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Fleet compliance and safety management made easy for fleet controllers

Regardless of the number of vehicles in a fleet operation, fleet compliance is pivotal to the smooth running of a business and ensuring the safety of drivers and vehicles. This article covers fleet compliance best practices, advantages and how Cartrack’s smart technology makes daily fleet operations a whole lot easier

From an outward perspective, fleet management appears to be an uncomplicated and rosey walk in the park. Unfortunately that is not the case, fleet management is a complex process that entails a number of intricate inner workings ensuring that the fleet runs like clockwork.

Employees and assets are managed by fleet controllers. This includes ensuring that drivers are well-trained and rested to efficiently complete tasks and that vehicles are roadworthy- this is where fleet compliance comes in.

Fleet compliance is one of the general struggles amongst fleet managers. Fortunately, fleet management systems provide information and data for an entire fleet operation on one platform. In this article, we discuss fleet compliance, its best practices, advantages and how it is made easy with Cartrack.  

What is fleet compliance and who are fleet controllers?

Before diving into fleet compliance, let’s really get our heads around compliance. Compliance refers to actions or protocols that meet a set of legal rules and standards. That being said, fleet compliance means meeting the set rules and standards that apply to a fleet- from just about anything with wheels right up to the people who operate them.

Fleet controllers are in charge of managing the day-to-day operations of the fleet and ensuring that the operation remains compliant. 

Fleet compliance and safety management

A fundamental portion of fleet compliance management  is safety management. Safety management refers to applying a set of principles, frameworks, processes and measures to help prevent accidents, injuries and other catastrophic consequences through the use of a service or product. Effective safety management ensures fleet compliance and vice versa. 

Safety management and fleet compliance are both dependent on software that has the ability to store detailed information and data on vehicle maintenance, driver performance and road behaviour. 

This systematic approach will allow fleet operations to achieve fleet compliance and safety management through effective use of fleet management solutions . By using fleet management software the fleet operation can continually renew and review its fleet safety strategy, transport operations, policies and procedures to reach set standards, laws, and rules. 

Fleet compliance and safety management

5 ways to implement compliance best practices 

As a fleet controller, fleet compliance is vital! Fleet compliance not only ensures the safety and productivity of a business. It also makes the business reputable for abiding by the set standards, rules and laws. These are five ways to implement compliance best practices: 

  1. Monitor drivers’ hours of service (HOS)

One of the leading causes of accidents, particularly in long-distance, bus, taxi and fleet operations is driver fatigue. Driver fatigue can happen anywhere, at any time, under any circumstances. Fortunately, HOS restricts the number of hours a single driver can operate a vehicle without taking a break. HOS refers to the maximum number of hours that a commercial driver can spend driving and working each day.  To achieve fleet compliance, fleet controllers need to prioritise HOS. The standard hours-of-service for fleet commercial drivers are:

  • 11 hours driving limit and 10 consecutive hours off duty for property-carrying drivers

  • 10 hours driving limit and 8 consecutive hours off duty for passenger-carrying drivers

  • Other restrictions include: a 14-hour limit, 30-minute driving break, and sleeper berth provision

Compliance with the set HOS restrictions will reduce the occurrences of accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to operating commercial motor vehicles. Efficient management of HOS will also improve driver safety by keeping fatigued drivers off the road.

The goal is to keep drivers alert, awake and attentive!

  1. Fleet maintenance

Regardless of the industry, companies are responsible for providing a safe working environment (this includes the safety of vehicles). Fleet controllers need to ensure fleet operations adhere to standards of safety while work is completed. 

Ensuring that your fleet compliance efforts include maintaining safe and roadworthy vehicles is almost equally as important as monitoring drivers’ hours of service. Fleet maintenance refers to the process of ensuring that fleet vehicles are serviced, repaired, safe and roadworthy. Fleet vehicles are on the road everyday which may lead to damage, this means vehicles need to be repaired regularly. If not, the daily or regular use of vehicles without maintenance will lead to vehicle breakdown or downtime, bringing the business operations and drivers’ productivity to a halt. 

To help avoid malfunctions, the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCS) requires all drivers to fill out a Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report (DVIR) which serves as a pre-trip and post-trip inspection. These vehicle inspections are preventative road safety measures that ensure vehicles are safe and roadworthy. DVIRs include essential checks that ensure fleet compliance:

  • Lights and reflectors

  • Tires, rims and wheels

  • Horn

  • Rear-view and side-view mirrors

  • Windshield wipers

  • Steering mechanisms

  • Brake systems

  • Fifth wheel and connection points

  • Safety and emergency equipment

  • Record of wear-and-tear and repairs

You can already imagine how time-consuming and frustrating manually filling out DVIRs can be. As a solution to this, fleet management and software and telematics companies allow electronic Driver-Vehicle Inspection Reports (eDVIR). This drastically cuts down paperwork and admin, allowing for accurate DVIRs. 

  1. Keep compliance, safety, and accountability scores up to date

In addition to monitoring driver hours and fleet maintenance, fleet compliance also includes 

compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) scores. CSA scores range from 0 (best) to 100 (worst) and are calculated based on seven Behaviour Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs):

  • Driver fitness

  • Unsafe driving

  • Vehicle maintenance

  • Crash indicator- the frequency or intensity of collisions

  • Compliance with hours-of-service requirements

  • Controlled substance or alcohol

  • Hazardous material compliance

The CSA is run by the FMCSA to enforce safety measures for both fleet controllers and drivers. The categories listed above are assessed at roadside inspection points along various major highways across the United States and drivers with CSA scores closer to 100 will be

taken out of service and the fleet business could be penalised. Although this law is of the United States, it can apply to the fleet compliance of businesses around the world. 

 

  1. Driver qualifications

It is the responsibility of fleet controllers to ensure that all drivers who operate vehicles are licensed, and have the relevant training and specialities that meet legal requirements. Likewise, drivers need to ensure that fleet controllers are informed if there are any variations with their licence, in order for fleet controllers to ensure that licences are renewed smoothly. 

Fleet controllers can ensure compliance by conducting pre-employment screenings. This gives the fleet controller an idea of a potential driver’s history on the road. Pre-employment screenings include drug and alcohol testing, even though fleet controllers should have random checks to ensure that drivers remain compliant. 

 

  1. Comply with fuel tax

Fuel tax refers to the excise tax imposed on the sale of fuel. Fleet controllers are responsible for tracking where commercial vehicle fuel taxes go. Fuel monitoring is considered an important aspect of fleet management as it assists fleet controllers in determining the consumption of fuel whether for personal or commercial use. 

The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) is an agreement between forty-eight U.S. states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii) and ten Canadian provinces which keep a record of:

  • Miles driven

  • Fuel purchased

  • Purchase locations

  • Vehicle operators or fleet compliance managers submit these records to their local IFTA office every quarter. Then, based on the number and location of miles driven, the IFTA office distributes fuel taxes to each state and province.

Most fleet companies rely on telematics to help with fuel tax compliance. With telematics, fleet management software can provide fleet controllers with fuel consumption insights. 

5 ways to implement compliance best practices 

5 advantages of fleet compliance

Having fleet compliance become a core component of fleet operations and carrying these out correctly and accurately can result in the following advantages:  

  1. Organised paperwork and reduced admin: With help of fleet management software, fleet controllers can efficiently ensure compliance by electronically keeping insurance, permits and any other regulatory contracts up to date. This way, all fleet documents stay organised and updated, documents are not misplaced and time is not wasted searching through piles of paperwork.
  1. Minimised traffic violations: Compliance with drivers' licences and qualifications as well as fleet maintenance ensures that drivers are well trained and vehicles are roadworthy, therefore preventing traffic violations. Additionally, drivers’ compliance with agreed company route plans and work schedules helps greatly minimise risk and lower fuel costs.
  1. Improve driver safety and efficiency: Fleet compliance empowers drivers to complete tasks within the set safety standards. Fleet controllers can be clear on safety and productivity standards- how drivers should load vehicles, operate vehicles, optimise routes and the hours they should spend on the road. Drivers who comply with the set standards will be properly trained, well-rested, fully engaged, and abiding by both the rules of the road and company safety standards, thus reducing the safety risk.
  1. Reduces legal costs: Fleet-related lawsuits and settlements can cost a large amount of money or result in damaged company reputation and a decrease in sales. Whatever the case may be, the business loses money. Following fleet compliance best practices helps your business avoid legal risks.

Builds customer trust: Complying with set standards, rules and laws will demonstrate to your customers that your business cares about keeping your drivers and their assets safe. While lawsuits or traffic violations damage company reputation, a record of compliance will demonstrate that your business is a trustworthy operation.

Fleet compliance and safety control made easy with Cartrack

As much as fleet controllers and fleet owners desire to be everywhere at the same time, it is impossible for them to ensure fleet compliance at all times. Not unless they use fleet management software that makes fleet compliance easy, uncomplicated and undemanding. 

Cartrack provides fleet management software solutions that empower fleet controllers to streamline the entire fleet operation, all from one platform.

Fleet controllers can ensure fleet compliance with Cartrack’s fleet tracking software features:

  • Reporting: With Cartrack you can choose from a range of over 40 standard reports including mileage, driver scorecard, speeding and productivity reports. Cartrack’s GPS tracking device monitors driver behaviour and tracks vehicles. This data is obtained by the fleet management system and can be accessed by the fleet controller via the internet, at any time.

Some reports accessible to fleet controllers include: 

  • Driver reports: Fleet controllers can use these reports to inform drivers where they can improve on their drivers. This report focuses on drivers' road performance and obtains records through gps vehicle tracking which includes events such as harsh acceleration, braking, cornering or speeding.

  • Drive scorecards: This monthly report shows how safe drivers are on the road by monitoring high-risk behaviour. With this, fleet controllers can improve driver behaviour by training drivers where needed.

  • Logbook: Historically, drivers had to manually record trip details to distinguish between business and private journeys in order to claim tax deductions. Cartrack’s logbook feature simplifies this process. This feature automatically logs all vehicle trips and categorises them as personal or business trips. This ensures a tax-compliant logbook by distinguishing between business and private journeys for SARS submissions.

  • Vision: Cartrack’s AI-powered and live-stream camera technology ensures driver safety with the use of the following features:

  • Forward collision warning

  • Distracted or fatigued driving detection

  • Yawning and cell phone use detection

  • Up to 8 cameras: any combination of internal or external AI-cameras

  • MiFleet: Easy to use administrative and vehicle cost software that fleet controllers can use to efficiently manage drivers, fleet and related operating costs. The main benefits include managing:
     
  • Vehicle services

  • All-inclusive vehicle maintenance

  • Vehicle mileage

  • Driver licence validity

  • Asset depreciation

  • Fines and notices issued

  • Breakdowns per vehicle

  • Driver permits 

  • Fuel card fraud
  • Fuel fraud detection

Effortlessly achieve fleet compliance with Cartrack fleet management solutions 

Fleet compliance has never been easier! With Cartrack, you can remain compliant by easily managing and automating your fleet compliance throughout your operations. 

Take full control of your fleet, contact us today.

Streamline fleet compliance and safety management effortlessly with CarTrack's solution. Enhance control and safety for fleet controllers. Learn more!