Most trucking, logistics, and haulage companies consider road safety to be of paramount importance. But it is only because of the negligence of a select few drivers that safety awareness takes a hit across the board, and results in fatalities.
While heavy haulage clearly involves more risks than usual, techniques like keeping track of Diagnostic Vehicle Data, factoring in the data provided by the Maintenance Assistant, and Tyre Monitoring is each a key method used to monitor a vehicle.
The fleet operator is tasked with many jobs like managing drivers, scheduling jobs, fleet maintenance, and at last, overseeing the health and safety of the mobile assets. Although implementing standard safety procedures tends to be boring and cumbersome at times, it can often be the difference between the life and death of a driver.
If your business involves heavy fleet management, then a few preventive operating procedures, rules, and practices can help decrease the chances of a disaster by a fair margin.
Maximize Fleet Tracking Efficiency and Road Safety through GPS
Incorporation of GPS (Global Positioning System) in vehicles has been one of the more fascinating breakthroughs of recent times. In a way,GPS tracking for fleet vehicles shifts some of the accountability from the operators to the drivers.
By providing alerts for unsafe driving habits, this system sees a considerable decrease in aggressive or unsafe driving events.
Moreover, GPS tracking systems not only report the whereabouts of all the moving assets, but they can also be used to detecting route violations as well as sending automated notifications to clients.
Automation of several tasks by virtue of a location-tracking software in place can provide useful data. This can then be compiled and used to draw out individual working patterns for each driver and the vehicles he drives.
Operators can use this information to quickly identify which vehicles are operational, maintained, and assign appropriate jobs to drivers depending on the severity of the routes.
If a unit is in close proximity to a job, it can be assigned to the job in no time, without having to go through the heap of logged records. This ensures smooth functioning throughout the business and raises safety standards to a whole new level.
Such live-tracking interfaces also allow the operators to alert the drivers when they cross a certain geographical checkpoint. Push notifications across the network keep all the concerned parties in the loop and facilitate immediate action in case of a mishap.
Constant tracking reports and metrics play a huge role in reducing the risk of an accident and increasing safety. GPS trackers can be programmed to set off alarms when a certain speed limit is crossed. Logically, these speed restrictions can also vary for different phases of the course taken.
With consistent surveillance of their activities, it is supposed to keep the drivers in check. A smart device will also be able to tabulate aggressive acceleration, hard braking, and in effect, regulate speeding.
Also, this tracking system comes in handy when one or more moving assets are flagged for running outside of a Geographical boundary or specific time frame. A clear, concise tracker can effectively help recapture the units gone missing and recover the resources through prompt action.
Implement a Set of Hazard Controls
In layman terms, a Hazard Control system is basically a well-assembled set of protective measures meant to eliminate or minimize exposure to hazards. In the case of businesses requiring heavy vehicles on the road, a clear hazard is provided by road crashes.
These can include safety meetings and training and/or safe work procedures. Some of the more practical methods are implemented through Engineering controls and Administrative controls.
Software systems like lane departure warning systems, while others like anti-lock braking systems and back-up cameras, fall under the command of engineering controls. They often serve as an additional layer of safety and, in some rare cases, also turn out to be the last line of defense.
On the other hand, Administrative controls would involve formulating driving policies in the workplace. This might range from a routine check-in attendance protocol to basic ethical rules put in place that ensure safe driving habits. These can prevent drivers from using their cell-phones while on duty.
Providing drivers with customized and functional PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gears can also be seen as a form of hazard control, though not very effective.
Seat-belts and airbags come under the safety features implemented through engineering controls. And so, equipping the driver with anti-glare sunglasses, firm grip gloves, and adjustable footwear should count as essential personal driving gear.
In all actuality, there are a plethora of measures and combinations of measures at our disposal to control factors that contribute to crashes. And an effective hazard control mechanism within the organization aids your shot at doing so.
More often than not, individual drivers or employers can’t really control the numerous external factors that might cause an accident. Weather gone bad or foul road conditions increase the chances of a mishap tenfold.
But operators can regulate their response to such unfortunate events and re-route the fleet. Drivers can deploy all safety procedures while driving until the rough path passes.
The implementation of the aforementioned GPS tracking mechanism can help the employee easily identify as to what constitutes a violation, how to avoid them, and the course of action to follow if he can’t.
Knowing the Key Performance Indicators for the job can steer the ship in the right direction and keep it moving steadily on the same course. A proper tracking system will help both the driver and the business share equal accountability and ensure a clear vision of the job prerequisites.
Despite the numerous efforts to ensure the safety of heavy vehicles on the road, the risk can only be minimized and not completely eradicated off the map. Some of the possible controls you can implement to address hazards have been discussed here.
At the end of the day, a shared feeling of responsibility throughout the chain of command can override any external method to eliminate the danger.