The way nearly all types of fleets are being utilized has been altered by the coronavirus pandemic. Many fleets have rolled out policies and procedures regarding disinfecting vehicles and keeping staff safe. Here are some resources and recommendations we have compiled to assist you in managing your fleet in a pandemic environment.
Consider implementing procedures such as:
- Including gloves and wipes inside vehicles
- Provide wipes at self-service motor pool kiosks
- Requiring air conditioner to be set to receive incoming fresh air
- Requiring masks if more than one person is in a vehicle
- Setting a maximum of 2 people in each vehicle
- Requiring drivers to wipe down all touch points including keys after each use
- Using GPS to monitor battery voltage in times when vehicles are not used as much
- Offering support remotely
- Moving vehicles to avoid rusted rotors and calipers. Some fleets are requiring towing and total brake jobs
- Suggesting that fleet staff drive vehicles to get use, even drive them home
- Remembering vehicles that may be set aside for auction, they may have little value if the calipers are seized or batteries are dead once the auction company comes to pick up vehicles
- Considering pulling out electronics that draw power or changing system configuration to reduce power draw
Establish a process for cleaning of vehicles – While we used to think of “car wash” when we thought of cleaning vehicles, we now think of sanitizers, alcohol wipes, and more. Make sure you have sound policy and procedures for use of vehicles in between use. Guidance for cleaning vehicles can be found in a variety of sources. Here are some resources and guidelines from the CDC, GSA, and others:
- Cleaning and Disinfection for Non-emergency Transport Vehicles 1
- Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility 2
- What Rideshare, Taxi, Limo, and other Passenger Drivers-for-Hire Need to Know about COVID-19 3
- GSA Fleet Vehicle Cleaning & Disinfecting Guidance for COVID-19 4
Require enhanced cleaning between each vehicle use – If using a vehicle reservation system such as FleetCommander, leverage the systems’ capabilities to require an inspection and/or prep[aration] process in between each use of a vehicle. Your reservation system should have the capability to force an extended “buffer” in between reservations to allow for proper cleaning and/or time for the virus to die.
Extend periods of time between vehicle use – CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other resources have indicated that the corona virus has a limited shelf-life on surfaces. If your fleet size permits it, consider extending the period of time in between uses of a vehicle to allow for the virus to die. Some fleets have implemented periods as long as 72 hours in between use. Your reservation system should have the capability to automate this process for you.
Require drivers to acknowledge new/changed procedures regarding cleaning and use of vehicles – Drivers should be required to acknowledge new or changed policy related to the changes in vehicle use. Your fleet management system should be able to automatically communicate and enforce this policy by requiring electronic acknowledgement as users interact with the system
Offer attendant-free vehicle pickup and drop-off – Systems such as FleetCommander allow drivers to pick up and return vehicles without contact with any other staff. The self-service motor pools can still communicate information to, and collect information from, drivers. Gloves and wipes can be made available at self-service kiosks.
Attendant-free vehicle pickup and return is available via FleetCommander
Establish a procedure for starting idle vehicles – Fleet managers everywhere are reporting dead batteries and rodent-damaged vehicles. Make sure you maintain the readiness of your fleet by having vehicles routinely started and moved.
Communicate more… before, during, and after vehicle use – If ever there was a time to communicate more with your fleet drivers and staff, the time is now. Leverage the capabilities of your fleet system. FleetCommander offers opportunities to communicate on system welcome screens, reservation pages, confirmation pages, and headers and footers, emails, reports, etc. Consider communicating:
- The general status of your COVID-19 response on a weekly basis. Your drivers and staff want to know they are safe.
- Policy changes (and ensure your FMIS records that each driver has acknowledged the new policies in the system.)
Next post: Part 3: Managing the fleet from home – how to serve the needs of fleet drivers while fleet staff work remotely.