Heavy Duty Trucking Supplements

Telematics 2013

The Fleet Business Authority

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Telematics and Drivers ➤➤➤ Having these one-on-one conversations can make a major impact on driver behavior. For instance, if telematics data reveals a driver is experiencing a lot of harsh braking occurrences, feet managers can investigate and resolve the situation before an accident happens. The behavior could be the result of any number of things. But by calling in your drivers individually, showing them the data and discussing it, you have a much better chance of fguring out a solution. Live driver feedback: While feet managers can monitor driver behavior remotely, some telematics solutions can identify unsafe driving practices and alert drivers in real time, with warnings right in the vehicle. This in-cab feedback helps drivers become aware of undesirable behaviors and change them on their own — without a supervisor ever being involved or a violation going on record. For instance, a company could set the system to issue a driver alert if they're more than 5 mph above the speed limit for a certain amount of time. If that limit is exceeded, the driver hears a warning and knows instantly to slow down. The impact is immediate: The driver engages in an undesirable behavior, gets an alert, and in most cases will then change that behavior. It's like having an in-cab coach. Links to training: As telematics devices gather data that identifes trends in unsafe driving, some systems can link directly from telematics to training. For instance, drivers who consistently exhibit harsh braking would receive an email alert that identifes their behaviors and offers links to online training to learn how to correct the behavior. Fleet managers can also approach it another way: If they notice a specifc trend popping up in a certain region — say excessive idling in certain states — they can deploy training to all drivers in that region. "We have speeding alerts that are emailed to the team when they exceed the posted speed limit by more than 5 mph," said Matthew Ricketts, President & Chief Experience Offcer, Better Life Maids, a professional, green house cleaning company located in St. Louis, Mo. "Over time you see a dramatic decrease in those alerts as the teams become more aware of their speed. Getting speeding alerts in real time has had an immediate impact on our drivers. At frst, we just had the speeding alerts delivered to management. Once we started sending the alerts to the teams, as they triggered the alerts, we saw an immediate decline in the amount of alerts we received." Overall, telematics data allows companies and their managers to act with more confdence. Armed with data, feet managers no longer guess at what caused the last accident. Instead, they understand what could cause the next one and then take the appropriate steps to avoid it. Put It in Writing Just as important as it is to act on telematics data, it's also important to document policies and processes for how to act on it. Every company that invests in a telematics solution is 14 THE CONNECTED FLEET GUIDE 2013 going to have access to the same incredibly powerful data, but it comes down to what you do with the data that separates the most successful feets from the rest. Without policies and processes in place to put the data to work, data goes to waste. "Before telematics, we had no way to enforce our policy on regular basis," Iverson said. "It was just by occasion when someone witnessed the infraction that we could act on it. Without policies and processes in place, employees would not know what the expectations and requirements for their behavior are. Also, without a formal policy, it would be almost impossible to discipline an employee." The frst step Peterinelli took was to familiarize drivers with how telematics would be used. "All drivers signed documentation stating that they understood we had placed the devices in the cars and would be monitoring the vehicle and their actions," Peterinelli said. "Any new-hire driver signs this document going forward as part of the onboarding process. A consistent process is the key. The policies need to be enforced, and therefore they need to be consistently monitored. Everyone knows the rules going in." Ricketts said that having processes in place has helped drivers self-monitor their behavior. "When you defne expectations in advance you have a measuring point," he said. "Without policies or set processes, too much is left to the discretion of your employees. We train our staff on best practices while using the system, what to expect as far as feedback from us, and it seems to pay off with the need for minimal corrective coaching." Beyond educating drivers, having policies and processes in place also offers important protection to the companies who employ telematics devices. With so much data on unsafe driving practices on hand, it's important for companies to demonstrate they actually do something about it and don't simply let unsafe driving practices go unnoticed. Policies and processes prove companies are doing their due diligence in the arena of safe driving. ■ SOURCES Bryan Magloire, Supply Chain and Operations Analyst, Southern Wine and Spirits Joe Runyan, President, Hangers Cleaners Kris Peterinelli, CTP, Director of Fleet and Pharmacy Logistics, Triad Isotopes Mary Joyce Ivers, PWLF, CPFP, Fleet and Facilities Manager, City of Ventura Matt DeVries, Operations Manager, Buist Electric Matthew Ricketts, President & Chief Experience Offcer, Better Life Maids Mark Iverson, P.E., Director of Maintenance, Eastern Municipal Water District

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