No matter the fleet, be it all-electric, gas-powered, diesel-powered, government fleet or private fleet, the October Industry Insight tackles it all. Belinda Rueffer, vice president of marketing at GPS Insight, shares tips and solutions for fleets of all kinds concerning the price of fuel, driver safety, sustainability, and industry trends.
MWS: SOME FLEET OWNERS ARE BUILDING AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE (EV) ADOPTION STRATEGY, WHILE OTHERS ARE BUILDING UP THEIR TRIED AND TRUE GAS- AND DIESEL-POWERED FLEETS. BUT REGARDLESS OF FUEL CHOICE, EVERY FLEET IS LOOKING FOR WAYS TO SAVE ON FUEL COSTS. HOW CAN A TELEMATICS COMPANY, SUCH AS GPS INSIGHT, HELP FLEETS OF ALL TYPES DO JUST THAT?
RUEFFER: Recent price hikes are causing fleet companies of all types to hemorrhage cash, unfortunately forcing many to raise their prices and risk losing business from equally fiscal-focused customers. Higher fuel costs are particularly damaging because they hit businesses on both sides of the ledger, raising operational and material costs while leaving consumers with less to spend. A major component in lowering fuel costs is to understand exactly how much fuel your fleet is burning and formulate an action plan. This is made possible through GPS tracking and telematics data provided by GPS Insight.
One specific instance of unnecessary fuel usage is excessive idling time. For example, when one GPS Insight customer established idle time benchmarks, it realized that some of its vehicles were turned on all day, every day without being shut off. Idle time for that particular company in just one month added up to more than 200 gallons of excess fuel. As a solution, GPS Insight tracking notifies managers of excessive idling so they can coach drivers on more fuel efficient practices.
Another example of unnecessary fuel usage is ineffective routing and dispatching. GPS tracking solutions allow fleets to create predefined stop routes that are optimized for highway, speed, and distance preferences, ensuring that drivers aren’t taking the long way to their destinations and burning excess fuel. Better and more accurate scheduling and route optimization solutions provided by GPS Insight allow managers to increase efficiency and significantly reduce fuel costs across their entire fleet, increasing profits.
MWS: ASIDE FROM SAVING MONEY AT THE PUMP (OR THE CHARGING STATION), THERE IS AN INCREASE IN THE NEED FOR SAFETY TECHNOLOGY. WHAT TOOLS HELP INCREASE SAFETY?
RUEFFER: One of the most effective tools in improving fleet safety is the smart dash camera, as they track and analyze important safety data such as distracted driving, cell phone use, and speeding, alerting drivers and fleet managers on behaviors to correct. The GPS Insight dash cam solution, Driveri, protects drivers by:
- Providing a clear snapshot of where drivers stand in comparison to the fleet safety average and goals
- Allowing drivers to correct behaviors based on real-time, in-cab coaching
- Providing drivers with direct video evidence in the event of accident disputes
- Opening the door to negotiate for reduced insurance premiums
Dash cams, like Driveri, that track and quantify unsafe driving and coach drivers are key components of any safety program. This is especially important as commercial fleets are driving more and their mileage on the road is increasing.
MWS: WHY ARE SOME FLEETS HESITANT TO ADOPT DASH CAMERAS?
RUEFFER: Dash cam technology is relatively new to drivers, and there are many misunderstandings as some drivers fear the data provided will be used in a punitive fashion, penalizing them for any and all violations. However, this is not the case with Driveri. In addition to tracking bad behaviors, this solution also identifies good habits and allows driver rewards crediting them for safe driving actions. When adopting dash cams, it is important for drivers to keep in mind that video is not the point; managers aren’t going to spend a lot of time looking at video footage. Instead, these solutions aggregate data into charts showing safety scores at the total fleet and individual driver levels, providing insights into what behaviors are the most common and which ones need to be addressed at each level. Another key benefit of dash cams is providing drivers with direct evidence to exonerate them when they are not at fault for an accident. The footage from the camera can provide critical context for why the event took place, protecting both the driver and the fleet.
For More Information
Belinda Rueffer is vice president of marketing at GPS Insight. With nearly a decade of experience in the transportation and fleet industries, Rueffer is an advocate for driver and vehicle safety initiatives and the technologies that fuel them. Based in Dallas, Texas, Rueffer has an MBA in marketing and is honored to be recognized as a leader in transportation and supply chain by Moxy: The Voice of Women in Infrastructure. Find out more, visit www.gpsinsight.com.