Fleet management technology may become the essential tool

Australia’s national truck laws must be substantially redrafted, the Australian Trucking Association said in response to the first issues paper of the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) review.

A recent survey shows technology might be the missing piece of the puzzle to solve fatigue, driver shortages and cost management.
The report also paints a positive picture for the transport industry, with the majority of fleet managers planning to increase fleet sizes, despite a growing driver shortage.
Anyone working in the heavy vehicle sector will tell you the big issues are compliance with fatigue laws, driver retention and trying to manage costs. Teletrac Navman has released findings from its 2018 Telematics Benchmark Report: Australia Edition that show these issues aren’t going anywhere.
The results also reveal that those who currently use telematics and fleet management technology have seen notable improvements in tackling these issues. What’s surprising is that few organisations are employing these tools.
Other notable findings of the report include a growing number of fleet managers (34%) reporting a driver shortage, making “finding, retaining and developing talent” one of the industry’s top business challenges, with 24% of respondents saying it was a primary concern (up 8% on 2017). Organisations are taking a variety of approaches to address the shortage, including through flexible working hours (45%), increasing benefits (31%), and providing additional education (29%).
Worryingly, this driver shortage will be compounded as the majority (53%) of transport operators are planning on increasing fleet sizes, due to more demand for services (62%), replacing older equipment or vehicles (60%), and domestic growth (51%).
While most fleet professionals surveyed cited the above as top challenges, many did not currently have plans to roll out potential solutions, such as electronic work diaries (EWD) or GPS fleet tracking. Organisations that rely on heavy vehicles and equipment have yet to see the true value of technology to improve safety and productivity.
Fatigue management, driver retention and managing costs are top of mind

  • Fatigue management (69%) is the top concern for organisations, but only a few currently use electronic work diaries (12%).
  • The majority of organisations (62%) plan to increase fleet size over the next year due to increases in industry demand, which will only add to the driver shortage.
  • Managing costs is a big challenge for fleet professionals, with payroll (63%), fuel spending (43%) and maintenance (34%).

The missing piece of the puzzle

  • Businesses using telematics data say it helps to meet compliance requirements (37%).
  • Organisations are most likely to use telematics to track use of vehicles and equipment (89%), speed (67%), distance (57%), driver performance (34%), idling (34%) and fuel use (24%).

Looking beyond track-and-trace technology

  • Businesses cite peace of mind (60%), improved driver behaviour (39%) and meeting compliance requirements (37%) as top benefits of using fleet management systems.
  • Fleets with a rewards program in place have improved customer service (57%), driver retention (46%) and safety (28%).
  • Nearly half of all respondents who use telematics achieved a reduction in fuel costs, with nearly 10 per cent seeing fuel costs drop by 11 per cent or more.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see the benefits of telematics as evident from the survey data, many companies appear to use only a portion of its potential, decreasing their potential ROI. We see the industry leaders leveraging complex data to drive real change around safety, cost, and business transformation. It’s up to both the industry and technology providers to demonstrate these benefits so that more businesses embrace this technology and make it the standard,” said Andrew Rossington, vice president – transport solutions, Teletrac Navman.
The full report can be found here: 2018 Telematics Benchmark Report: Australia Edition.
Survey methodology
The 2018 Teletrac Navman Telematics Benchmark Survey is based on responses from more than 2,400 fleet operations and fleet management professionals from around the world. Of the total survey respondents, 268 indicated that they were based in the Australia. The results described in the 2018 Telematics Benchmark Report: Australia Edition, were compiled from those respondents. The report provides an understanding of best practices and fleet management trends in business, telematics, emerging technology, transportation and talent. Results may not amount to 100 percent due to questions with multiple selections. For reporting purposes, all statistical values have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

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