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  • Paul Cochrane
  • June 07, 2018 09:08:19 PM
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A Little About Us

Vtec Solutions, based in Scotland, are pioneers of fleet management and fleet efficiency. They are the UK’s leading suppliers of TomTom Telematics. This blog has industry relevant news and helpful articles.

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    Webfleet Solutions – the new name for TomTom Telematics

    TomTom Telematics is no more; it’s to say it is now operating under the new name Webfleet Solutions. Webfleet Solutions will continue to provide the same products […] The post Webfleet Solutions – the new name for TomTom Telematics appeared first on Vtec...

    TomTom Telematics is no more; it’s to say it is now operating under the new name Webfleet Solutions. Webfleet Solutions will continue to provide the same products and services TomTom Telematics was known for, including WebFleet, NextFleet, Link devices and the range of Pro Driver Terminals.

     

    While no longer a business unit of the TomTom Group, having been acquired by Bridgestone Europe in April 2019, Webfleet Solutions will remain a key business partner of TomTom and continue to utilise its award-winning Traffic and Maps in its services.

    “Twenty years ago, we launched our WebFleet fleet management solution from our original office in Leipzig, Germany,” said Thomas Schmidt, CEO and Managing Director, Webfleet Solutions. “We were forerunners in using cloud and internet technologies to help fleets and companies with commercially used trucks, vans and cars to boost productivity, increase safety and sustainability, enhance customer satisfaction and increase the overall efficiency of their fleet operations.”

    Today, Webfleet Solutions manages more than 50,000 customers with vehicles driving in 100 countries.

    Paul Cochrane added “As you are now aware TomTom Telematics has officially changed its name to WebfleetSolutions. We look forward to driving innovation in mobility solutions and boosting productivity for more and more companies via our trusted partner network under this new name.”

     

    The post Webfleet Solutions – the new name for TomTom Telematics appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


    What Are Your Trailers Worth To Your Business?

    When it comes to protecting and monitoring your HGV fleet, we often find that the focus rests on the tractor units themselves. It makes a lot […] The post What Are Your Trailers Worth To Your Business? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.

    When it comes to protecting and monitoring your HGV fleet, we often find that the focus rests on the tractor units themselves. It makes a lot of sense. Your overall fleet performance depends on maintaining peak efficiency. Keeping an eye on fuel usage and driver performance alongside devising optimised transport routes will all have an impact on your bottom line. However, good security is also vitally important. We’re sure that you already protect your tractor units against theft, but losing a trailer could have an even greater impact. What are your trailers worth to your business and what are you doing to protect them?

    Trailer value

    Historically, we’ve treated a tractor unit and trailer as a single vehicle. However, whilst improvements in tracking technology are acting as a deterrent against vehicle theft, trailer and cargo thefts are on the increase.

    Simply put, the value of the cargo you carry often vastly outweighs the cost of your vehicle. We know that an average haulage firm will typically have 2.5 times as many trailers as they do tractor units. That makes the risk of trailer loss much greater, particularly if you’re using trailers to store your customers’ goods prior to delivery.

    Potential impacts of trailer loss

    Losing a trailer has a clear financial impact, both to you and your customers. However, the costs can go beyond those associated with replacing stock or one of your assets. Any type of theft will inevitably end up in an insurance claim. Where a customer’s goods are involved that could mean a lengthy argument with your own customer via your insurance companies. Even the simplest claim can be a headache.

    If your customer is saying that you didn’t take proper care of their delivery the effects could go beyond the initial financial impact. Your reputation could also be affected and those kinds of costs are much harder to calculate.

    The challenge

    One of the most significant challenges in combatting trailer theft has been developing the right technology. When new clients come to us it’s usually because they’re looking for a fully integrated system. Their existing fleet software often has several different components that aren’t working together smoothly or achieving the results they’re looking for. The last thing they need is another separate system to add into the mix.

    The challenge for us was to develop technology that helped to combat trailer theft that would also work seamlessly with our existing systems. We wanted to make sure that we offered our clients full control whilst still saving them time.

    Our solution

    We’re delighted to be able to offer Link 340, a unique solution that tracks trailer assets and can also be customised to suit our customers’ needs. The system is digitally coupled with the truck and has its own 4G modem. It is shown on our WEBFLEET system so it can all be monitored via the same interface.

    The Link 340 can also send you instant alerts based on your own monitoring options. For example, it can tell you if the trailer or asset leaves a defined area or if it’s been disconnected from the tractor unit*. If the trailer is taken and the battery disconnected you’ll still be able to get a daily location report for a period of 3 months. That will not only help you and the police recover your property, it’ll impress your insurers as well.

    To find out more about how the Link 340 could work for your fleet, get in touch.

    *Feature available from Q4 2019

    The post What Are Your Trailers Worth To Your Business? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


    Case Study – Ian Craig Haulage

    Greater fuel efficiency for Ian Craig Haulage We’re often asked about the results that we get for our clients by using TomTom Telematics and our WEBFLEET […] The post Case Study – Ian Craig Haulage appeared first on Vtec Solutions.

    Greater fuel efficiency for Ian Craig Haulage

    We’re often asked about the results that we get for our clients by using TomTom Telematics and our WEBFLEET fleet management software. It’s easy for us to say that we get impressive results across the board. We started working with Ian Craig Haulage in May 2018 and the results that they’ve achieved were typical of the kind of fleet efficiency improvements we’ve been able to make over the years. We’re delighted to be able to tell you about them.

    The business and our solution

    Ian Craig Haulage specialise in brick and block haulage for the construction industry. They had been using onboard tracking across their 75 vehicle fleet for some time but wanted to start monitoring the efficiency and safety of their employees’ driving style out on the road.

    ‘Although we’d been using basic onboard tracking from our vehicle supplier for over 10 years, we wanted a more sophisticated solution which also gave us vehicle and driver behaviour data in the same system,’ explains Director Colin Craig.

    After meeting with the business, we installed WEBFLEET’s OptiDrive 360 functionality which offered the kind of tracking that they were looking for. As part of the service, we left weekly reports in the main drivers’ reception to allow them to check on their current OptiDrive score and how they compare with others. ‘It’s created a bit of friendly rivalry between the drivers as they try to beat each other and has made everyone much more aware of how they are driving,’ said Craig.

    The results

    Since the technology was installed in May 2018 Ian Craig Haulage has improved mpg by 10 per cent using TomTom Telematics’ WEBFLEET fleet management solution. They’ve also seen a significant reduction in their fleet admin time.

    Colin Craig commented; ‘By reducing incidents such as harsh braking, sharp cornering or speeding, we’ve managed to push our mpg up by 10 per cent. That translates into big savings across the whole fleet in both fuel costs and CO2. We’re now looking to introduce a fair way of rewarding drivers who improve on their OptiDrive score which reflects different work and payloads.’

    As well as reducing their overall admin time, WEBFLEET’S integral Tachograph Manager is also making compliance much easier for the haulier. The system offers automated downloads of driver card and vehicle unit data which makes data collection much quicker and easier. It has allowed them to spend time on analysis and compliance rather than on simple data collection.

    ‘As we can now remotely download all the data from the office, it takes away the responsibility from the driver, meaning that downloads are never missed,’ adds Craig. ‘It also saves our drivers considerable time through less administration and by eliminating the need to return to the depot.’

    ‘The ability to quickly check on our drivers’ daily remaining driving time has also proved invaluable, as we can see instantly if each driver has enough driving time left to do the next delivery job, as well as when his next break should be and when the shift ends.’

    Paul Cochrane of Vtec Solutions, added: ‘This is another excellent example of how WEBFLEET provides everything a haulier needs for fuel efficiency, dynamic dispatching and regulation compliance.’

    To find out more about how using WEBFLEET can improve your fleet efficiency, get in touch.

     

    The post Case Study – Ian Craig Haulage appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


    Case study: how you can transform your insurance profile

    We know that good use of telematics can change a business’ fleet performance for the better. Equally, it can be hard for a business to imagine […] The post Case study: how you can transform your insurance profile appeared first on Vtec...

    We know that good use of telematics can change a business’ fleet performance for the better. Equally, it can be hard for a business to imagine the improvements when they haven’t experienced them for themselves.  That’s why we wanted to show you the difference that good use of FLEETiQmade to one of our customers.

    Robert Summers Transport

    Robert Summers Transport Ltd are a family owned company which has been in business since 1970. When we started working with them they already had an excellent reputation for delivering a high quality, total transport service.

    The FLEETiQchallenge

    QBE asked us to make our services available to Robert Summers Transport as there were numerous small claims on their profile. This was giving them cause for concern. There was evidence to suggest that the culture that had developed amongst drivers was leading to accidents and increasing the level of claims against the company.

    There were concerns that drivers were habitually speeding and driving in a way that was might be deemed unsafe and inefficient. We knew that FLEETiQ could help. Firstly, it could help to identify the behaviours that needed to change and develop a plan to make that happen. Secondly, once the plan had been implemented its data collection tools would allow us to track the progress being made.  We needed to change the culture, reduce endemic speeding and promote safer driving.

    The Process

    We knew that changing the culture amongst drivers wouldn’t happen without a clear plan. Initially, we worked with Robert Summers Transport to develop a partnership that would enable them to lead change with our support.  We don’t believe in supplying a tool then leaving our customers to get on with it, which is why we offer project management support alongside a whole range of other tools.

    Fleet Data Analysis

    The next step was to find out what was already happening within the fleet. Using FLEETiQ we collected data to show what the problem areas were. Whilst Robert Summers Transport already had a good idea of the issues they needed to tackle, FLEETiQ provided data that gave them clarity on the figures.

    Toolbox Talks

    FLEETiQ shows how a particular vehicle is being driven and also lets us build up a picture of driver behaviour. When you’re trying to change a whole culture it can help to start by training employees whose behaviour needs the most improvement. We could then follow that up by developing driver talks which focused on the most prevalent issues.  This meant that improvement training could be delivered in a format the drivers already knew. It meant that there was less resistance to change overall as that part of the process was already familiar.

    Fleet Performance Improvement Process

    Once we’d collected data to identify the current position, the next step was to set benchmarks for improvement.  We worked with Robert Summers Transport to help them to set key performance indicators that would enable them to monitor improvements.

    By working in partnership we helped them to identify ways in which the technology could both promote and monitor behavioural improvements.

    Compliance Documentation and Policies

    Next, we identified what proper compliance would look like in practice. This wasn’t just a theoretical exercise. It allowed us to help the company develop new policies to support their goals and to prepare proper documentation in support.

    Monthly Fleet Performance Review

    A key part of any improvement process is monitoring the progress that’s being made. We set up a monthly review to assess current performance and how these measured up against the benchmarks that had been set. We were able to recommend changes to the approach if performance levels hadn’t improved as expected. Of course, it also helped the company to reward drivers who had made good progress if they chose to.

    The Board Pack on Fleet Performance

    Using FLEETiQ to implement change is a significant investment for any company, so we delivered a pack to the board demonstrating improvements in overall fleet performance as a result of its use. Whilst this showed the improvements that had been made in driver performance, that wasn’t all.  Improving driver behaviour had an impact on other key areas. Better driving leads to fewer accidents and claims, but also saves money on fuel costs and maintenance over time. We put together a pack that gave the board insight into the benefits of using FLEETiQ in a wider context.

    The Results

    Robert Summers Transport now have a greater awareness of the consequences of poor fleet management overall and had reduced the number of accidents and resulting claims.  There was an impressive 60% reduction in the levels of speeding, whilst high level speeding had been completely eradicated.

    As an added bonus, the process had brought about a four figure reduction in their fuel spend and increased their average fleet MPG from 6.5 to 7mpg.  All of these improvements came with a full audit trail that made their compliance obligations much more straightforward to achieve.

    If you’d like to find out more about how FLEETiQ could transform your business, get in touch.

    The post Case study: how you can transform your insurance profile appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


    Seven fuel saving tips for business fleets

    Our customers tell us that fuel costs are their second largest expense, with vehicle depreciation coming in first place.  When you make savings across a fleet, […] The post Seven fuel saving tips for business fleets appeared first on Vtec...

    Our customers tell us that fuel costs are their second largest expense, with vehicle depreciation coming in first place.  When you make savings across a fleet, even a small change can make a significant difference. Here are our seven fuel saving tips for your fleet.

    Use a telematics system

    A telematics system allows you to gather information about where your vehicles are and how they are being driven out on the road. You can also gather data to show you where fuel is potentially being wasted. Your transport manager then has the information they need to make changes and help everything run more efficiently.

    Good maintenance habits

    Unexpected vehicle downtime can be a real inconvenience. Deliveries or other appointments may need to be rearranged at short notice and that may have wider implications for your customers and other business relationships.

    Carrying out regular checks on tyres, oil, lights and brakes, to name just a few, can help to prevent unexpected delays. There’s also the fact that when your vehicles are in good working order, they’re more fuel efficient too.

    Choose your service station wisely

    Fuel prices can vary widely depending on where you are in the country. If your drivers need to refuel at a motorway service station you’ll also be paying a premium.  It may help if you provide your drivers with a preferred supplier list.

    Using telematics can also help as many integrate with fuel cards. This can allow your driver to receive live information about which service station to choose whilst they’re out on the road.

    Improve driving standards

    Driving sensibly may not be that exciting, but it’s great news for fuel economy.  Your telematics system can help you to monitor how a vehicle is being driven and identify any behaviour which affects fuel consumption.  Speeding and harsh braking use more fuel and also increases wear and tear which has a wider impact on fuel economy.  By focusing on the issues you’ll be able to tailor your driver training to improve overall fuel efficiency.

    Listen to your drivers

    Whilst telematics will help you to devise optimised routes that will help you to make savings on fuel, your drivers are still the experts out on the road.  It’s important to balance their knowledge with the data you can gather from your telematics system.  Getting regular feedback from your drivers helps them to feel part of the business and can increase their productivity overall.

    The introduction of a telematics system can be a significant change and drivers are much more likely to adopt the new procedures if they feel their views are valued.  In particular, features which allow you and the driver to monitor traffic and avoid getting stuck have a direct benefit to the driver. Of course, avoiding a jam also helps to save fuel.

    Leave the vehicles behind

    If you’re making a delivery you’ll always need to use a vehicle of some sort.  However, it’s worth looking at using alternative technologies in other areas of the fleet.  Encourage your staff to think about whether they need to meet in person, or whether they can still have face to face contact using digital conferencing. This won’t always be a practical solution, however could make a difference over time.

    Be more eco-friendly

    If you want to improve fuel efficiency and improve standards you need to get your employees on board.  They might not all be motivated to help you save money, however environmental concerns can be a powerful motivator.  If your telematics data has revealed problem areas in how your vehicles are driven, highlighting the environmental impact could help you to make changes.

    To find out more about how telematics can help you to save money on fuel, get in touch.

    The post Seven fuel saving tips for business fleets appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


    Compliance: Are your telematics helping you?

    Fleet operation is heavily regulated and we know how time consuming compliance can be. Research has shown that around 13% of UK operators spend up to […] The post Compliance: Are your telematics helping you? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.

    Fleet operation is heavily regulated and we know how time consuming compliance can be. Research has shown that around 13% of UK operators spend up to three hours each day downloading working hours compliance data.  It doesn’t help when the data you need to gather is held across different departments. However, integrated telematics could help you to make the whole process easier. Are your telematics helping you with compliance? Here’s how they can.

    Monitoring driving performance

    When your data is spread across more than one department, it can have a real impact on your drivers.  When you can monitor everything centrally it doesn’t just make compliance reports simpler, it makes job allocation easier too. Realistic work schedules reduce stress and make drivers’ jobs easier.  This approach also reduces the likelihood of costly mistakes on the road, including accidents or even fines for dangerous driving. You can ultimately create a culture where safe driving is your top priority.

     

    By monitoring performance data you can intervene early when problems arise. That means that you can spend less time talking to the insurers or even the HSE. Whilst your drivers may not initially like the idea of being monitored, it means that you can provide them with long term support, not just when things go wrong.

    Keep on top of training

    Monitoring your drivers doesn’t just help to create a safety culture. It can also help you to identify what training is required. Whilst some training is mandatory, you can also offer additional training to address any common problems.

     

    Whilst we hope that you don’t have to deal with many corporate manslaughter investigations, telematics can help here too.  Clear and easily available training information will demonstrate that you take your legal responsibilities seriously and make efforts to comply.  That can help your defence and possibly reduce any penalty you may face.  Of course, the most important consideration is that you’ve taken steps to keep your employees and the general public safe.

    Making risk assessments and inspections easier

    Regular vehicle inspections are a key part of any good risk strategy but they can be time consuming.  Telematics can help to identify problems with vehicles as they arise. This doesn’t just help to prevent breakdowns. It can also assist your compliance managers in dealing with potential breaches, even whilst a vehicle is out on the road.  Best of all, it can all be done electronically, meaning that you don’t have a long paper trail to follow when you need to find information.

     

    Of course, compliance doesn’t stop with the vehicles.  You have a duty to ensure that your drivers are fit to work as well.  Telematics enable you to monitor performance and pick up on any potential risks. You can also hold information about driver’s health centrally. That means that when you’re allocating tasks any driver specific health risks can be taken into account automatically.

    Simpler communication

    Using a mobile phone whilst driving has been illegal for 15 years. However, there are times when you need to communicate with your drivers when they’re out on the road.  Telematics terminals can eliminate the need for mobile phone use as you can send instructions to your drivers directly to the vehicle.

     

    You can use the devices to send behavioural targets to your drivers and get performance feedback. They’re also useful for keeping customers updated about driver location and any potential delays.

     

    In short, telematics help you to make compliance easier and enable better decision making.  To find out more about how telematics can help you with compliance, get in touch.

    The post Compliance: Are your telematics helping you? appeared first on Vtec Solutions.


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