VAN fleets are cutting it thin and putting drivers in danger, according to i247 Group.
The driver support and asset management provider says it has seen an alarming rise in very low levels of tread left on van tyres.
It says there has been an increase in light commercial vehicles vans with under 2mm of tyre tread depth – a rise of 10% over the last five years, from 30% in 2019 to 40% in 2023.
The business adds that it has also been a rising number of tyre defects leading to MOT failures on Class 5 vehicles – such as minibuses with 13 or more seats as well as ambulances.
i247 Group points out that SME fleet operators have a Duty of Care responsibility for ensuring vehicles are maintained in a roadworthy condition and drivers are also legally responsible for the condition of the vehicle they drive. Drivers can be fined up to £300 and receive three penalty points or be taken to court if the offence is more serious.
The company believes that the rise in worn tyres is being caused by the increasing pressure on van fleets. Post pandemic, demand for deliveries remains high which means fleets are often double shifting – using one van for two driver shifts. The Grocer recently also reported an ongoing lack of commercial vehicle drivers. These factors combined, added Legg, was putting scheduling pressures on drivers who lack the time to carry out critical maintenance checks.
Legg has this advice for fleets:
New fleet software called DriverLite has been launched by FleetCheck that can be adopted for free by any business that operates cars and vans.
Chasetown Civil Engineering is running a significantly more efficient fleet thanks to a bespoke solution from CBVC Vehicle Management