One of Britain's largest county councils has developed the capabilities of its fleet management software to ensure even greater compliance with its duty of care obligations.
Wiltshire Council has worked in partnership with its existing fleet software provider Civica to develop additional functionality to minimise risk among its grey fleet users.
It has now begun using Civica's Tranman fleet management software as a "central repository" to store – and check - all grey fleet data.
The move follows legislative changes which require all organisations to ensure that grey fleet vehicles are fit for purpose.
Employers must also ensure that the driver has the right skills to get behind the wheel, with adequate insurance cover for business travel and that risk factors such as their driving licence and general health are regularly checked.
Tranman's grey fleet dashboard - which is accessible to members of its fleet department - now provides a simple, graphical view of the status of the council’s 4,000 grey fleet drivers.
The information it collates includes: information on the driver; driving licence details including any endorsements; and training records.
In addition, the system includes information such as vehicle age, make, model, MOT, insurance and carbon dioxide emissions.
And – most importantly – it displays what checks are due to ensure full compliance.
Highlighting high risk drivers
Adam Davies (pictured), fleet technician team leader at Wiltshire Council, said: "We've now got information in place that includes precisely what checks have been completed over the last month and it also highlights high risk drivers.
"High risk drivers are identified based on their driver type - whether they're required, regular or occasional - and whether they have exceeded the maximum number of points on their driving licence for their specific driver type.
"The dashboard allows us to focus on high risk cases and to decide whether individual drivers would benefit from corrective training."
Davies adds that “a great deal of work” initially went into the project to ensure that all relevant data was present from the outset.
Wiltshire Council – which has had Tranman in place for a decade – has 4,000 grey fleet users driving more than 4.5m miles a year.
It has constantly evolved the way it uses the software and two years ago decided to scrap its fleet of leased cars in favour of grey fleet usage.
Trialling touch screen technology
In addition, the council has 25 low emission pool cars and Davies is currently working with Civica to trial touch screen technology to ensure that these vehicles are properly maintained while they are in the workshop.
He adds: "At the moment, a paper work card is being used for this purpose.
“But we hope before long to use Tranman to monitor and govern this process.
“I think that the golden rule for any fleet manager looking to implement fleet management software is to ensure that it has the flexibility to adapt to your organisation’s changing needs.
“If you’re a large organisation, my personal view is that there isn’t any real benefit of going out there and buying a product that’s off-the-shelf.
“But to get the results that are right for you, it’s important to ensure that you build a sound and ongoing relationship with your software company so that they understand what it is that you need – and swiftly act on it.”