick up where all the cruise ships are,” said Boynton.
After that, Boynton set up geofences for other complicated destinations, including the Port of Miami and Tampa International Airport, where taking the correct route is important due to vehicle height limitations.
“I set up geofences around all these places that take 2-3 hours to get to so that once I know the vehicle is in that location, I’ll download the hyperlapse video,” said Boynton. “We’re able to see just exactly how the driver went in, what route they took, and what areas they had to avoid.”
3. Create a library of training videos
Once Boynton downloaded the footage of complicated routes, he created a library of training videos for new drivers.
“Now I have a training DVD that I can hand out to everybody and say, ‘Hey, when you guys go to the Port of the Everglades, check these videos out. There are two video files; one is for when you have to go around the tanks, one is for when you don't,’” said Boynton. “It's become a huge time saver.”
In fact, Boynton said that it now only takes about 1 week to train a new driver, whereas it used to take 3 weeks.
“Before we had Samsara, we would train drivers by sending them out with another driver to run the routes. It would take three weeks to get people really proficient,” said Boynton. “Who’s got the time — especially when you’ve got a busy season — to spend all that extra time on training when you need your guys out on the road?”
Now, after new drivers complete local training, Boynton simply sits down with them in the office and goes through a few key hyperlapse videos, coaching them on which highways to take and which turns to make. He also made all of the hyperlapse videos available in an online library, so drivers can rewatch routes on demand.
Boynton said using hyperlapse videos for new driver training has not only saved time, but also reduced customer complaints thanks to safer driving.
“I don't think that I would ever want to go back to the way that it was,” said Boynton. “Samsara has empowered us to see things the way that they need to be seen.”
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