Fleet Service GB (FSGB) is encouraging van fleet operators to focus on driver management in order to reduce fleet costs and downtime.
The advice comes as supply shortages mean vans are getting older and more expensive to maintain, while many are also working harder and covering more miles due to the growth in demand for home delivery services.
By focusing on work-related road safety, driver wellbeing, and ensuring drivers feel valued and appreciated, FSBG says fleets can expect reduced costs, crashes and incidents.
Geoffrey Bray, FSGB’s chairman said: “Working with van fleet operators of all sizes across the UK, the results are clear to us; if drivers are well managed, communicated with and supported by an integrated IT management system, then the drivers will feel valued, vehicle utilisation will improve, all impacting positively on operational efficiency.
“As time pressures increase on a driver, stress levels go up resulting in more crashes employers must have in place a comprehensive driver, vehicle, journey management programme capturing and joining up all of the measured performance data.
“As the data is analysed the appropriate and necessary support initiatives and interventions are applied. Safety and compliance must never be compromised, a fully integrated approach will produce positive results. It should also improve driver retention, which is particularly pertinent in this current employment environment.”
Housing association Live West’s fleet manager Paul Ayris and FSGB have worked together for the past three years to create a detailed behavioural overview for 400 drivers through the Achieve vehicle and driver management programme.
A reduction in driver vehicle abuse has translated into reducing fleet maintenance costs from 3.43p per mile per van to 3.09p in 12 months. Incident rates have halved, with at fault crashes reducing by 40%. Driver related damage costs have also fallen, by 50%, during that time leading to self-insured insurance policy rebates and reduced premiums.
FSBG says anything less than a 100% buy-in from the company’s board risks compromising a successful work-related road safety programme. This includes ensuring that sufficient time and energy is invested in the implementation and management of the programme.
Driver communication is another key part of a successful van fleet management policy which is why FSGB has spearheaded the ongoing development of its Achieve Driver App. The App plays a significant integrated role in all aspects of communication, access to all services easy to navigate processes, prompts reminders and messages covering driver handbook and fleet policy updates plus seasonal advice and a variety of tips showing drivers how to look after themselves and their vehicles.