Driver Improvement Through Targeted Driver Training

Ongoing driver improvement through targeted driver training is one of the hottest trends in fleet management today.

When based on actual driving history, it is an effective tool for driver improvement. A recent article in Commercial Carrier Journal mentions the need for more targeted driver training.  The article warns that in cab alerts are distracting to the driver. Classroom trainings like those endorsed by the National Safety Council are great, and have been the standard for many years.  We teach the NSC Defensive Driving Course on a monthly basis at our own corporate office, but it takes advance planning and time off the job for drivers to attend.  Business requires something that is readily available when needed.

Over the past couple of years, 2 primary models of targeted driver self-improvement have emerged.  Not surprisingly, they are simple merit models and demerit models.

Merit vs Demerit

Examples of merit models are game apps. Driving data is converted into a score and drivers compete for recognition.  Competition is the primary motivation because it is fun, and because nobody wants to be a loser.  Adding a reward, like a cash bonus for the most improved driver, maintains interest. Clearly, competition will promote driver improvement, but is still not targeted driver training.

Demerit models look for problems and assign targeted driver training.  Specific behavior, for example speeding, results in lessons assigned to the driver on how speed can be dangerous.  This achieves driver improvement in two ways.

  1. The driver learns how speed can be a danger to himself and others through the lessons assigned.
  2. The driver doesn’t want another course assignment that he has to complete after work hours, so he changes his behavior.

The goal is to provide a custom training course based on need.  Each driver is assigned lessons based on their driving deficiencies. A program like this is often administered by the Safety Department in larger companies, but in small and medium size businesses, who is going to do all that? Many businesses would like to implement targeted driver training, but only if it is a “hands off” approach.

Predictive Coach course modules

Predictive Coach Course Modules

The Keys to Automating Driver Training

To automate the process your GPS tracking system provides the data directly to the training app.  Training content on a variety of subjects is organized into courses and lessons.  When thresholds for unwanted behavior are met, the app assigns the appropriate training to the driver.  Drivers access training from their personal devices, and no supervision is needed. Training is easy to use, interesting, and focused on driver improvement. Managers only need to be notified when drivers fail to complete the assigned courses, but they can review lessons assigned and completed if they want.

Predictive Coach meets all of the criteria.

  1. Improves driver behaviors with a data driven training program
  2. Eases the burden of safety monitoring through automation
  3. Eliminates willful negligence around driver discipline
  4. Integrates seamlessly with your Geotab tracking solution
  5. Proven to produce results through targeted driver training

Predictive Coach automated driver training has been evaluated by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute is proven to reduce dangerous driver behavior.

Predictive Coach Study Improvement Graph

Individual Predictive Coach courses contain 3 to 7 individual lessons.  The lessons are automatically assigned to drivers when exceptions to rules occur.  The driving rules used are the ones you configure with tolerances you set.  Managers are notified when assigned lessons have not been completed, and they appreciate the compact dashboards and reports that are available for reviewing and comparing drivers. Drivers can complete the courses on laptop, phone or tablet from virtually anywhere.

That fits our definition – automated driver improvement through targeted driver training.

Schedule a demo to learn how Predictive Coach is affordable, easy to implement and protects your fleet and organization.

For Crying Out Loud! Where Can I Charge My EV NOW?

I need to know now!  Where Can I Charge My EV?

One of the biggest fears associated with a fleet deployment of electric vehicles is what will happen when things do not go as planned.  In other words, what if the unthinkable happens?  What if my driver needs to charge while on the road?  What’s more, what if my driver is far from familiar locations, facing a deadline?

The last thing you want your drivers asking is “Where can I charge my EV now?”

One of the greatest things about living in the 21st century is Crowd Sourced Open Data Initiatives. These are projects like Open Street Maps or Wikipedia, where individuals just like us contribute what they know to the greater community.  This allows the project to amass a great deal of usable data and serve it back to the public on the web.  In most cases, they will suggest users volunteer donations, rather than charging any user a fee.

Open Collective is providing the solution to “Where can I charge My EV?” through the Open Charge Map Initiative.

When you visit the site you will find it easy to navigate.  You are able to add the charging stations you have found, or search the map for a charging station near your location.  You can even check the map first, and plan your route based on the availability of charging stations along the way.  Information about the budget, expenses, and donations received are easily accessible on their project page at Open Collective as well.

It took me less than 5 seconds to find 2 charging stations!

Open Charge Map
Both stations are just across the highway from our corporate office.  Just click on the green charging station icons.  That will open a window with all of the details for what kind of chargers are available.  There is even a section to add details or comments if there is some detail you want to add.
Open Charge Map Charging Station Details
Now that your fears about finding a place to charge are put to rest, it is time to evaluate what fossil fuel vehicles to replace and what EV to replace them with.  That is the subject of an upcoming post on tools to evaluate, based on your current vehicle use, what are the logical choices for your fleet.

Are you using all of the resources that can take your business to the next level?

Return on Investment Series: Proactively Manage Driver Behavior

Fleet Savings Summary

The Fleet Savings Summary Report highlights your fleets top five most valuable driver coaching opportunities by vehicle. These drivers can be interpreted as the fleets most costly drivers of spending, and therefore represent the best bang for your buck driver coaching opportunities. Driver behavior can be critical to the operations of your vehicles.

Proactive management is key. Aberdeen Group reports that top performing organizations are 96% more likely than their peers to utilize technology that alerts management, and the driver, of exceptions being made (i.e., speeding, harsh cornering, etc).

 

Conclusion

Today’s fleet managers are under extreme pressure to manage their fleet costs despite deteriorating economic conditions. These costs include the procurement and disposal of the vehicles, fixed and variable operating costs, labor costs, as well as collision and insurance claims.

Using telematics data, fleet managers can discover new cost savings opportunities across their entire fleet. By pursuing these savings opportunities, a fleet manager can reduce their COI, improve their fleets operating efficiency, and grow their bottom line. Conversely, managing a fleet without a telematics platform is likely to result in higher costs and poor visibility for improvement.

Telematics and the Fleet Savings Summary are valuable tools that fleet managers should use to better understand and proactively manage their vehicles and drivers, and ultimately run a more profitable fleet.

Click here to request more information.

 

 

 

 

Return on Investment Series: Identify Key Opportunities for Cost Savings

Identify Key Opportunities for Cost Savings

In this fourth part of our ROI/COI blog, we will discuss specific telematics related cost savings categories that compile our Fleet Savings Summary Report.

#1 Safety: Reducing costly vehicle collisions

The U.S. Occupational Health & Safety Administration (OSHA) reports the following figures:

Cost Savings

 

Collisions, speeding, and aggressive driving behaviors were found to be a contributing factor in 31% of all fatal crashes, while seat belt use was found to decrease the risk of a fatality by between 45-60%. With this knowledge and the use of our telematics program, fleet managers can improve profitability by monitoring driver behaviors and proactively coaching drivers.

Other in-cab driver feedback tools such as GO TALK and real-time audible alerts can drastically reduce the likelihood of an on-duty accident. This can also be quantified in a reduction to insurance costs. To quantify these savings, the Fleet Savings Summary Report uses a proprietary safety-scoring algorithm to determine the existing and potential savings for a fleet.

 

#2 Fuel: Controlling Runaway Fuel Cost Savings

Managing fuel costs can be complicated and involve a number of variable, including fluctuating gas prices and inconsistent driver behavior. For many fleets, fuel is one for the largest expenses.

Fact: The U.S. Department of Energy reports that rapid acceleration and heavy braking can reduce fuel economy by up to 33% for highway driving and 5% on city roads. Idling and speeding can also have drastic impacts on MPG.

Market research has shown that the effective use of telematics has an effect on fuel cost savings by as much as 14%. Driver coaching is instrumental in achieving these cost reductions. For every 5 mph over 50 mph, a driver can reduce their MPG by approximately 7-14%. Therefore, getting drivers to slow down and observe the speed limit translates into saved money.

The Fleet Savings Summary Reports uses a proprietary fuel-scoring algorithm to determine a fleets existing and potential fuel-related savings. In doing so, driver speeding incidents and idle time were found to be the largest contributor to fuel waste, which resulted in fuel-related savings.

 

#3 Maintenance: Reducing Planned and Unplanned Repair and Maintenance

We all know that preventative maintenance is a regular part of owning a vehicle, but additional repairs due to aggressive driving and vehicle misuses are an unnecessary cost to a fleet. Particularly, harsh accelerations, harsh cornering, and harsh braking cause harmful wear and tear on critical vehicle components. This drastically increases a vehicles variable CpM.

The results materialize as reduced tire life, reduced brake life, more frequent scheduled maintenance and more frequent non- scheduled maintenance and repair. In fact, these non-scheduled maintenance interruptions can result in lost profits of between $400 to $700 per day, in addition to the cost of repairs.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) reports that telematics technology can help a company reduce maintenance and repair cost by as much as 14%. Because much of these savings are tied to driver behavior, using real-time driver management tools and in-cab alerts are the best way to minimize unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet vehicles.

By managing the aggressive driving behaviors, fleet managers can minimize their maintenance repair costs, in in turn generate savings reflected in the Fleet Savings Summary Report in the Maintenance section.

 

#4 Productivity: Increasing Work Efficiency

Driver compensation is often a large portion of a fleets operating budget. That being said, labor can be very expensive for fleet managers. Among the many ways to calculate labor productivity, vehicle idle time is an important metric. Even though idle time only captures a component of employee productivity, it is the only metric that the Fleet Savings Summary Report utilizes for its productivity-based scoring algorithm at this time.

Market research suggests that telematics can increase workforce productivity and reduce labor costs by up to 12%.14 This allows companies to make more customer stops and cut out unproductive mileage. The net effect is higher revenues and lower costs.

Using the Fleet Savings Summary Reports proprietary productivity-based scoring algorithm, this increase in workforce productivity translates into productivity-related saving. To maximize these savings, fleet managers must limit their fleets idle labor, which is approximated using vehicle idle hours per trip.

I know we said this was going to be a 4-part series but there is so much great information to offer that we have added a 5th part. In the next series we will discuss how to proactively manage driver behavior. Putting all these steps into place to maximize your ROI and decrease your COI!

Click here to request more information.

 

Return on Investment Series: Fleet Savings Summary

What is the Fleet Savings Summary Report?

The Fleet Savings Summary Report is a snapshot of existing versus potential savings for your fleet. These savings were determined through the use of proprietary driver scoring algorithms.

 

Fleet Savings Summary

Report Overview

 

To calculate a fleets existing and potential telematics-related savings, a detailed breakdown of its operating costs are required. Geotab conducted a combination of primary and secondary North American market research to develop fleet-specific Cost-per-Mile (CpM) models, including sub-models for fixed vehicle related costs, variable vehicle related costs, and driver salary related costs. There are two major factors that impact the nature of fleet costs, vehicle class & vehicle mileage.

  • Fleet Savings ReportVehicle Class – The vehicle makeup of a fleet has a big impact on its operating costs. For example, Heavy-Duty (HD) trucks have a very different CpM breakdown than Medium-Duty (MD) and Light-Duty (LD) vehicles. The Fleet Savings Summary Report segregates CpM data into three classifications: HD, MD & LD.
  • Vehicle Mileage – Just as vehicle class impacts CpM, vehicle mileage can have a large impact as well. This is true for two reasons:
    • Fixed vehicle and driver costs will be spread over less total miles.
    • Vehicles that drive fewer miles will likely spend a larger portion of their driving time on city roads rather than highways or freeways, which can increase the vehicles variable CpM.

 

In order to determine a fleets average mileage, the Fleet Savings Summary Report automatically calculates an average monthly mileage for the entire fleet, and multiplies it by 12 to get the estimated annual value.

In the next series we will discuss how we identify key opportunities for cost-savings.

Click here to request more information.