Instituting the latest fleet management technologies helps fleet managers reduce administrative and maintenance costs while also mitigating the risks.
The most impactful of these fleet technologies is telematics. Telematics not only evaluates and records driver behavior, but enhances fleet safety by monitoring road conditions and vehicle upkeep. Telematics technology can improve driver performance and vehicle maintenance dramatically.
Telematics is the integration of telecommunications and information, and the process of sending and receiving information from mobile and remote devices. A perfect example many people recognize is the mobile GPS units in vehicles.
Telematics allows fleet managers to monitor routing and maximize the efficiency of maintenance schedules. By utilizing telematics, fleet managers can make confident, data-driven decisions that will directly influence the behavior, routes, and communication methods with company drivers. Information about common traffic patterns, including traffic jams, can translate into cost savings if the fleet manager utilizes the data to compose different route plans for the driver.
With telematics, drivers can find the fastest route to their destination in real-time because their vehicle’s location information is overlaid with current traffic reports. Drivers can save time by avoiding traffic jams and telematics enables fleet managers to monitor which routes their drivers actually took, and document speed and arrival times.
Speeding and Accidents
Telematics has proven to be a critical component in reducing vehicle accidents. The mere existence of devices and awareness of being watched has a direct impact on driver behavior. By providing real-time traffic information and monitoring driver behavior, fleet managers can directly capture reckless driving incidents and address them immediately. Fleet managers can use the behavioral data to create action plans and resolve any problematic habits before the risk culminate an accident. Prevention strategies are vital. Telematics also allows for accident information, such as timeline and fault, to be recorded and analyzed in the event of an incident. The critical issue is if you have the data and do nothing because you knew and ignored it or did not know because you were not monitoring, were you negligent? If you track it and monitor it, enforce it.
Safe Driving Gamification
Gamifying the driver experience can affect fleet behavior and does so in a positive and rewarding way. Telematic units can provide progressive scorecards about each driver and can also give in-cab feedback with audio and light warnings when drivers exceed nominal threshold behaviors.
Driver Training and Feedback
When monitoring driver behavior, the company can focus on rewarding drivers who comply with and exceed pre-determined safety thresholds. Rewarding positive behaviors will increase goodwill, cut unsafe practices, and, if reinforced, can turn incentivized behaviors into long-term habit patterns. Monitoring driver behavior through telematics can help fleet managers identify which drivers, new or seasoned, need additional driver training. If unsafe driving practices are a matter of habit, management can address such issues and retrain the driver accordingly. If the problem stems from another reason such as lack of visual acuity or speed governing, fleet managers can likewise address the issue as is appropriate.
Similar to a physical fence, geofencing can be used to monitor and record exit and entry into a specific geographic location. In essence, a geofence is like a virtual perimeter on a map. You can create a square, circle, or irregular shaped fence. Geofencing offers several benefits to your company, and most importantly can improve the overall productivity of your fleet. You can use geofencing to alert you when workers arrive on a job site, monitor the use of your fleets by the hour, or even use the tool to recover stolen equipment quickly.
Take advantage of the benefits of telematics to manage your fleet. By using telematics, you can reduce costly repairs, help prevent accidents, and avoid traffic slowdowns. By using gamification, you can positively influence the behaviors of your drivers improving safety and improving the fleet’s efficiency. Geofencing can help you track the productivity of your fleet drivers and allow you to make smart decisions about your vehicle and team.
Fleet services are evolving rapidly and many tools are available to effectively manage a fleet. Consider which tools are right for your fleet and implement those that help you achieve your goals and objectives.