Smaller HGV fleets more likely to fail MOT tests

Debbie Fox r2c

Smaller commercial vehicle fleets have a higher MOT test failure rate for lorries, buses and trailers than larger fleets, according to R2C Online.

Analysis of DVSA figures show HGV fleets of two to five vehicles have a 14% failure rate during the test, and 10% for those between six to 10. By comparison, fleets of more than 100 vehicles had a failure rate of only 4%.

Small commercial vehicle fleets need more help with service, maintenance and repair, r2c Online says.

The company’s managing director Debbie Fox said: “On the face of it, you might think it is easier to look after seven or eight trucks and keep them roadworthy than it is to look after 70 or 80. But often, those running the trucks are also running the business, spinning all sorts of other plates too. When you have so much responsibility, it’s not a surprise when service, maintenance and repair issues get missed.

“The bigger the fleet, the less test failures they have – it’s a trend that is seen throughout all these DVSA statistics in the past few years. There are many complex reasons for this, but on the whole, larger fleets tend to have more SMR management processes in place and also dedicated employees to look after SMR. It can be no coincidence that as a result they suffer fewer failures.”

The failure of 10-14% on a fleet of five to 10 vehicles is likely to be far more impactful to daily operations than 4% on a much larger fleets, where there is often the capacity to move vehicles around to manage downtime. And Fox says that the pressure on small fleets to keep operational should not come at the expense of maintenance, and ultimately, safety.

“While many of these maintenance issues are not being deliberately ignored by small fleets, there is a still a duty on the operator to ensure their vehicles are roadworthy and safe. If something major happens and a vehicle is found to have not been maintained properly, saying ‘Sorry, but I was really busy with other things’ just doesn’t cut it. But we can provide you with the tools to help you avoid this scenario occurring,” Fox added.

R2c has developed its r2c lite package, which gives small fleets more control over how they manage SMR. The platform offers all the benefits of r2c’s existing Core product and Driver Pre-Use Check app but with faster, self-serve training and implementation specifically designed for smaller fleets, delivered through the r2c Online Training Hub.

Fox said: “We also recognise that with the best will in the world, sometimes it can be difficult for small fleets to find workshop time when they might not have the buying power of larger businesses. So through r2c lite, we ensure small fleets can access a network of 1,400 trusted repairers and contact them directly through the platform, meaning increased potential opportunity for SMR work to be scheduled and completed around your needs.”

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