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Eleonora Malacarne


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The A-Z fleet management series: letter Q for Questions

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 27, 2019 9:01:00 AM

The A-Z fleet management series letter Q for Questions

Time for the latest chapter in our fleet management series. This time we are looking into something as simple and essential as questions. The role of fleet manager is certainly not one that could simply be defined as carrying out a series of repetitive tasks, or, perhaps more explicitly, the vocation of someone who remains complacent and does the same things he/she has always been doing—especially if they have not been especially successful in the operation of their fleet. If you want the best for your fleet, employees and business, you need to be a person with a degree of restlessness and a proactive attitude, always looking to improve your team.

If that sounds like you—and we firmly believe it shouldhave a look at this list of questions (hence, Q for Questions) that we think may very well pop into your head from time to time.... Would you add any other queries to the list?

#1 – I’m thinking about making wiser use of my time, in which areas should I focus most attention? This may appear like a trivial question at first, but is actually an extremely important one! If you are in any way unsure about this, it most likely means you don’t know where to begin; it might be that you do not have full insight into your fleet operation or cannot see the bigger picture or the overall performance of drivers and vehicles. If you are able to keep tabs on every single aspect of your fleet (and you can if you have the valuable technology available at your disposal), we are sure that prioritising your time efficiently would come automatically.

#2 – How can I make sure vehicles and drivers are safe? If you are a fleet manager, you know just how important it is to keep staff and assets safe—moreover, it is also something you are legally obliged to do. The how starts at the base: if your company has a culture which is firmly grounded on safety and legal compliance, half of the job is already done. But being a great communicator and helping your staff with training sessions and updates on the latest safety changes or on new regulations coming into force is also essential to keep them informed and the fleet compliant. Last, but not least, automating processes for vehicle checks and providing feedback on driver behaviour could really help you protect your business from a safety point of view.

#3 – How do I reduce accidents? Whether you’re running a fleet with a handful of vehicles or a thousand, you obviously want to minimise the number of accidents. This starts with driver screening but continues with clear policy and communication between fleet managers and drivers. If you are unfortunate enough to have experienced accidents, analyse what went wrong and establish actions to avoid repeating your mistakes and coach your team on the primary causes of accidents (speeding, dangerous driving ...). It’s for them and for everyone, not just the business...

#4 – How can I grow the business and the fleet? There are such a lot of actions you can take in order to expand your fleet operation: everything starts with the observation of driver status and, following from that, what can be done to improve the current situation and then there is the gathering of real and reliable information (not just guesswork). Is there money to be saved by using fuel efficient driving techniques or in the effective relocation of any vehicle so that funds are made available for other important aspects of the operation?

Sometimes, great and efficient fleet management starts from asking the right questions (preferably at the right moment)—it doesn’t demonstrate that you don’t know how to solve problems, but rather points you in the right direction and towards prioritising tasks and assigning the correct importance to every aspect in a much wiser use of your time.

If there are some questions you have regarding your fleet and would like some help with, please let us know in the comments—on those and the ones cited here, you can request the help of our experts.



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Topics: Fleet Management

Fleet management events: save the date for these FTA conferences and trainings

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Fleet management events save the date for these FTA conferences and trainings

The FTA and the FTAI have recently published a list of interesting events for fleet managers and drivers we want to share with you, have a look at them and save the date or check out the FTA or FTAI websites to learn more or sign up.

Future Van 2019

This exciting event is scheduled for July 2nd, 2019 at the NAEC, Stoneleigh, Stoneleigh Park (Warwickshire). Industry leaders, manufacturers, operators and experts will gather together to discuss the future of vans, autonomous vehicles, future legislation and electric vans.

For further information consult the FTA page dedicated to the event.

FTA's Logistics Awards

This year's edition, with entries closing on June 28th, will take place in London, at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, on October 24th, 2019.

As usual, the event will cover full multimodal representation in the entries from road, rail, sea and air including operators, manufacturers, retail, logistics and supporting industries, with categories such as Public Services Operator of the Year, Van Operator of the year and - brand new!- Rising Star of the Year.

If you wish to book a table or to enter one of the categories consult the FTA page dedicated to the event.

Driver CPC - Ireland

Save these dates for June and consult the FTAI training page for bookings or to learn more about other trainings:
26th June, 2019 - Driver CPC - Control of the Vehicle & Eco Driving Techniques (CDVET), FTA Ireland, Airport Business Park Dublin
29th June, 2019 - Driver CPC - Control of the Vehicle & Eco Driving Techniques (CDVET), FTA Ireland, Airport Business Park Dublin
29th June, 2019 - Driver CPC - The Professional Truck Driver (PROTD), Carlton Hotel, Santry

Driver CPC - UK

Save these dates for June and consult the FTA training page for bookings or to learn more about other trainings:
27th June, 2019 - Driver CPC - Operators Licence Compliance, Stevenage
29th June, 2019 - Driver CPC - Safety First, Leeds



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Topics: Fleet Management

The A-Z series: P for Planner—why Fleet Managers rock at the art of planning

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 20, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The A-Z series P for Planner—why Fleet Managers rock at the art of planning

Time for the latest chapter in our A-Z of fleet management, which is dedicated to the letter “P”. Fleet managers should not only rock at the art of planning, as we suggest in our title, but rather they should be both its master and of the tools that make it possible—so what exactly makes an accomplished planner?

Some of the traits of great planners could (or at least should!) just as easily apply to those that make for a great fleet manager:

  • Fleet managers and fantastic planners are big thinkers, but are able to break down the big picture into small steps.
  • Fleet managers and fantastic planners are pragmatic—they look at the practical side of things.
  • Fleet managers and fantastic planners have vision—they can see past the immediate needs and predict future outcomes.

What else do stellar planners and fleet managers share in terms of skills?

#1 – Provide structure. Separating a project or something as complicated as the entire fleet operation into different tasks to be assigned to the human resources available in order to meet deadlines while keeping everything on track ... need we say more?

#2 –Work well under pressure but don’t leave everything to the last minute or to chance. The sensible strategy is generally not waiting for deadlines in order to take action. According to Murphy’s law, if anything can go wrong, it will, but an operation can still be managed efficiently and consistently so that when the unpredictable crops up it can be dealt with effectively.

#3 –Operating in the now but also in the then, concurrently. In other words, planning for things and envisioning long term objectives while at the same time also tackling things in the short term and whatever emergencies may arise.

#4 –Never work alone. Great team players that use the valuable feedback of their peers or co-workers to meet challenges and utilise the tools they are given in the best possible way.

#5 – Always have a plan B. There is never a plan B created on the spot in urgent cases, but plan B is still part of the general process, along with C, D and even E in some cases.

#6 – Plan A is never irreplaceable. Good planners are open-minded and flexible, too. No plans are set in stone just because the fleet manager thought it up; it is sometimes necessary to revise ideas and change strategy on the hoof, if it means a better outcome for the fleet.

#7 – Last but not least. Utilise the best-in-class technology to realise goals. This means keeping an eye on any aspect at any time. And enjoying the benefits a great fleet management solution can bring...

Superstar planners, if you identify with #1 through to #6, then we are waiting to hear from you! Contact us to learn how we can make you invincible...


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Topics: Fleet Management

Protect your vehicle and belongings: some tips for drivers and fleet managers

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Protect your vehicle and belongings some tips for drivers and fleet managers

From the smallest to the biggest fleets, getting a vehicle stolen is something that can have a dramatic impact on your budget and workload. Just as a vehicle is taken off the road due to a maintenance problem or after an accident, when a vehicle is stolen we unfortunately cannot only worry about its market value, but are forced to assess all of the financial implications associated with losing such an asset: the need for a replacement (whether permanent or transitional), the need for a quick solution right after the crisis to securing a replacement and, in some cases, having to worry about the items that were inside the vehicle.

Vehicle theft is still a significant issue. In Ireland, it has been calculated that in 2015 the vehicle theft rate amounted to an average of 137.6 cases for every 100,000 of the population. According to data shared covering the period 2017/2018, there were over 106,000 vehicle thefts in England and Wales, showing an increase of almost 15,000 cases when compared with the previous year—an eight year high for this type of crime. The number of motor theft claims paid by insurers in the first quarter of this year in the UK were at their highest for any quarter since 2012.

We’d like to share ten top tips to minimise the risks connected with vehicle theft.

#1 – Nothing is too obvious. Lock the vehicle’s doors, windows and then double-check. Precautions are never too fussy. You would be surprised at just how many times negligence or inattention can lead to theft.

#2 – Maintain your vehicles. Locking systems are part of the maintenance of a vehicle. If you regularly take care of your assets, you can minimise the possibility of a theft.

#3 – Do not leave any belongings in the vehicle. Electronic devices (laptops and tablets) top the ranking of the most robbed items from a vehicle. The simple fact of leaving something visibly in your company car might tempt opportunistic thieves.

#4 – Do the same for your working tools whenever possible. If this isn’t practical, ensure that the method you use for storing tools in your vehicle is some kind of secure locker with a number combination that is sturdy enough to discourage all but the most determined thieves.

#5 – Use some permanent marking on your belongings. You should consider using an invisible identifiable marker on your tools and equipment that is visible under ultra-violet light—it can make them much easier to trace and their ownership indisputable, should they be stolen.

#6 – Consider investing in an alarm. Particularly noisy and sensitive alarms can be a great deterrent to thieves.

#7 – Low budget? Maybe even just an alarm sticker is worth a try. Display that on your vehicles; it might surprise you how effective it can be...

#8 – Look into installing a dashcam. They not only offer a viewpoint of the external environment so you can easily check for any suspicious activity around your vehicle by prospective thieves, but they could also help in the event of an accident and also help improve safety for your drivers.

#9 – Check out telematics. If you haven’t already done so—and you might be one of the very last ones!— check out the installation of vehicle tracking and telematics to locate your vehicles at any given time, 365 days a year. You can even get started with our free trial.

#10 – Park your vehicles in a secure area (assuming they aren’t in the depot) that is busy during the day and preferably well-lit and as busy as possible at night.



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Topics: Fleet Costs, Fleet Management

FTA Logistics Report 2019: insights on the status of logistics in the UK

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 13, 2019 9:00:00 AM

FTA Logistics Report 2019 insights on the status of logistics in the UK

The Freight and Transport Association (FTA) has recently launched the 2019 Logistics Report, a work born out of a partnership between Santander Corporate and Commercial, which collects the opinions of more than 500 freight and logistics businesses operating in the UK and internationally, to provide industry insight into the latest political and economic developments.

The Report is particularly significant as the UK finds itself in challenging times, where technology is expanding on different levels in the logistics sector, but on the other hand the shadow of Brexit creates huge uncertainty on the future of businesses within the transport sector.

The report, downloadable at, is divided into sections covering the different aspects of logistics, from which we reveal some of the insights in this article:

The sector as a whole

According to the FTA report, the logistics industry has added around 200,000 jobs, particularly in storage and warehousing, with the latter registering huge growth. On the other hand, both HGV and LGV registrations fell again for the second year in a row.


The report reveals the importance of the logistics sector in the UK being ranked the eighth most competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries, falling from sixth place.

International trade

An interesting result from the report, especially in light of Brexit, was that the EU accounts for 54.4% of UK goods imported and 48.8% of UK goods exported in 2018.

Labour and skills

Despite the growth in the global number of people working in the sector, the shortage in key roles continues. The report anticipates 15% of current vacancies for HGV drivers will not be filled; and for a further 36% of current vacancies, they anticipate a long delay to find the right candidate. There is also a global shortage of van drivers, warehouse staff, fitters, technicians and mechanics. And, according to respondents, more than half (52.7%) of vacancies for vehicle mechanics, technicians and fitters will not be filled in the near future.

The report also recorded a significant fall of 37% in the number of new logistics apprenticeships, as young people have been attracted to other industries.


With regards to sustainability, despite the creation of clean air zones and the obligations to respect emission targets, according to the forecasts of the report, 24 out of 28 UK urban areas will exceed legal limits for nitrogen dioxide.

Of the respondents in the 2018/2019 FTA survey, 30% indicated they were considering using alternative fuel sources for their van or HGV fleets in 2019.

Safety and innovation

Together with the continuous accent on IoT (Internet of Things) and autonomous vehicles, the sector has seen a continuation in the downward trend of fatal accidents per vehicle km for both HGVs and vans. The total economic cost of workplace injury and new cases of work-related ill health in transportation and storage was £866m (€ 973m), with injury costing £444m (€498m) and illness accounting for £422m (€474m).



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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

The A-Z series of fleet management: O for Odometer—a key piece of the puzzle

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 11, 2019 9:01:00 AM

The A-Z series of fleet management O for Odometer a key piece of the puzzle

Our A-Z series today focusses on something we all take for granted as it is an essential component of any vehicle—the odometer. This instrument, integral in every vehicle, continually logs the distances that a vehicle travels and displays it digitally. But rather than just functioning as a basic mile/km counter, the humble odometer can provide you with the all the data necessary to better manage your vehicles.

#1 – Age and value of your vehicle. The odometer reading and particularly the number of kilometres travelled is key to establishing the value of a vehicle and whether it is still a suitable asset for your business but possibly requiring rotation within your company, for example. Getting odometer information and supporting it with other types of vehicle data related to its performance might help you succeed in the remarketing process or, if you are buying, complete a successful purchase as you have plenty of reliable information upon which to base your decision.

#2 – Maintenance milestones. When we think about odometer readings and vehicle manuals, we immediately think about regular checks that need to be completed once a specific distance is covered. In order to remember when these checks have to be done, it is essential to check the odometer or set up alerts so you can schedule them at the appropriate time. The odometer information in this case is paramount to keeping your vehicle maintained and roadworthy.

#3 – Fuel consumption. It is no easy task keeping an eye on everything, but you should definitely make sure your odometer reading is noted every time your vehicles are filled at the pump and see how much the purchased fuel is lasting and how much your vehicle is consuming. From there you can actually check if there is any action you can take towards saving more fuel.

#4 – Starting and finishing a job. When your drivers are heading to a specific site to carry out a job to completion, it would doubtless be of benefit to record the odometer reading for efficiency purposes. But it can get complicated and prone to errors if done manually. On the other hand, extracting the same data from a vehicle onsite or offsite can be done without your drivers wasting time on tedious admin tasks.

The odometer value is extremely important of course, and delivers instant data in key fields; but if you multiply the time spent on checking each odometer reading by the number of vehicles and drivers you have, things can easily get out of hand.

If you have an automated system able to capture vehicle data and cross-check it with your odometer, you will be in best possible position to take full advantage of all the relevant information without having to worry about getting accurate data manually. There are systems that can be set up and can do the work for you. Contact us if you have any questions and if you wish to learn more from your vehicles and their odometers...


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Topics: Fleet Management, GPS & Tracking

Impaired driving summer crackdown: drink driving and drug driving in the crosshairs

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 6, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Impaired driving summer crackdown: drink driving and drug driving in the crosshairs

A drink driving crackdown this summer has kicked off in the UK this June as it can be a bad month for such offenses: according to data by AlcoSense Laboratories and shared by Fleet News, 1 in 10 motorists tested positive in June 2017 during a similar operation carried out in England and Wales, when around 36,000 drivers were tested (average number tested per month is around 24,000, excluding the Christmas period).

Statistics indicate a spike in drink driving during the month of June that coincides with warmer weather—motorists seem more inclined to drink drive and place themselves at risk during this period. Of the drink driving convictions recorded in June 2017, 17.8% of them fall under the definition of ‘morning after’. The record for most stopped belongs to Merseyside (3010 breathalysed drivers) and the number of people killed in road accidents where the driver was over the drink drive limit has risen by an alarming 45% in only two years. Figures released by the Department for Transport in February suggested there were 290 such deaths in 2017, compared with 200 in 2015.

As for impaired driving, in Ireland the RSA is continuing the drug driving awareness campaign launched in 2017 (as driving under the influence of drugs has been a statutory offence since 1961, but it was not until April 2017 that an effective drug testing method was introduced roadside and in Garda stations), focussing particularly on the beginning of June (and on the bank holiday weekend just gone). The Irish Medical Bureau of Road Safety has reported a rise of approximately 43% in the number of blood and urine specimens received for alcohol and drugs testing in the first four months of the year when compared to the same period in 2018. Data shared by An Garda Síochána show that the number of arrests for ‘Driving Under the Influence’ (DUI), which includes alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, is up 15%. There were 2,694 arrests for DUI from Jan-April 2019, versus 2,343 for Jan-April 2018.

Impaired driving has been detected as the cause of more than half of all car crashes. This means operating a motor vehicle while you are affected by alcohol, drugs (legal or illegal), drowsiness and sleepiness, distractions or relevant medical conditions. All of these are killer behaviours that can pose serious risks for you, your drivers, your company and other road users.


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Topics: Road Safety, News, Stats & Facts, fleet safety

Grey fleet management is the topic of the next HSA seminars

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jun 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Grey fleet management is the topic of the next HSA seminars

The HSA of Ireland recently made public the topic of the next Driving for Work seminars, which will take place in October, with booking details to be available towards the end of the summer on their website.

Grey fleet management is going to be the focus of the Driving for Work seminars, where experts will inform on the legislation and provide guidelines on how to manage grey fleets while staying compliant and practising safety.


These are going to be the scheduled seminars for October 2019:

Clayton Hotel, Galway - Wednesday, 9th October 2019

Crowne Plaza, Blanchardstown, North Dublin - Thursday, 10th October 2019

Fota Island Hotel, Cork - Wednesday, 23rd October 2019

Leopardstown Pavilion, Leopardstown Racecourse, South Dublin - Thursday 24th October 2019


If you wish to learn more about the challenges of managing grey fleets and the best approaches to fleet management related to them, you can have a look at these articles to get ready for the seminars:

Grey fleet policy: is this really necessary

Grey fleet management: how to meet legal requirements

Managing a grey fleet: a quick guide to a great approach


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Topics: News, Stats & Facts, driving for work, grey fleet

Fleet compliance: 33.5% increase in revoked driving licences over the last 4 years

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 30, 2019 9:03:00 AM

Fleet compliance: 33.5% increase in revoked driving licences over the last 4 years

Following on from the alarming results of the Slow Down Day in Ireland, some worrying data about driving licences being revoked has been released by the DVLA.

According to the figures recently released, there has been a 33.5% increase in the number of licences revoked over the last four years under the Road Traffic (New Drivers) Act 1995 and also in the number of drivers who have exceeded the 12 penalty points disqualification limit.

It is imperative for businesses that depend on driving to continually ensure their drivers are legally compliant and have not exceeded the 12 penalty points limit or have already had their licence revoked in the previous year. Companies have to stay vigilant at all times as there are a substantial amount of drivers who work and drive in the UK on foreign licences that have agreements with the UK whose penalty points or qualifications may not be immediately identified.

Other than that, it is essential that companies properly manage risks related to work and to driving as a working activity.

The data, shared under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, revealed that the number of car and motorcycle drivers who have had their driving entitlement revoked or refused for medical reasons was 61,482, an increase of 4% over 2017, and up 29% when compared with 2015.

The number of lorry or bus drivers who have also had their driving entitlement refused for medical reasons also increased from 11,213 in 2017 to 12,242 in 2018, a rise of 9.2%.

As previously quoted, the number of drivers with 12 or more penalty points on their licences has risen as well. In July last year, there were 10,978 drivers with 12 or more penalty points recorded on their current driver record.  By the end of March this year, that figure had grown to 11,150, a 1.6% rise in less than six months.

The alarming statistics shared by the DVLA prove once again that companies need to continue focusing on essential operations like driving licence checking and the assessment of drivers’ compliance and the various risks associated with the driving profession. Verifications such as these are of paramount importance for the safety and security of a company which has to operate according to its duty of care to their whole team, to drivers and all road users.


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Topics: News, Stats & Facts

Ireland celebrates Slow Down Day, but drivers are caught 50% over speed limit

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 28, 2019 9:02:00 AM

Ireland celebrates Slow Down Day, but drivers are caught 50 over speed limit

An Garda Síochána launched the annual 'National Slow Down Day' for a 24 hour period from 07.00 am on Friday 24th May to 07.00 am on Saturday 25th May 2019. The event is intended to reduce the number of speed related collisions, save lives and reduce injuries on the roads.

In terms of road safety, 2018 was the lowest on record with 146 road deaths; however, that doesn’t automatically mean there is no room for improvement. The trend has in fact altered in 2019 according to the data analysed so far. There was a 46% increase in the number of drivers detected speeding on the roads in the first three months of this year, compared to the same period last year. More than 36,000 people have been caught speeding between January and March 2019.

According to the first reports released last Saturday, four drivers who were caught speeding during the initiative (and despite it) were travelling more than 50% above the speed limit. In total, An Garda Síochána and GoSafe had checked 195,768 vehicles and detected 304 travelling in excess of the speed limit on the Saturday.

Excessive and unsuitable speed is a primary cause of road traffic accidents. This is borne out by an RSA report on fatal accidents between 2008 and 2012, which confirmed that excessive speed was a major factor in almost one third of all fatalities during the period. 

The greater the speed, the higher probability of an accident and, as you might expect, the more serious the resulting damage. As a general rule, a 1% reduction in average speed will bring about a 4% reduction in fatal collisions; and this is why reducing drivers’ speed for both commercial and other road users is essential to improving road safety.

If you need to get started with speeding prevention and want to promote safe, better driving within your fleet, contact us.



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Topics: Road Safety, News, Stats & Facts, fleet safety

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