Fleet Safety Management is More than Insurance

Small and medium-sized construction companies often have their own fleet of motor vehicles ranging from small vans to large rigs that can move heavy equipment. These fleets have insurance under the company’s business auto policy and perhaps some special insurance for heavy trucks. But, fleet insurance is the last piece of fleet safety. Safety begins with driver background checks, continues with safety training, and includes ongoing safety.

Driver Background Check

Any employee that drives a company vehicle should have a motor vehicle record (MVR) free of DUI, DWI, or other similar kinds of alcohol or drug related violation within the past five years. Additional serious driving infractions on an MVR that occurred within the last five years include:
Chemical test refusal
Reckless driving
Careless driving
Leaving the scene of an accident
Fleeing or eluding a police officer
Speeding greater than 20 mph over the limit
Passing a stopped school bus
Driving after suspension or revocation of their license

The following chart helps decide which employees are suitable for driving company fleet vehicles based on the shorter time frame of three years.

Three Year MVR 
Number of Preventable Accidents 
Number of Violations  0  1  2  3 
0    Acceptable  Borderline  Poor 
1  Acceptable  Acceptable  Borderline  Poor 
2  Acceptable  Acceptable  Borderline  Poor 
3  Poor  Borderline  Poor  Poor 
4  Poor  Poor  Poor  Poor 

Driver’s with “Borderline” records call for a review no less than every six months. Construction companies are smart if they create, and enforce the consequences for fleet drivers whose MVR is poor. Any serious infraction automatically places a driver in the “poor” category.

Fleet Management

The fleet manager or a designated employee ensures that all company vehicles have scheduled maintenance that equals or exceeds the manufacturer’s specifications. When a vehicle needs repair the fleet manager has it done as soon as possible after the defect has been reported. Fleet vehicles that have a “donut” spare immediately have the original tire repaired or replaced should be part of the policy. Written fleet maintenance policies should state that the removal of a vehicle from service occurs when the safety of any vehicle is compromised.

The fleet manager also should do a walk-around inspection on each vehicle daily checking for any obvious safety defects or serious damage.

With a driver hiring policy and fleet management policy done, it is time to visit your insurance advisor and make sure you have the correct insurance for your fleet.

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