Christmas increases grey fleet risk, says Mycompanyfleet
'Fleet managers and HR managers have a legal duty to ensure that vehicles used on company business are safe and fit for purpose, but at this time of year there are many other distractions and other calls on drivers' discretionary spend,' said Luke Hicks, business executive at Mycompanyfleet, the automotive arm of HR software provider, NorthgateArinso.
'As a result, the temptation is to suspend or divert the planned maintenance of their vehicles into the new year or beyond at a time when, with the worsening winter weather conditions, a vehicle needs to be in tip-top condition.
'It only needs a grey fleet driver using their car on company business at this time of year to have missed a service on their vehicle, to not only put themselves at risk but also increase the risk that their company faces, as well as compromising the duty of care that their company owes, not just to its employees, but to the public in general,' he said.
One way of tracking scheduled maintenance on grey fleet vehicles is through the use of automated alerts to fleet managers to flag up when services are due and the necessary protocols to ensure they are satisfactorily carried out.
Mycompanyfleet launched its Driver Self-Serve grey fleet solution earlier in the year to, amongst other things, address the duty of care issues around the condition of grey fleet vehicles as it realised that this was potentially the Achilles heel for many companies.
The Driver Self-Serve system completely automates issues such as service reminders and advises drivers and managers when the vehicle will need to be booked in for the next service to be carried out. It then proactively informs the driver of the number of miles left before the next service or the next vehicle condition check and when the vehicle will need to be booked in for the service to be carried out.
Grey fleet drivers log on to a dedicated Driver Self-Serve web portal and, in doing so, sign an agreement that they have had their vehicle serviced in accordance with the manufacturer's approved service schedule, or with the company's own bespoke servicing schedule.
The company also has the option at this stage to add a bespoke element to the service schedule by including items, such as additional tyre pressure and fluid level checks at various mileage intervals, and making them part of the company terms and conditions.
Used in this way, the system provides the fleet manager with a confirmation that a service has taken place and a record of the date, in an easily visible audit trail that meets duty of care requirements.
'Our Driver Self-Serve solution provides organisations with the means to effectively manage the risks associated with their grey fleet in a completely automated way and ensure all vehicles meet fitness for purpose and duty of care requirements,' added Mr Hicks.