Fleet News

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LETTERS to Fleet News’ acting editor Steve Moody.

Standard sat-nav would save millions of gallons of fleet fuel

SIR – Although I am not directly responsible for a fleet as such, I am a director with influence over a fleet of more than 100 commercial vehicles.

What I cannot understand is why van and truck manufacturers are not fitting satellite navigation systems as standard on new vehicles.

In the light of the media attention environmental issues generate, has anybody stopped to think how many millions of gallons of diesel are wasted every week when drivers are searching for addresses or taking longer routes than are necessary? Surely pressure must be put on the big truck and van manufacturers to provide sat nav as standard?

The first manufacturer to offer this will generate massive increases in sales. The aftermarket for sat nav has really taken off but most units are small and fiddly and can be easily stolen.

Chris Nixon
Via email

Fleets’ ticking timebomb

SIR – As a fleet manager I fully agree with the article ‘Duty of care burden too much for fleets’ (Fleet NewsNet, October 27).

It often feels as though we’re working alongside a ticking timebomb waiting to go off at any moment – the amount of work now involved in fleet management is farcical. As we try and meet our duty of care responsibilities for both drivers and our employers it would be easy to update the company driver handbook on a daily basis – if only we had the time.

I’m lucky as I do have support from the board but it is still difficult to find training programmes which can work alongside my day-to-day role, or are worthy enough to warrant a day out of the office.

The focus on health and safety and duty of care appears to have snowballed in recent years and I’m sure it will continue long into the future. The Government has said it will support fleets in their work – this definitely needs to arrive sooner rather than later.

By email

Any old tax discs?

SIR – I would like to ask Fleet NewsNet users whether they would be willing to help with my rather usual hobby – I collect expired road tax discs.

I began collecting in 1984 at the age of 11 and I now have just over 62,000. My oldest example dates back to 1928.

Most people, when they renew a disc, tend to slip the new one over the top of the old one. So there is usually a wad of two, three or more in the holder. It doesn’t matter how old or how recent the discs are, nor which make, model age or size of vehicles the discs are from.

Neil A. Jones
6 Pleasant Place, Beccles, Suffolk, NR34 9YD

When will these idiots understand?

SIR – I totally agree with the sentiments in the letter in last week’s issue ‘Phone law is a waste of time’. What is the point of this flimsy law that no-one seems to be able to adhere to?

I also can’t believe how many people still continue to use mobiles – taxi drivers, HGV drivers – you name them, they use it.

The fact that there never seems to be a police officer in sight is another worry. It happens on such a regular basis that they wouldn’t know which way to turn even if they did spot someone. I have even seen a police officer using a mobile while driving, so if the police don’t take any notice, what hope is there?

I am a fleet administrator and I do not use my mobile phone while driving as I would not want to lose my position in the company. How long is it going to take before it sinks in that you cannot possibly be in control of your vehicle while using one?

Perhaps when you are in a hospital bed with multiple injuries or hearing about the funeral of the person you have just killed. Idiots indeed.

Name and address supplied

Why reader was sent a damage bill

SIR – Keith Speller (Fleet NewsNet, Your Opinion October 27) seems puzzled as to why he was charged for a new mirror casing on a car which he acknowledges was returned damaged. Let me take him down the route and explain what happens.

Rental companies live in a fast moving world and to maximise the use of their vehicles it is important to turn them round as fast as possible and get them back out on rent again.

To have a vehicle in the body shop for any time at all leads to a loss in revenue as plainly it can’t be rented out. Many rental companies therefore do not immediately repair small scuffs and marks. It simply doesn’t make economic sense and to do anything else may only cause rental rates to rise.

However, the car still has to have the damage repaired otherwise its disposal value will suffer. So, either during a quieter period or at the end of its rental life, it gets repaired. It really is as simple as that.

Robin Mackonochie
Head of communications British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association

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