Whether you’re a commercial trucking company or professional services organization, understanding potential
risks faced by your fleet and knowing how to manage them effectively will save your organization money,
time and resources.
Today’s fleet owners and operators are faced with many potential risks. Those risks can be broadly placed into
three buckets: physical, administrative and regulatory. Each of these requires its own management plan to
mitigate costly errors and recover from accidents. Attention to each aspect of your fleet risks will also help you
develop an overall corporate culture of hazard mitigation.
Physical: Collisions, theft and other types of fleet damage, including vandalism and falling objects,
can prove costly. Not all of these hazards can be prevented, but you can establish routine practices
to avoid predictable losses.
Administrative: Vehicle maintenance failures, route closures, driver error, faulty incident reporting,
and poor record-keeping are primary causes of accidents, delays, injury, and substantial economic
loss in legal and regulatory actions.
Regulatory: As described by Transport Canada’s Motor Carrier Division, all commercial vehicles
operated for interprovincial commerce are subject to regulation by various provincial standards
and agencies and by the Motor Vehicle Transport Act (MVTA). Commercial fleets not involved with
extra-provincial commerce are subject to regulation by the individual provinces. Violations of these
standards can result in painful penalties and potential licensing problems.
How to Manage Your Risks
1. Create a comprehensive safety policy: Team up with your company’s inside or outside
counsel and your insurance broker to create a safety policy that addresses consequences of DUIs,
poor driving, poor vehicle care, collisions, license suspensions and other policy violations. Ensure
your drivers thoroughly read and sign this document, and consistently enforce guidelines so
drivers respect the policy and understand its importance.
2. Provide driver training: Comprehensive driver training should include general awareness
programs and safety tips for all drivers; proactive training, including online, in-class and on-road;
and reactive training addressing specific driving behaviours for higher-risk drivers.
3. Select your vehicle fleet carefully and prioritize maintenance: When selecting vehicles for
your fleet, keep in mind safety ratings, ergonomic features, passive and active safety mechanisms,
and all-wheel drive versus four-wheel-drive options. Preventive maintenance on your fleet should
include inspections on brakes, tire tread depth, and fluid levels.
4. Implement technology: Telematics refers to the technology that can monitor and report on
vehicle location, mileage, engine on/off times, driver behaviour, fuel usage, vehicle performance,
and more. Telematics should be used to collect data on fleets and drivers, which can be analyzed
and leveraged to make better decisions. Using that data, you can protect all of your assets,
including the security of your vehicle and the safety of your drivers and others on the road.Employing this technology will also allow you to create customized safety training programs.
5. Identify risky drivers: Each time an employee gets behind the wheel of a company-provided
vehicle, your organization is at risk. Employers should always check driving records of any and all
authorized drivers. For employers who issue company cars, this includes driving records of the
employee’s spouse and any children who are within driving age.
6. Comprehensive insurance: Insurance coverage for any size fleet can be easily modified and
adjusted to your company’s specific needs. Policies should include physical damage coverage
against collisions, vandalism, falling objects and other risks. They should also have high liability
coverage limits to ensure that, if an employee causes an accident, the business won’t be left
vulnerable to unmanageable payouts. Your commercial auto insurance rates can be impacted by
the driving histories of your fleet drivers. Keep your insurer in the loop regarding any new
vehicles in your fleet or any new hires on your team.
Over the past several years, auto repair costs have risen considerably. Commercial vehicle repair and
replacement costs have increased 17% over the last decade.
With the right risk management approach, you can protect your fleet, your employees and your company in
an efficient and cost-effective way.
Route planning and alternative route identification
Driver training and monitoring
High-quality record-keeping, audits and continuous oversight
These are just a handful of the vital risk management functions fleet managers must dutifully carry out every
day. By additionally applying technology, such as telematics, and keeping up to date on regulations, fleet risk
managers can turn hazards into opportunities to improve safety, on-time delivery, financial stability and
Take your fleet operations to new levels by practicing best-in-class risk management. Then apply these
techniques to all your business operations for a risk-aware, financially secure future.
As always, you can reach out to your trusted insurance broker for advice and help with navigating your fleet
This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing, financial, medical or legal advice.
You should contact your attorney, doctor, broker or advisor to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or