The Fleet Industry Advisory Group (FIAG) is so concerned at the impact Covid-19 is having on the safety and compliance of vehicle fleets it has released a series of recommendations on how companies should face up to a post pandemic future.
‘Road Safety Pays Dividends’ is a free-to-download 14-page guide aimed at addressing the numerous challenges that have been thrown at fleets since the first lockdown involving both the driver and their vehicle.
These challenges include:
• Home working drivers not using vehicles from one month to the next and hence the risk of many vehicles becoming unroadworthy
• Restricted servicing and MOT facilities being open for business during 2020 and fewer drivers having their vehicles checked and being fit for purpose
• The increasing number of fleet professionals being furloughed, made redundant or taking early retirement leaving vehicle fleet management in the hands of generalists
FIAG is committed to sharing best practice across the fleet industry and chairman Ian Housley feels the time has come for fleets to agree on a post Covid vehicle fleet plan and get it implemented as soon as ‘humanly possible’.
He said: “It is vital to begin the recovery from this unprecedented experience by ensuring best practice processes are implemented that cover drivers, vehicles and journeys.
“Companies need to recognise that drivers of company vehicles need to be an inclusive component of a pandemic recovery plan.
“As well as protecting the considerable investment made in vehicle fleets by employers it will help improve operational efficiencies, reduce costs and make driving safer,” he added.
FIAG’s highly experienced fleet team hopes the guide will give companies confidence to use the Covid-19 pandemic as a one-off opportunity for employers and employees to produce a plan where agreed objectives are set.
The guide goes as far as embracing the green revolution, including the adoption of electric vehicles and autonomous vehicles in the future. It also reminds everyone of a company’s health and safety responsibilities which may have been compromised by the people and structural changes recently made in many organisations due to Covid.
As the traditional fleet manager is now almost non-existent within many organisations, many companies have lost the in-house knowledge and skills necessary to develop and deliver a post COVID-19 cost effective fleet operation.
“The squeeze on fleet managers is getting worse as more than ever vehicle fleets are being managed by someone as part of a much wider remit and often without any true fleet management experience,” reminded Housley.
FIAG member Graham Bellman recently retired as fleet director of Travis Perkins and urges fleet operators to sign up to the ‘Road Safety Pays Dividends’ philosophy.
He said: “Act on the guide’s recommendations and it will not only ensure you comply with current legislation, but as we proved the savings achieved within the fleet operation were around 15% based on driver management, improved systems and reporting and proactive driver engagement.”
Paul Ayris is fleet manager at LiveWest which is the largest provider of affordable homes in the south west of England running 350 vans and has worked with founding FIAG member Geoffery Bray from Fleet Service GB for the past couple of years.
“Covid-19 has been a wake-up call for many organisations. The FIAG guide is filled with a common sense, non-nonsense approach but making it happen is I am afraid down to individuals or teams who genuinely want to drive change.
“As a housing association LiveWest applies a value for money approach to all areas and the expenditure and investment in positive fleet management ensures the solution delivers the best and most cost-effective option which forms the basis of FIAG’s advice.
“Our fleet results speak for themselves, a year on our investment is yielding positive outcomes and removing cost, reducing road traffic collisions and delivering an operational and cost-efficient fleet,” he said.
For a free copy of the FIAG guide download it here.