Simply put, telematics is the combination of vehicular computer systems and mobile communications. This type of technology is often used in commercial vehicles today to provide actionable data based on a fleet vehicle’s movements and the codes produced by its onboard computer.
Using GPS trackers embedded in trucks, vans, and cars, fleet managers can now learn all sorts of important information. They can get updates on maintenance, improve the fleet’s budget with fuel cost savings, and even improve fleet drivers’ safety. If your fleet isn’t making the most of its telematics data, perhaps now is the time to start.
Telematics: Vital to Any Fleet Safety Program
As mentioned above, fleet managers can’t be there to look over their drivers’ shoulders throughout the day. Yet ensuring the safety of fleet drivers is a key element to the job. Fortunately, telematics devices offer a great deal of data that can improve any fleet safety program. Here are a few ways these devices help prevent accidents and keep fleet drivers safe on the road.
Reduce Risky Behaviors
Today’s fully-featured telematics devices can help you identify and reduce risky driving behaviors. They can alert you to hard braking, speeding, or harsh acceleration in your fleet vehicles. When you add a dashcam to your telematics fleet safety equipment, you can also monitor unsafe behavior in the cab, such as failure to wear a seatbelt, distracted driving, and other dangerous actions. This offers the opportunity for more training or other safety measures to help your drivers break these bad habits. In addition to being safer, curbing some of these dangerous behaviors can also help reduce wear and tear on your vehicles, so it’s a true win-win.
Unsafe road conditions are another major cause of fleet accidents. The ability to route your drivers around road hazards such as flooding, accidents, construction, or traffic problems can be invaluable to drivers on the road. With GPS devices equipped for telematics, fleet managers and dispatch can monitor road conditions and reroute drivers in real-time. Along with providing safer driving conditions for fleet drivers, this can also improve efficiency and fuel economy too.
In the event of a problem, like a breakdown or accident, telematics can notify fleet managers even if the driver is unconscious or otherwise unable to call for help. If a driver goes missing due to a medical emergency, fleet managers can quickly locate his or her last known coordinates and dispatch help immediately.
Other Ways Telematics Can Help
Of course, a telematics program can help with so much more beyond safety concerns. Users find significant improvements across almost every aspect of their fleet business. Here are a few considerations you may not have thought of.
Of course, one of the most common reasons fleets adopt GPS technology is to ensure compliance with the ELD mandate. This federal guideline means that commercial motor vehicles must have an electronic logging device on board to record hours of service (HOS) data. These devices are also often employed to help maintain driver vehicle inspection report (DVIR) records. For most fleets, this type of digital assistance means compliance is easier than ever.
Fuel Cost Savings
Telematics can improve your fleet’s bottom line by assisting with fuel cost savings. The ability to direct drivers to a preferred fuel station when they’re running low means you can make the most of your fuel card’s discounts. Routing drivers around traffic problems and alerting management of unnecessary engine idling means less wasted fuel. In general, better routing means your drivers can make all of their needed stops in the most efficient way possible. All of this can lead to an impressive ROI in fuel savings as well as cost savings in other areas of your fleet’s operations.
Theft of fleet vehicles and other large assets is a considerable problem for fleet management. In addition to the cost of the vehicle or equipment, theft leads to a loss of productivity and in some cases means a loss of tools, goods, and other equipment stored inside. Without GPS devices, only about 40% of stolen vehicles are ever recovered. But with telematics data, vehicles can be tracked down and returned efficiently, often before they would have otherwise been missed.
Insurance is a vital piece of any fleet’s operations. Yet negotiating insurance premiums and filing claims continue to be some of a fleet manager’s least favorite parts of the job. Fortunately, telematics can help here as well. Dashcams provide crucial evidence in the case of an accident or other incident, making the claims process quick and straightforward. And a well-established safety program founded on telematics data can provide you with reports and statistics to make premium negotiations a breeze as well.
It’s hard to see any part of fleet management that can’t be improved by the data collected by telematics devices and dashcam technology when it comes down to it. Want to learn more about exactly how Azuga’s GPS fleet tracking can help your fleet? Schedule a demo today and our experts will be happy to show you the benefits you could be enjoying.