“Because some of our vehicles are used for 20-plus years, there is the challenge of keeping technicians up-to-date on new vehicles and vehicle technology,” says Mariano. “When we buy new equipment, part of our process is to have suppliers include training with the purchase.
“Our new vehicles often get spread out nationwide, so it’s difficult to get everybody trained on every new piece of equipment. But our goal is to make sure all technicians are at least familiarized with the main features and differences, and understand the key things they need to know to maintain any new vehicle.”
Because trucks in general have become more reliable, UPS can delay the roll-out of some in-depth new vehicle training until the trucks have been in use for a while. “Otherwise, technicians could forget the course content since it may take a year or so for some repairs to be necessary,” he says.
However, targeted training is done when and where needed, say when a facility gets new hybrid or electric vehicles.
UPS also does initiative-based skills training when the company deems it necessary. This could be when a company-wide issue arises with electrical systems, or if a new diagnostic tool is rolled out, or if there is the need to implement some business initiative.
In such instances, UPS will develop training sessions that address the concern or initiative. This could be online, hands-on or a blended solution - whatever is the most effective way to deliver the training is done.
In addition to training on vehicle repairs and maintenance, UPS also provides training on shop test equipment. “Because we have such a diverse fleet, our technicians need to be proficient on all types of scan and diagnostics equipment,” he says.
“Our goal is to get immediate feedback on training course content and delivery,” says Mariano. “From there we measure application of learning in different ways, including testing or observation. The measure of effectiveness of any training program is how it contributes to the bottom line results.
“It may not always be a purely financial measurement,” he notes. “It may be vehicle reliability, technician safety or cost per mile.
“However, we know without a doubt, training contributes to helping us reach our goals. We couldn’t be where we are today as a company without an effective training component.”
Mariano points out that the technicians at UPS “know they’re an integral part of the on-time delivery of packages. We’re in the business of satisfying customers. The ultimate goal of everyone at UPS is perfect service.
“The job of the UPS technician is to keep our vehicles in service, keep our drivers’ wheels moving and help us keep our promise to our customers. That’s how we roll.”
Prevent accidents by promoting safety awareness.