Commercial vehicles suffer on average around five defects each year – equivalent to approximately one every 10 weeks – which may need them to be taken off the road, illustrating the huge number of unscheduled repairs that affect fleet operations, research by r2c Online has shown.
r2c, one of the leading UK providers of connected software platforms for vehicle compliance and maintenance management, analysed every report in the past year on its systems and found that for the 1.3 million vehicles registered, over 6.2 million defects were raised during inspections either by drivers or technicians.
Applied across the entire UK commercial fleet of more than an estimated 5.5 million vehicles, it approximately means that on any given day, there could be a staggering 75,400 defects on trucks and vans operating in the UK. r2c says it is crucial that these are picked up, for road safety primarily but also to reduce the scourge of unscheduled repairs which costs businesses huge amounts of time and money when the vehicles are unexpectedly off road.
“The issue of unscheduled repair is something which has always affected fleets, but our figures show that on average each vehicle will be hit by some problem every 10 weeks or so,” said Ash Connell, commercial director, r2c.
“This means that a thorough inspection process and efficient maintenance and repair systems for managing these problems is hugely important, or fleets will be hit by unplanned costs, delays for workshop time and interruptions to their operations.”
r2c’s figures show that a robust inspection procedure between drivers and operators is essential. There were 3.8 million daily reports through r2c’s Driver Pre-Use Check app alone in 2022, and 1.3 million further inspections.
“Our data shows that drivers and fleet operators can work hand-in-hand to ensure compliance and roadworthiness for their vehicles,” said Ash. “It’s such an important area of fleet management, and the numbers we have illustrate how essential driver checks are to maintaining a safe fleet. They’re the people that see these vehicles every day, and with the regularity that problems occur they are a vital cog in the machine.”
r2c now has nearly 1,700 workshops in its system, and the availability of repairers is crucial to reduce VoR said Connell.
“Our figures show that every single vehicle suffers a defect every 10 weeks or so. On average alone, that means in a 10-vehicle fleet, every week a fleet manager will be needing workshop space for unplanned work. Capacity should be a paramount concern for fleets when you understand the level of work needed,” he said.
r2c’s Vantage Point module highlights not only the amount of VoR days a fleet has incurred but the reason behind the VoR event. This powerful information can help identify trends to enable the reduction of VoR time to fleets.
Phil Gudgeon, Managing Director of Cawleys Waste Management, which uses Vantage Point, said: “It’s now so much faster and easier to oversee how the fleet, workshop and staff are working across the business.
“On top of our Earned Recognition reporting, we receive performance statistics and measurements at our fingertips through Vantage Point. It provides real-time fleet reporting and the ability to provide customer information on request.”