Telematics offer a whole range of benefits to businesses, and these are generally well-documented. To provide a couple of examples, they allow for more precise route planning which improves fuel efficiency as well as enhancing customer service and reliability.
They also provide detailed insights into the way drivers conduct themselves behind the wheel, enabling fleet managers to devise individually-tailored training programmes aimed at eliminating negative behaviours such as tailgating, aggressive acceleration, rough cornering and other potentially dangerous manoeuvres.
It’s also important to note that the benefits of fleet tracking systems extend to drivers themselves, too. The data made available can make drivers' working lives much simpler and less stressful which, at a time when the UK haulage industry is facing a major driver shortage, is something fleet operators need to bear in mind. It should also be noted that drivers who are under stress are much more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident.
So what can telematics systems do to enhance driver wellbeing and reduce stress?
Simplifying route planning
Enhanced route planning is one of the most important factors which have encouraged many operators to adopt fleet telematics systems in recent years. With the new data, available at their fingertips, fleet managers can map out the most direct route from depot to destination, thereby working out how to make the most efficient use of their assets. This helps to reduce both distance covered and travel times, while also saving money from by reducing fuel usage.
What is sometimes overlooked, however, is that this capability is also of great assistance to drivers. Instead of pulling over into lay-bys and fumbling around with maps, telematics systems ensure the route ahead of them is clearly laid out and it can even be adapted in real time so that the route chosen can be amended in the event of an accident up ahead, road closures or congestion so that the driver can reach their destination is efficiently as possible.
Improved maintenance – and lower breakdown risk
Fleet telematics can also be used to reduce the risk of vehicle breakdowns, which add to drivers' stress as well as making it harder to get people and deliveries where they need to go, when they need to be there.
Telematics systems make it easier to implement preventative maintenance schedules, based on engine run time and odometer readings. The latter can be used for the purposes of automated service scheduling, so that vehicles are serviced regularly without any oversights.
Telematics technology can also provide fleet managers with instant alerts of upcoming maintenance needs and overdue tasks. If any particular maintenance tasks are overdue, a reminder will be issued. This again helps to ensure that the likelihood of a mechanical fault developing is reduced, which should give drivers more peace of mind and therefore less to be stressed about.
It is true that some drivers might initially feel a bit dubious about having their driving monitored via telematics systems. However, this is in their interest as well. This isn't just because risky behaviours such as those already mentioned can be detected and then dealt with more effectively. It's also because dealing with this type of conduct results in less damage being done to vehicles, which again lessens the risk of a breakdown.
Altogether, then, we can see the various ways in which telematics is being used to lighten the load on drivers and may go some way to improving job satisfaction and morale.