Case study: Balfour Beatty Fleet Services

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Balfour Beatty Group has saved hundreds of thousands of pounds through its innovative and multi-faceted driver risk management programme.

But when the ‘hidden costs’ from cutting vehicle downtime, reducing maintenance bills and lowering levels of absenteeism are calculated, those savings extend to millions of pounds.

More recently, the company, an infrastructure services business operating in more than 80 countries, introduced a focus on ‘smarter’ driving, with the emphasis on fuel savings, which is generating further savings and reducing its carbon footprint.

Behind these training programmes is Balfour Beatty Fleet Services (BBFS), which offers a comprehensive fleet service, incorporating both contract hire and fleet management as well as specialised vehicle specification, vehicle procurement and servicing and maintenance requirements to Balfour Beatty Group companies.

Those organisations have the choice of using BBFS or an external provider, so it is vital that BBFS is competitive.

But not only is BBFS converting companies within the Balfour Beatty Group, which are investing in its training programmes, it is also successfully delivering its message to sub-contractors, suppliers and like-minded companies at large.

Rob Lindsay, who heads the driver risk management programme, says: “It is a real success story – reducing vehicle incidents, empowering employees and saving money for businesses across the group and beyond.”

The BBFS fleet numbers some 4,500 cars, 4,000 vans and 745 vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes.

The diesel-dominated van fleet – there are 15 electric vans and the number is expected to grow – typically operates across a four-year/100,000-mile replacement cycle, although that can be reduced to two years or extended to seven depending on contract demands.

Results across the BBFS van fleet showed the number of own-fault incidents totalled 0.19 per vehicle last year, down from 0.25 in 2011.

During those two years, the total number of own-fault and third-party incidents involving vans was reduced from 1,016 to 808 incidents.

BBFS has also recorded more than a 40% reduction in collisions involving its vehicles; Balfour Beatty Rail Projects has cut direct vehicle costs by more than £100,000 over two years since introducing the driver risk management programme; Signalling Solutions, a joint venture company, reported a 70% reduction in vehicle damage and misuse claims; and Balfour Beatty construction services business, Mansell, recorded a £50,000-a-year saving in direct vehicle costs and saved more than £400,000 in indirect costs.

‘There should be no secrets in road safety’

“We always try to share best practice,” says Lindsay. “There should be no secrets in road safety. We have case studies showing the savings and benefits and those results are powerful in spreading the driver risk management mantra across our supply chain and into the wider community.”

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