Fleet News

Brake calls on fleets to ensure mechanics are trained and qualified

Brake, the road safety charity, has published a new report for fleet managers on maintaining safe vehicles.

Sponsored by the Licence Bureau and published through Brake's Fleet Safety Forum, the report contains results of a Brake survey of fleets' management of vehicle safety, and gives guidance on how fleet managers can ensure vehicles are safely maintained.

Vehicle defects contributed to 2,125 crashes in Great Britain in 2011, 52 of them causing deaths. Brake says it is vital that fleet managers ensure their vehicles are safe and roadworthy, and that mechanics working on their vehicles are properly trained.

Laura Woods, research and information officer at Brake, said: "Fleet managers have a duty to ensure their vehicles are safe, well-maintained and roadworthy, and that the mechanics working on their vehicles are fully qualified and their skills are kept up to date. This report has highlighted worrying gaps in some fleets' management of vehicle risks.

“Brake urges fleet managers to make use of the advice in this report, and other resources available through the Fleet Safety Forum, to ensure they are not putting their drivers and other road users at risk by allowing dangerous vehicles on the roads."

Brake's survey found outsourcing of vehicle servicing and repair is widespread: two thirds (63%) of managers surveyed outsourced all their vehicle servicing and repair.

It is therefore concerning that fleet managers who outsourced services and repairs were less stringent in their checks of mechanics working on their vehicles.

Just half (52%) of companies using outsourced maintenance ensured mechanics' qualifications were checked and verified, and less than a quarter (23%) ensured regular training was provided.

Regular pre-drive checks of vehicles are also vital for ensuring that vehicles are safe for the road. This is equally important for all vehicle types, but seems to be taken more seriously by fleets containing large vehicles such as trucks or buses.

All fleets operating larger vehicles required checks at least daily, but almost one in five (18%) managers of fleets with only smaller vehicles did not require their drivers to complete pre-drive checks at all.

The report is available for free to Fleet Safety Forum subscribers, or can be purchased for £5 by non-subscribers.

Special offer: the first 25 non-subscribers to request the report will get a copy for FREE, and a 50% discount on their first year's subscription to the Fleet Safety Forum.

Email admin@brake.org.uk or call 01484 559909 to order and quote ‘mm50' to take up this offer.

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

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Patriot. - 16/12/2013 22:56

    'Regular pre-drive checks of vehicles are also vital for ensuring that vehicles are safe for the road.' Your average fleet car driver would never ever look at the inside of a tyre to see if there was an 'egg' on it nor would he/she remove the road wheels to check just how much friction material was left on the brake pads/shoes. Outsourcing servicing is a fact of life and, having worked as the Centre Manager for a national chain of repair and servicing centres I can be absolutely certain that whilst the work was carried out by fully trained techs fleet companies will not spend money replacing brake pads and brake shoes with 1000 miles wear left on them neither will they replace tyres with 4mm of tread visible. Training techies is only part of the solution. Educating fleet managers also plays a vital role in reducing accidents. Don't keep blaming drivers and mechanics.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee