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Preventing Unauthorized Fleet Vehicle Usage

If you own and manage a fleet of vehicles, it's vital to know where they are at all times. Unauthorized trips are a huge risk for your business, but there are security measures you can put into place to ensure employees are following directions.

What is Unauthorized Vehicle Usage?

Unauthorized vehicle use occurs whenever a driver does not have permission to use a company vehicle for a specific task. Someone might take your vehicle for personal use, for instance, to support their own business or embark on a leisure trip. Sometimes employees get too comfortable operating your vehicles, to the point where they view them as their own and abuse work privileges.

Figuring out how to prevent unauthorized fleet vehicle usage should be a key component of your business strategy. Trusting your employees is important, but when something seems out of the ordinary, you may want to take extra precautions.

How Unauthorized Vehicle Use Impacts Your Business

As a fleet manager, you have a long list of responsibilities. Your task might include scheduling vehicle maintenance, creating driver schedules, and assigning specific automobiles for short- and long-distance deliveries. Unauthorized vehicle use interrupts your daily operations, as vehicles could be unavailable when you need them most. Some of the most significant concerns with unauthorized vehicle use include:

1. Company Liability and Safety Risks

If someone uses company vehicles without permission, you may be partially responsible for paying insurance fees or traffic fines if the driver gets in an accident. This occurrence can take place whether you were aware of vehicle misuse or not. Unauthorized trips involving company trucks puts your business in a difficult spot. Collisions that take place off company time can still cause your insurance premiums to rise.

Drivers may be behind the wheel of a company vehicle for hours before taking on a side job. No matter the driver's intentions, feelings of exhaustion may result in catastrophes on the road.

2. Increased Fuel Costs

Fleet managers have to budget company spending to stay profitable. Your company spends thousands of dollars at the pump each year to ensure your fleet stays up and running. Unauthorized vehicle use leads to higher fuel costs since drivers are completing side jobs on the same tank. Even local trips contribute to fuel costs over time.

3. Vehicle Wear and Tear

Extra miles on the speedometer cause vehicles to deteriorate faster. Unauthorized fleet trips only increase the need for routine maintenance appointments, which can be costly. Knowing how to reduce fleet vehicle misuse will help you get the most out of your investments, especially if you plan to sell your company's cars, trucks, and vans in the future.

How to Prevent Fleet Vehicle Misuse

Coming up with the right fleet management strategy will encourage employees to follow the rules. If you are looking for new ways to prevent unauthorized fleet vehicle usage, consider these suggestions:

Update your Company Policy

Your employees can only follow fleet use guidelines if they are aware of them. Do what you can to implement a well-written company policy that includes scenarios of what a driver is permitted to do with a company vehicle. If legal in your state, you may want to consider having drivers sign a noncompete agreement. These documents help protect your business if someone tries to use your automobiles to work for a competitor.

Speaking with new hires about vehicle misuse can deter individuals from thinking about side jobs in the first place. Your company policy should state examples of the types of jobs that would be inappropriate to complete on and off the clock. Examples might include:

  • Lending a vehicle to a driver outside of your organization.
  • Attaching carrying racks or snowplows to company vehicles.
  • Pulling or towing construction, boating, or camping equipment.

Utilize Fleet Telematics Technology

Fleet telematics devices — like those offered by Rand McNally Fleet — help you to communicate with drivers and gain information about parts of your fleet. From monitoring driver behaviors to figuring out the location of company trucks, telematics solutions give you a full picture of the status and condition of your investments. When you use Rand McNally Fleet telematics, you'll enjoy:

Turn to Rand McNally Fleet for Telematics and Fleet Management Solutions

Rand McNally Fleet offers a full suite of easy-to-install telematics solutions for businesses ranging in size. Browse our economic fleet management products online to see what our technology can do for your business. Discover how to protect your fleet vehicles from unauthorized use with the help of 24/7 service and support from our staff. You can request a pricing estimate for our products today.

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