Most driver training for hazardous materials (hazmat) courses is delivered in a passive format where drivers have to watch a video or listen to someone tell them the information with a PowerPoint.
Studies show the average attention span of adults is around 8.5 seconds, which makes keeping drivers engaged with long videos or instructor-led presentations difficult if not impossible. Another downside is that videos or presentations do not allow drivers to quickly search for content on demand.
R.B. Stewart’s drivers go through hazmat training at its headquarters in Angleton, Texas. As a transporter of refined petroleum products in the eastern half of Texas, it had been using an online driver training program with a video format that was neither engaging nor efficient.
Drivers were spending a full day in orientation to complete a series of hazmat training courses. The company also was losing significant time each day from drivers using an application to find and download permits for placarded fuel shipments.
In January, 2020, R.B. Stewart went live with the DRIVE FIRST online learning management platform from Luma Brighter Learning. The platform has an Interactive Emergency Guidebook module for Hazardous Materials Training and more than 350 individual Luma eNugget modules that cover relevant safety, compliance and orientation topics.
“Our drivers enjoy the interactive training content from Luma and its game-like learning environment,” said Staci Franklin, HR generalist at R.B. Stewart. “Luma also gives drivers instant access to training content when and where they need it most.”
Every driver has a company-assigned iPad to access the training content right when they need it from the company’s DRIVE FIRST portal. With Luma, R.B. Stewart also gained a custom solution that provides drivers with faster access to permits and other documents for all of their equipment.
Luma integrated with R.B. Stewart’s document host to create a single, searchable place where drivers can find and download all applicable documents in seconds. The motor carrier is also using Luma’s Rapid Forms tool to streamline its orientation process with digital documents.
Within the first two months of using DRIVE FIRST, Franklin estimates that R.B. Stewart will save $10,000 in orientation training costs from a more efficient training process. In a short timeframe, R.B. Stewart has already achieved:
- A reduction in orientation training of 1.5 days. The hazmat portion of orientation training takes drivers about one hour to complete. Overall, R.B. Stewart has compressed orientation training from two days to one-half day. The 75% shorter orientation is a direct cost savings because the company pays drivers by the hour.
- Increased driver satisfaction. Feedback from drivers to the new training program has been all positive. “They feel like they are learning more information,” Franklin says. Besides having a better orientation experience, drivers are using the platform in the field to quickly find job and safety-related information.
- Paperless permitting. Through Luma’s integration with R.B. Stewarts document host, drivers have immediate, direct access to all applicable permits and documents for their shift within DRIVE FIRST. When drivers search for their truck and trailer number, all documents associated with their vehicle are instantly available. With the previous application, they were spending about 20 to 30 minutes each day to get their paperwork together when starting their shifts.
One of the main benefits from implementing DRIVE FIRST is that drivers are playing an active role in their learning, rather than passively studying or listening to information. The training content is interactive and all Luma eNugget modules have driver feedback tools which helps management identify areas “where we might need to adjust some of the training,” Franklin says.
“I’m also able to see what media options drivers prefer to use for each training topic such as text, audio, video or animation. In addition, the reporting tools show me what devices they are using to access the content — their iPads or phones,” she adds.
R.B. Stewart has also gained efficiencies with Luma’s custom integration. With one click, drivers can download all permits and documents they need directly from DRIVE FIRST into the iBook app on their iPads.
The company plans to continue finding more ways to use the Rapid Forms tool to eliminate paper and save money. “We are always thinking of different ways to use the platform,” Franklin says. “We are constantly evolving and making things better.”