Aggressive tailgating driver

My Fleet Solution will protect fleets from tailgating bullies

Americans talk about tailgating as a fun event in the boot of a parked vehicle. When us Brits talk about tailgating, it’s the miserable business of driving a car and dealing with the aggression of a driver behind intent on being too close to the boot.

New research reveals that tailgating is not only one of the most annoying habits drivers experience on the road, but it also causes many motorists to make dangerous decisions of their own.

A recently published study by Opinium Research on a cohort of 2004 motorists talking about driving habits shows that 89% of drivers say they find tailgating by other drivers either very or moderately annoying, second only to dangerous overtaking (92%), and three quarters (75%) would take action in response to a car following too closely.

Annoyed driver dealing with tailgating

The most popular course of action for tailgated drivers is to slow down to leave a wider gap between them and the car in front, with the aim of encouraging the tailgater to do the same. The research revealed that 37% of motorists adopt this slow-down move, however many drivers take riskier measures, as shown below.

Over a third (34%) of drivers, some 13.9 million licence holders, say that if being followed too closely by the car behind they would lightly dab their brakes to make their brake lights come on without slowing down. 8% of drivers would use their fog lights, flicking them on to make the driver behind think that they are braking. One in ten drivers (10%) go even further, saying they would apply the brake sharply to get the car behind to back off.

All these moves carry significant risks of causing a collision – the driver following too closely may overreact with their braking and create a ripple effect leading to an impact in the traffic flow behind as the vehicles ‘concertina’.

The research also found that 11% of drivers say they would increase their speed when being tailgated, but that can be dangerous if the driver ends up going too fast for the conditions or their comfort. Accelerating can also be counter-productive as the driver behind is likely to speed up, resulting in the cars remaining too close together but at a higher speed.

Almost one in ten drivers (9%) admit to making a ‘revenge attack’, pulling over to let the tailgating car pass, and then pulling back out to follow as closely as the first tailgater had been doing. 7% of drivers would make some hand gesture at the driver behind them to get them to back off.

Despite almost every driver stating that tailgating is one of the most annoying habits displayed by other drivers, a third of motorists (33%) in this study admitted that a car they have been following has reacted to their presence in some way. The reactions include the one in ten drivers who have had a car let them pass, only for it to then pull back out and tailgate them in turn and 8% who have experienced the driver in front brake sharply, purely to get them to back off.

Male drivers are more likely than women to have caused a reaction from motorists they are following (38% and 26% respectively). Younger drivers (50% of those aged 18-34) are also more likely than older drivers (21% of those aged 55 and over) to have had an impact on the behaviour of a driver in front of them.

The accident statistics show very clearly that the causes of many road casualties are because cars following too closely. This research highlights that the danger doesn’t just come from tailgaters not being able to stop in time, but from the adverse reactions they cause in other drivers.

My Fleet Solutions offers practical support against tailgating bullies

The only brake tests drivers should consider are those carried out in a garage environment. For more information about brake care, including some of the tell-tale signs of worn brakes including squeaking, pulsating or sponginess, My Fleet Solutions introduce a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems faced by fleet managers: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT on your vehicles. By registering your fleet vehicles, it allows access to a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your organisation.

MyService.Expert

Our Tele-Gence service can ensure your drivers are making the safest decisions too with our telematic device to suit your organisation’s needs. Tele-Gence’s fleet tracking management solutions give you around the clock control of the whereabouts of your assets; and, lets you monitor driver behaviour, helping to reduce accidents, vehicle maintenance costs and fuel consumption.

There are other services from My Fleet Solutions that can protect your fleet. For instance, FCS Insurance Solutions has Policy-matching assistance with business-specific needs, alongside industry risk exposure knowledge to get the right policy to cover your fleet from the start. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). It introduces quotes for all probabilities: Mixed Fleet Insurance, HGV Dedicated Insurance, Employer’s Liability Insurance, Product and Public Liability Insurance and Goods In Transit Insurance.

For a quote tailored to your business needs or commercial vehicle requirements visit FCS Insurance Solutions. For an instant, free vehicle tracking quote visit Tele-Gence or for savings on maintenance, servicing and repairs visit MyService.Expert.

car aqua planing in the rain

Rain, rain: bring it on! We have fleet drivers covered

The Met office is warning there will be a significant change in the autumnal weather this week, as Storm Diana moves from the Atlantic and is set to bring rain and gales to the UK.

splashing in rain

Here is some advice to your fleet drivers from IAM RoadSmart on how best to cope with it.

Heavy rain:

  • Heavy rain will affect your visibility, so take it slow. Rule 126 of the Highway Code states that the braking distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you should be two seconds when driving on a dry road, and at least four seconds in the wet. It is even longer on icy surfaces. IAM RoadSmart recommends up to 10 times the braking distance when driving on ice.
  • Your windscreen should be clean, wipers effective and the jets positioned correctly and aimed at the screen. It is sensible to clean the windshield, make any necessary adjustments and remove anything from the main area before you start your journey.
  • A good rule of thumb is that if you need windscreen wipers, then you need your headlights. Automatic light settings will not always activate in lousy weather conditions, so it is up to you to make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on.

Aquaplaning:

  • If the water is standing in puddles on the road surface, your car is at risk of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning is where a wedge of water forms in front of the tyre and lifts off the road surface, causing the tread not to be able to displace the amount of water present. To recover form aquaplaning, ease gently off your accelerator, have a firm grip of the steering wheel and be sure not to make any sudden steering actions. The car will eventually regain its grip as the water clears.

rain puddle

Floods:

  • First, ask yourself – can you take another route? If not, then you need to identify how deep the water is. If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If you are familiar with the road, you can judge the flood to the kerb.
  • If heavy rain was not the cause of the flood, then what was? Moreover, what impact on the road does it have? For example, if it is a burst water main, the standing water may look like a normal flood, but the road surface beneath the water may be completely broken up. If you are unsure how the surge has formed, then avoid it altogether.
  • Are there other vehicles similar to yours that are safely driving through the water? From this, make a judgement call as to whether it is safe to travel through or not.
  • If the water is fast flowing, do not attempt to drive through it, as there is a real danger of being swept off the road in your car.
  • If you have considered everything and decided to drive through the flood, be sure to do so slowly. The best approach is to press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on your accelerator to increase your engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed, in a similar way to how you would undertake a hill start. Doing this will prevent water from entering your exhaust. If you are in an automatic car, accelerate slightly but control the speed with your brakes. When you have passed the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and working correctly.
  • If you are in the slightest doubt, then turn around and don’t go through the flood. Often modern saloon cars have the air intake in the wheel arch, which may be below the water level. If your engine should take in water, it will take immediately hydro lock, and the vehicle will stop.
  • Remember to stay alert and avoid splashing pedestrians. If accidentally done – even when causing splashed when driving through puddles at the side of the road – you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your license for driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users. If deliberately done, it could be a public order offence, a court appearance and a fine.

Choose telematics system

Planning for nasty weather can take much time. At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. Register with us for free, once the details of your vehicle are in place, you’ll have access to a nationwide garage network with significant savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

My Fleet Solutions is here to step in when road traffic accidents occur. Register for free and if a crash does happen, feel safe in the knowledge that we will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers. Moreover, by choosing My Fleet Solutions to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, you will have the incredible reassurance that incidents and accidents will not have a significant impact on your business or fleet.

At My Fleet Solutions, we also offer FCS Insurance Solutions, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA licence number 759713). Through our parent company Fuel Card Services, we can negotiate more significant discounts and introduces quotes for all probabilities: Mixed Fleet Insurance, HGV Dedicated Insurance, Employer’s Liability Insurance, Product and Public Liability Insurance and Goods In Transit Insurance.

My Fleet Solutions is the one-stop solution to all your fleets needs and your drivers’ cares.

Black Friday driver stress

Beating the Black Friday blues for drivers

Your customers are eagerly waiting to participate in the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

The challenge for your company isn’t focused on a system crash or a payment failure. It’s the delivery problems that come after the purchases have been made.

For your drivers, it could be a blue weekend filled with time-pressure and time-anxiety; and adding to this pressure mix, are other drivers on the road looking for bargains in the shops and congesting the road.

These events will create stress.

Stress affects us all at one time or another – whether it’s down to work, home life or a tough situation you’re facing. Stress can affect how we feel physically and emotionally as well as impair our judgement and our reactions, which isn’t good news when we need to concentrate on something significant, like driving and delivering packages.

It’s important your drivers recognise how they feel and try to relax before getting in the vehicle. Ben, an independent charity which provides support for life to the people of the automotive industry, provided us with some signs on how to recognise stress.

Black Friday stress

Warning signs of stress 
First of all, we need to recognise the warning signs of stress. You might feel some or all of these:

  • Becoming easily irritated with colleagues, friends or family
  • Feeling distracted, forgetful or moody
  • Having racing thoughts
  • Not being able to ‘switch off’
  • Becoming quiet and withdrawn
  • Under or overeating
  • Smoking more, drinking more alcohol or taking drugs
  • Tense muscles
  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick
  • Not sleeping well / insomnia
  • Getting ill more often

Here are a few tips to do before you get in the vehicle stressed: 

  • Go for a short walk around the block to get some fresh air and unwind from the stresses of the day
  • Wait until you feel calm, collected and well enough to head out on your journey. Driving itself can be stressful, especially in rush hour, so if you are already stressed this is likely to make matters worse
  • Try mindfulness and deep breathing before getting behind the wheel. You don’t have to be spiritual to benefit from mindfulness and meditation – anyone can meditate and it has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety
  • If you’re feeling ill from stress with headaches or sickness, make sure you feel well enough before you drive. Drink plenty of water and get some fresh air
  • Write down a list of the things that are stressing you out and set yourself some time to tackle them later on – sometimes writing your worries down and making time to sort them out helps clear your mind
  • Is stress causing you to struggle with addiction to alcohol, drugs or nicotine? Be aware that these could still be in your system before driving. If you’re struggling with addiction or substance misuse, then it’s important to seek help
  • If you’re having trouble sleeping due to stress then make sure you aren’t too tired to drive. IAM RoadSmart advises if you feel sleepy whilst behind the wheel, find a safe place to pull over and stop – not on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Research suggests that almost 20% of accidents on major roads are sleep-related so don’t drive if you feel sleepy
  • Tell someone you trust how you feel. Sometimes opening up about our problems to loved ones can make all the difference and they can even help you find solutions. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved

Black Friday stress

If you feel these tips are a little too soft and fancy, and don’t really apply to your organisation, then take heed of this warning from Neil Greig, director of policy and research of IAM RoadSmart, who said: “If a company forces someone to drive too many hours in the day, and there was a crash resulting in a fatality, a prosecution according to the Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act would help send a message to businesses that a lot more care needs to be taken in this area.”

Help is at hand, to support you in your duty of care for your drivers, to tracking the vehicles and find the fuel to put in it and, to servicing and fixing it, My Fleet Solutions has the right answer to fit your vehicle management needs. The maintenance support includes sourcing the right vehicle insurance, telematics system and the most comprehensive accident management support in the industry. If you need solutions to manage your drivers and vehicles, the answer is at My Fleet Solutions.

Congestion

The fuelish costs of traffic jams

Unsurprisingly, the top annoyance for the UK motorist is a traffic jam. This finding was part of IAM RoadSmart’s Safety Culture Survey, which was published on Thursday this week.

It is the fourth year, that the UK’s biggest road safety charity, asked more than 2,000 drivers about their worries, fears and attitudes. In the past, two years safety concerns around other drivers using hand-held mobile phones topped the list – but now traffic congestion is the top concern.

Congestion costs money

Congestion becomes a very real worry when looking at the road usage landscape from a business perspective. Hire car organisation, Europcar launched a new white paper, exploring the mobility challenges facing UK business. In Charting a Safe Path Through the Minefield of Challenges Facing UK Businesses, the paper reveals a mood of caution and mild pessimism amongst UK businesses.

Europcar conducted the research in response to the increasing challenges facing businesses and decision makers when it comes to keeping workers on the road and productive. More than half of the 500 businesses surveyed by Europcar said they generate their revenue through monthly contracts, so unsurprisingly, economic growth and cash flow were found to be the top two concerns for this sample of firms.

congestion

Congestion affects business

With Christmas coming, and the delivery of online retailing after Black Friday increasing, this will mean our roads are about to get even busier. Congestion becomes a critical business issue according to research from the Mercedes-Benz Vans Business Barometer survey.

Delivery drivers say that, on average, 16% of their working day is lost due to congestion, which means, based on a (very conservative) 8 hour working day this equates to 1 hour 17 minutes a day, or more than 6 hours across a typical working week, adding up to 37 working days a year lost due to congestion for the average delivery driver.

Greater London reaffirms its place at the top of the ‘congestion league’, with respondents saying 18% of their working day is lost to congestion – higher than anywhere else in the UK.

The research, undertaken amongst 2,000 van owners and operators, also highlights that congestion is now the second biggest ‘barrier to growth’, with 31% believing this will be a barrier to growth in the coming year, rising to 38% amongst fleet managers, and second only to rising fuel costs (57%).

Commenting upon their survey, Steve Bridge, Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Vans UK Ltd, said: “We know from our Business Barometer that a growing customer base ever more focused on online retail is a positive for the industry, but unless the issue of congestion is tackled, these businesses will suffer. Congestion causes delays that cost money as well as time and can damage the reputation of a business that relies on their deliveries.”

congestion

Dealing with congestion

IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, is all about how you can save fuel. Here he provides some top congestion-driving tips.

  • Try to keep your driving smooth. Gentle acceleration and using the highest safe gear will use less fuel. Ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they are red – why hurry up to wait?
  • If possible, try to avoid driving during heavy traffic. Stopping and starting in traffic needs the use of the first gear and a lot fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again
  • Keep your tyres well maintained by checking the condition, pressures and tread depth. When it comes to choosing new tyres, it’s worth having a look at ones which are designed for extra economy
  • Get rid of unnecessary weight. Cars work just like the human body, it needs more energy to move around more weight and so does your car. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and you will use more fuel to overcome this, so remove it if it is not being used
  • Nowadays, you don’t need to manually warm up a modern car, so once your windows are clear (a bit of elbow grease will sort them out) you are able to set off to your destination without having to wait around
  • During this winter season as your engine is trying to warm up it uses more fuel for the first four miles or so. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than two miles and your car will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm engine – avoid these short journeys where possible
  • Turn off the air-conditioning as it uses extra fuel. When the rear window is cleared turn off the rear screen heater – the more electricity your car has to produce, the more fuel it will use
  • Keep your speed low as you can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. Try pressing more lightly on the accelerator, often you can maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal

For the moment, whilst the government navigates through its own Brexit congestion, road users and business will have to await any further constructive news about a future without traffic jams on our roads.

At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. We offer the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, with 60% typically saved on SMR compared to franchise dealers. The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data, plus all genuine parts and repairs are protected under warranty.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk.

polite driving

A thumbs-up for polite driving

We all have busy lives. We have all been taught to understand the other person’s point of view. As fleet managers, we all like to think the drivers we employ have the same regard for others as you do. But, on the road, behaviour towards others often changes when driving. Polite individuals can become territorial monsters fighting for a small space that may take seconds off a journey; this competitive attitude can ramp up stress levels.

Polite driver

Richard Gladman, head of driving and riding standards at the Institute of Advance Motoring (IAM) has put together a few top tips to remind us of how to share the road with other users.

Horses on road

  • Look ahead and predict what other road users may be doing. Be ready to react and change your speed if necessary. For example, if a pedestrian is standing between two busy lanes of traffic you may be thinking: “You shouldn’t have crossed there.” Or you could be sympathetic of the fact they’re stranded and allow them to cross if you can do it safely. Whatever the reason, they’re vulnerable and you have the power to help them
  • Try to see the world through the eyes of others and help them, without them even realising it. If we all did this, it might even catch on. Giving a little more space or a bit of extra time will make a difference
  • Give way. A large vehicle, such as an HGV or a bus, will need extra room when turning. Give them the room they need to make them feel safe and comfortable when they manoeuvre their vehicle
  • Allow extra room. Motorcyclists can sometimes be seen filtering through traffic. Why not aid them by moving over slightly to allow them to pass you with ease
  • Know when to overtake. When you see a cyclist, be patient and overtake when the time is right, if you have to follow for a while then leave a sensible space. Make sure your vision ahead is clear and will remain so for enough time to complete the pass. Taking those extra few seconds to overtake carefully rather than rushing could be the difference between getting to your destination safely and being involved in a collision
  • Be respectful when passing horses; make sure you give the rider enough space when passing them. We recommend at least a car’s width and make sure this is done slowly a startled horse may be unpredictable – remember always pass “slow and wide”

Remembering to be polite could save you a whole of trouble. However, My Fleet Solutions has your fleet covered when things do, accidentally, go wrong.

My Fleet Solutions specialise in commercial vehicle and business insurance, so whether you require cover for one vehicle or have a fleet of vehicles, need goods in transit cover or employers’ liability, one of our members can help achieve the best deal for you.

Let My Fleet Solutions guide you through all your options in the event of an accident involving an insurance claim be it your drivers’ fault or a non-fault claim. Stay on top of smart repairs or accident damage with expert assistance on which body shop is the most appropriate and pay fleet rates for repairs.

So, if you’re looking for the best deals for your fleet, there is only one place to find everything: My Fleet Solutions.

driving at night

Darker evenings spell danger for fleet drivers

The clock change brings with it a number of challenging driving conditions such as reduced daylight and the onset of rainy and wet conditions and pushes up the risk of accident incidences by over a third across the UK on the ‘home time’ commute following the clock change.

Here are some top tips for safer driving in the dark 

  • Reduce your speed, understand the limitations of your vision and plan ahead. The limit of your vision at night is often limit of your headlight beam which is where you must be able to stop
  • Don’t dazzle other drivers: keep your lights clean and turn your headlights on before sunset. Keep your interior light off and avoid leaving your main beams on
  • Keep your windshield clean to avoid increased glare
  • Slow down: reduce speed to correspond to the amount of water on the road, as heavy rainfall leaves roads wet and slippery which reduces tyre grip and increases the risk of skidding – even for careful drivers
  • Avoid hard braking and turning sharply for better control of the vehicle and to avoid wheel locking
  • Hang back: allow ample stopping distance between the cars in front as stopping distances are doubled on wet roads. Motorists should be at least four seconds behind the car in front; ten seconds when driving on icy road surfaces.
  • If you’re travelling through a rural area at night, it’s possible for a herd of deer to cross the road, so those signs warning you of wild animals you’ll have previously passed will suddenly make sense.

However much you prepare your drivers with solid training, sometimes, it is always someone or something else on the road that could cause an accident.

My Fleet Solutions is here to step in, right from the very first minute, to minimise downtime and reduce costs. there are so many aspects associated with road traffic accidents that are almost impossible to manage in-house. We have a great partnership with Amber Claims Management, a dedicated provider of insurance claim management,

From removing the vehicle and finding a repairer to handling the claims process and recovering uninsured losses, our fleet accident management company will resolve all associated aspects of an incident.

More importantly, they will be with you and your driver, right from the time the accident happens.
There are dedicated service centre agents who are trained to deal with distressed drivers. They can spend the right amount of time on the phone with each driver to accurately capture incident detail, assess liability, and to understand potential indemnity restrictions, whilst providing reassurances following nasty accidents.

For example, your service agents can help your driver get the right information, such as knowing about road markings, damage to all vehicles, the third-party driver, if they seem suspicious, number plates, the positioning of the vehicles, tyre/skid marks and signposts. Is the vehicle still driveable?

As you can see, just from these suggestions above, that there are huge, reassuring benefits in having an accident management company on hand to deal with any incidents or accidents. Amber Claims Management will handle the first notification of loss, to ensure accurate insurance claims reporting. There is an accredited helpdesk primed to support distressed drivers. A network of courtesy cars to keep your fleet moving. Expertise to inspect, instruct and approve nominated or independent repairers.

By choosing My Fleet Solutions, you get preferential benefits to claim and manage the insurance process and recover losses, and you will have the incredible reassurance that incidents and accidents will not have a major impact on your business or fleet.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Climate Change Fleet manager

A testing time for fleet managers

Balancing the very real worries about climate change with your own fleet needs is a very real challenge. You switched to diesel, to reduce CO2 emissions. But that has not eased the pressure. Now, you’re looking into EVs, but the infrastructure is not up-to-date to support your fleet just yet. So, the cheaper option is to switch back to petrol. Which is not ideal; and, on top of that, there’s the introduction of the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) initiative on vehicle carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions which is launching in 2020, but the impact of which is already starting this month.

car emissions

The challenges for fleet managers are very real, and in a recent analysis from automotive data experts, cap hpi has revealed the tax burden on company car drivers has soared over the last decade.

The study looked at the popular fleet vehicle the BMW 320d SE and found that while the list price of the vehicle had risen by 23% the BIK had risen 105% since 2009. In the same period, real wages have only risen 20%.

Cap hpi is calling for the government to rethink its approach to taxing company car drivers ahead of the Budget on 29 October.

Commenting on the findings Matt Freeman, managing consultant at cap hpi consulting said: “The fleet sector is hugely important to the motor industry and in most years accounts for around half of all new car sales. Successive governments have continued to ramp up taxes on company car drivers to the point where it has become punitive.

“Under WLTP rules the industry is seeing CO2 levels rise on many models and it will have a real impact under the current tax regime. Hitting the company car driver will not help the UK meet its environmental targets. These drivers are usually in new, technologically advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles. A more balanced approach is needed to protect both the industry and the environment.”

My Fleet Hub

We understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. That’s why we are introducing a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems you face: My Fleet Hub, is a service dashboard where you can manage your fuel cards, mileage count, vehicle tracking with tele-gence and any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles. It’s a dashboard you can take anywhere with you and view anytime, to keep on top of your fleet.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on business services. Visit www.myfleethub.co.uk

winter is coming

Winter is coming: is your fleet ready?

Although the sun is still shining, the chilly mornings are starting to creep in. My Fleet Solutions has some support to get your fleet in shape and advice from the Institute of Advance Motoring to prepare your fleet, your drivers and you, for the colder weather that’s nearing us.

It’s important to keep the windscreen clean. Try to get scratches, abrasions and chips fixed as colder temperatures can make the damage worse. Keep the windscreen washer topped up with a more concentrated screen wash mix to ensure it doesn’t freeze in action. And don’t forget your de-icer

Check tyres. The legal limit of a tread depth may be 1.6mm but anything under 3mm will see a potential fall-off in grip and braking performance.

But, there’s more… planning for really bad weather, can take a lot of time and thought. At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. That’s why we are introducing a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems you face: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles.

MyService.Expert

For a pre-winter check-up, why not try it? It just takes three steps to register and it’s completely free to book any of the integrated services included in the system, to help service, maintain and repair your fleet. Once the details of your vehicle are in place, the user-friendly dashboard allows access to a nationwide garage network with great savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs, at the right price for your vehicle.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on tyre replacements too, this winter. Visit MyService.Expert

In the meantime, here are eight essentials for drivers to carry in a vehicle:

winter drivingYou don’t want your drivers stranded in a cold car in the middle of the night waiting for the recovery team to get your vehicles up and running again.

Here are some ideas on what to pack.

  1. It’s always best to keep an ice-scraper and can of de-icer in your vehicle as the British weather is so unpredictable, and can be sunny one day and frosty the next.
  2. Carry an empty fuel can with you. Don’t carry a full or partially full one as this is a fire hazard and if it has recently had fuel in it, flammable vapour may still be present.
  3. You never know when you’ll need a first aid kit, so keeping one in the boot of your car is always handy for either yourself or another road user if you’re first on scene at an accident.
  4. If you’ve broken down on the side of the road, the last thing you want is to be cold and unable to see your way around the dark. That’s why we advise drivers to always keep a torch and set of batteries in their vehicle, along with warm clothes, a blanket and a high visibility jacket. And don’t forget food and drink to stop your energy levels from dropping – bottled water is a must.
  5. The battery on a car can go flat at any time. Make sure your vehicles have a set of jump leads so your driver can start your engine with help from another driver’s vehicle.
  6. Keep a spare pair of sturdy shoes with a good grip. You’ll need these to turn the wheel brace when changing a tyre, or to push your car if you’ve broken down, or even just to change shoes if there’s a sudden weather change.
  7. An item that’s often overlooked is the reflective warning triangle. This gives you extra security for a number of reasons such as breaking down in the dark. Put it out in accordance with the rule from the Highway code 274 which advices to “put a warning triangle on the road at least 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road, or use other permitted warning devices if you have them. Always take great care when placing or retrieving them, but never use them on motorways.”
  8. Last but not least a quick survival kit in the boot. Spare clothes, a torch, mobile phone charger, some emergency rations such as water, chocolate and a tow rope and shovel to help yourself and others.

For further information on driving in winter, and 10% off an Advanced Drivers Course, visit our sister site Drivers Club.

 

Air filter allergy

Filter your allergy response

Sniffing? Sneezing? Coughing? We’re not quite into flu season but if your drivers are suffering from these symptoms, maybe it’s an allergy? It could be ‘air filter flu’ and your drivers could be struck down with allergies into the winter if you don’t get your fleets’ cabin air filters checked.

Air filter

The risk of breathing in allergens trapped in air filters is higher this year due to last year’s mild winter, followed by a record-breaking summer with the Met Office reporting a 12-year high pollen count. Millions of people were left unable to work due to allergies and UK businesses lost almost five days per hayfever stricken employee, according to Allergy UK.

Cabin air filters clean the air coming into your vehicle, remove allergens and help trap airborne particles like pollen, dust and bacteria. NHS England advises all drivers should buy a pollen filter for the air vents.

However, over time these filters can become blocked if left unchecked and with several ‘pollen bombs’ hitting the UK over the summer, vans could now be harbouring harmful allergens.

 

Cabin filters consist of two layers, one which pre-filters large dust and soot particles while the second removes many fungus spores and pollen that over time can harm people’s lungs.

In addition to reducing pollen levels in the cabin, an activated charcoal microfilter layer reduces odours and absorbs gaseous pollutants, and at the same time, the filter helps ensure better visibility by reducing fogged windows.

While the traditional hay fever season runs from late March to early September, after a record year for pollen, it’s advisable to get focus your maintenance schedule on getting those filters checked.

A filter change is easy, quick and inexpensive; however, downtime can affect drivetime, which will be a problem for your fleet. Let My Fleet Solutions support you to get this job done more efficiently. We offer the very best for fleets when it comes to vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs, on all makes and models. My Fleet Solutions can take the sting out of automotive costs, with 60% typically saved on SMR compared to franchise dealers. The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data, plus all genuine parts and repairs are protected under warranty.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk and book a cabin air filter service.

Tyres in autumn

Inflate your fleet

It’s leaf falling season, so the roads can be full of hidden surprises – namely potholes! The tarmac becomes a slippery surface of decaying leaves when you add in the wind and rain factor. Make sure the wheels keep on turning with your fleet this autumn.

Correct tyre pressure is not only vital for your safety on the road, but it’s also the best way to maximise fuel economy.

We rely on our tyres to keep us safe on journeys. After all, they provide the only contact between the car we’re driving and the road surface. In an extreme situation, correctly inflated tyres with good levels of tread will allow all the other safety systems on a car to work at their most effective.

Tyres

Inadequate tread or incorrect pressure mean one thing: the safety systems on your vehicle will not work as efficiently. That’s why regular checks on tyre inflation and tread depth are so important.

There are severe penalties if you use worn or defective tyres. Each bald or defective tyre carries a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points.

Under-inflated tyres reduce your vehicle’s ability to grip the road and also compromise handling. This can result in unpredictable vehicle behaviour and increases the risk of a tyre blowout, where sudden rapid deflation occurs.

Over-inflated tyres have a smaller contact area with the road, leading to increased stopping distance and reduced grip. There’s likely to be a lot more wear across the central part of the tyre, leading to a shorter lifespan.

In line with advice in this year’s Tyre Safety Month, your drivers should check the tyre pressure once a month, every month, as well as before any long journey. By doing so, they’ll be giving all the safety systems on the vehicles the best chance of working to their maximum potential, they’ll help ensure your tyres last longer and you’ll be ensuring your running costs don’t increase unnecessarily.

After all, properly inflated tyres require less energy than under-inflated tyres to make them turn, so your vehicle will use less fuel.

At My Fleet Solutions, we understand that managing a commercial fleet is more challenging than ever. That’s why we are introducing a free, one-stop solution to deal with the never-ending list of problems you face: MyService.Expert is a service, maintenance and repair dashboard where you can manage any work, including MOT that needs to be conducted on your vehicles.

MyService.Expert

It just takes three steps to register and it’s completely free to book any of the integrated services included in the system, to help service, maintain and repair your fleet. The user-friendly dashboard allows access to a nationwide garage network with great savings on fleet servicing, maintenance, repairs and MOTs.

There is no joining fee, plus you can save a lot of money on tyre replacements too, this autumn.

Visit MyService.Expert