Focus on safety essential for delivery fleets as seasonal pressures mount

Delivery fleets need to ensure that safety standards are being upheld as seasonal demand grows, says Arval.

Simon Cook, LCV consultant at Arval, said: “It appears the pressure being brought to bear on delivery fleets increases every year, especially around the traditional seasonal peaks such as Christmas and artificial ones like Black Friday. This unavoidably creates pressure on all parts of fleet operations but notably on the drivers themselves who – if they are agency staff - may be driving vehicles that they are not familiar with, and often in adverse weather conditions.

“The message we’d like to get across to delivery fleets working against this backdrop is that it is crucial not to cut corners when it comes to your risk management policy, both from an ethical and legal point of view.

“For these companies, getting the parcels out on time is a priority, but it is crucial that they keep their eye on the ball – ensuring that the safety of their drivers, and all other road users, is an area of focus.”

Cook added that this became even more important when it came to agency drivers that delivery fleets often use to cope with seasonal peaks. “These drivers should not be treated differently to those you employ permanently,” he said. “You must ensure that the agency, your own fleet and human resources have followed the procedures in your risk management policy in full and are aware of your road risk policies.”

Also, there were no excuses for making compromises when it came to ensuring that standards covering delivery vehicles themselves were maintained.

He said: “If a van is due for servicing in December, then it should be serviced in December, no matter what operational demands you face. There is a temptation to put it back until January, but you will simply be taking unnecessary risks.

“Similarly, while vehicles are being used intensively, it becomes even more important that daily visual safety checks, such as on tyres, are being carried out. When your fleet is being placed under more pressure, that is the time to step up your risk management.”

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