Anytime managers or owners implement new policies there is bound to be resistance from some employees. This is no more evident when a company implements GPS tracking and telematics to their fleet. Learning how to implement vehicle monitoring systems in a positive way can help managers avoid pushback from drivers.
Known Benefits of Telematics Push Fleet Managers to Implement Systems
It’s the benefits of telematics and GPS technology that often pushes fleet managers to add systems in spite of resistance. Outside of the obvious benefit of GPS technology, one of the most important benefits is monitoring driver behavior. Not only does this improve fuel efficiency, but it also provides proof against false claims made against drivers involved in crashes.
Strategies to Reduce Resistance
Fleet managers are quick to see the benefits of telematics, but drivers don’t always respond positively to these systems. In one study published , nearly 43 percent of fleet managers surveyed stated they had a “significant amount” of resistance when implementing telematics systems into their fleets, with another 35.7 percent reporting at least a “little” resistance. In other words, the majority of fleets surveyed had resistance of some sort.
So what can a fleet manager do to implement this valuable system without this resistance? While avoiding all resistance may not be possible, it can be limited with the right approach when implementing telematics, electronic tracking technology, or other vehicle monitoring systems.
Having a policy that clearly states the purpose and use of the system or technology as well as driver responsibility can help communicate the company’s expectations better. The company/agency should have each potential driver acknowledge that they have no expectation of privacy regarding the information gathered through the use of this technology. The City of Napa circulates a policy to all their potential drivers to inform them of the purpose and use of the technology. The policy also addresses tampering with the hardware.
Using the system as a positive as well as a negative can also help. Using the system to reward drivers who had the least number of offenses, and posting the weekly driver report in a common area, helps create a positive peer pressure about driver safety and fuel efficiency. This created changes without much intervention from management.
Today’s drivers have a lot to keep track of, and any tool that helps them do so more safely is welcome once it is understood. Once drivers realize that the systems are going to improve overall safety, while also potentially earning them rewards for positive behaviors, they are often more willing to embrace telematics.
In the end, the approach needs to be one of coaching, not reprimanding. While there is often some driver turnover when implementing a system, the end result, which is more efficient and attentive drivers, creates a positive environment for all members of the fleet.
Robert Drucker, Owner of Boston Global Tracking, often writes about issues facing owners and managers with fleets of vehicles. His expertise is highly regarded in the industry and provides his insight and knowledge to help business owners better manage their fleet.
Are you looking to run a more efficient fleet and reduce operating costs? Who wouldn’t. We all try and save money by doing all sorts of things to help reduce costs at home as well as our business. Here are some pointers on how to run a more efficient fleet.
Create a Baseline
Before you can start to reduce fleet costs you need to determine what your baseline is. A baseline is where all comparisons are made. How much are you spending on gas each day across all vehicles? How much are you spending on maintenance monthly? Some fleet managers keep detailed records, some just guess or don’t care. You can’t start improving until you start measuring. If you have a GPS tracking system, this kind of data is probably readily available, you just need to start using it.
Once you have your numbers, make sure every driver in your fleet knows what their numbers are. Make sure they know what’s being spent on fuel, maintenance, insurance, etc. Give them their numbers and work with them to identify areas to start reducing costs. Ask if they idle frequently and if they know how much fuel it wastes. Ask if they realize the impact of hard breaking, rapid acceleration, hard cornering, etc. on their vehicle’s maintenance. Are they reporting issues to your fleet mechanic or just living with them? Create a safe driver program or rewards for keeping up with maintenance.
Your drivers spend a lot of time in their vehicles. Over time they may begin to feel as if the vehicle is theirs. This can sometimes lead to misuse as employees begin using their vehicles inappropriately on weekends or after hours. Do you let these incidents go or do you restrict this kind of use? You may find that eliminating personal use not only reduces fuel use and wear and tear, but it also may save your reputation. A van with your name on it parked after hours at an inappropriate location could be damaging your reputation and losing you business.
Initiate Fuel Usage Policies – Introduce a Fuel Card and Usage Policy
Fleet fuel cards can provide discounts and rewards, reduce paperwork, save you from fraudulent spending, provide purchase controls, improve driver security and much more. If you’re already using fuel cards, make sure you’re getting the most out of them. That starts with developing and communicating a usage policy including:
- Acceptable card uses
- Unacceptable card use
- Consequences for improper use
- Card spending limits
- Retention of receipts
It is important to have this communication between drivers and owners/management to make sure everyone understands the rules and the consequences of not adhering to these rules. Policies in place can also help to reduce insurance costs as well. Many carriers have programs that can help you with the implementation of a safe driver program.
Robert Drucker is owner of Boston Global Tracking, providing GPS tracking solutions for fleets of all sizes. He helps business owners keep track of what they value most.
Distracted driving has become one of the biggest issues in terms of liability for any business with a fleet on the road. Businesses with 1 driver to thousands all need to understand the potential liabilities that distracted driving can have on their business.
As evidence from a recent lawsuit against Coca Cola, even having a policy in place may not protect you. There is no magic wand that can prevent drivers from being distracted but there are many things you can do to protect yourself.
- Have a safe driving policy in effect which clearly states what distracted driving is and what is not allowed.
- Review this policy with all employees on a monthly basis. Many insurance companies can assist you with material or help in setting this up. In order to protect yourself you must show consistent updates and contacts with all employees: meetings, flyers, emails etc…
- Pay for hands free Bluetooth devices for all employees, if cell use is allowed.
- There are also devices that can block cell use while driving, but these can be expensive and may not work with personal phones.
- Keep contact with drivers to a minimum by using a GPS tracking system. This type of system can also identify speeding drivers as well as keeping office to driver contact to a minimum.
Review phone records to see which drivers may be excessively texting or speaking on the phone. Many cell carriers can provide this information if requested.
The benefits of all of this is employee protection, cost reduction, and liability insulation, all leading to reduced costs. We must all remember that Return on Investment is really the objective for any business, and our perspective demands that an effective distracted driving solution yields 500% or better ROI in the most conservative of scenarios.
Fleet Solutions Magazine. has a great article on this subject.
GPS Tracking is no longer for the big guys. Today GPS tracking can benefit any business, even if there are only 1 or 2 vehicles on the road.
Tracking offers a host of benefits for companies that deploy vehicles on a day to day basis. It allows these companies to streamline their operations in the most effective and efficient manner. The cost of this equipment is reasonable and the return on investment is significant.
GPS Tracking helps companies of all sizes to constantly track and monitor vehicles on road. Without the need to invest in expensive equipment or hire additional employees, GPS fleet tracking is a very attractive option particularly for smaller companies that might not typically have the resources to roll out this type of effective technology.
Fleet tracking offers a variety of benefits for fleet owners. It can keep a constant tab on the vehicles, regardless of whether they’re on the move or stationary. They can monitor the time taken for vehicles to reach their destination and identify any time wasted. They can also identify and optimize inefficient routing, enhancing fuel efficiency.
One of the greatest advantages to fleet owners is the tremendous potential for labor savings. Being fully aware of an employee’s day to day operations keeps them alert and ensures they deliver maximum productivity. GPS fleet management systems help fleet owners track their vehicles to see if they are on the move or stationary at a location. They can also monitor the duration for which the vehicle is on the road. This helps them monitor if fleet drivers are working efficiently. In the long run, this provides them with immense savings on labor costs as well other significant benefits.
Many companies have been able to cut down on their fuel costs through fleet GPS tracking. Without tracking, it is virtually impossible to accurately track fuel costs and the result is the company absorbs unnecessary expense. Enhanced routing, reduced idling, and eliminating unauthorized use of vehicles will dramatically reduce fuel costs.
Tracking systems make it possible to know when the vehicles and crew arrive at and leave the job site. These systems also make it easier for the payroll department to accurately match up hours worked with the time sheets.
With summer driving upon us I thought it would be a good idea to review the best ways to save gas and increase your MPG.
Although gas prices have fallen dramatically over the last few months’ gas is still .20 cents more than the average price just 6 months ago. Saving on gas can be one of the easiest ways to reduce costs and increase your bottom line. These tips apply to personal vehicles as well as business fleets.
Tip #1 – Obey the Speed Limit
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, vehicles that honor the speed limit maintain a higher miles per gallon ratio. Each five mph increment driven over 60 mph is the equivalent of $0.31 per gallon of gas.
Tip #2 – Avoid Aggressive Braking and Accelerating
Not only does frequent braking and accelerating create wear and tear on vehicles, it also significantly decreases MPG. A 2011 study, by the University Of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), has shown that by observing the speed limit and avoiding hard braking and accelerating, drivers can improve MPG by as much as 25 percent.
Tip #3 – Turn the Key: Eliminate Idle Time
One hour of idle time represents 80 miles of engine wear and approximately one gallon of fuel. By turning off the engine when not driving, fuel is conserved, engine wear is limited and carbon emissions are reduced
Tip #4 – Check Your Vehicle Regularly
Checking tire pressure daily and replacing oil on time will ensure optimal performance. Studies have shown that fully inflated tires can gain up to three percent more miles and regular oil tune-ups will net an additional four percent.
Tip #5 – Plan Your Trips Ahead of Time
By mapping routes ahead of time, companies and drivers can look for ways to cut down on the amount of travel time. Plan trips around rush-hour traffic and check local maps for quicker and flatter surface routes.
Boston Global Tracking offers speed alerts sent via email or text to notify of speeding infractions. Reports can easily be viewed, emailed or downloaded for future reference
Welcome to our new blog, we thought for out first post we will give a background on why companies need use our Fleet GPS Tracking
- To Reduce Fuel Costs – GPS fleet tracking identifies inefficient fuel consumption and will help combat rising fuel prices.
- To Improve Productivity – Complete more jobs per day & ensure the most efficient routes are always taken.
- To improve Customer Service -Real-time location data will allow you to respond quicker to your customer inquiries.
- To Reduce Labor Costs – GPS fleet tracking will hold drivers accountable for hours they claim to have worked.
This from Wikipedia:
A study entitled Improving Productivity and Profitability through Service Fleet Management reports on how fleet management impacts on both small and large businesses, was published by the Aberdeen Group, March 2008.
In the report, businesses were grouped together based on the size of their fleet:
1 to 10 were characterized as small
11 to 50 as medium small
51 to 250 as medium
251 to 1000 as medium large
More than 1000 as large
The report also measured the main reasons cited by businesses seeking increased efficiency through the implementation of fleet tracking technology. An intention to improve the customer experience through better response times was listed as a top priority by 73 per cent of fleet respondents.
Other reasons businesses cited for wishing to implement some form of GPS vehicle tracking technology were:
Reduce service response times (57%)
Reduce fleet related operating costs (46%)
Increase service related productivity (41%)
Extend life of service vehicles (16%)
Applications of commercial vehicle tracking solutions in the fields of transport, logistics, haulage and multi-drop delivery environments can include optimised fleet utilisation, real-time operational enhancements and dynamically remote-managed fleets. Fleet tracking is scalable by design and interfaces with the logistics industry’s leading back-office systems.
Rising fuel costs constantly challenge fleet operators to maintain movement of vehicles and monitor driver behaviour to avoid delaying traffic conditions by either, combining deliveries, reconfiguring routes or rescheduling timetables. This aims to maximise the number of deliveries while minimising time and distance. It has been found that even restricting the number of left hand turns can improve on time, efficiency and energy savings.
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