United Road Services Offers Great Truck Driver Training

United Road drivers receive some of the best truck driver training in the business when it comes to learning about safety, car hauling, customer service and more.

“We gear our training so that drivers know the laws, can be safe and focus on United Road’s mission and core values,” says John Becker, director of education for United Road.

“We train hundreds of truck drivers a year on how to haul cars,” he adds. “That includes setting up their truck, securing their vehicles for transport, paying attention to legal height and weight restrictions, and arriving damage-free.” Last year, United Road trained 240 drivers.

John’s department includes three trainers, each with car-hauling experience that ranges from 13 to 40 years. “They are total subject-matter experts,” he says.

Most of the training occurs in Romulus, MI, at company headquarters. There also is a Newark, NJ, auxiliary program for those located near the East Coast.

The class duration varies, explains John, who’s been with the company for six years.  “It depends on the skill level of the driver. If they’ve hauled cars before, they’d have a day in the classroom, then we’d be out in the yard doing practice loads, and then we’d show them how to use our handheld computers. Their training is pretty much complete in a week. Those are folks who’ve hauled cars on the same type of equipment we have.”

One thing to note, says John, is that a typical United Road truck can carry up to 11 compact cars; one driver even loaded 16 Smart cars onto his truck.

“If someone has never used this kind of car-hauling equipment, then they have to spend more time learning how the truck works. An experienced driver who’s never hauled cars would spend three to four weeks in training, as they need to learn from scratch,” he says, while preparing for an upcoming group of 12 students arriving in mid-January. (That number is high, as the average class typically includes six drivers.)

John works closely with the company’s Human Resources and Risk Management departments. “We cover the laws and regulations that impact the transportation industry, and we stress that drivers follow all regulations and United Road policies.” Those policites might be something as simple as always keeping the truck locked, locking cars and taking the keys with you. “People can steal cars right off the hauler so we stress a lot of safety and security measures.”

Many of the rules stress driver safety, he continues. “We teach about the truck’s safety pins; you don’t want a deck to come down due to a hydraulic failure … that could crush you.”

Training includes slide presentations, videos, hands-on processes and more. “It’s 90 percent hands-on, in the yard loading cars onto trucks,” John explains.

United Road picks up the tab for hotel accommodations and transportation to get to training. Drivers also receive $125 per day during training.

“The training is highly effective,” enthuses John. “They learn by doing, and then go out and use what they’ve learned to make money for themselves and for United Road. It’s a win-win situation.”