Incidents occur on the road, no matter how diligent your policies, staff and business is. But with an increase in truck fatalities by 86 per cent in NSW for 2017, these incidents are becoming far too common so ensuring the welfare of your drivers is vital. By using technology to get connected, you can keep eyes on the road while never leaving the office, reassuring you, your staff, your customers, enforcement and the public that the business operates safely.
Know What’s Happening
With long working hours, busy schedules and the pressure to keep pushing on, fatigue becomes prevalent amongst truck drivers. It’s a factor in around 12.8 per cent of road accidents, the highest percentage since 2007. The fear of not meeting a deadline or not finding a suitable rest stop for their vehicle combination are seen as leading factors. In-cabin devices with an electronic work diary (EWD) alerts drivers when they are due for a break, well ahead of time. It’s a less invasive and simpler way for drivers to keep track of their journey without compromising safety. Rest and work times are viewed by management in real-time, removing the guesswork of whether a driver is taking the appropriate amount of rest. Data from past trips and rest stops can also be used for scheduling so drivers aren’t overworked or pressured. This solution provides an easy form of communication between back-office staff and drivers should something happen on route. This means fleet manager and admin staff know a driver’s whereabouts and condition when it matters most.
Keep Up To Code
A driver is only as safe as the vehicle, even the most skilled operator won’t be protected if their machine breaks down unexpectedly. The average fleet is 10.1 years old, with some heavy rigid vehicles reaching 17.5 years. An older vehicle can be harder to handle and more likely to be in an incident, and a lack of regular maintenance only compounds the problem. Yet keeping track of maintenance schedules can mean trawling through stacks of paperwork to constantly check and reassess previous schedules. Without regular inspections drivers won’t know if what they’re climbing into is up to scratch and only find out about at issue at the worst possible time – out on the road. Automatic alerts let drivers and back office know when a truck is due for a service and digital check-lists are an easier way for drivers to submit faults and for staff to look up information, such as previous vehicle condition. These alerts can also let drivers know if they speed or brake harshly, reducing the risk of damaging the truck’s internals.
Technology continues to bring people closer together, and transport should be no exception. Using telematics gives your business a head start. Not only does it make vehicles easier to manage but it ensures your most important asset, your drivers, are safe and sound.