Among the means of transportation, road is widely used in Nigeria and most countries of the world. Because of the many challenges in using the other system of transportation, there is much pressure on the usage of roads. This necessitated the need for good fleet management strategies to be put in place. To help organize the many fleet operators in Nigeria and reduce the rate of involvement in road traffic crash. Lack of standard and professionalism in the road transport sub-sector compelled emergence of the Road Transport System Standardization Scheme(RTSSS). RTSSS is a Road Transport Regulatory Policy which stipulated minimum safety requirement for fleet operators in Nigeria.
The Concept Of RTSSS
- Standardize road transport in Nigeria
- Regulate road transportation for all
- Ensure safe and standardized fleet transport operators
- Entrench a culture of drivers safety consciousness in organisations and companies with fleet of vehicles
Fleet Operators Minimum Safety Standards
- Operators safety standards
- Drivers safety standards
- Vehicle safety standards
What Is Fleet Management?
Fleet management has to do with optimization of cost, risks and efficiency in fleet operations. Fleet managers are engaged in the following aspects of fleet operations
- Operational cost-effectiveness
- Vehicle maintenance
- Drivers/workforce management
- Vehicle safety and compliance
- Operational efficiency
i) fuel management. It is the duty of fleet managers to ensure that drivers don’t abuse company fuel spending ii) Theft and loss. GPS tracking reduces the number of stolen vehicles
Fleet management software can help the manager set up custom maintenance alert for regular tyre or engine checks.
i) Vehicle idling. It is a driver behaviour that cost the fleet owner a lot of funds in fuel costs each year. Fleet management software also detects when vehicles are running but stationary. Fleet managers can draw up reports to see which vehicles are idling the most so they can catch drivers to prevent the vehicle idling behaviour. ii) Unsafe driver behaviour. Speeding, hard braking or going off-route are some of the unsafe driving behaviour that can increase a fleet’s insurance premium, waste, gas and quickly wear out vehicles. Fleet managers software alerts you when your drivers are engaging in these type of behaviours.
Vehicle Safety And Compliance
It decreases accidents and improve fleet safety. Maintaining vehicles properly and providing driver coaching are keys to improving fleet safety.
This involves moving products or services as quickly as possible to market vendors or customers. GPS vehicle tracking definitely helps when it comes to full vehicle and asset utilisation.
Roles Of Safety Managers In Fleet Management
The Federal Road Safety Corps as a lead agency in road traffic management in Nigeria regulate the activities of fleet operators through the RTSSS. Then RTSSS stipulates the Safety managers roles
- Risk Assessment
- Drivers Assessment
- Route Assessment
- Vehicle Assessment
The safety manager must analyse the work schedule of a driver and identify hazard prone areas. Example, the immediate drivers environment must be conducive for driving and safe for passengers. Security of lives and property must be of paramount interest to safety manager.
The following prerequisites must be confirmed by the safety manager in drivers assessment.
i) driver must be certified by age(minimum of 18 years) and should have at least two years driving experience ii) passes medical certification of fitness with emphasis on visual acuity. iii) the safety manager must have adequate records, disciplinary actions, etc. iv) examine the disposition of a driver/worker. Alcohol and driving related test must be carried out before departure and on arrival from a trip.
i) There must be proper assessment of route plied for effective tracking of all the company vehicles ii) There should be a recovery vehicle or in the alternative, operators must have adequate evacuation arrangement in place, iii) Effective radio/telephone communication links with all vehicles in the fleet while on transit must be ensured iv) There should be mobile workshop or good arrangement to get their broken down vehicle off the road properly. v) Adequate knowledge of all rescue stations, road side clinics, help areas, and hospital locations along the routes is of utmost importance and should be ensured. vi) To ensure success of the above, there should be inter-organizational cooperation/support services.
The safety manager must ensure that the vehicle does not constitute hazard to passengers. The construction must conform with the specifications in the National Road Traffic Regulations (NRTR) 2012.