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The A-Z of fleet management: C is for Compliance—how is it impacting on fleets?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 16, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z of fleet management: C is for Compliance—how is it impacting on fleets

We consider compliance important enough to be our C in a continuing series of posts where we cover the A-Z of fleet management.  This applies to any business activity, but of course we are particularly concerned with vehicle activity as it pertains to work and fleet management.

 

Compliance means conforming to a rule, a policy, a standard or a law. Organizations should ensure that they take steps to comply with the relevant laws, policies and regulations of not only their country but also their working environment and industrial sector—fleets are no exception.

 

Fleet compliance is specifically about keeping your drivers safe on the road and your business on the right side of the law. Several directives belonging to fleet management are strictly related to fleet compliance:

 

Fleet maintenance: keeping vehicles in roadworthy conditions in order to operate safely and efficiently. According to legislation, companies might be liable if adverse events such as accidents happen and involve other road users; and if vehicles are found to be faulty and it is demonstrated that servicing has not been taken care of, a company might incur serious consequences. Compliance is achieved via regular maintenance schedules and daily walk-around checks.

 

Driver hours: there are established rules for drivers that govern the time they spend driving on the road and the compulsory breaks they need to take in order to ensure they can continue driving safely. Driving hours cannot be exceeded and the rules of the road have to be respected: companies can be prosecuted if authorities discover a breach in any of these rules.

 

Duty of care: all companies have to provide a safe place of work for their employees. With regards to fleets, vehicles are generally considered extensions of the workplace. The UK Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 stipulates that employers have a “duty to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees”. The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 obliges employers to make comprehensive risk assessments of possible injury to employees or members of the public as a result of a company’s business activity; inform employees of any identifiable risks; provide the necessary training to recruits on how to minimise risk, or whenever an employee’s responsibility changes, and ensure that training is kept up as frequently as necessary. The Irish Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, infers that it has always been a common law duty for employers to provide as safe a place of work as practicable.

 

Vehicles used for business: If you allow drivers to use business vehicles for personal use as well as work, there are implications that you should definitely be aware of and logbooks that need to be kept updated in order for your company to file records in the appropriate way. This is also an aspect of compliance and any negligence in this area could lead to serious consequences that will ultimately affect your finances.

 

Driver training: as part of the duty of care responsibilities, it is not only important that drivers are in possession of the necessary certifications and licences and are authorized to drive the vehicles they are driving, but that their conduct is also monitored so as to manage risks and their training is continuous in order to make them aware of how they should keep their workplace (in this case the vehicle) safe.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet compliance, duty of care

Autonomous vehicle liability: who or what exactly is responsible for a self-driving car accident?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Autonomous vehicle liability: who or what exactly is responsible for a self-driving car accident

Autonomous vehicles have been a reality now since the first experiments carried out by Google nearly a decade ago and Tesla just a few years later. Self-driving vehicles have headlined many trade shows and sector events, and it looks more and more clear that self-driving vehicles are going to play a part in not only the future of our personal transportation needs but also that of the fleet sector’s.

 

Autonomous vehicles offer a wide range of benefits, and one of the most popular is the idea that in the future they will be able to guarantee safety and eradicate the contribution of human error in vehicle collisions and accidents (according to research carried out by the US Department of Transportation from 2005 to 2007, in around 94% of crashes, the final cause is assigned to the driver of the vehicle).

 

The technology is surely creating the conditions toward safer roads not only for end users, but also for fleets. Self-driving vehicles are being developed by companies such as Tesla and Otto, and autonomous trucks are an example of this. But what might actually have to change, and probably should, is the law regarding self-driving vehicles and the determination of liability in the event of a collision.

 

At present, a new area of law known as autonomous vehicles liability is evolving, and its duty (which looks anything but simple) would be to determine who is liable in the event of a self-driving vehicle causing damage to persons or property. Regarding autonomous vehicles, the responsibility for operating them is generally assigned to a specific technology rather than a human driver, at least theoretically; so there is probably a gap in the legal framework and the need for the existing liability laws to adapt to the new technology once it fully comes into force, though this need has already been highlighted as the technology advances.

 

Some of the possible legal scenarios might actually include several parties being held accountable such as vehicle components manufacturers, collision avoidance devices, vehicle manufacturers using the aforementioned and, of course, depending on the type of interaction required, the vehicle operator or the driver as we know him/her as he/she is today. Exactly as it happens in the event of a collision today, when we ask who is responsible, the answer seems to depend upon the action recorded and reported by the vehicle itself.

 

The different degrees of liability and autonomy will surely have an impact on the insurance industry too as the areas of blame can become blurred and might not be clearly defined by current policies.

 

This new mode of vehicle operation should not induce excessive anxiety about self-driving technology, but should rather prepare fleets, and anyone concerned about changing the way they work, for different compliance procedures. If compliance is not an issue at present and is taken care of as it should be in modern companies managing vehicles, only time and experience will reveal the future of autonomous vehicles liability.

 

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Topics: fleet management technology, self-driving vehicles, autonomous vehicles

Aggressive driving to impact on air quality targets according to Emissions Analytics

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 9, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Aggressive driving to impact on air quality targets according to Emissions Analytics

Another recent study confirms aggressive driving impacts vehicle emissions and, consequently, air quality targets: these are the conclusions of the latest research carried out by Emissions Analytics, which found out pollutant emissions would increase by 35% with aggressive driving in rural conditions and by around five times on the motorway, according to tests performed.

 

The publication of the results of the test follows a few weeks after the announcement of the “Road to Zero”, an ambitious UK government programme, which aims at creating a strategy around the mission of the UK to be the centre of the project to generate zero emission vehicles by 2040.

 

Emissions Analytics had started a project called EQUA Index in 2016, which aimed to provide an easy and honest picture of vehicle performance in real-world driving, in order to generate accurate fuel consumption and air quality data to vehicle consumers so they can make informed decisions. The need was clearly to set a standard for independent, real-world emissions data. With time, the need to provide accurate air quality data and fuel consumption figures has resulted in testing vehicles through an extended cycle designed to measure performance in more extreme and unusual driving conditions including, but not only, aggressive driving—conditions where higher speeds, higher and lower rates of acceleration, cold start emissions and emissions under regeneration of the diesel particulate filter were a factor.

 

The research conducted by Emissions Analytics has in fact found that the effect of a cold start on Euro 6 diesels, whether they have been tested under Real Driving Emissions (RDE) regulations or not, is that NOx emissions are 2.8 times higher on average during the cold start phase compared to the whole warm start cycle. During regeneration of the diesel particulate filter, NOx emissions are on average 3.3 times higher than in mixed driving with no regeneration.

                       

Emissions Analytics said these results are important for cities, manufacturers and regulators. For cities, it is vital to know that the latest vehicles do not have emissions hotspots that could undermine their air quality targets. For manufacturers, it is important to quantify the risk of high emissions being found in unusual driving conditions, where every scenario cannot practically be tested. For regulators, it is important that Real Driving Emissions regulations are seen to work well in order to draw a line under the failed regulation of the past.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, reduce emissions

B is for Breakdown: the most feared issue in the A-Z of fleet management

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 7, 2018 9:00:00 AM

B is for Breakdown: the most feared issue in the A-Z of fleet management

In our alphabetical list of subjects related to fleet management or driving for work (which obviously started with "A") there is surely one that is feared most by fleets of any type and size—breakdowns. The possibility of a fleet vehicle impacted by a breakdown is surely one of the least desired outcomes for fleet managers or owners, though there are still some quite avoidable errors that are responsible for their occurrence. What are these, and what actually happens when a fleet vehicle suffers a breakdown? Let’s take a look at three of them.

 

#1 - Maybe you cannot avoid the unavoidable, but…. Though breakdowns obviously can happen and it is very difficult to completely eliminate them, there are of course different attitudes you can adopt in order to decrease the frequency of breakdowns in a bid to move ever closer to zero occurrences. There are a couple of sayings that particularly capture the right approach to this, and they are “prevention is better than cure” and “expect the unexpected”. The essence of this is that you adopt a strategy that includes keeping your vehicles in the best possible shape and also considers everything possible that might not only happen while on the road but also encompasses the eventuality of a breakdown itself. If you do not have suitable equipment for your drivers, a sound process in the event of breakdowns (what should drivers do; who would be the person responsible for collecting the emergency call; what could be a standard procedure to address breakdowns; would that change during specific hours of the day or if drivers work at weekends, or during specific parts of the year?) and you are not prepared, you will surely wind up dealing with the issue inefficiently and are more likely to compound the problem by rushing and trying to cope under needlessly stressful conditions.

 

#2 - The show must go on. One of the most feared aspects of breakdowns is the impossibility of continuing with business as usual due to the difficulty of properly addressing an issue (which might reoccur if you are not prepared to tackle an underlying problem) or because of the physical absence of the vehicle or indeed any other potential problem connected to the breakdown (if it is due to a collision, any injury the driver might have suffered, or the difficulty of quickly replacing the new vehicle with one matching the same characteristics). Make sure you anticipate this and look into different insurance plans, as some of them do include a good replacement programme that might make your fleet better able to cope with the emergency, thus at least ensuring some peace of mind. Remember that the longer you have a vehicle off the road, the greater the impact on your business—you need to keep operational.

 

#3 - Prevention from any point of view. Not only is planning for a strategy to be acted on in the event a breakdown necessary, but an anti-breakdown strategy should also be taken into account. Its main requirements would be the creation or auditing of a preventative maintenance programme; the education of drivers on how to deal with vehicles in a way that is not alienating, but instead getting the most out of them, without implementing inefficient behaviours that could easily increase vehicle wear and tear; and driver behaviour training that might include best practices, dangerous behaviours to be avoided (such as speeding, harsh cornering, rapid acceleration and harsh braking) or even challenging driving events (for example roundabouts, priorities at crossroads…) with simulations where all the driving team collects useful and practical information.

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

3 extra approaches for the downsizing process of your fleet

by Eleonora Malacarne on Aug 2, 2018 9:00:00 AM

3 extra approaches for the downsizing process of your fleet

Downsizing a company or fleet can be anything but a straightforward process, as no doubt people frequently remind you, due to today’s extremely competitive environment, and something that is economically quite challenging. But when it comes to actually initiating the process, even the most experienced fleet managers might assume that in order to tick the all-important ‘downsizing for efficiencies and savings’ boxes, everything is just a matter of cutting the actual number of vehicles your fleet are operating.

 

It is indeed true that sometimes vehicles that for no apparent reason are underused for any length of time need to be made redundant as they constitute a cost from the moment they enter the fleet, and not just when they are active commercially. But in some cases you might have to actually address downsizing in a different way that has more to do with the simple elimination or transformation of certain types of practices within your company. Here are three approaches that might help you reduce costs and increase efficiencies without necessarily cutting vehicle numbers.

 

Make sure you involve drivers in the downsizing process correctly. Drivers might be on board if the company is transitioning to new vehicles, but might be easily disappointed if the choices are not living up to their expectations. If you wish to start utilising lighter vehicles for your business needs, because you feel they might perform just as well as larger ones, but are meeting resistance from your drivers, try and get their feedback before making the purchase and explain your reasons in favour of the new acquisitions. You might enjoy some success in terms of saving resources by transitioning to a new vehicle, but part of your global success is made by the team—make sure you involve them in any fleet downsizing process and you will ease their resistance to change.

 

The optimal vehicle in fuel consumption and maintenance. As we have already discussed, vehicle application has to be considered when considering the downsizing process, as a more efficient or smaller vehicle might be just as able to carry out the type of work that is currently being done with something bigger if its usual load or travels do not strictly justify its use. The same might be valid for fuel consumption and maintenance components. A bigger vehicle is not necessarily more or less expensive in terms of maintenance and fuel. Certain brands and models might need longer or more expensive maintenance for no special reason; and when it comes to fuel, chances are that consumption could be very dependent on how some of your employees drive. Make sure you consider all the angles when it comes to choosing a replacement vehicle.

 

Make sure rightsizing or auditing is ongoing. Thinking about rightsizing only when pressed suddenly with having to make significant savings is a mistake and, as with all snap decisions, it might lead to the wrong outcome for yourself, your fleet and your company in general. Having visibility on the full activity of your fleet, the usage and costs of every vehicle opens up the possibility of a regular auditing process that leads to sound downsizing or optimisation strategies which are implemented gradually and not as a knee-jerk response to specific, urgent occurrences. Make sure you set up and review these numbers in order to decide when it is time to take action with your fleet.

 

 

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

Downsizing a fleet: is it just a matter of reducing the number of vehicles?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Downsizing a fleet: is it just a matter of reducing the number of vehicles

It seems businesses are in an era where cost cuttings and savings are generally considered the keys to success, and this surely applies no less to fleets. Terms like downsizing and rightsizing are constantly at the forefront of the fleet owner’s mind in an attempt to remain competitive by minimising costs. But what exactly does downsizing refer to?

 

Downsizing literally refers to a process whereby the size of a workforce is reduced by terminating contractual relationships with employees. This translates in terms of fleet operations as literally reducing the number of vehicles so as to improve efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Now, if downsizing has the express purpose of helping to decrease costs and improve operations, is downsizing a fleet just a matter of reducing vehicle numbers?

 

Reducing the number of vehicles operating in a fleet might seem simple enough, which may be the overall objective of the downsizing process or merely one of the consequences, but, looking at the bigger picture, what is really needed is optimisation. The idea is rather that a fleet operation should be able to detect not only what is the optimal number of vehicles required to satisfy customer demands, but also the correct type of vehicle for that purpose, with the appropriate specifications.

 

Here are three tips that might help you make the best decisions for your fleet without necessarily cutting vehicle numbers:

 

#1 Keep in mind vehicle application. This is what often happens in fleets: the choice of vehicles to be used is extremely important and can be a game changer when it comes to minising the fleet budget. If you choose an extremely large vehicle that might not be strictly necessarily needed for completing your tasks, it might hit your pockets in terms of expensive maintenance and initial insurance costs due to the category it falls under. Chances are that, if you do not have specific needs, you might eventually find out that a similar spec and lighter vehicle can perform just as effectively and at a lower cost. And the opposite holds true: do not save money by investing in a smaller vehicle with technical inadequacies which isn’t up to the job, when what you really need is a larger vehicle with the correct spec for the tasks it is expected to perform.

 

#2 Carefully check the overall vehicle inventory. If you have an effective system able to track vehicle journeys and performance, you can do a fleet utilisation audit on a regular basis. The idea is that you check, for example, the kilometres/miles travelled by a certain vehicle on a monthly basis, think about the expected miles for it on average and see if any of your vehicles is falling within those numbers or has a lower mileage. Those falling shorter are probably underutilised. If that happens, you can investigate the causes and whether anything can be done within your fleet before looking at other resources or giving it up—is the vehicle an asset that can be reallocated within your fleet or your company locations in order to get the most out of it?

 

#3 One vehicle equates to one driver? If you have ten workers, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to have ten vehicles. You might look into all the areas travelled and have drivers cover different areas and routes, or recheck the shifts and make vehicles available according to a sort of “hot seating” policy if it’s doable. The idea is that you find the solution that best suits your business and customer requirements—for some it makes perfect sense that vehicles can only be used by one driver, for others not.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

The A to Z of fleet management and driving for work: A is for Acceleration

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

The A to Z of fleet management and driving for work: A is for Acceleration

This blog post is the first in an alphabetically themed series of articles detailing some important terms often used in fleet management or driving for work. The idea is that, with the help of the alphabet, we are able to offer a broad view on fleet management. Ideally, we will provide a useful fleet management glossary; and of course if there is any word you’d like to add to the list, we would value your feedback and work on that content. But for now, as the alphabet begins with “A”, we’ll be kicking things off with Acceleration!

 

A is for Acceleration—but what is exactly acceleration? Acceleration typically describes an increase in speed in a vehicle moving forward. Its opposite is deceleration, which describes the slowing down of the vehicle itself. Acceleration is not necessarily inherently negative as it is natural to accelerate at some point when driving; having said that, rapid acceleration and breaking the speed limit are considered aggressive driving behaviours that potentially lead to incidents and collisions and have to be avoided at all costs. Excessive, inappropriate speed remains an important contributory factor in road traffic injuries and fatal crashes. Acceleration also affects cornering (negotiating a turn, basically, which is also down to, at least in part, the configuration of the road). When we talk about acceleration we usually consider a vehicle moving forward, while cornering involves acceleration when turning left or right. Though even experienced drivers might not see cornering as dangerous, it depends on how acceleration is utilised in the process, i.e. whether it is deployed at the right moment, to the correct degree and in a way appropriate to road layout and driving conditions.

 

How is acceleration impacting fleet driving? As reported previously, acceleration, as well as cornering, is a natural process when driving. With smooth driving, acceleration and deceleration are done gradually and cornering is also done safely (experts advise to brake and gradually decelerate before taking the corner, not while in the corner, and accelerate only when the front wheels are straight), but even the most experienced driver might fall into dangerous practices such as harsh cornering and rapid acceleration. These aggressive driving events indicate an unsafe driving style that might increase the chances of an incident or a collision and should be avoided. Incidentally, such a style is impacting not only on safety but also on fuel consumption and vehicle conditions. Not adopting a smooth driving style consumes more fuel and is more likely to stress your vehicle, and the sudden braking you might need to apply to a speeding vehicle, apart from being risky, can seriously damage it. Speeding might not necessarily result in an accident, but your expenses can increase if your drivers end up getting speeding fines.

 

How can acceleration be prevented? As mentioned previously, acceleration is not necessarily inherently bad, as it is integral to the dynamics of driving. As with many things, when they are taken to excess and carried out without discipline, they shift from something positive to something negative. Rapid acceleration and breaking the speed limit should be minimised in order to run a safe fleet, prevent the risk of incidents, decrease the possibilities of being fined and maintain fuel consumption to normal limits. A consistent training process can help drivers avoid slipping into unsafe practices, and it can further be boosted by a driver behaviour monitoring application, able to detect any rapid acceleration and harsh cornering events and where they are happening.

 

 

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Topics: Road Safety

Duty of care of employers to employees—how does it apply to fleets?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 24, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Duty of care of employers to employees—how does it apply to fleets?

When discussing health and safety as it applies to fleets, the roadworthiness of vehicles and the procedures in place to meet legal obligation, we invariable touch on the ‘duty of care’ that employers have vis-à-vis their employees. It’s an important subject and something we should explain further. What is it, exactly?

 

What is ‘duty of care’? From a legal perspective, ‘duty of care’ is the idea that an individual or organisation takes reasonable measures to ensure that no harm comes to anyone as a consequence of their actions. More specifically, from a business sense, an employer has a ‘duty of care’ to their employees—there is a legal obligation to safeguard employees as far as possible from unreasonable or foreseeable loss or injury. If we reflect on this concept for a moment and how it might apply to a fleet operation, it will seem quite apparent to most of us that an operator is responsible for their employees’ wellbeing during work and that of the general public with whom they come into contact. Any failure of this legal responsibility on their part could result in a claim of negligence, fines and prosecution. It cannot therefore be emphasised enough how crucial it is for operators to observe proper safety checks on all their vehicles, carry out meaningful risk assessments and make health and safety an ongoing priority.      

 

What happens with fleets and vehicles? From the point of view of the law, although a vehicle is mobile, it is more or less considered an extension of the work place. As such, the rules regarding health and safety in the workplace apply equally to a vehicle if used for work. If you take into account that 25% of road traffic accidents involve vehicles being driven for work purposes, we can see how big an issue this is for fleet operators.

 

Who is responsible? To a large extent it is the driver who is legally responsible for the safety of the vehicle, that it is properly maintained and the manner in which it is driven, but that doesn’t mean the employer is not also liable for the vehicle and the driver. ‘Duty of care’ still applies and can be carried out in a number of ways, such as educating drivers on potential dangers by means of risk assessments, providing them with the appropriate manuals and leaflets to refer to, training them to operate safely and how to conduct proper walkaround checks, ensuring vehicles are regularly serviced and maintained and also checking that drivers are good to go, that their licences are legitimate for the work they are expected to do and accident management is effective.

 

What happens in the event of an accident? As we alluded to earlier, if an employee driving in a work capacity is involved in a preventable accident, the company may also be considered liable. This is why ‘duty of care’ cannot be deferred or ignored if a potentially serious prosecution for negligence is to be avoided.

 

How is ‘duty of care’ understood according to British and Irish law? The UK Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 stipulates that employers have a “duty to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable the health, safety and welfare at work of all employees”. The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1999 obliges employers to make comprehensive risk assessments of possible injury to employees or members of the public as a result of a company’s business activity; inform employees of any identifiable risks; provide the necessary training to recruits on how to minimise risk, or whenever an employee’s responsibility changes, and ensure that training is kept up as frequently as necessary.

 

The Irish Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, infers that it has always been a common law duty for employers to provide as safe a place of work as practicable. In light of this, employers are legally expected to provide the five following measures: safe systems of work, machinery that is safe and fit for purpose, a safe place of work, training and supervision, a duty of care in the selection of fellow employees.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet compliance

How to get your fleet driving team help you lower your global costs

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 19, 2018 9:00:00 AM

How to get your fleet driving team help you lower your global costs

In order to get a positive global company performance, teamwork and cooperation are essential in every sector or activity. Fleets and businesses that depend on driving follow the same rule; and if on one hand the budget and the physical resources are important, on the other hand you cannot rely on those alone to achieve fleet success as the contribution of the whole team and all of its individuals in their roles is equally as important.

 

Getting the buy-in of your employees and team and making them your best allies is not easy; but if you follow some basics, you can make this happen, and this would be the first step towards ensuring your company complies with the budget and creates savings. Here are 4 actions you can take to that effect:

 

#1 - Use a reliable system to record the global performance of your team. There are a wide number of applications such as fleet management software that are able to help in evaluating the performance of your team thanks to the increased visibility and the metrics tracking that they offer. Your employees might be mostly perfectionist or mostly safe in temperament, but if you are able to detect more deeply the way they perform, you can make good on past errors, help them improve and achieve good progress; something they themselves would definitely appreciate.

 

#2 - Propose to set up targets for performance improvement. If you have access to the performance of your team, you can focus on strengths and weaknesses and encourage employees to mutually collaborate: to initially complement one another, to learn from the good attitudes of their workmates or even from mistakes that they may commit but might be unaware of. The key is grasping what the real situation is, analysing it and setting objectives to improve as a whole, which in the end might lead to savings or global improvements.

 

#3 - Make sure everything is communicated and knowledge is shared. When some internal processes change or anything new comes up, it is necessary that everyone is informed. But this becomes even more important when some things happen, such as an accident, a maintenance problem that is not detected on time, or a fleet issue. The idea is not to point out who’s responsible but actually to learn from the mistake or from a process that might not have been dealt with correctly or should be partly changed—the purpose is to detect the causes of the error in order to avoid more in the future.

 

#4 - Write rules down in black and white. Putting everything on paper does not necessarily only refer to compliance lists or fleet policies, though both are extremely useful tools to define rules for employees, they refer to maintenance and much more. If you are following points 2 and 3, it might be extremely useful to recap everything and put it in a written format, with communications addressed to the group as a whole so that everyone understands potential issues or errors and is then able to prevent them.

 

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Topics: Fleet Management

When is it best to train your drivers? Experts reveal the 6 best moments

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 17, 2018 9:00:00 AM

When is it best to train your drivers? Experts reveal the 6 best moments

If you run a fleet of vehicles, you are surely aware driver training is essential to keep operating a safe and efficient fleet. Regular driver training can only improve global fleet safety and might also help in detecting maintenance issues or decrease global fuel consumption. But when it comes to driver training, when is it best to train your drivers?

 

According to an article recently published by Fleet News and prepared with the collaboration of the experts of AA Drivetech, there are 6 moments in which driver training is perfectly placed to help build up safe and efficient fleets. Let’s go through them:

 

#1 - With a new employee. Training a new hire might have multiple purposes, such as making sure the driver gets off to a great start, not leaving the training for later when it might be perceived as a form of criticism, and making sure the importance placed on duty of care and safety while driving is conveyed to the new employee. In certain cases, experts advise to test driving abilities of a future employee even before they hire him in order to make the final decision easier or to prepare a customised induction experience. A similar process should be carried out after long-term sickness, maternity/paternity leave or when employees change roles.

 

#2 - After a collision. Providing training after a driver has been involved in an incident is beneficial for a number of reasons: the idea is to investigate the causes of the incident in order to address potential issues and avoid them in the future, but it is also important, as experts claim, to prepare the person for getting back to driving on the road if the experience has left him/her shaken.

 

#3 - When you procure new vehicles. Though some companies can underestimate how easily a professional driver switches to a new vehicle, even the most seasoned drivers should still be introduced to it. It is generally not common practice to familiarise new employees to a vehicle before getting them on the road, as they usually take the new keys and just get going, but according to experts there should definitely be a change in this trend. Basic vehicle familiarisation training or short courses based on areas such as parking and manoeuvring can also help reduce the number of low speed collisions.

 

#4 - If new technology is implemented. According to the last statistics, there is an increasing number of hybrid and electric vehicles on the roads; and such vehicles have quite different driving characteristics if compared to the more traditional internal combustion engine types, with which drivers should be familiarised in order to drive efficiently and avoid wear and tear.

 

#5 - After a regular driving assessment. Regular driver assessments enable fleets to take a targeted approach to maintaining standards, address any gaps in knowledge and protect against complacency. Regular driver training is put in place with specific targets in mind and those targets need to be assessed on at least an annual basis in order to readdress or modify training.

 

#6 - If a driver is identified as high risk. Drivers could be identified as high risk for a number of reasons: it could be incident history, mileage, penalty points on their licence, attitude or even telematics driver behaviour data. All of these can be addressed with driving training with an expert able to pinpoint areas for development.

 

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Topics: fleet safety

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