Fleet operation is the core business for companies that operate a vehicle fleet for hire or reward, such as taxi, shuttle and other passenger services, truck and tow-truck operators and vehicle rental companies.
Fleet operation is also a key everyday tool for organisations such as district health boards, local authorities, courier companies and enterprises with mobile sales staff.
This section focuses on the use of vehicle fleets, and whether or not you require a transport service licence.
As part of our commitment to reducing congestion on New Zealand roads, we encourage you to consider alternative options for your business's travel. You can do this through a 'workplace travel plan', which is designed to encourage your staff to travel to and from work by public transport, on foot, by bike or by car share, and to improve access to your workplace.
A workplace travel plan can help you to:
solve parking and space problems
improve your organisation's image
increase opportunities for accessing your workplace
promote a healthier and more motivated workforce
gain environmental accreditation.
Fleet vehicles, like all vehicles used on New Zealand roads must meet a range of requirements.
As an important tool for your business, your vehicles require regular inspections and maintenance to ensure they are safe to use on the roads and perform efficiently.
Vehicles that are maintained safely and efficiently also cost less to run, are less likely to be out of service for extended periods and are less likely to be involved in crashes.
All vehicles must be regularly inspected to check their roadworthiness. This includes ensuring they continually meet warrant of fitness (WoF) and certificate of fitness (CoF) standards.
For light vehicles, such as most cars, vans, utes and four-wheel drives, this involves a warrant of fitness (WoF) check.
Heavy vehicles, such as trucks, buses and heavy trailers, and vehicles operating under a transport service licence, must undergo a certificate of fitness (CoF) inspection every six months, regardless of their age.
It's your responsibility to keep your vehicle in the same condition as when it passed the WoF or CoF. For example, while the tyres on a vehicle may pass on the day of its inspection, you'll need to replace them before the tread gets to the minimum depth. If you wait until the next inspection you increase the risk of having a crash or receiving a fine.
It's illegal to drive a vehicle:
You can drive your vehicle on the road under these circumstances only when taking it for a short distance for repair or to get a new WoF or CoF - and it's safe to do so.
By choosing a fuel efficient vehicle or changing driver habits you can save fuel and reduce emissions.
EECA (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority) has advice on running fleets of heavy and light vehicles.
Encourage your drivers to do a simple pre-use 'walk-around' check before they drive any vehicle.
This will help ensure the vehicle is safe to operate and enable you to identify the need for, and schedule, repairs and maintenance – reducing the need to deal with unexpected breakdowns. That could also mean long-term savings for your business.
As a minimum, drivers should check that:
Best practice fleet management includes a system for drivers to report any vehicle faults they find, and a process for advising drivers on what happens about the reported faults. Make sure you have a vehicle fault reporting and resolution system in your business.
The true cost of a crash is always far greater than the cost of repairing the physical damage to the vehicle (the visual cost). International guidelines suggest that up to 90 percent of the true cost of a motor vehicle crash is not always readily apparent. This is often referred to as the 'iceberg effect'.
Your insurance broker or agent can help you to identify the true cost of motor vehicle crashes in your fleet and their effects on your business's financial viability.
You must ensure that your drivers hold a current and valid licence and endorsements for the class of vehicle they are driving.
No matter how sophisticated a vehicle’s technology, driver behaviour is the most crucial factor in avoiding crashes.
You can improve safety for your drivers and other road users by investing in driver training – so they know how to use their vehicles, and have a good understanding of your expectations of their behaviour while driving.
More driver training options are available through MITO, the training organisation for the road transport industry.
Under the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992, a work-related vehicle is considered part of the workplace. This means that the health and safety rules applying to the workplace also apply to work-related motor vehicles.
Every dent, prang, speeding ticket or collision involving your vehicles will affect your business's financial bottom line. So it makes sense to encourage safe driving – and potentially save lives – by making it an integral part of your business policy.
Call our contact centre for advice on and help with complying with all transport-related rules, regulations, and vehicle standards and requirements.