By Erin McLaughlin
Toronto, Ontario — November 21, 2017 –– According to John Somerville, Training Manager of Abram’s Towing Services, the towing industry is increasingly monitoring performance surrounding safety, training and professionalism. This is a good thing, but it also means towing facilities need to adapt and evolve to meet these rising standards. To help manage these changing expectations, Abram’s has introduced the Abram’s Training Centre, a training facility for its staff.
Abram’s Training Centre, a 20,000 square foot training facility was developed to deliver hands-on recovery training as well as other classes and skill testing to the company’s approximately 120 drivers and dispatchers. Online training is also offered to enhance and augment the training program. Training covers a number of essentials including safety training, Wreckmaster Certification, first aid, and customer service training to name a few.
According to Somerville, they try to keep training “light and interesting” for operators, while remaining current and informative.
Each member of the company is trained individually or as a group, depending on their division. Training is specific to each team member’s division, from the Light Service vehicle division, to the Light and Heavy Duty towing vehicles. As for the trainers, Somerville himself trains, or external trainers (manufactures, product suppliers, experts) are brought in.
The Abram’s training centre prioritizes two key skills necessary to provide a quality towing service: customer service and safety. According to Somerville, “driving is a big aspect of our training—positioning the truck correctly, operating the vehicles safely, watching speeds, winter driving,” are integral to the operation of a safe towing business. As for customer service, Somerville said, “We need to teach our towers to be empathetic to their customers’ situation. We teach them to explain what will take place and their options.” He added, “They learn to perform their tasks with care.”
Supplying every one of Abrams’ workers with sufficient training has resulted in some major changes that have benefited the business significantly. “Insurance companies and customers are all very interested in what we do. The events of damages and accidents have significantly dropped,” said Somerville.
Interestingly, the overall driver turnover has reduced, too. “With training they’re comfortable in their position as a tow truck driver and they feel safer on the job,” explained Somerville. Giving staff much needed confidence in their ability to do their jobs safely and properly can have a big impact on job satisfaction. Training at Abram’s towing isn’t just a one-time thing, and improvement is constant. Keeping staff from feeling stagnant in their skills and knowledge, would also improve job satisfaction immensely. Somerville commented, “Everyone at Abrams is aware that training is ongoing. They’re constantly expecting more of it.”
For more information on Abram’s Towing Services, please visit abrams.ca.