How vehicle tracking reduces commercial fleets environmental impact

The environmental impact of a commercial fleet can be a significant issue for businesses in any sector. No matter the size of a fleet, the goal of reducing its environmental impact has now become high on the list of priorities for fleet managers around the world.

One way to reduce a fleets
impact on the environment, which has shown to deliver results, is installing
vehicle tracking technology across a fleet. This allows fleet managers to gain
a far greater understanding of exactly how their fleet is operating and where
improvements can be made. There are three main areas where fleet managers have
used vehicle tracking to great effect to reduce both individual vehicle’s and
the collective fleet’s environmental impact.

Driver behaviour 

One of the most significant
gains in improving a commercial fleets environmental impact is reducing the
fuel usage of individual drivers. In both small and large commercial fleets,
there will naturally be drivers who are more fuel-efficient when operating
their vehicle than others. Vehicle
tracking
allows fleet managers to identify drivers who are using higher
amounts of fuel than is needed for the journeys they’re making.

There are several actions which contribute to high fuel usage. The most common are speeding, allowing the engine to idle when the vehicle is stationary, harsh acceleration and harsh braking. All of these factors increase the amount of fuel any vehicle will use.

Fleet managers can monitor and improve this behaviour in two important ways. Firstly, vehicle tracking systems installed in commercial vehicles gather data measuring the frequency of the actions mentioned above. Fleet managers can then identify drivers whose numbers are higher than they should be and design training to help them drive more economically, and reduce their fuel usage.

The second way driver’s behaviour can be improved to save fuel is through the installation of in-cab coaching devices. These systems monitor the actions mentioned above, which contribute to high fuel usage and alert drivers whenever they are, for example, letting their engine idle. Drivers receive audio and visual feedback to alert them to these actions and allow them to self-correct their own driving style. If drivers aren’t able to self-correct, fleet managers still have access to the data and can help their drivers with further training.  

Routes and closest driver

A key factor in improving fuel efficiency, and therefore the environmental impact of a fleet, is the routes a vehicle is taking each day. Companies operating a commercial fleet may have to plan new routes each day or take the same route often as part of a supply chain.

In either case, making sure the
route is as fuel-efficient as possible is vital. Historical and live data
collected from vehicle tracking along with online maps allows fleet managers to
plan which routes are best for their drivers to take. It’s often not as simple
as setting the route with the shortest distance between point A and B, as
historical data may show traffic congestion in specific areas at certain times
of the day. Areas like this should be avoided and planning a route which may be
in theory longer, can actually work out to be faster along with more
fuel-efficient.

Another feature of vehicle
tracking, which is particularly beneficial to businesses operating fleets where
drivers are required to respond to an issue or sudden change in schedule, is
the ability to see the live location of every vehicle in the fleet. Because of
this, a fleet manager can quickly determine which driver is best placed to
respond to an issue, such as a vehicle breakdown. This not only provides better
customer service, as the person requiring assistance isn’t made to wait longer
than necessary but also saves fuel as a driver who is much further away isn’t
being called when one closer could respond.

Keeping vehicles running at
their best

Whenever aiming to improve the
environmental efficiency of a fleet, it’s crucial to ensure each vehicle is
operating at its best. This can be as simple as making sure the tires are
inflated to the correct pressure, to more complicated engineering processes.
Vehicle tracking allows fleet managers to gain detailed insights into the
workings of their vehicles and maintain these elements.

Overall, vehicle tracking has
demonstrated an ability to significantly reduce the environmental impact of
running a commercial fleet. This is not only highly beneficial to the planet,
as the impact of operating a commercial fleet is reduced, but also beneficial
to the company as well. It allows them to save money which can be invested back
into the business, in some cases replacing older and less efficient vehicles
with newer models to generate even more savings, both financial and
environmental.

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