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Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks: the Switch to PHEVs

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When your business is in haulage, work revolves around your vehicles: how well they’re driving, their wear and tear and so forth. After all, they are the lifeblood of your company, and they have to carry your loads from point A to point B seamlessly and reliably. Needless to say, the type of vehicle you choose is perhaps the most important decision you can make when it comes to the success of your business.

In recent years, more and more choices have come to light. If you’re one of the many companies who have made (or are thinking of making) the switch from traditional diesel to something more environmentally friendly, such as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, you’ll know there are a lot of benefits. However, there can also be confusion from employees who aren’t used to working with PHEVs.

These newbies don’t need to feel lost, though. Learning the ins and outs of PHEVs isn’t as tough as it may seem – especially not with a few tips.

Drive the Details

The best way to feel secure that your employees are aware of everything that’s expected of them is to go over their responsibilities clearly and in great detail. That way, everyone is on the same page and there’s little to no room for miscommunication or misconceptions. Ensure your drivers know the terms and policies for:

• Driving behaviour
• Maintenance
• Fuel economy targets
• Charging

When people don’t know what they’re doing, they can feel isolated and embarrassed – and those feelings can make it difficult to ask for clarification. For a change over with the least amount of stress for everyone, spell it out and advocate for no judgement communication if there are any questions at all.

Top Tip: Employees can also be encouraged to create a peer community that allows them to share experiences and information with each other. This can make the switch from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles to PHEVs easier (not to mention less confusing) for them.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you’ve gone over the theoretical, it’s time for the practical. Essentially, you’ll want to make sure all of your employees get initial training, as well as on-going support. PHEVs are an excellent choice for haulage work. They can certainly be much more cost-effective and leave less of a negative impact on the environment – but only if they are operated correctly. Make sure your employees know:

• How to easily locate public charging points
• What home charging systems are available
• That regular charging is important as it improves overall performance
• How to be competitive when it comes to fuel efficiencies

If you follow this handy advice, making the transition from traditional vehicles to PHEVs should go quite easily. When your employees feel included, on board and informed of the changes you’re implementing, things are sure to run smoothly – and that’s the absolute best way for any type of haulage work to run.
About author: Desiree Michels

Norman Dulwich is a Correspondent for Haulage Exchange, the leading online trade network for the road transport industry. Connecting logistics professionals across the UK and Europe through their website, Haulage Exchange provides services for matching haulage work with available drivers. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships. 

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