IT solutions have supported the freight forwarding and transport industry for a long time. Telematics systems provide essential data and insights, enabling fleet operators and managers (in combination with fleet management solutions) to improve workflows and processes and get the most out of their resources.
From the outside, however, there can be confusion as to what telematics can and cannot do for the fleet. In this article, we explain how telematics works and what advantages it offers.
What is telematics? Technically, the term telematics combines two disciplines: computer science and telecommunications. It refers to long-distance transmission, reading data over large distances, for example, to the driver card. It is used in many industries to improve efficiency, communication, and customer service.
In the transportation industry, truck telematics is used to collect data using a mix of sensors, GPS technology, and onboard diagnostic codes. The data collected typically includes driver behavior, vehicle location, vehicle activity, fuel consumption, and much more. This data is then managed on a software platform to allow managers to monitor company resources remotely.
A fleet telematics system typically consists of a GPS tracking device and a fleet management software solution. The GPS tracking device is usually installed on board the vehicle. The collected and transmitted data then provides insights into a fleet performance that fleet operators and managers can use to improve driver performance and safety, minimize waste, simplify compliance, and more.
The Benefits Of Telematics For Trucks
An advanced telematics system enables fleets to simplify driver management, asset management, and operations to increase profitability. Below are the key benefits of telematics for trucks:
Minimize Fuel Waste And Reduce Operating Costs
By tracking drivers in real-time, fleet managers can quickly spot idle times and identify drivers who tend to be idling more than they should. Modern systems also provide vehicle utilization data for each driver, allowing fleets to rank drivers based on their utilization. Monitoring idle and educating drivers can help reduce fuel waste. After all, fuel is one of the most significant expenses of any fleet, especially given current truck diesel prices. Minimizing idling lowers fuel costs, which in turn helps reduce operating costs.
At the same time, the added visibility that real-time tracking provides can help reduce operational costs even further. And how? By lowering the cost of failed deliveries and reverse logistics. Simply put, seeing the last few miles at a glance allows you to spot potential delivery exceptions and respond proactively. If you notice that a truck isn’t where it’s supposed to be and therefore won’t make it to its next stop on time, you can call the customer and arrange a new delivery window later in the day. This way, you ensure that the customer feels well looked after and that the driver does not have to take the order back to the warehouse at the end of the day.
Improving Fleet Safety
Safety is one of the top priorities of every fleet operator and manager. After all, even minor collisions or traffic accidents can result in serious six-figure problems – and the consequences of a severe incident far exceed that.
Fortunately, modern telematics systems and fleet management solutions can help fleets improve driver behavior on the road and thus increase road safety. For example, telematics systems provide fleet operators and managers with data on driver safety scores and enable them to identify drivers needing coaching. The data collected by the system helps managers adjust training and coaching plans for each driver as required. This can improve overall fleet safety.
Improved Payroll And Compliance Management
To minimize errors and red tape, managers can automate and streamline payroll with a fleet management solution. A telematics fleet management system helps better manage payroll by providing the fleet manager with data on how long and far each driver has worked during specific periods. For the same reason, your telematics solution should be able to track fuel consumption. In addition, companies are obliged to read the tachograph regularly. Compliance with these legal requirements is significantly simplified by remote reading.
Preventive Vehicle Maintenance
Telematics also helps fleet managers identify vehicle maintenance issues before they lead to breakdowns or other problems. In this way, you can plan preventive maintenance work and thus extend the useful life of your assets.
With advanced telematics, fleets can identify vehicle maintenance issues early with real-time alerts. Spotting vehicle maintenance issues early will help you spot potential problems quickly and ultimately save your business money.