While compliance ensures a business can operator, the headache that go with it is very real given the multifaceted nature of compliance for fleet operators - getting it right costs money and getting it wrong costs even more.
The headache can be removed with a good understanding of the key areas of compliance, as well as utilising fleet management tools that can do some of the thinking for you.
Fleet compliance can typically be grouped into four key areas: driver management, vehicle management, policies management, and document management.
As a fleet operator or manager, you ultimately have a duty of care to both your drivers and the general public. Driver management encompasses everything from health checks and training to tachograph hours, ensuring you can maximise driving time within the legal limits and effectively manage any fatigue or health concerns. Driver behaviour on the road or at customer premises is a major compliance concern for any fleet operator, not just because of the cost and size of the asset they’re driving, or the value of the load they’re carrying, but for the protection of the public as well. Being able to see how a vehicle is being handled and nipping any misdemeanours in the bud will protect from unwanted crashes, unplanned maintenance, and unnecessary insurance claims and premium rises.
Scheduled services and MOTs are a well understood part of compliance but having effective foresight of them can help balance workload across the remaining fleet to ensure no loss of operations. Moreover, vehicle management should also consider regular vehicle inspections, risk assessments, and maintenance, as working on scheduled services and MOTs alone exposes a fleet operator to any faults or issues that may impact the vehicle or driver on the next job, and therefore the fleet’s compliance. So, this requires an effective internal process for planning and delivering inspections, particularly if the fleet is of a considerable size.
Do your drivers require licence renewals? Are their licences for the right class of vehicle? Do all your vehicles and drivers have correct insurance? Are your vehicles correctly taxed and on time? These are the basics when it comes to policies compliance – permits carry a little more navigation. One major example of permit compliance affecting all manner of fleets is the Direct Vision Standard from Transport for London, which came into force in March 2021. It affects almost all HGVs over 12 tonnes gross which operate in Greater London and will only be issued if a vehicle passes a particular rating, which is all logged digitally and can be monitored by ANPR. The fines can be hefty and multiple, so compliance is paramount for this type of permit.
With a lot of boxes to tick, a lot of documentation provided to prove those boxes have been ticked, and a whole host of regulators that may ask for that proof, document management and effective access is pivotal for both fleet managers and operators, as well as drivers.
Investing in a Fleet Management Platform
There’s a lot to consider and getting on top of each of the four key areas can be a daunting task. This is where digital fleet management tools come into their own right.
TN360 from Teletrac Navman helps fleets go beyond tracking dots on a map, using the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to turn real-time data into business intelligence that provides visibility into fleet operations, helping a fleet manager or operator go from data to decisions faster and more effectively.
There are a multitude of benefits when you digitally transform your fleet operations. Each area of compliance that needs to be managed is set up as a digital event, with email and in-platform notifications ensuring no deadline gets missed. Physical vehicle checks can be recorded and sent digitally straight into the platform for logging with action if necessary. Documents can be easily and centrally managed through cloud-based hosting and easy recall systems and interfaces make life that little bit easier for drivers to receive or access when on the road. With the help of business intelligence, the compliance milestones can also be mapped over extended periods to ensure resource and job allocation can be more forward planned, ensuring no vehicle downtime.
Moreover, fleet management platforms get rid of the need to source multiple reports and manipulate data to get the information that you need, saving you time and removing the frustrations of juggling multiple compliance checkpoints.
The headache will soon go when some of the thinking is done for you.