A noticeable increase in hijackings and accidents has been picked up over the last year by Emote Systems, a fleet management service provider that piggy backs its service delivery through its customer’s existing fleet management systems.
“We’ve been compiling the data to prove the speeds, driving times and other factors for these incidents and have noticed that over-speeding and driver fatigue are the two main contributing factors in most heavy vehicle accidents,’ says Johan Niemann, operations director of Emote Systems.
These trends can be taken as pretty solid in terms of industry-wide trends as the company currently has some 3 000 vehicles which it manages on behalf of its clients who have linked their existing FM systems to Emote’s call centres. Also backing this data are statistics released by the N3TC which show that for the period January to September 2010 compared to the same period in 2009, there was a 26% increase in crashes, a 46.8% increase in injury crashes and a 50% increase in fatal crashes on the N3. Something is going horribly wrong out there.
Looking at other trends in the Fleet Management arena, Niemann says the push to go ‘˜Green’ is on and this is where FM systems can really help a company achieve its ‘˜green’ goals. However, he warns that this is something that cannot be achieved by only purchasing an FM unit. It’s the management of factors that impact on green operating practices that will count. “Our customers who have been watching their speeding, unnecessary distance driving, excessive idling and better planning their vehicle utilization have been running green for more than three years now.
“Aspects like driving the fastest routes, managing optimum efficiencies without speeding and ensuring that unnecessary idling is stopped will all give you better fuel consumption and less vehicle maintenance issues which, in turn, makes you run a ‘˜green’ operation.”
On running costs, Niemann warns that these are being threatened by a host of new laws that are coming into effect over the next two years. “The 42 proposed Toll Gantries in Johannesburg and Pretoria, the increase of road tax on the seven large freeways linking all our major cities and borders and of course, AARTO will all impact on running costs.’ He adds that AARTO is being taken very seriously as small mistakes can cause a business massive losses. “If not properly managed and the correct people put in place, it has the potential to sink smaller operations.’
Given all this, Niemann says that FM systems are now, more than ever, integral to operating a professional fleet. “We have seen this over the past year where bottom line savings and revisiting how operations are run has been a large focus of most companies trying to recover from the economic decline of 2009.