Imagine this, you have invested in a new, slick telematics system. With cameras, tracking, the lot. You now have visibility of your vehicles and how your drivers are performing in terms of efficiency and driving style. Also, security for your assets has improved with the installation of a CCTV camera system. Then to top it off you’re providing greater protection for your drivers against false insurance claims, with real-life footage backing them up.
However, when introducing a new system to your company you can encounter teething problems and reservations. Particularly when it comes to installing your HGVs with driver-facing cameras and performance monitors. If you are planning to use your system to its full potential, (which we highly recommend you do!) it will over time become a key part of your business operations, fleet management, and driver management.
Because of this, it is essential to get your team on-board with the technology. Whether they are on the road or in the office. The hope is with time it will become a helpful tool for everyone. Empowering drivers to develop with tailored reports and training. Whilst saving the company expense in fuel and insurance.
To begin with, it is good to be open with your drivers and office staff about the system. You should let your team know what will be installed, and how it will impact them. However, to start off it is important to record a true-to-life baseline of how your fleet is performing. For the first six to eight weeks after installation, we recommend you allow the trackers to just run and gather data. Soon enough, you will accumulate a solid collection of data showing your fleet’s overall efficiency, downtime, idling, and fuel usage.
From there you can work out an average and get your baseline standards in place. The initial baseline should be set where the majority of your drivers are already performing, with only a few to make adjustments to their diving style. Work with those few until everyone has reached the baseline. Then, you can put your parameters in place and set some company targets.
Your telematics should be used as a tool to get an accurate and thorough understanding of your fleet. Once you have set your parameters, we recommend you get your drivers together to discuss the tracking and camera systems. Here you can let them know what is recorded, how it works, and what bespoke settings you have put in place. Also, how the tool can be of benefit to them. Reassure them they aren’t being individually spied on every second of the day, and the overall goal is to improve as an entire company.
Get the Teams Backing
For the most part, drivers are open to multi-camera systems. They are great for safety and act as a visual aid, furthermore, they support meeting compliance standards. As mentioned previously, they also a huge help for combating false insurance claims. However, driver-facing cameras are another matter. Many drivers don’t like them. However, to get them on-side you need to explain why they can be beneficial to them and the company.
In insurance claims, having footage of your driver before, during, and after an incident can prove whether or not they were driving appropriately. Also, in the interest of safety, these cameras can detect high-risk situations. For example, if a driver is falling asleep an audible alarm alerts the driver to take a break. Furthermore, remind your drivers that no one will be sat watching them 24/7, and the footage will only be reviewed should something happen. They have been installed for the defense and safety or the driver, not as a spy in the cab.
Set Achievable Targets
One key reason to set achievable targets for your divers is personal development. However, it is also important for cost savings. Which may be why you have invested in telematics in the first place! You’ll also be keen to make a return on your investment and cover the initial cost of cameras, trackers, and data. But, behind all this new technology are real drivers. The system needs to work for them and make impactful changes. While avoiding alienating or making them feel under scrutiny. So, setting targets that are achievable is crucial. Otherwise, a feeling of ‘this is unattainable’ sets in, and the team loses motivation.
Some fleet managers are unsure whether to share their telematics data with their drivers. However, this is key for keeping your drivers informed and included in the development of the team, and themselves as individuals. Giving each driver a weekly report and de-brief means they will stay in touch with the technology. Furthermore, they’ll stay aware of where they are performing well, and where they can improve. Setting gradual, reasonable targets will keep the team motivated and confident in their abilities.
Keep Drivers Engaged
From our experience, motivating your team with the carrot approach, rather than the stick produces much better results from your team. Having telematics shouldn’t be used to discipline. The results speak for themselves, and we see much better performance from customers who don’t police or pick on every mistake their drivers make. We all have bad days, and the goal should be for the system to become an integral part of your driver training. Delivering bespoke development guidance for each driver.
It is important to fully explain how the system will affect their work going forward, and why you feel the system will be helpful for the fleet. Putting a de-briefing process in place will ensure your drivers know every Friday, for example, they will sit down with someone and look at how the week has been. In the interest of conducting helpful, worthwhile de-briefs, your office staff have a good understanding of the system too. Also, of how it relates to drivers and vehicles in real situations, so they can give knowledgeable advice to drivers. Showing them that you understand and empathize with the real struggles they face every day.