As a lead up to the snow and ice management season, a snow rodeo can offer a fun yet insightful training opportunity for your team. Feedback has shown that peer-to-peer training is the most productive and desired type of training companies can provide.
With a little creativity, this event can build camaraderie with a healthy dose of competition, test processes and abilities, and get your employees on the same page heading into winter. Here are five suggestions for a successful event:
- Start with a written test on basic processes, operations and company-specific expectations before moving to the hands-on portion of training.
- Ask a customer whether you can stage the rodeo on site to ensure the training is in a realistic setting. Make use of several areas (open parking lots, curbs, parking structures, dock areas, etc.)
- Start with a pre-event inspection. Before leaving to begin service, every equipment operator/driver should do pre-trip inspections to ensure the equipment is safe to operate. Stage a plow truck with predetermined deficiencies for the competitors to find and note as part of their score.
- Exercises should focus on the safe operations of the equipment and the correct plowing/ice management processes that will be required to service a site. Create a mix of simple and complex maneuverability exercises, test knowledge of application rates, etc. Add a station that teaches basic first aid in the event a team member or someone on site is injured during an event. Skills could include backing, plowing around a radius (inside and outside), a serpentine obstacle, plowing close to a fixed object and perhaps a final challenge may be dropping the plow as close to the finish line as possible. Give prizes and consider asking the winners to teach quick tailgate training sessions throughout the winter.
- Finish with a dry run, allowing drivers to go over routes to ensure familiarity and safety during winter operations. This will allow them to address any equipment questions, routing issues, etc. in advance of the first snow.
Winter is a grind for your team...kick off the season with a fun approach to training that you can build on throughout the year.