DULUTH, Ga. - Millennials are experts when it comes to smart phones and video games. Now companies like UPS are incorporating new technologies to train these younger workers, in an attempt to keep them with the companies longer.
UPS Integrad, in Duluth is one of seven of these training facilities in the U.S. It uses a mix of hands on learning, 3D computer simulations and traditional classroom teaching to train drivers on safety and efficiency. FOX 5 took a tour, and they put SKYFOX 5's Katie Beasley to the test.
UPS Integrad is hard at work training future drivers. "That's really what UPS Integrad is driven by, ensuring that we teach our employees to work safe, and be safe drivers every day," explains UPS Integrad Site Manager, John Bowers.
"This is to show the driver that we're training how to properly walk onto a slippery surface," training facilitator Tim Anderson shows off an interactive training module. Ice, snow and the back of a restaurant are all potential hazards for a delivery. Slick shoes and a brisk walk can mean slipping and sliding. The lesson here is pay attention and slow down.
UPS also focuses on the right way to get on and off a package truck. "You have two feet touching and your hand, so you have three points of contact at all time," explains module facilitator Melissa Ford.
Using three points of contact, drivers can cut down the amount of force on their body while climbing in and out of a truck all day. "A lot of new drivers think they're Superman and they think they can do a lot of things getting in and out of the car," says Ford.
Using technology to their advantage, virtual simulators can help to identify road hazards. In 2013, we went for a ride with UPS to talk specifically about defensive driving strategies. We learned, they design their routes with the fewest number of left hand turns possible, for safety and efficiency. Drivers are also taught to scan their mirrors every 5 to 8 seconds and leave at least one car length between other vehicles on the road.
"We're teaching things with defensive driving that really revolve around a space and a visibility idea. What we're trying to make sure is that we have space for our vehicles and visibility for our drivers," adds Bowers.
Their "Teach me, Show me, Let me" approach to training ends outside, in a scaled down city named Clarkville with homes and businesses for new drivers to practice with.
"Then we do go outside to our integration station where it all comes together, where we can coach, counsel and train defensive driving and proper delivery techniques with the service providers before they have the opportunity to actually go on the road and service packages in a real public setting," Bowers says.
UPS prides itself on their Circle of Honor program. They have thousands of drivers who have not been a wreck in 25 years or more.