Driver influenced costs are the single largest drain on a company’s in-life fleet car and van expenditure, but a quarter of UK businesses do not conduct regular safety checks on vehicles used for business purposes, according to new research.
Therefore, improving driver performance is the key to keeping costs under control, which is why Fleet Service Great Britain (FSGB) has developed its industry-leading Achieve Driver Management driver centric’ differentiator to continually measure driver performance, while also ensuring compliance. Fleet decision-makers, by acting on the data and management reports provided, can thus reduce vehicle-related operating costs and ensure legislative compliance.
A new study by TomTom Telematics, conducted among senior managers at 400 UK businesses, also found that although the large majority of businesses (89%) check driver documentation – such as licence and insurance details – only 43% did that more than once every six months.
A total of 15% of respondents admitted their organisations only checked documentation when a new employee joined, and did not schedule follow-up checks.
The Achieve initiative is continually evolving, but at its heart is a driver compliance programme that ensures companies manage their work-related road safety responsibilities in accordance with best practice and legislation.
The Achieve ‘toolbox’ includes a driver app with a wealth of sophisticated cutting-edge features delivering 24/7 support to employees at the wheel of company vehicles. Features include:
- Interactive notifications, prompts, reminders and alerts
- The ability to arrange bookings for servicing, maintenance and repairs, including tyres
- A facility to report an incident or breakdown, using GPS-enabled location services, which directly link to the FSGB Support Team
- A facility to upload images, capturing incident and/or vehicle condition
- The ability to update vehicle mileage in real-time
- Multiple vehicle management options
- A bespoke configurable check sheet for vehicle condition reporting
- The ability to view vehicle lifetime history.
The information is seamlessly uploaded into users’ portals for immediate review providing comprehensive details of vehicle condition and a wealth of other data.
- Embraces driver licence validation
- Measures driver performance with data fed into the online system from a variety of sources including telematics, details of any fines and records crash history.
Marcus Bray, co-founder of FSGB and head of sales, said: “From launch, FSGB has had a very clear plan to develop technology that makes a real difference in the delivery of driver and vehicle management services.
“Stamping out driver abuse of vehicles is critical to effectively managing SMR costs. Many company’s employees’ drive around in vehicles and their employer has no idea what their behind-the-wheel performance is.
“FSGB’s Achieve programme makes it easier for fleet decision-makers to manage vehicles and drivers. The result is that the number of vehicle crashes will reduce and if employees drive sympathetically maintenance cost savings will accrue.”
Beverley Wise, director UK and Ireland at TomTom Telematics, said: “Ensuring vehicles and drivers are roadworthy is a fundamental requirement for any organisation that expects employees to drive for business purposes.
“If organisations are to safeguard employees and protect themselves from risk, it is important to have comprehensive systems in place not only for ensuring checks are conducted frequently but also to ensure findings are properly recorded and acted upon where necessary.”
Three-fifths (60%) of those who checked driver documentation still do so manually, with the remainder conducting electronic checks.
Ms Wise added: “Since the paper counterpart to the photocard licence was abolished more than two years ago, endorsements and disqualifications have only been recorded electronically. Therefore, businesses should strongly consider moving from manual to electronic checks to ensure they are building a more comprehensive picture on driver risk.
“Ultimately, businesses need to keep on top of the process to ensure they have all the relevant information they need. Technological systems can help in this respect by setting schedules and notifications for checks and collating results.”