Fleet Management Services To Improve Fleet Safety
In our first blog post promoting Brake’s Road Safety Week (19th to 25th November), we shared a wide range of resources to improve fleet safety that looked at everything from avoiding fatigue, to winter driving, to tyre safety – here’s a link if you missed it.
In this post we’ll look at some of the services available from fleet management companies that can help to keep all of your road users mobile and safe. We’ll kick off with the item that’s fundamental to all aspects of successful fleet management, the fleet policy.
Fleet Policy Review
With the rapid changes we have seen in the fleet world over the last couple of years, it’s essential that your fleet policy is kept up to date, and genuinely reflects the organisation’s mobility objectives and risks.
Key factors to consider in a policy review would include:
- the impact of the new (WLTP) emission testing regime
- changing fuel preferences and the growth of alternative fuel vehicles
- new vehicle technologies and drivers’ familiarity with them
- how to deal with a growing number of drivers using private vehicles for business journeys.
The last two of these can have a significant bearing on the organisation’s overall fleet safety as:
- The average company car of 2018 carries technology that would have been unimaginable even at the turn of the century, and this can make them a little daunting for the first few trips. This means ensuring that drivers receive a full familiarisation from the delivering agent, and gaining written confirmation that this has taken place, have become essential aspects of the fleet policy.
- Most fleet decision-makers will be well aware of the duty-of-care issues related to a growing ‘grey fleet’, but an increasing number of drivers opting for cash ramps up the pressure and potential headaches. Defining which responsibilities fall to the business and which to drivers, and ensuring licences and insurance policies are valid, are complicated issues and need to be clearly reflected in the policy.
Some fleet management companies, including CLM, will undertake a no-obligation review of an organisation’s fleet policy, providing expert advice on areas that might need attention and highlighting gaps that could prove costly and have an impact on fleet safety if not addressed.
Fleet Risk Management
It’s a broad topic covering anything and everything from fleet safety checks, to maintenance schedule audits, to driver licence verification. Each organisation will have its own fleet risk profile, depending on factors such as the size of the fleet, the mix of company versus private vehicles, journey types and driver profiles. A good fleet management partner will be able to assess these factors and draw up a bespoke program of risk management interventions.
Whatever the exact content of the risk management program, it should work to reduce the overall risk associated with operating the fleet, ensure that duty-of-care obligations are understood and fulfilled and help towards reducing costs such as insurance premiums and vehicle repair.
Vehicle Checks & Maintenance
In modern cars it’s easy to become complacent about maintenance. The fact that they rarely break down, and have a multitude of warning systems to let you know if something is wrong, doesn’t mean that regular checks and routine servicing can be skipped if fleet safety is to be ensured.
However, as drivers ourselves, we all know that it’s all too tempting just to jump in and set off on your journey rather than taking the time to look at even the basics like tyre pressure and fluid levels. This problem can be exacerbated for private vehicles, where a lack of regular servicing might mean even annual checks aren’t being conducted.
Any good fleet management company will give the option of on-site vehicle checks (which can also include grey fleet vehicles), to ensure that basic safety requirements are being met and alert drivers to any critical maintenance issues with their vehicles.
When it comes to regular servicing, maintenance-inclusive contract hire, while useful for managing budgets, can be expensive. This is particularly the case when considering the minimal level of work usually required on new cars during the first few years of use.
To ensure that vehicles are correctly maintained, and safe, another option is pay-as-you-go maintenance. Here, you only pay for work when it is needed; there is no monthly fee and every maintenance proposal is scrutinised before authorisation is given. In our experience, this can save around £800 per vehicle over the lifetime of a contract, while still delivering the same quality of service and peace of mind.
When looking at accident management services it’s easy to focus on the obvious monetary benefits, such as uninsured loss recovery and shorter vehicle downtimes. What sometimes gets forgotten is that every accident is a traumatic event, where a driver’s safety has been, and could continue to be, compromised.
That’s why the best accident management services focus first and foremost on the safety and well-being of the driver and any passengers following an incident. This begins with checking whether there are injured parties and assisting in summoning the required emergency services, plus ensuring that those involved do everything possible to remove themselves from further danger.
The next priority is then the safe recovery of the vehicle involved and arranging onward travel for the occupants; whether that’s getting them to their original destination or returning them home.
Driver Assessment & Training
In the past, some organisations treated driver training as a simple, tick-box exercise to demonstrate commitment to meeting their fleet duty-of-care responsibilities. It often involved rolling-out a short, generic course on road awareness and defensive driving.
Today, the offerings are much more sophisticated. They usually begin with an audit of accidents and driving convictions, along with attitudinal surveys for those driving for business purposes. This data is then used to profile both the entire fleet and individual drivers to identify areas of greatest risk, and where most value can be added through a variety of interventions.
These range from online and group workshops, through to individual on-the-road assessments and bespoke tuition. Specialist courses are also provided for young driver training, post-accident training, eco-driving, rider safety and new vehicle familiarisation.
If you’d like to learn more about any of these services, or if you’d like to arrange a commitment-free review of your fleet policy, get in touch by clicking here.