It is something that has happened to a lot of us at some time or other, we are driving along and suddenly one of the warning lights on the dashboard lights up. How would you behave? Would you stop and check what exactly it is that the light is warning us about if it isn’t overly clear, or just forget about it?
Apparently, many fleet drivers opt for the second choice. According to a survey carried out by Venson, and recently published by Fleetworld, 28% of drivers working in fleets ignore dashboard warning lights. The same survey claims only 42% of the interviewed drivers see maintenance as part of their responsibilities.
Vehicle servicing and maintenance is definitely one of the most important fleet activities; confusion or irresponsible attitudes have to be avoided at all costs.
Fleet managers and companies, where driving is consistently a primary business activity, have to communicate properly with regards to servicing and maintenance. We are continuously reiterating how, ideally, management ensures there is a precise policy on maintenance, made up of regular checks, daily, weekly and so on (depending upon vehicle usage), and that there are precise schedules and procedures outlining how drivers and staff are expected to deal with a vehicle defect or breakdown.
Tyres are an essential safety aspect of vehicles (and a key part of fleet costs), they should be checked and maintained regularly. According to the survey mentioned above, only 66% of the interviewed checks tyre pressures and inflates tyres if needed.
The importance of maintenance cannot be over emphasised not only as a method of reducing unnecessary costs, preventing downtime and wear and tear, but as a means of optimising vehicle safety—companies and drivers are, and should, feel responsible for their own safety as well as respecting the welfare of other people on the road. Driver and staff education has to be reinforced in order to minimise damage and the potential risk of incidents.