Now that the use of AOBRD devices has been mandatorily sunset in favor of ELD devices and most fleets have made the switch (but if you haven’t, check out our no-contract, award-winning ELD platform), many fleet managers are sitting back and breathing a sigh of relief.
The problem, though, is that for fleet managers focused only on ELD compliance, the sigh of relief is premature. Why? Because ELD, unless it’s tied in to a more complete fleet telematics and tracking platform, is focused largely on compliance -- and very little on how fleet managers can actually increase the efficiency of their fleets and realize true ROI on their telematics and fleet tracking initiatives.
Having such a focus on efficiency gains should be especially important for those managing local service and delivery fleets. Here’s why that’s so -- and also how telematics can be put to use to achieve the business intelligence (BI) and actionable insights needed to maximize local fleet efficiency.
Shorter Distances and Fewer Highway Miles Makes Local Fleet Fuel Efficiency Worse than OTR Fleet Fuel Efficiency
It’s plain common sense. The many highway miles that OTR fleets travel in comparison to local fleets means that local fleets are always going to be less fuel-efficient than their OTR brethren. And because fuel is a leading cost for fleets, maximizing fuel efficiency is something in which fleet managers of all sizes of fleets, but particularly of local fleets, should be keenly interested.
This is where a telematics platform that has a business intelligence and analytics focus can begin to generate substantial ROI for local fleets: By providing detailed MPG information, the platform can let local fleet managers know which vehicles are the most efficient in their fleets -- and conversely, which vehicles and drivers are not fuel efficient. It’s in these cases that a full-featured telematics platform can help fleet managers dive even deeper into BI insights that can help increase fuel efficiency.
Driver Behaviors in Local Fleets can Also Lead to Lower Efficiencies
Because they spend much more time on surface streets, drivers in local fleets tend to engage in much more hard braking and hard cornering behavior than OTR fleet drivers. Such behaviors are occasionally unavoidable -- but they’re generally unsafe and they’re highly inefficient in terms of fuel use, and thus should be minimized to the greatest extent possible. This is again where a telematics platform with a focus on BI and analytics can help local fleet managers by identifying too-frequent hard braking and hard cornering, and thus identify opportunities for driver training or other corrective actions. This is the kind of thing we mean when we talk about actionable intelligence: The bad behaviors identified can thus be reduced, and thereby lower fuel costs and increase telematics ROI.
Excessive Idle Times Can be Common in Local Fleets
Because local fleet drivers make so many stops over the course of a day, they will very often have high idle time percentages when looked at over the course of a day. Of course, it’s practically impossible to get fewer miles per gallon than an idling vehicle, since fuel is being burned but no miles are being covered.
Once again this is a case where a BI-focused telematics platform can come to the aid of fleet managers. A certain amount of idle time is going to be normal across a fleet -- but a telematics platform can reveal any vehicles that have excessive idle times compared to the rest of the fleet, and allow the fleet manager to investigate further. Do routes need to be altered, perhaps, or are the excessive idle times always tied to a particular driver who might need more training? Telematics can give fleet managers the data they need to make informed decisions -- and thereby to reduce fuel costs.
Do Telematics Platforms Truly Generate ROI?
There are substantive ways in which telematics and business intelligence can take fleets to the next level. You don’t have to take our word for it, though -- we’re Idealease’s 2019 Supplier of the Year for all of the value that we’ve brought to both Idealease corporately and to their individual locations. You can also check out our case study on how we helped a direct-to-store delivery fleet realize 400% ROI on its telematics investments and see how we helped one particular fleet -- and how we might help yours, as well.
If you’re a fleet manager struggling with how, or why, or whether telematics can help your fleet, be sure and check out the above resources -- and don’t hesitate to contact us if your fleet has particular needs, or if you’re having a particular problem with fleet efficiency. We’ll be glad to talk through your situation and help you explore solutions that help take your fleet management -- and your fleet itself -- to the next level.
Want to see the platform in action? We’ve got you covered there, too. Just Request a Demo, and it won’t be long before you’re on the road to true fleet ROI.