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Old 12th April 2012, 19:52   #76
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

Hmmm...your new chauffer doesn't seem to be a very good driver, from the look of it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post

1) He used to hold the car on half clutch on slopes and in traffic. I explained him the cons of that & regularly advised him to avoid doing that.
Ouch- that is a terrible habit to get rid of!
Quote:
2) I remind him to press the clutch while starting the car, but he always forgets!
As long as he starts the car in neutral, will this really make a difference? Or is it Innova-specific?
Quote:
3) He never switches OFF the AC fan while turning OFF the car. I always have to remind him to do that.
Aren't you being rather nitpicky? I don't usually do this either. There is a slight delay between the engine ignition and compressor coming on anyway.
Quote:
4) He does not avoid potholes, always always crashes into it. Also, on little rough surfaces, he does not slow down the car enough. This abuse has led to some rattling in my car. I dont know how to make him understand about this.
This is bad. It could mean he has a vision problem. You will be surprised how many of these guys do, and refuse to correct it either out of ignorance or vanity. Run some simple tests to see if his vision is good. Otherwise I suggest you boot him immediately- too dangerous!
Quote:
5) When he drives the car, it is never a smooth ride. What I mean is, his braking and acceleration is not smooth. I dont know how to improve that.
Is he a new driver? Give him some time to get used to driving your car. If he doesn't improve within a week or two, you may be better off looking for a new guy.
Quote:
6) Most importantly, I want to inject some passion in him, for cars. So that he takes care of our car. I am clueless about that.
Simple- ask him to apply to Team-BHP!
Seriously, though- I never feel comfortable handing my car to anyone other than those I know can drive as well or better than me, or at least ake an honest effort to. If he doesn't love the vehicle, it will reflect in the way he treats it and that is not good for anyone.
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Old 12th April 2012, 20:03   #77
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

This is a very interesting topic and I am sure many of us are fed up with the chauffeurs in our homes more so because we expect them to have the same passion for cars as us. But off late I have realised that its not worth your time to worry about the way they drive. More or less each one starts taking things for granted once they have worked with you for sometime. Some of the issues I face with my Dad's driver are:
1. He parks the car very very close to the sidewall and many a times the tyre goes on to the side pavement. I have told him to keep some distance but he doesn't listen. I even tried telling him that it would take only 1 simple cut on the side wall for the tyre to go kaput but in vain.

2. He does know the Innova's dimensions better then me and my Dad since he drives it regularly. But this has lead to him getting overconfident and he tries to bulldoze people off the road in thick traffic which is present near my dad's office mainly comprising of rickshaws, public carrier three-wheelers and errant bikers who try to squeeze in. Now I have told him many times to remain patient and let them go ahead because in the end any contact would only leave a scratch/dent on the car. But this guy just doesn't listen and I find one or the other scratch every now and then. Most of them are not exactly his mistake but could have been avoided if he was patient enough to let the other guy go.

3. Many a times he has to drive the car to pick someone or run some errand with other office staff. And in all these cases the car for him turns into a Ferrari and he drives fast and borderline rash.

4. He slows down for potholes but not to the extent a owner would. As a result even if the car hasn't developed rattles but It pains me everytime I sit with him.

You might suggest that I should fire him. But in reality almost every driver in Delhi is the same. I am saying this from the experiences of my family and friends. Atleast this fellow has not got me any challans or major expense yet.
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Old 12th April 2012, 22:10   #78
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

I understand your pain man!

The way an average chauffeur would treat your car is part of the reason why we are against employing one.

About how you could talk some sense into him - nag! Nag him till he quits - either the job or his habits!

Quote:
Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
3) He never switches OFF the AC fan while turning OFF the car. I always have to remind him to do that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Aren't you being rather nitpicky? I don't usually do this either. There is a slight delay between the engine ignition and compressor coming on anyway.
I'm not sure about your cars but in my Corsa, the moment I switch on the a/c, there's a small amount of air coming thru' even when the blower ain't turned on. So, it would drain the battery the moment you turn on the ignition.
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Old 12th April 2012, 22:51   #79
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

We usually employ this government servant to drive our cars if my parents are travelling in them. He used to work with mom when she was in government service.
He
- honks incessantly
- has picked up 3 speeding tickets in our cars
- doesn't care two hoots for potholes, my poor ole' honda had massive repairs after a trip to Chittoor - Tirupati - Bangalore and back from Palakkad
- He drives the silky smooth Honda like a diesel truck - gearshifts are always felt and way too many jerks

He is very safe though, doesn't take crazy risks like taxi drivers would. Lately, I have declined to let him drive our cars at all. My mom is not pleased one bit. I cannot teach a 50 year old man any driving. His habits are set in him. Now the trouble in Kerala is it's not easy to find anyone who drives decently. If you are a driver and you drive well enough, you probably are already in the "Gelf"! Catch 22 situation for us.
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Old 12th April 2012, 22:52   #80
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

I have a slightly different take on this. Given the current unavailability of 'good' help, what I usually do is look for someone who appears to be good person, it really doesn't matter about the driving, as long as they appear like good people and are reasonable, all the other issues can be solved.

Ultimately no one will care for your car as much as you do and perhaps a tad unreasonable to expect it in the first place. Will just lead to frustration. Older folks like 45 plus are usually much better in my experience.
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Old 12th April 2012, 23:06   #81
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

Guys, this thread is not just about my chauffeur! It is about how you people train your chauffeurs too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Raj, if I was in your place, I would seat him in the co-drivers seat and give a live demo (by driving myself) with all relevant explanations. That is the best action in this case. If he still continues with his antics without any improvement - then it signifies he is a MORON !

Spike
Been there, done that !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
As long as he starts the car in neutral, will this really make a difference? Or is it Innova-specific?
As I said, depressing the clutch while starting the car (even in neutral) is always a good habit.

Quote:
Aren't you being rather nitpicky? I don't usually do this either. There is a slight delay between the engine ignition and compressor coming on anyway.
Not in the Innova. Infact, in the Innova, when you switch ON the ignition, you have to wait for 3-4 seconds for the pre-heater light to go off and then crank the engine. All this while the AC fan keeps running. Even the rear AC fans are kept ON. Wont this (coupled with the radio) put a lot of stress on the engine, considering that the starter motor of a diesel engine consumes a lot of power from the battery, unlike petrol engines...

Quote:
This is bad. It could mean he has a vision problem. You will be surprised how many of these guys do, and refuse to correct it either out of ignorance or vanity. Run some simple tests to see if his vision is good. Otherwise I suggest you boot him immediately- too dangerous!
Now that you said this, it can be true. He has even missed some speed breakers!

Quote:
Is he a new driver? Give him some time to get used to driving your car. If he doesn't improve within a week or two, you may be better off looking for a new guy.
He joined us 6 months back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I'm not sure about your cars but in my Corsa, the moment I switch on the a/c, there's a small amount of air coming thru' even when the blower ain't turned on. So, it would drain the battery the moment you turn on the ignition.
Sometimes, I find him sitting in the car, with the engine off but with the AC fan on...
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Old 13th April 2012, 02:53   #82
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raul View Post
I have a slightly different take on this. Given the current unavailability of 'good' help, what I usually do is look for someone who appears to be good person, it really doesn't matter about the driving, as long as they appear like good people and are reasonable, all the other issues can be solved.

Ultimately no one will care for your car as much as you do and perhaps a tad unreasonable to expect it in the first place. Will just lead to frustration. Older folks like 45 plus are usually much better in my experience.
I understand what you mean, but you know, a good person could be a really bad driver. And a good driver may be a really bad person.

It's true! I've seen people with hearts of gold, but the moment you put them behind the wheel, they drive like there's no tomorrow. The general populace, in fact, is like that. We as Indians are very homely, hospitable, and friendly people. But we're absolutely ruthless when we drive/ride.

Our man-Friday, for example, is one of the sweetest people you could ever meet. But he simply cannot drive. He is used to riding a two-wheeler, and he carries forward the same principle while driving a 4-wheeler. For such people, it's rooted deep within them.

My father had employed a driver when he used to work in Mumbai, several years ago. That driver treated our Ikon like it was his car. He would literally stand next to the car while we're out having lunch, and make sure no one gets anywhere within 5 feet of our car.

That said, I believe you might have meant someone with a small ego and a willingness to learn/correct themselves. That is a good idea. But where are they?
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Old 13th April 2012, 08:48   #83
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Smile Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

@raj,

I can understand what you are going through. On a lighter note you seem to do exactly like my wife when she is in my car, Point the mistakes.

Would it be a good idea to send him to a driving class, I remember when I had joined one a decade back there was a technical class conducted once a week for the new learners which explained the vehicle basics. Maybe this can be a refresher for those who feel their drivers need to learn a thing or two about the cars and not just the driving.

Is he is passionate about reading, hand him the owner's manual for some time pass reading, this may make some things more clear to him.

If nothing works, tell him straight faced about his shortcomings and give a timeline if he wants the job. Or else give him the royal boot.
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Old 13th April 2012, 10:16   #84
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Is he is passionate about reading, hand him the owner's manual for some time pass reading, this may make some things more clear to him.
Owner's manual? He does not even know where it is kept!

He does not know when the insurance expired... I had to remind him.
He does not know when it was time to get the PUC done, I had to remind him.
He does not check tire pressures ever, I have to do it for him !

Quote:
If nothing works, tell him straight faced about his shortcomings and give a timeline if he wants the job. Or else give him the royal boot.
That is the biggest issue. For us, it is our love towards our car. But for them, this is their bread & butter. I cant just sack someone for their minor mistakes. It is cruel.
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Old 13th April 2012, 10:32   #85
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

Insurance and even PUC I would say is the owner's responsibility. It's once a year/twice a year and pretty routine these days so I don't reallly see this as a big deal. As long as the chauffer drives reasonably well and safely, takes care of small issues like tyre pressure checks, filling fuel when needed, keeping it clean, etc. I'd be happy. Mind you though- I have never used a chauffer in 20 years of driving
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Old 13th April 2012, 10:42   #86
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

Reality is most of the drivers available today are like that, and for a lot of them its not a passion, and they do not like it one bit. We can be philosophical about it and try educate them, but i see that exercise in futile as first they may not change, and second they may change, get better at driving and go look for job elsewhere which pays them more (In Bangalore driver and maids attrition is a bigger problem).

Apologies, i do not see an immediate ideal solution to this problem, the only way i can think of keeping myself safe is give him an older car which is nearing end of its life and is easier/cheaper to repair so as it can take some abuse. Apart from this whenever he is with someone in the car keep advising him to avoid potholes (to save suspensions, steering and general rattle in the body), keep within speed limit (to ensure safety) and so on.

Last edited by mayankjha1806 : 13th April 2012 at 10:43.
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Old 13th April 2012, 10:59   #87
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Default Re: How do you train your chauffeur?

IMHO, it is not possible to inject passion into someone about something.

Many people get into a career field which they are not passionate about and this is the way they behave when they have to do something on a daily basis which they don't really enjoy doing. There is nothing that can be done to change the attitude of such people.

For example, I am an electronics engineer. I have many colleagues who joined this career stream because it felt like a lucrative career option, but they are not really passionate about electronics. I have seen such people frustrated on a daily basis and these are the kind of people who handle costly electronic equipment in a very rough and irresponsible manner (similar to OP's driver who doesn't care about pot holes, suspensions/clutch of the vehicle, passenger's comfort etc).

There is nothing that can be done to make such people passionate about their jobs. Best option is to search another candidate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
I understand what you mean, but you know, a good person could be a really bad driver. And a good driver may be a really bad person.

It's true! I've seen people with hearts of gold, but the moment you put them behind the wheel, they drive like there's no tomorrow. The general populace, in fact, is like that. We as Indians are very homely, hospitable, and friendly people. But we're absolutely ruthless when we drive/ride.
I don't completely agree with this. I believe that a person shows his true character when he comes to power. Bad people easily get corrupted the moment they come into power, whereas good people maintain their character even when they get the power.

The easiest way to give power to somebody is to put him behind the wheel of a powerful vehicle. If he misuses the power, he is not a good person.

Rohan
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Old 13th April 2012, 11:27   #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Insurance and even PUC I would say is the owner's responsibility. As long as the chauffer drives reasonably well and safely, takes care of small issues like tyre pressure checks, filling fuel when needed, keeping it clean, etc. I'd be happy.
Agreed that the Insurance and PUC are owner's responsibility but making it available whenever needed is the driver's responsibility. He needs to know what cars documents to keep and where assuming he is aware of the same. Apart from the basic things mentioned, it is expected that the driver reports any minor issues/rattles etc.
I had known a friend whose driver operated the car with a punctured tyre for almost a month by filling the air every alternate day. The puncture was a minor one to start with but later turned out to be a major with multiple punctures such that the tube had to be replaced.
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Old 13th April 2012, 12:35   #89
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Default Re: Hiring a new Driver (Training, Salary etc.)

On a related note, driver salaries have shot through the roof (like most other things in our country ).

My two drivers now get paid 10K. EACH. I remember getting many driver applications for 5 - 6K in 2007 - 2008.

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2012 at 12:37.
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Old 13th April 2012, 19:17   #90
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Default Re: Hiring a new Driver (Training, Salary etc.)

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Insurance and even PUC I would say is the owner's responsibility. It's once a year/twice a year and pretty routine these days so I don't reallly see this as a big deal.
Should'nt the driver be aware of all this?

Heck, he did not even know that my car did not have a RC book copy. He must have misplaced it somewhere.

Quote:
As long as the chauffer drives reasonably well and safely, takes care of small issues like tyre pressure checks, filling fuel when needed, keeping it clean, etc.
Today morning a did a surprise tyre pressure check and found that all the tyres were over inflated by atleast 3-4 psi. He never checks the tyre pressure.

In short, he is not bothered about the car.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
On a related note, driver salaries have shot through the roof (like most other things in our country ).

My two drivers now get paid 10K. EACH. I remember getting many driver applications for 5 - 6K in 2007 - 2008.
+100. Even newbies have a 5 digit salary now.
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