Fleet News

Fleet gets tough on driver maintenance

A UK fleet has introduced a tough zero-tolerance policy to encourage drivers to look after their cars properly.

The security arm of Rentokil Initial hopes to stamp out the wide-spread problem of fleet drivers letting their engines run to destruction by not checking engine oil levels – an epidemic that is landing individual fleets with bills for thousands of pounds.

Initial Electronic Security's policy covers vehicle maintenance, fleet driving and duty of care, and so far four company staff from its 1,000 strong fleet, have received disciplinary action, although none have lost their jobs as a result.

Fleet manager Michelle Acton said: 'We have already taken three or four drivers down the disciplinary route. This has included instances such as having illegal brakes or members of the public reporting the drivers for not driving courteously.'

Fleet decision-makers have already been warned they must clamp down on drivers or risk hefty maintenance bills at a later date.

Last year, Lex Vehicle Leasing warned fleet decision-makers to start educating drivers on basic vehicle checks after it received calls from more than 60 customers whose engines had seized because fleet drivers had not checked the oil level regularly. The company estimated that each car cost up to £7,000 to fix.

At a Fleet Safety Day hosted by Kwik-Fit Fleet, Drive & Survive and Pirelli last week Tony Kenny, Hometune product director at Kwik-Fit, said: 'A recent Drive & Survive day found that 10% of delegates, all in the fleet industry, had illegal tyres.'

Fleet cars can now go up to 30,000 miles without a service and drivers are failing to check vehicles in the mean time.

Kenny says fleet drivers should be completing safety inspections on a weekly basis. Checks should include, tyre pressure and depth, oil, water, windscreen wash and wipers, lights, brakes, seat belts and wheel nuts.

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