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 your vehicles details 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 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 advises 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 with 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 hay fever 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.

Infographic: what allergies do

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 micro filter 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 pot holes! 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, 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 tbe 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

van theft

The right tools for the job

Tool and van theft costs owner drivers and businesses millions of pounds each year. Even in this digitally driven age, the robbers are trying to get the upper hand by harnessing digital theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems.

Don’t become a victim of tool or van theft. Get the right tools to protect your fleet, from My Fleet Solution with FCS Insurance Solutions and Tele-Gence vehicle tracking.

Not convinced, you need the expense of protecting your fleet? In a recent study, conducted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, tool theft from vans has soared by 15% in the last three years. Police forces across the UK have recorded more than 64,000 cases of theft from commercial vehicles since April 2015 with a record 23,859 incidents in 2017/18.

Reinforcing this concern are figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 89,000 vehicles were stolen in England and Wales last year – up by 56% from 57,000 in 2016. Included in these 2017 figures is information about recovery of commercial vehicles, with 82% of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) being stolen without the owner’s keys –  up by nearly 100% compared to 2016 (44%).

The cost of tool theft to businesses is more than just replacement equipment, downtime costs companies an estimated £550 a day per van. And this cost goes up, if not having a van destroys your reputation with your customers.

van theft

Protect your fleet from theft

The first step to protecting your vehicles is to think about where you park it. Parking in a well-lit area or in a car park with CCTV will reduce unwanted attention. Where this cannot be achieved, park your vehicles defensively – in other words, where doors are blocked by another vehicle or object – can be a good deterrent.

The services from My Fleet Solutions can really protect your vehicle. For instance, FCS Insurance Solutions has a policy-matching service with business specific needs, alongside industry risk exposure knowledge to get the right policy to cover your fleet from the start.

FCS Insurance Solutions 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.

Fleet managers can go further, and protect vehicles from thieves with Tele-Gence. A device so small, and easy to hide, it cannot be tampered with. Tele-Gence‘s fleet tracking management solutions gives 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. By tracking the movements and fuel consumption of your vehicles, this is not ‘big brother’, but offers ‘big benefits’ taking away the struggles and worries associated with running a fleet while improving customer satisfaction with your delivery and saving you time and money.

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.

 

Mileage Counts

See for miles and miles

Two words that are guaranteed to upset fleet managers: mileage and expenses. Business mileage is the most commonly claimed expense for UK companies – and it’s growing. (So too is all the administration of it.) My Fleet Solutions presents MileageCount: a smart, automated system for recording and reporting every mile of every journey in any vehicle. Accurate, dependable, and effortless, its all-in-one software makes it easy to record, manage, process and submit mileage records for all owned, leased and “grey” vehicles used for your business. MileageCount is the simplest way to save the most time, money and worry on the miles your company must account for.

Every company mile matters. Estimates, mistakes, private and unrecorded journeys won’t do. You can’t afford to hope all forms are complete and accurate. And with MileageCount you don’t have to. Each mile is counted automatically and accurately, maximising savings and minimising exposure to fraud. MileageCount then makes it easy to manage all reporting, shrink expense claims, reduce fuel spend, ensure duty of care, and more.

Save time: Research shows 54% of drivers take over two hours to submit mileage claims every month. 10% take over eight hours! That time spent filling out forms means time lost working. MileageCount makes it easy for drivers to record and submit their business mileage, and easy for fleet managers to check and approve their mileage claims.

Save Money: Saving admin time saves money, reporting with accuracy avoids costly over-estimations, and clear data helps identify ways to streamline operations. Our research figures show that MileageCount can reduce business mileage claims by up to 21%. And businesses can start counting the savings as soon as it’s implemented, from as little as £3.50 per month per driver.

Save Worry: HMRC requires complete, accurate mileage reporting. Every journey incorrectly reported and mile over claimed isn’t just unnecessary expense, it risks HMRC investigation. If HMRC find your records are inaccurate, fines can date back years. MileageCount could help you avoid all fines related to mileage records. Developed in conjunction with Big 4 accountancy expertise, it’s the easiest way to ensure compliance through accuracy

Save more: Legislation governing vehicles and drivers also requires you to stay on top of servicing, licences, tax and insurance. MileageCount saves you from all these administration headaches too, and helps you manage all your Duty of Care requirements with ease.

Mileage Counts

Mileage counts: if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it. See how simple it is to save with MileageCount at www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Tracking van thieves

Tracking theft with Tele-Gence

As the dark days delay the morning sunrise and the evening twilight creeps upon us quicker than before, your fleet vehicles are at more risk of being stolen. There is a relatively new trend in vehicle theft termed ‘relay attack’, which allows criminals to harness digital theft techniques to overcome existing vehicle security technology, such as immobilisers and keyless entry systems.

Reinforcing this concern are figures issued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), some 89,000 vehicles were stolen in England and Wales last year – up by 56% from 57,000 in 2016. Included in these 2017 figures is information about recovery of commercial vehicles, with 82% of Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) being stolen without the owner’s keys –  up by nearly 100% compared to 2016 (44%).

Fleet managers now have a new way to protect their assets from thieves through My Fleet Solutions with Tele-Gence – because the impact of van theft goes beyond just having the inconvenience of being without a vehicle. As well as the hassle of dealing with insurers to get a vehicle replaced, there’s the financial impact – increase in insurance premiums, cost of replacing tools, not to mention the administration cost of dealing with everything. Brand reputation can be at risk too if a business cannot serve its customers.

Our Tele-Gence device is small, and easy to hide, and cannot be tampered with. Our software is industry agnostic allowing us to select the right solutions based on exact requirements for your business. This bespoke service allows you the choice of intelligent fuel management tracking solution, by integrating your fuel card data. It works by giving you greater visibility of your fleet, using the creation of multi-shaped geo-fences or zones around fuel stations or work sites for example, to pin-point, alert, report and manage your fleet easily.

A simple alert and view of where refuelling has taken place against vehicle location helps tackle, reduce and eventually eliminate fuel fraud. It also reduces unauthorised vehicle use, by tracking the vehicle’s movements in non-working hours. Offered with this solution is the capability of monitoring other valuable assets such as trailers or plant equipment using Tele-Gence’s unique heartbeat feature.

Our Tele-Gence fleet management solution gives 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. By tracking the movements and fuel consumption of your vehicles, this is not ‘big brother’, but offers ‘big benefits’ taking away the struggles and worries associated with running a fleet while improving customer satisfaction with your delivery and saving you time and money.

Visit here for an instant free quote or call today on 03331 225 383 to arrange a free consultation visit.

Seeing clearly

When we talk about vision in business, its connotations envisage future market trends and plans. When we talk about vision in your fleet drivers, we’re talking sense of sight, plain and simple.

Over time our eyesight deteriorates and previously strong vision can become poor. As a driver, if eyesight problems are left unaddressed they can often lead to poor reaction times to unexpected hazards or the behaviour of other road users.

Police forces in Thames Valley, Hampshire and the West Midlands will be trialling roadside eye tests on stopped drivers, alongside the usual suite of checks including driving licence, MOT, Insurance, drug or alcohol abuse tests.

If a driver cannot read a number plate from 20 metres, they will fail and have their driving licence revoked there and then, if they believe the safety of other road users will be at risk if that motorist remains on the road.

This necessary vigilance necessitates the proper action from fleet managers towards drivers. At My Fleet Solutions, we encourage fleet managers to update driver vision policies to better protect their employees and their business.

Deteriorating eyesight can often be a sign of other health problems so a check-up is a good idea, for your drivers’ wellbeing. If eye correction is prescribed for driving make sure they use it, not having glasses is a poor excuse when you have had a crash.

IAM (The Institute of Advance Motoring) provides advice on eyesight and driving.

1 Book regular check-ups. Eyesight can deteriorate over time without you noticing. If you are having to move closer to the television to read the titles clearly or have noticed even a slight deterioration with your eyes, we recommend a visit to the optician for a check-up; this should be done on a regular basis (every two years) and it’s free for the over 60s

2 Take a break: eyes get tired too. If you are travelling for long periods of time, you should take a break every two hours or every 100 miles, whichever is sooner. This will refresh you and your eyes, keeping you alert

3 Driving at night can be the most problematic area as our eyes age. No matter how eagle-eyed we may think we are, it is a scientific fact that as we get older our eyes become less sensitive to light. Avoiding night time driving is a wise precaution if you are starting to struggle to see clearly after dusk

4 Keep a pair of sunglasses in the car in all seasons; low sun on a wet road will make you wish you hadn’t packed them away after the summer

5 Know the law. You must be able to read (with glasses or contact lenses, if necessary) a car number plate made after 1 September 2001 from 20 metres. To find out more information on this visit the government’s driving eyesight rules page here

6 Stay hydrated. Water is very good in keeping you hydrated and is also good for your eyes. With the bonus of helping you maintain concentration while driving and riding.

We know managing a fleet of vehicles can be very expensive for a business and one of the expenses that sometimes seems harder to control is fleet insurance. At My Fleet Solutions we 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 bigger 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.

If your driver is involved in road traffic accident, My Fleet Solutions can assist with vehicle insurance claim management, just one of the many helpful services we provide exclusively for fleet managers.

My Fleet Solutions parent company Fuel Card Services is part of The DCC Group, a FTSE 100 company, giving clients the confidence of dealing with an innovative market leader backed by the credibility of a large, well-established corporation.

Intelligent protection

Parking and reversing account for almost one in 10 serious van accidents, according to an investigation by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Figures from the Department for Transport* show there were 1,350 parking and reversing van accidents involving light commercial vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes in 2016 that resulted in deaths or serious and slight injuries to drivers, passengers, pedestrians or cyclists. Far more parking and reversing incidents also occur which do not have a direct ‘human’ impact – but which will inevitably affect fleet and business operations.

The figures show how problematic parking and reversing can be for commercial vehicle drivers, especially for those who spend a lot of time negotiating tight spaces.As well as causing injuries, these accidents force vans off the road and into Van Centres for repairs. Downtime costs fleets an average of £550 a day per van.

Vehicle technology is evolving rapidly, and there are an increasing number of systems available that aim to improve vehicle and driver safety. Parking cameras and sensors can reduce the chance or severity of accidents.

Using technology to improve fleet safety’ also provides essential information that can assist managers to reduce their road risk for drivers. Telematics has a crucial role to play when it comes to protecting fleet drivers as it helps to improve safety levels and reduce risk, both of which are paramount when it comes to operating fleets.

A new study into drivers working as part of the “gig economy” has laid bare the importance of businesses treating the management of occupational road risk as a mainstream health and safety work issue, says RoSPA (The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).

The research by University College London revealed that 63 per cent of self-employed couriers or taxi drivers surveyed are not provided with safety training on managing risks on the road, while 65 per cent are not given any safety equipment.

The findings highlight mobile phones and apps, and time pressures as being among those issues which could cause an incident.

An estimated 25 to 33 per cent of road casualties are work-related, and in 2016 work-related crashes resulted in 529 deaths and 5,269 serious injuries, showing the vital importance of businesses providing their drivers with the proper training and resources.

To manage occupational road risk, My Fleet Solutions offers Tele-gence. An easy to use, fully featured vehicle management solution, that puts you incontrol.

With Tele-gence vehicle tracking and telematics devise, you can advise drivers towards the best and shortest routes, which is provided by the GPS tracking system. Satisfy your customers by informing on delivery status. The small device can be hidden, and can help keep track if the vehicle is stolen. As well as tracking and reporting, the GPS system logs relevant driver information, so you can keep in communication, and know when there’s been an incident. Tele-gence can save you money when it comes to insuring your fleet.

Visit www.myfleetsolutions.co.uk

Business and Private Mileage

Service:

My Fleet Solutions introduce smart, automated systems for recording and reporting every mile of every journey in any fleet vehicle.

At A Glance

  • Choose your mileage capture solution
  • Record mileage from all drivers
  • Upload, complete and submit claim
  • Management approve / decline claim
  • HMRC or Customer Report

Business And Private Mileage

Every company mile matters. Estimates, mistakes, and unrecorded journeys won’t do. With My Fleet Solutions mileage devices, every business mile is counted automatically and accurately, maximising savings and minimising exposure to fraud. My Fleet Solutions then makes it easy to manage all reporting, shrink expense claims, reduce fuel spend, ensure duty of care, and meet your HMRC reporting guidelines.

To find out more register here for a call back

Vehicle Insurance

Service:

My Fleet Solutions can tailor commercial vehicle insurance to cover every make and every eventuality, all in one policy.

At A Glance

  • Mixed Fleet Insurance
  • HGV Dedicated Insurance
  • Employers Liability Insurance
  • Product & Public Liability Insurance
  • Goods In Transit Insurance

Vehicle Insurance

From an executive motor, to a nippy van or an impressive HGV truck, no matter how big or small the number of vehicles in your fleet, and no matter how tall or wide the models are, there is a commercial vehicle policy out there that will fit all your business needs. Not only that, My Fleet Solutions can source the right commercial vehicle policy to cover every eventuality, including goods in transit, protecting your assets and employee drivers’ liability.

To find out more register here for a call back