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Distracted driving and breakdowns among post-lockdown risks for fleets

by Eleonora Malacarne on May 6, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Distracted driving and breakdowns among post-lockdown risks for fleets
As the lockdown starts to ease in Europe, fleet managers have now to cope with possible issues that might appear after the pause.

Breakdowns are very likely to happen if vehicles are parked for extended periods of time, used just for very short trips and not taken care of. According to the AA, battery breakdowns are probably going to increase right after the isolation period, as it generally happens after Christmas, when vehicles are generally left inactive for some time.

In order not to get caught by surprise, here is a small list of items you should pay attention to during lockdown:

  • Vehicle battery. Vehicles with batteries in good conditions shouldn't have any issues if they are not used during 2 weeks, but a good routine to avoid breakdowns would be starting them once a week.
  • Brakes. If you park your vehicle for a long time with the parking brake on, brakes can seize. In order to avoid this, release the brake and drive a short distance back and forth.
  • Fuel. In order to avoid condensation, top up vehicles with fuel.
  • Tyres. Make sure tyre pressure is adequate as deflated tyres might put more pressure on the sidewall or cause damages.
  • Cleaning your vehicle. Vehicles should be washed regularly to avoid contaminants or possible damages to the paint. The inside of the vehicle should always be left without empties and ventilated regularly.
According to Fleet News, another potential issue that might appear after lockdown is distracted driving. This might happen as people in general and drivers now tend to rely on digital communication and could tempted to do so behind the wheel, or also because some of them will start to drive again after weeks of inactivity.

If you are starting your activity again, please take note of these possible issues and of the best practices we shared about Covid-19 checks for drivers: contact our team if you want to know more or make them digital via our walkaround checks app.
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Photo by Ed 259 on Unsplash
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Topics: Fleet Management, fiato doblo cargo, News, Stats & Facts

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

Commercial vehicles reviews: the new Fiat Doblò Cargo

by Eleonora Malacarne on Feb 27, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The winner of the prestigious International Van of the Year award in 2006 and 2011 is back—Fiat is launching the fourth generation of this successful light commercial vehicle.
Recently introduced to the UK market, the Doblò range includes the following van models:

• Standard 
• Maxi
• High Roof
• XL
• WorkUp (with external storage compartment)
• Chassis cab with load platform
The front of the van has been changed and reworked offering a brand new exterior design, making it much more attractive than its predecessors, and more refined. This innovative line offers improved aerodynamics to increase fuel efficiency.
The choice of engine for the new Doblò range includes:
• 1.3 litre diesel—MultiJet II—90 HP (Horse Power)
• 1.6 litre diesel—MultiJet II—90 HP
• 1.6 litre diesel—MultiJet II—105 HP
• 1.4 litre petrol—16 valve, MPI (Multi-point injection)— 95 HP
These engines provide up to 40% better torque response while having no adverse effect on fuel consumption (anything up to 64 mpg—an improvement of up to 12%).
The Ecojet pack option offers even more fuel efficiency for the 1.3 MultiJet II 90 HP and the 1.6 MultiJet II 105 HP engines. Fuel consumption is reduced,  thanks to a combination of design features: 
• intelligent alternator management
• aerodynamic pack
• low rolling resistance tyres 
• Start & Stop feature
• variable displacement oil pump
According to Fiat sources, this should reduce fuel consumption as much as:
• 12% on the 1.3 MultiJet II engine 64.2 MPG (4.4 l/100 km and 115 g/km CO2)
• 15% on the 1.6 Multijet II engine 60.1 MPG (4.7 l/100 km and 124 g/km CO2)
The new Fiat Doblò range has the following safety features available (some as standard, some are optional):
• 4-sensor ABS braking system, complete with EBD (electronic brake force distributor)
• ESC (electronic stability control)
• HBA (hydraulic brake assist) and Hill-Holder systems that help the driver during hill starts
• ASR (anti slip regulation)
• parking sensors
• a passenger airbag and lateral airbags
• TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) checking the pressure of the tyres constantly—indicating any loss in pressure, directly, via the on-board display
Risks on the Road - FREE ebook
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Topics: van, Fiat, commercial vehicles, commercial vehicle, fiat doblo, fiato doblo cargo, News, Stats & Facts

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