Fleet management software or telematics help to improve driver behaviour and preserve vehicle health, at the same time reducing diesel usage and increasing the efficiency of your fleet.
Telematics and GPS technology have changed how fleets are managed, with the ability to optimise route planning, track a vehicle’s location and help with fleet-sizing. A telematics system also allows managers to understand a driver’s ability, tracking whether more training may be needed and keeping them safe and supported.
With profit margins being squeezed and costs increasing, investing in the cutting-edge technology of telematics could cut out the waste and boost your bottom line. Safer driving and fewer accidents also mean lower fleet insurance or courier insurance premiums and vehicles that remain on the road.
Here’s a quick overview of the benefits that telematics technology may make to your fleet management.
The use of telematics and routing apps lets fleet managers know where their vehicles are in real-time, helping drivers map out the fastest routes and re-routing to avoid accidents and delays. Recorded data of journeys can also help with load planning, using a data combination of time, distance and deadhead miles.
Over-the-road fleet spend a lot of time idling. This varies according to vehicle type but, according to Smartrak, a delivery truck is likely to idle longer each day than a semi-trailer, with an average of 25 percent idle time. The idle time for construction machines is roughly 30 percent while plant machinery and heavy equipment can reach 40 percent.
Being aware of idle time can help fleet managers incorporate steps to reduce the fuel inefficiency from avoiding traffic jams to reducing the running of engines while completing paperwork, talking on the phone or warming up and cooling down the interior of a vehicle in advance.
Monitoring drivers encourages better driving behaviour, greater adherence to regulatory standards and a reduction in accidents, as well as damage to vehicles and cargo. Telematics view how fast vehicles are being driven, how quick the acceleration is from stop and other safety habits. Driving style analysis shows areas where a driver can improve and whether they need to undergo further training. In addition, reward programmes for safe driving may be incorporated as an incentive.
Improved safety can:
- Lead to a better road safety record for the company, preventing increases in fleet insurance premiums or loss of no claim’s bonuses.
- Lead to fuel savings of up to 25 percent
- Increased brand awareness
- Less risk of personal accidents to the driver and other road users
- Greater efficiency for the company as vehicles are off the road for less time and there are no costly repair bills.
Optimising Vehicle Performance
Better driving style can lead to less risk of breakdowns and preserve vehicle health for longer. Aside from idling times, harsh acceleration and braking has been found to lead to considerably higher maintenance costs and more off-road time. Therefore, vehicle tracking helps to keep more vehicles on the road, leading to increased customer satisfaction, a reduction in the purchase of new vehicles and help with replacement planning.
Trackers can also be used to notify when a vehicle is due for maintenance to make sure they are properly serviced throughout the year.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Using mobile and telematics technology allows drivers to feel more involved and connected to their company and fleet managers. Electronic logs give drivers control over their daily routines and a greater ability to meet customer demands, both of which make drivers feel more satisfied in their work.
It’s important for fleet managers to focus on specific measurable targets for their drivers, assess areas of improvement, as well as communicating clearly with employees to avoid any uneasiness that may arise from driving monitoring.
When introducing telematics, managers should be clear about:
- Why a telematics system is being introduced
- What is being measured and how it is being measured
- What happens if rules aren’t followed and what management can do to help employees improve their performance
Reducing Insurance Costs
When investing in telematics, it’s also good to consider the motor trade insurance implications for your business. Insurance brokers recognise that whether you are looking for fleet insurance or courier insurance, the use of telematics can lead to a reduction in road accidents and therefore insurance claims.
A reduction in claims can reduce your premiums year on year and lead to protection of your no claims bonus. For younger employees, evidence of training and monitoring will enable a broker to feel secure that you are doing everything to help them drive safely.