Fleet News

Driver training set to slash fleet's fuel bill

SPECIALIST railway construction company Geoffrey Osborne is on track to cut £50,000 a year from its annual fuel bill after introducing a risk assessment programme for drivers.

The company has launched workshops and driving coaching and has even trained some drivers to act as risk assessors of their colleagues' awareness and driving skills. It hopes to make the significant savings by cutting its £1 million annual fuel bill through improvements to employees' driving style, while also making them more aware of risks.

The firm has about 550 drivers for its fleet of 260 cars and 150 light and heavy vans. They accumulate almost nine million business miles a year between them, at an average of 23,000 business miles a year per driver.

Within recent months the company has introduced risk assessment and driver training in conjunction with Peugeot Driving Solutions and Peak Performance, named Best Risk Management Company in this year's Fleet News Awards.

In 2001 the company had 194 reported incidents involving its vehicles and 182 the year before. In the current financial year, however, just nine months after the company raised awareness of bad driving habits and introduced risk assessments, the figure has fallen to 117 reported incidents.

The firm's director of safety, Peter Robertshaw, said: 'We started discussing introducing risk assessments for our drivers about a year ago when the health and safety community began discussing it in earnest, although it wasn't a direct response to the Government's Work-related Road Traffic Safety Task Group report.

'We selected Peugeot Driving Solutions, which is delivered by Peak Performance, because we are primarily operating a Peugeot-badged fleet and because Peak came across as being very professional and competent when we went out to tender.' The six employee assessors take out three colleagues a month on to the road to assess their risk profiles under normal driving conditions.

These are typically those with the highest risk profiles – young males, high mileage drivers, new starters, drivers of crew buses and those who have suffered road traffic accidents in the past.

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