As a fleet manager, dealing with an expanding fleet can be overwhelming, considering the sheer volume of operations you will have to manage. If you are new to the managerial role, there exist numerous processes, concepts, and tools that you ought to be acutely aware of. One of these is telematics.
What is Telematics?
In a nutshell, telematics is a way to monitor an asset such as a truck, car, or heavy equipment through the use of GPS to record its movements on a digital or computerized map.
It refers to devices that combine informatics and telecommunications. Examples of these devices are GPS systems and navigation systems.
How Telematics Can Help Fleet Management
Telematics has proven to play a critical role in fleet management. Here’s how:
Improvement in Safety
Telematics provides continuous feedback on driving and the driver’s behavior on the road, which allows fleet managers to evaluate their performance and train them accordingly. This may involve getting rid of bad driving habits like sudden breaks and overspeeding. New safety targets can be set to catalyze improved driving.
Increase in Productivity
Drivers can now avoid delays caused by traffic with the use of GPS data. Drivers can plan their routes and schedule their deliveries beforehand based on the weather or the traffic. In addition to this, managers can allocate new and sudden site visits to the vehicle closest to that site. All this has proven to increase productivity significantly.
Efficient Management of Payroll
Telematics help managers track vehicles from the time of ignition to the time they are switched off, thereby having an accurate record of the amount of time employees have worked. This allows business owners to ensure their employees are paid as much as they deserve without unnecessary confusion.
Reduction in Fuel Costs
Efficient fuel management is critical in ensuring smooth fleet operations. Telematics allows you to identify the areas of fuel wastage like fuel slippage, thereby allowing managers to address and solve these issues. This leads to an improvement in fuel efficiency.
Features of Telematics
Telematics boasts the following features:
Effective Safety Tracking
Telematics allows managers to monitor the speed, current location, use of seat belts, and the way their vehicles are being driven. With telematics, managers now have a blueprint that outlines every aspect of the operation of the vehicles, which enables them to make improvements wherever necessary.
Managers can use fleet telematics to improve vehicle maintenance and asset lifecycle management. This is done by keeping track of hours-of-use records, warranty, engine hour and service records, and scheduling preventive maintenance. Fleet telematics also allows managers to reduce their expenses substantially by ensuring the vehicles are in safe operating conditions.
Assessment of Insurance Risk
Telematics can help insurance companies gauge the driver’s behavior and accurately determine their risk factor, thereby allowing them to adjust and allot insurance premiums accordingly.
Accurate Tracking of Assets and Trailers
Fleets can track their trailers and other assets by attaching GPS trackers to them. When unhitching a trailer, drivers can tag their respective locations in their GPS units, and these coordinates can be transferred. In addition to this, managers can set up this system such that they receive instant alerts on the off-chance that an asset or trailer is moved without authorization.
As a fleet manager of an ever-expanding fleet, you can significantly benefit from the use of a fleet camera. Fleet cameras come with a variety of features and are becoming increasingly easy to use. Here are the primary reasons you should consider buying a fleet camera:
Evidence to Backup Your Side of the Story
This is probably the biggest reason most drivers and managers invest in fleet cameras. With the number of accidents and controversial incidents that take place daily, it can be hard to prove that you are innocent.
You can connect fleet cameras directly to a telematics system. The camera records footage once the vehicle starts, and you can get a link to the footage when you need it. Having hard video evidence on request can save you a substantial amount of money and trauma.
Monitoring the Driver’s Behavior
Drivers are known to make mistakes on the road, often due to negligence. A fleeting camera allows you to monitor your driver to check for poor driving habits like sudden breaks, overspeeding, and so forth.
See things the Same way Your Driver Sees Them
It is easy to point fingers at the driver on the off-chance that they indulge in seemingly poor driving etiquettes. However, drivers have to take tough calls sometimes that they may not be able to justify. You can avoid unnecessary confusion by using a fleet camera that streams live. This way, you can see things on the road with the same view as your driver.
Fight Fraudulent Claims
Numerous drivers of commercial and non-commercial motorized vehicles have fallen prey to accident scams. The perpetrators of these scams target victims with the assumption that their vehicles are insured and deliberately cause accidents and claim to be severely injured to extort money.
Seeing how staged incidents like this can be incredibly challenging to this disprove, your best bet is to have a fleet camera installed to record footage that can be used as hard evidence.
There you have it, two incredibly useful tools you can use as a fleet manager to boost and optimize your fleet management, especially as it expands.