When compared to the resources sector, the transport industry has been relatively slow in adopting telematics and other GPS fleet management technology to improve performance. This needs to change, and it is expected to do so over the next few years.
According to a Berg Insight report, the European fleet tracking market is predicted to see an annual growth rate of 18%. What's more, the Arval's Corporate Vehicle Observatory report suggests the UK will see the strongest fleet growth compared to the rest of Europe. This forecasted growth in demand is a result of four key drivers:
Growing concern for driver safety – This concern relates closely with regulation because of the Road Safety Act 2006. It was made clear that business vehicles are a place of work and introduced a chain of responsibility for anybody involved in the operation of a fleet.
Companies, executives and fleet managers have a duty of care towards employees and are obliged to identify and eliminate any risks they may face. Failure to do so can result in heavy fines or even prosecution of corporate manslaughter. The courts are aware of fleet management software and will consider whether it was reasonable to expect a business to have made an investment to effectively avoid such incidents.
Efficient, reliable fleet movement – Over the next couple of years, this will be the most pressing concern for fleet operators. In larger, more diversified workforces they have staff dedicated to monitoring performance and driving improvement.
If you have a large number of vehicles driving the same routes, it's easier to compare driver performance. Comparing driver performance can change behaviour over time and improve your fleet's efficiency. Industry consolidation will allow for fleet growth, while increasing the demand for technology and driving continuous operational improvement.
Fuel efficiency and vehicle maintenance – How drivers treat vehicles is also a growing concern. A GPS tracking device can build an accurate representation of driver performance through tracking engine data. This monitors revolutions per minute, braking distances and throttle position.
Your drivers have the biggest impact on vehicle performance, so they also offer the biggest opportunity to improve your efficiency. Just remember, telematics is not a magic wand that will reduce your fuel costs by simply pressing the on button. It is the data you 're presented with that will give you the knowledge to help you and your drivers improve your operations.
Government regulation – In April 2015, the Government announced a new increased speed limit for HGVs. The speed limit for single carriageways and country roads in England and Wales has gone from 40mph to 50mph. Heavy goods vehicles weighing more than 7.5 tonnes have been subject to an increase from 50mph to 60mph.
This increase was introduced in an effort to stop dangerous overtaking and cut congestion. Fleet management technology helps fleet managers ensure drivers are adhering to the new speed limits. You can identify if drivers are going too slow or too fast when on single or dual carriageways and address these concerns to comply under new Government enforcements.
It can be challenging to change old habits and get people to adopt new technology, but it really is a small investment, especially when you consider how much you're spending on tyres every year. A number of our customers operating larger fleets have generated a return on investment just four or five months into their three-year term.
From our experience, those embracing GPS fleet management technology are industry leaders who constantly search for the next big thing. They're always striving for ways they can make better business decisions. Fleet management technology has come a long way over the last decade, and it's no longer about finding that position on a map, but there's still a long way to go. It's about time the transport industry takes a step forward and invests in the future.