How to help prepare your fleet for the end of lockdown
This week has seen the Government make a concerted effort to start a conversation about more people getting back to work. Indeed, some sectors, such as construction and manufacturing, are being encouraged to do so already.
However, in the age of coronavirus, the process of returning is not necessarily straightforward and, for those involved in running company vehicles such as ServicePoint users, now is probably a good time to think about what you might need to do in preparation.
Here are five points to consider:
1. Read the Government guidance
A detailed official document has been released about working safely during coronavirus for people who work in or from vehicles, that effectively provides a risk management infrastructure for companies operating cars and vans. Job one is to read this and apply the principles to your own operations. It can be found at https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5eb96cd6d3bf7f5d3a907e58/working-safely-during-covid-19-vehicles-110520.pdf or https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/vehicles
By the time your drivers return to work, their cars and vans may have been standing barely used for weeks or months. In order to ensure they remain safe to use, it is likely that some kind of inspection may be needed. This could range from a simple walkaround check to a more formal examination by a qualified mechanic, depending on the type of vehicle.
3. Managing the MOT suspension
In March, the government announced a six month pause in MOT tests. Those running company vehicles may need now to consider two factors resulting from this. The first is how to ensure those cars and vans remain roadworthy during the suspension period; the second is planning how to get your vehicles tested as they become due, given the much increased demand for MOTs that is likely to be seen from September onwards.
4. Is public transport an issue?
Do your employees use trains or buses as part of their business transport? It may be that they are reluctant to do so in the future because of the proximity to other people and the risk of infection, despite guidance on safe use of public transport from the Government. [https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers] What potential impact will this have on your use of transportation in the future and are alternative solutions available?
5. Consider grey fleet vehicles?
All of the points above also need to be considered from a grey fleet point of view where you have employees who use their own vehicles on company business – something that may become a significant issue if more people switch out of public transport into their private car for corporate travel.
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