For a successful business, with an ever-growing fleet, managing and keeping track of vehicles can quickly become a headache.
Especially if you're using some combination of paper recorded checks, multiple spreadsheets, and post-it notes to and from your vehicle maintenance team.
But you might not be ready yet to make the financial and time investment associated with a dedicated fleet management system.
Here, we will explain how to begin simply managing your fleet, with a system revolving around your driver daily walkaround checks.
Why the walkaround checks?
According to this good practice guide from the FTA (Fleet Transport Association), "The requirement to properly maintain vehicles lies at the heart of much road transport legislation", and at the core of that, is the driver daily walkaround checks.
The FTA guide offers practical advice and best practices for anyone unsure of their responsibilities for undertaking driver daily walkaround checks; and section three of this guide to maintaining roadworthiness from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) provides more detail about what exactly the driver daily walkaround checks should entail.
Whilst it is the responsibility of the driver to carry out the checks there is also an onus on operators to ensure their fleet of vehicles are safe and roadworthy.
In fact, the DVSA are looking at promoting a new scheme, where businesses could attain 'earned recognition' status, for maintaining compliance with the driver daily walkaround checks, resulting in fewer roadside checks. You can read more about the proposed scheme on our blog here.
Ensuring that your drivers complete their daily walkaround checks properly is essential, not just to maintain compliance and safety, but being part of the scheme can reassure current and prospective clients, partners and employees as to the quality of your operation, ultimately giving you a competitive edge in winning and maintaining work, and a broader appeal in a dwindling driver talent pool.
By showcasing your compliance with walkaround checks, you are also able to reduce environmental impacts of your fleet, and increase efficiency by reducing downtime due to overdue repairs (which could have been fixed relatively quickly, had they been caught early), and to potentially lowering the time your drivers spend being stopped and checked on the roadside.
Whilst VOSA (the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) in their document, 'A Guide to the Use of Maintenance Software and Computer Storage of Maintenance Records' don't recommend any app or software in particular, STREAM's Driver Daily Walkaround Check App will meet all the standards outlined for software laid out in the guide, including the key features for any computerised system, and the specific details that need to recorded and stored in an electronic solution for the driver daily walkaround checks.
How Do the Daily Walkaround Checks Help with Fleet Management?
One of the more advanced features of the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround Check App is the back office system.
You could describe it as a kind of 'fleet management light', with typical fleet management features like vehicle details (from registration to MOT and insurance dates), maintenance history (including all previous checks, and actions taken to rectify issues), and flexibility (add extra checks on a per vehicle or per job basis, depending on the requirements of your business). The app comes without the hefty price tag and complex setup process associated with a full-blown fleet management system.
Together, the app and back office system do far more than provide a checklist for a driver to tick off. They can help to ensure and prove compliance, and assist with fleet management. The system is totally scalable from a single vehicle and can handle numbers in the hundreds, with multiple vehicles types and drivers too.
Some of the features included in the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround App back office system that can help you move from simple daily walkaround checks towards a more comprehensive fleet management system are:
Features of the Daily Walkaround Check App that Help with Fleet Management:
View Vehicle Details
Record basic vehicle details, including make and model, colour, size and weight, capacity and even MOT and insurance dates and details.
View Vehicle History
From the back office system you can view all historical checks undertaken on the vehicle, including any issues reported, and the actions taken on those issues.
Add and Manage Extra Checks
Whilst there are 21 checks specified for HGVs (Heavy Goods Vehicles) and 19 for PSVs (Public Services Vehicles), you may wish to add checks specific to your sector or your business (for example, checking that drivers have the PPE and equipment they require to install goods), or specific checks for each type of vehicle (for example, where a vehicle has refrigeration facilities you may want drivers to check the temperature before leaving).
In the back office system, you can set up what notifications you'd like to receive, and who should receive them. For example, the shift manager could receive a notification when a daily walkaround check hasn't been completed by a certain time, and your maintenance team could receive a notification when an issue is reported.
Record Rectifying Actions
Use the back office system to record the action taken to rectify issues reported in walkaround checks. You can make notes about the work undertaken, and soon you'll even be able to attach documents and photos to show that the issue was fixed, along with the time and date the vehicle was declared roadworthy. You can see all of these details in the vehicle history at any time.
Easily Export Information
Information can easily be exported as an excel file, to store as a paper record or in the case of an audit.
If you're drowning in paperwork and spreadsheets, struggling to efficiently manage your fleet, and can't be 100% sure that all your vehicles are roadworthy, you can simplify fleet management with STREAM, without the hassle of implementing a pricey and over-complicated system. All these features are included in the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround Check App.
Book a demo of the app to speak to an expert about how the STREAM Driver Daily Walkaround App can help you with overall vehicle management too.