Fleet News

Driver training plan wins board support

PRINTER giant Epson has demonstrated the vital role boardroom support can play when launching major fleet initiatives that are to win the support of company drivers.

The company’s fleet department secured valuable backing from the managing director when it decided to introduce driver training to keep its drivers safe on the road - so much so he has agreed to take a course himself.

It has been reported recently that many fleets struggle for boardroom support when launching such initiatives.

Epson operates a user-chooser fleet of 100 cars, with many of its company cars used by sales staff made up of high-performance BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz cars. Most drivers average about 20,000 miles a year, with the highest topping 60,000 miles.

The company has called on driver training and risk management company Peak Performance to meet its training requirements.

Epson fleet manager Cathy Allen said drivers were supportive of the scheme – particularly because of the support it has received from the MD.

Allen said: ‘The managing director showing his commit- ment to this programme ensures other staff are supportive of it. We also think the courses are an important part of our duty-of-care obligations.’

The launch of driver training at Epson comes despite a low accident rate of 16 claims a year across the fleet.

Allen said: ‘We put our drivers through driver training about four years ago and although our accident rate is low we don’t want them to become complacent.’

The scheme also extends to include staff on secondment at Epson from its corporate head office in Japan who also undergo familiarisation training, as do staff from foreign sales offices across Europe when visiting the country.

Peak Performance managing director James Sutherland said: ‘Epson is to be congratulated for the way it has faced up to the duty of care it owes to its drivers to keep them as safe as possible while driving for work.’

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