Businesses with fleets have recently witnessed a significant paradigm shift, where telematic solutions are used to manage fleets more efficiently. In addition to being able to track the vehicles, telematic solutions help businesses streamline most of the tasks involved with managing a fleet.
By doing so, a major portion of the workload is taken off the fleet manager and driver’s shoulder. This allows them to focus on areas that require more attention. When telematic solutions are used in combinations, they can automate a lot of processes, and its applications are limitless.
Filling out reports and keeping track of timesheets, bills and maintaining a fleet can be a very tedious task. By using telematics, drivers are able to punch in and out, log breaks and also toggle between business and personal trips with a switch of a button. This is achieved using ELDs, which create digital records of every event of the vehicle.
ELDs (Electronic Logging Device)
This device makes logs of every event of the vehicle such as ignition, acceleration, braking, steering, and so on. This is stored as E logs, which are now a mandate for every operating fleet. It monitors driving habits, allows the drivers to mark their attendance digitally and has all the information needed to generate bills and reports.
When the data is filtered and compiled, it can be used to generate various reports that give important information about the fleet and to also validate bills and existing claims. By allowing the driver to toggle modes between business and personal trips, there is accountability for the fuel used and hours of service. This makes it a transparent system.
ELDs eliminate paperwork that the driver and fleet manager need to fill out every day. The data from the E logs is extremely accurate and can be generated at the click of a button. It can be used to generate bills to the customer by considering parameters such as distance travelled, hours of service and fuel costs.
Similarly, the fleet manager can review data pertaining to driver behaviour such as accelerating and braking habits, instances of speeding, hard braking, etc. By doing this, the fleet manager can easily recognize and reward the best drivers for their performance; and provide appropriate training and feedback to the drivers who made the bottom of the list.
This is also a GPS tracker that has its own power supply. It is attached to machinery like tractors, trailers, cold storage units, pretty much anything of value that needs to be tracked and monitored. The tracker can be set to emit signals at given intervals when in use and when left in standby mode.
Due to its cost, it is best suited to track assets of high value. An alert can be set up to be triggered when the asset is in motion. This device has minimal latency and is tracked in real-time.
There’s another alternative to this device which works using barcodes. A barcode is printed on the asset’s surface and is scanned by a smartphone. This tags the last location the barcode was scanned. However, this has a lot of drawbacks and isn’t very helpful if the asset is in motion.
Asset trackers can only show the location but have limited capabilities when compared to full-fledged GPS trackers. Unlike regular GPS trackers, they are not connected to the onboard processor of the vehicle. That means they do not have the ability to access and monitor engine diagnostics or have proximity sensors to detect the presence of the driver.
As mentioned earlier, the primary purpose of this device is to track assets of high value and importance. With that being said, fleets that track their vehicles have a lower threat of theft and a higher chance of retrieving the asset, in case of theft. This saves the company a fortune, as claiming insurance is a long, tedious process.
In the case of businesses that rent/lease equipment, asset tracking is very important in order to ensure the equipment is safe and secure. These asset trackers can be monitored remotely using a fleet management software.
Using Telematics to Boost Fleet Performance
It is vital for every business to have a telematics solution to help manage its fleet. Businesses that track their fleet reported a significant increase in productivity, driver retention and compliance to safety. In addition to that, after implementing a fleet tracking solution, the bottom line of the business is shown to have a positive impact.
The benefits and applications of using telematics are boundless and can streamline various processes across different departments by automating them, making it time efficient and highly accurate. Not only does it save time, but it also promotes road safety and good driver behaviour. This is very important to a fleet, especially with regard to safety protocol and compliance.
Most businesses have incorporated a driver rewards programme where top drivers of the fleet are rewarded for their performance and behaviour. This works on the principle of gamification, where drivers are motivated and compete with each other in a healthy spirit to earn rewards. This helps fleets retain their best drivers and train the ones who need it.