Are fleet managers becoming too reliant on new technology?
By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 10:51
Don’t forget the fundamentals too
Addison Lee urges fleets not to rely on technology alone for road safety
London’s leading minicab business, Addison Lee believes fleet managers are in danger of becoming too reliant on new technology for safety and fleet management.
Addison Lee’s Head of Fleet Rob Daniels, who looks after 5,000 vehicles, says he embraces new technology but believes the key to lasting success is to stay focused on the foundations of strong fleets – driver training and tyres.
Daniels, who has implemented a Michelin-only tyre policy, said: “The last two years have seen the biggest shift in technology in vehicles – more than in all of the rest of my time in the motor industry put together. From hybrid and plug-in technology to park assist steering, there have been so many new developments because we are living in a much more health and safety focused world.
“And yes, new technology is progress. But it must be used in addition to the basics that have stood the test of time, not instead of them.
“Ultimately, the most important factors that reduce accidents are the skill of the driver and the quality and condition of the tyres. It’s as simple as that.”
Fast-fit business Universal Tyres, a family-owned company that has looked after Addison Lee’s tyre supply since 2009, says that fleets are also missing out on huge levels of savings by focusing on the initial costs of tyres rather than the benefits they offer long-term.
Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Wright, says the tyre market in the UK is still heavily budget focused and does not look at tyres as a longer term investment.
He said: “There are fleets today running new vehicles on budget tyres because they look at only the initial cost rather than the costs of the life of the tyre, the fuel saving potential, or the safety. That’s madness because the tyres are the only thing that keeps a car on the road.”
Addison Lee, which in addition to minicabs, provides chauffeur services and van and bike couriers, began fitting Michelin tyres in 2013 after a successful three month trial which saw Michelin tyres offer a minimum 8% improvement in longevity per vehicle.