It may not automatically spring to mind, but any big name brand you can think of (and all of those you can’t) – from the NHS to Iceland – relies on a fleet. Whether it’s to transport supplies, materials or deliver groceries, that’s a lot of vans, a lot of drivers and a lot of potential problems.
Of course it goes without saying, therefore, that as a manager, ensuring fleet safety should be of the upmost importance. And vitally, the buck lies with you. It may sound like a mammoth task, but it’s definitely worth being prepared. Luckily for you, we’ve laid out some top tips to help you on the road to success!
• Policy please. This must be incorporated as part of any organisation’s approach to staff wellbeing, safety and security and should include a clear statement of your expectations in relation to fleet safety. It should be comprehensive, up-to-date and fully integrated in the company culture.
• Risk assessments. As well as having the theory covered, you must also keep testing the practical elements of fleet safety, including driver wellbeing, vehicle care and journey management. Vitally, you must also be both willing and prepare to act on your findings – even if it means updating your policies and provisions. Remember, change can be good.
• Record. Ensure that any incident involving any vehicle driven on behalf of your organisation is logged and the data analysed regularly to prevent recurrences. Accidents will inevitably happen; make sure you learn from them.
• Committee. It may not be a bad idea to set up a safety committee, made up of staff throughout your organisation, so they can tell you directly what is and is not working.
If you are seen to be directly championing and working towards fleet safety, it will become an important priority throughout the company. As Ian Kemp, Commercial Motor Underwriting Director at insurance company, RSA, says: “Risk management can be approached on one of two ways – either as a tick box exercise, where the minimal amount is done or the second way where there is meaningful commitment and involvement from the ‘top’, senior personnel involved with Fleet Risk Management, qualified staff and appropriate ratio of managers to drivers. Even something as straightforward as an up to date policy or handbook can make a difference. It goes without saying that the second way delivers meaningful improvements and clear safety benefits.”
• Be prepared. According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), 70% of people say their bosses do not offer or require medical check-ups – not even a basic eye test, while 75% say they have never been offered any sort of driver risk assessment or training. With 1,000 people killed each year while driving for work (a whopping third of road crashes), this is clearly not an acceptable reality. “Too many employers think their responsibility for employees when they’re at work, ends at the front door or the factory gate”, says IAM Chief Executive, Christopher Bullock. “Quite apart from being irresponsible, it is bad for their business.” Make sure each driver receives a handbook outlining the company’s policies and procedures regarding fleet safety and are sufficiently inducted and assessed before being hired to establish that they are properly licensed, suitably trained and medically fit to drive. Reinforcing and updating the training each year is not a bad idea, either.
• Check-up. Just because they’ve passed your test to hit the road, doesn’t mean you should breathe a sigh of relief and just forget about them. In the same way that you would service your vehicles, you should also keep track of and deliver feedback on driver behaviour – nothing that some trusty telematics can’t assist with! You can even, on occasion, send someone along for the journey to assess in real-time, too. You’ll be amazed at how much more responsible your drivers will act when they know they’re being watched!
• Incentivise. It goes without saying that negative behaviour will be punished, but on the flipside, don’t be afraid to reward those who respect the rules of the road, either. Setting up an incentives programme will not only encourage your drivers to act safely and responsibly, it may also infuse a little bit of fun into their working day, too!
• Identify. Make sure you are aware of every person that drives on behalf of your company – even if they are using their own car. However, according to a study conducted by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) and the British Vehicle Leasing and Rental Association (BVLRA), 40% of all vehicles on the road are part of a ‘grey fleet’ (personal cars) – at a cost of £5.5bn. Comprising 14 million cars, the average ‘grey fleet’ car is older, less environmentally-friendly and more dangerous than its company-car counterpart, so perhaps it’s time to challenge this “invisible” fleet often overlooked by Britain’s bosses, according to BVRLA Chief Executive, Garry Keaney. “This blind spot is wasting taxpayer money, costing businesses millions of pounds, damaging our environment and making our roads more dangerous.”
• Suitable. All vehicles driven on behalf of the organisation should be suitable for their intended purpose and fitted with appropriate safety features.
• Checked. All vehicles should be regularly inspected and maintained under the manufacturer’s recommendations and in accordance with specific licensing or operational requirements. This will help reduce breakdowns and can limit the occurrence of accidents due to faulty equipment. According to Lyndsey Daykin, Head of Marketing at removals firm, Pickfords, ‘you should ensure that every driver performs the necessary vehicle checks before each shift and proactive management staff focus on making the defect reporting process robust.’
• Tyres. According to insurance company, NFU Mutual, tyre safety is still an overlooked area of fleet management – even though the number of motorists killed or seriously injured due to illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres is now at 224 – up from an annual average of 198. As a result, they suggest implementing a simple tyre check to cover air pressure, tread depth and condition. “Although the responsibility for checking tyre treads, lights, wipers and so on lies with the driver, organisations have a legal responsibility to manage health and safety effectively,” says NFU Mutual’s Motor Underwriting Manager, Gordon Wright. “Ensuring your company is meeting legal and regulatory requirements can be a daunting process, but it’s essential to protect your business from potential prosecution should an accident occur.”
• Is it necessary? Don’t send your drivers on an unnecessarily long-winded journey; a route planner can ensure they are taking the most effective path – thus reducing the chance of fatigue on the road and the likelihood of accidents.
• Be realistic. It’s important that journeys are scheduled to a realistic timetable so that drivers don’t feel under pressure and that adequate rest periods are included.
• Dashboard cam. Bobbi Brant, Marketing Executive of Expert Market – a B2B marketplace that compares various products, including fleet management software, advises on installing one of these to record “short bursts of time around events, such as collisions. This could improve future safety as it may flag up particular areas, junctions or behaviours that are likely to cause a collision. Also, simply the knowledge that there is a camera on board could deter drivers from driving or behaving erratically.”
• Cellcontrol. This nifty app, which works in conjunction with a little black box placed on the dashboard, allows fleet managers to control their drivers’ usage of phones while driving – a must-have tool in the fight against distracted driving.
Ready … set … go!
We are delighted to announce that Roadsense Technology Limited was acquired by Trakm8 Holdings PLC on 1st August 2016.
Since its incorporation, just three and a half years ago, Roadsense has grown into an established supplier of fleet telematics and safety products to customers across the UK, providing solutions to fleets with just one vehicle to those with over 1,500.
Trakm8 Holdings PLC, an AIM-listed company, is one of the largest and fastest growing telematics manufacturers and system providers in the UK with over 150,000 subscribers. It recently announced a record trading year with £3m profit on revenues of just over £25m and supplies systems to some of the country’s largest fleets including the AA, Saint-Gobain and Yodel and to leading insurance companies around the world including Direct Line and Allianz.
Trakm8 recognised the extensive experience of the Roadsense team in the SME sector and has acquired the business and its personnel in order to consolidate and grow its share of the SME market.
The acquisition will allow Roadsense to provide an even wider range of telematic and camera systems to our customers and more importantly, it will provide financial stability and the support of a large talented team to ensure that we can continue to provide quality products and outstanding customer service to all of our current and future customers.
Today’s generation may never fully understand the concept of getting lost as anyone who owns a Smartphone enjoys the luxury of having free, in-built Sat Nav apps, such as Google Maps, Apple Maps and Waze. Yet what we all take for granted as the entitlement of today was actually borne out of a very real necessity.
Introduced by the U.S Department of Defense during the Cold War, GPS technologies – designed for navigation and positioning – revolutionised both military and technology applications by using the satellite network in cohesion with ground communication. By 1968, ‘Machine to Machine’, or M2M, was conceptualised by Greek inventor and scientist, Theodore G. Paraskevakos, while he was working on Caller ID technology, yet it was not until 1978 that ‘Telematics’, as a term, was coined, by a technology development report to the French prime minister.
It was all systems go from here. Picking up where GPS left off with the ability to analyse and use information, as well as communicate with parties outside of the vehicle, and with the aim of enhancing road safety and reducing negative environmental effects, major European Economic Countries (EEC) research programs were launched to experiment the use of vehicle telematics in 1988. By 1993, GPS technologies finally reached the consumer market as a European treaty was signed to enable more research and development into telematics to fulfil a vision of a more efficient and safer Europe and by the mid-2000s, the consumer market was flooded with vehicle navigation systems while advancements in cloud and M2M technologies enabled super-fast and precise tracking of other data, such as customer delivery information and driver behaviour. Fast-forward to where we are today, where there exists an unprecedented innovation in M2M and Internet of Things (IoT).
It may be no wonder, therefore, that telematics has also become so important to insurance providers, and increasing numbers of people are switching over to black box insurance, which calculates premiums based on driver behaviour, such as propensity to speeding and miles driven. No longer must insurance be based on factors such as gender, postcode and vehicle as research by price comparison site uSwitch has found that over 56% of us are considering a black box policy and a 66% increase in the sale of telematics policies since 2015 when car insurance premiums rose on average by 20% – fuelled, in part, by the government’s tax increase. A far cry from the mid-1990s when a couple of insurers carried out small-scale pilots which gave drivers the chance to prove they were low risk!
An indispensable tool, telematics has come a long way from its grandiose military inception in saving lives to its growing capabilities on a large-scale civilian reach, helping save fuel, deliver faster and more accurate vehicle services and increase revenue streams. Yet it still has more of its journey to complete. New features are being added all the time as drivers are increasingly realising the benefits it offers and we will soon be witnessing increased personalisation, greater interactivity, enhanced connectivity between in-car users and greater openness. In real terms, this means commercial fleets will benefit from better, faster and more relevant data, together with video information from their vehicles, providing even greater operational awareness leading to more cost-effective operation.
However you choose to use it, it is clear that telematics is the key to success in today’s ever-connected era.
No vehicle tracking required at our offices today!
Well done to our amazing Roadsense cycle team, raising money in the 170-mile pedal marathon for Children in Need. We tracked them all the way of course, but only by standing and watching them as they peddled their static spin bikes!
Great work ladies and next year the Tour De Yorkshire?!!
….or – Everything you need to know if you are thinking about fleet cameras.
Benefits and ROI
So far we have looked at the cameras and their features and functions so now let’s look at how you get your money back. No, I don’t mean when they don’t work – I mean how will they provide you with cost savings that outweigh the outlay.
Before we move onto cost savings, we should briefly cover the purchase costs. In theory, it doesn’t matter if a system costs a million pounds if it saves you a million and one (providing you have a million in the budget to start with), but you do, of course, need to be aware of what the system outlay is going to be.
Roadsense was named Runner-Up in at the prestigious GreenFleet awards which were presented at the annual GreenFleet dinner at Edgebaston last night.
We were nominated for the award in the I.T. Innovation category for our work with Iceland Foods where we worked closely with their team to provide significant cost savings across their 1,500 vehicle home-delivery fleet where we proved:
- A reduction of fuel costs of over 10%
- Iceland vehicles travel 25 million miles per year.
- Fewer accidents
- 40% fewer incidents overall.
- Decreased accident costs
- The average cost of each accident reduced by 20%.
- Reduced vehicle maintenance costs
- Tyre and servicing costs significantly reduced.
- Improved customer service
- Enhanced service and improved delivery time accuracy.
Thank you to everyone in the Roadsense and Iceland teams who worked so hard to make this project a success!!
Roadsense today launches Roadsense Live Plus – the first combined 3G camera and telematics in a single cost-effective unit.
This game-changing, this cost-effective system allows fleet operators to use our tracking and driver behaviour solution, with the ability to see three levels of video information fully-integrated into Roadsense.
Video footage of high-risk event, such as accidents and dangerous manoeuvres , are transmitted to the Roadsense platform in real-time, providing almost instantaneous access to dangerous high-risk events. Notifications are also sent by SMS or email in real-time.
To minimise transmission costs, medium risk events can be stored onboard the vehicle and retrieved on demand or they may also be sent back in real-time. A continuous record of all vehicle usage is stored onboard the unit together with lower risk events, which can also be retrieved remotely.
Roadwatch Live Plus eliminates the limitations of SD-card based camera systems, ensuring high reliability, together with full telematics at a fraction of the cost of buying individual camera and tracking units.
As you would expect, the modular Roadsense telematics platform is fully-compatible with Roadwatch Live Plus. All the features of our standard system are available including our unique driver safety module with driver league tables based on our algorithms we have developed over ten years. Drilldown from the safety report is standard, providing details of individual events that contribute to overall scoring, together with one-click access to the video footage from the Roadwatch camera.
Operators who require a second internal or external real-time view from the vehicle can plug in a second camera unit.
Andrew Tillman, Managing Director of Roadsense said, “We are focused on driving innovation in telematics and this really is a game changer for the industry. We believe that we were the first telematics company to fully-integrate a real-time 3G camera system and now, as other providers are starting to realise the benefits, we have just raised the bar again.” He continued, “Currently, fleet operators wanting both telematics and a camera system have to buy two separate hardware devices -a tracking unit and a camera – which is an expensive solution. Now we are able to provide the answer in one high-quality, cost-effective unit, so operators will be able to have everything they need, fully integrated, from a single supplier.”
Roadsense are delighted to have made the shortlist for the 2015 Greenfleet Award to be presented on 22nd October 2015 at the annual award dinner which is at Edgebaston Stadium.
We have been nominated in the category of ‘I.T. Innovation’ in recognition of our work with Iceland’s 1,500 strong home delivery fleet, where we were able to prove accident reductions of of 40%, a 20% reduction of accident costs and fuel savings of over 10% on the 25 million miles they drive each year.
Good luck to all the nominees in every category – we are looking forward to a great evening!
Iceland is accelerating its telematics rollout to an additional 750 home delivery vehicles, implementing the rollout to its entire fleet of over 1,500 vehicles two years ahead of schedule.
The decision was made following an extensive return on investment evaluation over a six-month period that proved:
- Fuel cost reduction of over 10%
- Iceland vehicles cover 25 million miles per year.
- Reduced accident numbers
- 40% fewer vehicle incidents.
- Accident costs dramatically recduced
- The average cost of each accident was reduced by 20%.
- Vehicle maintenance costs reduced
- Servicing costs and tyre wear significantly reduced.
- Customer service improvements
- o Improved delivery time accuracy and enhanced service.
Alex McKinlay, Commercial Fleet Manager of Iceland, said: “The Roadsense system has proven itself to be an invaluable operational tool to control the cost of our fleet.
The driver behaviour module automatically sends out a report each day to each store so the individual store managers can see how their drivers are performing against our company guidelines.
The report allows us to monitor individual driving styles and retrain drivers whose scores are in the red.
We found that drivers with red scores proved to have a 40% increased risk of having an accident compared to other drivers and the cost of their accidents was 21% higher on average, which was a startling revelation.
A year ago, when we first used the system, we had a significant number of red score drivers. By explaining to them the benefits of driving responsibly and the impact it has not only on their own safety but that of their local communities and the environment, they have embraced the system and this month, for the first time, we have achieved green scores throughout the fleet.
As a result, we have seen 40% fewer accidents and those that unfortunately still occur have cost significantly less to the business and are far less likely to result in injury. Our maintenance costs have also reduced and we are now using fewer tyres and spares and the overall 10% saving in fuel is a very significant cost saving in a fleet this size.
An unexpected outcome is the benefit to our customers. We have seen an improvement in customer service as vehicles are now leaving the stores earlier and arriving on time so complaints from customers are very low indeed meaning they are more likely to shop with us again and recommend us to their friends and family.
Roadsense have worked extremely closely with us to validate the technology, embed it within our organisation and help us to deliver the savings that we expected. The results we have achieved have been better than we ever expected and made it obvious that it was cost-effective to roll out to another 750 vehicles two years earlier than originally planned.”
Andrew Tillman, Managing Director of Roadsense, said: “In my 20 years in the industry, this is probably one of the most thorough implementations of telematics technology that I have ever seen and it has certainly been a great test of the Roadsense system.
Like many companies who adopt telematics, Iceland’s Directors needed to validate the expected return on investment but, unlike most, they formulated a plan, executed it, then measured and quantified the results. This provided empirical evidence of not only the substantial cost savings to the business but also of the improved customer experience and it clearly demonstrates Iceland’s commitment as a responsible fleet operator which takes its corporate social responsibilities very seriously. Iceland is a great advertisement of how, when telematics is implemented in the correct way and in partnership with the supplier, it can be used to achieve substantial cost savings and ensure sustainable change within an organisation.”
For more information contact Andrew Tillman on 07802 314966
Iceland Foods Limited
Deeside Industrial Park
….or – Everything you need to know if you are thinking about equipping your fleet with cameras.
Functionality and jargon. What does it all mean?
As usual, technology products create technical jargon. It’s a fact of life.
Megabytes, Megapixels, FPS’s, decibels and flux capacitors all play a part (apart from flux capacitors but you spotted that, I hope?)
Specifications and Features
Most cameras that you will see will flaunt specifications and features galore to try and tempt you. However, unless you enjoy reading the ‘tech specs’, ignore them and make yourself familiar with the following and that should be all you need to consider. Read more »
How to ensure fleet safety
It may not automatically spring to mind, but any big…
Roadsense joins Trakm8 Holdings PLC
We are delighted to announce that Roadsense Technology Limited was…
The evolution of vehicle tracking technology
Today’s generation may never fully understand the concept of getting…
Vehicle tracking not required! – Cycling for Children in Need
No vehicle tracking required at our offices today! Well done…
Part Five – The fleet operators guide to dashcams and accident cameras.
….or – Everything you need to know if you are…
Get In Touch
HQ & Registered address: Roadsense Technology Limited, 4 Roman Park, Roman Way, Coleshill, Birmingham, West Midlands, B46 1HG
0161 864 6464