Fleet managers have a unique challenge when it comes to training, counseling, and evaluating their employees. Once an employee gets in the truck, the manager just isn’t there to see what he’s doing.
However, a driver’s behavior can have major implications for the company. A driver who engages in unsafe behavior like speeding or hard breaking puts additional wear and tear on company property which can result in high maintenance bills or tragic, costly accidents. In addition, a driver’s behavior can reflect poorly on the company at large, which may mean lost accounts and missed sales opportunities.
“How’s My Driving” stickers give managers a little bit of insight into employee behavior on the job, as do statistics on fuel costs, arrival times, and departure times. In the past, however, this data had to be collected manually and evaluated in the same manner. It also relied on factors which were beyond the company’s control, like third party intervention. A bad driver could have been on the road for months before someone got around to lodging a complaint.
Eliminate Side Trips
Employees have also been known to use fleet property for personal needs after hours, a behavior which costs the company a great deal. An employee may believe they are only using a tiny amount of gas or putting incremental wear and tear on vehicles, but any fleet manager knows the costs of those “tiny” indiscretions can add up quickly.
With GPS tracking managers get that information in real time, and can use it to counsel employees whose behaviors are putting the company at risk. Managers can also use this data to set certain metrics on employee behaviors that they must meet as a condition of their employment. And it becomes easy to spot inappropriate usage of employee property so managers may take action, even if the action is a simple matter of helping the employee to see his own behavior as theft, instead of as a mere indiscretion.
In addition, collecting vital data is much faster. GPS tracking eliminates wasteful paper-based recording systems which are subject to error and falsification. Paper reports didn’t always provide a good platform for gleaning insights, either, but software can quickly offer the kinds of actionable intelligence that human readers simply couldn’t develop without a lot of time and effort.
Accurate Reports for Liability
Sometimes it’s useful to drill down to specific incident dates and times. A manager can look into GPS records directly before an accident to determine if the employee was violating company policy or traffic laws before the accident happened.
A call on the “How’s My Driving” line is no longer a “driver’s word vs. caller’s word” scenario, as the data will reveal exactly what the driver was doing at the time of the call.
The goal, of course, is not necessarily to fire an employee who slips five miles over the speed limit from time to time. The goal is to train better, more conscientious drivers who do the best job they can possibly do and who understand what it means to do a good job.
It helps to elevate driver performance from “he gets from Point A to Point B” to “he gets from Point A to Point B and does it safely.” The result? A growing fleet with a great reputation and a strong safety culture.
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