Setting Goals for Fleets in 2022

Start the New Year by Setting Goals to Improve 3 Things in Your Fleet

Submitted by Kim Thoman

Setting goals is the best way to start off the new year. So, Happy New Year to all our fleet owners and managers! Whether your goals are sales, service or office oriented, it is important to set yourself up for success in 2022. In today’s blog, we will focus on 3 top goals that are trending in fleet management and how can we help you achieve these goals.

1. Adoption of EV

setting goals for EV adoption

With an increase in tighter emissions regulations, electric vehicle (EV) sales skyrocketed in 2021. This being said, it is only a matter of time before more fleets begin using electric cars and trucks, in fact many already have started the adoption process. Fleetistics can help you evaluate your fleet for EV suitability. 

If you are setting goals for EV adoption, there are two major concerns for fleet management:

Cost of phasing out gasoline vehicles and the price of EVs.

The biggest concern is the cost involved with switching to EV. Most experts forecast that EVs will be competitively priced with gasoline vehicles in the next few years. Although there will still be an upfront cost in charging infrastructure, the amount of money saved on fuel will eventually make up for it. According to AAA, in January of 2021, national fuel prices averaged $3.03 per gallon for gas and $3.59 for diesel. Meanwhile, the national average of electricity was just $0.14 kWh. These kinds of savings add up very quickly.

Range Anxiety

The definition of range anxiety is “worry on the part of a person driving an electric car that the battery will run out of power before the destination, or a suitable charging point is reached”. This is a very valid worry however the mileage an EV can drive in a given period of time is also increasing with new technology. In your MyFleetistics accounts under the Resources menu, there is a link a map of charging stations in your area. 

There are many apps available for drivers to have available to find the nearest charging stations and based on the miles per day they drive are very suited for EVs. We have tools in place, such as our EV Suitability Assessment (EVSA) that are free in conjunction with our telematics software solutions that can analyze your fleet in the environment they drive in daily. We take a look the types of EVs a company is looking to purchase, and based on their current activity the tool will recommend which vehicles would be candidates and which may not be at this time.

 

2. Adoption of Digital Key Technology

Setting goals for keyless entry

Some of you may be setting goals to implement a better way to control and manage access to your vehicles.  There have been many requests over the last few years, as the variety of applications for telematics has expanded. High on that request list is remote vehicle access and management solutions. Especially with the ongoing COVID pandemic, our customers need more advanced ways to control and manage keys. This is especially true in the public car sharing sector as well as corporate and government motor pooling.

The good news is that this technology is available and can easily be added to some telematics platforms making the adoption seamless.

3. Improved Performance Monitoring with DashCams

Geotab Rosco Dashcam

If you are not setting goals to implement DashCams, you may want to reconsider. Dash-cams are not a new technology in the fleet space, but there have been a lot of enhanced features developed over the last year.

Paying full attention behind the wheel is critical for drivers, from the moment a vehicle is started. Normally good drivers can become dangerous “distracted drivers” if they use a phone, eat, drink or smoke, even in a parking lot. Distracted driving cameras use artificial intelligence (AI) to detect this behavior and have some built in algorithms to fuse out anomalies.

DashCams can help companies combat risky driving. They work with rules that are already in place using speed and accelerometer data to improve driving behavior. We always tell our clients that our goal is for “every driver comes home safely every night”.

Fleetistics offers the most affordable dashcam on the market at just $19.95 for in/out cameras.

Pilot to Understand the Return Your on Investment

Setting goals is only step one. Understanding how to best implement technology to achieve those goals requires careful planning. Fleetistics offers a pilot program we call our Solution Evaluation Process. It allows our customers to “try before they buy” and get unique implementation and training throughout the process.

We take the time to understand what every client that participates operation looks like and what their top goals to achieve success. In some cases we assist with setting these goals. We then run a pilot phase to get before and after data to analyze and show proof of worth and the value this technology can bring to your fleet. The goal for us is that the client is getting the maximized savings based on their needs, training and everything else they need to set them up for success by the end of the process.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Truckers Against Trafficking – Trucker participation has the potential to disrupt this perilous criminal enterprise!

Truckers Against Trafficking met with us last week to discuss how DashCams might be incorporated into their strategy.  Truckers with dashcams are able to inconspicuously document what they are seeing to provide details to law enforcement. The conversation expanded to cover many aspects of the organization and the impact they are having. We are thrilled to be able to share their story!

By Lyn Leeburg, TAT Communications Director and Co-Founder

republished with permission

Truckers Against Trafficking has provided us with the following post to share.  We are honored to be able to bring attention to the work they are doing to expose and someday put an end to human trafficking.

When working on a strategy to fight human trafficking, one of the first steps should be to determine which groups of people have the greatest opportunity to spot human trafficking as it is happening. In other words, who could serve as the primary surveillance? In comes, Truckers Against Trafficking, or TAT as they are known.

When it comes to this crime, those front-line people include such groups as medical personnel, who treat victims in medical clinics; service personnel in local neighborhoods (such as postal workers, and cable, electrical, and water providers), who come by homes on a regular basis and would notice if something unusual was going on; restaurant and hotel personnel, who might see trafficking taking place in their establishments; and members of all segments of the transportation industry, including airport employees, because traffickers are continually transporting victims to sell them in a variety of places.

Truckers Against Trafficking – What Started It All?

Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) began as an initiative of Chapter 61 Ministries in 2009 to work with the trucking industry, because it’s 7-million strong. Truckers are trained to be extremely observant. The trucking industry is composed of people already entrusted with caring for other people’s goods, which speaks to the character of the industry when it comes to caring for others-especially when the interest of others might be in trouble.

Members of the trucking industry are everywhere, covering the entire United States. Lastly, traffickers wanting to make fast money often target truckers at truck stops and rest areas (because they’re everywhere and easy to reach right along highways) to sell their victims. This is evidenced by the number of victims rescued from truck stops by the FBI.

The members of Chapter 61 Ministries believed that if the trucking industry were empowered with education and equipped with tools to fight human trafficking, they would be quick to mobilize against this crime. They could do their part to see victims recovered and perpetrators arrested. Members of the trucking industry could be everyday heroes in the course of their jobs and make a significant impact against the criminal activity of human trafficking. Perhaps they might even have a greater impact than the average person, because of their mobility and training. They were a critical front-line group to recruit.

How it Works

Using tools such as an informational website (www.TruckersAgainstTrafficking.org), on-demand webinars, a trucking-industry-specific training DVD, wallet cards with signs to look for and questions to ask, and social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter), TAT began making contacts throughout the trucking industry to build relationships and state the case for trucking members to join the abolitionist movement.

TAT also began having a presence at major trucking shows as well as providing free presentations wherever requested by members of the trucking industry. The trucking industry began responding positively. By 2011, TAT had grown so much and was making such an impact in the industry that it needed to become an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization in order to sustain its efforts.

Members of the trucking industry, who had witnessed the prostitution of women and minors at various places throughout the United States for years but who had not known what it was -forced prostitution and modern-day slavery-began calling the National Human Trafficking Hotline to report what they were seeing. Since Dec. 7th, 2007, when the hotline began, the national hotline has received 2782+ calls from truckers, which have opened 715 likely cases of human trafficking involving 1303 people.

Truckers Against Trafficking Partnerships

Major travel plaza and truck stop organizations joined TAT by making a commitment to train their employees with TAT materials and to make those materials available for trucking customers across the United States. Truck-driving schools, national and state trucking organizations, trucking companies – both large and small -individual truckers, trucking organizations of all types, and trucking media have also joined forces with TAT.

TAT works to create relationships between state and federal law enforcement and members of the trucking industry through half-day events called coalition builds. These events provide a more effective localized response to human trafficking by gathering law enforcement agencies (state, federal and local) and local anti-trafficking resources (task forces and local non-governmental organizations) in the same room with key industry stakeholders, including general managers of truck stops and representatives of state trucking associations and carriers.

Using TAT materials, the Motor Vehicle Enforcement division of the Iowa Department of Transportation has created a model for other states to follow in working with the trucking industry. They place TAT materials in their state scale sites, state rest areas, and state truck stops. They are also working with major carriers in the state to train their employees with TAT materials.

Why Truckers?

Watching the TAT training DVD readily answers that question. With one phone call, a trucker who saw some under-aged girls working a truck stop not only facilitated the recovery of those girls, but also that of seven other minors. Thirty-one offenders were arrested and a 13-state prostitution ring was broken.

Training and working with front-line responders in the United States in the fight against human trafficking is a strategy that can and does yield big results … and members of the trucking industry are some of the leading front-line responders.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Getting Drowsy While Driving

Drowsy Driving Statistics

According to one post, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA)  says “Drowsy driving kills – but is preventable.” They attribute 697 deaths in 2019 to drowsy driving related crashes. In another article, Jesse Blatt, NHTSA Senior Research Psychologist estimated that getting drowsy while driving, specifically fatigue and sleep deprivation, contributes to as many as 100,000 reported collisions annually in the US, resulting in as many as 1500 deaths.

Considering the sedentary lifestyle, and long hours spent driving, much of it at night, commercial truck drivers are at extremely high risk for falling asleep while driving. According to FMCSA, studies indicate that 28% of commercial truckers may actually suffer from undiagnosed mild to severe sleep disorders that affect their quality of sleep.

Getting Drowsy While Driving Lighter Duty Vehicles

For service truck and delivery drivers, it is nearly impossible to track as work hours and driving time are not tightly regulated as they are for over the road truckers. But when deadlines are looming and workers put in overtime hours, work related fatigue can also contribute to getting drowsy while driving.

Even vacationers driving long distances that they are not used to can fall victim to drowsy driving. In the case of leisure travelers and long weekend road trips, alcohol may also become a contributing factor. Bottom line, we all share the same roads and inherent risks.

Danger Signs of Drowsy Driving

According to the Sleep Foundation, these are the signs to be aware of. If you notice them, you should look for the next available opportunity to stop and rest. If you notice them in a vehicle you are driving near, put some space between that vehicle and yours.

  • Frequent yawning
  • Feelings of dozing off
  • Tired eyes, droopy eyes, or an increase in blinking
  • Drifting into other lanes or hitting “rumble strips” on the road
  • Inability to remember the last few miles
  • Missing a road sign or exit
  • Following other cars too closely
  • Difficulty maintaining proper speed

Liability Issues

There is a wealth of information to be found on the law firm websites that specialize in collision litigation. It is not surprising that trucking companies are concerned about potential nuclear verdicts when you see the number of law firms engaging in this specialty. One such firms states on their site, “fatigued truck drivers account for approximately 750 deaths and 20,000 injuries every year according to the FMCSA”. What we learn from their content is that if you are involved in a collision and suspected of drowsy driving, that is just the beginning. The deeper your pockets, the deeper they will dig.

Drivers taking prescription meds for legitimate conditions may not be aware of the side effects of those drugs. Any drugs that have side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness should be avoided entirely to prevent getting drowsy while driving. Drivers under pressure to pick up the next load or deliver on time may be tempted to skip a break or a vehicle inspection to save a few precious minutes. If this comes to light in a subsequent litigation, both the employer and the driver will be held accountable.

Get A Good Night’s Sleep to Prevent Drowsy Driving

As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nothing is better than a good night’s rest to prevent getting drowsy while driving. There are a variety of sources available to truckers (as well as the rest of us) for the sole purpose of getting better, more comfortable sleep for improved health and wellness. We found lots of great suggestions for drivers on MySlumberyard.com as well as other health and wellness sites.

Here are the top 10 suggestions we found.

  1. Getting good, restful sleep is critical! Create a great sleep environment in your sleeper cab. This includes a good comfortable mattress, mattress topper and pillow appropriate to your size and weight. Be sure to have a way to block light if you have a window in your sleeper cab. Have blankets or comforters in weights appropriate to the climate/season you are driving in.
  2. Park as far from buildings, street/parking lot lights, and other vehicles as possible for a quieter sleeping spot. Use white noise or ear plugs when needed. Avoid parking next to reefer trucks and live animal loads.
  3. Treat yourself to a motel with a real bed every now and then.
  4. Have a sleep routine. As much as possible stick to that routine so your body develops a rhythm for when it’s time to drive and when it is time to rest. Keep in mind, experts say midnight to 6:00 AM is the drowsiest time of day for most people.
  5. If possible, bring a travel companion. Good company and conversation help to keep you alert.
  6. If you have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, or often feel sleepy during the day, see your doctor for evaluation of potential sleep disorders.
  7. Learn where the best Truck Stops and Rest Areas are along your route and plan your drive time so you can stop at them.
  8. Eat nutritious meals and avoid excessive eating or drinking before going to sleep.
  9. Avoid stressful phone calls before going to sleep.
  10. We all need to wind down after a busy day. Consider a meditation routine, leisurely walk, yoga, or listening to relaxing music before going to bed.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Curbing Fuel Fraud with Fleet Fuel Cards

Fleet Cards for Small Fleets Address Fuel Fraud

Many fleet operators have noticed rising incidence of fuel fraud as gasoline and diesel prices continue to rise.  Top on the list is making personal purchases with a company issued credit card.  Several ways this is commonly done are to dispense more fuel than the vehicle’s tank holds by using another container or another vehicle (often called slippage), purchasing unauthorized goods or services, and sharing a fuel card with unauthorized users in exchange for cash. Some employers have discovered employees fraudulently using merchant loyalty programs for their personal benefit.  Add to that the real risk of encountering a pump with a skimmer, and the potential for a major financial loss is compounded.

Fleetistics WEX Fuel Card

One way to combat fuel fraud is to use a fleet fuel card program that is integrated with your GPS tracking and telematics.  As you look at fuel cards for small fleets, be aware that the Fleetistics WEX fuel card integration is available as a standard offering to our Geotab customers using our WEX fuel card. It pulls data from both systems to more easily detect anomalies.

You can easily confirm the vehicle was located at the fueling location at the time the fuel was dispensed. You can monitor the gallons dispensed against the fuel tank size.  Even better, you can control what kinds of purchases the card can be used for, limit the amount of fuel that can be purchased in a week, and even what grade of fuel can be purchased.  Another benefit of using the Fleetistics WEX Fleet Fuel Card is access to your WEX account right from the MyFleetistics telematics user portal for access to basic and convenient fuel analytics. If you want to schedule reports and administer the account, the standard WEX account remains available.

Fleet Fuel Card Reports & Analytics

In MyFleetistics Analytics we provide a variety of ways to review your Fleetistics WEX Fleet Fuel card data, and even if you use another provider for your GPS tracking, there is still potential for integration with your GPS tracking data. In this view we display total fuel purchased for the timeframe, and vehicles or groups you select. Diesel and gas are color coded for easy reference.

Fleet Fuel Card Analytics
The fuel summary report breaks down dollars spent for fuel and non-fuel purchases, total gallons and averages per transaction.

Fleet Fuel Fuel Card Spend Summary
The fuel by merchant report can be sorted by any column to get to the specific information you need.

Fleet Fuel Card sort by merchant
The trending report gives insight into changes in your fuel usage over time. All MyFleetistics fuel reports can be exported to excel files to be combined with or compared to other performance indicators you may be tracking.

Fuel trend report

Fleetistics WEX fleet Fuel card

Download Fleetistics WEX Brochure

Apply for Fleetistics Fuel Card

Integrate Fleet Card Data

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Achieving Expert Fleet Management is the Goal

Expert fleet management is achievable, even in smaller companies where the fleet manager has a variety of other responsibilities. With that in mind, we put a lot of effort into training clients to get the most out of their telematics systems. A few tips and tricks can go a long way toward improving fleet management. Every now and then we see something that tells us they really got it! Today was one of those days.

What To Do When Devices Stop Reporting

The “bones” of your fleet management system are in the device or vehicle list. Fleetistics provides the Device Status Table to monitor reporting devices and easily submit a support case to efficiently resolve any issues. Often, when a vehicle is sold or undergoing a lengthy repair, the customer will remove it from the database.

A more fficient practice is to make a Group for vehicles/devices out of service so they can ensure they are plugged back in and returned to service. If a vehicle is to be sold, traded, or scrapped, the GPS tracker should be moved to another vehicle. Utilizing unique and telling device names and a date is a trick a customer recently used to stay on top of administrative changes taking place.

We always coach clients to keep their spares and unused devices listed in the database, and to name them in a way that tells them what they need to know. Here is a perfect example! Creative naming puts a ton of valuable information in front of the Administrator for Database #1 without ever leaving the vehicle/device list. That contributes to expert fleet management. In contrast, the Administrator for Database # 2 can see there are 3 devices not reporting but is not documenting the “why?” that results in action being taken.

Expert Fleet Management with Creative Vehicle Naming

Just imagine the many ways creative vehicle naming can be used to foster expert fleet management. In this short list of vehicles for Database #1, the Administrator is reminded to order parts needed, call the insurance agent, make sure certain vehicles are not used, assign projects to the mechanic based on most needed vehicles to return to service… all while maintaining a complete list of active devices in the database.

Let’s face it, we all have way too much to keep up with. The Administrator for Database #1 has come up with a simple telematics system “hack” that fosters expert fleet management in his organization. Something as simple as descriptive naming of vehicles is saving that organization valuable time and resources.

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing

Vehicle & Asset Telematics

Electronic Forms

Mobile Viewing

Routing