Top tips for operating a safe LCV fleet from Tracey Scarr, fleet and road safety manager at Arval and winner of this year’s Fleet News Safe Fleet of the Year Award
- Right vehicle for the job: Take into account the load carried, theenvironment drivers operate in and mileage. Using the ‘wrong’ vehicles impacts on driver safety and can also damage the van, increasing maintenance costs.
- Don’t overload: If it is occasionally necessary to carry a larger than usual load, hire a short-term rental vehicle. Overloading not only makes the vehicle less safe, the weight will also reduce MPG and, over time, the need for unplanned maintenance will increase. Racking systems offer a safe and efficient tailor-made restraint mechanism.
- Driver assessment and training: All drivers should be risk-assessed and receive some level of training linked to their road risk. As well as reducing collision likelihood, changing behaviour will reduce fuel consumption, excess wear and tear costs and the likelihood of speeding offences.
- Clear fleet policy: A well communicated fleet policy that is focused on safety will reduce driver risk. It may include measures such as a ban on hands-free mobile phones and fitness-to-drive advice which we believe significantly reduces a driver’s road risk. All businesses operating a van fleet should engage with the FTA Van Excellence programme, which is an industry-led initiative to raise standards and improve the image of the van sector
- Check the tyres: Tyres should be checked on an ongoing basis for both tread and pressure. Damaged, worn or under inflated tyres not only increase the chances of a collision but MPG will suffer.
- Satellite navigation: systems Fitting vehicles with basic technology such as sat nav means drivers can concentrate on the road rather than trying to work out where they should be going.
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