Fleet News

Risk warning for small firms

SMALLER fleets are not placing anywhere near the same emphasis on health and safety as larger ones, often because of a lack of a fleet manager.

Research from Network, a division of LeasePlan that provides funding solutions to small businesses, shows a lack of concern for health and safety among fleets of 10 vehicles or less.

The research consisted of a series of interviews with decision-makers for small, medium and large fleets throughout the UK.

When asked to rate the importance of driver health and safety, those with control over fleets of sub-10 vehicles gave it an average score of just 4/10.

Network bosses say that with 93% of their fleet customers running fewer than 20 vehicles, this represents a huge sector of the market. Even fleets with 50 to 100 vehicles only rated the importance of duty of care at 7/10.

Christophe Desplace, head of Network, said: ‘Duty of care is one of the biggest issues facing the industry as a whole right now, but the one to 10 vehicle end of the market seems to be slower than the rest in recognising this.

‘There is often the attitude that it’s someone else’s responsibility, or that duty of care is simply a big fleet issue.’

Julie Jenner, chairman of fleet operators’ association ACFO, agreed that some small fleets think such issues are the concern of larger companies.

She added: ‘Often they don’t have the same access to information as larger companies. ACFO is targeting small companies to inform them of this.

‘It’s definitely the case that small, and sometimes larger, companies don’t always have dedicated fleet managers and so don’t have the necessary skills internally to know where to get such information from.’

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