Van fleets at risk by checking vehicle defects monthly, research shows

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A third of large van fleets are only checking vehicle condition once a month putting their operation and drivers at risk, research from Crystal Ball has found.

The findings, based on the responses of more than 200 fleets, suggest that for some large van fleets, control and management of checking can prove an issue, and said that they don’t have the resource to deal with a flow of daily or weekly checks.

Fleets can save time by using smartphone apps to conduct vehicle checks and prevent unplanned downtime during a period when most fleets are having to ensure every asset is available, says Raj Singh, managing director at Crystal Ball.

He said: “Technology can help large fleets to check vehicles regularly and efficiently.

“Often it seems large fleets are concerned they are going to be snowed under with paperwork, and that in some cases it’s better to find there’s a problem once a month, than to miss a problem because they can’t handle the daily amount of information being sent to them.

“But this issue can be solved. You should check vehicles daily, and with technology such as ours you can do this quickly and easily and only need to react to real issues, as they are presented.

“It’s vital to make regular checks, and even more so now when keeping vehicles on the road is more important than ever, because of rental shortages, workshop capacity issues and a lack of new vehicle supply.

“If problems can be flagged as early as possible, and drivers made aware of their responsibility to look after their vehicles through a rigorous culture of daily checks and instant reporting, then unplanned downtime can be reduced, and careless drivers who cost the firm money discovered.

“The DVSA recommends a daily walkaround check, but it seems a surprising number of large fleets have decided on policies that require far fewer regular checks.”

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