Jul

A fleet management success story

2013-07-04 10:03
“Putting you back in control and managing your bottom line is the name of the game” – Gjalt Hooghiemstra

FleetWatch has often punted fleet management systems as essential tools in today’s transport environment , and this for a number of reasons. It is thus we are pleased to bring our readers a success story around the implementation of a fleet management system which played a pivotal role in achieving a number of management objectives.

The company is Hooghiemstra Logistical Services which implemented a fleet management solution at Fabucon Logistics using Cartrack’s fleet management technology.

Fabucon needed to manage its fleet in a way that would allow the company to contain the cost of fuel in addition to the cost of vehicle repairs and maintenance within a set frame of parameters.

“The solution was crucial to Fabucon’s comprehensive risk management strategy that aimed to reduce the company’s carbon footprint,’ says Gjalt Hooghiemstra, from Hooghiemstra Logistical Services.

The main objective of Fabucon’s fleet management project was to reduce fleet operating costs by at least 10%, which was achieved by means of monitoring the fleet’s fuel consumption, managing routes and reducing its carbon footprint.

The aim was also to improve driver behaviour by 50 to 60 percent, which was achieved by decreasing the fleet’s accident rate in addition to fleet vehicles being operated more optimally by drivers.

“Cartrack’s fleet management technology greatly aided us to measure Fabucon’s actual fleet costs, its fuel costs as well as driver behaviour,’ explains Hooghiemstra.

The project started with a fleet of new vehicles that have now shown a dramatic decrease in the incidence of speeding and harsh braking since its implementation.

Results

The results of the implementation were satisfactory, says Hooghiemstra. “The fleet routes are regularly evaluated using Cartrack’s tracking reports to ensure that the lowest possible travel distance is achieved. The telematics aspect of the package also ensured that there were no unplanned maintenance costs, largely attributable to a substantial reduction in speeding and harsh braking incidents.’

“We are also pleased to report that there have been no major accidents in the fleet for six months, which is spectacular if you consider that it was over a distance of more than 140 000km, travelling seven days a week. The overall result is a much more controlled fuel cost, a dramatic decrease in accidents and a fleet that operates to its optimal capacity,’ adds Hooghiemstra.

The project has also greatly enhanced Fabucon’s carbon footprint by reducing its carbon-dioxide emissions by 5.9 tons per year.

“This was achieved by means of Cartrack’s fleet management technology which was combined with driver training and the introduction of a driver incentive programme. It effectively gave the fleet drivers some food for thought when it came to responsible driving,’ explains Hooghiemstra.

Technology

CAN bus technology is a message-based protocol that is specifically designed for automotive applications that is a standard feature of most vehicles. Cartrack technology uses CAN bus to read data for the use of measurement that ensures optimal economy, driver comfort and safety. It measures the use of brake assistance, the automatic gearbox and intarders, among others.

Hooghiemstra says that the use of the technology influences fuel consumption. “It is possible to train drivers to use the information to optimise fuel consumption. As fuel is a major component of fleet cost that equates to around 30% and more of a fleet’s total operational cost, it can have a significant impact on the bottom line of a business.’

Another aspect that comes into play is driver behaviour management which profiles a driver’s handling of a vehicle. This is achieved by measuring the distance travelled in kilometres in addition to the amount of incidents that are detected. These readings are then calculated by adding the incidents for the day as logged in the risk report supplied by Cartrack and dividing it by the distance travelled that provides a factor of kilometres per incident.

The information is then exported into a risk dashboard where trends can be identified that will underpin the effective management of the fleet and its drivers. The higher the reading, the better the driver’s performance and in this instance, the client set their parameters to measure incidents such as harsh braking, harsh acceleration, harsh turning, excessive idling and speeding. The efficient utilisation of a vehicle is measured in time or kilometres or a combination of the two.

The fleet manager will typically set a km/hr limit that is paired up with a set route on the map, which makes it easy to pinpoint when a driver exceeds the set map speeds. Harsh braking, harsh acceleration and harsh turning are measured by the amount of gravitational pull.

  • Harsh Braking ≥ 0.4G’s
  • Harsh Acceleration ≥ 0.4G’s
  • Harsh Turning ≥ 0.34G’s

The end result is called ‘˜driver scoring’, which is essentially the measurement of a driver’s performance based on the parameters that are set by the fleet owner. Driver scoring can be used to incentivise good driving and when it is combined with fuel consumption (CAN bus), it can have a real effect on the business’ bottom line.

By utilising CAN bus technology that provides the fleet manager with information in real time, or by using MiFleet which utilises the monthly bank statements to calculate its findings, any fleet manager is able to manage their fuel efficiency by measuring it against the set targets for the fleet.

“Both options will provide a comprehensive overview of the fleet’s fuel efficiency in its entirety in addition to allowing the fleet manager to drill down to each vehicle’s individual performance,’ says Hooghiemstra.

“Putting you back in control and managing your bottom line is the name of the game and a comprehensive fleet management system such as the one from Cartrack has provided the perfect means for Fabucon to achieve just that,’ says Hooghiemstra.

Footnote: Hooghiemstra Logistical Services received the Green Supply Chain Award 2011 for the best project (up to R1-million) in support of its fleet management implementation at Fabucon Logistics. “It is an enormous privilege to have our green efforts recognised by such a distinguished award. It once again highlights the fact that going green is no longer a choice but a business imperative,’ says Hooghiemstra.

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