Settling Scores

Why driver scorecards are the best fleet management tool you’re not using.

Driver safety remains one of the biggest challenges across Australia’s transport and logistics industry.

A 2019 report by the National Transport Insurance company found the number of truck driver fatalities more than doubled that year compared to any year over the past decade.

For operators this means ensuring the safety of a working fleet must be their number one priority.

At the same time, Teletrac Navman recognises that managers and operators have a whole lot of other goals to manage including keeping costs down, which is always close to top of the list, as unnecessary fuel use and inefficient equipment use eat away at budgets.

Driver scorecards, for their part, allow transport companies and freight operators to stay on top of drivers’ habits while tackling behaviours that are impacting the crucial bottom line. But unless you happen to be sitting in the cabin 24/7, knowing how vehicles are being used on the road is difficult.

Driver scorecard solutions collect data from in-vehicle telematics to provide a high-level overview of how each driver is going within the fleet management system.

Anything from speeding and harsh usage (be it braking or acceleration) to idle time and over revving is easily viewable via a comprehensive module.

Teletrac Navman’s Scorecard gives operators the ability to analyse fleet-wide trends and poor habits across the business.

For example, you can keep an eye on individual metrics to see where each driver excels and create personalised coaching for areas that need improvement.

If, having discovered that most of the fleet is driving at unsafe speeds, real information can be used to inform and update training initiatives across the whole business, including during induction to ensure new staff don’t fall into bad habits. Better driving leads to better returns.

When drivers are behind the wheel of their trucks with poor driving behaviour, this doesn’t just put safety in jeopardy, but leads to unnecessary fuel use, more unplanned maintenance, and slower return on investment on expensive assets — vehicles and machinery aren’t cheap!

By identifying trends that lead to excessive fuel use and stopping them as they arise, businesses will save thousands of dollars each year according to Teletrac Navman.

“Our 2019 benchmark report found that on average, 9.5 per cent of businesses saw a reduction in fuel costs after monitoring usage since installing telematics,” says Leigh Farrow, Teletrac Navman, Transport Solution Specialist.

“Depending on the size of the fleet, that can be in the tens, and even hundreds, of thousands.”

Driver scorecards, by way of further example, provide an easy visualisation of how vehicles are used, offering insights about the physical condition of the fleet.

If one or two trucks get used harshly, it makes sense to service these vehicles more frequently than other trucks.

“By monitoring each truck’s performance, you can keep a close eye on upkeep to ensure optimal performance and get the best ROI from your fleet,” says Leigh.

Creating healthy competition among drivers is proving to be another avenue for which management can unlock advantages in this area.

The concept of gamification – taking elements of games like competition and point scoring – is nothing new, but it does wonders for motivating drivers to tackle fleet-wide challenges.

Further ensuring drivers understand it’s not a penalty system is important according to Leigh.

“You’re aiming to improve behaviour, not punish,” he says. “You can decide which behaviours positively or negatively impact a driver’s scorecard, or which metric is the strategic to improve in the business.” If speeding is a recurring issue, managers may put more of an emphasis on this than other behaviours.

By setting a timeframe drivers can have something to aim for.

This is then amplified when drivers are rewarded for having the highest score through incentives such as gift cards or a week of paid leave, or being allowed to drive their favourite vehicle.

“Be sure to regularly share results with the team to create and sustain their motivation to kick bad habits,” Leigh recommends.

“By using driver data to inform your safety training initiative and individual targets, you’ll create an on-going culture of safety while driving down costs.”