All business owners know that there are lots of things to think about when running your own company. From marketing campaigns to tax returns, human resources, and beyond, there is much to consider. If your business has a fleet of company vehicles used by staff, then a ‘fleet duty of care’ is an important responsibility. The term refers to looking after and maintaining the company vehicles while also considering the people who drive them. If your organization has employees who drive company cars or delivery trucks as part of their role, you must be aware of your fleet duty of care.
But why is it so vital for business owners?
Drives compliance with auto insurance
If your business runs a fleet of vehicles, then a key part of your duty of care for them is valid commercial auto insurance. Even if you only have one van or truck for business usage, that is true. This is a legal necessity in most states, and any vehicle driven for business purposes should have proper commercial insurance.
Do not think that you or your staff are protected by personal insurance for business usage! That is not the case and you could be held liable in the event of an accident. By following aspects of fleet duty of care like this, you will ensure your business is fully protected if accidents on the road do occur. It also means that any employee driving a business vehicle is doing so legally. Next Insurance is one of the top online providers of commercial fleet insurance that will protect you financially in the event of any claim.
Protects the health and safety of employees
There are many reasons to look after your employees’ health, and all business owners know the importance of following Health & Safety guidelines. Removing trip hazards, giving staff proper equipment for the job, etc., are now required of organizations. Did you know that you must look after the Health & Safety of staff while they are out driving for business purposes?
That is another reason why taking a fleet duty of care seriously is so important. It allows you to hit your responsibilities to these employees and stay on the right side of the law. Of course, it also means that you operate in an ethical and caring way towards staff who drive for you. Everyday things that Health & Safety covers in terms of fleet drivers include relevant/additional driver training, provision of proper rest breaks after driving for a specific time or mileage, and advice on the optimum driving position to protect their health.
Enables you to carry out regular vehicle inspections
Fleet duty of care is crucial as it includes the regular inspection of company vehicles. It should incorporate a regular annual inspection by a qualified mechanic to ensure your fleet of vehicles is safe and legal to drive. You should also add in more frequent, informal inspections into your duty of care routine. This could be something as simple as drivers taking an inspection walk around the vehicle before they drive.
Doing so allows them to spot any problems to be fixed before they turn into a more expensive issue. It also ensures they will not drive the vehicle if something seriously wrong is noticed. Regular vehicle inspection keeps your fleet well maintained and ensures it is safe to be on the road. If an accident were caused by a fleet vehicle that was not road safe due to poor maintenance, you could be in trouble.
Gives your brand a professional look
While your fleet of vehicles might serve a practical purpose in the main, they also impact your brand image. If your fleet is well-maintained and looks smart, then people will think better of your company. On the other hand, if your fleet is poorly maintained and tired looking, they will not. That might sound a small thing, but it can affect your brand image with the public and clients. With this in mind, keeping on top of fleet duty of care is a must.
Fleet duty of care – a business essential
Above all, the fleet duty of care is essential because it gives you peace of mind that you are working within the law, looking after staff, and have the right insurance in place to protect your business. It is not something to take lightly! If you get your duty of care in this area right, you will also get the bonus of spending less on repairs and having a smart looking team of vehicles to represent your brand.
It Keeps You Informed
With software for fleet management, you can monitor your drivers and know their location at any moment. That way, you can prevent them from making mistakes related to routes. Also, you can see detailed data about oil consumption, driving hours, and average speed of truck drivers. For example, you can stop some drivers from driving too fast and risking to get a ticket or to drive over the limited driving hours, which is 14 hours in the United States.
One of the main reasons why companies are implementing fleet management software in their business is because it can have a positive effect on efficiency and help you to save a lot of money by preventing any additional expenses that could be caused by bad management, reckless drivers, and more. With this software, you can easily determine the fastest routes, and monitor the speed of your trucks on the road. The way how a driver is operating with a vehicle can have a huge effect on petrol consumption, which means they should not drive too slow or too fast.
Saves a Lot of Time
With a GPS fleet management software, you can control and monitor all of your drivers, and check all important factors related to their efficiency, driving hours, locations, but also to check about their licenses, registration, time of loading and unloading, and more. There are benefits for both managers and drivers from this system. The driver can use it to check the fastest route and avoid getting stuck in a traffic jam, which can raise the consumption of oil and time needed for the delivery. Therefore, your company can become much more productive if you use all of these features provided by fleet management software.
For leading your company with competent fleet management, you have to be aware of the most important factors related to this business. Those factors are drivers, vehicles, processes, and management. When it comes to your trucks, you have to be sure that all of them are well maintained and that they have all of the necessary equipment. Also, your drivers must have valid driving licenses and identifications, and you have to be sure that each one of them has insurance. Moreover, monitoring all processes in your company can improve production since you can always prevent a driver from choosing the wrong highway, more expensive gas station, or drive too fast. Nevertheless, be sure to manage your business to adhere to the laws and regulations.
The best way for successful and efficient management is to find proper tools and implement them in your business. Data analysis is very important for determining the ways of further development and prevention of any potential issues. Being involved in every aspect of your business can help you to reduce risks and help you to increase revenue. Also, advanced online platforms and tools allow us to monitor all of these processes by using only one software, which is very convenient and saves a lot of time.