Too many fleets keeping ‘an old van in the yard’, says FleetCheck
Too many fleets keep “an old van in the yard” that represents a massive
health and safety risk, according to FleetCheck.
The fleet software specialist says that it regularly encounters businesses -
especially larger SMEs - that have a dilapidated vehicle they use as a back-up
to their main fleet.
Peter Golding, managing director at FleetCheck, explained: “We see vehicles
like this often enough that we even have a company shorthand for them - OVYs -
old vans in the yard.
“When you talk to companies about them, they’ll tell you that they are ‘just
running them into the ground’ and that they are not part of the main fleet.
But, of course, legally they are every bit as much a part of your fleet as the
new Ford Transit delivered last week.
“It’s a real blind spot. Even companies that are pretty hot on risk
management fairly often operate a vehicle that they use on a very occasional
basis and to which their normal health and safety rules, such as inspections
and servicing, aren’t applied.”
Mr Golding said that he once visited a fleet that operated a mildew-covered
panel van that was at least 15 years old and was referred to by the operator as
He said: “This is the most dangerous OVY we have yet seen at FleetCheck. It was
literally used as an alternative to a skip, being filled with rubbish and
driven only to the council tip.
“It was never serviced and never inspected. It was the single highest risk
vehicle I have ever seen on a fleet - but the rest of the company vans were
well looked after.”
Mr Golding added that fleets operating OVYs needed to either bring them under
the umbrella of main fleet operations or get rid of them.
He said: “There is no such thing in law as an occasionally used old van that is
exempt from health and safety regulations and, if a fleet is operating a
vehicle on this basis, it needs to recognise the degree of risk being taken.
“There are other ways of meeting the requirement for an occasional use van,
with short term rental being the most obvious. Fleet managers may see this as
an expensive solution but it is much better than taking a risk with OVY that
could lead to the kind of accident in which the Health and Safety Executive
might take an interest.”