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Blog Details
Blog Directory ID: 36401 Get VIP Status?
Google Pagerank: 2
Blog Description:

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.
Blog Added: June 08, 2018 01:08:19 AM
Annual Regular Membership: 1 Year Term 2019-06-07 19:08:19 (232 days left)
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-Kingdom   United-Kingdom
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Total Visits: 4,856
Blog Rating: 4.00
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How to completely change driver behaviour using fleet management software

Using fleet management software to monitor your employees can feel a bit intrusive. Your drivers could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve turned into Big Brother. […] The post How to completely change driver behaviour using fleet management software appeared first on Vtec...

Using fleet management software to monitor your employees can feel a bit intrusive. Your drivers could be forgiven for thinking that you’ve turned into Big Brother. However if an issue arises your software can help you to make things better and to look after your drivers’ welfare.  Here’s how you can take steps to completely change driver behaviour using fleet management software.

Make your driver responsible for their actions

Whilst you can’t use fleet management software to gather personal information about your drivers, you can use it to check on the vehicle.  That includes gathering information about how a vehicle is being driven.  If the data suggests that your driver is braking heavily and accelerating sharply, that could be a performance issue.  Combine that with a dashcam and you’ll be able to assess whether a vehicle is being driven aggressively.

Any information you gather should be combined with a robust disciplinary procedure. After all, you can’t penalise an employee if the standard you expect hasn’t been made clear. That combination should make your drivers more mindful of their performance.

Reducing insurance claims

Ensuring that your drivers are held accountable for their actions needs to be part of a wider safety culture.  Aggressive or unsafe driving leads to more accidents and insurance claims. These have an impact on the public, your customers and the drivers themselves.

Using fleet management software and a dashcam doesn’t just allow you to discipline your drivers where necessary.  It can also help you to protect them.  Dashcam footage can allow you to determine the cause of an accident swiftly and can also be shared with your insurers and the police. You can reassure your drivers that you’re in a position to back them up when they’re not at fault.

Looking after your drivers’ welfare

Monitoring your drivers’ behaviour behind the wheel could seem overly punitive.  However it has benefits beyond any disciplinary procedure. It can also help you to gather information that helps you to look after their welfare.  As a minimum you can ensure that they’re taking proper rest breaks and avoiding fatigue.

A decline in their driving performance could also indicate stress or other mental health issues. Early intervention to discover the cause of a problem could allow you to support them better.  When your drivers know that you have their best interests at heart it can completely change their behaviour on the road.

Staying out of traffic jams

Traffic jams are a source of stress to anyone who gets behind the wheel. When you’re a professional driver spending a lot of time on the road, the impact can be even greater.  Being stuck in a queue leads to frustration, stress and potentially anger.  Road rage is a major cause of traffic accidents as drivers are more likely to take unnecessary risks.

Using fleet management software can help you to minimise those risks. You can monitor vehicles in real time and communicate with drivers to steer them away from problem areas. That helps them to keep to deadlines and gives you a calmer and safer driver.

To find out more about how fleet management software can improve your drivers’ behaviour, get in touch.

The post How to completely change driver behaviour using fleet management software appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



5 habits of a successful fleet manager

Everyone has their own habits. Sometimes they serve you well.  If you’re in the habit of getting things done automatically, life runs much more smoothly.  However, […] The post 5 habits of a successful fleet manager appeared first on Vtec...

Everyone has their own habits. Sometimes they serve you well.  If you’re in the habit of getting things done automatically, life runs much more smoothly.  However, sometimes a habit can prevent us from embracing change and making improvements. It’s worth taking a step back to review your own fleet management habits every so often, to see if you can adopt a better fleet management strategy.

With that in mind, here is our guide to the 5 habits of a successful fleet manager.

Look after your drivers

Your drivers are essential to your business so it makes sense to look after them.  Installing fleet management software could make your drivers feel that big brother is watching them. However, it can play a key role in looking after their health and safety.

Fleet management software can help you to ensure that your drivers take adequate rest breaks. In addition, being able to pinpoint a vehicle’s location will allow you to send assistance quickly in an emergency.

Save money

We all need to spend money efficiently and fleet management software can help. The software can give you an optimised route that will lower your fuel costs.  You can also monitor traffic in real time and guide your drivers so that they don’t waste time in traffic jams.  Using fleet management software can even allow you to monitor how your vehicles are being driven. That could enable you to bring vehicles in for maintenance checks sooner, thereby avoiding excessive down time.

What’s more, if you use the software properly you could make a saving on vehicle insurance. Most insurers offer a discount of around 15% on fleets where management software is used.

Reduce stress

Everyone gets stressed from time to time. It’s how you manage it that counts. Professional drivers spending hours behind the wheel can be particularly susceptible to stress, which can lead to other mental health issues.  Time spent in traffic, tight deadlines and demanding customers can all contribute to rising stress levels. Whilst there are legal implications to consider in using data to monitor a driver’s performance, it can be a useful guide.  If an employee’s driving has become erratic or unpredictable it can be a sign of stress. Early intervention can help to alleviate their stress and keep them on the road.

Of course, an efficient fleet management system can help to make your fleet manager’s life easier as well.

Save time through planning

Your fleet management system can help you to start automating tasks so that they take less time. Your delivery routes can be calculated at the touch of a button and uploaded directly to each vehicle. It means that your fleet manager doesn’t have to spend time working out the best route and transferring information between different systems.

You can also collect data from each vehicle whilst it’s still on the road. That allows your fleet manager to plan routes and driver rotas in advance, with accurate information on each driver’s working hours.

Drive for efficiencies

A key part of a fleet manager’s role is to identify efficiencies.  When time is tied up in data transfer and complex planning that can be challenging. Fleet management software enables the process to become automatic. Data can be downloaded and presented in a way that suits you. Your fleet manager is then able to focus on trends and identifying efficiencies rather than getting bogged down in the little details.

If you’d like to find out more about how fleet management software can make you a better fleet manager, get in touch.

The post 5 habits of a successful fleet manager appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



How Fleet Management Software Helps With Data Protection

We’ve all been bombarded with information about data protection in the past year.  The new Data Protection Act is based on the General Data Protection Regulations, […] The post How Fleet Management Software Helps With Data Protection appeared first on Vtec...

We’ve all been bombarded with information about data protection in the past year.  The new Data Protection Act is based on the General Data Protection Regulations, more commonly known as GDPR.

Our clients have put a lot of effort into ensuring that their data is secure and their fleet management software has had a role to play. If you haven’t invested in fleet management software yet, here is how can help with data protection.

How does the new law affect fleet management?

GDPR introduced new principles of transparency and consent to the existing data protection laws. It’s essential that businesses are able to prove that they have the proper consent to hold anyone’s personal data. You might have names, email addresses and phone numbers for people who’ve made an enquiry along with financial information and addresses for past or existing customers. You’ll have a wealth of information about your employees too.

It’s important that anyone whose information you hold knows why you have it and what you’re going to do with it. Equally they need to be sure that it’s not going to fall into the wrong hands. Whilst notifying your clients about your data protection policies will probably need to be done in person or via email, your fleet management software can help with the rest.

Data security

Failing to have clear data protection policies or retaining personal information when it’s no longer needed will get you a slap on the wrist from the Information Commissioner.  With GDPR now in force you could also be facing a hefty fine.  However, if you let your customers’ information fall into the wrong hands the consequences could be even more severe.  The Information Commissioner’s Office will get involved and can impose fines. The loss of goodwill could also cause enormous damage to your business’ reputation.

Fleet management software puts an extra layer of protection in place by providing password protected access for both the data analysis systems and driver handsets. One of the main benefits of fleet management software is its ability to analyse data for you.  It can automatically provide aggregated information so that fleet managers can provide analytical data to other parts of the business without needing to disclose customer information where it isn’t necessary.

Getting rid of paperwork

Lost paperwork can be a significant challenge in fleet management. The signed delivery notes get piled up on a dashboard or in the foot well and can easily go astray. That affects your ability to issue invoices for completed work but it also runs the risk of leaving customer information open to misuse. With an EPOD system (electronic proof of delivery) you can eliminate the paperwork altogether. Your drivers carry a handset that allows them to obtain an electronic signature on delivery. Your customers’ data stays secure and you can invoice for the work as soon as it’s completed.

If you’d like to find out more about how fleet management software can help you with data protection, get in touch.

The post How Fleet Management Software Helps With Data Protection appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



Lorry and HGV Tracking Provides Easy Solutions to Winter Woes

There has been a lot of talk about tracking HGVs and lorries in recent months. As the Brexit debate continues the possibility of a hard border […] The post Lorry and HGV Tracking Provides Easy Solutions to Winter Woes appeared first on Vtec...

There has been a lot of talk about tracking HGVs and lorries in recent months. As the Brexit debate continues the possibility of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic remains a key issue. The Freight Trade Association take the view that installing tracking devices on lorries is pointless. Whilst it may not solve the Brexit challenges, in some areas lorry and HGV tracking provides an easy solution to winter woes.

The Brexit problem

Discussions between the former Brexit Secretary David Davis and the Freight Trade Association suggest that HGV tracking is unlikely to solve the problem. The nature of freight transport is such that whilst it allows you to track a vehicle from its point of origin, it doesn’t tell you if it’s still carrying the same load when it reaches its final destination.

Combine the logistical challenges with requirements for proper checks on food and agricultural products and the scale of the challenge is clear.

Winter woes – keeping track of your gritters

Whilst lorry tracking might not represent a solution to the Brexit problem in Northern Ireland, it can be a real advantage in adverse weather conditions. There are already lots of benefits to fleet operators who install lorry and HGV tracking devices. However, Essex County Council have taken things a step further.

Their fleet of gritting lorries were fitted with GPS tracking devices back in 2012. It allows them to keep track of where their gritting lorries are so they can deal with any issues that arise. They’ve also made the information available to the public via their website. Commuters can check which roads have been gritted and plan their journeys accordingly.

Social media engagement

Using a publicly available tracking systems for gritting lorries has become more popular since Essex County Council’s innovation. Transport Scotland found themselves with a social media sensation on their hands during February 2018 after they ran a competition asking primary school children to come up with names for the lorries.

The fleet now includes HGVs called Luke Snowalker, Sir Salter Scott and Gritty Gritty Bang Bang. Sir Andy Flurry looks after the roads around Dunblane, its’ namesake’s home town.

Lorry and HGV tracking and your employees

All joking aside, when severe weather strikes safety is a key concern. When the ‘Beast from the East’ struck earlier this year drivers on the M8 were left stranded for hours at a time. Looking after your drivers and helping them to get home safely should be a key priority. Ensuring that drivers and vehicles are properly equipped for adverse weather should be your first line of defence.

It can also help to know exactly where your drivers and vehicles are at any one time. Lorry and HGV tracking allows you to pinpoint their location and potentially guide them towards a safer area. At the very least you can assess their progress and offer assistance where possible.

If you’d like to know more about how HGV and lorry tracking can help your business in adverse weather conditions, get in touch.

The post Lorry and HGV Tracking Provides Easy Solutions to Winter Woes appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



How Telematics Can Help Reduce the Number of Breakdowns

There are lots of factors involved in running a fleet of any size. If you’re ever in doubt about how your fleet is performing and where […] The post How Telematics Can Help Reduce the Number of Breakdowns appeared first on Vtec Solutions.

There are lots of factors involved in running a fleet of any size. If you’re ever in doubt about how your fleet is performing and where you can make improvements, look to your numbers. They never lie.  Using fleet management software can give you all kinds of information about your vehicles. Believe it or not, telematics can help reduce the number of breakdowns as well.

Not convinced? Let us explain.

Driver performance

Telematics can tell you a lot about your vehicles’ performance out on the road. That doesn’t just apply to its location and how far it’s travelled. The data you collect can also tell you how the vehicle is being driven.

Even with forward planning vehicles get stuck in traffic from time to time. That can lead to heavier braking and increased use of the clutch which increases wear and tear. These are all issues that could lead to breakdowns if you don’t know what’s happening. On the other hand, if you know the vehicle has had a few tough journeys you can bring it in for a planned once over. Your vehicle keeps running and you don’t have to deal with unexpected down time or recovering a vehicle that’s broken down a hundred miles away.

Fuel consumption

Every fleet manager we know keeps a close eye on fuel consumption. Your telematics data can easily tell you how your vehicles are performing. Increased fuel consumption could just be the result of a vehicle being stuck in heavy traffic. You may be able to solve the problem with an adjustment in the route your driver takes.

However if fuel consumption suddenly increases for no apparent reason it could be a sign of an underlying problem. The spark plugs might need replacing, the clutch could be worn or it could even be a sign that the tyres are wearing down. Telematics can act as an early warning system to allow you to intervene before the vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.

Looking for patterns

Your telematics data can help you to reduce the number of breakdowns by allowing you to look for patterns.  The system of scheduled maintenance that you already have in place may not prevent every breakdown.  When you’re faced with an unexpected vehicle failure the data can tell you whether early intervention could have made a difference.  If an issue affects more than one vehicle the data will allow you to adjust your maintenance schedule to reduce the problem.

You can also change the checks that your drivers carry out.  If you’ve identified a potential problem you can add it to the list of vehicle checks that each driver completes before they start work. The advantage of a telematics system is that it allows the driver to record any issues digitally so that you’re aware of them straight away. It reduces the need for lots of paperwork that could get lost.

If you’d like to find out more about how telematics can reduce the number of breakdowns you experience, get in touch.

The post How Telematics Can Help Reduce the Number of Breakdowns appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



Bitesize Guide to Vehicle Tracking Laws in the UK

There are lots of benefits to using software to help you manage your fleet. They can save you time, money and help you to collect data […] The post Bitesize Guide to Vehicle Tracking Laws in the UK appeared first on Vtec Solutions.

There are lots of benefits to using software to help you manage your fleet. They can save you time, money and help you to collect data that makes management easier. However it’s still important to be aware of vehicle tracking laws. They can have a huge impact on the data you’re allowed to collect and how you use it. Since GDPR came into force you can be subject to large fines if you don’t comply with the law.

While it’s important that you take independent legal advice, here is our bitesize guide to help you start thinking about some of the issues.

Your employees’ right to privacy

Your vehicle tracking software can tell you exactly where your vehicle is and how it’s being driven at any time of the day or night. That can help you to allocate tasks efficiently but it can also tell you whether there’s a problem with the way it’s being driven. That could be classed as your employee’s personal data.

The Human Rights Act gave individuals a right to privacy.  It’s illegal to misuse any personal data that’s been obtained via technology. In your private life that could be data that your mobile phone company holds about your calls or use of apps. However it also applies to vehicle tracking. The Data Protection Act 1998 was created to reflect these rights. It sets out what you’re allowed to collect and how you can use it. Of course, since then the law has been updated via the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). So what are you allowed to do?

What’s allowed?

The law allows you to track your own vehicles in accordance with vehicle tracking laws. However you’re only allowed to use the information for management purposes. For example, you can look at mileage and routes taken to see if a better route might save fuel. However, if employees are allowed to take their vehicles home for personal use, you’re not allowed to track them to see what they get up to in the evenings!

It can be a fine line. The information you collect might tell you something about how a driver is driving.  You can use that information to help them improve their performance but you should be careful not to stray into being personally critical.

Your responsibilities

It’s important that you keep the lines of communication open with your employees. If vehicle tracking software is installed on their vehicle they need to know about it. You can hide a tracking device within the vehicle. This can be useful if a vehicle is stolen because a thief won’t know it’s there, but your employees need to.

You also need to be clear on what data you’re collecting and why. Keep a written record of what information you’re storing and why you need it. It’s good practice to give your employees written information about the data you’re holding and ask them to sign a copy.  You should also make sure that you only keep the data for as long as it’s needed.  For example you might compile data into a management report and then get rid of the data itself. If you need to collect information about accidents you might need to keep it for longer in case of any insurance or legal claims.

Finally, keep the data safe! If your data falls into the wrong hands it could be disastrous for your business and you could find yourself with a hefty fine.

If you’d like to find out more about vehicle tracking, get in touch.

 

The post Bitesize Guide to Vehicle Tracking Laws in the UK appeared first on Vtec Solutions.



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