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Prepare for the back-to-school rush

As we approach the end of the school summer holidays, and despite the glut of summer coach trips and seasonal excursions, now could be the ideal time to get ready for the back-to-school rush.

If your business relies on the education sector for a core part of your business, you should use the remaining weeks of the school holidays as a time to review your vehicle logistics and training needs. The last thing you want is to wait until September before realising your fleet needs servicing, tyres need changing, or discover your drivers have expired CPC cards.

It’s also worthwhile checking with your education clients to see if they have additional needs, such as new pick-up and drop-off locations. You want to make sure you have all of the plans in place so you can make sure that you continue to deliver a first-class service.

We would hope you’re all ahead of the game and everything is in place because failing to act now could lead to severe logistical issues potentially causing long-term reputational damage. If your contract involves taking children to and from school or managing school trips, parents and teachers will rely on you to exceed their expectations.

At CJC Transport Consultants, a core part of our work is to work with you to streamline your processes and ensure you have everything in place. We can deliver training if your bus or coach drivers need to update their training. We can also help with your wider logistics to reduce any stress and help you prepare for the upcoming school year.

Here are some of our top tips to prepare for the back-to-school rush.

Check your drivers’ CPC periodic training hours are up to date

This is something we’ve been proactively talking about for months.

September 2023 will see the expiration date for the first generation of bus and coach drivers who needed to complete Driver CPC training back in 2008.

The training has a rolling five-year anniversary. If you were one of the first cohort of drivers to complete the training and you haven’t yet completed your mandatory 35 hours of training, your licence to legally drive a bus or coach could expire.

The introduction of CPC driving hours was a European directive. It was applicable to all PCV and HGV drivers across Europe. The training was designed to ensure all bus, coach and lorry drivers are continually updated with the latest road safety standards and are fully licenced to drive heavy goods or large passenger transport vehicles.  

There have been updates to the CPC regulations, with a government review taking place earlier this year. Many of the suggested changes require legislative changes and are, as yet to be put into place.

Please call us if you’re unsure about the latest amends to the CPC regulations.

In the meantime, you and your drivers can check the status of your Driver CPC periodic training hours via the official government website.  

If you know that some of your drivers are behind on their training, now is the time to book them in for their training urgently. Failure to do so could leave you at risk, with drivers unable to work. It could cause a logistical headache with potential contractual ramifications.

CJC Transport can manage your training needs

Our CPC training is flexible and adaptable to your business needs. We can offer dedicated group training workshops if you have several drivers who need to complete their CPC training. These sessions can be held directly at your premises or off-site at locations throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Lincolnshire.  

Alternatively, you can book individual drivers onto one of our CJC training courses held on specific dates in our new premises near Great Yarmouth.  

You can choose between 3.5 or 7-hour sessions, making our training flexible to your business’ logistical needs. What’s more, our CPC training has modules designed for both PCV and HGV licences.   

When was the last time you checked your fleet?

As part of the back-to-school preparations, you should check your fleet of buses and coaches to ensure there are no defects and it represents your company in the way you wish.

Now is the perfect time for a good clean, inside and out. You should also focus on making sure the fleet has been fully serviced and MOT’d and tyres and seatbelts are fit for purpose. If you know you have a deadline, taking proactive maintenance in the summer before it reverts back to regular use will help manage your fleet logistics.

If you’re pressed for time or have a staff shortage due to the summer holidays, leaving your fleet maintenance to a later date may be tempting. But if you find a problem with a bus or coach that could leave it out of action, you could be putting your reputation at risk.

Instead, why not talk to our team about consultancy services? We can help you to prioritise your workload and manage your fleet maintenance on your behalf – saving valuable time and money, but most importantly, protecting your stress levels!

When was the last time you renegotiated contracts?

Before starting a new school year, we always advise reviewing any existing contracts with local authorities or education providers. Costs are spiralling, and you need to make sure business is not running at a loss.

We often recommend periodically reviewing your contracts to make sure the partnership is still working well between all parties. This allows you to double-check if there are any anticipated changes to passenger numbers or any new drop-offs/pick-ups to contend with. Knowing all the details of your upcoming school transportation services will help manage your driver needs and identify which fleet you need to use for individual journeys.

Talk to CJC Transport to find out how we can help you prepare for the upcoming school year

We want to make sure your transport business is ready for the next school year.

The summer holidays are the optimum time to check you have everything in place, from vehicle maintenance to contract negotiations.

But the most critical aspect is to ensure all your drivers are up to date on their training and are legal to drive, with no disruption to your services. If you need help organising group training or want to ensure everyone has the latest first-aid training or even up-to-date DBS checks, please speak to us.

Booking early is essential to ensure your transport business continues to run seamlessly over the next academic year.

To find out more about our training courses, why not check out our upcoming training dates?

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