Fleet News

Duty of care and driver training neglected by smaller fleets

The latest company car trends report from GE Capital Fleet Services suggests that smaller fleets are neglecting their duty of care obligations.

When it comes to risk management and duty of care, many smaller fleet operators have failed to recognise the importance of these issues compared to their larger counterparts, claims GE Capital Fleet Services.

Just over three in five (63%) see the significance of duty of care, a marked difference from the three-quarters (76%) of larger fleets that deem this important. Furthermore, a little over half of smaller fleet managers (56%) are actively taking action to ensure they have a risk management programme, in comparison to seven in ten (70%) of larger fleets who already have a solution.

The study has also shown that just one third of operators (33%) looking after fleets of under 100 vehicles currently consider driver training to be important – in contrast to one in two (50%) managers of fleets sized with more than 100 vehicles. In addition, less than three in ten (27%) small fleets actively have a solution in place to train their drivers, and one quarter (25%) have no concrete plans to ensure that their drivers are sufficiently trained in the future. This is in comparison to nearly three in five (57%) of larger fleets already having a driver training scheme in operation, while only one in seven (13%) have neither a solution nor plans in place.

Gary Killeen, UK fleet commercial leader, GE Capital Fleet Services, said:  “It is somewhat alarming to see the failure by many small fleet operators to recognise the value of duty of care and driver training. While times are tight for many companies, safety, training and ultimate duty of care should be of the highest priority. What’s more, at a time when financial considerations are to the fore, an effective duty of care programme can be as much about delivering cost savings as it is about health and safety.”

For more on fleet risk management and duty of care, come to the Fleet News risk management section.

Click here for safety and risk management best practice and procurement insight

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  • Edward Handley - 23/08/2010 10:31

    It is hardly surprising that smaller fleets are less proactive when it comes to duty of care and driver training when compared to larger fleets (100 vehicles plus). Larger fleets invariably have a dedicated fleet manager and the biggest are often lucky enough to have a complete team which often includes trainers and assessors, where as small fleets seldom have a dedicated or trained fleet manager. The majority of small fleets are actually tiny fleets of between 1 and 20 vehicles, and managing "the fleet" is an extra duty that is often dumped on a junior manager or administrator who does not get any specific training for the role. Without specific training on duty of care, etc., most people think managing a fleet is just a matter of keeping the vehicles taxed and insured and booking them in for a service when necessary. Few employers running very small fleets would consider spending money on fleet management training for a junior member of staff was justified, and many people administering these very small fleets do not even see Fleet News or the trade press so are unlikely to be aware of the huge savings and other benefits that can be obtained.

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