There are so many things for fleet managers to consider, that how well your cars or commercial vehicles are being driven may be something that you push to the back of your mind. With company car tax, environmental considerations, changing staff and maintenance issues to think about, driver training and good road practice can all too often be overlooked. Nevertheless, ensuring that your drivers are conducting themselves well on the road has several important implications.
Even in vehicles which are not liveried in your company’s logo, for example, employees who are on the road in a fleet vehicle represent your brand. Poor driving, discourteous motoring and lazy manoeuvring can all annoy members of the public and clients, thus dragging your brand’s reputation down. Equally, drivers who don’t take proper care of their vehicles can end up devaluing them, over time. If they have an accident, then you can expect your insurance premiums to rise. Therefore, keeping an eye on your fleet and how well it is being driven is something that most managers should take notice of.
A good way of making a simple assessment over how well company cars, for example amongst a team of sales reps, is being looked after is to inspect them when they come to the head office for a meeting. Some drivers will have their cars in tip-top condition ready to make a good impression at their next appointment. After all, that’s why you issue a sales team with prestigious cars, isn’t it? A quick survey in the car park will reveal which ones are unkempt and unwashed. These are the drivers to keep a closer eye on and to check for other signs of wear and tear.
If you’re in United Kingdom, buy your tyres from an expert dealership like point-s.co.uk, this way, when you check them for excessive wear – perhaps because the driver has been pulling away in an irresponsible manner by flooring it every time – you will know that any wear is not down to other factors, such as cheaper compounds or poor fitting. Equally, if one of your drivers is changing his tyres at a greater frequency than others who do a similar mileage, it might be time to have a word with him and to encourage him to pull away more gently in future.
Remember to respond to complaints from the public and investigate anything that might be reported to you. If you have a commercial fleet, then add a number on the back of each vehicle that people can report poor driving on. It doesn’t need to be manned. A voicemail system will do. Reports of poor driving can help you to identify drivers that are not respecting their company vehicle as they might and it can also help you to identify an individual who is not where he had claimed to be at the time.
Most drivers of fleet vehicles are conscientious and treat the vehicle they have been issued with respect. As such, there’s no need to go overboard with surveillance. However, a few inspections here and there and the occasional hint that drivers are being monitored is usually enough to make sure that problem are dealt with before they become real headaches.