Maintaining your Fleet

Yesterday (28th April 2016), the society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) released figures showing that the car manufacturing industry has seen a positive increase in production rates for the first quarter of 2016, with a vehicle rolling off production lines every 16 seconds thanks to heightened international demand. This is the first time since 2004 that the industry has seen a positive increase.

What does this mean for you?

As the owner, driver or distributor of a fleet, consistently monitoring market trends and threats may not be something you are considering on your daily operations. However, there have been several scandals regarding car manufacturers avoiding their corporate responsibilities, thus finding themselves to be hit with large fines.

In this week’s post, we will look not only the risks involved in running a fleet, but also the maintenance aspects to refresh your fleet management.

Inspect your fleet

By checking and repairing your vehicles, you are not only ensuring your driver and road users safety, you are also proving to your insurers that are proactively carrying out risk management solutions, which can, in the future, lower insurance premiums in the long run and extend the longevity of your vehicles’ life expectancy.

  • carry out daily walk around checks before using your vehicles and record any defects
  • fix any major defects before your vehicles are sent out
  • keep a record of your van repairs
Maintain your vehicles

Although this may sound like common sense, when was the last time you documented the servicing and repairs that were conducted on your fleet? In a busy working environment, you may not see a driver for 2 weeks; how do you know what has happened to your vehicle during this time?

  • Carry out no less than the manufacturer’s minimum standard of vehicle servicing
  • Use accredited engineers to check safety critical components like brakes if your vehicles are subject to demanding work, frequently
  • make sure your vehicles are always insured, taxed and MOT’d whilst documenting this process

Using a broker to liaise with your current insurer to ensure your insurance renewals are all arranged to expire on the same date can save you a lot of time and hassle. Broker’s relationships with insurers can make this happen.

Keep records

Not only will this aid in providing a smoother claims experience, it can also enable future insurers to cross reference any gaps in your cover that your current insurer or broker may not have noticed. This ensures you are wholly covered if and when the unfortunate time arises when you need to make a claim. Keep records of the following for a minimum of 15 months as part of an effective maintenance system.

  • defects
  • maintenance
  • repairs
  • servicing
Use suitable vehicles

The DVSA stated they stop on average 15,600 vehicles a year. This has been estimated to cost the owners and operators up to £4,000 a day per vehicle. If we take an example fleet of 40 vehicles, if 10 of those have been stopped and held for overloading, that is instantly £40,000 per day. Can your business afford such costly barriers to its operations? Ensuring that all your drivers abide by these guidelines can minimise the amount of money your business loses, such as:

  • use the right vehicles with the correct size, load capability and equipment for the job
  • not load vehicles beyond their designed gross weight
  • maintain fitted specialist equipment
Manage risks and costs

By installing specific risk management tools to your vehicles, this can save on fuel consumption and potential risks from occurring.

  • fit a 70mph limiter on vehicles used on the motorway – most vehicles use as much as 25% more fuel when driving at 80mph in comparison to 70 mph
  • fit parking sensors

We must stress, these are all risk management solutions that can help improve the quality of your fleet. They are not guaranteed to save you money or safeguard you from the inevitable.

However, our vast experience in the car manufacturing, fleet and motor trade industry has led us being able to advise on such matters.

If you would like to speak to our advisors on how we can help you not only save on your insurance premium, but introduce a cost-effective risk management plan, we are more than happy to help. We also have a range of suppliers we work with to provide our clients exclusive rates on particular fleet management products.

Adler Insurance

Content creator for the Adler Insurance Group.

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