Fleet News

Fleet managers learn of training importance

WITHOUT training, drivers should not even be trusted to change a tyre to make absolutely sure that accidents are avoided, fleet managers have heard.

Although the approach may seem draconian, it may be the only way to ensure companies are meeting their duty of care to drivers when the are unsure of what skills they have.

Members of the Association of Car Fleet Operators Midlands branch discussed their own experiences of keeping drivers safe.

One fleet boss told the group: ‘This is the reason why I brought in a breakdown company. I don’t want drivers changing their tyres at the side of the road.

‘Even professionals with flashing lights on top of their vehicles to warn oncoming traffic get run over and killed and it is much more dangerous for your drivers.

‘There are run-flat tyres, but drivers frighten you. They could know they have a flat tyre, but still run it over the weekend, which is a risk.’

This approach could spread to all areas of fleet management, members heard, particularly when it comes to new employees joining a company.

‘When you get a new member of staff joining from university or college, they may not have driven for several years, they have just used public transport.

‘We have to take drivers out and assess them. In effect, we have to teach them to drive again and how to react in heavy traffic.

‘Imagine a 17-year-old on the A14 or M25, which can be like a race track one minute and then stationary the next.’

Members were told that one fleet with 1,800 drivers was told that it would cost £18,000 to train them.

One member said: ‘But when you consider that the cost of a single road death can be more than £1 million then it is money worth investing.’

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