Operations

Best Practices for Driver Scheduling

Jim Luff
Posted on February 11, 2015

Working With The Chauffeur/Driver
When you hire new chauffeurs or drivers, ask them what hours and days they prefer to work. Drivers with young kids may want to be home at night and willing to take early morning work. Child care issues also might be a factor. Some people are night-owls; some are early risers. Try to match employees to their desires.

It promotes happiness and loyalty. If a driver is late to more than one early morning assignment, don’t schedule them for early morning shifts. It’s in the best interest of your clients. Stress to the new driver that you are asking what hours they prefer to work with, but in our 24/7 industry, there are no guarantees for anyone.

Requests For Time Off
A request for time off is a question, not a command. Have a policy on how far in advance you expect to be notified for a time-off request. Generally, a two-week notice should be sufficient, but maybe you can handle a one-week notice. Avoid granting time-off requests without the proper notice. It sets a bad precedent not only with the employee who asked but everyone else in your operation.

Never grant a request off when it has the potential to leave you short staffed. You can’t be a nice guy and run a business. Emergencies are the exception to the rule but only unforeseen circumstances should warrant the approval. Make sure employees understand the request will be met with an approval or denial at the company’s discretion.

Full-Time Drivers
Your full-time chauffeurs and drivers should get your highest priority in scheduling. Your relationship is much like a one-income marriage. They depend on you for their only source of income and you depend on them day in and day out. The goal for full-time drivers should be 32-40 hours per week. Scheduling a part-time driver to work an assignment when a full-time one is available is a slap in the face if they’re sitting at home cooling their heels so a part-timer can have enough work hours. Always make sure to monitor driver hours from their last day off through the next seven days to ensure compliance with Department of Transportation hours of service rules. Anytime drivers work a late-night assignment, make sure they have adequate rest before their next assignment.

Part-Time Drivers
Part-time chauffeurs and drivers are vital to your operations during busy weekends and seasons such as prom/formals and weddings. While they receive lower priority in weekly scheduling, use them in areas where they have experience and skill. If they work primarily weekends, give them the wedding jobs and teach them to be experts at wedding service delivery. If they have gone to a major sports venue, amusement park or out-of-town airport, use them for that knowledge. Have them fill in for vacationing or sick full-time employees as well.

Client Requests For A Chauffeur/Driver
Carefully look over all requests for a particular chauffeur or driver. Providing the same chauffeur every time a client requests him leads to big problems. If the client and driver become too cozy, the client becomes the client of the chauffeur and not the company. If your chauffeur jumps ship to another company, you can bet your client will too. If you don’t monitor your vehicle with GPS, an extra hour here and there may become normal as the client greases your chauffeur with a $20 bill for the extra time. You always should use another chauffeur once in a while. Sometimes clients falsely believe they have your best chauffeur until they experience other ones.

Related Topics: dispatching, How To, managing chauffeurs, New Operator, smooth operations

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Joul LaFleur

     | about 3 years ago

    For best practices and scheduling, a driver needs now more than ever, a smart phone for texting, mapping, gps, etc.

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