Paul Wilkes, business services manager at FORS, argues that the money invested in improving driving standards can be recouped in reduced bills.
Van owner-drivers and those running LCV fleets can feel they are caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to good operating standards.
Everyone understands the importance of efficient and safe driving and the responsibility van drivers have to other road users, but improving standards often gets pushed down the to-do list – owing to the perceived cost it entails.
The desire to keep a check on outgoings is logical. These are tough economic times, where small businesses – especially those in the service industry – are feeling the pinch from national uncertainties.
But small businesses using a van as part of their everyday work could do worse than to follow the lead of their HGV colleagues and consider the savings that can be made from having drivers follow best-practice models.
Training helps eke every penny out of being on the road. Learning how to ensure fuel isn’t wasted by poor driving and route planning, understanding the impact tyres have on fuel costs, and considering correct loading to avoid fines are just some of the benefits that come from thinking about raising standards.
FORS van drivers are also trained in how to drive safely – for example, learning how to reduce their chances of falling foul of speeding fines, which can result in heavier financial implications such as insurance increases and even driving bans.
FORS driver training goes hand in hand with its efficiency policies, which help members save on everyday running costs as well as minimise their CO2 output. For example, the Fuel Management Guide helps LCV users manage fuel expenses to see real cost savings through reduced fuel consumption. In addition, FORS recently launched a flexible fuel card service, FORS Fuel Expert, to help members manage and cut fuel costs, offering savings of up to 4p per litre (ppl) off the national average pump price and up to 10ppl off motorway pump prices,
Far from being a cost burden, FORS van members learn how to save money, while making sure their business represents high standards of safety. It’s certainly worth pushing compliance to the top of the to-do list for all light commercial vehicle drivers.
For more information visit www.fors-online.org.uk
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