Fleet News

Zero tolerance secret of success

A fleet manager who slashed accident rates and reduced costs with a zero tolerance approach to vehicle maintenance has hailed the scheme as “the best thing I have ever done as a fleet manager”.

Chuck Ives, head of fleet for Network Rail, introduced a groundbreaking scheme to ban vehicles from the road if drivers had not brought them in for servicing on time.

The scheme is part of a wide range of initiatives focused on safety that has led to a 30% reduction in accidents and a significant reduction in fleet costs.

Savings are being achieved despite the extra costs involved in policing vehicle maintenance more closely on the 8,000-vehicle fleet.

“We are achieving a change in driver culture with this approach. Accidents are down and costs are down. It is the best thing I have ever done as a fleet manager,” said Mr Ives.

“We are spending less by doing more.

"If a hire vehicle is needed because one of our vehicles hasn’t been brought in for servicing and has been taken off the road, then the costs go on the budget of the department responsible. They soon start taking notice.”

Mr Ives said management support had been vital in ensuring the success of the scheme and backed calls made in Fleet News for fleets to invest in formal training for their staff.

The entire eight-strong fleet team at Network Rail has qualified for a Certificate of Professional Competence.

“They are all professionals and studied in their own time.

"The company paid for it, but I would estimate we have made back our investment ten times over through improved performance,” added Mr Ives, who will be one of the expert speakers giving a details case study on his fleet at the annual Risk in Fleet Conference.

For details, log on to www.riskinfleet.co.uk

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