Driving for Better Business, the Highways England programme to help employers reduce road risk, has created an essential ‘Transport Toolkit’ of free online resources to help fleets and businesses through the coronavirus pandemic.
Developed in collaboration with strategic partner, FleetCheck, the online resources provide guidance for a range of situations, including for furloughed drivers with mothballed vehicles or essential drivers operating at maximum capacity.
The new online toolkit provides a series of videos covering:
- Essential Drivers – businesses operating at, or above maximum capacity. Highlighting the challenges around maintaining safety critical policies such as the management of driver fatigue as well as issues around driver recruitment, driver eligibility and sanitisation where multiple employees may be using the same vehicle
- Non-Essential Drivers – those who can now work from home or have been furloughed. Highlighting the issues related to an increase in lone working, mental health and financial challenges
- Business Continuity – maintaining customer relationships and keeping business as financially sound as possible. Looking at different ways of maintaining positive cash flow and the opportunity to focus on fleet efficiency
- Vehicle Maintenance – lack of engineers due to self-isolation and the closing of garages. Discussing the temporary suspension of MOTs and maintenance schedules, as well as the challenges of maintaining an operational fleet and the implications of mothballing non-essential vehicles
- Fleet Admin and Housekeeping – the importance of ensuring all staff follow established policies. Looking at the recent successful prosecution of a business for a fatal accident following its failure to follow its own fatigue management policies, as well as advice for those running a non-essential fleet to use this time to start developing stronger procedures
- Back to ‘Normal’ – what will ‘normal’ look like in the transport world? Some of the key issues fleet and transport managers will have to address over the coming months, such as the extensive checks required before reinstating mothballed vehicles, important considerations when bringing back furloughed drivers, and why the backlog in vehicle maintenance will cause significant problems.
Peter Golding, founder and managing director at FleetCheck, said: 'There are various ways in which we are looking at providing genuinely useful, new services for fleets but the COVID-19 Transport Toolkit is probably the most visible.
'Working in conjunction with Driving for Better Business, we’ve taken the subjects that are being raised most frequently by our customers and produced videos available to everyone that provide pertinent advice in a fast, easy to understand format. If there are other subjects that businesses want to see tackled, we urge them to get in touch with Driving for Better Business or FleetCheck and we will do our best to produce something that answers their need.
'The videos should be a great help but our job isn’t done yet and there will be much more detailed guidance to come as we drill down, with a range of experts, into specific issues such as managing driver fatigue and the comprehensive pre-use vehicle checks that will be required before any mothballed vehicles are allowed back on the road – something that will be vital to ensure the safety of all road users.'