The phrase “fleet management” frequently brings to mind big rigs and transportation companies. No doubt, these organizations need formal fleet management and safety plans, but they don’t have a corner on this market. Home healthcare businesses often have multiple care providers on the road in company-owned vehicles. Large corporations frequently provide company-owned vehicles to their executives and sales personnel. Towing and recovery services, tree trimming business, and disaster response companies typically have multiple large trucks on the road.
Since fleet management and safety extend far beyond the transportation industry, what should a formal, written policy include?
- Driver Screening – Offers of employment to driver applicants should be extended contingent upon the applicant having an acceptable motor vehicle record (MVR)
- Minimal points/violations in the preceding 36 months (the specifics vary among insurers, but drivers are typically expected to have less than 3 to 4 points within the 36 preceding months).
- NO alcohol or drug related offenses, leaving the scene, revocations or suspensions, speeding more than 20 miles over the posted limit, or any criminal-related driving offense.
- Annual MVR review.
- Driver Qualification – Age, experience
- Driver Training – Pre-hire, post-hire, remedial, refresher, road test
- A list of safe operating rules – Seat belts, distracted driving
- A clause prohibiting personal use or family use of vehicles, and specifically defining authorized passengers.
- Accident reporting and investigation policy – Including who to contact and what to do in case of accident
- Vehicle selection – Retirement scheduling, evaluation, criteria
- Vehicle inspection and maintenance – Daily (pre- and post-trip), preventative, on-demand, crisis
- Documentation and Recordkeeping
Specific safety features of the program may include:
- Safe driver incentive program
- Driver safety meetings
- Defensive driver training
There are two additional recommendations I submit to all of my clients:
- Maintain all driver employee files, to the extent possible, as if they were required to comply with CDL requirements – you can never over-document a file; and
- Add a self-reporting clause requiring all drivers to self-report any moving violation at the time of occurrence, regardless of whether or not the driver holds a CDL, and regardless of legal disposition.
Proactively managing the hiring and training of drivers, as well as the lifespan of the fleet, promotes safety and provides some financial control over the fleet investment.