How Risk Reduction is Transforming Fleet Management – Contractor Magazine | Region & Cash

By Sam Bowman

When it comes to fleet management, management teams face several challenges to ensure a productive workforce. However, if one thing stands above all else, it is safety. Risk mitigation processes should be an integral part of fleet managers’ portfolios and implemented from the start to ensure adequate security across the fleet.

Unfortunately for many fleet managers there are too many safety areas to cover, from distracted driving to improper training, and it can be difficult to know where to start. This article discusses new technology options that can be implemented to support risk management strategies in fleets and maximize driver safety.

Internal and external vehicle monitoring

Internal vehicle monitoring is essential to ensure safe driving and vehicle performance. Since most companies have strict compliance requirements, they may consider installing a surveillance system in their vehicles. Internal monitoring systems include vehicle telematics, in-vehicle GPS, and engine and transmission control units (TCU). These systems provide vehicle information such as fuel consumption, engine performance and driver behavior.

Monitoring driving performance through in-cab and off-vehicle cameras can help fleet managers enforce compliance and reduce risk. Fleet managers can monitor and track multiple areas with cameras, including speed, distance, lane changes, hard braking and acceleration.

External vehicle surveillance devices include dash cams and side cameras installed on the passenger doors or outer windshield to visually record an accident. External vehicle cameras allow drivers to focus on their driving instead of taking time to take notes on what is happening during an accident or in the event of a traffic stop. External cameras can also protect drivers from false accusations in vehicle accidents or other driving events.

Driver training and compliance with safety regulations

Quality training programs are essential to ensure drivers are ready to operate a fleet safely. To ensure compliance, management teams can work with a ride-hailing provider that offers training programs focused on the right educational content, the right environment, and the right people. In addition, drivers should be properly trained regarding vehicle operation, safety regulations, and guidelines. In addition, drivers should be assessed regularly to ensure the fleet is operating safely.

Risk mitigation can be done before drivers even hit the road. This can be done at fleet facilities by posting appropriate safety signage. Single driver trucks should have a designated rest area where drivers can take their breaks and required rest periods. Local and state laws should also be considered in this area as they may apply in certain circumstances.

Drivers should be adequately trained in vehicle operation, safety regulations and policies. In addition, drivers should be assessed regularly to ensure the fleet is operating safely.

RFID technology

RFID systems are able to store and transmit data over short and long distances. They are considered technology because the data is encrypted by an electromagnetic field and read out with a transceiver. RFID tags are single-use, programmable electronic devices that manufacturers and retailers use to track inventory. RFID tags are embedded in electronic memory that contains information such as item name, item identification number, and location in a store.

Like internal vehicle monitoring systems, RFID tags can track vehicle movement. You can also record driver behavior, monitor fuel efficiency, adhere to maintenance schedules, improve driver engagement and retention, and reduce instances of employee theft.

Road sensors and cameras

Most states use cameras and other technology to monitor lane speeds and traffic flow. If they determine that traffic flow is not optimal, they open the shoulders, allowing drivers to veer off the road toward an upcoming exit. This provides a calculated response to adjust traffic flow based on road conditions, time of day, weather and events. This technology has now been deployed across all fleets to better manage driver performance and respond more effectively to business needs.

By using these driver monitoring systems, fleet managers can identify specific drivers that are causing their fleet performance to deteriorate. This technology can also identify factors such as unsafe driving, lateness/absence/attendance issues, or equipment damage. Because performance issues negatively impact driver satisfaction and reduce retention rates, fleet managers need instant access to driver monitoring information to resolve an employee issue. These systems have evolved well beyond simple vehicle monitoring systems when coupled with geofencing and GPS-enabled mobile interfaces for call status updates, sentiment analysis (driver satisfaction), and mileage tracking tools.

Fleet Management Platforms

A challenge for many fleet managers is providing drivers with consistent feedback on their performance and helping them meet their goals. The development of mobile applications has made it possible to use driver performance data to monitor drivers and provide them with the information they need to improve performance. This can be done by providing an hourly GPS report, an analysis of routes followed by alerts on potentially dangerous roads, and an overall score of location-based activities (e.g. speeding or idling).

Fleet management platforms have emerged as a way for fleet managers to get a comprehensive view of driver behavior. These platforms allow fleet managers to view GPS information, location-based warnings/alerts, idle/over-limit reports, fuel economy reports, ratings from colleagues and other company drivers, vehicle diagnostics, and equipment usage logs. These platforms can be integrated with existing enterprise software systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) to rely on the data collected by these systems and to support risk management activities.

Conclusion

Managing risk across a fleet can be a challenging task, but the benefits of implementing a formal, measurable process are significant. As newer technologies change the driving experience, risk management must adapt accordingly. By applying a systematic top-down approach to risk management, in-depth processes focused on monitoring and assessing all core elements of fleet operations can help fleets be proactive rather than reactive, thereby maintaining financial stability and staying ahead of the game can industry trends.

Sam Bowman writes about people, technology, workers and how they merge. He enjoys using the internet for the community without having to leave his home. In his free time, he enjoys running, reading, and combining both into one run to his local bookstore.

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