Training Tips to Mold Successful Operators

It’s time-consuming to properly train new hires, but if you’re patient you will end up with hardworking, long-term employees
Training Tips to Mold Successful Operators
Boggero’s Services route technicians Al Tumblin, left, and Toney Gragg, right, clean the inside of Global Satellite units at the site of a festival.

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I think we can all agree that being a portable restroom driver is not the most glamorous job. It is hard work and can often be, shall we say, quite odorous. It takes a hard worker to do this job every day and it can take a lot of failures before you find success.

Training is a huge key to that success. It can take a bit of time, but hopefully that technician will be with you for years to come. At Royal Flush, we have had many of our drivers for years. I actually remember some of them from when I was a child. That loyalty and dedication to the job is so important to us. So if you take the time up front, hopefully you can get the same long-term results.

Our training process is pretty simple but we find it to be effective. When someone applies for a job with us, the first steps are a road test with our fleet manager and a drug test. That is non-negotiable. You just can’t take a risk when it comes to a driver. These two things allow us to weed out most of the problematic applicants.

If the applicant passes those steps and we are satisfied with their past experience and references, we hire them. At that point, they are assigned to a route, which they will shadow for two weeks. During this time, the applicant drives the truck so he or she can learn the route. They are also trained on how to properly clean a restroom and pre-trip and post-trip procedures.

During this shadowing period, we depend on the lead route driver and the dispatcher for feedback. Does the applicant follow instructions? Is he a safe driver? Does she have good communication skills? Does the applicant exhibit any questionable behavior? All of these and more go into consideration.

At the end of the two weeks, if we are pleased with the applicant’s skills, they are given their own route. We closely monitor this route for the next couple months, to watch for complaints or any other potential problems. Customer feedback will give you good insight on a driver’s ability to do their job properly.

Shockingly, we have found over time that drivers coming from other portable restroom companies don’t work well for us. Let’s be honest, they were probably let go from that company for a reason. Whatever it was, it will most likely come up again with your company.

We have also found that it can be hard to make them conform to our standards and procedures. We hired a driver a couple years ago from another restroom company. That company uses rope to tie down the toilets to the delivery trailers and trucks. At Royal Flush, we only used tie-down straps, preferably the ratchet version. To this day, we have to remind him not to use rope. He is a fantastic technician so it is worth it to us, but you can see how other differences could become a problem. He is also the only driver that has come from another restroom company that successfully transitioned into our company.

There is no guarantee when it comes to drivers. They are using your most valuable asset with the most potential for damage or injury. Given this, it is worth it to take the time to make sure you have hired correctly. 

About the Author: Alexandra Townsend is co-owner of A Royal Flush, based in Philadelphia.

What other steps do you use to test a technician’s ability? Any training tips to share?



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