Managing a fleet involves many responsibilities and one that takes a top spot is ensuring fleet vehicles and drivers meet the required compliance standards
Besides securing a safe work environment for drivers and their designated vehicles — compliance adherence also helps businesses avoid negatively impacting productivity and budgets with unnecessary fines, penalties, and even accidents.
A detailed compliance checklist ensures businesses and fleet managers cover all their bases. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a guide that comprehensively lays out everything you need for the ultimate compliance checklist.
It’s important to understand fleet management compliance and why it’s crucial for safe and effective fleet management. It helps businesses understand how much they will benefit from implementing a solid compliance checklist.
One of the most important goals of fleet compliance is to guarantee the safety of drivers, assets, and members of the public. Staying fully compliant involves implementing measures that promote fleet safety and driver compliance. Compliance requirements and an advanced telematics platform help businesses determine their safety standards and how to maintain them.
Fleet compliance goes hand in hand with fleet risk management. Both are crucial for identifying issues that can make a fleet unsafe or non-compliant and then finding ways to avoid these issues and make the necessary improvements.
Foolproof fleet management software is a great way to identify compliance-related issues that need attention. It’s also an intelligent guideline for creating a custom compliance guide for your business. Discover some of the main fleet management components you can use to create yours.
A solid telematics system simplifies fleet management and drastically reduces the admin burden.
Fleet owners or managers use fleet management documents to record information about fleet vehicles. These documents are often in the form of checklists for specific procedures to simplify the compliance process.
Companies often use a fleet vehicle inspection checklist in pdf format. This ensures all fleet vehicles are road-worthy, contain the necessary equipment, and are generally issue-free. Using a daily vehicle inspection checklist in Excel format can add more functionality to how the form is used.
When in doubt, it’s easy to download free daily truck inspection checklists or vehicle inspection checklist forms as a base for creating customised versions that fit your business’s needs. What all of these documents and checklists have in common is that they are used to monitor fleet-related movements and ensure that fleet drivers and vehicles meet compliance standards.
With a streamlined compliance process where fleet managers can track all aspects of their fleets, including tax compliance, internal audits, and inspections, you can avoid possible penalties while keeping your accounting up to date and your drivers safe.
Look no further if you’ve been looking for the ultimate checklist to keep your fleet compliant — here’s what you need to do to stay on top of things.
Prioritise tax compliance
Benjamin Franklin famously said: death and taxes are the two things that are certain in life. When it comes to fleet management compliance, the latter certainly rings true. Companies must follow local tax laws to avoid fines and meet legal compliance standards.
These essential tax streams can be added to your compliance to-do list:
- VAT: Value-added tax
- PAYE: Pay As You Earn
- UIF: Unemployment fund
- SDL: Skills Development Levies
In the US and Canada, fuel tax forms an essential component of companies’ tax compliance, as fleet managers must be able to indicate where fuel taxes go. They do this by monitoring fuel usage.
The IFTA or International Fuel Tax Agreement allows 48 US states and ten CA provinces to collect data, including travel miles, fuel purchased, and purchase locations.
While different countries may have different tax laws and compliance requirements, tax compliance remains an integral part of global fleet management compliance, and using a sophisticated SaaS platform helps companies gather the data they need to stay compliant.
Conduct regular vehicle inspections
As part of your overall compliance checklist, a fleet vehicle maintenance checklist can help you ensure your fleet vehicles are roadworthy and in tip-top shape. Regular vehicle inspections contribute to compliance best practices and help identify crucial defects while raising fleet safety standards and increasing fleet longevity.
Keep your fleet on the road with an expert vehicle inspection checklist
Start the process by jotting down the vehicle’s odometer reading, the last six digits of its VIN, licence plate details, make and model, and the designated driver’s first and last name.
These details help you keep track of the vehicle’s mileage, age, identification markers, and assigned driver during an inspection.
When done, follow the five-step checklist below to do a comprehensive inspection:
1. Pre-Startup - Check the oil, transmission, and washer fluids
2. Interior - After starting the engine, check if the following is in working order: Fuel level, hooter, aircon, interior lights, brake pedals. Then, check the seatbelts and upholstery. Make sure the first aid kit is stocked and the vehicle has emergency tools like flares, flashlights, and spare wheels.
3. Mirrors/windows - Test the windscreen wipers and make sure the mirrors are clean.
4. Exterior - Start by checking the head-and-taillights, turn signals, and hazard lights. Then move on to the tyres and check for wear and tear and the spare tyre pressure.
5. Undercarriage - Check for fluid leaks and any loose or hanging objects
This checklist helps identify issues that may affect the fleet’s compliance status. By flagging these issues and taking immediate action, businesses can avoid further compliance and safety issues.
To help fleet managers and companies benefit from staying compliant, here is a detailed fleet management audit checklist:
~ Fleet Management Policy - Review fleet safety and health and safety policies
~ Vehicles - Review vehicle inspections and forward plan for vehicle replacement. Assess vehicle monitoring procedures. Analyse fuel usage.
~ Drivers - Assess drivers and review staff training. Review licence validity and insurance arrangements. Retrain drivers where needed
~ Third-party - Review and assess third-party providers
~ Fleet Security - Review and assess fleet security
~ Operationally - Assess and review inventory
Once all the data has been assessed and reviewed, it’s important to take three final steps:
1. Review and assess recommendations from previous audits
2. Review the current audit’s findings
3. Get the findings approved by the relevant authority in the company
After completing all of these steps, you have conducted an in-depth audit of your fleet on the aspects that matter most.
Know your fleet drivers’ hours of service
Even if a company only has a few fleet drivers, knowing their exact hours of service or HOS on top of everything else that needs to be done is virtually impossible. However, keeping track of each driver’s HOS is crucial to remain compliant with health, safety, and environmental requirements. Here’s why.
Drowsy drivers risk their lives behind the wheel and pose a genuine danger to themselves and the public. Fleet managers that keep track of HOS can avoid drivers’ fatigue by giving drivers enough time to rest after a shift so they start a new one refreshed.
Additionally, drowsy drivers are likelier to exhibit lousy driving behaviour, leading to cost-related and environmental slipups, including increased fuel costs and unnecessary CO2 emissions from excessive idling and speeding.
Managing HOS leads to improved driver fatigue management and a safer fleet.
Here’s how Cartrack’s advanced telematics-based features can help make staying on top of compliance, safety, and risk management a seamless and painless process:
Achieving fleetwide compliance can be a difficult, if not, impossible task. To make compliance adherence as easy as possible, especially when it comes to acquiring data and accurate reporting – a sophisticated telematics system is every fleet manager’s best friend. Cartrack is a dominating SaaS provider, with over half a million active fleet management units in South Africa alone.
Chat with a Cartrack agent today for a smart tailor-made solution to all your fleet compliance needs.
Is Fleet compliance getting you down? Discover the ultimate compliance checklist and how to use it.