Implementing Mastery-Based Training

Not to sound cynical, but no matter the cause of a crash involving one of your trucks, your company will nearly always end up getting sued. The plaintiff’s attorney will try to sue the company rather than your driver because that’s where the money is. And the quickest way to stop one line of the lawsuit is to implement mastery-based training.

How Plaintiff’s Attorneys Operate

To sue your company, the plaintiff’s attorney wants to show that your company put the motoring public at risk. There are several “at-risk” areas for a carrier or private fleet.

The burden of proof falls on the company to show they crossed all t’s and dotted all the i’s from a regulatory perspective. Just as much attention will be paid to solid procedures and processes in place to ensure the driver operated as safely as possible.

The three lines of attack are

  1. Recruiting
  2. Training
  3. Driver Management

pro-tread: tire chain training for heavy-duty trucks

Driver Training Can Counter a Claim of Negligence

One of the surest ways to cover yourself in the category of driver training is to employ a mastery-based training solution. Mastery-based training requires a driver master a topic at 100% proficiency. Not 80%. Not 90%. 100%.

Thus, your company’s defense: “We Trained Our Driver, and He Scored 100%.”

As a company, you can show that your company invested time and money in training your driver. And with our records — upon which we will testify in court — you can prove that the driver not only took the training, but that they got a 100% correct score. A perfect score? We’re not cheating — just read about how mastery-based training works below.

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Mastery-Based Training Explained

All PRO-TREAD online training is “mastery based.” For each topic, there are key learning points that must be demonstrated. In practice, little quizzes pop up every two sections or so. When they get the answer right, they move on. If they get it wrong, you have to re-do that section. To finish, you have to answer all the questions right.

There’s no skipping ahead. There’s no cheating. It works the same on a computer as it does on a tablet or smartphone.

This type of training has been used by the US Army, NASA and SWAT teams to ensure mission-critical information is retained. Our founder and CEO, Dr. Jim Voorhees, brought this training method with him from his time as a flight-safety officer and ground-safety officer flying helicopters with the Army, and running the research aircraft division at NASA. Years of research and results in the military have proofed out the value of mastery based training. Here are a few benefits:

  1. Students remember the lesson better and longer
  2. No stressful, “gotcha” tests
  3. Guaranteed 100% passing grades

Mitigate Risk in Driver Recruiting with Training

Risk management means taking steps to ensure business continues with as little disruption as possible. There’s lots of driver turnover in trucking — that’s no secret. So we recommend that EVERY newly hired driver go through a few basic courses before they drive a single mile in your company truck to minimize your risk and maximize your legal coverage.

Incentivize Training

Most of our clients mandate their drivers take a lesson at least quarterly. About 40 percent of our clients mandate monthly lessons. Nearly 70 percent tie training to the driver’s compensation in some way: tying it to the safety bonus is the most common.

Our best clients also make PRO-TREAD a pre-condition for employment. Orientation training can include many PRO-TREAD lessons.

Mastery-Based Training: Doing the Right Thing

The goal of training is obviously to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes and incidents. While we've spoken at length about reducing legal liability, the fact is that we use mastery-based training because it works. Mastery-based training isn't some legal loophole for truck fleets — it's doing business the right way.