December 15, 2022
Fleet management falls into two areas, looking after the vehicles and looking after the drivers. Managing fleet drivers covers a wide range of different topics that range from setting up and making sure drivers follow fleet policies to answering any questions they may have and everything in between.
Having a strong relationship with your drivers is important for a number of reasons:
- They’ll be more likely to look after company assets (the vehicle and any associated products)
- It will promote an environment where they feel safe to report any issues with the vehicle promptly
- Both parties are likely to be more flexible with arranging maintenance, replacement vehicles etc
- Drivers will have clearer understanding of fleet processes and feel comfortable asking questions if there is something they do not understand
And much more!
Our Top Tips for Looking After Your Fleet Drivers
To help you have strong relationships with your fleet we’ve rounded up our ten top tips for looking after your drivers and making sure they and their vehicles are safe on the roads.
1. Have Clear Expectations
If your fleet management team doesn’t know what’s expected of the drivers how will they? It’s important that you have clear expectations and responsibilities for both the driver and the company and that these are communicated up front and clearly to your employees.
We also recommend that these are written in a document that is easily accessible for your drivers to review at any time that they need to.
2. Have a Dedicated Point of Contact
Depending on the size of your fleet this might be a case of different fleet management looking after different teams but we think it’s important that an individual driver knows who the person they call about their vehicle needs will be.
You should also make sure that the fleet management’s contact details are provided to your employees and are easy to find in company resources. This could be a case of naming the email@example.com or having a dedicated fleet contact page on your intranet site.
3. Have Accessible Supporting Documents
Your fleet policy, training materials and other supporting documents that help fleet drivers look after their vehicles, understand their responsibilities and even answer fleet driver FAQs should be in an accessible location. Drivers should also be informed of where this is and any structure, such as a virtual filing system, so they know how to access the documents at any time they need to.
4. Make Sure They Know How to Operate Their Vehicle
If an employee is being given a company car, utilising a pool vehicle or being required to drive a vehicle as part of their role then we think it’s important that they know how to safely operate the vehicle and are confident in doing so.
This will be especially important if it is a vehicle that they are unfamiliar with or have not driven in some time. And this can be as simple as an explanation of how an automatic transmission works compared to a manual or a demonstration on plugging in an EV to full training on how to drive a minibus.
5. Conduct Regular Driving Licence Checks
It’s not just whether a driver is confident in driving a vehicle that you need to check but also that they are legally entitled to drive it.
We recommend conducting driving licence checks for your employees at least annually, if not more regularly depending on your business fleet’s make up.
If you want to learn more about driving licence checks take a look at our recent blog or get in touch with us on 01722 322 888 to see how we can help you with them.
6. Provide Additional Support
We’ve already mentioned that you should make sure your employees know how to competently and confidently operate their vehicle and part of this is supporting them in understanding how to do so, but there is additional support you can provide as well. The type of support you offer drivers will depend on your individual business, the make up of your fleet and your drivers’ needs but some strategies that we’ve seen be offered include:
- Updating drivers on changes to the highway code and other driving regulations that impact them
- Support in arranging foreign travel with the vehicle and additional measures they may need to take (eg having a breathalyser for driving in France)
- Helping them to understand the company car tax bands and what cars fall into which range so they make an appropriate choice for their new vehicle
- Annual driver training refreshers
- Additional training and check ins if they get a new driving penalty on their licence
7. Encourage Driver Responsibility for Assigned Vehicles
If a driver is in a company car there’s a risk that they may treat it with less care than a private vehicle. Helping them take responsibility for a company car not only benefits the business but also them as they’ll have a safer and better cared for vehicle and probably get on better with the fleet team as well.
8. Regular Vehicle Condition Checks
This can be something that is conducted by a member of the fleet management team but we have found that it’s actually better practice to ask your drivers to complete monthly inspections of their vehicles and complete a report based on this. Not only does the vehicle get regularly inspected by the person who is most familiar with it but it can also encourage a more responsible attitude towards the vehicle which keeps it in a better condition and safer for your drivers.
9. Utilise Vehicle Telematics
Telematics are an essential tool for the modern fleet manager – in fact we recently wrote about how important they are. Telematics allow you to track your vehicles, monitor them for any areas of concern and get important data that informs future fleet choices. These will all benefit your drivers as well as your fleet.
10. Recognise Good Driving Practises and Car Care
Our final tip is to reward good driving practices and vehicle care, this will not only help incentivise drivers to make better choices but also recognises when they do this and makes them feel appreciated. Noticing good driving habits will improve relations between your fleet team and drivers, and make them more likely to continue with these driving practices.
Enjoyed this article? Read more of our latest blogs below:
- The Importance of Driver Licence Checks
- Why Telematics is Important for Fleet Management
- Looking After Your Company Car
- How Many Drivers are Fined for Using a Mobile
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