One of the greatest challenges for trucking fleets during the pandemic has been minimizing drivers' potential exposure to the coronavirus. As part of its safety efforts, the Green Bay, Wisconsin-based transportation giant Schneider has now created a remote truck driver orientation program that allows it to train new drivers on a standard curriculum in a socially distanced setting.
To participate, drivers gather in a large conference room at a hotel near one of the participating Schneider training facilities. Trainees are given Chromebooks so they can receive the same instruction that's being presented in person by an educator at the Schneider Training Academy. The company also assigns a driver training associate to remain on-site at the hotel to provide help if needed.
According to Schneider, the program is only the latest step in its ongoing efforts to protect drivers during the health crisis. It instituted a number of other safety measures when the pandemic first hit, including providing drivers with single-occupancy lodging for the duration of orientation, providing grab-and-go groceries at Schneider facilities, and keeping drivers informed through in-cab tablets.
The company currently offers remote orientation at eight sites: Charlotte, North Carolina; Phoenix; Indianapolis; Gary, Indiana; Atlanta; Dallas; Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and West Memphis, Tennessee.