5th Largest Charter Provider in U.S. Charts Course to Safety wtih Motorcoach Safety Training
Bringing together four of the most trusted, independent motorcoach companies in the United States, All Aboard America! Holdings, Inc., based in Lakewood, Colorado, prides itself on an uncompromising commitment to safety, service and quality. From driver training and DOT ratings to the latest technology and maintenance programs, only the best will do. That’s why, in September 2017, after a search for the most up-to-date, engaging training programs for its more than 800 motorcoach and shuttle operators, All Aboard America! Holdings, Inc. chose to partner with the Motorcoach Safety Training Company to launch a new training curriculum across its family of companies. This case study shares the experience of one of those companies, Hotard Coaches, Inc., based in New Orleans, Louisiana.
THE CHALLENGE: Find a Modern, Motorcoach-centric Training Program to Educate and Engage Drivers
With nearly 300 drivers operating 85 luxury motorcoaches and more than 150 employee shuttles out of five locations, Hotard Coaches’ Safety and Training Manager, Allen K. Ross, was well aware that his company’s driver training course and defensive driving curriculum had become stale. The core training materials had not been updated since 1995 and, according to Ross, “the focus on numbers and figures put people to sleep.”
This older program relied heavily on lectures from the instructor and lacked the kind of engaging video content and eye-catching graphics that are hallmarks of modern training programs.
“Driving has changed and our driver training program needed to change with it,” Ross said.
The Solution: Partner with Performance Improvement Experts who Specialize in Removing and Reducing Risk
“The Motorcoach Safety Training Company program was presented to us at our corporate safety conference and we began to roll-out the new training curriculum late last year,” Ross said.
“One of the new program’s biggest benefits is that it is tailored to the specific needs of the motorcoach industry. Our earlier training programs were more trucking-focused. While safe operation of vehicles is a common denominator, there are huge differences in service levels and interpersonal skills required to drive people versus cargo. The Motorcoach Safety Training Company materials focus on the unique needs of passenger transportation companies like ours, where drivers are often with a single tour group for weeks at a time.”
The Motorcoach New Driver Training Course is designed to change the behavior of drivers to avoid all unsafe acts and has been proven to deliver more professional drivers, better performance and reduce accidents by at least 50 percent.
The course is comprised of eight modules including Safety Best Practices, Preventing Intersection Accidents, Safe Backing and Professional Customer Service. At the heart of the program are high-quality driver and passenger safety videos containing multiple narrators and many drivers demonstrating the safest actions to do the job right, the first time, every time a driver gets behind the wheel.
“Our old training program was built around slides, which were mundane and boring. This placed more of a burden on instructors, and drivers quickly lost interest,” Ross explained. “Our drivers really like the new training videos, which are much more effective in engaging and conveying important safety information.”
Ross conducts driver training for four to six new hires every other month and an annual defensive driving course for all 300 drivers. The Motorcoach Defensive Driving course is based on a simple model known as LLLC or Triple-L-C – Look ahead, Look around, Leave room and Communicate.
“Hotard motorcoach and shuttle operators drive 8 million miles a year across 48 U.S. states and Canada,” Ross added. “Safety is our number one priority, so effective and professional training is the foundation of our business.”
The Result: Drivers are Engaged and Learn More in Far Less Time
“We’ve used the new training materials for nearly a year now and have found it very effective for both the initial new driver training and the refresher course I lead,” said Ross. “It delivers a great return for a very reasonable investment.”
Some 160 Hotard drivers have completed the new training program over the past 10 months.
Ross said the Motorcoach Safety Training Company’s new driver training curriculum can be covered in two days, versus the four days required for the previous training program.
“Having so much of the material covered by instructors on the video, as well as real-life drivers in action, is a big plus for me as the instructor,” he added. “The fast-paced, visual presentations keep the drivers interested and help them retain more of the information.”