5 ways real-time vehicle maintenance alerts can help fleet managers

5 Ways real-time vehicle maintenance alerts can help you

Real-time maintenance alerts are an important part of a business maintenance strategy. There are different types of maintenance you can implement for your business, particularly if you have a vehicle fleet.

Your business is multi-faceted. Maybe it has multiple assets on-site, fleet cargo, industrious equipment, or high maintenance vehicles–which make up its innate structure.  

Maintenance management is an important part of building a healthy business ecosystem.  

With advanced IT systems, real-time monitoring and maintenance alerts can be available at your fingertips. There are numerous benefits and ways it can work for you positively.  

We are here to guide you, so you grab them with both hands and manage your business effectively. 

What is maintenance and monitoring? 

Whether you would like to receive maintenance alerts for your vehicle fleet or important assets at your premises– it all forms part of asset maintenance and monitoring, under the umbrella of asset management.

What exactly is Asset monitoring? It refers to the management and assessment of assets and equipment of an organisation, which incorporates the tracking of asset usage. 

The main purpose of asset maintenance is to ensure effective operations, create a safe working environment and protect your assets. Quality asset maintenance will ensure you get the most asset value and longevity for your business investment.

Real-time asset tracking allows asset-intensive companies to monitor the condition and usage of their assets. In order to monitor the efficiency of assets immediately, and receive maintenance alerts on the fly– we need real-time asset tracking through various technology and sensors.  

What is real-time monitoring?

In other words, we mean data monitoring– the route of real-time monitoring. 

Real-time monitoring is a process, enabled by IoT, where sensor-collected data is streamed continuously for immediate access and review, with zero to little latency between collection and delivery.

Traditionally, other monitoring solutions were used such as data loggers. These required costly installations creating data blindspots and issues. But with real-time monitoring, there are fewer gaps in data processing and interpretation due to continuous data streaming. In addition, you can use a time monitor for even extra visibility.

There are various administrative methods that can be used for data collection, such as fleet management. For example, real-time monitoring is important when it comes to fleet management and monitoring of cargo transportation. 

The sensor device can be placed in the fleet’s cargo. It will collect data about temperature, light, humidity, and much more– depending on the fleet manager’s requirements for data processing.

It will be interpreted by the vehicle provider’s software platform (such as Cartrack), where data points will be streamed in real-time. The business can consolidate the information with the platform’s comprehensive reporting tool. 

But let’s talk about how it can be fundamental for vehicle and asset maintenance. Now we are diving into real-time maintenance alerts. 

Real-time monitoring example  

What does real-time monitoring do? 

Say you own a country-wide food delivery company, with a robust vehicle fleet under your wing. Fleet management and vehicle cost-efficiency are a top priority. Vehicle maintenance is an important consideration to cut costs and ensure an effective production line.   

Fleet managers can make use of real-time data collection on vehicle health from a vehicle tracking company such as Cartrack, which will provide streamlined data and alerts relating to vehicle maintenance. 

Their fleet management platform uses telematics software to give you the necessary information, and real-time vehicle diagnostics.  

We will dive more into this later on.  

But let’s first look at some practical examples and benefits of how asset tracking and maintenance alerts can assist your business– an add-on service provided by a vehicle tracking provider. 

5 real-time monitoring business benefits:

  1. Improved asset utilisation

Smart algorithms will alert you when your assets and machinery require servicing. Receive maintenance alerts on movable assets such as industrious equipment on your manufacturing site. This works through asset tracking to manage them better, increasing their durability. For instance, forklifts that aren’t managed and maintained on-site could break down causing more maintenance problems. Also, use monitoring to ensure the completion of equipment maintenance without delay.

  1. Save costs

Reduce asset repair or replacement costs. Well-maintained equipment reduces the frequency or necessity of buying new equipment or replacing broken parts. It can also assist with stock inventory management. If equipment breaks down, this can affect production costs and supplies– impacting sales and customer retention.

  1. Improve employee and workforce safety

If assets are maintained well, then staff will be protected from danger caused by equipment. If there is any danger on site, authorities will be alerted accordingly. You can also prevent situations that could threaten safety.

  1. Asset and business management

If you are implementing asset maintenance management, you can go a step further and create a risk assessment to help identify equipment with high safety risks– based on maintenance reports. Once identified, the appropriate maintenance schedule can be implemented, to plan part replacements or upgrades. This will assist with managing your business more efficiently.

  1. Improved admin processes

Streamline your administrative processes effectively and have everything you need in one place. Instead of using filing, paper trails and other manual tools- you can retrieve everything in one place. For example, access powerful reports on usage hours and costs for you to make maintenance decisions on your equipment.

Types of maintenance 

Part of vehicle and asset management is having a maintenance strategy in place to get the most out of software data and maintenance alerts. Maintenance tasks can involve a chunk of procedure, leaving us in a situation of not knowing where to start. Making it easier for you, we can break them up into predictive, preventive, or corrective maintenance. The difference between preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance lies in the data being analysed. 

Let’s unpack this a bit more:  

Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance is an advanced form of planned maintenance that monitors asset conditions in real-time. It relies on monitoring and analysing data from the actual, current condition of the equipment in operation. Within predictive maintenance, there are condition monitoring tools used to detect equipment malfunctions and damages.

How does predictive maintenance work? 

Maintenance workflows are used to retrieve your asset or vehicle diagnostics, so you receive the necessary maintenance alerts. A vehicle tracking provider will usually already have this in place.

Sensors are connected to the asset being monitored, data is then collected from the sensors within identifiable baselines and set parameters. While the asset is running, the sensor will detect any performance abnormality and send out maintenance alerts. Maintenance will then be performed before running the asset as usual. Advanced warnings like this can save your business from excessive maintenance costs or worse, irreparable damage to your assets. 

Here are the tools and technologies that make it possible: 

  • Condition-monitoring equipment 

These are sensors commonly used in maintenance, to pick up information and capture data from the asset, which is then communicated with the software to assess the state of the asset in real-time. As part of internal operations, Alerts can be configured into a cloud monitoring service for maintenance. You can configure single or multi-condition-based alerts to notify you about problems that may require attention. When a condition-based alert is triggered, you will be notified through one or more notification channels. 

In addition to increasing the longevity of equipment. Machine condition monitoring supports a variety of goals for manufacturers, including:       

  • Reducing and eliminating unplanned machine downtime
  • Optimising machine health and performance
  • Improving quality and reducing scrap parts
  • Driving a maintenance performance programme based on accurate machine data
  • Enabling automation based on real-time machine condition data 

There are various condition-monitoring sensors that detect environmental phenomena.  

Here are some examples for businesses to consider:   

  • Vibration monitoring. Vibration patterns can indicate many different things. Monitoring vibration patterns can offer insight into part durability and changes to this pattern can indicate a failing tool, often 15 minutes or more than when a human operator can begin to see a problem.
  • Temperature. Temperature is a strong sign of any potential problems in a machine. If temperatures deviate against the set parameters or standards, employees will be alerted about any impending machine failure, machine breaks, or even fires in hazardous environments. This could all pose major health risks too.
  • Torque: A worksite might have assets operating using a twisting force around an axis, called a torque. Use sensors to identify anomalies in the rotational force of the machine, and develop an understanding of how it changes during job runs. Monitor its day-to-day functioning, and identify any correlation with scrap parts, machine failures, and broken tools. Site managers can integrate data retrieved into their maintenance strategy. 
  • The Internet of Things (IoT) 

IoT refers to the way devices interact with one another. The role of IoT is to analyse and make sense of the equipment data. The different sensors collect and share the data working with other parts of IoT technology, such as user interfaces and connectivity within the central information system. 

  • Predictive Formulas

From here, predictive formulas identify common equipment maintenance trends, including servicing, repairs, or a replacement. The formulas rely on predetermined algorithms that compare a machine’s current behaviour against its expected behaviour. Once the trend deters from the standard, there will be signals of gradual deterioration. The maintenance team can then take measures to prevent the equipment from failing.

[H1] What are the main industries using predictive maintenance right now?

The manufacturing industry benefits the most from predictive maintenance. According to Mckinsey Global Institute, the global manufacturing industry could save up to $630 billion by 2025, by using predictive maintenance. Manufacturers can use this maintenance strategy to manage plant floor equipment, boost operations, and improve workplace safety. 

Preventative maintenance 

Preventive maintenance relies on historical data, averages, and life expectancy statistics to predict when maintenance activities will be required. It includes taking the necessary precautions and actions to prevent equipment incidents or failures from occurring before they happen. 

The benefits of preventive maintenance will decrease business downtime and productivity resulting from equipment not working properly. It will also ensure all equipment and employees work only during scheduled hours, eradicating the need for paying staff overtime due to unforeseen machinery failures.

Real-time vehicle monitoring benefits

According to vehicle safety experts, all vehicles are subject to wear and tear and unless maintained at regular intervals, this wear and tear will eventually result in unsafe vehicles and vehicle breakdowns which could impact your downtime and productivity.

Regular planned maintenance is a critical step in preventing this. 

We know that for operational managers, on-site maintenance and management are necessary. The same applied to vehicle fleets, which is equally crucial. 

Here are some ways real-time monitoring is used in vehicle maintenance. 

  • Increased driver safety as ill-maintained vehicles could cause life-threatening incidents on the road. 
  • Seamless maintenance plans which are easily adjustable
  • Avoid road breakdowns and accidents. Receive real-time alerts of any engine faults, worn brake pads, oil and water fluctuation, and other diagnostics, helping you pre-empt which vehicles need servicing.
  • Instantly respond to maintenance needs. Schedule maintenance and warn drivers in advance via our app, and keep workflows undisrupted. Communicate directly with your driver the moment a fault is detected and let them know where to take the vehicle in real-time, helping you minimise downtime and future issues.
  • Automated preventative maintenance. Our platform automates the maintenance schedules for each of your vehicles by using your utilisation hours and the time of the last service, hassle-free: 
  • Cut your maintenance costs. A strong maintenance servicing routine helps prevent vehicle breakdowns, minimising major indirect and direct costs.
  • Increase your vehicle lifespan. With proactive-maintenance schedules your vehicles will remain healthier for longer, ensuring you get more out of them. 
  • Reduce unnecessary downtime. Prevent vehicle breakdowns and plan for your servicing in advance to reduce project disruptions.
  • Improved maintenance workflows: For your fleet, you can use the Cartrack app, which will give you real-time maintenance alerts. As a result, you can streamline your process and workflows better. 

Other uses of a real-time monitoring application

  • What is real-time Database monitoring? It is used to measure a database’s performance in real-time. Receive alerts to identify problems and other attributes which could cause future problems. 
  • A real-time monitoring tool is useful in the healthcare industry. Real-time alerting for maintenance is crucial for a patient’s safety in hospitals.  
  • Real-time monitoring call center refers to the tools and software used by managers to oversee and track agent calls as they occur. Alerts can be more quickly routed to appropriate staff, or even to automated systems, for future mitigation. 

Use Cartrack to stay on top of your vehicle maintenance and/or asset maintenance and create a maintenance strategy that works for you.

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Using fleet management systems to empower your drivers

Using Fleet Management Systems to empower your drivers

Fleet drivers represent the business world and provide much-needed services to the public. Safety measures would not only benefit them, but also the company they work for in terms of maximising profits, cutting costs, and improving delivery systems. Discover actionable fleet safety tips for drivers.

From the moment they drive out the business grounds and hit the road, fleet drivers are responsible for the vehicle, cargo, and their own well-being. They should consider how they handle the vehicle, how they avoid potholes and any objects that could compromise their safety, and much more. 

 The safety of drivers is the most critical aspect of the success of a fleet management system. By putting driver safety and empowerment at the centre of training programs, fleet managers can focus on their most valuable assets – drivers who can recognise their own risky, on-road behaviour and strive to correct their actions. Taking initiative puts fleet drivers in the best position to help keep their fleet on track during challenging times and gives their managers one

Managing your fleet on the road

While fleet systems get new technical upgrades annually, it’s important not to forget to use the technological innovations to also positively impact fleet drivers’ daily workload. Fleet managers should start using fleet management software to not only optimise delivery workflow but also improve driver skills, awareness and behaviour on the road.

There are many challenges fleet drivers face while driving; one that impacts the supply chain is on-road issues, which may hinder or delay delivery. These issues could be anything from dealing with vehicle maintenance problems such as a tyre blowout while driving, which could endanger both themselves and other motorists, or unforeseen situations of criminal activity, putting the driver’s life in possible danger.

Fleet safety comes first

According to the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group Annual Road Safety Report for 2020, issues such as heavy loads and unworthy cross-border vehicles contribute quite heavily to road accidents and casualties, as do vehicles travelling inappropriately on rural roads. 

Speed coupled with the lack of lane lines, unmarked intersections and unsafe road surfaces, also adds to the high accident rate on our roads. 

This same report highlights that in all countries:

  • Speed is a contributing factor in 15% to 35% of fatal crashes
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol is a factor in 10% to 30% of fatal crashes

Truth is, your drivers are on these very roads but that’s where a technologically advanced fleet management system comes into play. It will allow you to put a speed management and monitoring strategy in place that will help you enforce safer driving behaviour through regular reporting, as well as keep track of where your drivers and vehicles are so that if they do run into any kind of trouble, you can act fast.

Gain insights from your fleet

A good means of instilling safer driver behaviour in your fleet is to hold safety meetings with your drivers. Here they can actively engage in discussions with the management team on where improvements need to be made to individual vehicles and the fleet as a whole. These can be as simple as avoiding a route currently under construction or needing to change a route completely due to dangerous situations such as potholes, illegal activity and more. 

Take the time to draft a fleet safety policy revolving around your drivers. Put yourself in the driver’s seat. Keep it simple but as specific as possible and conduct regular reviews with your drivers. These meetings could include discussions around the wearing of seat belts, the use of breathalysers, and focused driving, which could be monitored by a fleet management system.

Being on the road gives fleet drivers the front-seat advantage, so put their knowledge to good use and drive effective teamwork. Managers can also use these meetings to discuss aspects such as the vehicles themselves, ways and means of improving things such as inspections, toll fees, licence renewals and more.

Cartrack’s MiFleet software is a great application to use for all this; it cuts down on your administration time and keeps you updated through alerts and reminders on where and when vehicle costs need to be covered. 

The alerts sent would also help fleet managers avoid unnecessary downtime and loss of production due to delays such as service maintenance or unpaid fines, and help increase vehicle longevity.

less thing to worry about.

Fleet monitoring to benefit transporters

Roadside situations are plentiful and it’s the responsibility of the fleet manager to try and be present as much as possible in every one of his/her fleets, to defuse any minor or major problems and quickly find the right long term solutions.

While managers do their part in keeping drivers safe, with the help of fleet management software, they can also: 

  • Supply accurate vehicle tracking
    Through GPS wireless connectivity, the fleet system ensures your drivers can always be found, no matter what route they take.

  • Provide 24-hour live reporting
    To keep the fleet manager as informed as possible, fleet management systems will automatically send reports of every event that occurs while in transit, even if the driver forgets to update it on the mobile app.

  • Have always-on digital platforms
    A live program grants both the manager and driver the benefit of continued and instant communication.

  • Instant access to custom dashboards
    Conveniently have your important or most used tools at the ready as soon as you access your mobile app. Cutting time spent on having to search for certain features.

These types of features help managers keep track of their fleet and implement both instant and long-term strategies to improve driving habits, reduce running costs and increase fleet longevity.

Put safety in your own hands

There are also a few ways drivers can take initiative and implement safety into their daily schedules. 

Training programs are available to help in managing the risks of driving, improve behind-the-wheel skills and also reduce the impact of accidents and breakdowns.

Sometimes, something as simple as rewarding drivers who practise safe road behaviour is all the motivation needed to encourage self-awareness and improvement.

Finding solutions to fleet vehicle neglect

Before we start deep diving into solutions, we first have to know the reason behind destructive driving behaviour and neglect of company vehicles. 

One is if drivers haven’t been properly trained, are unsatisfied or unmotivated at work and are reluctant or haven’t properly integrated into the work environment or culture.

This negligent behaviour can result in on-road running costs increasing, including frequent tyre and brake replacements, future maintenance expenditures, and worse, accidents.

To help rectify this behaviour, fleet managers can peruse:

  • Engaging the workforce by sharing pertinent information with them
  • Hold regular meetings with your fleet drivers to keep them informed and engaged
  • Show them their performance reports, pointing out where they’re doing well or need to make improvements, and what factors affect their results
  • Obtain as much data as possible, both electronic and verbal, to help you form a holistic image of your fleet that allows you to make informed changes with speed and efficiency

The cost of fleet accidents

One accident can greatly affect and cost your company anywhere from $16,000 to $75,000, even if it’s minor and no one was hurt. In the case of fatalities, the cost can skyrocket even if it wasn’t your employees’ fault. The fact that fleet accidents are among the most expensive injury claims for a business, is one of the main reasons why safety is a high priority for fleet business owners.

Here’s a list of the type of cost implications accidents can have on your fleet: 

  • Vehicle repairs/ replacement
  • Fines due to traffic violations
  • Legal representation
  • Court fines
  • Loss of revenue due to damaged fleet vehicles
  • The cost of insurance premiums and deductibles
  • Replacement driver training
  • Loss of productivity due to avoidable downtime

Though this list might be enough to cause a dent in any business’s profit margin, there might still be additional costs added depending on the circumstances, but rest assured, with fleet safety programs and training implemented, there will be significant reductions in on-road incidents.

What are the 5 key elements of effective fleet management?

To avoid losing money in the case of accidents or general poor productivity, businesses should invest in fleet management systems and a fleet safety program, as this long-term investment pays off through better accountability, improved fleet safety, promotes fewer collisions, and reduced operating costs.

There are a few key elements that contribute to an effective fleet safety program:

1. Hiring responsible drivers

An effective fleet safety program begins with the driver recruitment process. Start by finding the right drivers that meet the business’s fleet driver standards. Having a skilled driver with experience in driving fleet trucks would be beneficial.

The idea is to build a reliable and safe team of skilled drivers who understand the importance of fleet safety and prioritise it as much as possible. Hiring drivers who are like-minded in terms of work ethic, attitude and driving skills might result in having a low fleet driver turnover rate.

2. Having a comprehensive driver training program

After assembling a team of safe and reliable drivers, the next step is to train them.

The training of drivers not only reduces the possibility of accidents on the road but also sets a standard for safe driving among the fleet, ensuring smooth operations. 

3. Monitoring driver performance and behaviour

An effective fleet safety program requires the use of high-end fleet management software that allows fleet managers to efficiently monitor all fleet activity. Regular monitoring of driver performance and driver behaviour ensures all drivers are following the fleet safety guidelines and driving safely.

As a Cartrack customer, you’d have the benefit of using an  AI-powered camera system that monitors drivers while on the road. With this, you could get a full view of your drivers, vehicles and cargo in transit, and receive alerts on any risky driving behaviour or possible collisions. 

You can also use driver scorecards to review their performance, which makes it easier for fleet managers to identify drivers who require further coaching.

4.  Vehicle maintenance

Having routine inspections of fleet vehicles is also an essential part of proper fleet management. Now that you’ve trained your drivers to exercise safe driving behaviours, you need to equip them with vehicles that are in tip-top shape.

This will help prevent unforeseen breakdowns and accidents that result from faulty equipment or poorly maintained parts. Plus, regular vehicle monitoring will lower maintenance costs.

5. Keep a continued focus on fleet safety

The importance of overall fleet safety needs to be repeated regularly. With constant use of safety procedures, this idea will become the norm and integrate itself into the business’ culture.

Sharing important fleet safety metrics with your drivers, fleet managers, and safety officers frequently is also recommended. Seeing the benefits that the safety program brings will validate the effectiveness of the fleet safety program. The habit will continue and be properly implemented into the training programs of new drivers.

With Cartrack’s end-to-end SaaS solutions, you can improve the safety of your fleet by:

  • Having real-time monitoring of vehicle and driver behaviour with Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology can help identify and correct poor driving habits that lead to accidents and prevent them.
  • Monitoring driver performance through scoring and providing targeted training opportunities for drivers improves driving efficiency and lowers your fleet operating costs. Provide end-to-end driving analysis on your drivers’ dashboards so you can identify their most-used routes and intervene to prevent unsafe driving.
  • Creating customised driver safety policies to ensure that they can operate safely while delivering items. It also helps to lower the costs associated with poor driving behaviour.
  • Maintaining and servicing vehicles properly to keep them safe to operate and reduce the risk to both drivers and other road users. Proper maintenance can help prevent problems from occurring.
  • Creating a rewards programme to encourage drivers to drive safely and increase engagement. It is important to be able to attract and retain drivers that are motivated and engaged, as well as offer incentives or bonus payments for those who go above and beyond.

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How to improve environmental fleet sustainability with vehicle maintenance

How to Improve environmental fleet sustainability

Improving the environment, becoming a more sustainable business and reducing your fleet’s fuel and CO2 emissions sounds pretty good, especially when it means cutting your fleet costs and attracting more customers.

In this article:

  • Learn how to transition into a cleaner, greener business with fleet management systems and telematics

  • Receive helpful tips on how to reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint

  • Implement healthy habits that promote fleet sustainability such as being up-to-date with vehicle maintenance and improving driver behaviour

  • Find out how Cartrack’s complete fleet management solution can cut fuel costs, monitor fuel consumption and create a cleaner fleet

Implementing green initiatives is becoming an increasingly appealing business approach for many fleets. Green fleet practises not only generate a positive public attitude. They also take advantage of “green” government laws and incentives that cut fuel expenses and increase the profitability of your fleet, doesn’t sound like a bad deal does it?

Like most things worth having, transitioning into a cleaner fleet isn’t easy. Fleet managers have to research, plan, and finally, implement the many changes that come with achieving fleet sustainability.

A manager’s role in sustainable fleet management

Fleet management is simply a manager’s day-to-day. They oversee all movements and activities of fleet vehicles and drivers, to ensure deliveries are made and jobs are done on brief and on time. Additionally, they ensure drivers are kept safe, practising good driving behaviour and are compliant with regulations.

Overseeing all fleet operations is sometimes a stressful and overwhelming task. To efficiently be on top of everything, fleet managers use fleet management systems to increase visibility and allow for better management of their assets.

With fleet management systems, fleet managers can achieve: 

  • Reduced overall fleet costs
  • Track vehicle movement
  • Streamline deliveries
  • Improve fleet safety 
  • Increase driver retention 
  • Keep vehicles up to date with scheduled maintenance 
  • Comply with regulations

What is the most important aspect of fleet management?

With all the responsibilities that fall towards fleet managers, the most important part of their job is being able to see the bigger picture and make informed decisions that will bring the business closer to reaching its goals.

With the help of technological innovation within the fleet industry, fleet managers can now do much more than they could in the early 2000s. Technology has paved the way for fleet managers to optimise operations and coordinate their systems and employees. 

Fleet management systems do their part of automating all administrative tasks to equip fleet managers with the necessary insights to efficiently run their fleets.

Almost every decision managers make, they decide in favour of the business. Creating a balance between tightening capacity and increasing demand while dealing with driver shortages, fluctuating fuel prices, and keeping up to date with the industry’s regulations, all contribute to improving the business.

Fleet sustainability

Many businesses are now prioritising sustainability, pushing managers to add one more thing to prioritise – fleet sustainability.

Reducing the fleet’s carbon footprint goes hand in hand with lowering fuel usage and costs. So, to achieve favourable and lowered fleet costs, the first thing to do is to determine how much carbon a fleet contributes

How do you calculate your fleet carbon footprint?

The amount of COI2 emissions your fleet produces solely depends on how much fuel gets burned, so how much CO2 does your business actually burn? This calculation will help you find an answer. 

There are two ways to efficiently calculate the environmental impact of our fleet.

1. Mathematical estimation.

Find out how many litres of fuel your business buys every month, if you don’t have this information, you can take the number of miles your fleet completes in a month and your average miles-per-gallon (MPG).

With the miles and MPG, you can calculate the number of litres of fuel your fleet burned.
Alternatively, one litre of diesel is 2.68kg, while petrol is 2.32kg. You can multiply your litres by 2.68 or 2.32 and get your kilograms of CO2.

2. Accurate measurement.

This is a more precise method that involves telematics. Telematics is used along with fleet management systems to monitor and track all your vehicles, gathering information from their location and speed to their idling and fuel usage.

Either than estimating, you can see the real MPG of each vehicle at any point in time with live fuel consumption rates and reports that highlight options to improve fleet health and easily get your fleet monthly emission.

Creating a sustainable fleet management strategy

After deciding on ‘going green’, a sustainable fleet management strategy is created. This is a method that aims to positively impact the environment and reduce the environmental harm your fleet is causing. 

This method ultimately promotes efficient driving and minimises a fleet’s carbon footprint through healthy driving practices such as optimised routes, proactive vehicle maintenance and looking towards integrating electric vehicles (EVs) into a fleet.

All activities a fleet can partake in to reduce environmental, social and economic impact are included in these six key areas:

  • Prioritise cleaner vehicles
  • Utilise electric vehicles
  • Improve staff behaviour
  • Practice effective and timely maintenance
  • Utilise route optimisation
  • Get Cartrack’s fleet management solutions

Electric vehicles for fleets

Electric vehicles have been a trending topic of previous years and still seem quite relevant. These vehicles can be of service in light-duty, medium/heavy-duty and even off-road applications. EVs can match or surpass the performance of their gas-fuelled counterparts plus they’re much quieter.

There are a variety of plug-in vehicles that you can choose from.

Standard electric vehicles (EVs) are fully equipped with a battery rather than a tank and are powered by rechargeable batteries that power multiple motors.

Hybrid vehicles are the best of both. Hybrid vehicles are powered by two engines, one petrol and the other electric. They can use both petrol and electricity to run.

Electric vehicles produce 0% of gas emissions while hybrids produce very low emissions and increase fuel efficiency.

Paint your fleet green

With the sustainable fleet management strategy in hand, it’s time to turn your intentions into actions. A “green fleet” is not so different from a normal one. It can be simply defined as a fleet with sustainable goals of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions and plastic waste.

Every stage of the supply chain, from manufacturing to distribution, can have technological improvements by going green. Creating win-win situations for business, the environment and residents.

Sustainability

Step 1: Reduce your fleet’s fuel usage

Fleet management systems and telematics play a huge part in studying a fleet and compiling all the good and bad information. A report can be sent to a manager detailing not just problematic insights into your fleet but also solutions you can implement to improve fleet operations.

Both speeding and idling waste more fuel than most people know, to combat this, there are a few things recommended.

  • Positive driving behaviour 
  • AI camera technology
  • Driver scoreboard
  • Driver training program

These features can be advantageous not only in reducing the cost of speeding and idling but also in encouraging drivers and ensuring driver safety.

Step 2: Improve vehicle maintenance 

Fleet platforms can track the mileage your vehicle has travelled since its last maintenance and create maintenance schedules to keep up to date with vehicle servicing. Maintenance notifications help managers stay informed about their fleet’s maintenance checks.

The benefits of a healthy vehicle go beyond having a longer service life cycle, burning less fuel and reducing overall fleet costs. Avoiding unforeseen breakdowns saves the business more money than having a vehicle out of service and paying more to repair what’s damaged.

Tips to easily turn your fleet green

It all starts with reducing your fuel consumption and associated emissions. The extensive amount of carbon waste produced does more damage to the environment than most. Depending on the size of your business, you might find that the number of vehicles in your fleet makes a difference in how long you will need to completely change your business for the better.

Go electric
One of the easiest ways to dramatically boost your fleet’s sustainability efforts is to utilise electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles. Even if you choose hybrid vehicles and don’t fully go electric, hybrids will still have a significant change in your monthly fuel consumption and fuel costs.

Vehicle selection
Choosing the right vehicles for your business makes a difference. Bigger might not always be better, it all depends on which products are being transported and which vehicles are making the deliveries.

If your fleet only consists of 18-wheelers yet they are delivering small furniture, it might be wise to use a smaller vehicle that uses less fuel. Selecting green vehicles not only assists with sustainable goals but also reduces the overall running cost of your fleet.

Track fuel consumption
With vehicle telematics, you can see fuel consumption info on your fleet platform automatically. Telematics is considered a go-to in green fleet technology, it can give you some well-needed insight into your fleet and drivers. 

Sometimes it may be difficult to improve all of your drivers’ driving behaviour as they may not be facing the same issues. The best option here might be to train your drivers and teach them useful habits, such as how heavy acceleration uses more fuel than gradual acceleration.

Log and report everything
To create a green fleet system, you must keep track of everything that happens in your fleet. Use fleet technology to track emissions, idling, and other metrics as part of your green fleet operations. Only through tracking data will you be able to assess how successfully your green fleet goals are being met.

These are the building blocks to creating a more sustainable fleet.

How does a green fleet help environmental sustainability?

The major objective of a green fleet should be to improve environmental sustainability and reduce the fleet’s carbon footprint. This can be performed in several ways:

Improving driver behaviour – From rapid acceleration to hard brakes and vehicle idling, driver conduct influences your fleet’s green activities, which can be good and bad.

Reduce your carbon footprint – By collaborating with companies like Cartrack, you can have your fleet’s full activities on one platform and achieve lowered carbon emissions. Using Cartrack will not only benefit the environment, but it could also have positive tax implications for your business. 

Electric vehicles – While not every fleet will be able to replace all their gas vehicles with electric ones, it doesn’t hurt to start considering the option and perhaps implementing it in small ways like having a few electric vehicles that drivers can use once in a while. 

Reward your drivers – Rewards aren’t practised in many businesses, but they have been proven to work, especially in boosting driver behaviour and encouraging safer driving.

Use telemetry data – Your telematics already gathers and compiles all the data you need to understand your fleet. This is a treasure trove of viable information on how to increase the sustainability of your fleet. 

Promote fleet sustainability

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  • Cut unnecessary fuel emissions
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How Cartrack helps digitise fleet management administration

How Cartrack helps digitise fleet management administration

Fleet administrators work in offices overloaded with stacks of paperwork and data that they need to compile, keep and search through manually. Thanks to digitisation, this chaos and confusion can simply be solved!

In this article:

  • Gain insight into the role and responsibilities of fleet administrators in a fleet operation or business.

  • Learn about the shift in fleet management and how fleet management software has tackled fleet administration challenges by simplifying the fleet management process.

  • Unpack the advantages of using fleet management software for your fleet operation.

  • Discover how Cartrack can help you digitise fleet management administration with our all-in-one fleet management platform.

The emergence of fleet management software has allowed for the shift from manual to digital fleet management. Fleet administrators can now say goodbye to browsing through heaps of paperwork by streamlining the entire fleet operation and using data analysis to ensure smooth fleet operations. 

Firstly, what is vehicle fleet management?

Fleet management is a term of paramount importance for any business that relies on commercial vehicles to operate – whether it be cars, buses, vans, or trucks. This is because fleet management refers to the measures taken to manage all fleet vehicles and assets to operate a fleet business efficiently, in a timely manner, and within set budgets and profits. 

The fleet management process ensures that a fleet business reduces operating costs to increase profits, improves its reputation by improving efficiency and customer satisfaction, and ensures fleet compliance.

Fleet management is therefore purposeful because it allows the fleet businesses to maximise productivity and profits with minimal associated risks and operational costs. Effective fleet management is achievable through the combination of vehicle or GPS tracking, fuel consumption management, monitored driver behaviour, and vehicle maintenance – all this is in the hands of a fleet administrator or manager. 

Let’s take a moment to step into the shoes of a fleet administrator.

What a typical fleet management administrator job looks like

A fleet administrator is an individual responsible for overseeing a fleet business’s vehicles and operations. Fleet administrators possess the ability to ensure fleet businesses reduce fleet operation costs while increasing profits. This is an essential and critical role as the success or failure of a fleet business lies in the hands of a fleet administrator’s ability to effectively manage the fleet. 

Although the precise job description of a fleet administrator varies based on the business industry, size, and type. Below is a list of some of the tasks a fleet administrator is responsible for:

  • Fleet analysis, reporting, and optimisation
  • Ensuring driver and vehicle safety
  • Ensuring vehicle maintenance and services
  • Managing and organising business admin and reports
  • Monitoring fuel consumption
  • Controlling and managing operation costs
  • Assigning tasks and ensuring timely delivery

Challenges faced by modern fleet administrators.

With all the demands and responsibilities, fleet administration management requires managers to ‘wear many hats’ in their role. As a result, this is accompanied by challenges encountered on a daily basis, such as: 

  • Fuel management: One of the biggest operational cost challenges for fleet administrators is managing fuel consumption. Both internal factors such as driver behaviour and external factors such as fluctuations in the fuel market price affect the ability of fleet administrators to manage fuel costs and consumption.
  • Vehicle maintenance and driver safety: It is the responsibility of a  fleet administrator to ensure the safety of both vehicles and drivers. It can be challenging for a fleet administrator to keep up with each fleet vehicle’s maintenance, and monitor each driver’s behaviour- whether it is for one or 100 vehicles and drivers.
  • Admin overload: Whether big or small, fleet operations generate a lot of data. Searching through large amounts of information can be time and energy-consuming, and runs the risk of misplacing or losing important information. 

Luckily, there is fleet management software that helps fleet administrators overcome these challenges by digitising and automating the fleet management processes. 

Digitise vehicle fleet management with fleet management software

Fleet management software is the technology that helps fleet administrators gain an overview of the entire fleet operations to efficiently complete fleet-related tasks in a productive and timely manner. The purpose of fleet management software is to maintain an accurate and up-to-date overview of vehicle and asset GPS location, vehicle diagnostics, and identifying risky or unsafe driver behaviour while simultaneously reducing manager workload and admin.

With fleet management software, fleet management has never been more simple! Fleet administrators can now track, monitor, and manage:

  • Vehicles, assets, equipment, and drivers
  • Vehicle maintenance and repair
  • Fuel consumption and operation costs
  • Driver behaviour and road safety
  • Tasks, driver routes, and completion rates
  • Fleet compliance 

Fleet administrators are therefore able to save time, money, and energy while collecting fleet-related data that is converted into easy-to-understand and easy-to-use reports and actionable insights. Fleet managers use this information to make informed decisions regarding the fleet operation, coordinate the fleet operation and reduce operational costs while ensuring maximum safety, efficiency, and compliance with fleet regulations. 

Fleet management software also ensures that drivers are rewarded and recognised for their good work ethic and safe driving habits. With data stored on a cloud-based platform and easily accessible in real time, fleet administrators can use it anytime whether to reward, train or expedite employees. 

5 advantages of fleet management software for fleet administrators ​

Digitisation has had a positive impact on fleet management. With the use of fleet management software, fleet administrators can:

  1. Improve driver and vehicle safety

Safety is a priority in fleet management, luckily vehicle and driver safety have improved thanks to digitisation. Fleet management software helps fleet administrators tackle safety concerns such as accidents, driving in unsafe areas, and unsafe driver behaviours. Fleet management software enables fleet managers to plan maintenance in advance and take vehicles that are at risk off the road, reducing the chance of breakdowns and potential accidents.‍

  1. Improve driver efficiency

One of the main benefits of the switch from manual fleet management to fleet management software is that it has improved fleet efficiency. With a birds-eye view of driver routes, fleet administrators can inform and instruct drivers to follow certain routes that lead to the safest and quickest deliveries while using the least amount of fuel- bravo! 

This results in cost savings that can increase profitability and gives the business a competitive reputation.‍

  1. Monitor operation costs and fuel consumption

Typically, fuel costs account for most of the operating costs in a fleet business. The excessive use of fuel even in small amounts, add up quickly and steal from the business profits. Fleet management software has helped fleet administrators ensure that no drop of fuel goes to waste.

  1. Get alerts on vehicle maintenance

Using fleet management software to track and stay up-to-date on vehicle maintenance such as routine oil changes or tire rotations simplifies the job as fleet administrators can receive real-time alerts on when a vehicle inspection is due –  leaving less room for downtime and more for work time.

  1. Track vehicles and assets

Telematics fleet management allows for GPS tracking of fleet vehicles and assets, and route optimisation so it is easier for fleet administrators to track assets and vehicles. This not only saves the fleet administrator time and guesswork but also saves fuel costs by reducing the chances of drivers getting lost and wasting fuel and time.

How Cartrack helps digitise fleet management administration

Cartrack is a software-as-a-service (Saas) platform that helps small, medium, and large businesses digitise fleet management to optimise fleet utilisation, driver and vehicle safety, risk management, as well as workforce optimisation while using data to grow the business. 

Following are some Cartrack fleet management software and solutions that a business can use to shift from manual to digitised fleet management: 

Web-based software

Cartrack’s easy-to-use and all-in-one platform empowers fleet administrators or managers to streamline the entire fleet operation from team and task management to controlling operation costs. With fleet telematics software, fleet administrators can track the current and historical location of fleet vehicles and assets from anywhere and at any time. Fleet administrators not only save time and energy on admin but also never lose data thanks to Cartrack’s web-based platform that stores data and gives access to historical data.

Reports and actionable insights

Cartrack’s fleet management system has a powerful onboard telemetry device that is responsible for monitoring the vehicle and driver behavioural patterns according to predefined settings, including GPS positioning. This data is obtained by the fleet management system and is designed to accurately and efficiently assist fleet administrators in managing  fleet vehicles, driver behaviour, completion rates, and even fuel consumption. Fleet administrators have the option to select from a range of over 40 standard reports including mileage, driver scorecard, speeding, and productivity reports. 

‍ Automated and real-time alerts

With Cartrack, fleet administrators can pre-set vehicle violations such as driving over the road’s speed limit, driving over the vehicle’s set speed limit, harsh braking, cornering, acceleration, and entering and exiting geofences or no-go zones and receive real-time alerts when any unauthorised violations occur. 

Fleet maintenance with MiFleet

MiFleet is Cartrack’s easy-to-use administrative and vehicle cost accounting software that can efficiently manage fleet vehicles, drivers, and operating costs. Fleet administrators enjoy the full benefits of MiFleet when tracking devices are installed in fleet vehicles. However, this software can be used for fleet management whether or not the fleet is equipped with telematics technology. One of the great advantages of MiFleet is fuel consumption monitoring. This enables fleet administrators to reduce fleet running costs by quickly detecting any discrepancies caused by fuel theft or uneconomical driving.

Routing

Routing is a software application that allows fleet administrators to easily set and manage predefined routes for drivers to follow. Fleet administrators receive alerts in real time of any route deviations. Keeping vehicles on their planned routes reduces wastage in operating costs and ensures that drivers are sticking to the task at hand and all cargo stays on the correct course.

Contact Cartrack and digitise fleet management administration

Cartrack is committed to providing solutions that make fleet management as simple as possible while in-turn empowering fleet operations to run smoothly and successfully. 

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Boost driver safety and empower fleet drivers to improve their driver behaviour

Boost Driver Safety

From the products you deliver to the drivers who transport them, discover actionable fleet safety tips and efficient ways fleet managers can empower drivers to drive safer.

In this article:
  • Learn how you can use fleet management systems to uphold safety standards within your fleet
  • Gain insight into how bad driving behaviour can negatively impact your business and how improving it can reduce fleet and maintenance costs
  • Understand the different types of managerial methods and find out which works best for your fleet
  • Know how to implement safety within your fleet through safety policies, penalties and rewards
  • Read about Cartrack’s fleet management training program that provides the necessary skills to better manage and improve your fleet.

For many fleet businesses, drivers are instrumental in keeping everything up and running. Safety affects the entire business, so how drivers behave can have a huge impact on a business’s finances,  reputation and even customer relationships.

It is the responsibility of your fleet managers to follow safety regulations set out by the business. To develop a solid safety culture throughout the business you need the right fleet system and process to ensure your drivers are productive, safe and compliant

Fleet management software and safety within the fleet

Effective driver management through fleet systems can save your company considerable time and money, all while modernising your fleet with some technological help. While fleet systems are mainly targeted at bettering a manager’s daily responsibilities, it’s important to also use technological innovations to positively impact fleet drivers. 

Fleet management software can be seen as a driver management tool that has the power to not only optimise delivery workflow but also improve driver skills, awareness and behaviour on the road, all benefits drivers can use to better their driving performance.

Which driver management technique is best for managing fleet drivers?

As a fleet owner or a fleet manager, it’s important to protect your fleet – namely, your drivers and vehicles. To do this, you need to know exactly which behaviours to address; and which technique you can use to help improve them.

Here are four useful techniques to help fleet managers better manage their fleet:

1. Learning management system (LMS) 

This prepares drivers with basic course materials for all circumstances aligned with driver safety, including how to handle traffic, road law compliance and weather conditions. Fleet drivers occupy more time on the roads than average commuters, so fleet management is needed to maintain safety measures for the sake of the drivers, vehicles in use and the transported items.

2. Fleet management systems (FMS)

This is known as a fleet manager’s no.1 method of managing operations. It can help you optimise and streamline your entire operations. It provides advanced data and insights that help managers monitor and enhances driver behaviour, vehicle safety and good maintenance practices. This results in a more efficient, higher-performing fleet that can continue to grow as a business.

3. GPS vehicle tracking

Asset monitoring systems play an integral part in your driver management and make keeping track of fleet vehicles that much easier. This system uses GPS location technology to help you pinpoint your vehicles and give you driver and vehicle behaviour insights. Most Industry-leading vehicle tracking systems can automatically present this information on a user-friendly interface, which fleet managers can view via desktop, tablet and mobile.

4. Fleet driver safety programs

These are often the first steps in improving driver behaviour and implementing road safety practices. Safety programs are available through in-house personnel or subcontracting third-party references through accredited institutions. The purpose of these programs is to foster morale and instil mandatory driver training skills

5 key elements of effective fleet management

To avoid losing money in the case of accidents or general poor productivity, businesses should invest in a fleet management system and a fleet safety program. The long-term investment of this pays off through better accountability, improved fleet safety, and promotes fewer collisions which all result in reduced operating costs.

These are a few key elements that contribute to an effective fleet safety program:

1. Hiring responsible drivers

An effective fleet safety program begins with the driver recruitment process. Start by finding the right drivers that meet the business’s fleet driver standards. Having a skilled driver with experience in driving fleet trucks would be beneficial.

The idea is to build a reliable and safe team of skilled drivers who understand the importance of fleet safety and prioritise it as much as possible. Hiring drivers who are like-minded in terms of work ethic, attitude and driving skills might result in having a low fleet driver turnover rate.

2. Having a comprehensive driver training program

After assembling a team of safe and reliable drivers, the next step is to train them.

Cartrack has a fleet management training course for fleet managers looking to maximise productivity, as well as offers training facilities for drivers to better improve their driving skills and behaviour.

The training of drivers not only reduces the possibility of accidents on the road but also sets a standard for safe driving among the fleet, ensuring smooth operations.

3. Monitoring driver performance and behaviour

Effective fleet safety programs require the use of high-end fleet management software that allows fleet managers to efficiently monitor all fleet activity. Regular monitoring of driver performance and driver behaviour ensures all drivers are following the fleet safety guidelines and driving safely.

As a Cartrack customer, you’d have the benefit of using an AI-powered camera system that monitors drivers while on the road. With this, you could get a full view of your drivers, vehicles and cargo in transit, and receive alerts on any risky driving behaviour or possible collisions. 

You can also use driver scorecards to review their performance, which makes it easier for fleet managers to identify drivers who require further coaching.

4.  Vehicle maintenance

Having routine inspections of fleet vehicles is also an essential part of proper fleet management. Now that you’ve trained your drivers to exercise safe driving behaviours, you need to equip them with vehicles that are in tip-top shape.

This will help prevent unforeseen breakdowns and accidents that result from faulty equipment or poorly maintained parts. Plus, regular vehicle monitoring will lower maintenance costs.

5. Keep a continued focus on fleet safety

The importance of overall fleet safety needs to be repeated regularly. With constant use of safety procedures, this idea will become the norm and integrate itself into the business’s culture.

Sharing important fleet safety metrics with your drivers, fleet managers, and safety officers frequently is also recommended. Seeing the benefits that the safety program brings will validate the effectiveness of the fleet safety program. The habit will continue and be properly implemented into the training programs of new drivers.

Why is improving fleet driver behaviour important?

Your drivers are the most valuable assets of your fleet business. How they behave on the road is a direct reflection of your business culture. Bad driving paints a negative picture for potential customers driving alongside the branded vehicle. And bad customer service does the same thing since drivers are often the first interaction customers receive from a business after ordering/partnering with them.

So, if you wish to streamline your operations and take your business a step further, you must improve fleet driver behaviour first through driving behaviour monitoring and training.

For this, you need to know exactly which behaviours to address; this way, you can adjust your coaching accordingly, and be effective in instilling a safe driving mindset among your employees. This will be most effective if you remember that not all drivers struggle with the same thing and learn at different paces.

How do you create better driving within your fleet?

By putting driver safety and empowerment at the centre of training programs!

A successful training program results in fleet drivers who can recognise their risky driving behaviours and can swiftly correct them. Taking initiative puts fleet drivers in the best position to help keep their fleet on track during challenging times and gives their managers one less thing to worry about.

This long-term investment pays off through: 

  • Better accountability
  • Promotes fewer collisions
  • Reduced operating costs

Safety needs to begin with fleet managers, implementing a few techniques will help to improve performance and create safer drivers:

  1. Identify driver behaviours

The more a driver is distracted while on the road, the more likely an accident will occur. Though driving for hours on end all day might be tiring, a self-aware, conscious driver is always better than one who isn’t.

Identify the drivers’ distractions accordingly, whether it’s dangerous actions like cell phone use, fatigue etc. With Cartrack’s smart AI-powered cameras, these behaviours can be quickly identified and help: 

  • Prevent accidents
  • Improve driver behaviour
  • Provide video proof for incidents 
  1. Improve performance

The key to creating better drivers is to improve performance. A fleet management system can store driver information, enabling easier reporting on accident rates and behaviour, which helps identify risk and reduce costly repairs, vehicle downtime and insurance premiums. 

Having a system in place that enables you to understand the causes of safety challenges means a better chance of finding and implementing possible solutions. Fleet driver management software keeps your driver records up-to-date, organised and easily accessible for these purposes.

  1. Communicate better

A good management system doesn’t just help to inform you about your drivers’ live locations, it also helps by cutting the middleman out and communicating directly with drivers.

In the past, manager-to-driver communication was inefficient and mostly required manual communication through calling/texting. Luckily fleet management software has upgraded this process to GPS live locations, instant communication and other benefits that include:

  • Easily assign jobs to drivers according to proximity to the client
  • Optimise delivery routes for fast delivery and cut costs
  • Receive live alerts when jobs are completed

Driver Behaviour

Work and reward method

Sometimes, something as simple as rewarding drivers who practise safe road behaviour is all the motivation needed to encourage self-awareness and improvement.

Just telling your crew to drive safely is sometimes not enough to improve fleet driver behaviour. Aside from instructions, you should also consider instilling good driving habits that can be measured up to notable results. Then, reward good driving habits.

A reward program that provides incentives or bonuses for their commitment is an effective way of attracting and retaining motivated, engaged, and high-performing drivers.

Just keep in mind that change doesn’t occur overnight, improving your fleet drivers’ behaviour needs patience from both sides. 

To that end, a vehicle management system, which is based on telematics technology, like Cartrack’s complete fleet management solutions, can make all the difference. This can bring real-time insights that can help you develop a driver safety training plan and so much more.

Interested to learn more?

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