As a small business owner, you probably own and manage a fleet for making deliveries, travelling to clients’ offices, carrying equipment and much more. Be it two, 10 or 20 vehicles, a fleet carries significant costs in terms of fuel, maintenance, repairs and insurance. Knowing how your drivers behave on the roads will save you costs. You may, for instance, have two drivers who travel the same distance every day, yet one vehicle always consumes significantly more fuel than the other – this is down to the driver’s behaviour. To keep costs down and efficiencies up, follow these four tips:
1. Always monitor and manage your drivers’ behaviour
The way your vehicles are driven has a major influence on fuel and maintenance costs. By monitoring harsh events such as acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding as well as harsh bumps, high g-force incidents and excessive idling, Ctrack can provide you with driver behaviour reports so you can clearly distinguish between good and bad drivers. Also keep in mind that your vehicles are likely to be promoting your business with your logo and contact details. This means that the conduct of the driver reflects on your business, so it’s worth knowing how they are behaving on the roads.
2. Invest in driver training
Investing in an advanced driving course will not only increase your drivers’ skills and professionalism, but also contribute to overall road safety. Fleets of all sizes can benefit from a basic defensive driving course, where the driver learns how to anticipate possible incidents on the road. This will not only reduce accidents, but also instill driver confidence.
3. Incentivise your drivers
It may sound like Big-Brother-is-watching-you, but monitoring your drivers’ behaviour can have positive results if you follow a rewards-based approach. Don’t use fleet tracking tools as negative reinforcement; rather reward your best drivers and invest financially in those who need more training. Make sure they understand that it’s important to drive in a safe and responsible manner – not only for running an efficient business, but also for their own safety and that of other road users. You can also get in-vehicle indicators, like Ctrack’s Driver Behaviour Indicator, that gives drivers real-time feedback on how they are driving. This means they can improve their driving styles right there and then.
4. Keep your drivers informed
Your drivers need to start the day knowing exactly where they need to be and when. With task scheduling tools, you can allocate your drivers to the correct locations quickly and efficiently. This will lead to increased productivity and a higher level of service to your customers.
Fleet tracking solutions let you plan and schedule your drivers’ daily movements based on historical route data. Job scheduling tools can also assign the nearest available vehicle to any new job, allowing you to efficiently allocate tasks as they come in. Ctrack’s web-based tracking includes a route management module that lets you set up static and timed routes, creating efficiencies to further reduce fuel usage and associated costs. Used in conjunction with GPS navigation, you can help drivers avoid busier roads and delays from traffic incidents.
*Ctrack has partnered with NSBC to give them preferential rates on fleet tracking. Members can get discounts of up to 20% on fleet tracking services. For more information, visit https://www.ctrack.com/za/nsbc-sponsorship/.