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A lot has been written about the benefits of telematics for businesses and company owners, but vehicle tracking also offers valuable support to the people who drive a company’s trucks, vans or any other vehicles. Far from being a surveillance system implemented to punish employees, here are four ways that vehicle tracking can help drivers improve their skills, protect them from false claims and keep them safe out on the roads.
Enhanced personal safety
Businesses that employ telematics send a message that they, as a company, take safety seriously, and this can only benefit the driver. Speed, braking and acceleration are all monitored to help create a fleet with the safest drivers behind the wheels. In the event of an accident, GPS tracking can even ensure that help arrives quickly.
‘The tracker devices have also proved important in how we support our lone workers,’ says Charlotte Bennett of Cartrefi Conwy. ‘If they set off their personal alarms, we can identify the nearest person to them and provide a swift response.’
And with the fleet management tools available in most vehicle tracking systems, the vehicles themselves are safer to drive, as driving styles are monitored and reminders are set for maintenance and inspection deadlines, ensuring vehicles stay in good condition. It’s in everyone’s interest, especially a driver’s, that a company’s vehicles are safe and up to date on routine repairs.
Responsible actions and validated hours
When a problem that’s centered around timesheets, invoices or out of hours driving arises, vehicle tracking data can resolve the discrepancy before it becomes a major issue. Daily timesheets can verify when a driver arrived at a customer’s site and when they departed, settling any invoicing or pay disputes.
‘The timesheets are fantastic,’ says Stephen Day of Contract Flooring Solutions. ‘We have access to precise information on the overtime hours worked and can always give fair wages as a result.’
If vehicles aren’t meant to be used during certain hours, trip reports can prove that the driver followed the rules. To ensure vehicles don’t enter or leave particular areas, geofenced locations can be set up to notify managers of any unexpected journeys in real-time, meaning drivers are otherwise uninterrupted.
Protection from false claims
Another way that drivers can benefit from vehicle tracking is when claims or lawsuits coming from outside the company occur. Accidents happen, but with telematics, there is an unbiased source of information on what actually transpired.
If a report arises that alleges a driver was speeding or braking harshly or claims that they were at fault, telematics can protect them from being falsely accused. It can be proven what speed they were travelling at, or in some extreme cases, that they weren’t in the area at all.
Matt O’Conner of John O’Conner Grounds Maintenance says, ‘Quartix vehicle tracking actually works in our drivers’ defence–it’s their personal protection in case of unfair claims.’
Driving style coaching
The data collected by a telematics system is a rich source of feedback for a driver on their personal driving performance. Areas where a driver can improve their skills are flagged up and can be brought to their attention. Many companies choose to reward their best or most improved drivers for the savings that the company can make, all based on information gathered by telematics.
‘We have been incentivising good driving by giving our drivers a retrospective bonus based on the data provided by the Quartix system,’ says Darren Hammond, Director of C&D Southwest. ‘We can use the system to regularly refer back to our historical data. It’s a fantastic way to source the information we need when rewarding our drivers.’
Quartix offers this information via the mobile app, which can be made available to the drivers themselves, meaning it’s even quicker to see driving performance that needs attention. Concentrating on these problem areas quickly can lead to a better road safety record. Drivers can even see their progress over time through a driving style league table that will compare them to other drivers in the company.
Sunseeker International’s Transport Manager, Mark Garside, says, ‘When we first started using the Quartix driving style tables and sending them out to the managers, it immediately started an improvement in driving style, less harsh breaking or acceleration.’
Some companies even hold monthly contests, to see which drivers have the best or most improved driving scores.
Tracking with Quartix
Vehicle tracking from Quartix is an efficient, cost-effective way of ensuring that drivers reap all these benefits and more. Real-time tracking, timesheets, trip reports, geofencing and a mobile app to keep a business connected with its vehicles all guarantee that drivers will be protected and safe.
As Mark Longhust of Canute Group says, ‘The biggest benefit is Quartix themselves.’