Being prepared when managing your fleet will ensure your drivers and other road users are safe. It’ll also protect the reputation of your business while keeping your finances in order too. Here are just eight steps to help you become better prepared.
Choose The Right Vehicles
Being well prepared means planning for the future and giving yourself the best chance of business survival, no matter what comes your way. One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your fleet is made up of roadworthy vehicles. Whether you’ve got a fleet of vans, taxi cabs or large HGVs, if the motor stops running, it’ll cost you more in repairs and downtime. Choose reliability and quality over initial cost to ensure minimal risk to your drivers on the road and your company’s longevity, off the road.
The Right Breakdown Cover
As well as having a reliable vehicle, you’ll want to make sure you’re covered for any unexpected breakdowns. You’ll need specific comprehensive breakdown cover for your company. Choosing cover that’s right for you will help give you peace of mind and prepare for any unforeseen breakdowns. This will reduce the cost of dreaded downtime, as you’ll be back up and running as quickly as possible, no matter where you’re stuck.
Create A Maintenance Plan
To ensure your drivers stay safe on the road, it can be a good idea to create a maintenance plan. This will need to consist of tasks that’ll need to be performed to each vehicle on your books. From checking the oil, water and washer fluid, to checking the tyre pressure and the brake pads. Creating a maintenance plan for regular vehicle service will help keep your drivers safe by preparing the vehicle for a full day on the road.
Create A Pre-Drive Checklist
As well as adhering to a regular maintenance plan, provide each driver with a checklist so they can be prepared for any events that may occur while they’re out of the office. This should include emergency bottles of water, jump-start cables, a torch, a backup paper road map and a spare tire. In the occurrence of a breakdown, it’s beneficial to carry a fluorescent jacket, along with a warning triangle, to notify other road users of your vehicle’s road position. In the wintertime make sure your drivers have a hat, scarf, and gloves so they can stay warm if the temperature drops.
Manage Your Fuel
To better prepare for your upcoming finances choose a prepaid card, or fuel specific credit card, to monitor how much fuel your drivers are using. You’ll be able to use these costs to predict how much fuel is needed for each month. This will help you assess and foresee any excessive overheads that might be looming.
Communicate A Mobile Phone Protocol
Enforce a strict mobile phones policy and provide your fleet with alternative technology. Mobile phone use is said to be one of the biggest killers on the road and with the harsher penalties, it’s in your company’s best interests to adhere to the new laws. To be prepared is to prevent and one way to do this it to communicate guidelines and follow up any breaches of the policy. Do make sure your staff has a safe means of communication, be it a radio system or hands-free calling.
Provide Training For Driver Safety
Before you send your drivers onto the open road, you should provide them with training. This needs to be extensive to make sure they’re prepared for any eventually they may face. This will keep them and other road users safe while protecting the reputation of your business. It can be a good idea to refresh this training annually to existing members of staff.
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