FLEET MAINTENANCE: Reducing Fleet Maintenance Costs with Fleet Monitoring
Recent Gauteng Business News
Pieter Nienaber, Crown Relocations assistant Operations Manager, explains: “We had always believed that by improving our drivers’ attitude and behaviour on the roads, we could significantly reduce our accident rate. We had done all the required driver training in safety and adapting the right attitude, but what we needed for them to take us seriously was a system that would enable us to pinpoint which particular drivers are not behaving well when out on the roads.”
“The Driver Check solution is an affordable and effective way for us to achieve this goal. They have provided us with ‘How is my driving?’ stickers that we placed on our vehicles, and a 24/7 call centre for motorists to call in and log incidents. We receive instant SMS and email notifications of any incidents, and fleet statistics at month end,” explains Nienaber.
Every incident can now be matched to a specific vehicle and driver, and the necessary corrective action can be taken in the case of poor driving, or even to reward drivers in the case of compliments being received from motorists.
Nienaber adds: “Now that the drivers know they are being watched, their driving has definitely improved. They are less likely to push the limits or to take chances, and are far more aware of their driving at all times.”
Nienaber was surprised at the fact that motorists do actually take the time to call in to compliment drivers on good behaviour. Statistics from the Driver Check call centre show that compliments account for 4% of all calls received by the call centre.
“This is significant from an HR perspective, as we are now able to grade our drivers, and have additional factual information available for assessments and performance reviews,” says Nienaber.
“We now offer an annual bonus to all drivers who have kept their incident scores consistently low throughout the year, and can offer Merit Certificates to those who receive compliments.”
Crown Relocations has implemented procedures to ensure that every single incident is dealt with correctly, and to ensure that the drivers are aware of the consequences. All incident notifications are received by the operations trainer, who will include problem areas in forthcoming training sessions. All drivers reported in severe incidents are immediately given a written warning, and interventions are then managed by the assistant Operations Manager.
The statistics from the Driver Check system make it possible to spot repeat offenders, and in the case where the repeat incidents are for “reckless driving”, the driver concerned has been dismissed.
“We feel comfortable in the knowledge that the call centre can answer log calls on a 24/7 basis, and provide us with full details on every incident.”
Nienaber adds that there are numerous other situations in which the Driver Check solution has been particularly useful. For example, there was an incident report SMS received by one of the managers on a Saturday morning, when all company vehicles are supposed to be safely on the company premises. The system ensured that the individual concerned could be dealt with accordingly, as there was objective third party proof of the misdemeanour.
“Another important aspect is customer relations. Every motorist on the road is a customer, and we want every customer to receive the best service from us at all times,” he says.
“Public perception is vitally important, especially because our business involves the safe transportation of people’s prized possessions. By ensuring our best behaviour on the roads at all times, our vehicles can once again be our greatest marketing tool.”
Overall, Nienaber is very happy with the results: “Our monthly statistics show a definite reduction in the number of accidents since March, and specifically a drop in incidents where the other party has collided with us. So the defensive driving, inspired by the Driver Check monitoring, is having a positive impact not only on our driver behaviour, PR and marketing, but also on our bottom line.”
Business News Sector Tags: Property|