Fleet Management Made Easy

Construction fleet managers know that when a truck is down and out, projects can fall way behind. Delayed projects result in higher costs and reduced productivity.

The ability to manage the post-accident process, as well as improve vehicle safety on the road, is rapidly changing with the advent of new technologies that incorporate some of the latest advancements, all of which will significantly impact and change this process.

For example, technology is now helping combat traditional construction industry concerns about proper vehicle maintenance and the effect this has on existing and potential clients and projects.

Seamless tools are fast-emerging in the marketplace that allow for the integration of all aspects of vehicle maintenance and accident reporting processes. These new and innovative approaches are helping to get vehicles back on the road more quickly and safely, thereby enhancing performance and improving productivity.

Now, better accident intelligence, which provides construction fleet managers access to realtime, on-site investigation and reporting after an accident, has the potential to reshape the way in which vehicles are managed and maintained. And, electronic eDVIRs (daily vehicle inspection reports) easily and seamlessly tracks repairs, allowing trucks to return to the road faster.

Cloud-computing is affording the construction fleet industry myriad ways to better manage vehicles after accidents. There are now patented and proprietary mobile apps that can guide users throughout the accident management and repair tracking process (eDVIRs and closed-loop inspections) in real time, which boast features such as:

  • Realtime investigation and accident recount
  • Instant data collection on the site of an accident
  • Uploading of photos and (voice) record testimony of incident via smartphones on the scene
  • Delivery of accident reports and alerts in realtime
  • Capability to automatically deliver accident summary reports to other parties involved
  • eDVIR sends electronic repair status notifications and alerts to mechanics, management and support staff
  • Closed loop eDVIR creates work orders inside an app from the driver to the mechanic, and once repaired, back to the driver for confirmation of repair completion in realtime
  • Roadside DOT (Dept. of Transportation) inspection feature allows the driver to present logs to a DOT officer
  • Technology confirms drivers actually completed a proper daily inspection; built-in management notification tool automatically activates when inspection is incomplete or performed improperly
  • Preventive maintenance work orders automatically created for mechanics using mileage or date range

If vehicles are properly repaired, inspected, maintained and in good overall working condition, significantly reduced downtime will be realized. The cost of losing just one driver is enormous. If loads and clients are lost, then the need to hire, train and test new drivers arise. These costs add up quickly, and the typical cost of turnover is $5,000 per driver.

The adoption of fleet management technology can reap several key results:

  • Employees can get back to work faster
  • Reduces equipment down time
  • Keeps clients happy
  • Frees up managers’ time to devote to other priorities
  • Dramatically reduces liability claims
  • Ensures clean and easy record-keeping
  • Allows operations to run smoothly and seamlessly

It is believed that by gathering evidence in realtime, on the scene, a more accurate picture can be portrayed about what actually occurred. For example, the proper gathering of evidence can reduce this industry statistic, which reveals that while 80 percent of accidents involving professional drivers are not their fault, 80 percent still pay out on claims.  These are staggering statistics that must be addressed.  

Every day that it takes to file a claim results in rising claim costs of 3.9 percent.  Fleet management technology is helping control costs. For example, if an accident payout is $40,000, the simple filing of an effective accident investigation in a timely manner could lower that figure by half or more.

Compliance matters and, simply put, if issues relating to repairs, logs, eDVIRs, and documentation are managed electronically, there won’t be violations. If there are no violations, there won’t be interventions. If there are no interventions, drivers are happier, fines are fewer, and clients are satisfied.

With the help of accident management tools, construction fleets can operate more accurate, effectively and safely. Using technology in fleet management is the proper way to facilitate change and ensure safety.  Let’s take an opportunity to apply the benefits of technology where they can have the most positive impact.

Tommy Johnson is co-founder, Gorilla Safety. He can be reached at tjohnson@gorillasafety.com.

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