Many companies are getting ready to send their fleets on long road trips the following season. While these can be great experiences for both employees and the company, they also carry a lot of risks. Some of the possible risks your fleet faces when traveling on the road include accidents, thefts, natural disasters, and breakdowns. While you can’t prevent these from happening completely, there are ways to reduce such risks so that you will be prepared if something does happen.
Make sure your fleet is in good condition
Before your fleet leaves, you should do a thorough checkup on each of the vehicles. Make sure that all their systems are in good working order and that they have enough fuel to last through long drives. If something does break down during the road trip, it will be much more inconvenient for everyone if your fleet is already spread out over different locations at once rather than grouped in one place. Also, make sure that you have adequate roadside assistance and that all fleet drivers are clear about the rules of the road, especially if your fleet will be driving outside of their normal routes.
Make sure all your fleet vehicles have a dashcam
This tool is an essential tool if you want to protect yourself in case of accidents or thefts while going on long road trips with your fleet. Your fleet already comes with a lot of different onboard technologies, you may wonder why not add another important piece. The biggest benefit of a fleet dashcam is that it records everything that happens when no one is at the wheel and keeps a record in case anything goes wrong. You can use this footage as evidence during insurance claims or police reports, either for yourself or for other drivers involved in the accident/theft. If any of these incidents do get caught on camera, it could even act as proof that your drivers were not at fault. You can add a dashcam to any of your vehicles for about $100, another small investment that could save you a lot of money down the road. Commercial dash cams are also recommended for fleets because they can provide a comprehensive view of trips and driver behavior.
Create checklists for each vehicle
Checklists are useful for keeping track of important items, whether it’s a packing list or instructions on how to use certain equipment properly. One example is creating a checklist for what to bring inside your fleet vehicle while traveling in case any items get lost or broken. Such information could include the driver’s cell number, contact numbers for hotels and restaurants near the route, phone numbers of someone who can deliver groceries or other needed supplies, and so on. Don’t forget to include contact numbers for your fleet insurance company or roadside assistance provider in case you need help during the road trip.
Decide which route to follow
Your fleet should have a designated route that they will be expected to follow; this will make sure that everything runs smoothly and will allow fleet drivers to know what they are doing at all times. If your fleet is allowed to choose their routes, make sure that there’s at least one person responsible for making the final decision about the course of action (i.e., where your fleet should go if there are multiple options). Also, make sure that everyone in the fleet knows how much time is necessary for each location along the routes so that drivers can plan and know when to stop.
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Make sure your drivers take proper breaks and get enough rest
Fleet drivers who are too tired to focus on the road will put everyone in the vehicle at risk. Therefore, make sure that they get plenty of opportunities to stop and rest for a few minutes throughout their journey. This is especially important when your fleet is traveling outside of normal working hours since it can be difficult for people to find places open after hours to eat or sleep. Ensuring that there are 24-hour stores along the route where drivers can purchase food, gas, and other supplies can help solve this problem without having any negative effects on your fleet’s performance.
Prepare for unexpected road conditions and changes in weather
Your fleet needs to make sure they are prepared for different types of road conditions and weather when transferring cargo across the country. Vehicles should be equipped with snow chains, anti-skid chains, tire chains, or weight-distributing hitches to make sure they can keep moving safely no matter what the climate throws at them during their trip. Your fleet should also carry an emergency kit with easy-open packages of food, drinking water, flares, jumper cables, a flashlight with batteries charged up, a first aid kit with essential medications like aspirin or acetaminophen, gloves that are resistant to cold temperatures, blankets Your fleet should also carry maps to make sure they can see exactly where they are at all times in case of any trouble.
Make sure your drivers have the right licenses and permits
Your company will need to make sure that all its drivers have the proper licenses and travel documentation for wherever they may be traveling. Make sure that everyone has a set travel itinerary so that there are no gaps between locations which could lead to problems with crossing borders or other unexpected changes that weren’t accounted for beforehand. You’ll also want to check whether you need any special permits for delivering cargo over certain types of roads, through different areas, etc., because it could cost you extra time and money if your fleet is unprepared when they arrive in another city/state/province.
Have a backup plan
On most road trips, there is a chance that your fleet will get lost, have delays, or encounter bad weather conditions. When you send your fleet on a road trip this season, make sure that they have a way to communicate with you and that you have a reliable fleet GPS tracker system in place just in case things do go wrong from time to time. Also, make sure that each vehicle has an emergency kit packed in case of any kind of emergencies when drivers are away from their cars. In addition to tools for repair work such as jumper cables and screwdrivers, add some personal items too like extra clothing and food so drivers will be as comfortable as possible if they have to spend a few hours away from their vehicles.
When sending your fleet on a long trip, everyone should be aware of the risks involved in long road trips and understand what they need to do before and during the journey. Having in mind these tips will help your fleet minimize these risks as much as possible. Just make sure that you have a plan in place for whenever something does go wrong so that everyone can stay safe even if there’s an unexpected obstacle along the way.