A company’s fleet of motor vehicles represents a substantial investment in capital and management time. It also represents a very sizeable risk for the company as driving is considered one of the more dangerous work activities. The implications to a business from fleet accidents can range from missed deliveries to bodily harm. Even a small accident with a member of your fleet could see costs escalate very quickly. Fleet insurance protects your business financially from compensation claims from third parties as a result of a collision or from theft.
If your business has two or more vehicles on the road then you should be considering investing in fleet insurance. Not only will this provide peace of mind it will protect you and your business from financial loss. We’ve provided some additional tips to run a safer fleet below.
1.Invest in the right vehicles.
If you invest in the right vehicles for your fleet initially, you could save a lot of time and money on maintenance down the line. Not to mention when you have the appropriate vehicles for the job you run a safer fleet. Identify exactly what you will need your vehicles for and research the best type of vehicle on the market for this job. Think about the number of passengers it will need to hold, the size of the cab, and the size of the storage.
It is also crucial to think about the load sizes that you will be predominantly carrying in your new van. If you buy a van that is excessively big then you are essentially paying to transport air. If you buy a van that is too small then your run the risk of having to take multiple trips. Remember that overloading a van is illegal, so this is never an option. Overloading can also void your van insurance so in the event of an accident you would potentially be liable for all the costs.
In order to protect yourself, your finances and your workers it’s vital to ensure that you take the time to research the right van before making a purchase.
2.Driver assessment and training.
Ensuring your drivers have the necessary training is vital. You can massively reduce risk on the road by spending the time and money preparing your drivers for different scenarios on the road. This could also have a very positive impact on your van insurance premiums and reduce your risk of a claim.
You can do an analysis of your drivers performance or ask them about areas where they feel they would like extra training. A good starting place is a refresh course on driver safety and indeed health and safety in the workplace. While everyone in your organisation is more than likely very familiar with all the rules of the road, it never hurts to recap.
Why not offer them a defensive driving course? This will teach them the skills they need in order to drive safely in very bad weather conditions and at night. If all your drivers have taken an advanced driving course, this could also put a positive spin on your fleet insurance.
3. Have a clear fleet policy.
Communication is key in the workforce. Irrespective of the sector you are in, a clear channel of communication flowing down the chain of command is essential. If you are taking any measures that are different to usual, then this should be appropriately communicated. New laws, regulations and initiatives come into effect in the van sector frequently. As a manager of a fleet it is your responsibility to ensure everyone is informed.
It’s a good idea to have a weekly meeting or a weekly catch up with your drivers all together or individually to ensure that anything noteworthy is articulated to everyone in your fleet.
4. Fleet maintenance.
One of the most important steps in keeping your fleet safe on the road is regular fleet maintenance. We suggest implementing a regular fleet inspection schedule. This will help you to keep up to date with the quality of your vans. It will also allow you to catch problems early before they become too expensive.
If you’re wondering where to begin here’s a brief checklist that you can build on:
- Check the tyres on all the vans. Ensure they have the correct pressure, a good tyre thread depth and that they’re not overly worn in parts.
- Check the vans for oil and water.
- Ask your drivers if they have noticed any problems with their vans while driving.
- Clean the vans both inside and out.
- Do a quick check on all electronics in the van ie. Windows and wipers.
5.Invest in strategic gadgets.
In order to make life for your drivers easier and safer you should consider investing in some modern gadgets. If your van drivers are making regular deliveries chances are they will have a lot of interaction with their phone. It is illegal to speak on the phone while driving. You should consider purchasing phone mounts or Bluetooth earpieces for drivers. This will help to ensure they are never tempted to take an illegal call while on the road.
Similarly, dashcams are another great investment for drivers. If they ever happen to become involved in a collision on the road, dashcams could provide key information for insurance companies or authorities.
Finally, an up to date GPS system which includes updated alerts on road works, speed ranges and traffic is also a handy gadget to have in the van. When your drivers are continuously getting calls while out on deliveries it would be counter productive to use a phone as the primary GPS. By investing in a standalone system, you can not only make the life of a driver easier but safer too.
At insuremyvan.ie, we take fleet safety seriously. We want to ensure that you get the best van insurance around and at the best price too. Reach out to us today.