Fleet management in SA has a long way to go

How many of the road transportation companies in South Africa actually manage their fleet to an international standard for road traffic safety management? The answer is approximately 35%.

It is somewhat frightening that this is the statistic being that South Africa has the highest rate in the world for hijacking and car theft. In 2015 the rate at which truck hijacking has risen is 29.1% from 2014 according to the rates released by the South African Police Services.

As a truck owner you should be concerned about the hijacking statistics. Most cargo thefts are done this way due to the anti theft devices that are now being installed in trucks. The criminals have to take other action to take down a truck in transit.

A study by Mobilitas and Standard Bank Fleet Management to understand the number of fleet companies that are utilising the services of vehicle tracking and management companies has caused some concern. The study revealed that only 3% of the sample focuses more than 50% of their time on the fleet management side of their business, with their main focus being on human resources and accounting. It also revealed that less than half of the sample is actually aware of the international road safety management standard.

The researchers propose that excellence in fleet management has at least four pillars: managing the risks facing the fleet; managing the people who operate the fleet; managing the impact of the fleet on the environment and managing the administrative systems of the fleet. There are a number of telematics companies in South Africa that have come a long way to being one of the best in the business. They usually have global backing and the technology that is cutting edge. The other factor is that they come from a fleet and commercial vehicle management background rather than a consumer tracking background.

It is a common miss-conception that fleet telematics is about tracking your vehicles and being able to recover them if stolen. This is only one facet of the business and the benefits to the fleet owner are far more substantial.

What are these benefits over and above vehicle tracking and recover?

  1. Route management and geo-fencing. Set your fleets routes based on the types of roads, safety of the area, and access to rest stops. Set the geo-fence of an area that you know your driver’s need to avoid, or include a weigh station on the route.
  2. Reduce operational costs. By understanding how your vehicle is performing from the engine usage to the fuel usage you can find areas to reduce the costs that are effectively driving your business month to month.
  3. Accident notification. With the right fleet management dashboard you can be notified the moment and accident takes place and have the ability to reconstruct the accident should it go to court.
  4. Signal jamming detection. If your vehicle is being jammed by signal jamming devices you will be notified immediately and therefore able to initiate a recover crew to the vehicle to assist the driver.
  5. Driver ID and authorisation. Installing a driver ID and authorisation component to your vehicle ensures that only authorised drivers can start the vehicle and you have a report on who was driving, when and for how long. This is useful to HR for driver scoring.
  6. Driver behaviour. Having the knowledge of how your driver is using the vehicle such as, harsh braking, or excess idle time. This enables you to take steps to ensure drivers improve their use of the vehicle and you can also implement on-going training for those lead foot drivers.

It is becoming vital for serious fleet operators to make use of the technology and expertise of the Mobile Resource Management companies, if they want to reduce costs and increase profitability.

Companies like this are not created in a day, they are the result of a brutal evolution up the value chain, and are the types of people that will look at your business needs and tailor solutions specific to you, to increase profits and reduce risks. Comprehensive peace of mind.

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