Does Fleet Management Work Against Drivers?
Why are drivers against fleet management systems? Most of the time, when drivers are made aware that new processes and technology will be introduced to the business process, all they see is additional work and the stifling of their freedom. The concept of fleet monitoring doesn’t sit well with a lot of drivers, because they feel like the fleet management doesn’t trust them, and therefore feels a need to micromanage their every move through monitoring.
Keep in mind that with any fleet, you will have some drivers who are older, and some who don’t speak English as their first language. Explaining this new technology to your drivers might be difficult. If you are giving them something new to adjust to, your drivers will most likely ask, “what’s in it for me?”.
However, fleet management doesn’t have to work against drivers. In fact, vehicle and asset tracking systems are beneficial to your employees in many ways, and fleet managers need to get that point across. If you’re a fleet manager and you’re having trouble convincing your employees that fleet monitoring will work in their favor, here are some points you may want to bring up.
Providing Driver Monitoring Documentation To Back Up Drivers
The biggest problem drivers have against vehicle tracking is the fear that this technology may expose every single mistake or failure they make. However, monitoring and location documentation can work in their favor.
For example, a customer calls the office and is refusing to pay for your company’s services because according to them, the driver arrived an hour late. You talk to your driver and they say they arrived on time, and that the customer is only refusing payment because they changed their mind. Without fleet monitoring technology, it’s a matter of whose testimony is more believable.
However, because you can document where vehicles are at any given time, you can check if the driver is telling the truth. If the driver did arrive on time as they said, this is important evidence that you can bring up during your conversation with the customer. Employees who do honest work can count on the data transmitted by the vehicle tracking system to back up their claims and prove that they’re telling the truth. This comes in handy if a driver is ever accused of slacking off or not plying their routes on time.
The documentation of vehicle data can also come in handy during disputes over work hours. After working for several hours, a driver may forget to log in their work hours or they might forget how many hours they worked that week. Because of fleet monitoring, they don’t have to worry about not getting paid the right amount because there will always be data backup of all their worked hours.
Better Pro-Driver Business Processes Through Efficient Fleet Tracking
With the data gathered from your fleet monitoring system, your company can provide business processes that are favorable for your employees. The best example of this is incentivizing your driver safety protocols. Drivers feel like vehicle monitoring will only expose their weaknesses and mistakes, but you can send the message across that data monitoring can also highlight their strengths and achievements.
Fleetr’s fleet monitoring system comes with a feature called the Driver Safety Scorecard. The feature detects potentially risky driving behaviors and compares this against the driver’s total driving time. Your company can give incentives to drivers who get high scores on their Driver Safety Scorecard to encourage your drivers to not only stay safe on the road but get them comfortable with the idea of vehicle monitoring.
A positive approach to road safety also fares better with drivers. Instead of penalizing drivers who exhibit risky driving behavior, giving incentives to those who do well will not only encourage drivers to drive more safely but will help them see the vehicle monitoring device as an ally, instead of an enemy.
Having a system in place also promotes fairness in the workplace. Before fleet management technology came along, it was easy for fleet management personnel to pick favorites among their drivers and give them more work, or better loads compared to other drivers. With a system in place, jobs are automatically given to drivers who are available and who have the lowest workloads, not to drivers who are extremely friendly with fleet management. Because drivers have limited access to the system, and only managers can make use of certain features, it ensures that drivers cannot cheat the system.
One great thing about having a monitoring system in place is that it reduces the need for paperwork. Before this technology was introduced, drivers have to fill out a lot of paperwork before they go on their routes, and they have to fill out more paperwork once they are back in the office. Fleet management automates a lot of the processes, so there’s less paperwork and more actual work.
Driving Monitoring System Improves Driver Experience
Drivers may not be aware that having a fleet management system can improve their experience while driving. Some vehicle tracker systems are so advanced that they have features that can make driving easier for your employees.
For example, some GPS tracker systems can give drivers direction in case they get lost while plying their route. Drivers can also get the best and most efficient routes to cut down their travel times and fuel consumption. Some trackers even have a weather and traffic report feature, so drivers don’t have to go in blind. They know when to expect rain or fog while on the road. The traffic features are also helpful as it helps them avoid roads with heavy traffic so they can reach their destination faster.
It can also lessen distractions for drivers while they are on the road. Without fleet management technology, you have to keep calling the driver to ask for updates. Sometimes, customers get impatient and call the head office, asking for the driver’s whereabouts. The customer service rep calls the driver to ask about their current location, which is considered distracted driving and is risky driving behavior. Because you can track your fleet in real-time, there’s no need to call your driver to bother them. If a customer asks for updates, you can simply look at the monitoring program and let the customer know when the driver’s ETA is.
Promoting Driver and Vehicle Safety
Driver safety is something that always benefits drivers, although it may not feel that way at times. Fleet monitoring technology is equipped with advanced features that allow managers to check for risky driving behaviors. Managers will be alerted each time drivers commit risky behaviors such as speeding, hard braking, making sharp turns, and rapid acceleration.
Drivers who get admonished for risky driving may feel like fleet monitoring technology is working against them, but in actuality, it helps them drive safer and protects them from driving behaviors that can cause accidents. Road accidents often result in injuries, and sometimes even death, so the system only aims to protect the lives of drivers on the road.
In some instances, the drivers don’t even know that their actions are considered unsafe. The feedback given by the fleet monitoring app is valuable when it comes to evaluating the performance of your drivers, and can improve the quality of their driving overall. It’s just up to the fleet managers to give feedback in a positive manner. After all, the goal is not to scold or penalize the drivers, but to ensure their safety on the road.
Another part of the fleet monitoring program that focuses on driver safety is regular maintenance service. The program allows managers to schedule when the vehicles are due for maintenance. It also watches out for telltale signs of problems with vehicles such as a rapidly heating engine and delayed brake response. Because the system keeps track of which vehicles are due for maintenance service, it guarantees that the roadworthiness of your vehicles.
Implementing a Driver-Friendly System For Your Fleet
Companies usually implement a fleet monitoring system after discovering the many benefits that it can bring to the business and its owners. Efficiently managing your vehicles through the use of tracking technology can help save on fuel costs and can help increase fleet productivity overall. However, you must explore the features of your fleet monitoring system and look for features geared towards your drivers.
Keep in mind that your drivers are your most important resource – without them, nobody would be left running your fleet of vehicles. While drivers may feel some hesitation towards any new technology, if fleet management does a good job at emphasizing how this technology can make work easier and safer for all drivers, your employees will surely feel more comfortable with it in no time.