Fleet Management Safety Training 101 | Importance & Common Risks
Fleet Management Safety Training 101 | Importance & Common Risks
When you’re managing a fleet, you must consider a bunch of aspects – from overseeing and maintaining vehicles to ensuring your drivers are safe on the road. The demand for public transport grows with each passing day, and, with it, the need for fleet safety protocols.
If you’re after the best ways to keep your fleet safe, you’ve come to the right place. This article will discuss the importance of fleet management safety training, including what the most common risks are, as well as how you can prevent these from happening. So, let’s get right into it!
Why fleet management safety training is important
Fleet managers are responsible for overseeing the entire fleet process from start to finish. They’re deciding on the type and number of vehicles your fleet needs, monitoring your drivers’ behaviour, and ensuring your business complies with legal regulations.
It’s a ton of responsibilities to have on one’s back. However, by investing in fleet management safety training, you can lighten their burden and ensure your fleet operations run smoothly.
Naturally, fleet operations are susceptible to many risks, and a comprehensive guide to fleet management can make all the difference in fighting these risks. So, let’s take a look at what you’ll be avoiding by simply training your fleet managers.
Common risks in fleet operations
While the demand for public transport continues to grow, so do the challenges of managing a fleet. Fleet managers now have twice the number of drivers to oversee and twice the number of vehicles to maintain. Even one single mistake can lead to any of the following outcomes:
Vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, road accidents happen all the time. In fact, 1.19 million people die due to road traffic crashes each year. These accidents pose a threat to your drivers and can also lead to unexpected medical expenses and vehicle repair costs.
Failing to comply with safety regulations. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law. However, when not familiar with them, fleet managers can break the rules by accident, which can cause legal troubles and further expenses down the road.
Data theft. As technology advances, more and more businesses rely on digital solutions to optimize their fleet operations. However, this is a double-edged sword, as it’s beneficial but also increases the risk of your drivers’ sensitive information being exposed.
The risks fleet managers face are too many, which is why they must be on their toes and ready to address any issue that arises timely. Anyway, now that you know what the risks are, let’s see how fleet management safety training can help mitigate them and what an effective training program looks like.
Creating an effective safety training program
Regardless of whether you bring in experts or rely on your HR team’s trainer skills, one thing is for certain- the training program must be comprehensive. You must think of every little thing that could go wrong and use this as your basis to create safety training protocols.
Keep vehicles well-maintained
Fleet managers are responsible for taking care of the fleet vehicles. They must keep an eye on tires, brakes, and fluid levels, and if there’s an issue, fix it timely before it escalates. However, we can notice small changes only by searching for them, so in order to notice any potential issues in vehicles, fleet managers must regularly inspect them.
Think about it. What would happen if a vehicle owner continuously neglects to change the oil? The engine will get contaminated with dirt, and a poorly lubricated engine can suck more fuel and can easily overheat. Simply put, that vehicle is headed for disaster.
There’s always the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, but it’s rare to find someone who strictly adheres to it. However, by training them properly, your fleet managers will learn how important it is to keep vehicles well-maintained, and it will become a part of their routine.
Defensive driving skills
But besides taking care of vehicles, fleet managers are responsible for your fleet. You must teach them to respond to potential hazards on the road. That way, even if the unexpected happens, they’ll be able to resolve the issue quickly so that the vehicle will be up and running in no time.
Let’s see why defensive driving skills are so important for your business:
Cost savings. When both drivers and fleet managers can timely recognize and mitigate risks, they’ll be able to prevent incidents, so the likelihood of vehicle collisions will be reduced. Naturally, fewer accidents lead to lower repair and maintenance costs, as well as decreased liability for your business.
Improved productivity. All of you who are managing a fleet have experienced vehicle downtime at some point. However, when your drivers and fleet managers can quickly resolve issues, vehicle downtime is less likely to happen.
Enhanced reputation. The name already suggests it, but let’s say it – investing in safety training is investing in the safety of your drivers. It communicates to them that their well-being is your top priority, but it also portrays you as a responsible company.
The safety training positively impacts fleet managers and drivers, as well as your business. It will enhance their overall awareness behind the wheel so they can easily recognize potential risks and, at the same time, give you a competitive advantage as a company that prioritizes safety.
Businesses often collect data about their drivers, such as schedules and health data, which, with the advancement of technology, are stored electronically. This means they’re more susceptible to cybersecurity threats, which won’t only compromise the safety of your drivers but can also damage your reputation and lead to further legal consequences.
Well, more and more businesses are integrating technology into fleet management, so it’s time to take data security concerns seriously and incorporate data protection into your training program.
You must educate fleet managers on cybersecurity best practices and make sure to compile a comprehensive data protection notice that will inform drivers about the data collected and the purposes for which this data is used. It’s how you’ll increase awareness about potential data breaches and ensure your business stays on the right side of the law.
To follow up on the above-said, implementing technology in your fleet operations can help you a great deal when it comes to safety. Here’s the technology you can incorporate in your training:
Fleet telematics. You can implement fleet management software and teach your fleet managers how to use it so that they can gain real-time insights into drivers’ behaviour, the vehicle’s performance, and overall fleet operations.
VR technology. There’s a way for fleet managers to practice without being exposed to real-world risks. It’s called VR technology and allows your fleet managers to try out a simulated driving experience, where they can learn to respond to potential hazards. This is one of the latest learning & development trends that is helping expand training possibilities.
Internet of Things. By implementing these types of sensors, fleet managers will be informed in a timely manner about any potential package damage. So, if something seems to be wrong with the packages, drivers will be able to act quickly.
There are certainly different opinions when it comes to embracing technology. Some are on board, but others worry it’s getting ahead too fast. However, we can all agree that technology can help a great deal when it comes to keeping your fleets safe and your fleet operations efficient.
Responding to emergencies
It all comes down to this – training your drivers and fleet managers to respond to emergencies in a timely manner. You can consider implementing step-by-step procedures for different types of emergencies and make sure both drivers and fleet managers are familiar with them.
It’s also a smart idea to incorporate communication systems so that in case of an emergency, such as package damage or a vehicle accident, drivers and fleet managers can quickly exchange information, as well as find a common solution.
Keeping your fleet safe
Nowadays, it seems like everyone overlooks the importance of fleet management safety training. However, you’re all forgetting something – your employees can be the best drivers in the world, but unexpected circumstances can still lead to vehicle accidents.
When your fleet managers undergo regular safety training, you can rest assured they’ll be able to handle even these unexpected risks drivers face on the road. Fleet management safety training is simply too beneficial – it keeps your drivers and fleet managers safe and portrays your business as a safety-conscious one, so it’s not a choice but rather a necessity.