A Critical Tool for Safe Driving

By Andrea Davis on March 12, 2020

We spend our days driving garbage trucks around your neighborhood. It’s a big responsibility, and we take it very seriously. We know that the most important aspect of our job is not picking up trash—it’s keeping ourselves and the people around us safe. There are many tools we use to ensure we are doing our jobs safely, from personal protective equipment like high visibility coats and safety vests to truck cameras to backup lights. By far the most critical tool, however, is training. If we don’t know what steps to take to do our jobs in the safest manner possible, getting there will be challenging, if not impossible.

Smith System® driver training is a significant piece in our training programs. This training program operates on the principle that most collisions are preventable if the right driving habits are learned, practiced and applied consistently.

The five key principles are the following:

  • Aim High in Steering—Look at least 15 seconds down the road, not just at the vehicle in front of you.
  • Get the Big Picture—Look around for potential hazards (other motorists, pedestrians, vehicle doors opening, etc.).
  • Keep Your Eyes Moving—Avoid keeping your eyes fixed. Use your peripheral vision.
  • Leave Yourself an Out—Keep a space cushion around you to escape a dangerous situation.
  • Make Sure They See You—Use your signals (turn signals, flashers, headlights, brake lights, horn, hand signals). Make eye contact.

Granger associates learn these techniques in a classroom setting before applying them in supervised driving experiences. And although they may seem simple, they are instrumental to avoiding potentially dangerous situations out on the road.

In fact, this training is so valuable that we provide it to Granger associates in many different positions, not just those who drive as their main responsibility. After all, making safe driving a priority is important for all of us, not just those behind the wheel of a big garbage truck.