What can this achieve?

Telematics can be defined as ‘the bringing together of both communications and information technologies to assist the
management and control of company assets’. This fits the transport model well, where vehicles and drivers may be dispersed over a wide area.There are products and services available which are entirely appropriate for those whose fleets are no larger than five or six vehicles. The challenge is finding the right, cost effective, solution and then using the information it provides to ensure the maximum benefit is returned against investment.

Benefits from telematicsThrough the use of telematics companies can frequently be seen to:

  • reduce their operating costs
  • improve productivity
  • improve service to their customers

Operational benefits

For traffic managers there can be a few circumstances which are more annoying than finding that roads are unexpectedly congested and carefully planned delivery schedules are no longer worth the paper they are written on. Telematics solutions nearly always include a vehicle position tracking system which allows vehicle locations to be identified on an in-cab monitor and back at the office, enabling management to know where vehicles are and whether they are stationary or on the move. This can confirm if the driver is running to time or behind schedule and gives staff the ability to constantly plan ahead, warning customers of an early or late delivery/collection, or to divert another driver to cover for an unexpected operational problem.

Geofencing

Geofencing is an extremely useful telematics function which, through the use of cellular technology, detects when a vehicle crosses a virutal geographic fence. Crossing this boundary can alert the next delivery point that the vehicle will be arriving soon and may reducing waiting time. Alerts can also indicate unauthorised route deviation.

Geofencing could also be beneficial to hybrid vehicles servicing areas with emission restrictions or areas with low bridges which the vehicle may not be able to fit through.

Management benefits

As well as driver data, telematics also captures vehicle data including;

  • fuel consumption
  • engine idling time
  • use of power take off equipment
  • driving in the most economical state
  • fast acceleration and heavy braking

By analysing the data it is possible that driver training requirements or vehicle warranty issues could be identified.

More advanced systems with additional in-built functions can monitor, for example, tyre pressure, load space temperature, the number and time of door openings and the condition of a wide variety of other vehicle components. In this way, management is warned in advance when scheduled or preventative maintenance is required.


Next steps…

Some LERS members use Masternaut as their Telematics solution.

For further information and helpful case studies, read our Telematics Supplement