Those of you who manage drivers in big companies likely know about telematics, even if you haven't yet invested heavily in this technology. Telematics are devices placed in fleet trucks that help track driver behavior and general workflow.
Many of these devices involve mobile technology like wireless cameras or GPS systems. They help track exactly how your drivers perform as a variation on incentive programs.
They also work on other levels, namely in tracking how efficiently your trucks perform. Most notably, telematics have begun to go beyond routing and into bringing more fuel savings. Learn more about telematics and fuel savings:
Using Mobile Apps to Track Fuel Costs
One of the most popular telematics systems is the use of app trackers. All your drivers need is a mobile device and you can track what they're doing in their everyday driving. Some popular apps you might already know about include Fleetmatics and Contigo GPS Fleet Tracker.
These help considerably on finding out what routes your driver takes so you can figure out how much they're paying in fuel.
You may end up discovering some surprises on how much they're really paying in fuel each month, including wasted miles. Knowing where your wasted miles are gives you better strategy in finding ways for drivers to drive less or take shorter routes.
Detailed metrics like this work better than fuel cards, a process you've likely used to track fuel usage.
Monitoring the Health of Your Vehicles
The more you can monitor the health of your fleet vehicles, the more fuel efficient they become. Monitoring devices placed in all your trucks scope out potential problems early so you can fix them now. Often, many technical problems in fleet vehicles aren't immediately noticeable until something breaks down suddenly.
Fixing inefficient vehicles means saving multiple hundreds in fuel costs over time. Real-time metrics can help find these problems out sooner, leading to more green initiatives as well. Maintaining your vehicles in a way that helps them burn less fuel ultimately brings more environmental responsibility.
Monitoring How Fast Your Vehicles Travel
The speed your fleet vehicles travel at only adds more to fuel costs. Telematics help monitor exactly what speeds your drivers regularly drive at, and their idle time. It's a process even UPS put into place with their fleet of trucks.
Their telematic devices regularly track idle time, as well as route efficiency. This is something UPS has already been using for over two decades, making them a leader in snowballing the technology.
Now you know how they've continued to maintain their fleets so well and stay financially strong.
As for better managing speed, sometimes scoping out alternate routes means drivers avoiding going faster to save on fuel.
How Driver Behavior Factors into Fuel Costs
Since the main purpose of telematics is to measure driver behavior to maintain a safe driving record, what behaviors can you find to bring more fuel efficiency? Are the drivers stopping at various places along their routes unnecessarily? Maybe they're driving too often above the posted speed limits.
While you'll need consent from the drivers to use telematics in your vehicles, they'll work as trackers of driver habits. Slight tweaks to what they do can make a world of difference in how efficient they are with fueling their trucks.
Knowing these behaviors also prevents them from ever lying on their time sheets. It brings a different perspective to the world of fleet management from the days when drivers could often get away with things managers never knew.
Most fleet drivers want to do the right thing, though. When they use telematics, they'll appreciate knowing they're bringing more fuel efficiency as a domino effect in bringing more rewards for them.
Contact us at Wilmar, Inc. so we can help set up telematics in your fleet vehicles as just one step in better fleet management.