Putting drivers first can be good for business
Amidst all the technology available to the fleet manager – telematics, on-board computers, sophisticated management software etc, it can be easy to forget that the fleet business, like every other business, is still about one thing, people.
Human benefits are just as important as cost considerations, and you have a duty of care towards drivers in your fleet. So let’s not forget drivers when we’re considering our funding, fuelling and vehicle selection policies. Putting their needs first can pay dividends.
For a start, driver safety has never been such a hot issue. Believe it or not, the number of reported road casualties in Great Britain is increasing. (Source Dept. of Transport 2015). Specifying extra safety features in new vehicles may look like an extra expense but can pay off handsomely if it prevents accidents and reduces driver stress and downtime.
This will become even more critical as SMART roads start to become a reality. The BVRLA and Government are already discussing the mandatory introduction of new safety features – Autonomous Emergency braking (AEB), Lane Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control so investing now could save money in the long term.
But it’s not just for safety reasons that vehicle and spec choice should be as much about driver as cost. It can also be a powerful tool in recruiting the best people and keeping them. Factors such as prestige and reputation of vehicle and extras not only enhance driver safety and behaviour but can also aid recruitment at a time when skilled people are in short supply.
In a nutshell, we think that if you recruit great people, making them feel special and reducing their downtime makes sound business sense.