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Drivers are an essential part to a fleet company, meaning their behaviour has a direct effect on business. Wasteful driving habits can cost your company some serious money, with profits being affected by fuel costs and insurance pay outs.
Teaching your drivers how to avoid bad driving habits will benefit your business massively, but what driver techniques are costing your company the most money, and how do you get your employees to change their ways?
Drivers that drive over the speed limit, recklessly and dangerously are at risk of causing harm to themselves, others and the fleet vehicle. If a driver is involved in a crash, then the business is likely to have to pay insurance claims, repairs and downtime. All that time a driver cannot use their vehicle because of damage, the client is losing out on time spent on their site. You may even have to send out another driver to go complete the job, costing you more money.
It’s important to teach your drivers from the start to drive carefully. You can provide them with the best routes to get to their destination that avoid traffic and high ETAs, so they won’t be in a rush to get to the site or client on time. This will reduce the risk of dangerous driving.
Idling is when the vehicle’s engine is still running, but the car itself isn’t moving. Idling often occurs at red lights or when drivers are waiting. It’s vital that if a driver leaves their car, even if only for a minute, they switch off the engine. Idling can be a hugely wasteful habit and is likely to cost your company a lot in fuel costs.
Rapid acceleration is uneconomic and wastes a lot of fuel. It was found that both frequent rapid acceleration and hard braking increased fuel consumption by about 40% and if every driver is carrying out the same bad habits, you’re losing a massive amount of money each month. Gentle acceleration is much better for the vehicle and the environment, so it’s again beneficial to find routes that avoid stopping and starting for traffic and steep hills.
Harsh braking will not only waste fuel, but also damage your tires, suspension and brakes, costing you more on repairs each year. Therefore, you should advise your drivers to brake in time for traffic and red lights, instead of late braking and affecting the vehicle and the fuel levels. Drivers should also leave a big enough gap between them and the car in front in case of an emergency, so if they have to brake, it won’t be so violently.
Fleet Management Software
Fleet management software can guide your employee and let them know in real time where they’re going wrong. This means if they’re driving dangerously, or in a way that wastes fuel and affects the environment, then you can send them a live update that will tell them what they are doing incorrectly and how to fix it.
I’ve been in the fleet management industry for the past 8 years, helping companies to find more efficient ways of managing their fleet of vehicles. I joined Movolytics in 2018 as Director of Business Development, leading and training the sales team.