Making service personal
The Old Coach House, Corsham
0333 220 0501
Making service personal
The Old Coach House, Corsham
0333 220 0501

Ask Andy Question – April 2024

Ask Andy Question – April 2024



I run an industrial cleaning company and employ about 100 sub-contracted cleaners who have access to company vans. I’m wasting a fortune in damages, wear and tear, parking fines and unpaid congestion charges, despite having repeatedly asked for better attention and care.


I am concerned that this is costing me a fortune but also about my potential liability, should an accident cause damage or harm to a third party.


What can I put in place to help motivate them (as sub-contractors) to take more care when the cost implications fall squarely with me? Should I (can I even) mandate some form of driver training? The work is low skilled and the industry is not very highly paid, so many of the contractors are working for me on top of their regular job and therefore time poor.”Will – MD at Batch




Hi Will


An interesting question with many facets to it but I can sum this up with one word – Attitude!

Driver training is misunderstood by many, and especially the drivers that are put forward for a course by their managers, and often as a punishment!


Having been involved in driver training for over 40 years I could probably count on one hand the number of drivers that have arrived, on time, in a clean fully fuelled vehicle, devoid of any faults and importantly, eager to learn new things!


Drivers arrive thinking that they are going to be taught how to drive – this is most definitely not the case if a specialist driver training company is selected, someone like Fleet Service GB for example.


The Achieve Driver Training course is all about ‘Attitude’ and the 3 key advanced driving principles of Concentration, Observation and Anticipation. The course also covers the four pillars of wellbeing that allow drivers to better the above principles, they being, Fatigue, Hydration, Nutrition and Stress Management.


And so, to some of the specifics in your question; subcontracted staff can be difficult to manage but the key to improving attitude is firstly by having a robust, but fair Driving Policy. Fleet Service GB can provide this if you don’t already have one and can also work with you to tailor this to your specific needs.


Secondly, it is paramount that drivers are aware of what is expected, and this starts before you just handover a set of keys. All drivers should receive an initial handover that includes how to do a vehicle check, this is included in all Driver Training courses but can also be delivered in-house.


If the vehicle handed over is clean, tidy, branded and represents your company well then this also helps to set the scene. If you are handing over the keys to a battered old van then guess what, it will not be treated with respect.


All drivers must be encouraged to report defects and when reported they must be acted upon; again, the Achieve driver app can make this process very simple for all concerned.


As well as reporting bad stuff, drivers should also be rewarded for doing good things; for example, a monthly reward for the cleanest vehicle or the best mpg achieved.


Changing the culture is hard but has to start with having robust processes in place and good measurement of the outcomes.


I once had a client who told me that they couldn’t discipline a driver who was their best salesman however when I got them to calculate the actual costs of this drivers numerous incidents and subtract the cost from his sales, they discovered he was far from their top achiever!


And so, driver training would definitely help reduce your running costs, it always does, even with a high turnover driver rate (it can actually help with this too). A good driver trainer will work with drivers to help them achieve a better, more efficient driving style that reduces their stress and improves their driving whilst also changing attitudes and improving culture.


In summary, none of the above is hard or challenging but does take time and the will to do something. The fact that you have asked the question indicates that you have this so let’s start the process. We at Fleet Service GB have done this successfully for many clients over many years and will assist you through every stage.


Good luck and regards


Related Posts
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *