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How to save time and money by managing your van fleet

Apr 24, 2019 | News

If you have van fleet of more than three or four vehicles then this needs to be actively managed, Car & Van Finance Direct use our expertise in the automotive industry to provide a guide to managing your van fleet.

Van fleet management

Managing your fleet effectively can not only save time, but also save money. If your fleet is large enough then it is feasible to do this in house, however for SMEs, there are specialist companies you may wish to consider to attempt to reduce costs, improve driver safety, increase efficiency and save time.

Software

Software companies are able to provide you with vehicle maintenance and management, accidents, fuel and risk with the ability to track your vehicles when they are on the road. They can also provide particularly useful telematics offering transparency and visibility for managers over how vans are being used by van drivers.

Driver safety can be improved and downtime reduced with an effective fleet management service. To assist with fleet management and telematics, new vans such as the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter come with an impressive level of telematics technology to help you keep on track of your vans and drivers.

Why is fleet management important for businesses?

More than 3.6 million vans are used for business purposes across the entirety of the UK and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) have the authority to carry out spot checks on any of your vehicles and issue you with prohibitions if they deem it necessary. As part of targeted roadside checks, 15,600 vans are stopped each year by the DVSA, so your fleet management software can help you stay on the right side of the law.

Helping you stay on the right side of the law

You require a licence to carry goods in a van with either a gross vehicle weight of more than 3,500kgs or an unladen weight of more than 1,525kg. Vans with a gross vehicle weight up to 3,500kg require an MOT on a yearly basis when they reach 3 years of age, whilst those with a gross vehicle weight exceeding this figure need a goods vehicle annual test on a yearly basis.

Managing your drivers

Fleet management software also helps fleet managers manage their drivers, as an employer you are required to:

    • Monitor how long your drivers are working
    • Ensure they don’t go over the limit of hours
    • Record their working time and keep records for at least 2 years

The DVSA recommends that drivers take a 45 minute rest for every 4.5 hours they have spent driving in line with European Union laws.

Overloading

Ensure your vans aren’t overloaded. The gross vehicle weight (or laden weight) is the maximum your van can weigh when it is fully loaded, this is the combination of the vehicle weight, driver and passengers, fuel and the load which the van is carrying.

Always use the best vans for the job with the right size, load capability and tools for the job and don’t load your van beyond the gross vehicle weight. It is also important to maintain specialist equipment such as tow bars and tail lifts.

To avoid the risk of overloading, some new vans such as the Citroen Berlingo, Peugeot Partner and Vauxhall Combo are available with an overload indicator which warns the driver when they are nearing full capacity as well as warning them when they exceed it.

Managing risks and costs

To do this you can fit a 70mph limiter on vans which are used for motorway driving, with vans potentially using 25% more fuel when travelling at 80mph than 70mph, parking sensors are also recommended to protect pedestrians, employees and your vans in busy urban areas.

You should always know who is driving your vans for work by requesting references, also take more than one for of ID from your drivers and cross-check them against their driving licence details. This process should be the same for agency drivers and keep copies on file.

New vehicles on finance

Whether you’re looking for one new vehicle or an entire fleet then Car & Van Finance Direct can certainly help, with an unbeatable range of brand new vehicles and cheap vehicle finance deals on both cars and vans. Interested? Simply fill in a contact form or call us on 02920 789234 for a friendly no obligation chat regarding your requirements.