Every fleet manager knows that assets can be difficult to track, especially when they are spread across job sites and warehouses. These assets are expensive and the difficulty in monitoring them makes them much more susceptible to theft, damage, and underutilization. All of this leads to losses for your business. Creating a loss prevention plan for your fleet can help to avoid these issues. In this article we’ll cover how to create one of these plans and why it’s so important for fleet management.
What is Loss Prevention for Fleet Companies?
Loss prevention, or loss control, is the intention to reduce the number of insurance claims and capital losses. That’s just the basics of what loss prevention is. It should be a priority for any fleet for obvious reasons. Other reasons to focus on loss prevention for fleets include:
To improve efficiency by decreasing accidents and, as a result, decreasing time spent on paperwork and clean up.
- Improve public image by decreasing accidents and improving CSA scores.
- Reduce employee injuries, employers compensation claims, and retain employees longer, helping to reduce hiring and training costs.
- Improve company culture by making drivers feel safer and more valued.
- Improve compliance with regulations and improve the outcome of inspections. You may also reduce the number of inspections due to improved CSA scores.
- Lower insurance costs due to your reduced risk of accidents and losses.
How to Create a Loss Prevention Plan
Having a loss prevention policy is an essential part of business. Not only does loss prevention require focus to avoid losses of capital, but it helps to ensure the success of your business and the retention of your employees. Having a clear written policy not only conveys the intention to protect property and drivers, it helps to boost communication with employees and set expectations. A written policy also helps to reduce discrimination, improves risk management, and improves regulation compliance.
To build a successful policy managers should consider include the following elements:
- Policy communication
- Outlining of the elements that cause loss, such as distracted driving and speeding
- Cellphone release policy
- Disciplinary actions
- Safety policies and guidelines
- Monitoring of driver behavior (devices, reasoning, and consent upon employment)
- Accident investigation standards
- Drug testing
- Driver training and certification
There are elements of this outline that may seem unusual for a loss prevention policy. However, to prevent loss it’s important to include several elements of fleet management. You have to start from the hiring process. Ensure that you’re hiring drivers that understand and adhere to policies and make safety a priority. In addition to our outline above, we highly recommend including the below items to optimize your loss prevention plan further:
Vehicles and assets should only be used for their intended purpose. Outline this clearly in your policy to reduce risk of loss and damage—both to your property and the property of others. You should also include classes for authorized drivers and approved passengers.
Though maintenance seems like an alternate function of a fleet, it plays a vital role in loss prevention. Not only are you improving compliance, you’re also protecting employees, improving road safety, and preventing breakdowns.
Conduct Your Own Inspections
This, of course, follows the same logic as keeping a maintenance schedule. You’re required to conduct DVIR reports when there are known issues. However, you should conduct your own inspections regardless. Telematics makes this easier, since it monitors vehicle diagnostics, stores DVIR forms, and keeps reports in a centralized database.
Tips for Creating a Loss Prevention Plan
There’s really no formula for creating a loss prevention plan but there are elements that every plan should have, like those we’ve mentioned above. Along with those elements, we’ve included tips to consider to reduce losses of your vehicles and assets. Take these into account when creating your fleet loss prevention plan.
Lock the Doors
Drivers should lock their doors while away from their vehicles and avoid leaving a set of keys in the vehicle. This should also apply to trailers and storage areas. Remember, for most fleets, there’s more to protect than just the vehicles.
Adding anti-theft devices is always a benefit. This may be as simple as an audible alarm or as comprehensive as a police alert or manager alert system. Using asset trackers with geofencing features can help you keep track of your assets at all times with live tracking and alerts when an asset leaves a perimeter.
When vehicles aren’t in use, consider storing them in a warehouse or behind the security of a fence. If the vehicles are off-site during certain periods of time, consider adding dashcams, anti-theft alarms, and telematics to alert you of unauthorized use.
Driver Behavior Monitoring & Loss Prevention Training
Monitoring driver behavior is one of the best ways to ensure that your drivers are complying with all of your safety regulations as well as state laws. It monitors speeding, hard braking, cornering, and more. It can also help you improve driver training by allowing you to develop programs to address specific issues catered to each of your drivers.
Using Telematics to Create a Loss Prevention Plan
Telematics data collects information on your vehicles, such as engine diagnostics, location, and driver behavior, and relays that data to cloud-based software. From this data it builds easy-to-read trend reports to help you monitor frequent and infrequent behaviors, idling, utilization, and more. This is instrumental to your loss prevention, but it’s not limiting. There are other ways that telematics can help such as:
- Improving dispatch
- Driver performance
- Maintenance scheduling
- Route optimization and planning
- Collision reconstruction
- Fuel card integration
The role of a fleet manager is to reduce costs, risks, and liability. That includes loss prevention. Telematics helps you optimize all aspects of your fleet, reduce risk and liability, save money, and increase safety. Learn more about what telematics can do for your fleet at Azuga.