Complete Guide to Fleet Driver Monitoring

Fleet driver monitoring fleet management software

Your heavy equipment, service vans, or semi-trucks are a significant capital investment, but without reliable drivers, operators, or service technicians, they’re essentially expensive yard decorations. An employee with bad habits or a poor work ethic can end up costing you quite a bit of money.

How do you know whether your drivers consistently meet your company’s on-the-road expectations? How can you reinforce good driving behavior and support your drivers day-to-day? Titan GPS driver monitoring systems provide the data you need to ensure driver and fleet safety and track how driving behavior affects your bottom line.

The Benefit of Driver Monitoring Systems 

Fleet telematics solutions, like Titan GPS tracking and monitoring, provide a wealth of invaluable data. Knowing what to do with that data can be the difference between safe, happy employees operating well-maintained vehicles, and irresponsible employees taking advantage and costing you money.

This article walks you through how to protect your employees, business, and bottom-line by holding drivers accountable, foster positive employer/employee relationships, and engage your drivers in a way that reinforces their importance to the company.

Improve Driver Accountability and Fleet Safety with GPS Tracking

Even though many Americans consider themselves good drivers, most of them admit to dangerous behaviors like excessive speeding, distracted driving, and aggressive driving. About 40% of Americans in the survey admitted to driving more than 20 mph over the posted speed limit at some point, while a startling 70% of Canadian drivers admit to occasionally exceeding the speed limit.

Holding employees accountable can be a major hurdle for fleet operators. Without a driver monitoring system, it’s difficult to gauge a driver’s behavior once they leave the yard or the shop. If your fleet drivers are making unsafe driving choices, you may not know it until they make a costly mistake. Unfortunately, these mistakes can endanger your employees, your reputation, and other drivers and pedestrians. With driver tracking, you have insight into a driver’s day-to-day conduct so you can reinforce and reward safe driving habits.

Fleet GPS tracking solutions are an excellent investment to protect your drivers and business. Titan GPS, powered by Certified Tracking Solutions, has an extensive suite of features designed for driver behavior analysis and accountability. Simply knowing that a fleet vehicle is GPS-equipped is often enough to curb someone’s aggressive driving behaviors. Titan GPS has collected and analyzed millions of data points from our customers that show they typically see a 50-99% reduction in aggressive driving events after implementing our solution.

True Costs of Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving is one of the most common financial leaks for fleet businesses.  Beyond the obvious safety factor, aggressive driving also burns more fuel, increases wear-and-tear, damages company reputation, violates the law, and can lead to increased insurance rates and premiums. With a GPS fleet monitoring solution like Titan GPS, there are plenty of tools available for fleet operators to reduce or eliminate aggressive driving altogether–and bolster the bottom line.

Real-time Alerts

The Titan GPS real-time alerts feature is essential for fleet managers who want to be updated on the activity of fleet assets or when violations occur, no matter where they are.

If you want, you can monitor your fleet’s status via live tracking on your preferred device (smartphone, tablet, or desktop) at all times. However, if like most fleet managers, you don’t have time to keep your eyes on all your assets, real-time alerts are an efficient method of knowing when a driver is operating outside the rules or company policy.

Easily create customized rules to trigger email and/or text alerts when aggressive driving behavior is detected. Set exceptions for those drivers who are performing well, or set tighter restrictions for those who need it the most.

Driver Coaching

Receiving real-time alerts is useful, but while you are getting the information, the driver in question may still be exceeding whatever threshold set off the initial alert. With distracted driving laws in effect throughout Canada and the United States, fleet operators may not be able to call the driver to correct the behavior.

At Titan GPS, we developed a solution that alerts drivers when they are exceeding certain thresholds–you don’t even need to pick up the phone. In-cab driver coaching automatically notifies drivers of policy violations with audible in-cab alerts. Once you’ve decided which events should trigger an alert, you can leave the system to do its work and only coach drivers whenever necessary.

Configure thresholds and events, enhance driver and fleet safety and efficiency, and verify improvements in driver behavior.

Driver Scorecards

Titan has a suite of reporting options that are as flexible as they are granular. Titan GPS reports cover everything from fleet fuel consumption to maintenance records and driver behavior analysis.

Titan GPS driver scorecards have been shown to substantially improve driver behavior and are the perfect fleet management tool for those who want to enact noticeable organizational change. Compare and contrast your drivers with metrics that you customize to create your very own driver scorecards.

Identify your best and worst performers, and set targets to incentivize the kind of driving behavior that saves you money and protects your drivers’ well-being and your company’s reputation.

Driver ID

Despite a fleet manager’s best efforts, it’s not always easy to keep track of who is operating which asset, and where. Some fleets see different operators in different vehicles on a day-to-day basis, making it difficult to keep everyone accountable all the time–even with GPS tracking solutions.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for the confusion that can come with pooled vehicle fleets. The Titan GPS Driver ID system offers additional insight into the behavior and whereabouts of your drivers. It identifies the driver of each vehicle, so you get reporting by the driver, as well as by vehicle.

The Titan GPS optional add-on Driver ID key fob monitoring system is easy to install and use and provides a wealth of benefits to billing, timesheet management, driver accountability, and even emergency response. The reader is installed in each vehicle or piece of equipment in combination with your GPS tracking device. If the driver changes vehicles or equipment during the day, the system aggregates driver-tracking information to give you a comprehensive view of the driver’s behavior.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving and safety are at the top of every fleet manager’s mind. Statistics suggest that drivers are up to 8x more likely to be involved in a crash if they are using a cell phone. In fact, 27% of fatal accidents in British Columbia were attributed to distracted driving.

The potential cost to both your business and your employees’ health is high. Keeping drivers accountable for their driving behavior is a must–not just for the benefit of your business, but for the safety of everyone on the roads.

Titan GPS Fleet Dash Cams

Our sophisticated Titan GPS AI dash camera system gives you insight into driver behavior in real-time–it’s like sitting next to every driver in your fleet simultaneously. Ensuring safety policies are being followed, recording aggressive driving examples, having video evidence of incidents and events, and being able to historically track behavior is key to safe and efficient fleet operation.

Fleet video cameras record continuously on tamper-resistant internal-looping SD memory storage. The advanced devices also separately catalog, and optionally transmit video of critical events such as a sudden deceleration or impact to the Titan GPS cloud‑based servers.

When outfitted with both front and driver-facing cameras, fleet managers can ensure that drivers are where they need to be, and doing what they are supposed to be doing. Fleet camera video systems have a proven track record of reducing collision incidents by more than 35%.

Driving events captured on video provide your drivers with an objective view of their behavior to help bring unsafe habits to light. The safer and more skilled your drivers and technicians are, the better your business performs.

With these advanced tools, you are able to continuously develop safe and productive driving behaviors, reduce collision frequency, maximize fleet efficiency, and turn good drivers into great drivers. Objective video footage can exonerate your drivers for collisions they didn’t cause and avoid false insurance claims.

Drivers who know you have their back take greater pride in their performance and feel more appreciated as a result.

Introducing GPS Tracking and Driver Behavior Monitoring

Did you know that a simple speed reduction of 1 km/h (.62 mph) leads to a 2-3% reduction in crashes on the road? 

Explaining to employees that their driving will be monitored isn’t always an easy discussion. Often, drivers feel like they aren’t trusted, or their privacy is being invaded. But offering statistics like the one above can prove the value of GPS tracking, and help drivers understand that implementing these systems is in their best interest as well.

The following tips can help ease the tension and make the transition to a fleet tracking solution as pain-free as possible.

Show How Driver GPS Tracking Benefits Employees

Though concerns about being monitored are understandable, let drivers know that GPS tracking will benefit them, too.

For example, explain that tracking equipment might eliminate their paperwork and mile-tracking responsibilities. Tracking software also makes it easier for managers to send help to a driver’s exact location in an emergency. Focus on positive aspects for a smoother transition.

Be Open About Your Concerns As a Fleet Manager

Drivers will want to know your motivation for tracking their routes. Explain that in order to stay competitive with other companies, GPS driver tracking is the best way to boost efficiency and keep the business afloat (and keep your drivers employed).

Explaining safety benefits and the added efficiency of helping drivers through bad weather, traffic concerns, road closures, construction, and inefficient routes can go a long way to getting buy-in from your employees.

Create Incentives

Incentivizing employees based on data is one of the most effective ways of getting buy-in throughout the company. Titan GPS customers have had success in the past by implementing safety bonuses for drivers who consistently perform well (tracked with driver scorecards or Driver ID) or go without aggressive driving events for specific amounts of time (e.g., cash bonuses for drivers that don’t record a speeding event for 6+ months).

Rather than punishing undesirable driving behavior, use GPS tracking to reward good driving habits for a more positive employee-manager relationship.

Fleet Management By Exception

Showing employees they are valued is key to everything discussed in this article. Monitoring drivers can show them that they are valued by providing data and evidence to support business decisions that will benefit the employee (through job retention, better profit margins, potential bonuses, and increased safety). Despite these very real benefits, it might not be enough for the employee.

Getting buy-in from drivers eases tensions, promotes job satisfaction, and can result in more efficiency and better results, which again, results in an employee feeling more valued.

Promoting Value Through Management by Exception

The core idea behind management by exception is a focus on, as the name suggests, exceptions. These are the conditions that deviate from the norm in a significant way, either positively or negatively. Management by exception is a good strategy for fleet managers because it is relatively hands-off, which helps with employee empowerment while retaining the capability to make adjustments when necessary.

To illustrate this, imagine one of your drivers is traveling down a freeway where the speed limit is 110 km/h. You probably wouldn’t want to be notified if the driver goes above or below that limit by 5 km/h. However, you would probably be interested if they suddenly started driving 20 km/h over the speed limit. This is management by exception. You would only be made aware in cases of a change in performance that you would deem significant.

The process begins by establishing norms or benchmarks based on historical data (e.g., excessive idling) or regulations (e.g., speed limits). Once these benchmarks have been determined, you’ll need to decide the thresholds that will dictate when notification and reporting criteria are met. These thresholds are up to you, based on the criteria you deem most important regarding safety and operational efficiency. Once set, your job is done until a violation occurs and the Titan GPS system notifies you via text, email, or reporting.

Using this form of management means no news is good news. Rewarding employees who trigger few or zero exception events promotes a healthy and positive work environment, while the correction of poorly performing drivers can also have positive organization-wide ripple effects.

Wrapping Up

No matter the size of your business or fleet, fleet management is a demanding job. Micromanagement is not ideal for fleet management. The freedom to operate within a set of reasonable boundaries empowers employees so they can perform optimally and increase their value to your business.

Monitoring your drivers doesn’t need to be a punishment. With Titan GPS, you can increase safety, optimize your business, show your employees how valuable they truly are, and ultimately boost your bottom line.

Request a quote today and start building a better fleet business.

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