For many organizations, fleet vehicles are the ‘engines’ that keep the operations going. These vehicles are the prized assets of the company and the anchor of many activities: they move people, help deliver products and services, and are used to respond to customer needs and wants. With the company operators and drivers at the forefront, the fleet is expected to deliver all these roles in the safest and efficient way possible.
However, there’s no guarantee that the operators and drivers will operate and maintain the fleet vehicles in a manner that it will benefit all stakeholders involved. This is where effective fleet management and maintenance comes into the picture. A properly maintained fleet of a vehicle requires the commitment of everyone, including the fleet operators and drivers. And it requires knowledge, the right policies, and the commitment of drivers to operate and use the vehicles the right way.
Start with a policy
As a fleet manager, you should draft a company policy that will define the roles and responsibilities of the operator and driver. The document must set the expectations when it comes to the proper care and use of the vehicles, including but not limited to cleanliness and safety. The expectations should depend on the type of vehicles and how these are used in the company. If you are running a fleet of school buses, then the drivers should be trained on safe driving practices with young school kids on-board.
Training in the Proper Use of Safety Equipment
Managers should understand the value of safety equipment, and the right ones should be installed on fleet vehicles. Aside from the standard safety systems, fleet vehicles can benefit from reversing cameras and a dashboard camera. These are two popular and effective additions to fleet vehicles which can help drivers drive safely on the road. The reversing cameras can provide drivers with a view of the rear when backing up. It also helps address the blind spots which is often the cause of collisions. The dash cam, on the other hand, can record images and videos which can be useful in reviewing incidents. Drivers and operators should be informed and trained on how to use these.
Don’t Forget to Reward the Drivers
Drivers and operators should be properly rewarded as well if they have performed well. There are different ways on how they can be rewarded. It can be in the form of citations, recognition, or bonuses at the end of the year. There are some companies that even allow drivers to own the vehicle down the road, at a much lesser cost. This motivates the employees to take care of their vehicles as their own, thus promoting safety along the way.