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Many Driver Hire drivers are involved in multi-drop deliveries. This does include delivering parcels to home addresses of course but also deliveries on any scale to businesses throughout the UK. As online sales continue to grow - even in more a more difficult economic environment - good multi-drop delivery drivers will be in ever-increasing demand.
To help our drivers be the best, and to ensure our customers continue to receive the award-winning service for which we are known, Driver Hire has introduced a special training course for Multi-drop delivery drivers. Ask your local office for more information.
In the meantime, here are some top tips for multi-drop drivers:
1. What is Multi-drop driving?
As a multi-drop driver you will be expected to deliver a range of parcels & goods to both domestic & commercial destinations. Your job will include route planning, completion of paperwork, parcel & vehicle checks, making deliveries & collections & providing the best possible customer service.
2. Dealing with Customers
As a representative of the organisation your uniform, general appearance & attitude must all be exemplary. A multi-drop driver must have a ‘can-do’ attitude at all times. If there’s a problem, it is your responsibility to help resolve it, either through your own initiative or by working with the customer or depot to reach a positive outcome. If a customer becomes difficult you should always remain calm, acknowledge the problem & not take anything personally.
3. Planning a Route
A route should be planned around the parcels you are expected to deliver or collect. Any priority (timed) parcels should be given just that – priority. Routes are normally planned by splitting the parcels in postcode areas then by road & house number. To do this you will normally use an A-Z map rather than a satellite navigation system, as this will only get you from A-B. Once you have planned your route you will scan the bar codes on the parcels into a hand-held scanner (see section 5 for more about scanners) & then print off a paper copy.
4. Deliveries & Collections
When making a delivery, always be courteous & polite. If a customer is not available to take the parcel it is important that the parcel is not left unattended, unless prior authorisation has been given by the depot. If the delivery is to a business address, wherever possible, you should make the delivery to the named person or department, obtain a signature and the individual’s name written in capitals. You may be asked to collect parcels en route. If this happens, you should update the hand-held scanner and return them to the depot.
5. Using the Scanner
Using a hand-held scanner speeds up the parcel delivery and collection process. Technology enables it to inform the depot of your whereabouts & which parcels have been delivered & collected. To record the delivery you will need to scan the parcel’s bar code and note the drop as successful. The customer’s signature & printed surname should then be obtained by offering them the scanner.
6. About the Vehicle
The majority of multi-drop vehicles are long wheel-based transit type vans (of up to 3.5 tonnes). Occasionally you may be asked to driver a bigger vehicle. If so, you will have to know how to use a tachograph recording device.
Before setting off you must carry out an inspection of the vehicle in order to;
• Identify any damage on the vehicle.
• Ensure the vehicle is roadworthy.
7. Fuel Efficient & Safe Driving
A fuel efficient driver is an asset to any company. You should;
• Maintain a good road user attitude.
• Make sure you’re fit to drive & remain alert.
• Watch your speed.
• Use momentum effectively.
• Avoid unnecessary braking.
• Utilise your cruise control.
• Use gears and clutch effectively.
• Plan your routes in advance.
• Don’t leave your engine idling.
• Be aware of anything that may affect the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
• Load your vehicle properly.
• Fasten fuel caps correctly.
• Fill up & manoeuvre when the engine is warm.
8. Staying within the Law
When driving, it is essential that you don’t break the law. You should consider the following;
• Your speed.
• Tachograph & Drivers Hours’ Regulations (if applicable).
• Parking your vehicle sensibly.
• Use of hand-held devices i.e. mobile phones, scanners.
You should also familiarise yourself with the Highway Code.
9. Staying Healthy & Safe at Work
Whilst at work, whether you are an employee or an agency worker, you will need to;
• Be aware of your own and other people’s safety.
• Follow all the health & safety instructions given to you by the parcel company.
• Use health and safety equipment provided to you properly.
• Use any safety clothing issued to you. This could include a high visibility jacket or gloves.
10. Manual Handling
Almost one-third of reportable accidents at work are a result of handling, lifting and carrying. The cost to industry through such injuries is enormous.
Fortunately there are some very easy checks to help you avoid an injury. So always consider the following before lifting;
• The task. Must you lift it manually or could you use a mechanical aid?
• The load. Its size, shape, weight and stability.
• The environment.Any trip or slip hazards?
• Your own capabilities. Are you really able to lift it?
11. Top 10 Must Do’s and Don’ts
1. Always be professional & courteous.
2. Be the best representative of the parcel company that you can.
3. Never leave the depot without your A-Z.
4. Always check company policies & procedures and stick to the rules.
5. Always conduct a vehicle check to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy and not damaged.
6. Always maintain contact with the depot.
7. Timed deliveries must take priority.
8. Remember, collections can come through at any time – so be flexible.
9. Keep your vehicle secured at all times.
10. Don’t leave parcels unattended unless prior authorisation has been given.