Truck telematics, saving you money during a long haul - Part 1

Can outsourcing fleet management save money for truck fleets? We spoke to Danie Du Preez, General Manager of Avis Fleet Telematics to find out how vehicle telematics can save money for trucks. In part 1 we look at implementing fleet management, counteracting speeding, looking after your staff and assets, and how accidents can affect productivity.

According to Du Preez, whether it is a truck or a car, the principles of vehicle telematics stay the same. There is a variety of vehicles in the industry that can use telematics. From companies that have trucks and tankers, tippers and vehicles that do long hauls, they all enjoy similar benefits from vehicle telematics. But Du Preez says that savings will show up differently on a truck than it will on a car. The main reason for this is that trucks are more heavy duty than cars. They generally do 1.2 kilometres per litre compared to a car which would do 10km. So, there will be significantly more saving on a truck than on a car. And, Fleet Managers who address driver habits will see instant results especially in trucks.

Implementing fleet management and vehicle telematics

Du Preez explains how important implementing the technology correctly is. If a driver has been identified to be driving too fast and he is at risk of having an accident, customers have to pro-actively manage the driver. Du Preez says that safety is a key point for Avis Fleet. It’s important for companies’ productivity but also in terms of the wellbeing of drivers, Du Preez says: “we want to make sure that drivers are safe on the job so that they can return to their families after work and enjoy their free time.”

Counteracting speeding

Legislation dictates that vehicles over 3 and a half tonnes are only allowed to travel 80km/h, this applies to any long haul vehicles and truck trailers. But driving the roads of South Africa, you will notice that many trucks exceed this limit. Du Preez says that when you start focusing on managing the driver’s speed and his behaviour not only will it benefit your company’s bottom line but there will also be positive spin off effects for the driver in terms of his productivity and wellbeing. That’s why vehicle telematics plays a crucial role in any industry.

Looking after your staff and assets

Since drivers are using company vehicles it is also important to ensure that drivers don’t abuse these company assets. Telematics prevents this from happening by using driver behaviour monitoring. This technology ensures that drivers don’t speed, don’t drive recklessly, use harsh braking or harsh acceleration, also monitoring fatigue driving and excessive idling. Du Preez says that his team looks at a combination of things: “We take these statistics from a unit in the vehicle and examine them over a monthly period, and produce a driver ranking to show their performance over the month.” If a driver is speeding, then it will be pointed out to him that he is putting himself at risk of being in an accident. Du Preez adds that: “if it is an accident at night and the driver is travelling at 180 kilometres an hour, their chances of survival are less than if they were driving at lower speed, depending on what has been hit. Not to mention they might injure other people on the road.”

How accidents can affect productivity

Accidents also have a knock on effect for the productivity of the company. If a driver does not reach his destination, that means that he and his vehicle are out of the loop, meaning that the company has to send a replacement driver and vehicle. Nowadays this can also be an issue in terms of insurance, if the driver was speeding when he was in an accident then the insurance company (who will find this information out using telematics) can say the claim is not covered. Negative driving behavior also affects fuel spend and the wear and tear of vehicle parts.

Avis Fleet have a range of solutions that make outsourcing fleet management a great option for your company. Check out our telematics solution here.


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