Every company fleet vehicle is extremely important to the company that purchased it. It was an investment supposed to help the company achieve better results, either directly by providing safer and quicker delivery or by boosting the image of the company. That’s why every sensible manager understands how important it is to look after company vehicles and takes steps in that direction.
However, there are still those who believe that company vehicles don’t need any special attention or care and that all they need to do is fill up the tank and let their drivers deal with any problems that may arise. Those people couldn’t be more wrong. Looking after a company vehicle is just like looking after any other company’s asset or investment. You want it to serve you well and for a long time, so that it can help you increase your profit. So, how do you take care of your company vehicle properly?
Assign an employee a specific vehicle
This will show your employees that their management believes in them, trusts them and is certain they can do a good job. Also, since vehicles are often shared, you need to count on each person dong some things differently, which might lead to conflicts between drivers. If the vehicles are assigned to a particular employee, you can usually rest assured that each employee will take good care of the vehicle as if it were their own and they won’t neglect it.
Needless to say, drivers need to be given a manual, which clearly cites policies and procedures of operation. It should also include an acknowledgment page, where it is clearly stated that the employee has read everything and takes responsibility for their vehicle.
Each company should insist their vehicles are clean at all times. While many companies focus solely on exterior cleanliness, interior one is equally important. Full ashtrays, dirty and smudgy windows, garbage on the floor, tools scattered around the trunk are just some of the issues commonly encountered which do not only have negative effects on the company’s image but also lower the resale value of the vehicle significantly. A well-maintained and clean vehicle is, therefore, a must.
There has to be a pre- and post-trip maintenance schedule, which should be followed each time a fleet vehicle goes out on a job. This schedule usually contains a checklist with tasks to be done, record of out and in times of the vehicle, as well as the signature of the employee in charge. These maintenance schedules are then submitted to the person in charge of fleet maintenance. This employee then proceeds to inspect whether the windows are washed inside and out, whether the tools are placed properly and if all the needed equipment is there and whether the windshield wipers and mirrors are in alignment.
Every shrewd manager will make sure they use opportunities to purchase parts they are bound to need when the prices are lower or to get a better deal for large orders. Tyres are definitely something you’ll need to replace regularly and you might want to check what is on offer here. It’s great to have one retailer who can cater to all your needs related to tyres.
Education of drivers
It is clear that no matter how well designed a company’s policy might be, it’s down to the driver of a particular vehicle to make sure the strategy is implemented in the right way. So, apart from providing them with a list of mechanical maintenance schedules, companies should also help them become better drivers, regardless of their experience. Even the most experienced and well-trained professionals need a refreshment course from time to time, as a reminder of the best practice.
This means that topics such as tailgating, using seat belts and winter driving tips simply have to find their way into some form of professional education and development. Whether such topics are dealt with in a monthly newsletter, at regular meetings or on a special website depends on the management’s decision. However, they are vital when it comes to taking care of company vehicles.
These are just the most basic things of a complex, yet necessary program that has to exist. Assigning vehicles to drivers that your company trusts will show them you appreciate them, but they also need to be aware that they are expected to be responsible for the vehicle as if it were their own. Having a system in place, which ensures all the problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently is another key issue since only a reliable and well-run fleet will allow the company to make the most of their investment and boost its business results.