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Why fleet tyre maintenance should become routine for your team and vehicles

by Mark Dressekie on Jul 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Why fleet tyre maintenance should become routine for your team and vehicles

Did you know that, on average, one third of a fleet company’s annual maintenance budget is spent on tyres? That was the figure reported by Fleet News magazine and it’s one that clearly shows the importance that fleet companies place on ensuring that their vehicles are fitted with roadworthy tyres.

But another reason why that portion is so high is that some fleet companies try to skimp on purchasing tyres that aren’t of the required standard and, over time, the maintenance for these is disproportionate to how much they initially cost. Had they invested in premium tyres at the outset, their vehicles would have remained on the road for longer.


Tyre Maintenance & Vehicle Downtime

It isn’t just the expense of repairing and replacing tyres that hits fleet companies hard, though. For every minute that their vehicles are off the road and in the garage, they are losing the business money, as they are unable to fulfill their transport duties. For fleets, vehicles being off the road is the same as desk-based office environments experiencing IT downtime, in that essential tasks cannot be performed. Downtime can happen for a number of reasons and inadequate tyres or tyres that have not been checked may have serious consequences that range from downtime to global safety.


A Core Element of Employee Health & Safety

Aside from the financial aspect of tyre maintenance, in fact, there is the far more important consideration of employee safety. If vehicles in a company’s fleet are fitted with substandard tyres, this raises the possibility of an accident occurring and puts drivers at unnecessary risk. The safety of personnel needs to take precedence over everything else in managing a business; for fleets, that means ensuring that vehicles are in prime condition.


5 Best Practice Tips for Fleet Tyre Maintenance

  1. Before investing in in-house maintenance facilities, be sure to conduct a thorough assessment analysing the costs and the complexity of implementation. If you intend to carry out your maintenance work in-house, you will need to match the standards and expertise as a commercial workshop.


  1. Rather than waiting until the tread reaches 2mm, consider changing tyres once the tread is down to 3 - 4mm. After this point, the tread can deteriorate quite quickly and waiting any longer could put the driver at risk in adverse weather conditions.


  1. Implement a comprehensive tyre safety training programme to teach staff proper tyre maintenance and instructs them on how to conduct all the necessary checks including tyre pressure, tread depth and damage.


  1. Fleet managers should also make a point of carrying out regular spot inspections.


  1. Rather than alternating between winter and summer tyres, opt for “all-season” tyres instead. This will help to reduce costs and vehicle downtime.



The message is simple: fleet companies must make tyre maintenance a routine part of their operations, just as restaurants incorporate cleaning and hygienic practices into their core activities.


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Topics: Fleet Management, fleet maintenance

The A-Z series: R is for Replacement—when is it the right time to replace a fleet vehicle?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 9, 2019 9:02:00 AM

The A-Z series R is for Replacement—when is it the right time to replace a fleet vehicle

When it comes to fleets, we will never stop talking costs: naturally, they are always too high but they are still a necessary expenditure in order to develop commercial activity, and we are always looking for ways of managing those costs and doing things more wisely. Replacing vehicles is another one on the long list of costs which comes with its own set of challenges.

Vehicles shall be kept in fleets as long as they constitute a measurably reasonable expense. So when fuel and maintenance costs seem excessive for a vehicle, and age and mileage also suggest that a vehicle is probably not as efficient as it was some time ago, it is maybe time to start thinking about a replacement. But these indicators alone do not provide enough data alone to formulate a definite opinion on the matter; there should in fact be clear guidelines for replacement, ideally based on vehicle data obtained from the vehicle itself or from the fleet as a whole.

Replacement policies should detail conditions for disposal and replacement of vehicles in a way that should be widely understood within your organization. They cannot be drafted in isolation, but rather interconnected with fleet management budgets or financial policies and procurement strategies, as a piece in the entire jigsaw. The objective is not to incur excessive cost from mileage, maintenance or aging and to sell the vehicle at the best moment and price possible, to then use this advantage to acquire new assets. In order to guarantee that the remarketing process is carried out successfully, the vehicle needs to be roadworthy and in good condition, so it might need servicing or even have its functionality certified by a third party provider specialised in this type of service.

What then are some of the details companies need to consider when drafting a replacement policy for their fleet? We have outlined some of them, although we need to bear in mind that they are not all necessarily valid for your company or for every sector—as there is no one-size-fits-all approach in fleet management, or business in general—but are still worth checking if you are preparing your own replacement policy:

#1 – Fuel consumption— technology changes mean vehicles today consume less fuel than yesteryear. If your vehicle has been in service for a while, its technology might have been surpassed by a newer vehicle, or wear and tear could just be the cause for an inefficient performance from the point of view of fuel consumption. Emissions too are important, as they start to increase together with the intake of fuel needed for the vehicle to operate after a few years.

#2 – Maintenance expenses—for much the same reasons as fuel consumption: when the level of maintenance is no longer a reasonable expense and vehicles require more and more garage time, it might be time to look into a replacement, so a threshold needs to be established before initiating the process.

#3 – Breakdowns—if you start to experience a certain frequency in this area and the associated costs are no longer sustainable, then it’s time to look for an alternative: again, you should have clear lines on how much you can spend, as a threshold, for every vehicle per month or year, and look into the matter when figures start to significantly surpass your forecasts.

#4 – Mileage—following manufacturer recommendation, establish a mileage threshold too and cross-check it with fuel consumption and costs generated by the vehicle to determine if replacement is necessary.

#5 – Vehicle general status—maybe physical appearance is not important in every aspect of life—but with regard to company vehicles and fleets, it definitely matters for your brand image and for your sales fleet. Make sure you include this criteria in your replacement policy terms.



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Topics: Fleet Costs, Fleet Management

How to decide between leasing or purchasing a fleet

by Joseph Brady on Jul 4, 2019 9:03:00 AM

How to decide between leasing or purchasing a fleet

The decision to lease or own a fleet is a well-thought through choice that a transportation owner should make. Usually, the choice depends on the then finances and requirements. But a proper plan is required to gain long-term profitability. Here are few factors to consider before jumping into the leasing vs purchasing decision.

  1. Cost: calculate the money that you currently spend on the fleet and estimate how much you will be spending in the future for both the lease and buying options.
  2. Flexibility: being flexible is essential for small businesses to save a lot of money. Ask yourself if you will require the same number and type of vehicles in the future as well.
  3. Maintenance: maintaining the fleet is critical in the transportation industry and is unavoidable. Analyze if leasing a vehicle or buying one will be more economical.

Though leasing and buying have their own advantages for different transportation businesses, it’s better to know about them to make well-informed decisions.


Leasing a fleet

There are two main types of fleet leasing:

Open-ended leasing: Lease the vehicle for a certain period of time and extend if required. But once the contract period has expired, the vehicle becomes yours to sell. If you sell the vehicle at a higher value than the estimated cost, then the leaser gives you a refund. However, if the vehicles are sold at a lower cost, the business owner will have to pay the difference to the leaser.

Close-ended leasing: In this type, you can lease the vehicles for a specific amount of time and once it expires, the fleet has to be returned to the leaser. This type of leasing is also called, ‘walk-away lease’ as you don’t have anything to commit to after the lease period is over.



Works for small capitals: The monthly payments for leasing a vehicle is less than the cost of buying one outright. This is a major reason for small business owners with humble beginnings to incline towards leasing the vehicles.

Lowers maintenance: Maintaining the fleet is an expensive yet essential part of your business. If you are leasing the vehicles, the leaser usually takes care of the maintenance but there is a catch in this cost-wise. If the leaser has a maintenance unit of their own the cost will be low, but if the maintenance is done by another company then costs will go up.

Goes off the balance sheet: Your debt-to-equity ratio takes a hit when the fleet is bought with a major capital expense. This will reflect badly on your company for lenders and investors. Leasing the vehicles balances out this expense over a period of time.

Brings fleet flexibility: Business requirements change from time to time and it is good for a transportation business to be flexible in the fleet that they own. Analyze the trends season-wise, geography-wise, and client-wise to understand what type of vehicles and their quantity is required for your fleet.

Opens gate for new vehicles: It’s not possible for any transportation business to keep updating their vehicle to newer models. But, you can lease the latest models that come with additional features, safety upgrade, lesser maintenance requirements, and more fuel economy.



Buying a fleet

If you are new to the industry, buying a fleet might look like a huge financial step and your capital might not synchronize with your buying plans. But, owning vehicles come with their own set of advantages.

Payments end eventually: The best part of buying your fleet is that the payments in installments too end one day. But, if you want to make an upfront payment you can always turn to small business funding options that might be more advantageous. Also, the fleet will be a way of making a solid investment for your business.

Comes with no limitation: From wear and tears to mileage, you are not answerable to anyone. But, remember that maintenance is billed under your business if you own the vehicles. Hence, educate your drivers on taking care of the vehicles and also devise a plan such that the work is distributed equally among all vehicles.

Offers tax benefits: The value of vehicles depreciate over time and this can actually help your business instead of bringing losses. This depreciation can equalize the offset profit, making you get tax benefits. In leasing the depreciation benefit lies with the leaser.

Provides positive equity: Your fleet adds equity to your business and over the years this will turn into positive equity. Positive equity means the amount your fleet owes for your vehicles becomes lesser than its value and you can reinvest this difference amount back into your company.


Managing a transport business is a challenging task involving many tough decisions and calculated judgments. Leasing or buying of fleet vehicles is one of them. Though the pros and cons of both these options are explained in detail, what suits best for your business should be your decision to make.



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Topics: Fleet Costs, Fleet Management

The ‘white van man’: do any of your staff resemble the classic UK stereotype of the inconsiderate driver?

by Eleonora Malacarne on Jul 2, 2019 9:02:00 AM

The ‘white van man’: do any of your staff resemble the classic UK stereotype of the inconsiderate driver?

Image credits: Sven Storbeck,


With many of the fleets we are regularly dealing with comprising mainly of light commercial vehicles, sooner or later we invariably wonder if any of them fit the classic ‘white van man’ stereotype and whether fleet managers ever wonder the same thing.

The ‘white van man’ stereotype, a term coined circa 1997, claimed, due to an article in The Sunday Times published at that time, that drivers of battered LCVs were often selfish, inconsiderate and aggressive. Even Wikipedia has a dedicated page on the ‘white van man’, which conjures up an unfortunate image of a discourteous oaf who is a menace to road safety. But is this fair—and is it really the case?

A couple of recent articles have tried to dispel the myth and show us that things have changed in step with other antisocial attitudes over the years. According to an article from The Independent in 2018, the so-called ‘white van man’ stereotype, usually associated with an overweight, junk-food lover, is actually a bit dated:  your average ‘white van man’ is more likely these days to be a health conscious individual preferring salads and fruit or packing his own lunch and even keeping fit and working out at least twice a week. Another study covered by the same article actually proved that many drivers claim to be more polite, patient and understanding on the road than the old ‘white van man’ stereotype would have you believe.

Another source of information trying to debunk the stereotype comes in the form of an interesting infographic produced by LeaseVan, which actually provides data on the type of work carried out by ‘white van man’, the percentage of total traffic on the road they account for compared to other vehicle types and the, actually quite positive, record they have when it comes to  insurance claims, indicating a lower accident rate on average, contrary to what the stereotype suggests!). See for yourselves:

  • Vans account for 44.9% of all traffic in the UK.
  • The most popular white van profession is the contractor (typically, builder, electrician, handyman) but also delivery drivers and shopkeepers.
  • Vans account for 45 billion miles driven in the UK out of a total of 61 billion miles driven by commercial vehicles every year.
  • 68% of white van drivers have no insurance claims.
  • If all the UK’s van drivers went on strike, there would be significant delays in deliveries, important medicines would be delayed in hospitals, breakdown cover would grind to a halt and moving house would be significantly more difficult.

Whatever you may think of these drivers, vans really do own the roads. But they are no longer the outdated vans belching black smoke you were all too familiar with back in the 90s. Companies know how important it is to not only to teach their drivers how to practise safety on the road and to have well maintained vans that contribute to the image of a company; they consider their vehicles and staff to be a brilliant advertising opportunity. The era of the old ‘white man van’ is, thankfully, at an end.


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Topics: fiato doblo cargo, News, Stats & Facts

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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