MORE than three quarters of fleet operators believe that work pressures facing drivers are intensifying in the wake of the ‘cost of business’ crisis.

A similar number (75%) also believe the cost-of-living crisis is negatively impacting their mental health, according to a new study from Bridgestone and Webfleet – Bridgestone’s globally trusted fleet management solution.

“If commercial vehicles are the workhorses of the UK economy, drivers are their very heartbeat,” said Andrea Manenti, Vice President North Region, Bridgestone EMIA.

“Fleets are facing considerable cost pressures – from high inflation to rising interest rates – but their strategies for navigating this volatile landscape must be balanced with a supportive working environment. Positive mental wellbeing is not only intrinsic to driver safety, it is vital for strong productivity, skills retention and an organisation’s reputation as an employer of choice.”

The study, conducted among 210 commercial fleets, found that excessive business and personal finance pressures are not only taking their toll on the wellbeing of drivers. Fleet decision-makers’ have also been impacted, with three-fifths (59 per cent) considering a career change.

Almost three-quarters (74%) admitted they need to review their current systems and processes to alleviate workforce stress. Seventy-one per cent, meanwhile, plan to introduce new fleet tech to help mitigate rising costs and operational pressures.

“By investing in fleet and tyre management solutions to streamline workflow, simplify operations and digitise tasks, businesses can boost efficiency while fostering a happier, healthier working environment,” said Beverley Wise, Webfleet Regional Director for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions.

“Jobs, for example, can be dynamically assigned or reallocated according to capacity, with schedules optimised to ensure sensible workloads and realistic deadlines. Intelligent routing can reduce time spent behind the wheel, alleviating driver frustrations and the pressures of leaving customers waiting.

“Managers can keep closer tabs on driver hours and rest break protocols to prevent fatigue, while burdensome admin can be alleviated by digitising everything from maintenance scheduling, tachograph management and asset tracking to mileage capture, claims processes and vehicle safety checks.

“Cost control can consequently be achieved without compromising the health, safety, wellbeing and job satisfaction of the fleet workforce.”

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