Fleet operators have faced a relentless onslaught of cost increases in recent years. Fuel prices are at an all-time high and show no signs of receding. Getting your drivers to use less fuel by adopting more efficient driving techniques is an ideal place to start.
What with sluggish economic growth, cutbacks in government spending at both a local and a national level thanks to the new age of austerity, and high fuel costs, Europe’s bus and coach operators are facing tough times. Yet where there are problems, there are also opportunities.
The faster we drive, the less time we have to react, the harder we hit, and the more likely the outcome will be death or serious injury. As well as the obvious costs of any collision such as driver injury and absence, vehicle damage, and insurance premium hikes, driving at excessive speeds increases companies’ fuel consumption and, as a result, increases both the cost and environmental impact of a fleet.
You probably know that VOSA now rates all British truck and bus operators according to the likelihood of their committing vehicle roadworthiness, drivers’ hours and other offences, but you may not realize that the way these scores are calculated has been changed.
So-called grey fleets (shorthand for privately-owned cars used by employees on company business) are costing firms a fortune, increasing their carbon footprint and exposing them to the risk of legal action.
With almost three in ten fleets failing to fully comply with fleet safety legal requirements, it is clear that a number of companies are neglecting their duty of care responsibilities. Yet all companies have a legal and moral duty of care towards their employees, including those who drive for work, and everyone sharing the roads with them.
Conscious of the harm that excess CO2 can do to the planet, in 2008 the UK passed the Climate Change Act which sets a legally-binding target of a cut in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050 compared with 1990’s level. For the UK to reach this target road transport will have to be largely de-carbonised by the target date according to the Department for Transport.
A combination of cutting-edge technology now available from vehicle and component manufacturers and sensible management practice on the part of operators can result in major savings in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.
Fleet operators have faced a relentless onslaught of cost increases in recent years. Fuel prices are at an all-time high and show no signs of receding. In order to overcome this challenge, companies must find new ways to drive cost reductions. Getting your drivers to use less fuel by adopting more efficient driving techniques is an ideal place to start.
Alternative fuels can cut harmful exhaust emissions and reduce the CO2 output of vehicles, but there can be a price to pay for making the switch – and do not assume the government will always pick up the bill.