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Fleet management in challenging environments

In 2017 we went to AidEx2017 in Brussels. It was a fantastic couple of days. We learned a lot, and raised awareness about road safety and fleet management in aid and development organisations.


In our previous blog, More than just “box ticking”. Here's why fleet management in humanitarian aid organisations is so vital, we talked about why organisations need to take fleet management seriously. Following on from this, talking to fleet managers and others at AidEx was a great opportunity to hear about the challenges they face in operating fleet safety management systems and provide solutions and guidance on how to overcome them. 

With this in mind, we have selected some ofthe most frequently raised issues in order to share this learning and help others who might be experiencing similar challenges.

 1. Working in challenging environments

How does a fleet manager ensure their drivers are wearing a seat-belt in a country where seat-belt wearing rates are typically below 20%, or that drivers are obeying speed limits along open rural highways?

These are the sorts of challenges fleet managers in low-middle income countries face. Fleet managers need to be confident that their drivers are driving safely. To do this they need effective driver management and to be able to communicate the importance of road safety to the whole workforce.

Working in partnership with drivers, and providing training, on the risks of unsafe driving is the key. Drivers also need to know that they can’t break rules with impunity. All violations and incidents should be investigated and measures should be put in place to ensure they don’t happen again.

Lectures 5 and 7 of the EASST Academy Road Safety at Work online course helps. managers tackle these issues and tell them exactly how they can effectively manage and communicate with their drivers to ensure a road safety culture within their organisation or project.

 2. Supporting local managers

A number of managers we met at AidEx were well trained and understood the importance of road safety. However, many work from a central office (often in a different country from where their fleets are based) and so rely on local managers to ensure their fleet safety management system is implemented. However, providing training is often a challenge as their managers are dispersed and it can be expensive to bring them all together for a training programme.

Our Road Safety at Work: Online Course for Managers is perfect for solving this problem. It provides a comprehensive 10-lecture structure introducing all the main elements of fleet management, from financial management to vehicle safety. At the end of the course, fleet managers can be confident that their local counterparts are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to mitigate road risk in their project or organisation. Lecture 10 is particularly relevant as it helps managers to develop and tailor an action plan that they can implement to ensure fleets are safe. The best part is that the whole course is affordable and it’s online, so it’s accessible to anyone anywhere!

 3. Convincing upper management and decision makers that fleet management is important

Setting up a fleet safety management system requires time, money, and resources. It can be difficult therefore to convince upper management that investment in fleet management is worthwhile, especially in many low and middle-income countries where there is a general lack of road safety culture. 

However, evidence has shown that businesses that adopt a thorough approach to driver safety can also benefit from reduced insurance, less damage to vehicles and goods, better staff retention and a significant reduction in working time lost through road traffic collisions.

Every fleet or project manager needs to know how to make the case for road safety management so that it gets the time and investment it needs – and the returns are win-win. Saving lives and money!