Hard Driving

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In simplest terms, hard driving refers to any abrupt changes in driving behavior or rough handling of a vehicle. Some common examples of rough driving include harsh or sudden braking, hard cornering, and regular harsh acceleration. 

In most cases, these aggressive driving behaviors are not necessary to maintain proper control of a vehicle. Vehicle operators who engage in these driving behaviors can cause unnecessary damage to your fleet vehicles. This damage can, in turn, cost you time and take your vehicles and drivers off the road and away from the customers they serve. Even worse, these driving habits can cause accidents, potentially making your field service business liable for damage caused to other cars and trucks on the road and injuries incurred by other motorists. 

It is important to note that large, unwieldy trucks and fleet vehicles can be tough to control due to their size and weight. That said, it's also important to remember you shouldn’t hire operators who do not have the needed experience and licensure to handle such conditions. That’s because these types of vehicles are often slow to brake and challenging to maneuver without the right training.

Hard Driving Causes More Accidents 

It's crucial to note that hard driving puts vehicle operators at higher risk for causing accidents. What's more, there can be other things at play that cause improper driving behaviors, including, but not limited to, substance abuse, drowsiness caused by driving longer than is allowed by law, roadway distractions, speeding without cause, and driving aggressively rather than defensively.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2017, driving in a drowsy state resulted in 90,000 accidents while roadway distractions resulted in 3,166 total fatalities. The NHTSA also notes that in 2016, speeding alone was the cause of accidents resulting in 10,000 deaths in the US.

For these reasons, drivers should be well-rested, alert, able to avoid distractions in their vehicles, and capable of maintaining an appropriate speed. Cautious driving practices are not complicated and have the power to save human lives — not just those of fleet vehicle drivers but also of other motorists on the road.

Hard Driving Costs Your Field Service Business More Money on Fuel and Vehicle Maintenance 

According to a recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine, many fleet operators are unaware that the cost of fuel for their fleet vehicles amounts to as much as or more than 60 percent of their overall field service-based business budgets. 

Your fleet can avoid these higher fuel costs in large measure by reducing the frequency of hard driving. Harsh braking and hard acceleration dramatically raise the amount of fuel used by each fleet vehicle as controlled by each vehicle operator. The Entrepreneur Magazine article states that by putting an end to these practices, you can reduce fuel costs by as much as three miles per gallon, which is a dramatic savings for any fleet business. 

You can also reduce the cost of fleet vehicle maintenance by addressing and putting an end to hard driving habits. When you address hard driving practices with your drivers, such as idling for too long and braking too harshly, you'll dramatically reduce engine wear and tear and the frequency of tire changes. 

Hard driving can also have a heavy impact on fleet vehicle suspension, springs, and shock absorbers as these behaviors cause these parts of fleet vehicles to deteriorate much faster. To avoid the cost associated with fixing these parts with great regularity, consider addressing hard driving issues with your vehicle operators in short order.

Hard Driving Causes CSA Violations, Lowering Your CSA Score 

Every fleet-based business operation has a compliance, safety, and accountability (CSA) score. This score is determined by how many — or how few — violations, accidents, out-of-service periods, and inspections your field service-based company has had. Each CSA violation will cost your business money, just like any other type of moving violation would. 

The costs of some of these CSA violations can be hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the violation. One way to correct hard driving habits that are causing your fleet-based business is to install dash cams on all of your fleet vehicles. 

Dash cams will prevent bad driving habits like harsh braking, speeding, and distracted driving because drivers know they are under your watchful eye. When we consider that the fleet industry as a whole loses around $60 billion each year due to CSA violations, we begin to understand the value of dash cams, tracking apps, and GPS fleet tracking.

Keep Hard Driving to a Minimum to Keep Your Drivers and Assets Safer

Your drivers’ safety should be equivalent to any other issue you may face as the owner or operator of a fleet-based business. Second to their safety would be the safety of your vehicles and any other assets you have out on the road. These assets may include any equipment, tools, and inventory your drivers have on board in order to do their jobs properly and in a timely manner.
By reducing hard driving practices, you keep your drivers and the assets they carry safer. But helpful technology like dash cams cannot work in a vacuum. Consider Azuga’s field service management software and other solutions along with our GPS fleet tracking system to work alongside our AI-powered dash cams. To learn more about how they all work together, visit www.azuga.com today.

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Multi-Drop Route Planning

A multi-drop route planner is a process that plans a route for a driver to make more than two deliveries in multiple locations. It uses vehicle routing software to collect and analyze thousands of data points and determine the best delivery route. This route planning software can plan, re-route, and reschedule without causing any danger to the driver, environment, or business. It considers many factors, such as the number of distribution centers, warehouses, or residential areas a driver has to visit, resource availability, and driver safety. 

How Does Multi-Drop Route Planning Work? 

The route optimization software tracks the vehicle while factoring in when deliveries need to arrive. Of course, a human being should ensure that everything has been planned out properly, but the process should be automatic. Both this person and the system should look at distances, travel time, and fuel consumption. 

Once a route is set, the route optimization software compiles data to choose the best vehicle and driver depending on the delivery. It uses data based on the route and the client’s needs. At this point, it also considers the driver’s hours and weather conditions to determine how much time is needed. These systems need to work in real-time to ensure that managers and clients can connect with up-to-date information. 

Benefits of Multi-Drop Route Planning

There are various benefits to multi-drop route planning. It maximizes productivity, keeps fuel costs low, promotes driver safety, and helps businesses stay compliant with federal driver hour regulations. Your business will save money by using its drivers effectively and not using as much fuel. 

Where to Get Multi-Drop Route Planning Software

If you’re looking for this software, you don’t need to search any further! Azuga’s route optimization software allows for multiple stops. It provides the best routes based on historical data, traffic conditions, weather conditions, and machine learning that helps it create the best routes for you in real-time. See what you can do with route planning software by trying out a demo today!

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Fleet Dispatching

If you manage a fleet, you probably already understand the delicate dance that is fleet dispatching. If not, you may not realize just how crucial this process is to the success of any fleet-based business. 

What Is Fleet Dispatching?

Simply put, fleet dispatching is the process by which commercial fleet drivers are sent out into the field to make deliveries, service customers, and handle other business-related tasks. But it involves so much more than simply telling drivers, “you go there.” Good fleet dispatching may also involve considerations for traffic conditions, road hazards, driver skill sets, customer preferences, and onboard equipment. When done correctly, it’s a skillful juggling act that helps a business reach its daily goals. When poorly handled, it can be a disaster for all concerned.

What Is a Fleet Dispatcher?

A fleet dispatcher is a person in charge of scheduling and arranging dispatch for a commercial fleet. Small fleets may have a single dispatcher to manage all calls, while larger enterprise fleets may employ an entire team. 

A fleet dispatcher must clearly understand schedules and routes, job proficiencies, fuel management, fleet maintenance, and regulations related to hours of service and other fleet compliance issues. A good fleet dispatcher knows the drivers in the fleet well and can anticipate their scheduling needs and which jobs they are most suited to handle. Fleet dispatchers must be masters of communication and have elite organizational skills.

Fleet Dispatch Software from Azuga

Fleet dispatching is as much an art as a science, and it can be overwhelming at times. The best way to support the fleet dispatchers on your team is to give them tools and technology that make the job easier. Fortunately, Azuga offers the answers to all of your fleet dispatching conundrums

Our GPS Fleet Tracking software can keep track of all the vehicles in your fleet along with large equipment and other assets. Dispatchers can use this information to see which vehicles are nearby when a job pops up. What’s more, we offer top-notch route optimization tools to help guide drivers around road construction, accidents, and other hazards that might prevent them from getting to their destination on time. We can even help you schedule routine maintenance, promote road safety, and automatically deliver dispatch notifications to drivers in the field. 

Learn about all the ways Azuga Fleet can help your commercial fleet stay productive and efficient while simplifying maintenance schedules and creating a culture of safety on the road. Schedule an Azuga demo today!

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Last Mile Delivery

Last mile delivery is the step in delivery when something moves from a transportation hub to its final destination, such as a residence or a retail store. This step must be as quick and efficient as possible to ensure that customers are satisfied, and products move as much as possible. What is last mile delivery, and how can businesses perfect it? 

Steps of Last Mile Delivery

There are five steps to last mile delivery to go through to ensure it is accurate and efficient. 

  1. Enter orders into a centralized system
    You've been tracking the order all along. At this point, the customer is most likely also tracking it through a tracking number. It’s essential that you track the order to know precisely where it is if they have any questions along the way. 
  1. Orders arrive at the transportation hub. 
    Last mile delivery begins at this step. From here, the business must ensure that the order gets to the customer as quickly and efficiently as possible. 
  1. Designate delivery personnel. 
    Designate delivery personnel to deliver the parcel using a last-mile logistics solution. 
  1. Load orders onto delivery vehicles. 
    Scan each item before loading them onto the delivery vehicles. This is an important part of tracking as it updates the sender and the recipient as to the order's status. You don’t want anything to get lost along the way. 
  1. The order reaches the recipient. 
    Once the order reaches the customer, the last mile delivery process is complete. Be sure to update the tracking information to indicate the item has been delivered. 

Last Mile Delivery Challenges

Big-name companies like Amazon and Walmart are replacing last mile delivery with middle mile delivery. With middle mile delivery, the company owns the fulfillment, so the delivery process goes from the port to the fulfillment center. The problem with last mile delivery is that it is expensive: it can account for 53% of a shipment’s total costs. Supply chain inefficiencies are increasing as need grows, and so costs are only going up. It’s vital to optimize last mile delivery if you want to use it for your business. 

How to Optimize Last Mile Delivery

Technology is the answer to optimizing last mile delivery. Route planning software, for example, can minimize delivery costs and cut the time that it takes to deliver. Auto dispatching also helps to cut down on mistakes and time. Finally, gathering data and getting detailed reports can help identify problems in your operations and tell you how to improve upon your weaknesses. Fleet management software like Azuga offers all of these features and more to help optimize your last mile delivery options. 

Conclusion

Last mile delivery is still the standard way smaller businesses do their deliveries, and Azuga makes it possible to keep last mile delivery, even while competing with big retailers. Find out more about Azuga by reading our blog or visiting our website.

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