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Fleets need to keep ‘walkaround’ checks interesting to fight driver complacency

Fleets need to keep ‘walkaround’ checks interesting to fight driver complacency

Fleets need to adopt a range of strategies to keep driver ‘walkaround’ checks interesting otherwise complacency quickly sets in, according to FleetCheck.

The fleet software provider reports that it regularly sees examples of businesses where the risk management effectiveness of the checks has declined over time because of familiarity.
 
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, said: “The walkaround check is very much at the frontline of risk management for fleets, whether it is a simple tyres, levels and lights check for a company car driver or the more formal and controlled checks that commercial vehicle drivers have to complete under Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency regulations.
 
“What these checks have in common is that they are prone to complacency over time, that drivers start to tick the boxes without really looking properly at the areas they are supposed to be inspecting. It’s simply a case of overfamiliarity - a very human problem.”
 
Mr Golding said that the solution lay in a combination of incentives and enforcement, ensuring that driver interest was maintained.
 
He explained: “At one level, managers need to underline from a corporate point of view that the checks are part of the responsibilities of each driver and they are taken very seriously. Failing to carry them out should be a disciplinary offence and there should be an audit system.
 
“At another level, interest to the checks can be added by using communications such as e-mail and social media to remind drivers why it is important to carry them out, and the safety issues that can arise as the result of a failure to do so. The whole subject needs to be kept fresh.”

FleetCheck has just launched its own Walkaround Check App, which is claimed to provide a robust way of carrying out essential commercial vehicle safety checks. Designed for HGVs, vans, buses and coaches, it creates the means to schedule, carry out, confirm, follow-up and audit all kinds of inspections from daily walkarounds to formal weekly or monthly checks.
 
The Walkaround Check App integrates with FleetCheck’s fleet management software, which is in use by more than 500 customers operating 50,000 vehicles.