Flicking the Switch

Spiral Logistics has found, through its partnership with Teletrac Navman, telematics systems make life on the road easier, by helping their staff do their jobs well while ensuring everyone makes it home on time.

Improving fleet efficiency remains the number one challenge for businesses in the transport industry.

For truck drivers, it doesn’t matter whether they are delivering household goods, steel, petrol, or construction materials.

The goal is the same: to ensure operation of the vehicle is as effective as possible while staying compliant and delivering accurate reporting.

On top of this drivers need to give their customers the best service possible.

Balancing these competing demands can leave operators frustrated, particularly if they are relying on paper-based processes and operating without any clear insight into the performance of operations.

Given most fleets operate remotely without returning to a depot or central site for days at a time or longer, relying on manual paper-based reporting is inefficient and can result in missing data or lags in important information getting back to administration.

That’ why AI-powered telematics technology can transform businesses with many moving parts into streamlined and well-oiled machines — making everyone’s lives easier.

This was the case for Spiral Logistics, who having adopted telematics, saw immediate improvements to its efficiency.

A specialised logistics organisation that designs and operates fleets of dedicated company vehicles and contract drivers for their customers, Spiral Logistics found that keeping track of essential business records like vehicle maintenance, odometer readings, fuel tax credits, and asset registers by relying on spreadsheets and physical filing was a drain on administrative resources.

And it slowed down their fleets as drivers needed to spend time recording the information.

After switching out manual paperwork for a digitised fleet management system with electronic forms and work diaries, the business streamlined administration processes and drastically reduced the time both administration staff and drivers spent on paperwork.

Proactively maintaining vehicles is essential for fleet efficiency.

Staying on top of vehicle maintenance reduces the potential for downtime caused by vehicle breakdowns or repairs, improves fuel efficiency, and keeps the driver safe behind the wheel.

Peter Jorgensen.

However, ensuring the vehicle is in peak shape can be a nightmare if administration has to sort through stacks of paperwork to keep things in order.

It’s easy for the kilometres to add up, and service dates can fly past without anyone noticing.

Vehicle maintenance reporting can, as a result, fall by the wayside. Or working on the road prevents the driver handing in paper-based maintenance reports until they’re back at the depot.

By then, the issue may have been exacerbated, causing costly damage to the vehicle that takes longer to repair or replace — or it could result in a time-consuming breakdown.

Predictive equipment management solutions use historical data to identify and alert drivers and fleet managers of what equipment needs maintenance and when.

The digitised systems fully automate maintenance routines with custom schedules and real-time access to equipment diagnostics and inspection reports, so administration staff don’t need to spend time sorting through a vehicle’s past reports.

When it’s time for a service, everyone will be alerted.

Complete vehicle visibility presents an obvious advantage in that managers and drivers both immediately know when something is wrong, and everyone has the information to fix that problem.

Whether it’s a vehicle breakdown, fatigue, changes to routes, or excessive time spent at a job site, knowing how to improve efficiency becomes clear if everyone can see what’s happening with a vehicle. On top of that, they can, quite critically, offer customers real-time delivery updates.

AI-powered telematics technology gives drivers instant visibility. It can measure everything from their location to time spent at a job and travelling time, and the platform allows for the optimisation of route planning to limit unnecessary kilometres or avoid traffic-congested roads.

“There’s a lot of challenges in the field for drivers, and if they know there’s footage of their delivery place, and we intend to support them and use that footage for their benefit, then they’re pretty receptive to getting cameras on the trucks,” says Peter Jorgensen, Spiral Logistics Managing Director.

He reports that for Spiral Logistics, combining electronic work diaries, intelligent dashcams, and GPS tracking has created a robust safety management system and improved driver performance — increasing efficiency.

Equipping the vehicle with a smart camera that combines AI technology with telematics data and advanced onboard sensors provides insight into key driving metrics and also identifies training opportunities.

“As far as an investment’s concerned, often you get one – forward-facing or rear-facing – but with Teletrac Navman, we’ve been able to get the return on rear-facing by saving costs, and also forward-facing by adding value,” Peter says. “So, the ROI is definitely there.”

Make no mistake — telematics technology is the future of fleet efficiency.

Using intelligent AI-powered solutions in a commercial vehicle can offer a range of benefits for transport operators.

Spiral Logistics witnessed the possibilities with their results: drastically improved administration processes, easy vehicle maintenance, better fuel efficiency, and enhanced driver performance and safety.

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