Breaking Down Is Bad Fleet Vehicle Management

Written by John

On January 5, 2021
fleet vehicle management

If your fleet of cars and vans continues to have breakdowns this will soon have an impact on your bottom line. It wastes so much in time and money in sorting the repairs. Good fleet vehicle management is all about maintaining company vehicle breakdown procedures in order to prevent breakdowns.

Not only will your business be impacted by poor fleet vehicle management, the cost won’t be beneficial either. Company vehicle breakdown procedures are needed to prevent the 250 people killed or seriously injured on the hard shoulder each year. It is vital that you or your staff know what to do to prevent breakdowns. Moreover, fleet vehicle management is needed so they know what to do in the event of a breakdown, to help keep road users safe, whilst getting help and your vehicle recovered as quickly as possible.

The best way is to prevent breakdowns is by having a good fleet vehicle management for your fleet of cars, vans or grey fleet. You should be keeping an eye on the servicing and the defect logbooks. So, what can you actually do to prevent breakdowns?

Prevent Breakdowns

  • The majority of breakdowns are due to poor fleet vehicle management and maintenance. Thus, it can be avoided. Have a good garage look after your vehicles
  • Have log books that you check regularly so your staff know that you’re working with them to keep vehicles serviced regularly. Check things like tyres, wipers, batteries, fluid levels
  • Report all defects immediately
  • Ensure you and your staff understand all the vehicle warning lights

Be Prepared with Company Vehicle Breakdown Procedures

  • Carry a charged mobile phone and have an in-vehicle charger. Ensure your staff know it is for emergencies and keep it switched off and out of sight, in the glovebox
  • Have an emergency kit in the vehicle, this can include warm and high visibility clothing, a torch, a reflective triangle (ensure staff know when and when not to use this). Some water to keep hydrated whilst waiting for recovery.
  • Talk to your employer ask if they wish to provide you with anything else, so you have it in the event of a breakdownfleet vehicle management

Company Vehicle Breakdown Procedures 

  • If possible, avoid stopping in dangerous areas, such as junctions, roundabouts
  • Modern cars have a limp mode that will allow the vehicle to roll whilst you try and get to a safer area
  • Immediately switch on your hazard warning lights
  • Try and stop in as safe as place as possible. Try and pull off the road or stop on a straight part of the road not just after a bend
  • If you have stopped on a road and have a warning triangle, display it 45 metres behind your vehicle. (Do not put it out on a motorway)
  • If you have lost control of the vehicle, avoid braking severely, try and keep the vehicle straight holding the steering wheel firmly and steer gently to the side of the road as you reduce your speed
  • Do not attempt to fix your vehicle by yourself at the roadside. Call your employer’s preferred recovery or your recovery service
  • Switch off the engine and wait away from the vehicle in a safe place


Motorways are not the place you want to breakdown, but due to the higher speeds and longer distances they tend to be where your vehicle will breakdown. Unfortunately, you cannot always prevent breakdowns like this but being prepared with good fleet vehicle management and company vehicle breakdown procedures will help make the situation easier.

If you find your vehicle does develop a problem on a motorway:

  • Leave at the next exit or get to the next service station if possible
  • If you must stop immediately, pull on to the hard shoulder, keeping as far left as possible and turn your wheels to the left, pointing away from the traffic
  • Put your hazard warning lights on and try to stop as close to the emergency phone as possible
  • If visibility is poor put on your hazard warning lights and your side lights
  • DO NOT put out your emergency warning triangle
  • NEVER EVER attempt the repairs yourself


A tyre failure or a blowout can be very scary on a motorway. The important thing is to stay calm and keep in control. Tyre blowouts can make steering difficult, stop as soon as possible to avoid further damage. This could cut up the tyre leaving debris on the carriageway.

  • Be aware of anything on the near side of you, signal and move over to the left
  • Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel
  • Steadily steer the vehicle to the left side of the road (hard shoulder if on a motorway)
  • Reduce your speed: slow and steady, gradually bringing the vehicle to a stop

Calling for Help 

The Driver Risk Assessment

Most of us now have mobile phones. If you do, it may be wise to have the app called What Three Words. This is a location maker app. Each square grid on the map is allocated three words and a lot of the emergency services are now using this to find your location. Especially if you find you have a weak signal or very little battery power.

  • If possible, use the nearest emergency phone. These will help the emergency services find you, also have in them a variety of languages to help those who are traveling here
  • On motorways you have the markers to identify which direction the nearest phone is. They are also located in the emergency areas on Smart Motorways
  • The emergency phones connect direct to police contact centres and are numbered so you can be located easily
  • If you are to use your mobile phone. You will find the new blue rectangular driver location signs on the motorways. The information on these is, which road you are on, so the road number for example M58, direction of travel this will be marked either A or B and turn precise location in km for example 156.5

Waiting for Help

This is where so many get it wrong and end up becoming a casualty. You are on a high-speed road and possibly in a vulnerable state as you have broken down, your wanting to get help and get to where you’re going. But stay calm and follow the advice given.

If you must stop on a hard shoulder:

  • ALWAYS get out of the vehicle
  • Make sure you and your passengers exit the vehicle on the left-hand side. NOT INTO THE SIDE OF THE TRAFFIC PASSING
  • Walk off the road, up the embankment or climb over the crash barrier into a field if Do not stay in your vehicle or stand at the front or behind your vehicle
  • Have warm clothes an umbrella and water in the car
  • NEVER try and cross the lanes to the other side of the motorway

If you would like to learn more about fleet vehicle management, message me to book your free consultation. We can discuss how to prevent breakdowns and building good company vehicle breakdown procedures.

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