There’s no doubt that the past couple of years have had an impact on fleet management – with challenges brought about by pandemic and the national lockdown.
Vehicles, trailers, lorries and machinery were either sat idle at closed plants, depots, sites and yards or parked up on employees’ driveways.
Fast forward to summer 2022 and while it has been a case of ‘back to business as usual’ for many, some companies have continued with the viable option of home, flexible or hybrid working.
So, with many companies deciding not to return to the ‘old’ way of working, is it time to introduce new measures and solutions to adequately manage a vehicle fleet remotely?
With staff, vehicles and assets spread over a wider area, innovative telematics solutions provider ABAX is fully aware of the challenges and headaches of managing a mixed fleet of vehicles, plants and tools.
Experts in the field, ABAX not only offers solutions through its multiple products, but delivers added value to its customers alongside 24/7 support in areas to help with time-management, driving performance and behaviour, business efficiency and security.
Through a range of tracking devices, ABAX is able to offer a one-stop-shop to fleet owners and managers regarding efficiency and productivity, as well as security and vehicle asset management.
The data and technology are tried and tested to overcome issues like vehicle tracking, minimising vehicle downtime, improving driving behaviour, cutting down on wasted administration time, curbing any vehicle misuse as well as increase security and monitoring.
“We recognise the challenges and pain points that fleet owners and managers face – which in many cases have been heightened during and since the pandemic.
“As well as our multiple products, we ensure that our customers receive value from using them, and we have a great team to help get them set up with any of our tracking devices.
“Our innovative tracking solutions give customers more control over their assets, vehicles and machines. This in turn allows them to reduce the risk of theft, driver speeding, loss of tools, driving performance and make sure that the fleet is driving efficiently.”
Our solutions are also greener and more sustainable for the environment.”
Kevin Bull Commercial director for ABAX UK
Theft continues to create issues for fleet managers, with a 2021 CensusWide study revealing that stolen vehicles or equipment costs fleet-based businesses an average of £12,250 each year.
That figure is even higher for businesses with more than 100 vehicles, with the data showing that larger fleets lose on average £21,000 each year.
The findings suggest that one of the potential contributors to the problem is a lack of tracking or inability to immobilise vehicles.
The report found that GPS asset tracking devices, which can play a significant role in helping to recover stolen assets, are used in only half (52%) of fleet vehicles.
Even fewer vehicles were shown to use GPS tracking on portable assets such as IT equipment and tools (32%), construction equipment (24%) and on cargo pallets (21%).
However, this is something that ABAX has first-hand experience and success of helping customers with, including Redcliffe Tree Surgery – which used its ABAX installed trackers to recover a van that was stolen overnight (1) from the owner Richard Boettcher’s driveway.
Having reported the vehicle missing to police, Richard was able to use the ABAX app to accurately track the whereabouts of the van and alert officers to its location.
From reporting the vehicle missing to its recovery it took just 40 minutes!
While this incident occurred on household driveway, many thefts or security breaches happen at yards, plants or depots – often where vehicles sit idle outside of working hours.
ABAX customer, Anglesey-based John Kelly Construction has introduced the innovative ABAX Geofence (2) as part of its suite of telematics solutions to help protect its assets in the event of them being moved without authorisation or even stolen.
The innovative feature creates an invisible fence around a particular site or sites. If machines or vehicles go outside the Geofence boundary, the customer is immediately notified by text and e-mail in real-time which allows quick action and peace of mind when it comes to asset security.
However, just as important as the management of the vehicles is the way in which they are being driven – with fleet managers mindful of insurance premiums and other associated costs.
Driving behaviour comes hand in hand with business efficiency, time management and of course road safety and is one of the key areas when it comes to customer expectations and indeed requirements.
One of our fleet vehicles customers recently reported a visible reduction in the number of speeding fines issued to its drivers as a result of tracking being introduced – therefore cutting down any risk of incidents on the road.
Drivers using vehicles out of working hours or making unnecessary trips also dropped as a result.
‘We had vehicles going home with drivers and out of hours trips were costing the company money. By working with ABAX, our productivity has increased, and we are not only saving money on fuel and clocking up less mileage, but we know where our drivers are at any given time.’
The tracking system can also offer a duty of care to staff and drivers using fleet vehicles.
On one occasion the tracker was used to locate the vehicle of an engineer that was having a heart attack, enabling emergency care to be sent directly to him after he had called his wife to raise the alarm, but didn’t know his exact location.
Our customer takes up the story (3).
Read more in Essential Fleet Manager (pages 12-13) Issue 5(22) visit the archive to view or download the full article below.