How Fleet Telematics can Improve Driver Behaviour
Maintaining a fleet whilst ensuring efficiency can be challenging for fleet managers. Ensuring drivers behave appropriately is crucial to the success of a business. Driver behaviour directly affects costs such as fuel consumption, insurance and maintenance. This is because poor driving practices such as excessive idling can increase fuel consumption and degradation of machinery.
In order to understand and identify poor driver behaviour, telematics devices can be installed in vehicles to track information such as vehicle location and idling. The data is converted into easy information by fleet management solutions, and relayed to fleet managers allowing them to identify trends and implement training programmes.
A Study of the Impact of a Telematics System on Safe and Fuel-efficient Driving in Trucks has shown that improvements in safety and fuel economy were found to be direct results of telematics and driver intervention. For example, unsafe events defined as sudden acceleration, hard braking, and sudden lane changes decreased by almost 50 percent and fuel economy improved by 5 and 9 percent, among other improvements.
How Telematics can Manage Driver Behaviour
Telematics technology present in fleet management solutions, includes a range of different devices which provides crucial data and information to fleet managers on the behaviour of their drivers. For example, vehicle location and speed. This information is then made available in your fleet management solution dashboard, so it can be used to implement specific training in order to improve fleet efficiency. The data also allows fleet managers to make instant strategy decisions if something unexpected happens thanks to the real-time data provided.
In-vehicle cameras can be used by fleet managers to track driving style and monitor incidents. Video telematics, captured by in-cab cameras, connect to cellular networks and provide fleet managers with visual data of incidents such as speeding or excessive idling. This data provides footage of incidents which can be used to implement driver specific training. The video data can also be used to prevent false insurance claims as well as often lowering insurance premiums.
Satellite vehicle tracking software connects fleet managers to their deployed vehicles through GPS. The UK government has conducted research into speed limits on roads. The research found out that during 2021, 50% of cars and vans exceeded the speed limit on motorways compared to 56% on 30mph roads and 13% on national speed limit 60mph roads. In 2020, 2% of the Articulated HGVs (heavy goods vehicles) exceeded the speed limit on motorways, while 46% exceeded on 30mph roads and 35% on national speed limit single carriageway roads. In the case of rigid HGVs they exceeded the national speed limit on single carriageways roads about 41% and on 30mph roads it was around 49%. This data shows why the use of tracking software technology is important as it ensures that drivers keep to the legal speed limit and therefore decrease their chances of getting into an accident.
The satellite technology works similarly to black box machinery, which tracks speed, acceleration and braking and location in real time. Therefore, fleet managers can be alerted to impractical or unsafe driving behaviour immediately, minimising the damage and allowing more time to administer training. Masternaut provides the M210: OBD Tracking Device, which connects to the OBD port in both cars and vans. It is simple to install and provides comprehensive feedback on driver behaviour.
CAN DATA devices can track mileage, speed, fuel consumption and rpm. Excessive idling and other poor driving behaviours increase fuel consumption. Therefore, with access to this data, fleet managers can optimise their fleets by implementing specific training programmes as mentioned previously.
In-cab coaching devices, such as the Masternaut in-cab coaching device ensure immediate improvement in driver behaviour. This technology alerts both fleet managers and drivers to incidents of poor behaviour. The instant feedback to the driver, either through auditory or visual alerts, ensures drivers self correct whilst they are on the road, and deters them from engaging in dangerous behaviour.
Plug-in GPS tracking devices can be installed if permanent devices are not compatible with your fleet, these are devices such as the Masternaut Pulse. These plug-in devices allow fleet managers to monitor the locations and journey histories of short-term hire and contractor vehicles. This enables comprehensive monitoring of a fleet manager’s extended fleet.
Telematics technology in fleet management solutions also monitor important aspects of driver behaviour such as seat belt usage and mobile phone usage. Some systems even prevent vehicle movement if a seat belt is not worn, or a mobile phone is active.
How to Implement a Fleet Management Solution to Improve Behaviour
In order to ensure that you optimise your usage of telematics technology included in fleet management solutions, you need to plan what data types you wish to collect, alongside how you intend to manage the data. To ascertain what types of data to collect, you must first identify the goal and purpose for using these solutions. Driver behaviour improvement is a crucial goal which can be achieved through proper implementation of technology such as the examples mentioned previously. To ensure that you obtain the maximum value from the data you collect, you must plan what your KPIs will be, and how you intend to utilise the information in future training programmes.
In this stage, it would be beneficial for fleet managers to also consult their drivers and employees about the implementation of fleet telematics as this change can often be challenging. Drivers may need encouragement and assurances regarding the monitoring and tracking of their behaviour as some may object to it. However, with the proper approach and the involvement of employees, managers can ensure that the implementation of solutions is streamlined and amiable.
Masternaut solutions include custom dashboards, and our team of experts is always available to help you understand the best devices for your fleet and help you introduce telematics to your drivers through our fleet management approach.
Once you have defined the types of data you intend to collect, you can begin collecting and analysing data. During this stage, the data will inform you of trends in your KPIs such as driver behaviour, fuel consumption and delivery times, providing you with key operational information.
The compilation of data enables fleet managers to produce analytical reports automatically once trends have been established, encouraging a streamlined approach to data management. These analytical reports can be used to identify areas of poor practice, allowing fleet managers to deliver specialised training in order to optimise fleet efficiency.
Masternaut Professional Services includes a team of data scientists and analysts who can help you understand the data your devices collect. They are also able to advise you on business decisions based on the data in order to maximise your business’s productivity.
Engagement and Training
Upon the establishment of behaviour trends, fleet managers are able to examine areas which require improvement. These areas can be addressed in specialised training sessions, with aims to improve driver behaviour and increase fleet efficiency.
Training sessions should be constructive in order to encourage drivers to improve. It should also be ongoing for both new hires and established employees, as this encourages continued improvement and ensures fleet optimisation.
In order to ensure driver engagement with fleet managers, managers should ideally encourage the usage of self-reporting technology. This allows drivers to report their vehicle checks as well as the hours they have driven, encouraging drivers to take responsibility for looking after their vehicles. Drivers are also able to view their behavioural scores and check their driving trends, which encourages them to improve. Although of course, this works well alongside a well implemented training programme.
Implementing a streamlined timeline can help you identify short and long-term goals for driver behaviour. With organisational goals in mind, you can implement deadlines for training programmes and identify vital behavioural improvements which should be prioritised.
During this process, fleet managers should maintain good communication with their drivers to ensure grievances are dealt with, promoting a healthy work environment with committed employees.
We hope this article helped you gain a better understanding of how the technology included in fleet management solutions can help businesses improve driver behaviour. If you have more questions or if you would like to book a demo, please do not hesitate to contact us.